Q: Between Colton Herta, Felix Rosenqvist and Santino Ferrucci, this is one of the strongest rookie fields in recent memory. However, let’s not forget the slam dunk winner: NBC Gold Package! The greatest thing to happen to IndyCar since the turbo.
Vincent Martinez, South Pasadena, CA
RM: Thanks Vincent, I’ll pass along kudos to the gang.
Q: Now that IndyCar moved its date to accommodate Sebring, with its WEC and IMSA endurance races, don’t you think it would be smart to have a big-ass booth and show car and do a little cross promotion at the race? They will have a captive international audience that is hungry for close-quarters racing, knows Indy 500 well, and maybe, just maybe, will give the series a second look! Now is the time to get with the track and make it happen. Hell, they will be fresh from St. Pete anyway! To me, its a no-brainer!
RM: It’s a good idea John, maybe run an IndyCar around in a couple demo laps as well. Have a few drivers show up and pass out hats, shirts and schedules. But the best off-season promotion would be a weekend Fan Fest in Indy at all the shops with free swag and all the drivers signing autographs for as long as it takes. That was RLL’s Kathi Lauterbaugh’s idea 20 years ago, and it’s yet to be acted upon.
Q: I know you don’t want to talk about this and it appears that no one does because my e-mails to IndyCar, NBC, and Sportsnet in Canada have gone unanswered. I just want to know if Canadians can expect the same TV and internet experience with IndyCar in 2020 as this year, or is IndyCar going to try to negotiate a different deal with someone else? For the record, I paid $20 a month to see two races a month. No practice, no qualifying, no Indy Lights, no other IndyCar programming, two races a month. Period. This is the only reason why it is good that the IndyCar season is only seven months long.
By the way, since I have your attention, IMSA runs at Mosport the first weekend in July, IndyCars in Toronto one week later. The crowds are decent for both weekends, and that is without any dual event ticket offers (why is that?). So these events being a week apart should not have that much affect at Laguna Seca.
Paul Sturmey, Carleton Place, Ontario
RM: It’s not that I don’t walk to talk about it, Paul, I just don’t have any good news and haven’t since the season started. IndyCar evidently made a deal with the only company in Canada that wanted them, and it’s not good for you fans, and I’m sorry but I think it’s three years. I just hope NBC Gold can find its way north of the border sooner than later. As for Mosport, again a doubleheader might be perfect, although I’m told traffic is insane for the Pinty series so maybe it’s not such a good idea. Read the story below on Rogers and maybe it explains why IndyCar isn’t a priority.
Q: Hi Robin, thought this might be of some interest? I think it may explain the abysmal IndyCar deal made by Rogers in Canada (even though this article does not talk about IndyCar). I really hope the IndyCar is looking at an alternative provider in 2020.
Mark Kidson, Toronto
RM: Thanks for sharing, Mark. I was always under the impression everyone was happy with Rogers’ package for IndyCar a few years ago, but evidently things have changed – for the worse.
Q: IndyCar needs a race in the Northeast – Loudon. If IMSA won’t play ball and share their Watkins Glen date, then maybe Loudon makes sense for the doubleheader weekend. We all need an excuse to revive the Will Power double-barrel meme. I don’t feel like the race itself was awful. As an added bonus, I think the first visit NASCAR makes to the track each season would be a potentially workable date (July 19 was their 2019 date).
RM: The racing at Loudon was good in CART and IRL, but the last time IndyCar tried after a long absence it was a ghost town and I don’t think there’s a shred of interest in trying again – from either side. I think IndyCar would prefer Gateway or Richmond for a doubleheader.
Q: As a club racer and IndyCar fan, I am curious about Mid-Ohio’s schedule for next year and the potential for a resurface. I have heard rumors of the track being sold and a resurface occurring next summer (evidenced by the Xfinity race moving up to May and the IndyCar race moving back to August). I think the track is really showing wear, and it seems to have been accelerated by the rallycross races this year. Any word on a sale and/or resurface?
RM: Kevin Savoree, who co-owns Mid-Ohio and also promotes St. Pete, Toronto and Portand with Kim Green, responded to your inquiry.
“We sent a letter to our ticket holders explaining the change to the 2020 Mid Ohio schedule last Sunday (IndyCar & NASCAR only) so perhaps that was confusing. The remaining 2020 spectator events will be announced soon. Next year’s race event schedule gap really revolves around NBC covering the Olympic Games. ARX had nothing to do with track surface (actually only a small portion of paved surface is used for ARX). The wear and tear is from winter freeze and moisture in seams. Finally, the track is not being sold/is not for sale, and is not scheduled for resurface. Thanks for your support.”