Texas Motor Speedway is holding a major conference on August 17th with a few big names from both IndyCar (Randy Bernard, Helio Castroneves) and NASCAR (Brian France, Tony Stewart). The event is being hyped up rather nicely and considering who's going to be there, one starts to believe that an IndyCar/NASCAR doubleheader may be coming in 2011.
That still remains a possibility, but the St. Petersburg Times' Brant James has also reported that IndyCar's heading back to the future so to speak by hosting two same-day races at Texas. The 'duals' format has been a rarity in open-wheel racing, but it's not completely unfamiliar.
Paul Dalbey at Planet-IRL.com has already killed this, so I'll try to keep my thoughts brief on this subject.
Both of these ideas have a lot of merit. An IndyCar/NASCAR doubleheader may open up the argument of IndyCar being 'inferior' (especially if its race gets slotted on Saturday, so NASCAR can have the Sunday "headline" spot), but both series are feeling the twin blows of dwindling attendance and television ratings as well. Putting the two series together on the same weekend (with a major purse increase) may be enough of an incentive for folks to hand over their money or watch from home, and with TMS president Eddie Gossage's penchant for hype, we could see a bonafide supershow emerge.
A 'duals' day at TMS is also an intriguing idea. The IndyCars have put on great performances over the years at this track, and a pair of 200 or 250 mile events would push the manic nature of racing at Texas to unbelievable levels. It would amp up the championship with two chances for drivers to collect major points and it also wouldn't hurt the series to have legitimate momentum as a whole going into the '500' in May.
However, I'd have to lean toward the doubleheader idea if I was asked which would be a better deal. NASCAR may be IndyCar's competitor, but would it really turn down a potential PR and money bonanza like this? Meanwhile, IndyCar can put its product on display for potential new fans that may never have seen it before or have had a preconception about it for years.
That being said, my interest is still piqued on the 'duals' format. Perhaps another 1.5-miler on the IndyCar circuit could play host to that down the line.
Autosport is now reporting that defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's Justin Wilson will lead IndyCar's new driver advisory association. The drivers first met en masse on Aug. 6 during the Mid-Ohio event weekend to discuss safety, promotion and other topics.Indy Racing Revolution - Administration
Although I am a bit surprised that Tony Kanaan won't be fronting the association (the linked article above says he had been trying to get a drivers' meeting going since March), Franchitti and Wilson are two fine choices as well. Hopefully, this association will make a positive impact and be able to create and continue good policies for the series -- and get rid of bad ones.
UPDATE: RACER Magazine is now reporting that Kanaan will be one of the faces of the new association after all.
Considering that next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, it's not surprising that the 2011 Indy 500 logo features lots of gold.
A golden wing-and-wheel symbol dominates the mark, which was unveiled today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Inside the symbol is a red and blue "ribbon" and circle that features '100th Anniversary' wording, plus '1911' and '2011' on the far sides. Navy blue, silver and black are also used prominently in the logo.
Altogether, it's pleasantly old-school in its look. I like it. But will it sell t-shirts at the gift shops next May? We'll have to wait on that one.