The Global Fan Survey regarding Indycar released Monday by Motorsport Network had some interesting questions. Many fans have commented on some of the more controversial items on the survey. I wonder if Indycar is actually considering some of theses moves or if the ideas were just put out there to take the pulse of the fans. The best news is that playoffs weren’t asked about. That puts this survey a step ahead of the Boston Consulting Group.
My thoughts on some of the questions:
If you have read this column at all, you know my feelings on this. If the yellow is out when the race distance is reached, it’s over, too bad. Things happen. Race Director Kyle Novak seems very quick on the trigger to throw a red flag to get a green flag finish- Detroit Race 1 last year is Exhibit A. Let the race continue unless there is an obvious safety issue with a barrier or the track is completely blocked. Green flag finishes are not an entitlement.
Who says the races aren’t exciting? There will be the occasional snoozer, and some tracks lend themselves to a dull race, but heats (stages) or breaks won’t change that. it’s not worth it for two exciting laps on a restart. I have watched ARCA and Truck races where they have a break. It’s like recess at school. After the break, the race loses a couple more green flag laps for the restart. Can you imagine the Indianapolis 500 with a break after 85 laps?
Who defines dangerous driving? Is blocking dangerous? What about pit violations? I thought Indycar drivers are pretty free to race. I don’t want to see the over regulation that F1 has, where every touch is investigated.
Oval qualifying at non Indy races is pretty lackluster. I don’t know what can be done about it, but heat races and 4 lap qualifying are not solutions. Heat races were tried at Iowa a few years ago, and they weren’t very exciting. No one wanted to risk damaging their car before the race. Let’s leave four lap averages to the Indianapolis 500 to keep it unique.
One modification I would like to see to the non-Indy ovals is qualifying order. Instead of setting the order by point standings, I would like to see the order determined by the order of the final practice session at that track.
I am glad that Indycar is asking for fan input. The results will be announced at the opening round at St. Pete the weekend of February 25-27. If you haven’t taken the survey yet, please do so.