Indy 500

May 10, 2013
By

The Indianapolis 500 will be run in a couple of weeks, and they will still sell it as the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”. It is not even close to what it used to be. First of all, the qualifications have been cut back drastically, and there are usually only enough cars to fill the 33-team field. Bumping has lost most of its luster. “Bump Day” was almost as popular as race day in the 50’s and 60’s, but now it is hard to even find it on TV much less it being an event that attracts hordes of people to watch it in person. It still does draw quite well on the actual race day, but again, the crowds are much smaller than they used to be. I think at one time the crowds were as high as 3 or 400,000. The year I went in person I was so far away from the track that I had to use binoculars just to see the cars. Now, I understand you can get tickets right up to the day of the race. The popularity of NASCAR and their 600-mile race on the same day have cut down the crowds. The feud that seems to be going on forever between the speedway and all the other groups involved in the race is another big factor in the 500’s decline. The cost to sponsor a car has also led to the decline of the race. It is still quite an attraction, and I know I will be watching it on race weekend. Too bad for the economy of Indianapolis that it is no longer a 30-day race, but more like a two-week race.

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