Pole Day 09…

or how VERSUS learned to fill 6hrs of tv time with only 2hrs of on track action.

Good morning peeps. Eating some breakfast, preparing for my day, and realized I never wrote about Pole Day. So… here goes…

Good lord! What was the point of all of that yesterday? Why draw a list of drivers and publish said list, when 2/3 of that list isn’t going to even suit up?? Perfectly qualified drivers spent the day in their motorhomes watching on TV. Why set the month up in such a financially precarious way that drivers who might of had a legitimate shot to challenge for the front rows can’t risk it for fear of running out of tires on race day or running too many miles on their engine lease? If you want this to be the “greatest spectacle in racing” you gotta fix this, cause right now, not so much spectacular. It’s a battle of the haves and have nots. What if all of those drivers who will fill those grid positions up to 33 decided it’s just a big waste of time and effort? what then? Indy becomes just another race on the circuit.

That said, Kudos to VERSUS for their coverage! and for the kind souls who streamed the broadcast for us poor souls not privy to coverage. That is until the VERSUS peeps sent their watchdogs around the internet to shut down said streams. Hey VERSUS… here’s a suggestion, take it or leave it.

This is your first year doing this. You should WANT as many eyes on what you’re providing. If people care enough to A) watch & B) stream it so others can watch it , LET THEM!! Most of the people watching the stream I was watching yesterday were from Europe or Canada, of which neither market have any other recourse but streams to watch your coverage. If you’re not going to allow us to watch via your own website, then let others do you the favour!

If we can’t see it, we can’t talk about, if we can’t talk about it, then we can’t promote it. Viewers watching and talking about it is FREE PROMOTION for your network. Maybe some of those watching the streams (which are mostly of shitty quality truthfully) are on the fence about ponying up the cash for the extra channel on their provider? Maybe watching will prompt them to ante up for a clear tv stream of their own, or contact their provider and request the channel be added.

Once again, biting the hand that feeds you, not smart.

Anyway, until the stream was shut down, I was thoroughly enjoying the coverage being provided. Great interviews at the track. Great technical features by Jan Beekus as usual. And of course the two part interview with PT.

Take away the over the top production (it looked like a scene from Casablanca, I kept waiting for one of them to light up a smoke) and the rattlesnake soundtrack (really? rattlesnakes?), and that was a pretty awesome interview.

Some people are of the opinion that it perpetuates the continued bitterness over the split. I don’t agree. I think if they don’t talk about it (2002), it’s ignoring the Gorilla in the room. Not to mention there would be no story for this year’s race other than “which former winner in a red driver suit on which over funded super team will drink the milk this year?”

I think Paul himself basically told everyone to “get the fuck over it and move on!”

There were two poignant moments during the segment which made this tough as nails “brassy” Canuckdian tear up a little.

When he said “I just want to finish my career the way I feel I deserve” I felt little catch in my gut. That has always been my point of contention. He’s not looking for a multi-year uber contract. He wants a good, steady ride, with a good, steady team, where he can have one more legit kick at the can while he is still fully capable and willing to leave it all out there on the track.

Then when Arute set up the question: “Winning the Indy 500 would mean…”
and he answered “redemption”

I don’t think it’s necessarily redemption for 2002. I think it’s redemption for the shitty way his career was derailed in 2008.

Anyway… He is one of the fully capable but underfunded one’s who will have to settle for qualifying today and and race his way to the front 2 weeks from now.

oh ya, Pole Day results? Red suit, red suit, red suit, *thinks about it* ha! red suit ironically (not surprising though as they were one of the “big three” in CC) and… red suit.

It continues today. I am working this afternoon, but will be following the “action” via twitter and mobile timing. 0

7 responses to “Pole Day 09…

  1. The American Mutt

    RE: The shutting down of live streaming. That’s a big no shit Versus. PEOPLE ARE WATCHING YOU! Don’t put an end to this. Damn.

  2. versus is doing a good job with a long, boring day. these quals should be limited to a three-hour session. ridiculous to have that much dead air to fill. they really don’t need two weekends anymore either.

    sorry for those who can’t watch it though. they need to straighten that out.

    • I can only think of two reasons why they wouldn’t shorten the schedule both in session time and total weekends: the climate (May is one of the rainiest months for the area so a particularly rainy month would make an even greater mess with a shorter sked) and the local economy (No way neither the Speedway nor the city would want to give up tourist revenue garnered during the month).

      Not to overuse the “back in the day” trope, but the current schedule makes much more sense when there are 10-20 cars beyond the 33 and a variety of machinery. Even then, I wouldn’t mind keeping the 11-11-11 rule but modify it so teams with little chance of pole have incentive to make a run on Day 1 (that’s assuming the current sked, it would change with a three- or two-day session).

  3. The tire rule is stuipid, why limit teams from pole day just to save tires. Robin Miller is right, pole day is pointless, it should be 1-22 on the first weekend

  4. Agree with your points, Meesh. Glad you enjoyed it, but I didn’t invest any of my time into Pole Day. Props to Graham and Moraes for sneaking in there, but other than that, to quote meesh, “meh.” I had too much other competition for my time on a sunny Saturday to sink SIX HOURS into VERSUS coverage for those two surprises. I tend to agree with Red above. Maybe have three hours of practice and then three hours of qualifying. Every year teams that are P15 or lower on the practice charts won’t even bother. Or, how ’bout this for an idea: have pole day on the Saturday before the race and qualify all 33. Bump Day on Sunday. Race day the next weekend. Get on with it already.

  5. Wasn’t there a time when they had a shorter schedule? I wouldn’t mind a shorter month.

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