Should Double-Headers Stay Or Go?

The Verizon IndyCar Series just held their final double-header weekend of the season, with the Honda Indy Toronto. That’s now six in the past two seasons. After last season, I think most would agree that the jury was still out on the double-header concept but there seemed to be some optimism surrounding the idea of running two complete races in two days at a few events. After two full seasons of double-headers, I would say that the optimism from a year ago has waned.

Since the series is promoting them, I would have to imagine that very few participants would publically condemn the double-header concept. This is pure conjecture on my part, but I have a feeling what they say privately would be totally different.

By participants, I don’t mean just the drivers – I’m talking about the crew members, the officials, the members of the IMS Radio Network and the TV crews. I’m talking about everyone involved in the race. I’m only guessing, but I’m betting that practically everyone involved in putting on these races would prefer seeing the double-headers go away.

This is probably an unpopular notion in some circles, but I also think many of the fans might want to see them go away. So would I.

As a fan at home, I find it difficult to carve out time to watch two complete races on both weekend days. Although I am passionate about this sport and consider myself quite the die-hard; I do have other important things going on in my life besides racing. I’m at a nice age – my kids are grown and gone, but I have no grandchildren. I don’t spend my weekends at soccer fields and I have a wife who enjoys racing almost as much as I do. But I have yard work, household chores and other activities I would like to pursue on the weekends. But an IndyCar race in the middle of a Saturday afternoon and another on Sunday puts a lot of those activities on hold. My yard is in desperate need of mowing right now, but it didn’t get done because there were races scheduled for both days last weekend.

As a fan of the Verizon IndyCar Series, I don’t want to be force-fed two races in a weekend. I want there to be more venues. Let’s not lose sight of why there have been double-headers for the last two seasons. It’s because there aren’t enough venues that want to host an IndyCar race to fill up a schedule, so they’ve doubled up on a few weekends. They can spin it any way they want, but that was the only original reason.

Aside from the schedule maker, there is a select group that is heavily in favor of the double-header concept – the track promoters. They love the idea of a double-dip for obvious reasons. They get a lot bigger bang to offset the cost of putting a street race together. You’ll notice that’s where the double-headers take place – temporary street circuits; Belle Isle, Houston and Toronto.

I’ve always been a big fan of the IndyCar race at Toronto. But honestly, I don’t like watching even one race at Belle Isle – much less two in two days. The layout at Houston isn’t much better, but that event did produce two very entertaining races this season. But the racing gods smiled upon the series this year in Houston. It rained on Saturday and both days were cooler than most expected for late June in Houston. Most participants were dreading the twin-bill in Houston during that part of the calendar. Chances are, they won’t be so lucky in the future.

For a while now, 2014 has been referred to as a “transition season” for the Verizon IndyCar Series. The idea behind that has been that fans need to be patient throughout this year, while Mark Miles and Company get their plans fully in place. Supposedly, 2015 is the season that will make their stamp visible on the series. We already know that aero-kits will be coming next season. We also know that Cosworth has an engine ready to build, but I think most see that more as a 2016 possibility rather than next season. My hope is that we will see additional venues added to the schedule for next season.

For weeks, we’ve been hearing that Brazil will be announced “in a week or so” for March 8th of next year. With no announcement yet, I’m beginning to think it might not happen. Dubai has been mentioned as a possibility. I fully understand that these foreign races are big money-makers for the series, and that’s important. I get that. But I wish the domestic schedule would get more attention. The US races are what fans and most sponsors will benefit from. On my budget, I don’t have much of a chance of going to a race in Dubai, but I could certainly make it to Road America.

And while I’m on the subject of the schedule, I’m going to come close to saying I may have been wrong on something. For a few years, I was a proponent of the idea that the series should wrap up on Labor Day weekend, rather than go against the behemoth that is the NFL. I still think that it’s a mistake to carry the season into mid-to-late October, but with us still being in July and having only four races remaining – I’m beginning to re-think that stance.

I do think that the season should start earlier than March 30th, as it did this year. I say the series should concede whatever date the Daytona 500 runs, but that IndyCar should open their season the following week, whether that be late February or early March. This season, NASCAR already had five points-paying races under its belt before IndyCar even turned a wheel. Once things got going, the schedule was so compressed that it seemed the season was already halfway over before it even started.

Fans are the most important group to any racing series. But behind the fans, the second most important group are the crew members. They are sometimes overlooked, but the crew members that make up the teams are the backbone of the series. They are the ones that make things happen week after week. Some say that NASCAR teams do it week after week, IndyCar teams should as well. What a lot of people don’t realize is that in NASCAR, the crew that works on the car in the shop during the week are not the same guys that travel to the races and work on the weekends. But in IndyCar, the same group of guys that work on the car throughout the week then travels to the races. With few breaks in the schedule, the team members wear down. I think this season, with its compressed schedule, has been especially grueling on the crew members.

That’s why I think the double-headers need to go. To us fans, it’s an inconvenience to have to either give up both weekend days, or utilize the DVR and hope that someone doesn’t call or text you to celebrate or bemoan the results. But to the crew members – some of the unsung heroes of this sport – it’s much more than an inconvenience. It’s physically exhausting – and that’s even if the schedule stays in tact throughout the weekend and there is little damage to repair between races.

I’ve heard the arguments for the double-headers. Some say its better to watch a race on Saturday instead of practice. I will admit, I’ve never attended a double-header. But at Barber this year, there was more racing to watch than you could hope for – with all of the different series that were racing there. I think between the three days of racing, there was about an hour and a half total when there was no track activity. Maybe I’m way off target, but I have to think it is tiring to watch two IndyCar races in two days at these tracks.

Am I wrong on this? Am I the only one that feels this way? I’d like to hear the opinions of people like me that have had no involvement with double-headers other than watch from our couches. I would also like to hear from anyone that has been at attendance at any of the double-headers over the past two seasons. I’ll be curious to see if I’m the lone grump on this subject, or if many others feel as I do that this is an experiment that needs to come to a merciful end.

George Phillips


24 Responses to “Should Double-Headers Stay Or Go?”

  1. Ron Ford Says:

    I’m not so much against double headers as I am FOR more tracks in the good ol’ U.S. of A. If it is a nice day I won’t spend it sitting inside on a couch anyway. I also think the series should go back to running longer in the fall.

  2. I think you put doubleheaders under the “necessary evil” category. As George pointed out, there are not enough venues willing to host IndyCar, so the double dip is a poor man’s way to fill out the schedule. Two races on two different twisties is far preferable to two on one. I seriously doubt anybody in IndyCar would honestly be upset to see doubleheaders go away in favor of more venues and a longer schedule. As for all the alleged magic that will happen in 2015, on that I’m from Missouri .. show me. Heard it before. Hope it happens. Won’t get excited until it does. Given the current trend, the 2015 “great advances” will probably mean more improvements to IMS … maybe a double header on the road course there!!

  3. Yannick Says:

    It’s indeed tough to find time to watch 2 races on the same weekend, especially when both are broadcast late in the evening, as is the case with the time zone I live on.

    I haven’t been a supporter of the double-header concept on road and street circuits when it was first announced but I have grown accustomed to it. It’s great that, contrary to initial expectations, the podium contenders of Race 2 usually are not those from Race 1. That is yet another testament to how close the competition is in this series. And, teams really can use Race 1 to learn about setup changes that will make their car a winning one come Race 2, as Simon Pagenaud experienced last year in Detroit. With so little time for mid-season testing available due to the schedule, this is good for the teams.

    George, have you noticed how few incidents and crashes there have been in the previous season and this year during the tight stretch in the schedule after May? That may well have all to do with drivers knowing that if they are not careful with their car, they might need to sit out a race due to ongoing repairs. This hunch is somewhat strengthened by the few number of caution periods on ovals last year and this year.

    So abolishing double-headers might result in more bone-headed moves on track. That’s why I’d rather have double-headers.

    Now, regarding the schedule, if 2014 is a “transitional year”, we are unlikely to see next season end later than Labor Day. Having gotten into CART one year back in the 90s when the F1 season was already over in early October, I was actually pretty happy there still were open-wheel races being broadcast at that late time of year.

    I can only hope that after 2015, the Verizon IndyCar Series will ditch the Boston Consulting Group report and open up the 2nd half of the year for racing again. But by then, Fontana and Houston will both be in the spring – if they are still on the schedule. That way, there would be open time slots for additional venues:

    A comeback of Baltimore in September 2016 would suddenly become possible.

    I imagine an early November date for the Mickyard would work because that would not interfere with the theme park’s Xmas period as the old February date did. However, the track needs a SAFER barrier first, so a comeback of that venue is still unlikely.
    But with a title sponsor on board, another track in Florida, Homestead, could well make a comeback as the Miami market is currently untouched.

    The speedway at Sparta, Kentucky, owned by SMI, used to have some date equity in September. If they can find a title sponsor, that event could be a winner again.

    Regarding your home track, George, what’s the weather like in Nashville during the early fall?

    To be honest, I’m a bit surprised that when people talk on the internet about additions to the IndyCar schedule, Portland is mentioned so rarely. Do open-wheelers not have any fans in the Pacific Northwest anymore?

    • Ron Ford Says:

      I am from the midwest, but I strongly agree with you that the series needs an event in the Northwest. Vast areas of this country do not have an IndyCar event close enough for the average family to afford to attend. I don’t believe you can gain fans with TV. Fans need a track nearby where they can experience in person the sound and fury of a race. I think this is particularly important when trying to get kids to follow the sport. Try to get a kid to sit down and watch a race in Dubai, where the hell that is! I won’t even watch that.

  4. “For weeks, we’ve been hearing that Brazil will be announced “in a week or so” for March 8th of next year. Dubai has been mentioned as a possibility.”

    Say it ain’t so. That would go over like a lead balloon. More hope and change we don’t need.

    The doubleheaders are a gimmick and I hope they go. I have to agree also that Indycar should race longer, I think into the first week of October.

    Current Indycar management is so determined to make this league as much like F1 as possible, a better question might be “what is F1 doing that Indycar might try next?” I would be afraid of the answers.

    Indycar has got to get back to tracks like Kentucky, Road America, and Chicagoland. Figure out a way to make that work.

  5. Charge high sanction fees…And have fewer racing venues… aka Double Headers.

    Charge Less for sanction fees … And spread the racing among MORE tracks.

    The bottom line financial outcome would be the same ?

    Or more lucrative ?

    Why not try it …. Watkins Glen, New Hampshire Speedway, Circuit of Americas, Nashville, Road America, Richmond, Dover, Surfers, Japan, Brazil, England, Germany……etc. etc…..

    • Yannick Says:

      In my previous post above, I listed Kentucky, Homestead and Nashville as most likely destinations to add an IndyCar race to the schedule as both are close to the series’ fanbase and both used to have date equity for more or less 10 years each.

      Unfortunately, Watkins Glen had only been run from the mid- to late 2000s on the holiday weekend of the 4th of July, and with little to moderate success only. They will not want this date again, so there is no date equity to build on in upstate New York which makes it less likely the series will have a successful return there than the above mentioned other 3 venues. Apart from that, when looking at the closeness of the barriers with catch fencing to the track, I get the feeling Watkins Glen is no safer than MoSport/CTMP.

      Loudon was tried but not promoted near well enough and got cold feet after only one rained-out event. IndyCar clearly is not welcome there anymore. That’s a shame but as the saying states which has been heard in almost every IndyCar broadcast lately: it is what it is.

      Elkhart Lake and Chicagoland most likely would get vetoed by the Milwaukee Mile and Detroit GP promoters for being too close to their events and thus are not tried. Elkhart Lake’s president George Bruggenthies probably has got enough of that already, since in spite of the rumours, nothing materialized, and the season end on Labor Day gimmick makes a September date impossible. The same goes for COTA vs Eddie Gossage, the promoter of TMS in Fort Worth. And for Laguna vs Fontana, but Laguna was off the schedule a few years before ChampCar ended even.

      Surfers Paradise might even carry a grudge with the unified series since after the single non-championship race won by Ryan Briscoe in 2008, IndyCar opted to not return. And now, it’s a V8 Supercars double-header, on a shortened circuit. I’d suggest IndyCar should rather try partnering V8 Supercars at Adelaide instead because there, the long course which F1 ran is still available.

      Honda does not want to pay the travel bills for a Motegi race anymore. That is understandable, given the fact that they already are title sponsor of many stateside races. Have they ever fixed the damage to the Motegi oval from the 2011 earthquake, knowing IndyCar would not return?

      The Sambodrome circuit at Sao Paulo was a stunner but since it is no longer available due to clashing schedules, why not just race at Interlagos instead? If the title sponsor agrees, there is no need to move to Brasilia because Interlagos could even keep the date equity of the event. But since this path was not pursued, let’s hope the Brazil race takes place and the circuit is nice.

      I haven’t got a clue what the fan interest for races at Richmond and Dover would be but since both are NASCAR tracks, IndyCar may well not be welcome there unless they bring a title sponsor.

      And Europe unfortunately sounds like a mere pipe dream at this point in time. There is the Whelen NASCAR Euroseries over here which has small independent teams run used Cars Of Yesteryear on a schedule of something like 6 doubleheaders. It is based in Tours, France. Maybe an IndyCar Euroseries running the 2008 Dallara based around Eurospeedway Lausitz and Rockingham, UK, would be more likely than actually shipping out the Verizon IndyCar Series to Europe like it was done in the 2000s for a few times.

      And Dubai, well, it’s all about what prestige the Emirates would gain from having a Verizon IndyCar race on their soil. And selling motor racing events for prestige is the business model of F1. That is why F1 has lost so many races in mainland Europe, like the French GP which is an event that still has not found a successor. So looking for a promoter in France might be a good idea for IndyCar to get their boot into the door to maybe establish a European leg of the schedule.

      Sorry if there are some of you who might think this analysis is too harsh. Here’s hoping there will be some more new venues and less double headers during the next IndyCar season in spite of all of that.

  6. billytheskink Says:

    Attending in person, double-headers are excellent. If you are a big fan, two top-series races in one weekend is gravy. For casual fans, it makes arranging your schedule to attend at least one race a bit easier. Promoters, naturally, like two days worth of race-day attention and full-price tickets, not to mention the possibility of race 1 buzz generating walk-up ticket sales to race 2.

    I think the disadvantages have been well-covered here and I would agree there is a good argument for discontinuing double-headers due to the demands they place on the team, series, and media crews.
    Would fans miss them if they were discontinued? Some would, but I don’t think it would be a dealbreaker for too many fans. The promoters would not be happy, of course, and that is an important point. If Indycar cannot keep its promoters happy they will wind up with an awfully short schedule.

    Ultimately, I think the whipcrack that will decide the fate of double-headers will probably come from television. If ABC and NBCSN see double-headers boosting ratings, they will remain. If the two races cannibalize each other’s ratings, or if the networks (looking at NBCSN and its upcoming slate of NASCAR races), do not have the time slots for two races, then they will return to being one-race events.

  7. I thought that the double header weekends would be fun until they came at us with the current frequency. The drivers, teams, officials AND this fan are worn out. I can’t sit through another weekend like this past weekend at Toronto. I know there are some folks who ask, would you rather have qualifying on Saturday or racing? I’ll take an hour qualifying program in the twilight on Saturday instead of an afternoon. Why, because I have a lot to do. As for a Pole Day weekend, that is a completely different story. That is qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 and it is May!!! I’ll always make room for that, plus I will get the radio feed on Sirius/XM while running errands.

    I like what B W suggested. Lower the sanctioning fees and get more tracks. Also, get the sales staff to sell more sponsorships.

  8. Double headers or not just get rid of street circuits and add more natural terrain road courses and ovals. I wouldn’t mind seeing back to back, same day, Twin 100s or Twin 150s on the ovals with short turnaround times paying half points for each segment.

  9. I pretty much agree with everything George said here. I just can’t get into the double header format, and just to note, I watch (or watched) Pirelli World Challenge, AMA Superbike, and World Super Bike, all of which have double header formats, but it works for me because it’s a double header every time, or at least almost every time. It does make the races, the poles, and the wins feel a bit less special when they come on double header weekends.

  10. Lynn Phelps Says:

    I’m not into the double headers. I want to see more venues added. I understand the expense, and it frustrates me to see stands so empty. I’m 8 hours from the closest venue. I’d like to see the season begin a little earlier and I’d love to see it go through the end of September. It sometimes feels, though, that when the race weekends are more spread out that the momentum is gone.

  11. hello george. listen i agree with you on the double headers and the shorten schudule. but the old saying is be careful wat you ask for youmayget it. dubai i dont think will happened due to berine . brazil hopefully will. hopefully they will go back to normal season schudule next season if they want to bring back balitmore and phoenix. they also should make every effort to back to places like kentucky ,watskins glenn ect. you cant sell wat you dont have. and that includes drivers like sage karam and bryan clauson just to name a couple. how to do this is open to question. but if you want to compete in todays sports world and be relevent you have to have events and drivers to sell. thanks for listening .

  12. I don’t necessarily disagree with you, George, but I do. When I’m sitting at home on my rump, it is a lot to devote 2-3 hours of the afternoon both Saturday and Sunday to watching the race and giving it the attention I want to as a fan.

    However, as someone that has been to a couple of these double-headers, I really like them in person. To make it to an IndyCar street course event, I’m typically devoting 5 days to it – leaving somewhat early on Thursday and usually arriving home somewhat late on Monday. At single-race events (such as when I was at Long Beach in April), Friday and Saturday feel each like half of the day is thrown away. Usually you have a pair of practices on Friday, a third practice and qualifications on Saturday, and race on Sunday. Granted there is usually a lot of other track activity with support series, but the bigger the support series is, the more of a throw away Saturday usually is for IndyCar. The double-header weekend makes Friday and Saturday packed, giving me the fan, who has devoted 5 days and a bunch of money to attending this event, much better value for my time and money.

    All that said, they are truly exhausting to cover in person from even my quasi-media position. Friday becomes your “easy” day when “only” being at the track probably 10-12 hours. Saturday is absolutely BRUTAL with knockout qualifying and a full race, and then you get to do it all again on Sunday. A 12-14 hour day is not a stretch, especially when photog meeting start at 7:00 am. By the time track activity wraps up on Sunday, you are beat. And that’s just me snapping and editing photos, writing a few words, and chasing down Fool’s Gold. How these crew members do it is beyond me, even when they have a relatively good weekend. Throw in a crash during the Saturday race and it must be truly excruciating from them!

  13. I’ll start by saying that due to an extremely busy weekend, I only finished Toronto Race 1 late last night, and I haven’t even started Race 2 yet. If you also try to follow F1, sports cars, MotoGP, and a couple more series at the same time as IndyCar, you can really fill up a weekend (and a DVR) with hours and hours of racing that’ll stretch far into the following week. I had to stay off of, Twitter and all of the racing blogs until today in order to not find out who’d won on Sunday morning (though I gave up last night and looked to see the results of Race 2…two days off the internet is enough). All of that said…

    I think doubleheaders are a good thing. Why? Dollars in. Dollars into the promoters’ pockets (from increased ticket sales and event sponsorships), dollars into the Series’ pockets (from the promoters, who I’m sure are paying well in excess of $1 million to put on a doubleheader), and dollars into the teams’ pockets (from the Series through the Leaders Circle program, and through their own sponsors, who I’m sure enjoy two days of TV coverage and in-person impressions in major metropolitan areas, which Detroit, Houston and Toronto all most certainly are). These dollars are what makes the sport run. Those dollars pay for IndyCar to employ a staff of officials, administrators and marketers (though probably only a handful of the latter) and even just to be able to send their equipment from race to race (I spent about 45,000 words talking about this here a couple weeks ago, so I’ll cut that off right here). Those dollars pay for the teams to (hopefully, and hopefully moreso in the future) be able to employ drivers who they hire for the weight of their right foot instead of the weight of their pocketbook.

    Cut out the doubleheaders and you’ll probably instantly see those three venues ask for a $500k reduction in their sanction fee, maybe even more, as the event sponsors won’t kick in the same amount as they do now with only one headlining race to draw fans. In a time when everybody is clamoring for ways to get more dollars into the Series, I don’t know how you can possibly justify turning any dollars away, just because the way that some of those dollars are earned are sort of a pain. So, like Pressdog and skinky mention above, doubleheaders are a “necessary evil”, and until dollars into the Series increase through other avenues, they are probably here to stay.

  14. Mike Silver Says:

    I have been to a doubleheader each year. In person I think they’re great. At one race events Saturdays are pretty much done after qualifying. As Paul said, it is more value for the fans wh travel. Having several friends in the paddock and media, I can attest to their long hours.
    I would prefer more venues, but I think an occasional doubleheader would be great. This year’s condensed schedule had them too close together..

    • Jim Gray Says:

      I agree Mike. I am not a huge fannof the doubles but I think they are interesting enough to keep. Cut them back to one , maybe two if spaced out, and fill the schedule with a couple more tracks. George, I also agree the schedule needs a little more tweaking. A six month layoff is going to make it glaringly obvious that things are not going well. I do think it can be turned around, and I agree w/ a lot of the changes they have made, but this condensed schedule and double headers just aren’t going to cut it.

  15. I am blown away that an IndyCar fan would want less racing. I am amused a fan would really care about a tired driver or crew member. That isn’t the fans battle to fight.

    GP2, WSR, and GP3 all series that come to the top of my mind that race twice a weekend. There are lots more including all the MRTI series. Is it not tough on them? Sportscar teams have 12 hour and 24 hour races several times a year. Is it not tough on them?

    Not to sound like a jerk (but unfortunately I will sound like one), but taking care of your average yard is not that hard. Nor is planning a day around a two hour race. We all have priorities and IndyCar does not have to be priority #1.

    Do the races have to be full length? Do they have to be full points? Does qualifying and pit selection for them need an overhaul? No, No, and probably.

    I would be overjoyed as a yearly attending fan if Mid-Ohio were to ever get a double header. A weekend at the track is a great weekend.

    • After reading comments here and from direct communications today from those that have attended double-headers, I will concede that the double-header weekend is preferable for those in attendance. But that number is probably around 6-7% of those watching on television. If you’re that interested, mine is not an average yard. It’s huge! Don’t be blown away – I don’t want less racing. I want more racing at more venues. I think two races in two days at the same venue is a bit much, and I find it a way too easy quick fix to fill holes in the schedule. As for your being amused…I’m perplexed that a fan would NOT care about a tired driver or crew member. They are not a disposable commodity and it’s not a battle, it’s just general and genuine concern for the people that bust their butt week after week, making our enjoyment possible. – GP

      • If other racing series can race two straight days or 24 straight hours, I have no doubt IndyCar drivers and crew can race two days in a row a few times a year. If they cannot, hit the gym or teams should start raiding sportscars or GP2 for guys and gals who can.

        As or the large yard, I hope you own a riding mower. Condo life is worth considering down the line:)

    • S0CSeven Says:

      If ya don’t like driving 2 races, go drive a taxi.
      If ya don’t like being a crew member, go work at a Chevy dealership.
      If ya don’t like watching 2 races …. Well, don’t watch em…. I mean….. Geezus

      Do you know any marshals? They’re working the corners for FREE. Long, long days after all the series are run. And they keep coming back for more as do ALL the volunteers that keep these races afloat and all they get is a sandwich for lunch. Because they love it!

      I sure wish you guys would stop pissing on the happiness of others and go and work/watch/play something else if you want. Those that are in it are in it because they love it and wouldn’t do anything else.

      Anybody interview all the Penske mechanics and see how downtrodden they are about their plight?????? Not a chance because they love it!

      Anybody ever ask Helio (for example) why he doesn’t quit because of the doubles? Yeah, like Hinchcliffe said during the second race “I was having fun”. The drivers do it even with the blisters ……….. Because they love it and there’s nothing else they’d rather do.

      If you’re whining about the plight of the poor paid workers, they don’t care. If you’re whining about the plight of the poor non-paid workers, they don’t care either.

      If you’re whining because you have to watch 2 races instead of 1 then methinks you need help.

      Manik56 has a good perspective.

      ( and auto correct is making me nuts)

  16. I am glad to hear George is coming to his senses regarding the IndyCar season ending before NFL football starts. It comes quick doesn’t it. The season is going to end too early. There are 4 races left and the season is over. That’s it. Then its seven months of winter.

  17. madtad1 Says:

    OK, I will go on record as saying I like the doubles both in person and on TV. However, I think three per season is enough and that they should be spread out a little better. For the rest of my post here I am going to wander a bit.

    Season length: needs to be longer, but I will go in the opposite direction. Start it the weekend after the Rolex 24 Hour race when there is no racing action in the USA. Ideal time to go to Dubai as well as any warm climates in the USA. That gives you eight months of racing if you end on Labor Day weekend.

    Brazil race – don’t hold your breath, there are obstacles to overcome with the track itself, much less anything else.

    Baltimore – that ship has sailed (pardon the pun). A group of vocal NIMBYs have scared off the mayor and the race promoters. It’s dead.

    Watkins Glen, or any track owned by NAPCAR – as fans we need to realize that they are not going to let IndyCar race at their tracks. My personal opinion is that they are hoping to drive IndyCar into the ground so they can pick it up cheap from the Holman-George family. The family would keep their track and all the races associated with it, with NAPCAR running (and profiting) from all other IndyCar events, thus becoming a monopoly.

    Ft Lauderdale – a possible race none of you have mentioned. I wonder why? Because there’s been no movement? Apparently the city wants the promoters to rebuild the streets (damaged by several recent storm surges) for them, even tho the city has the money to do so themselves.

    Motegi – Twin Ring has been repaired, I believe. They run a lot of races there during the year. Doubt IndyCar will go back which is a shame. Talk about the perfect venue for a double header race!

    One solution I’ve proposed is that IndyCar, for new or reviving, races: use a sliding scale fee. Everyone seems to agree that a new race takes three to five years to be profitable. OK, first two years the fee is 50%, third year 65%, fourth year 75%, and fifth year is 100%.

    Overseas racing – there are several tracks in Europe that are available and IndyCar friendly. Try picking a month and running a couple races there to get some European eyes on an F1 alternative. It would require some good features for the European TV and race audiences to explain the differences in the cars: no sissy computers, power steering or sprinklers on the track, etc.

    That’s all I got for now. YMMV

  18. Ballyhoo Says:

    Question: What about Interlagos in Brazil? Just curious. With the South American driver coterie, a race on that continent seems a no brainer, but I know finding sponsorship etc. is the issue.

    I spent lots of time in front of the tube this weekend with F1 and IndyCar. Even watched the rain delay on Saturday hoping they would finally race. For me it is not the doubleheaders themselves, but the compressed schedule. (Hate to admit I am glad to have a weekend off from IC). I will be more than a little disappointed if Miles and the band don’t have a more spread out (though not a lot of huge holes) series schedule.

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