IndyCar – Hello Loudon, Goodbye NASCAR

With the news that the IZOD IndyCar Series (IICS) will be returning to Loudon next year, the dreaded NASCAR track disease that we here at Open Paddock said was a series debilitating syndrome may finally be going away.

It is true that we here at the site have been very critical of the IICS and their schedule that consists mainly of the cookie cutter NASCAR tracks. For one, they show next to no attendance figures, and they also do not promote “drivers” racing but instead a true test of engineering skill. One of the refreshing scenes from the Iowa Race was not only the amount of fans that packed the stands, but the fact that Tony Kanaan was able to take victory because he is a good driver. It has been obvious for some time that Andretti Autosport is not the juggernaut they once were. However victories at both Long Beach and Iowa show that they have talented drivers in Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay. This is one of the reasons we welcome New Hampshire back to the schedule. It offers us the ability to see really good drivers win and not the same Penske/Ganassi oval show we see when we go to places like Texas that are 100% throttle with the driver having to just turn the car around the track. Not to say the driver skill does not have to be good there, but you get the point. One of the reasons that NASCAR is terrible IMHO is the fact that nearly every track is the same style. They have a ton of ovals with only a few showing any unique aspects. This makes them boring for the most part and really no different from week to week. That is one thing the IICS needed to do to help get them back on the map. Get away from the boring long ovals and focus on bringing cars to the smaller ovals as well. Now every week we have a different feel. A few road/street courses that are very good, a few very fast ovals that are fun to watch and now the short oval that produces the best racing we have seen in the series for some time. Along with the unique dynamic of the short oval is the market that we see. Hello Northeastern United States. With a street race in Baltimore, a short oval in New Hampshire and a road course at Watkins Glen, the IICS now is developing a footprint in a market place that has very little massive motorsport.

The IICS continues to scrape and fight to make an identity for themselves. Something that makes them more appealing than NASCAR or less circus like (F1). Having a wide and dynamic schedule will only further that effort. We now need to take a step back and look at some of the tracks that don’t bring much to the table. Kansas, Edmonton are just a couple that come to mind. The series continues to promote their drivers as celebrities and point out the fact that they drive a multitude of different tracks. It is refreshing that the series has actively looked to place “drivers” tracks on the schedule to further statement. Now about that chassis…:)

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2 Thoughts to “IndyCar – Hello Loudon, Goodbye NASCAR

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by BJ (Juice) Johnson, said: New Content: IndyCar – Hello Loudon, Goodbye NASCAR – […]

  2. ATB73

    Now lets get Milwaukee back in its rightful place, the week after the 500. The best news is that IICS will not be setting up cones in the parking lot of Foxboro stadium. Considering I was born and raised in the Northeast, ( Born in Mass-a- 2-shits, summers spent water skiing the lakes of New Hampshire, winters spent down hill ski racing in Mass, Vermont, and New hampshire,{ i won my first race at the age of 7} ) , I HIGHLY recommend visiting the region in the summer, absolute gods country, crisp cool air and mountains, mountains, and more mountains. The question is, how does the track at Loudon treat the fans? I hope it is alot better than Iowa, Locking people out of the track for practice and Quals is a joke. Boy you alll missed out on Richmond. You could stand on pit road the entire weekend with drivers dive bombing the fans on their scooters. All tracks are not created equal. I may conclude my boycott of IICS when they hit Baltimore next year as they make a return to the mid-Atlantic region. Right now, my summer is being spent doing the Late Model stock car thing at South Boston Va. in a driver developement program. I’m walking in the shadows of Denny Hamlin, as his career was launched thru the team I am with. NASCAR is the land of opportunity. It is where the money is, it is where all the young American talent wants to be. It is sad, but it is a fact. I might be working for them as an official team photographer but my heart is still with open wheel, but a job within the sport for years to come, is alot more than I had a year ago as IICS pulled out of Richmond leaving me high and dry. At least I am still in the game in a much larger capacity than IRL could ever offer. At least NASCAR recognizes and rewards talent. If you dream long enough, it eventually becomes a reality.

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