Thursday, August 15, 2013

Schedule Woes

Brick, meet my face. Face, meet brick.

Yes. I am bashing my head against a brick because we've entered the portion of the Indycar schedule that isn't much fun at all. Mid-Ohio just took place after a three week break. The next race following Mid-Ohio is at Sonoma, which is also has a three week break . Baltimore is the weekend after Sonoma. Then a grueling month off ensues until the doubleheader races at Houston. Then another two weeks. Then the finale at Fontana. And then another brutal offseason. Fortunately this time, it is five months instead of the 2012-2013 offseason which was six months.

But why wasn't the schedule more spread out or at least attempted to be more fan friendly. Two things need to be taken into account: 1) Scheduling conflicts do exist at tracks, so this may have been the best Indycar could do. 2) Teams and drivers do deserve some downtime, but having four races over a period of 63 days is a bit much in my opinion.

NASCAR fans have a lot to cheer about it. A long season and a very short offseason

Now, I know having a schedule like NASCAR is impossible for any open wheel series, but for the sake of comparing and contrasting, I threw them into this table I made comparing Indycar, F1, and NASCAR, and some things about their schedules:

         Indycar                 Formula 1           NASCAR 
Races 19 19 36
Race Weekends 16 19 36
Start Date 24-Mar 17-Mar 24-Feb
End Date  19-Oct 24-Nov 17-Nov
Length of season 209 252 266
Length of offseason 155 112 98
Avg days between races 13 13.2 7.4


Sorry if it is a lot to digest. Basically, the F1 and Indycar schedules are very similiar in many ways. They both have 19 races. They both average about 13 days in between races. And they start around the same time. But because Indycar has 3 less race weekends due to the double headers, the F1 season is 37 days longer. 37 days may not seem like much, but that is 37 more days in the spotlight and 37 days less of an offseason, which will have any fan cheering. And as far as NASCAR, well, per usual, they just don't fit in, like Jeremy Clarkson at a chess tournament.

The three step process is as follows: a) add more race venues b) put a minimum of one of these races in middle September c) recline in your seat and enjoy the show.

Also, there was that string of races from Indianapolis to Iowa where there were six races held over a period of 28 days. A tantalizing 76 days is the spread from Mid-Ohio till the season finale at Fontana, which is only five races and four race weekends in that period! That is just some of the worst planning imaginable.

Now that we are past the better part of our schedule, us Indycar fans have a lot of downtime to, idk, do things that Indycar fans do on non-race weekends. What that exactly is, I am not sure...

Let me know what you think.

-Matthew Hickey

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