Sunday, February 12, 2012

Okay IndyCar Nation

We asked, and received.

We wanted more ovals on the schedule, and we got one. We wanted Milwaukee back, and they gave it to us.

Now, what are we going to do with it? That's the question.

Friday's announcement that Milwaukee will be back on the schedule as a 225-mile race on June 15 came as a nice surprise and good news to all. A great venue for open wheel racing, a favorite of the drivers and a living representation of the history of motorsport, it is a super addition to the schedule and will be part of an outburst that will have the series competing on ovals for five out of six weeks (counting two weeks at Indy) in May and June.

And, as an added bonus, the race will be promoted by a group led by Michael Andretti, who had an incredible amount of success at the track. You would think that promoting this race into a big deal is something near and dear to his heart.

Bonus No. 2 involves a possible Graham Rahal-planned bus trip from Indy. I'm sure if you get on that express Graham will seriously make it worth your while. If I had the money I'd make the drive down from Aurora just for that trip.

BTW, Graham, any way the bus can make a stop in Chicago?

Indy, Texas, Milwaukee and Iowa...what can be better, right?

Indy, Texas and Iowa will take care of themselves, of course. A combination of tradition, history of great racing, tremendous promotion and fan loyalty will make all of those events a success, as always. But Milwaukee is the wild card, no one knows as we stand here today how it will play out.

If it goes like last year, where they put on a race and no one showed up, we can scratch it off the list forever, and plant the seed in Randy Bernard's head that maybe ovals outside of the established tracks aren't the way to go. If the stands are relatively filled, the powers-that-be will know that the fans will support the event, and perhaps a push will be made to bring back some other long-lost ovals of the past.

So as fans of IndyCar, that is our job...just show up! We've been talking so much how we all want ovals on the schedule, and now is the time to back that up. It's the strangest thing...everyone WANTS ovals, but they aren't willing to make the trip to support many of them (R.I.P. Kentucky).

I'm hopefully going to be there (the only way I won't is if my brother qualifies for the US Open golf tournament) with my 11-year-old son in tow. He's too young to go to the 500 with his older brother and I, but this sounds like the perfect kind of day for him.

It's four months away, set aside the weekend, make the drive and get there. If you think the research numbers that tell Randy Bernard the fan base wants more road and street courses is BS (which, Randy, while we love you, it is totally BS), let him know by supporting this event.

Because in the end, if this doesn't work out, we only have ourselves to blame.

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