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SBD/December 6, 2012/Events and Attractions
Andretti Sports Marketing Signs On For '13 Grand Prix Of Baltimore; Will Play Smaller Role
Published December 6, 2012
BACK HOME AGAIN? In Indianapolis, Zak Keefer reports NASCAR driver Tony Stewart "won't be taking Roger Penske up on his offer" to drive in next year's Indy 500. Stewart last night at the Int'l Motorsports Industry Show said, "I will never say never, but I will say that I'm not taking him up on the offer this year." Keefer notes after Penske offered the ride to Stewart last week, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President & CEO Jeff Belskus "offered to move up the start of the race one hour ... to allow Stewart more time" to race in both the Indy 500 and the Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 later that day (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 12/6). Stewart said, "As much as I would like to do it, we just don't have the time to do it proper" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 12/5). The INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL's Anthony Schoettle wrote under the header, "Pandering To NASCAR Hurts IndyCar's Brand." If the Indy 500 is "such a spectacle and the drivers in IndyCar so proficient ... why do series officials and IndyCar team owners continue to cast bait for NASCAR pilots and those involved in other two- and four-wheeled endeavors?" Stewart would draw a "few more eyeballs to the Indy telecast," and his presence "could even drive a short-term revenue bump." Schoettle: "But the message of such efforts is clear: We don't have the drivers to attract viewers on our own. The secondary message is that driving an IndyCar is so easy, a guy like Stewart or even someone who has never raced an open-wheeler can jump in and drive the thing at 220-plus mph" (IBJ.com, 12/5).