Go Sam! Go!

Congratulations to Sam Hornish Jr. on his fine Indy 500 victory. Before the start of the race, my oldest son asked who I wanted to win (he was pulling for Hornish – like father like son). I told my boys that I was pulling for Michael Andretti and Sam, so my racing day went pretty well. As always, my wife and my youngest son were going for the “Target car” hard to believe that Tonya has already had that sort of impact on my youngest son.

What an exciting finish! I have to admit that at the end I was pulling hard for Marco, and why not, it would have been a heck of a statement. It is sort of hard not to pull for an Andretti, and you have to like his post race statement that “second place is nothing.” Marco drove extremely smart in the end; he could have blocked, but he would have run the risk of crashing out of the race (along with crashing Hornish). At the end of the day, second place was a great finish for a nineteen-year old rookie.

I sort of feel bad for dishing Hornish at the very end, but after coming back to my senses, I am very happy for Sam. He is one of the few IRL drivers that I actually follow. Even if I do not watch a race (or only casually follow a season), I always check on Hornish.

I have been complaining for years that the IRL just does not do enough to push/market their drivers to the same degree that NASCAR pushes their top players. Hopefully that will change now that Hornish has a Indy 500 victory; that is worth pushing. But Marco has to be the story of the day.

Speaking of bad marketing, I had no idea that Marco was even in the IRL this year, and had no idea that Michael was giving it another go. As soon as I saw the starting grid (about 10 mins before the race), I told my boys that I *had* to pull for Michael, but if he was not going to win, then, as always, I would be cheering Hornish along.

Long before I became a racing fan, the Indy 500 was something; so I have been told. Now it has come to a third generation Andretti being in a race, and the IRL did nothing to push the most beloved name in American racing. Or maybe they did, and I failed to notice? For a racing fan, that is a big deal. The IRL should have pushed this one to a much greater degree to try to capture the attention of fringe fans.

The IRL should have a great marketing lineup in Danica, Marco, and Hornish all solid American drivers that the US racing public should be able to get behind and cheer.

The next move belongs to the IRL marketing folks.

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