Traveling the world without going anywhere. On a weekend on the edge of “Earth Day”, this seems largely appropriate.

It is racing across state, cultural and international lines through the convenience of a wide screen HDTV in the living room. The variety of the countryside and the racing is incredible.

Sports cars rattled the streets of Long Beach, CA., with American Le Mans. On the eastern side of the U.S., Grand-Am was at Road Atlanta. Formula 1 was racing near the Persian Gulf in Bahrain. NASCAR was in the open spaces of Kansas. The NHRA was chasing speed in Charlotte. IndyCar followed up back at Long beach.

That is just a highlight of some of the major series. Racing in the streets. Racing across the ocean. Racing in the wide, open spaces. The diversity of scenery and personalities presented in a blur of the background.

However, as we turn towards what is regarded as “Earth Day”, too many people still look at auto racing with prejudice and scorn. They only see burnt fuel and beer-topped fans. (more…)

Auto Racing, in general, is having a bit of an identity crisis. It is not so much that the fans, or even the general public, do not recognize it. It is more a general feeling that there is no real connection to racing anymore.

Practically everybody can look at the #14 Office Depot Chevy driven by Tony Stewart in NASCAR and recognize it as a “NASCAR” race car. However, present the general public with the #10 Target / Ganassi Racing Honda of Dario Franchitti and the #4 Vodafone McLaren of Lewis Hamilton you will find that few outside of the paddock recognize the difference from IndyCar to Formula 1. Both of those cars, to the “non-racing” public, are likely identified as one or the other.

The “prototypes” of Grand-Am and American Le Mans are beautiful bits of shell and engineering but to the casual observer they are simply “race cars”.

Generally, if you throw a number and a logo on any given car it becomes recognizable as a “race car”. (more…)

The auto industry is in some kind of strange, financial black hole… NASCAR is shuffling teams… Race sponsors are holding close to the chest… What does it all mean to the rest of us that just like to watch’em race? Well… It means we have to step up. It means that we have to keep buying tickets even though our driver or team may be under different colors or even in a different car altogether. It means we have to expand our horizons and realize that the sport of auto racing is more than NASCAR on a Sunday. Indy, Formula 1, Grand-Am and all the series in between right down to the Saturday night race at the local track need as much support as we can throw at them.  …read more…  (more…)