IndyCar Fans: Please Loosen the Sphincter on Silly Traditions

I don’t write about IndyCar enough, so get ready, because I have a lot of complaining to do. This morning I read Curt Cavin’s Ask the Expert, and the first question asked if the winner of IndyCar’s new Grand Prix of Indianapolis will kiss the bricks. Curt, as he should, gave a politically correct answer leaving it up to the winning team to decide if they wanted to do it. I don’t have to give a politically correct answer. The correct answer is YES, they should kiss the bricks.

It is time for IndyCar fans to stop living on 100-year-old traditions. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but very few (no one) is watching IndyCar these days. A lot of the reason is because IndyCar, IMS, Hulman & Company, and the fans – yes the fans – are very good at complaining and infighting. It’s time to STOP. Stop acting like this is 1992 and millions of people are watching weekly. Stop acting like IndyCar is the premier series in North America.

NEWSFLASH: IndyCar can quickly be relegated to the number three or four series in North America if SportsCar and Formula 1 take off. I know that may not seem like a big deal, but it is.

On Twitter, I proposed that NASCAR’s tradition of kissing the bricks – yes, they started it – be extended to every winner of every race that happens at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The speedway is the tradition, and the tradition needs to be recognizing that it is the ‘Motorsports Capital of the World.’ As much as I LOVE the Indianapolis 500, it isn’t the only event that takes place at IMS.

That’s a good thing.

By the way, I’m with Robin Miller, I personally don’t want to see another race at IMS in May, but I understand why they’re doing it. I’d prefer a second race happen later in the season or not at all, but if having a second race will bring more fans to into the sport, then what’s the harm?

Why are we so against having another IndyCar race at IMS? Because we hate change, but change is good. The goal is for the sport to continue for another 100 years. This can only happen if new and younger fans are brought into the sport.

These newer and younger fans don’t care about the traditions that us old-school IndyCar people care about. It is time for all of us - the old people, to loosen the reins on what we used to know and love about IndyCar traditions and adopt to whatever it will take to get people to watch. This also includes the love of ovals.

I love oval racing; it’s IndyCar’s bread and butter. The casual fan does not like oval racing. In fact, it’s NASCAR’s biggest problem. They race on too many ovals and not enough road courses, and zero street circuits. IndyCar

This is not your tradition, IndyCar fans. Photo by Kyle Hanson/IndyCar

needs to understand that races like Mid-Ohio, Road America, Long Beach and Baltimore will attract MORE fans consistently than Texas, Michigan and Pocono. Yes, the latter group of tracks are historic and part of IndyCar’s past, and need to be part of IndyCar’s future, but casual fans enjoy being able to walk around to different parts of the track and watch from there.

To grow IndyCar and open-wheel racing as a sport in America, IndyCar fans need to drop their silly hold on the past and embrace WHATEVER will bring new fans into the sport.