The Bland Driver Atittude

INDYCAR drivers have arguably the most talent and skills racing open-wheel cars in the world. Heck, some of them, like Simon Pagenaud, are in all forms of motorsports.

The notion that these drivers not only can drive in any sort of venues (road, street, ovals, dirt) is, not only impressive, but these skills need to be promoted constantly in primetime television.

The IndyCar brand will only gain a great Return on Investment (ROI) by purchasing TV time (say ESPN) to show some In-Car Camera shots like the series is showing on YouTube.

But, the one issue we have with today’s drivers is how bland they have become. The don’t want to be exposed by either facing danger racing cars (REALLY!!!) and being way too polite.

Although I was not a fan of Sam Hornish Jr, he was what an open-wheel drivers should be: fearless and not a whiner. When Tony Kanaan, Oriol Servia, Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti started to complain about high-speed ovals is the day I wanted them to retire. Can you imagine AJ Foyt, Mario or Michael Andretti, or any Unser complain about the dangers of the sport?

In that last paragraph lies the problem with INDYCAR today. Its best asset, the drivers, is sometimes the worst asset. How can you sell you have the best drivers in the world when they complain about speed, high banked ovals, super speedways, and any other related complaint you can add.

IndyCar drivers should be all about guts, speed records, pushing the limit of the car, and being the best in history. That’s what INDYCAR has been all about in 100 years.

The Corporate-bland image the series promotes cannot be extended anymore. Let drivers have spats on Twitter or in Television. The notion that sponsors will retract dollars for any “negative” endeavor is foolish. The airtime these drivers can give is only good for sponsors.

I recommend each one of you to go back and see races from 20 or 30 years ago. See the tempers, the energy to push to the limit, to be fearless, to challenge others, to simply be: the best driver in the world, not the politically-correct and whining driver.


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