IRL/Indycar doesn't know what it's doing. They're desperate, they're making it up as they go, and none of it's worked since January of 1996. Absolutely none of it.
And Indy, and Indy/Champ Car racing? I remember a great comment by one of Elvis Presley's biographers from about 20 years ago, where the biographer said that perhaps the best Elvis impersonator of them all was Elvis himself, post-1968, doing his best to make some people smile, people who remembered the Real Thing and didn't want to let go of the memories. But for the rest of the world -- a group that, like The King's waistline, grew with each passing year, "Vegas Elvis" was nothing more than fodder for jokes, ultimately diminishing the legacy of "Real Elvis" in the process. Toward the end, he was playing in towns like Fort Wayne, and Dayton, and Saginaw.
There is no "Indy Car" series today, of course, and there is no Indianapolis 500. There is an impersonator, going by the same name, performing at the same venue, at the same time of year, trying to make some people smile, crafted for the gullible who remember the Real Thing and don't want to let go. But, for everyone else, the "Indy 500" has become an awkward curiosity for some, nothing more than the fodder of jokes for many, ultimately diminishing the legacy of "Real Indy" in the process. The big difference, of course, is that Elvis Presley didn't really have a choice -- he got older, music changed, and interest in him and his work already was in decline. If he wanted to keep making money as an entertainer, he had to do something. The sport of Indy Car racing, and the real Indy 500, was doing fine in 1995 -- the TV ratings and ticket sales and sponsor deals and driver retainers all prove it. But, no matter. Our sport had its own Colonel Parker, and when accompanied by a whole slew of enablers, the whole thing became laughable.
Hey! Anyone remember where Elvis held his last concert?