What to drink, where to watch

Posted by Iannucci | 3/26/2008 | 11 comments »
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Chris Estrada has alerted us to a potentially LARGE development mentioned in the Sports Business Journal.

Sources say the IRL is close to finalizing a deal that would make DirecTV the presenting sponsor for the league's top circuit, the IndyCar Series. It is uncertain how DirecTV would be integrated into the name and logo of the series. IndyCar still is searching for a title sponsor as well. Both the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights open their seasons Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Meanwhile, the IRL is also expected to announce this week that Coca-Cola will become the circuit's official soft drink.
If you remember "Northern Light" as the previous series sponsor when it was briefly the "IRNLS", please raise your hand...OK, now put it back down before people start looking at you.

UPDATE: As of Thursday morning the Indianapolis Business Journal blog The Score says "The Indy Racing League late yesterday finalized a deal worth $3 million annually over the next few years that will essentially make DirecTV the series’ presenting sponsor...With the massive exposure IRL officials expect DirecTV to bring to the table, Just Marketing’s hunt for a title sponsor just got easier. Just Marketing officials said they “are getting closer every day” to signing a title sponsor."

You can't believe everything you read on a blog (ahem), so let's wait for the official announcement.

11 comments

  1. John Edward // March 26, 2008 1:51 PM  

    Let's get one thing straight, beer will always be my official drink of the Indianapolis 500.

    =)

  2. mmack // March 26, 2008 2:04 PM  

    Jeff,

    I have an Indy Racing Northern Lights Series Tee-Shirt. Hopefully the DirecTV deal will last longer than Northern Lights was in business.

    John Edwards,

    Ice cold beer and fried chicken: The Indy 500 fan's balanced meal.

  3. John Edward // March 26, 2008 2:12 PM  

    mmack,

    "track fries" and beer...

    gotta have the track fries, man... they've got just the right amount of grease! haha

    (the older i get, the more i'm grateful that my seats are very close to decent bathrooms)

  4. The American Mutt // March 26, 2008 2:18 PM  

    Track Tenderloin with hot sauce, onions, and pickles...and beer with a hip flask of Jimmy Beam.

    Anyone know if we'll be able to watch qualifying on indycar.com? Seems like with the new format it'll be fun to see.

  5. Tabernerus // March 26, 2008 2:21 PM  

    Hey, if the series takes off, maybe they'll make a mid-season move to convince ESPN to air qualifying like they do for NASCAR. ESPN Classic can always be commandeered!

  6. John Edward // March 26, 2008 2:28 PM  

    american mutt,

    you had me at "hip flask"

  7. Dale Nixon // March 26, 2008 3:43 PM  

    I still have a PEP BOYS INDY RACING LEAGUE patch.

    No word on if Tony George was a late cut as the mysterious fourth Pep Boy.

  8. chrisestrada // March 26, 2008 7:32 PM  

    Eh, I saw it as the IRL when I started watching -- I didn't know about Northern Light until later.

  9. The American Mutt // March 26, 2008 8:50 PM  

    What's a northern light?

  10. John in Speedway // March 26, 2008 9:12 PM  

    I would love to see the IPS...errr excuse me....Indy Lights races broadcast live (just like the Nationwide races). I realize we have a lot of progress to make, but damn.....the IPS...errr excuse me....Indy Lights races are exciting as hell. The last few years I've traveled to Kentucky and Joliet (as well as down the street to IMS), and I absolutely love watching these drivers. These races are 10 times more exciting than the Nationwide races, and hopefully the TV viewers as well as the sponsors will understand this in the next few years. The action is on the track now, but the publicity sucks. I am spreading the word, and have been for a long time.

  11. mmack // March 27, 2008 6:30 AM  

    Re: IRL Swag

    I've got you ALL beat!

    In my "stash o' racin' stuff", I've got a plastic license plate printed with "IM 4 IRL". It's from the first season of the IRL, so the logo is not printed with a Dallara or G-Force silhouette, but rather a Lola silhouette, complete with separate roll hoop and suspension arms.

    Now that's old school IRL.

    John in Speedway:

    I agree with you 100% on the "IPS", I mean, Indy Lights. The IPS races that I've seen at Gateway, IMS, and Chicagoland were fast paced, hard fought, and truly exciting, including last year's Chicagoland event which was the closest finish in auto racing history. If you're going to televise the Nationwide series with its "Claim Jumpers" (We had to update "Buschwackers" for the new sponsor) and its "Start and park" teams (Five laps and out with "mysterious" handling problems we can't fix), the IPS deserves some live telecasts too!

    And my viewing is certainly enhanced when IPS, I mean Indy Lights drivers graciously talk to Jeff and Pressdog and post here.

    The Indy Lights races I remember from the old CART days were what was going on while we ate lunch at the track! :^)