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Thread: Yay! Indycar season is here!

  1. #76
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    If you want to pay to have the track open and off set the cost to the teams to run today I'm sure Tony would love to let you run the track for the day.

  2. #77
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    Quote Originally Posted by grace View Post
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    If you want to pay to have the track open and off set the cost to the teams to run today I'm sure Tony would love to let you run the track for the day.
    Tony will make plenty of money on May 24th to easily cover operating costs of being open today. If the teams cannot afford to run, then I'd assume they wouldn't run.

    The question to me is whether the days off actually hurt the smaller teams more than help? I suppose if Thursday-Sun is like today then that could be plenty of track time. OTOH, if we get nasty winds and rain shortened days, is squeezing practice down to such limited time helping or hurting teams?

    I don't think less practice time helps to close the gaps for the smaller teams nor do I think it does anything to help the racing. I do understand how it takes away opportunities for teams to spend money on extra practice days. But if you need the practice (and info gathering runs), you need the practice and info gathering runs.

    Indiana weather is the main variable here and the already limited track time really can be hurt with weather. The other thing is that with the extra days (especially in the 2nd week once the pole has been decided), teams can find their qualifying speed early in the week and then do some race setup practice, comfortable in the knowledge they found what they needed to make the race come that 2nd weekend of quals.

    Barring that, I'm pretty open to Robin Miller's suggestion of putting all the quals in one weekend, open the track on a Saturday (or Sunday), practice all week, qualify on the weekend. Go dark until the following Friday for Carb Day and then run the race that Sunday.

    IOW... If the idea behind the dark track days are so Tony George can save some money... OK... it's his place. If the idea is to compact things for more excitement and/or to limit team spending and hold down the cost of racing, then I question if it's doing more harm than good under the current implementation.

    -Bball
    Last edited by Bball; 05-11-2009 at 03:23 PM.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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  3. #78
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    Over the years the speedway has tried several different amounts of practice and qualifying. No matter what they do there are always people who find fault with whatever they're doing that particular year. If they have a full schedule people say there's no reason to be on the track every day. When they compact the schedule people ***** when an off day has good weather.

    It is what it is. Next year they might decide to practice all week. It might rain Monday-Wednesday both weeks and they'll only get to practice two days. And then there's always the chance it might snow.

  4. #79
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    Well, after the first week of practice and qualifying I think I'll post some random thoughts.

    I know the weather was cool to downright chilly Saturday, and the skies were threatening, but the weather forecast was for no rain. I was surprised the early turnout wasn't better. We had no problem rolling in around 9AM. No line of traffic at all.

    I don't even know where to start trying to put my finger on why that is at this point. The split, the weather, the lack of speed records, the water thrown on the infield partying, other entertainment options, the cost of gas....
    I suspect it all makes a difference. I also sense a disconnect with a generation and I'm not sure where that came from. At some point it became 'cool' to not be a fan of Indy. That's really a shame. I don't think some people realize what a huge even Indy is. It's being taken for granted.

    I wonder if the constant ratcheting down of speed is part of the problem. Especially with pole day. They keep putting a lid on the speeds via rule changes so that we keep seeing that 219-225.00 range. Obviously it's good for safety but is it good for the sport? If safety was the sole reason then it would be even safer at 200MPH. So there's obviously a line. Maybe that line needs moved up. Maybe the rules need opened up for qualifications but still tightened for the race. Afterall, I doubt anyone cares what speed the passes are happening at... but track records and pushing the envelope are what qualifications have traditionally been about.

    I also suspect there are some people (and even some reporters) that think the lowered speeds are indicative of inferior drivers or cars.

    I don't know what the answer is here. I think someone needs to figure it out though.

    TV Coverage...
    It's a shame that this quality of coverage couldn't have happened on ABC or ESPN. The qualifying coverage has been excellent. Jan Beekhus is also excellent. I remember his work from the 90's and he was solid but I think he may be one of the best that has been in the booth for Indycar in some time. Jenkins is also solid.

    Unfortunately, Buhl isn't up to par with his counterparts or the overall quality of the broadcast. I've thought this since the beginning of the Vs coverage but I had hope he'd improve with camera time and races. I'm not seeing it.

    I hope the production team just shifts over to ABC for the Indy 500. I'm anxious to see a 500 presented with the quality of the Versus coverage. For those that don't get Versus, all I can say is that Versus is doing the job that Indycar fans have been begging for... too bad not all fans can see it.

    I like the new qualifying format although I would do one tweak. I'd do the locking in of the first 11 qualifiers each day like it is now but I'd also let the next spots be provisional. That way, if there is rain the next day and quals are a washout they'd still have cars qualified for the next 11 spots....

    As already stated, I think the practice days and opening days need looked at. ALWAYS open the track on a weekend and don't just make it ROP. That should just be a given. I still say to bite the bullet and open the track the traditional 2 weeks. For those that can't afford to run, they won't. At least have some flex days in there somehow to allow for weather. Otherwise, go with the Robin Miller idea and condense practice and quals to one week, Open on the weekend, practice, qualify, go dark until Carb Day, and then run the race. At least it would be a constant momentum building.

    In other news...
    Would someone explain to the media (and even some race teams) that Happy Hour isn't so happy anymore. DST means that Happy Hour would now be 6-7PM via the position of the sun. Just because the clock says it's 5PM doesn't mean that the conditions that made Happy Hour "Happy Hour" are there now that DST is here. Happy Hour was due to the shadows that would begin to cast over the track and lower the track temp. This would start to happen around 4:30PM and really begin having an effect from 5-6PM. But that was before Daylight Saving Time. We moved the clock, not the sun. In the not too distant past teams would AVOID the time that is now the first part of "Happy Hour".
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "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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  5. #80
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    Well, after the first week of practice and qualifying I think I'll post some random thoughts.

    I know the weather was cool to downright chilly Saturday, and the skies were threatening, but the weather forecast was for no rain. I was surprised the early turnout wasn't better. We had no problem rolling in around 9AM. No line of traffic at all.

    I don't even know where to start trying to put my finger on why that is at this point. The split, the weather, the lack of speed records, the water thrown on the infield partying, other entertainment options, the cost of gas....
    I suspect it all makes a difference. I also sense a disconnect with a generation and I'm not sure where that came from. At some point it became 'cool' to not be a fan of Indy. That's really a shame. I don't think some people realize what a huge even Indy is. It's being taken for granted.

    I wonder if the constant ratcheting down of speed is part of the problem. Especially with pole day. They keep putting a lid on the speeds via rule changes so that we keep seeing that 219-225.00 range. Obviously it's good for safety but is it good for the sport? If safety was the sole reason then it would be even safer at 200MPH. So there's obviously a line. Maybe that line needs moved up. Maybe the rules need opened up for qualifications but still tightened for the race. Afterall, I doubt anyone cares what speed the passes are happening at... but track records and pushing the envelope are what qualifications have traditionally been about.

    I also suspect there are some people (and even some reporters) that think the lowered speeds are indicative of inferior drivers or cars.

    I don't know what the answer is here. I think someone needs to figure it out though.

    TV Coverage...
    It's a shame that this quality of coverage couldn't have happened on ABC or ESPN. The qualifying coverage has been excellent. Jan Beekhus is also excellent. I remember his work from the 90's and he was solid but I think he may be one of the best that has been in the booth for Indycar in some time. Jenkins is also solid.

    Unfortunately, Buhl isn't up to par with his counterparts or the overall quality of the broadcast. I've thought this since the beginning of the Vs coverage but I had hope he'd improve with camera time and races. I'm not seeing it.

    I hope the production team just shifts over to ABC for the Indy 500. I'm anxious to see a 500 presented with the quality of the Versus coverage. For those that don't get Versus, all I can say is that Versus is doing the job that Indycar fans have been begging for... too bad not all fans can see it.

    I like the new qualifying format although I would do one tweak. I'd do the locking in of the first 11 qualifiers each day like it is now but I'd also let the next spots be provisional. That way, if there is rain the next day and quals are a washout they'd still have cars qualified for the next 11 spots....

    As already stated, I think the practice days and opening days need looked at. ALWAYS open the track on a weekend and don't just make it ROP. That should just be a given. I still say to bite the bullet and open the track the traditional 2 weeks. For those that can't afford to run, they won't. At least have some flex days in there somehow to allow for weather. Otherwise, go with the Robin Miller idea and condense practice and quals to one week, Open on the weekend, practice, qualify, go dark until Carb Day, and then run the race. At least it would be a constant momentum building.

    In other news...
    Would someone explain to the media (and even some race teams) that Happy Hour isn't so happy anymore. DST means that Happy Hour would now be 6-7PM via the position of the sun. Just because the clock says it's 5PM doesn't mean that the conditions that made Happy Hour "Happy Hour" are there now that DST is here. Happy Hour was due to the shadows that would begin to cast over the track and lower the track temp. This would start to happen around 4:30PM and really begin having an effect from 5-6PM. But that was before Daylight Saving Time. We moved the clock, not the sun. In the not too distant past teams would AVOID the time that is now the first part of "Happy Hour".
    To quote Jimmy Buffet, "It's 5 o'clock somewhere"

    I have been impresed with the Versus coverage. Very informative and entertaining.
    The best exercise of the human heart is reaching down and picking someone else up.

  6. #81
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    I am disappointed for John Andretti. I really wanted that team to make the field.

  7. #82
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    I am disappointed for John Andretti. I really wanted that team to make the field.
    Doesn't he still have this weekend to make the field or was the car torn up too much, and the budget too tight, to get him back on the track?

    -Bball
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "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: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    Doesn't he still have this weekend to make the field or was the car torn up too much, and the budget too tight, to get him back on the track?

    -Bball
    Sure hope he gets another chance. I feel like that was the only car they could've afforded.

  9. #84
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    John seems to think getting the car fixed won't be a problem.

    http://www.petty-andretti.com/videos/index.cfm?mid=338
    Last edited by grace; 05-13-2009 at 01:29 AM.

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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    Quote Originally Posted by grace View Post
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    John seems to think getting the car fixed won't be a problem.

    http://www.petty-andretti.com/videos/index.cfm?mid=338
    That makes me feel better.

  11. #86
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    Meijer has half price tickets for Quals this weekend. Just go to any Meijer store and you can purchase the ticket for five dollars. They are ten @ the track.

  12. #87
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
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    Meijer has half price tickets for Quals this weekend. Just go to any Meijer store and you can purchase the ticket for five dollars. They are ten @ the track.
    Thanks for the info. I was going to try and weasel my way in Sunday.

  13. #88
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    I was really happy to see the #43 car make it for both John Andretti and Richard Petty but just as sad to see an emotional Alex Tagliani not make it. Heartbreak for the guy and you could feel it.
    The best exercise of the human heart is reaching down and picking someone else up.

  14. #89
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    Quote Originally Posted by ABADays View Post
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    I was really happy to see the #43 car make it for both John Andretti and Richard Petty but just as sad to see an emotional Alex Tagliani not make it. Heartbreak for the guy and you could feel it.

    I agree. And it was very heartbreaking because you know he had a car to make it. I still think the fact that "Happy Hour" isn't "Happy Hour" anymore needs to be taken into consideration by TPTB. Everybody is shooting for that 15 min window that used to be more like an hour and 15 mins. DST moved the clocks, not the sun. Today's 5-6PM used to be 4-5PM in the not so distant past. The "happy hour" effect didn't really start kicking in (shadows cooling the track) until 4:30... and moreso as it got closer to 5PM. So now everybody wants to go out in the final 15 mins. And with everyone having multiple chances now, everyone is gunning for that final 15 mins.

    Keeping the track open to 7PM would give everyone a larger window to take advantage of happy hour conditions and to make strategic decisions about what to do with their existing times.

    I'm still giving large kudos to the Versus production team. Even yesterday's rain delay was informative and entertaining.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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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: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    What a glorious day to be out at the track. It was also great to see Johnny get in at the last second.

    dustpan hasn't been in the HOF Museum before, let alone have seen the cars on the track. She had a great time.

  16. #91
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    I don't see the need to change the time the track closes. The race doesn't take place between 5-7pm so why should qualifications?

  17. #92
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    It looks like Tagliani may take over Bruno's car for the race...

    -Bball
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "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."

    -John Wooden

  18. #93
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    Quote Originally Posted by grace View Post
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    I don't see the need to change the time the track closes. The race doesn't take place between 5-7pm so why should qualifications?
    Actually, that's a good point but the race doesn't take place between 5-6PM either. It's a good point though because the start time for the race was changed due to DST so I don't see it being a problem for practice/quals.

    The point is that everyone is trying to catch the cooling track temps for more speed and it's really just a 15, 20, to maybe 30 min window where there's much benefit. It used to be a 75-90 minute window. They still pretend like "Happy Hour" is still a big deal, but it's really only "Happy 15 mins".

    I'm not lobbying for an extra hour to be added, only for the track hours to be consistent over the years with the sun's position, not the hands on the clock.

    Actually, to my way of thinking it would almost just be better to close the track at 5PM than what we have now because you've got this small section of time that everyone is gunning for if they're trying to eek out a little more speed. That 15-20min window we have now isn't enough time when you have teams able to make multiple attempts and serious decisions to be made about withdrawing qualified cars.

    OTOH, there's not much difference in the track from 3PM to 5PM. ...or even 5:30PM under DST.

    The bigger point is that teams will start playing more games to delay the process in that small window of time.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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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."

    -John Wooden

  19. #94
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    Before anyone 'corrects' me...

    The start time of the 500 was 11AM for the longest time. Then it was moved to noon in order to accommodate the west coast and hopefully pick up some more viewers who'd otherwise still be in bed or just getting up. Then Indiana DST arrived which in affect meant the west coast starting time was back to what it was before. So IMS moved the 500 start time to 1PM to accommodate the clock change.

    When the green flag drops your clock may say it's a little after 1PM but the position of the sun in the sky is exactly where it was when the race started at noon BEFORE DST.

    -Bball
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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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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  20. #95
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    Bball, I agree with you on the Versus coverage. Great, great job by those guys.
    The best exercise of the human heart is reaching down and picking someone else up.

  21. #96
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    I learned something very interesting @ the track Robbie Gordan has a sister that is engaged to Ryan Hunter Rhea and she is smoking hot.

  22. #97
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
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    I learned something very interesting @ the track Robbie Gordan has a sister that is engaged to Ryan Hunter Rhea and she is smoking hot.
    That doesn't make Robbie Gordon any better of a race car driver...

  23. #98
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    It's official... Bruno is out... Tagliani is in.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "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."

    -John Wooden

  24. #99
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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    For all you John Andretti fans out there.

    http://www.petty-andretti.com/videos/index.cfm?mid=361

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    Default Re: Yay! Indycar season is here!

    IT'S RACE DAY IN INDY
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