Monday, January 14, 2013

99 Problems But Drivers Ain't 1

It seems like Indycar has a lot of things stacked against it nowadays when you compare it to the top tier racing programs like NASCAR and Formula 1. Sure Indycar doesn't have the big blue chip sponsors. Nor do they have the premium TV deal. Nor do they have the largest fan base. Nor do... Well you get the picture. Indycar has plenty of problems, some of which can be fixed, and some of which will take decades for it to naturally solve. But one things Indycar has going is the great drivers in the series.

I can ask any Indycar fan who their favorite driver is, and you know what the typical response is? Well it is hardly ever one driver. Hell I cannot narrow down my favorite driver to just one, it is impossible. Kanaan, Franchitti, Castroneves, Rahal, Hinchcliffe, Hunter-Reay, Power, Andretti, Newgarden, Wilson, Tagliani, etc. How do you narrow that down to just one? When I ask NASCAR fans who their favorite driver is, 75% of people say Stewart or Junior. Some variety...

Left to right: James Hinchcliffe, Justin Wilson, and Oriol Servia. Photo: Ian Kucerak

Indycar drivers kick ass on and off the track, often making time for fans via Twitter or through visits on race weekends. They thrill us to no end on the track. Each and every one of them are incredibly nice given that they are highly paid professional athletes. This is the perfect recipe for a large spectator sport. NASCAR and F1 cannot say this. Another thing that makes Indycar special is there isn't one or multiple commonly hated drivers or drivers that get a bad rap. NASCAR has frowned upon drivers like The Busch Brothers, Jimmie Johnson (for some reason), and others. F1 has Maldonado, Grosjean, and Hamilton (I disagree with the last two). Who does Indycar have? Who in the Indycar field is often hated upon? I can't pick out anyone on the grid.

While things may appear to be bad for Indycar, we as fans must notice all the good that is in the series. Drivers, who invest so much time, effort, and money, as well as risk their lives for our entertainment, is the thing that makes Indycar so great. Be sure to thank a driver for what they do. Role models for many to follow and a beacon for everyone to look up to.

Let me know what you think.

-Matthew Hickey

1 comment:

  1. Matt:

    You're 100% right.

    While I do believe that it is fair to point out the mismanagement of the sport, what sometimes what gets lost is the friendliness of the IndyCar paddock. Also, as a youngster, you make the good point that many of the drivers are role models and conduct themselves with a grace and dignity that you don't see elsewhere.

    I enjoy the blog. Keep up the good work.

    Brian Carroccio
    bricarr2@aol.com

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