Does Anybody Care About the Indy 500 Anymore?

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Last year, the Indy 500 did a notoriously low rating while NASCAR moved the Coca-Cola 600 into primetime and won the evening handily.  NASCAR’s race at Charlotte did not break the ratings bank by any means but it is a telling moment when a “just another midseason event” for NASCAR pulls in the viewership of Indy’s premier attraction.

The reason is quite simple: Nobody cares about IndyCar any longer and nobody cares about the Indianapolis 500.  I won’t try to argue for the population as a whole, however, since that’d be the most futile of endeavors.  I’ll simply explain my casual indifference.

  • DRIVERS FAILING AT NASCAR.  We’ve watched a slew of top tier Indy drivers (Franchitti, Hornish Jr…etc.) come to NASCAR and fail, leaving the probably inaccurate feeling that the stock car circuit is more difficult and the Indy crowd are not up to the challenge.
  • LACK OF STAR POWER.  Indy put a lot of eggs in the Danica Patrick basket and she’s rewarded them by only winning once and courting NASCAR like a fall-down drunk at last call (Loudly and with gusto).  Combined both of these two points and you have a sport full of athletes who seem to want to race elsewhere.
  • WHY IS IT BETTER? Motorsports purists will state Indy is the purer form of racing but does that make for a better viewing experience for spectators?   NASCAR has found (perhaps fabricated) drama on the track, rivalries along pit lane, strategies from start to finish on race day.  Pure racing is wonderful for the motorsports diehard.  It does nothing for someone like me.

Cold?  Perhaps.  Truthful?  Yes.  I will watch the Indy 500 tomorrow, if the situation presents itself.  I’ll be glued to the Coca-Cola 600.  NASCAR wins again.

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