No. 964
September 19, 2018
 

About The Autoextremist

@PeterMDeLorenzo

Author, commentator, influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established Autoextremist.com on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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Fumes


Tuesday
Jul222008

FUMES #455

July 23, 2008

The IRL and the ALMS: A Match Made in Road Racing Heaven?

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

Detroit.
The Indy Racing League and the American Le Mans Series staged another successful doubleheader racing event at Mid-Ohio last weekend, and the reasons why these two racing series don't co-produce more of these events are rapidly dwindling. The main argument that's being heard from various quarters in the paddock on a typical IRL-ALMS weekend is that there's fear that one series might overshadow another, and there's too much ego involved to allow that to happen, apparently. Robin Miller reported as such from Mid-Ohio this weekend. That the argument is completely irrelevant in this precarious economy goes without saying, especially given the fact that even NASCAR is feeling the pinch with empty seats and lower attendance numbers.

Even though we're fans of road racing here at AE, we understand implicitly that this particular form of racing needs all the help it can get to pump up the gate and grow its appeal to a wider audience, which is why jointly produced IRL-ALMS weekends make all the sense in the world to us. They're the closest thing road racing has to a real happening (other than the Spring Break-tinged 12 Hours of Sebring, of course) and that's not easy to come by in this entertainment-saturated world we're living in.

Both the IRL and the ALMS must do everything in their power to deliver an action-packed road racing weekend to the fans, because decent attendance over two days trumps ego and petty political maneuvering any day. Bickering over which series is better is a futile pursuit at this point, because if these doubleheader weekends are working - and they are - they should stay with them, enhance them and make them even better

I would suggest that the IRL and the ALMS sit down and hammer out an '09-'10 calendar that would work to enhance both schedules, so that they could then create the kind of racing package that people would actually want to go out of their way to see.

Are the IRL and the ALMS a match made in road racing heaven? Maybe we shouldn't go that far, but it certainly has the potential to be a happy marriage of convenience.

And that's not all that bad in this day and age.


Publisher's Note: In our continuing series celebrating the "Golden Era" of American racing history, here is another image from the Ford Racing Archives. - PMD

(Ford Racing Archives)
Riverside, CA, 1965. Dick Hutcherson at the Riverside 500. A native of Keokuk, Iowa, Hutcherson won 14 NASCAR races in 103 starts in the 1960s. He ran 52 races in 1965 for the Holman-Moody team and then went on to be crew chief for David Pearson's championship seasons in 1968 and 1969. He then returned to Holman-Moody as general manager before forming Hutcherson-Pagan racing - a stock car building shop - in 1971 with Eddie Pagan.