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Thread: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    This is why Indycar has never caught on nationally in the last 30 years.
    That's just wrong. Indycar was massively popular through 1995. Great ratings, attendance, and sponsorship. Incredibly strong Indy 500 ratings. The NFL does just fine starting at 1 PM and the Indy 500 used to do fine with a comparable early start.

    This year's 500 had a ton of press leading up to the event and still had a poor rating (even though it had the Indy market for the first time since the 50's). There was insane hype in the Indy media and I saw long articles in the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, NY Times, USA Today (entire section), etc. This isn't about making the Indy 500 a night race (which would make it look like a tacky NASCRAP race), qualification, or any gimmick that can hype up an event. This is about excellence in sports being destroyed by Tony George's paranoid power grab. From 1911-95, the Indianapolis 500 was at the absolute pinnacle of the racing world. The epitome of excellence. The elite from all over the world dreamed of competing in Indy. In 1993, the reigning F-1 champion, Nigel Mansel, switched to IndyCar so that he could race at Indy! That's how much prestige US Open Wheel racing had a mere 23 years ago. You sure as hell wouldn't see an F-1 champ cross over to this series today.

    In one move, Tony George destroyed decades worth of excellence with the 25-8 rule. He brought in Buzz Calkins, Racin Gardner, a dentist, and tried to pass that off as being the real Indy 500. Well that was utterly insane and the fans rejected it by the millions, leaving the event to be an empty shell of itself forevermore. In 1995, the Indy 500 was so competitive that Penske (with Unser and Fittipaldi who combined for the last 3 wins) was completely left out! You used to actually have to qualify to make the race, unlike this year. Flash forward one year later, and GUARANTEED spots were given to joke racers in a rogue outlaw series just because they raced at the Magic Kingdom with Mickey Mouse. That move completely desecrated the prestige of the Indy 500, which since 1911 had been all about the best competing against the best. No matter how fast CART cars qualified in 1996 (had they chosen to compete at Indy), 25 spots were reserved to the putrid swirl IRL teams with no elite experience just because they were with Donald Duck.

    Tony George thought fans were too stupid to notice the difference between Al Unser Jr. and Buzz Calkins, or between Michael Andretti and Racin Gardner. He thought the fans were so dumb that they would be entertained by anything driving in a circle making noise. Well he was dead wrong and the fans rejected his scam by the millions. What he did was literally comparable to putting WNBA players on the Warriors and Cavs and trying to pass that off as the real NBA Finals. Well no one would watch that crap. TG destroyed the prestige of his facility and took the entire sport off a cliff. Not only did these fans leave the sport, but they didn't raise their children to become fans either. Generations entirely gone...

    I love the Indy 500. I will go for the rest of my life. But it is what it is. The event will never be any more popular than it is right now. Decades upon decades of excellence were destroyed and fans rejected it by the millions. Then they didn't raise their kids to be fans. It fell out of the popular conscience. We used to hear that it would be fine once the real teams and drivers came back. Well the real teams have been back for 15 years now, but it still hasn't moved the needle much. Destroying decades worth of excellence cannot easily be undone.
    Last edited by Sollozzo; 06-09-2016 at 07:22 AM.

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    I'm not sure the TV rating numbers reflect the actual number of viewers. I was at a friend's house with about 20 other people watching it. So - to the number counters - do they look at that as 1 or 20 ??

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by PacerDude View Post
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    I'm not sure the TV rating numbers reflect the actual number of viewers. I was at a friend's house with about 20 other people watching it. So - to the number counters - do they look at that as 1 or 20 ??
    1 I believe.
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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    1 I believe.
    If you are filling out the diary for the survey you have to list everyone who is watching TV, even guests.

    I don't think the set-top box method measures anything but households.
    BillS

    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    Or throw in a first-round pick and flip it for a max-level point guard...

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    Tony George thought fans were too stupid to notice the difference between Al Unser Jr. and Buzz Calkins, or between Michael Andretti and Racin Gardner.
    It's worse than that... He made sure even if any fans were too stupid to notice the difference that those early IRL cars made sure they'd notice. Not only did the cars not look especially sleek or racy, and no longer sounded like the turbocharged Indycars everyone was familiar with, they also were 20MPH slower. Or more. So it became a pretty hard sell to say even the best IRL drivers were good when all the public saw were speeds 20MPH slower which played into the negative spiral surrounding the IRL vs CART war.

    Meanwhile, CART maintained the sleeker cars, speeds, sounds, and names everyone was familiar with.

    Even if TG had a point in what he was trying to do, he went about it so badly that it was destined to blow up in his face. The 25-8 rule (which I don't even think ended up being applied and they ended up starting 35 cars that season IIRC and it was IRL teams that got burned by that power play). The cars no longer stirred anyone's imagination. If he thought putting the genie back in the bottle on speeds for safety reasons was wise, he did it at absolutely the wrong time giving CART and easily relatable thing to make their "replacement drivers" PR argument. The press could understand that after the NFL's replacement players.... and the speeds 'proved it' to anyone who 'knew' nothing else but faster must mean better.

    And CART isn't blameless either because they foolishly thought they could go on without the Indy 500.

    So both sides dug in their heels and neither side won. And an entire generation of fans was lost. The link was broken.
    Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    ...And CART could've not sold IRL teams their old cars for that first '96 season and showed up at Orlando and embarrassed the IRL teams that managed to get chassis, sending many home by bumping them from the field, and killed the entire thing before it got off the ground.

    By not showing up, they guaranteed a full field of IRL teams making the race.
    Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.

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    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    ...And CART could've not sold IRL teams their old cars for that first '96 season and showed up at Orlando and embarrassed the IRL teams that managed to get chassis, sending many home by bumping them from the field, and killed the entire thing before it got off the ground.

    By not showing up, they guaranteed a full field of IRL teams making the race.
    It was 1997 (second year of "25/8") where they ran 35 cars. It's because they had egg over their face when Johnny Unser and Lynn St. James (neither of whom had IRL exemptions) posted speeds faster than some of the exempt IRL teams. Realizing the humiliation and stupidity, they added Unser and St. James. Sad that it took them that long to realize that they had completely desecrated the event with that stupid rule. Had CART chosen to compete in 96 or 97, then you would have had a ton of CART drivers posting speeds that were better than the IRL teams, but they would have been unable to compete (unless you put 50+ drivers out there, which would have been an unimaginable danger).

    That's probably what CART should have done with clever PR. Go to Indy, beat the IRL teams in qualifying, then tell the world that even though they posted the best qualifying speeds, only 8 of them could race at Indy because guaranteed spots were given to scab teams who raced at Epcot......thus destroying the "fastest 33" mantra that made Indy so great for all of those years. Maybe then the insanity of the whole thing could have broken the IRL, but you have to keep in mind that it's Tony George who we're talking about here. He was an arrogant dim bulb (just listen to him talk) who didn't listen to reason and had no trouble leading the entire sport off of a cliff and destroying the prestige of his facility just so he could have control.

    CART probably could have won the war pretty easily had they competed with the IRL and sent many of those putrid swirl teams into oblivion, but that would have forced them to deal with Tony George. Under CART leadership, the sport had incredible ratings, prestige, sponsorship, quality, drivers, equipment, attendance, and fantastic Indy 500 ratings/hype. They weren't going to let some bully who inherited the family business push them around just because he had the outlandish stupidity to use a treasured national icon as the ultimate nuclear bomb bargaining chip so that he could take over the sport.

    But yeah, given how the old CART teams came back and immediately humiliated the IRL at the 500 in 2000 (Ganassi/Montoya) and 2001 (Pimpski return with CART teams taking the top 6 spots), it's safe to say that they could have won the war pretty easily......had they swallowed their pride and dealt with a dim bulb buffoon. The problem though is that even had they made a mockery of the IRL in 96/97, they still would have had to dealt with Tony George in some capacity because he controlled the speedway. Even if CART would have competed and dominated the 96 500, TG was still going to force crappy spec cars to run at Indy the following year with his "vision". He had no trouble running a series at a deficit and probably blew hundreds of millions of dollars of the family fortune (which is why the sisters finally kicked him out) just so he had control. CART had to be run like a normal business where you need to show a profit. TG OTOH had all of those years of Indy 500 money as well as new Brickyard 400 money. He had the ammo to run a deficit series so that he could win.
    Last edited by Sollozzo; 06-11-2016 at 09:01 AM.

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Indycar is absolutely snakebit.... 11:30PM and the Texas race has still not started. Should've been a primetime Sat night race but the rain hit. Meanwhile, with what seemed plenty of time to get the track dried for barely a late start the weepers on the track had other ideas.

    Of course the simple decision is to move it to tomorrow BUT you have drivers running LeMans that need to get on a plane to make that race (practice). So they can't run tomorrow or else will create problems if they have to miss LeMans.

    And now it's official.... rain delayed until tomorrow...

    So they are going to have to start behind the 8 Ball for LeMans prep.
    Last edited by Bball; 06-12-2016 at 02:43 AM.
    Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    I watched Hinch's live feed from the stands.... Hinch, Newgarden, Daly.... these guys would be any other sports' marketing dream. Great with fans, great on camera and on mic.... Unbelievable that Indycar doesn't tap into the opportunity for some self promotion featuring these guys.
    The impromptu autograph session in the stands might be the best PR for the rest of the season....
    Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.

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    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    I just checked the radar from the NWS and there is a large rain cell directly west of Ft. Worth. Still 6 hours before they plan to start the race but with rain moving in coupled with the difficulty in drying the track, I look for, at best, another long delay.

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    I watched Hinch's live feed from the stands.... Hinch, Newgarden, Daly.... these guys would be any other sports' marketing dream. Great with fans, great on camera and on mic.... Unbelievable that Indycar doesn't tap into the opportunity for some self promotion featuring these guys.
    The impromptu autograph session in the stands might be the best PR for the rest of the season....
    That's the most frustrating part about the lack of IndyCar popularity. There are some really talented and likable drivers in this series.

    I don't think the cars and the predictable "sling shot" passes help. It can lead to some exciting moments, but I think the masses would prefer to see elite machines. Imagine the 1992 Unser Jr./Goodyear dual in these current cars. They would have kept exchanging sling shot passes with the rest of the pack right behind him. Instead, they dusted everyone else and Goodyear was never able to catch him because even though both had elite machines, Unser was able to block him. It looks too much like NASCRAP nowadays with all of the pack draft racing.
    Last edited by Sollozzo; 06-12-2016 at 09:04 AM.

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    I don't think the cars and the predictable "sling shot" passes help
    I've thought this for a while myself. It's great every once and a while. And when you're in the middle of watching a race it's exciting... but race after race it starts feeling contrived.

    Indy didn't become the biggest race in the world by slingshot passes. And I don't think people went to a race expecting a shootout. That's what made them special when they happened (like Johncock/Mears or Unser/Goodyear). Or even Mears/Andretti when Mears decided it was time to go and made THE pass that ultimately was for his 4th win. That is why the last two passes for the lead of that race stand out (Andretti around Mears.... and then Mears' payback and checking out...) were so special. They weren't swapping to be swapping all race. They meant something.
    I'm not sure if the new generation of fans now expects this leapfrog stuff or not. A lot of people seemed to be fine seeing Rossi strategize to the win so maybe all hope is not lost that it now has to be lead swapping duels the entire race with the idea of just being in the top 5 for the last 10 laps to position yourself for that last lap pass and hope it will stick.
    It's manufactured racing... whether it's what fans want or not is another question. I think they probably do want it... up until they realize it's every race and then it starts feeling contrived.
    Of course that is better than the pre-DW12 pack racing that just kept feeling more illogically dangerous as time went on, versus exciting.

    That said... that last Fontana race was pretty exciting and it was a little bit of both. Probably because it was not a regular occurrence at Fontana is what made it work.
    Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Newgarden is L U C K Y !!
    Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    How he survived that is a testament to the science that goes into every aspect of safety in auto racing today.

    Having him be able to walk away after being driven head first into the wall is astonishing.

    As of 6:00 the radar is showing rain in the area. If it stops in an hour they might be able to shoot for a 10 to 10:30 restart. Being optimistic I know.

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jose Slaughter View Post
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    How he survived that is a testament to the science that goes into every aspect of safety in auto racing today.

    Having him be able to walk away after being driven head first into the wall is astonishing.

    As of 6:00 the radar is showing rain in the area. If it stops in an hour they might be able to shoot for a 10 to 10:30 restart. Being optimistic I know.
    To quote the GPS "Recalculating"

    Gonna be rescheduled for Aug 27th.... Not later tonight. Not tomorrow. Not next weekend. August 27th..... Well... Ok then... I guess...
    Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Totally don't agree with them re-starting with lap 72 after an 11 week delay.

    Teams were on vastly different strategies. Everyone will start with fresh tires and a full tank. That's going to help some, hurt others and more than likely make more than a few upset.

    I would much prefer a complete restart with Daly and Newgarden on the grid

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jose Slaughter View Post
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    Totally don't agree with them re-starting with lap 72 after an 11 week delay.

    Teams were on vastly different strategies. Everyone will start with fresh tires and a full tank. That's going to help some, hurt others and more than likely make more than a few upset.

    I would much prefer a complete restart with Daly and Newgarden on the grid
    I'm going to need to hear some arguments both ways, including from the teams themselves, before I can really have a position. One thing I thought about was they could at least take away the yellow flag laps since those didn't really do anything but waste green flag racing for the rescheduled event. But then, you have to factor in pitstops that took place under yellow. I'm not sure how many laps were run at the end of the yellow that didn't feature a pitstop. Or didn't feature a pitstop that mattered (IOW, if you're diving in from last place and rejoining in last place then that stop doesn't matter). But any positions that shuffled under pitting shouldn't be negated just to add green flag laps to the rescheduled race.

    Then you also have this issue: Do you make all the risk of those 72 laps (particularly up to the point that the wreck happened) not mean anything? Were those just wasted laps and risk if you restart the race and don't have those laps count?

    And where do you place Newgarden and Daly on the grid? In the back? Where they qualified? Where they were last scored just before the accident?

    Meanwhile, by the time this race rolls around again the engines will be at different points in their lifecycles. Maybe even new engines by then. And the cars certainly won't be in the same condition they were in on lap 72. Normally, at a red flag you can't work on your car. Dixon, for example, had his front wing hit by debris and had debris hit his suspension. Either could've been hurt by that. Now it will be fixed no matter what. Pit strategies will be negated. Everyone (I would think) will be able to restart on new tires and a full tank of fuel (I seriously doubt Indycar confiscated tires from the cars, marked them, or paid attention to fuel levels).

    That all said.... Waiting until August, after losing Sunday, probably helps fans to comeback. Fans that couldn't stay for Sunday, let alone come on a workday, now have a couple of months to make new plans to make a trip to TMS. There's even time to re-promote and sell more tickets besides those who will have rain-date tickets. But it'll be a shorter race so maybe not as enticing for new ticket sales or for people already holding rain-date tix to spend money to return to TMS from long distances to see a shortened race.

    Of course, this assumes the teams were happy to go with this plan versus the expense of coming back in a couple of months.

    One thing that hit me in all of these ramblings.... Maybe there's a middleground. Who says they can't count the first 72 laps, restart with cars in those positions, and ADD to the race distance to make it more of a real standalone event for the return? Of course that leaves the conundrum of some teams able to work on their cars with no penalty and Joseph and Connor either out of the race or already the several laps down that they lost while the race was under yellow.

    So in summary... Not sure how I feel about a restarted race, months later. I guess the real answer is, no answer will be 100% satisfactory so they are just going to have to make the best of it. Heck, they could even ADD a race and have a "Texas Dual" if it was for bang for buck for the fans.
    Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Sounds like they are wanting to do right by the fans and the rulebook and are not 100% certain on how they will handle the rain date. But it does look like a total restart of the race is off the table.

    http://www.racer.com/indycar/item/13...-on-texas-frye
    Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    They have a couple months to come up with a solution but I think they've really painted themselves into a corner on this one.

    No matter what they do, some team(s) will not be happy.

    I'd be for re-qualifying and starting a new race.

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Sollozzo:
    Doug Boles on some of those areas of unsold 'seats' for the 500:

    "South Vista lower sections do not have seats. What you see in the overhead is the platform or decking where the seats used to be. Those lower 10 rows were removed because the view is less desirable lower and from a safety standpoint. H stand lower seats have not been sold for several years (the view is difficult from there). We discussed re-adding seats this year, but chose to only re-add seats in the lower rows of the northern portion of Tower Terrace (we added about 2,000 this year for the 500)."
    Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.

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    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    Sollozzo:
    Doug Boles on some of those areas of unsold 'seats' for the 500:

    "South Vista lower sections do not have seats. What you see in the overhead is the platform or decking where the seats used to be. Those lower 10 rows were removed because the view is less desirable lower and from a safety standpoint. H stand lower seats have not been sold for several years (the view is difficult from there). We discussed re-adding seats this year, but chose to only re-add seats in the lower rows of the northern portion of Tower Terrace (we added about 2,000 this year for the 500)."

    They weren't "removed"....they are still there. They just chose not to sell them. Still don't understand the "safety standpoint" argument considering the bottom of all the other areas is sold. Besides, isn't the bottom probably the safest place to be? If some debris ever shot up it would likely clear the fence and land much higher up than those seats. It just looks weird and I'm guessing most if not all would have sold this year.

    Again, they really wanted to run with the "first sold out Indy 500 in history!" narrative. It was just the first time they decided that it was the first sold out 500.....they could have sold more if they wanted. This in no way shape or form was the most attended 500 ever, which is why the "sold out!" stuff is a bit misleading. This was all about building up hype for the event, which I understand to a point.

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    They weren't "removed"....they are still there.
    You might want to check the satellite photos over the South Vista.... It's pretty noticeable that those seats are gone.

    Still don't understand the "safety standpoint" argument considering the bottom of all the other areas is sold. Besides, isn't the bottom probably the safest place to be? If some debris ever shot up it would likely clear the fence and land much higher up than those seats.
    I hate to be morbid, but that can be explained easily: Tony Renna. That's all you need to know.
    Last edited by Sandman21; 06-16-2016 at 09:49 PM.
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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandman21 View Post
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    You might want to check the satellite photos over the South Vista.... It's pretty noticeable that those seats are gone.



    I hate to be morbid, but that can be explained easily: Tony Renna. That's all you need to know.
    The seats are still there, just put your google map man on the track and you can clearly see them. I sat at the top of the south vista and passed over them multiple times when going back and forth to the seats. A couple of spectators set on them for a minute.

    The Tony Renna thing doesn't explain it at all because that happened in Turn 3. Also, the vague information out there seems to indicate that the damage from that spread far deeper in the stands than the closed off sections of the South Vista. It could have theoretically happened in any section of the track, but why is the South Vista the only place where they don't sell seats at the bottom, when the South Vista wasn't even the scene of the accident? I think it's because for years, demand was so low that they decided to close the entire area because it gave the appearance that was deliberately closed, which looked less embarrassing then a few people sporadically mixed in those lower rows.

    Regarding the Renna crash, few things in history have been swept under the rug like that. Just one of many vicious airborne accidents that have plagued this series for so many years. What in the hell happened there?
    Last edited by Sollozzo; 06-17-2016 at 07:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Finishing the Texas race August 27th, hmm. May have to check out the feasibility of a weekend road trip.

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    Default Re: Indycar 2016 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    The seats are still there, just put your google map man on the track and you can clearly see them. I sat at the top of the south vista and passed over them multiple times when going back and forth to the seats. A couple of spectators set on them for a minute.
    The Street View photos are also 5 years old. Trackforum has pictures showing those seats are gone, just the risers remain. IIRC, Mike Conway's accident during the race where he got airborne was the final straw, even though that again was in the North shortchute.

    http://www.trackforum.com/forums/sho...en-one-and-two


    The Tony Renna thing doesn't explain it at all because that happened in Turn 3. Also, the vague information out there seems to indicate that the damage from that spread far deeper in the stands than the closed off sections of the South Vista. It could have theoretically happened in any section of the track, but why is the South Vista the only place where they don't sell seats at the bottom, when the South Vista wasn't even the scene of the accident? I think it's because for years, demand was so low that they decided to close the entire area because it gave the appearance that was deliberately closed, which looked less embarrassing then a few people sporadically mixed in those lower rows.
    The lower rows of the North Vista are also set further back from the track than they are in the South Vista. You can see this in the Google Maps Satellite view.

    Regarding the Renna crash, few things in history have been swept under the rug like that. Just one of many vicious airborne accidents that have plagued this series for so many years. What in the hell happened there?
    I really hate going into this, but from the stories I've heard over the years, there's a pretty good reason why IMS and Indycar didn't let that report get out. If that had happened during the 500...... I don't even want to think about it.

    If IMS doesn't think those seats are safe enough to sell them, then they don't need to sell them.
    Last edited by Sandman21; 06-17-2016 at 08:57 AM.
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