A funny thing happened on my way to nowhere yesterday. I hopped on the treadmill, which I hate, but it was hot as Satan’s nipples in Indy. Usually I turn on ESPN but as I flipped channels, I happened to catch a local news station’s pre-race coverage of the Brickyard 400. Lucky me. In the hour that followed, I was privy to some of the most breath-taking nonsense this side of the Mississippi.
And so I bring you… the top three interviews that make you proud to be an IndyCar fan:
Interview #1: The women of NASCAR.
I can only imagine that this story idea went something like this:
Dude 1: “We need some story ideas.”
Dude 2: “What? I wasn’t listening. There are girls here.”
Dude 1: “Here? At the Brickyard?”
Dude 2: “Yea. Weird. Let’s go talk to them.”
So here’s the premise for the story: The reporters went around asking women at the track about why they were there. The questions ranged from “How long have you been coming?” to “Who’s your favorite driver?” As you can imagine, in true redneck fashion, the women were beautiful. And none of their answers made them sound like flippin’ idiots. Psych. It was a modern-day marvel.
The women liked the drivers because they were cute. They didn’t really enjoy the racing but the cars were “cool.” And then, low and behold, came my personal favorite. When asked about brand loyalty, and whether the advertising mattered at all to them, not one of the women said it did. ARE YOU HEARING ME, MARKETING DIRECTORS? For the thousands of you who are spending millions on advertising in the NASCAR market, the decision-makers of the house are tuning you out. Compare that to the extremely brand-loyal, higher-educated, higher-tax-bracket demographic of the IZOD IndyCar Series and let’s see some of that money roll in the right direction. Just sayin. Man, this soap box is high. Can someone get me a step stool?
IndyCar – 1, NASCAR – 0.
Interview #2: When beer is more important than your friends…
So we move on to the next interview, which takes place in what can only be described as a regular-tent-turned-beer-tent. The shot is of five or six lonely-looking people who have about $750 worth of ribs cooking on their grill. The backdrop is 40+ cases of beer, neatly stacked as if they were building some kind of Coors Light compound. Pfft. Your first mistake is the Coors Light. When building a beer fortress, always go with imports. Rookie mistake.
Anyway, here’s the theme of this gem: These people used to have a HUGE group of party comrades who united at the Brickyard each year to drink and enjoy the race (really, just drink… let’s be honest). This year, because of the economy, most of their friends just couldn’t afford it. Three things that come to mind: 1) Racing (despite the fact that it’s NASCAR, which I’m willing to forgive) is life. If your friends don’t recognize that, get new friends. 2) I heard that general admission Brickyard 400 tickets are $40. You can get into the infield at the 500 for $20. Something is wrong here. 3) You losers have clearly spent more than a grand on meat and beer. You couldn’t have donated some of that money to your poor friend’s outreach program so they can be there too?
IndyCar – 2, NASCAR – 0.
Interview #3: If your perception of reality is THIS far off, you might be a redneck.
The bad news is that I never caught the name of the guy in this last interview. The good news is that he’s so far removed from reality that it doesn’t really matter.
The reporters seemed excited to be able to introduce this guy, who appeared to be one of the higher-ups in the NASCAR executive team. However, he said he was spending his day going from suite to suite, encouraging people to keep coming out. They already have people to do that, sir. They’re called beer girls.
Best part of the interview: When asked about the Brickyard 400 and whether or not there had been talks of adding a NASCAR road course race, he says, “The Brickyard 400 is the crown jewel at IMS,” but there have been talks about the possibility of another race. Crown… effing… jewel. This just after they interviewed the traffic lady who said, “Surprisingly, the roads are all clear. Feel free to come on out – you shouldn’t have a problem. Or you can watch it on tv from the comfort of your couch and not have to worry about heat and dehydration.” That’s one way to advertise. Well, lady, if you put it that way…
And thus, the result was 150,000 fans in attendance (a generous estimate, according to the Indy Star’s Curt Cavin). Yes, clearly the 350,000 fans that come out for the Indy 500 are missing out on this “crown jewel.” How silly of us.
In comparison, Randy Bernard was asked almost the same question at the Carb Night Burger Bash this year. When the possibility of adding an IndyCar road course at IMS came up, he simply stated that it wasn’t likely, as he didn’t want to take away from the prestige of the Indy 500.
IndyCar – 3, NASCAR – 0.
Well, that about does it for this edition of “Why NASCAR Blows.” To sum up, you should be an IndyCar fan. Thanks for tuning in. Stay classy, San Diego. Back to you.