Feature: October Fab 5
Topic 1: Mark Miles latest excuse on not adding new tracks to the schedule is track proximity. In other words, how many tracks can you have in the same region before it becomes oversaturated? Here is the article. Are you buying what Miles is selling? Discuss.
TonyD:We need more midwest races that are easy to travel from Indy. 90% of IndyCars following is right here in Central Indiana. KY MICH CHI MIL IOWA STL never seemed to be oversaturated to me.
Ashley:I can understand his concerns on keeping current tracks and sponsors happy. On the other hand, I think there are multiple tracks that could be added to the schedule that would excite fans. Even if some of them are in the same region as another race, they would create the opportunity for a completely different style of racing.
Rick: I am not sure it is a question of how many tracks can he get in a region before it becomes saturated, rather the question is how many tracks can he get. I was curious as to why there was no mention of the sanctioning fees included in the article. Saturation is not the issue.
Tomas: I don’t know enough about Miles or the situation to answer the question.
Nancy: I believe that we need to build the series and really don’t believe that a race in Chicago will affect Milwaukee. The crux of the issue is Miles is trying to say along with everyone before him that the tracks need to promote. What about the series? Milwaukee is 90 miles from Chicago but not one promotion was in Chicago that I saw. Until the series promotes it will be the same. Phoenix will be a great addition if it happens.
Topic 2: Simon Pagenaud is not at Penske and Hinch is now at SPM. The most coveted seat in the paddock now is the fourth seat at Andretti Autosport. Does Andretti take money from a ride buyer or does he hire the best available, credentialed driver? What driver would you put in the fourth car and why?
TonyD: I think he takes someone who can pay for the ride. Everyone on that team, outside of Marco pays for their ride. I think MA signs someone who brings money to the table. If I were him I would go after JR Hildebrand or Ryan Briscoe.
Ashley: I think a lot of this depends on the sponsors that are staying with AA. However, if Michael has an opportunity to make money, he will take advantage of that. I would put Conor Daly in the seat because why not? He’s an American that can help the rise of the sport within the US. If not him, I’d also love to see Justin Wilson get a shot with a larger team. I think he has only scratched the surface on how successful he can be.
Nancy: Martin Plowman he has driven many types of cars, is well liked by the fans and has proven he can drive. When he couldnt get a ride in IndyCar, he didn’t whine but instead got a ride for LeMans and won the 24 hour of LeMans. He is a class act and deserves a ride.
Rick: The best available driver, with the money to pay the bills.
Tomas: This question depends on whether they have money or need money for the seat.
Topic 3: We saw a glimpse of the first aero-kit by Chevy being tested. Articles have stated that Chevy has many of the key drivers in IndyCar and Honda is putting a lot into this effort because this could be a game changer. Chevy has won the last 3 series title’s. How big of a deal are the aero-kits?
TonyD: Not exactly too sure. But the Spy Gate and the private tests would lead me to believe it’s pretty damn important.
Ashley: I think the aero-kits will create some more competition for IndyCar, which is always a good thing.
Nancy: I think they are a big deal, not only will the cars look different, Honda will have the chance to catchup.
Rick: The aero-kits are important, just like tires, engines, drivers and crew.
Tomas: How important are aero kits? One of the top 3 most important things: Driver, power, aero.
Topic 4: If you could add three tracks to the schedule that are not currently on the schedule, what are they and why?
TonyD:Kentucky. Michigan and Chicagoland. Kentucky is close to Indy and was always a fun track, you grab the Cincy and Louisville markets as well. Chicago has endless possibilities for promotions and was the best oval on the schedule, and well Michigan because I miss going there for IndyCar!
Ashley:I would add Phoenix, Homestead-Miami and Portland International Raceway. The first two have proven to be successful tracks in the past and I think it would be beneficial to the series to add a race in the Northwest.
Nancy:Chicagoland close to my house and close racing. Richmond bullring and in an area we are not in. Charlotte it’s time we go back, we need a race in this part of the country.
Rick:COTA because it looks really fun; Road Atlanta because it would be really fun to have an IndyCar event in the heart of the South; It would be really fun to run a street course in Seattle, or somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.
Tomas:)Whichever ones that get the most viewership and crowds.
Topic 5: It appears the schedule is slow to come out due to the decision to end by Labor Day. Rumors have either Sonoma or Milwaukee hosting the season finale as no one else seems to want the dreaded date. With all the problems Miles has had with this decision, do you think he will change his mind for 2016 and beyond? Do either of these tracks spike your interest for the finale?
TonyD:Milwaukee would be ok . I say end the season in the end of September, run Sept races on a Saturday afternoon and have the finale on the road course at Indy inside of running it in early May.
Ashley: One can only hope that he will change his mind for 2016! I am not a fan at all of ending the season at Milwaukee. Don’t get me wrong, the racing is great there. But, I just don’t see how you can get fans from across the US excited to race at the Milwaukee fairgrounds for the IndyCar championship. Sonoma definitely spikes my interest more. It’s a beautiful region, close to San Francisco, that also offers a lot beyond IndyCar, which could draw in more people.
Nancy: I would love for the finale to be in Milwaukee, there is always something to do in Milwaukee with all the fests they could make this a true party weekend and sell ticket combos to Milwaukee and fest of the weekend. It’s a party city and lots of things to do.
Rick: No, I don’t think he will change his mind, and neither of these two tracks, while both are interesting and fun, pique my interest as hosting the season finale.
Tomas: )Milwaukee for sure. Ovals are always better for finale, especially a great track like Milwaukee.