Thursday, June 21, 2012

You can't fully enjoy IndyCar until you know who's under the helmet

Just getting into IndyCar? Then, first of all, welcome, and congrats! You have extraordinary taste in athletic pursuits.

Secondly, hear this. It's important. If you're just watching cars go roundeeround, without knowing who's behind the wheel, you're not getting your money's worth.

Here's a simple way to solve that. Just hit up this awesome speed-read from Tony at "'Speed dating' with the IndyCar Drivers."

A fast-paced primer with a few juicy factoids about each driver—just enough to pique your interest. It'll only take a minute or two, and you'll increase your enjoyment of IndyCar by, say, 25 times—exactly. As Tony says, "there's something there for everyone."

Once you've done that, turn on the tube, Saturday at 7:30 ET, and put your new knowledge to the test.



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thank You from Andretti Sports Marketing

Really don't think I need to say anything here.


[Andretti Sports Marketing release]

IndyFest XYQ
Thank You from Andretti Sports Marketing
On behalf of Michael Andretti and the entire team at Andretti Sports Marketing and Andretti Autosport, we would like to express thanks to the great fans that didn't let a 90-minute rain delay deter their desire to watch an IZOD IndyCar Series race today at the Milwaukee Mile. That spirit and passion is what has fueled the legacy of this historic track, and we're thrilled to add our own small page in its history book.

Thanks to our superb list of sponsors that, on a very very brief timeline, stepped-in to support IndyFest. The backing of these sponsors - locally in Milwaukee as well as our national and international sponsors - makes it possible for us to offer reasonably priced tickets and an infield full of fun activities and events.

The "we couldn't do it without them" crew of volunteers deserve thanks and recognition, as do the media members whose coverage tells the world about a great city and great track.

We'll see you next June for the second Milwaukee IndyFest! We can't wait to be back.

The staff of Andretti Sports Marketing.

Monday, June 11, 2012

"If people don't come for this, they're not going to come out."

Agreed, Mike. For the record, though it may appear so, I'm not on the payroll at Milwaukee IndyFest, but perhaps I should be.

Fact is, I'm just incredibly impressed with how Michael Andretti and his Andretti Sports Marketing group are going about reestablishing the IZOD IndyCar Series race at The Milwaukee Mile—100% effort (There is no 110%, BTW), from what I can see.

What blows me away: The SM engagement—previously detailed here—ticket prices reduced 38%, plus this killer list of events and activities that make IndyFest a complete Father's Day weekend destination, for all ages.
  • Thursday kick-off street party at the Hilton Milwaukee
  • Friday brat fry (:O), autograph session, and battle of the bands
  • Saturday autograph session and post-race concert with Smash Mouth
  • Infield happenings include: zip line, Snake Pit, family fun zone, midway rides and games, IndyCar Fan Village, a Ferris wheel, and bumper car racing

You don't have to be a die-hard open-wheel fan to get enjoyment out of your time at Milwaukee IndyFest, which is an awesome recipe for a successful event. Props to Mike for bringing the festival atmosphere of a street race to an oval.

More info here. Tickets here.

Hope the hard work pays off, Mike (like he's reading this), you've earned a good result.

The racing? Oh, that'll take care of itself.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Brilliant! @MKE_IndyFest Breaks New (#SM) Ground

I've never heard of anything like it, but I love it.

Breaking it down, here's what the whiz kids at Milwaukee IndyFestAndretti Sports Marketing, and ExactTarget have come up with. As easy as 1-2-3:
  1. They've identified "the 26 most influential social media users in the Milwaukee area for 2012."
  2. They've paired each of those 26 peeps with one of the IndyCar drivers expected to start at Milwaukee IndyFest.
  3. Each member of the "IndyFest 26" has been invited to attend IndyFest events and to share their experiences with their online followers (totaling nearly 70,000).
BOOM. Can you say fresh eyes? Okaaaaay... Still not getting it? Right. These Brew-town social media movers and shakers aren't necessarily being followed by race fans—seeeee?

BONUS: Here's what's in it for you. You're invited to tap into the SM goodness, personally. Mike and his posse have made it simple. Follow your choice of the designated twitterers, below, or better yet, all of them by hitting up this tailor-made list.    

Who knows what sort of experiences these folks might have and what they might share? Perhaps the likes of THINGS YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE.

Still not satisfied? Fine. Get the deets straight from IndyFest here.

I think we're done.


1.) Amanda - @bizMebizgal ==> Ryan Briscoe

2.) Jonathan Brewer - @houseofbrew ==> Justin Wilson

3.) Cedar Brown - @CedarBrown ==> JR Hildebrand

4.) Ed Cetera - @edcetera ==> Oriol Servia

5.) Michelle D'Attilo - @m_sosh ==> Marco Andretti

6.) Sara N. Dipity - @dipitysaves ==> Sebastian Saavedra

7.) Allie Yoder - @allie_yoder ==> Ryan Hunter-Reay

8.) Genevieve - @einley ==> Josef Newgarden

9.) Phil Gerbyshak - @PhilGerb ==> Ruben Barrichello

10.) Erica Gordon - @erica_g ==> James Hinchcliffe

11.) Carrie Keenan - @Carrieatthill ==> Will Power

12.) Lisa Blythe - @LisasList ==> Katherine Legge

13.) Katie Klein-Murphy - @BootyP ==> Helio Castroneves

14.) Jill Krynicki - @JillKrynicki ==> Graham Rahal

15.) Ben Lund - @EastSideRambler ==> Tony Kanaan

16.) Brian Maguire - @brianpmaguire ==> Ed Carpenter

17.) Chelsey Orlikowski - @ChelseyJo ==> Dario Franchitti

18.) Jim Raffel - @raffel ==> Scott Dixon

19.) Mary Jane Sanchez ==> @ChiqitaMJ -- Charlie Kimball

20.) Chad Schomber - @chadschomber ==> Mike Conway

21.) Shaina - @ShainaLovesMKE ==> Alex Tagliani

22.) Joe Sorge - @joesorge ==> Takuma Sato

23.) Brennan Stehling - @brennanMKE ==> EJ Viso

24.) Matthew Stollak - @akabruno ==> Simon Pagenaud

25.) Tiffany Ann Weber - @tiffanyannweber ==> James Jakes

26.) Sarah White - @ImSoSarah ==> Simona de Silvestro

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Walking on Eggshells

Hi, doc, thanks for seeing me on short notice. Love the new wallpaper. Do you mind if I lie down?

You know I'm a big fan of IndyCar racing, right? You remember... we had that long chat about Paul Tracy not getting a ride?

Well, anyway, I've really been struggling, lately. IndyCar is the only sport I follow, so maybe I'm just too close to it, but sometimes I really find it difficult to enjoy.

I mean, there are a lot of fantastic things about the sport, but sometimes it feels like I'm riding a roller coaster: that thrill and anticipation of climbing up the steepest hill followed by the uncomfortable moment when your stomach drops out—but it's over and over again.

I feel like I'm walking on eggshells. I thought it might help to jot a few things down, so I brought you a list. I tried to think of everything that has happened in recent memory that has given me those odd feelings. Here you go. Tell me what you think.
  • Randy Bernard under fire from the owners
  • Bump day
  • IndyCar web site's failure to launch
  • The owner insurrection 
  • IZOD downshifting
  • Baltimore near miss 
  • Scrapping to hold on to the minimum number of races
  • "Detroit"
  • The potential loss of China and its associated windfall
  • The engine shortage 
  • Potential delay of aero-kits—twice
  • "Lotus"
  • Turbogate
  • The year delay of the new car
  • Randy's tweet
  • Fines 
  • Oriol's tweet
  • Jimmy's tweet
  • "Barnhart"
  • The $5 million challenge
  • A disappointing Vegas
  • "The television package"
  • Scarcity of ovals
Is it me? I don't know, doc. I tend to put the blame on myself a lot. And the truth is, no matter what happens, I'll probably always follow IndyCar, but I just want to enjoy it, without all that other stuff. It feels laborious, at times. I can't imagine that baseball fans go through this, can you?

I guess it'll all sort itself out over time. In fact, I'm sure it will. I feel better just having gotten it off my chest. Thanks, doc

Editor's Note: This is NOT an "everything that's wrong with IndyCar" hit piece. What it IS is me working through some things. If you've been around here for any length of time, you know I tend to keep things on the positive tip. But sometimes it's just flat-out hard to be a fan. There's a lot to love about IndyCar, and I believe it's here to stay—and so am I. Thanks for the group therapy session, peeps.