Monday, January 18, 2016

Musings From the Weekend: Having Your Heart Ripped Out

The first endurance race of the year took place in the Middle East. Another Dakar Rally was completed. History repeated itself in Tulsa. Superiors spent another week in Southern California. There was racing from New Zealand. Here is a run down of what got me thinking.

Having Your Heart Ripped Out
St. Louis lost their football team and regardless of what happens in the final two weeks of the month, no sports fan will have had a worse month of January than St. Louis sport fans.

Fortunately, I have never had one of my favorite teams ripped out like a Mayan ripping out a beating heart but the more I thought about and the more I tried to imagine that emotion, I realized I have experienced something similar to that. Milwaukee falling off the IndyCar schedule, again. Fontana being abandoned by IndyCar, again. The loss of Michigan. The loss of Richmond. Cleveland being a casualty of reunification. Road America being a casualty of reunification (fortunately that has been rectified as has Phoenix).

While it has sucked to see those races go, it isn't a perfect analogy to that of St. Louis because I don't live in any of those places and that is a problem for IndyCar. Milwaukee is gone and while it hurt me and might have hurt some in the Indianapolis-area and some in Ohio and California and Florida, how many people in Milwaukee are sad to see it go?

I have talked about this before. IndyCar needs to establish itself in the communities the series travels to and become apart of the fabric of those communities. It can't be just another carnival that pops up its tent and is then on the move and out of town before you know it was even there. IndyCar can't rely on getting majority of their race day attendance being fans traveling two to three hours or more get to a race out of the red. Milwaukee isn't the largest metropolitan area but it's far from being Winslow, Arizona and there are plenty of bodies within an hour of the Milwaukee Mile to get a decent crowd without having to rely on people from Chicago, Indianapolis and beyond to save the day at the gate.

I concede to the city of St. Louis that the pain they are feeling is worst than what I and majority of IndyCar fans felt when the news came that Milwaukee, Fontana and NOLA would not return in 2016. Who knows? Maybe IndyCar will be coming to the St. Louis area sometime soon. And perhaps not too long after that IndyCar will be leaving without ever being a blip on the radar.

Winners From the Weekend
You know about what happened in the Dakar Rally and Dubai 24 Hour but did you know...

Rico Abreu won his second consecutive Chili Bowl.

Ryan Dungey won the AMA Supercross race from San Diego.

Ferdinand Habsburg, Lando Norris and Jehan Daruvala split the opening round of Toyota Racing Series season from Ruapana Park.

Coming Up This Weekend
The World Rally Championship season begins with Rallye Monte Carlo.
Asian Le Mans Series seasons wraps up at Sepang.
Round two of the Toyota Racing Series will be at Teretonga Park, located at the very bottom of New Zealand.
AMA Supercross returns to Anaheim.