Q: OK, you saw it! First minutes, first lap, tire in grass and crash. Remove that idiotic grass, (VeeKay) drops a tire below white line and completes his turn. But of course we want to keep grass so there is nowhere to go in the turns. Another senseless crash that could have been a great deal worse. When will someone take notice and do it for the safety of the drivers and to improve racing at the Speedway? Maybe drivers could try and lead the race again instead of running in second to win race. Tired of hearing about all the lead changes on the front stretch and back straight.
LN: Good Lord.
Q: It seems like half of the questions in the Mailbag are complaints about why the sport is not like it used to be, or suggestions about bringing back this or that from the past in order to fix things. Motorsport is and has always been about innovation. Formula 1 is still massively popular outside the U.S., even when the racing isn’t very good, because people love the idea of seeing the most advanced race cars. It seems to me that if we want to expand the popularity of IndyCar (or any racing series), then we need to be forward-looking, not backwards-looking. We need to be grabbing young fans and not going out of our way to please the old ones. Thoughts?
LN: Great idea, we could have the cars look like they came from Minecraft and grab those young fans. Please stop with the Indycar-F1 comparisons. A full season in Indycar costs the same as an F1 steering wheel.
Q: Quite a few people who write to the Mailbag complain about gimmicks that the sanctioning bodies like NASCAR use to keep or increase TV viewership. Almost everything broadcast on TV has to be entertaining: when the racing is boring the announcers in the TV booth try to be entertaining, and the pit reporters keep providing you with interesting tidbits so you don’t change channels. If automobile racing, or any other type of programming, didn’t keep your eyes on the TV, it would disappear in a second. The rules for all series are constantly changing to keep the racing close and exciting for TV.
Watching a race on TV not even close to actually going to a race where you can see the cars, hear the sounds and enjoy being outside without the constant information overload that comes from the TV. It can be enjoyable even if it is not close racing. You might say, “That was a great race,” after watching it on TV, but after attending a race you can drive home and say, “Wow, I had a great day.” Agree?
LN: Okay, so what’s the question?
Q: Now that Lime Rock is under new ownership, is an IndyCar date there ever a possibility? It is in a great market, now that Pocono has gone away.
LN: Lime Rock has no internet and uses old plastic lawn chairs as stands. Want to go to Brainerd next?
Q: If Toronto is a no-go this year where do you think the most logical replacement will be? Are there any hot rumors? Will another track become a doubleheader? Do you think a track in the Northeast will jump in such as Loudon or The Glen or Pocono or even Montreal?
LN: Yes, another Canadian race for a cancelled Canadian race, that makes sense.
Q: Last week you had a letter from someone wondering if IndyCar can do anything to “improve the environment“ or “reduce their carbon footprint.” Not sure about other people, but when I go to a IndyCar race I want to hear engines roar, see flat-out speed and passing, the smell of fuel, and tires smoking when a driver pulls away from his pits. The very last thing I am thinking about is a carbon footprint. As is the case nowadays with millennials, if you tell them that something like tires are “sustainable” they would get giddy and their eyes will glaze over with happiness. I say keep things the way they are and leave carbon footprints to the Prius drivers. Agree?
LN: Damn I hate people. Lets put the engines back up front where they belong! Listen, idiot. Indycar will do what their engine manufacturers want to do, so if Chevy, Honda, and whoever else want to go all electric, Indycar will to.