Sunday, March 4, 2012

Going Forward By Looking Back

Lil' Al on his way to the 1990 PPG Championship

  The 2012 IZOD INDYCAR series schedule is just awful, isn't it? There's only 16 races, most of them are street races. Heck there's only five ovals. That's just depressing.

  It's also 1990 CART PPG Championship season. 16 races, 5 ovals and there were more street races than any other race. So why is it that in 1990 this was one of the greatest series in the world, but in 2012 the same schedule is a disappointment to fans?

  The schedule wasn't the only thing today's fans would have hated about 1990. Two drivers dominated the season and together they won 11 races. That's one more race than Will Power and Dario Franchitti won in 2011. Of course, those two drivers were Al Unser, Jr. and Michael Andretti so I'll give today's fan that one. By today's standards, the races themselves were extremely boring. The highest number of cars to finish on the lead lap in one race was eight and that was at the four mile long Road America. In five races, only two cars finished on the lead lap. If that were to happen today we'd put the audience on suicide watch.


  In 1991 the ratings went up, attendance went up, sponsorship money being thrown around went up, and IndyCar even had a video based around it's championship driver released. How is that even possible? According to today's fans all of this would just be the most boring racing on the planet.

  So what's happened to the audience? I realized that many were lost due to the split, but I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about what today's fans will tolerate. Why does today's auto racing audience need so many gimmicks? Red tires, push-to-pass, double-file restarts, lucky dogs, wave arounds, KERS, and DRS; IndyCar had none of these in 1990, and many more people were watching. 

  The 1990 season was just people building cars to go as fast as they could and drivers driving them as fast as they could. That was racing and it was great. So I have to ask, can we go back to this, or would we have to put Jack Kevorkian's hotline in the race scroll?


  1. Spot on. Were you looking at your Twitter feed last night? LOL A couple of us ere having this same conversation.

  2. I must have missed that, but I think there are more than a few of us who have the same feelings.

    Just don't know if there are enough of us, or what happened to the rest of us.