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2014: Another year of "transition" for IndyCar

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By now, it has become something of a joke. If nothing else, IndyCar fans have come to expect it. You see, 2014 is shaping up to be another “year of transition” for the series.

Perhaps the management upheavals made this inevitable, but it’s no less disconcerting. The paltry TV numbers are well-known to us all, as are the spotty (at best) attendance figures. Given that this perpetually sad state of affairs, one might think it’s time for bold action. Once again, you’d be wrong.

In fact, the 2014 schedule has shed two events (Sao Paolo and Baltimore), while only adding a race on the revised IMS road course. Meanwhile, venues like Phoenix and Road America still do not have an event. Street courses seem to be a preferred option for the series.

While the DW12 will get some much-needed safety enhancements, the basic design will remain the same. Aero kits are promised (again) for 2015.

So, is the lack of urgency delusional? In truth, it likely isn’t, for one painfully obvious reason: There isn’t much to be done about IndyCar’s lack of popularity. After all, the racing has never been more competitive and the fields in IndyCar haven’t been this strong since the split. And yet, no one watches.

Racing in general may be on the wane in this country, but even among those who do care, IndyCar lost that battle years ago. The likeliest scenario is that the sport remains a tiny niche, though enjoyable to those who appreciate it.

To be clear, the current numbers must improve in the long run, but given the low ceiling for the sport, rushing into dramatic action might be unnecessary. In fact, making the wrong move could be counterproductive. Still, how many more “transitions” can this sport take?



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