SBD/October 23, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

IndyCar Hopes Dixon Can Raise Profile Of Sport Despite Low-Key Personality

Dixon thinks he's ready to take a more vocal role in promoting IndyCar
The Izod IndyCar Series needs this year's series champion Scott Dixon "to be as much of a winner off the track as he is on it" by promoting "the unnoticed qualities of the sport as Izod, GoDaddy and other supporters depart," according to Curt Cavin of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Dixon is "quiet and deferring, but he has a wit so dry that his perspective is always interesting." He also has "the credentials to lead." Dixon "knows it’s time to speak up, and he thinks he can." He said, "I think I have evolved as a person in a lot of ways from the 2003 championship. Yeah, I do feel I’m up for that task. Is that my strong point? Maybe not. Is that something that Helio [Castroneves] or maybe some other driver may be a little bit better at? Maybe." But Dixon said he is "excited" to capitalize on the opportunities (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/23). USA TODAY's Jeff Olson wrote, "The question beyond Dixon's obvious skill is whether a quiet, thoughtful, unassuming driver can carry a struggling sport driven by personality." That is the "dilemma facing IndyCar and Dixon." He is "known and respected inside the sport, but beyond the boundaries of motorsports he has little recognition" (USA TODAY, 10/21).

LOWER TRAFFIC: In California, Louis Brewster asked, "Why don’t Southern California race fans turn out like they used [to]?" Attendance at last Saturday’s MAVTV 500 IndyCar finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., was "estimated to be just under 40,000." There will be "questions about why the 2013 race didn't substantially improve." IndyCar at least has "improved its effort to market the race by bringing in drivers prior to the race." Dixon and Castroneves this year "headlined an event at L.A. Live in an attempt to increase the awareness" of the race. However, they were "largely ignored thanks to the Dodgers playing in the NCLS." Brewster: "Maybe IndyCar is right in moving the 2014 race to Labor Day Saturday" (Inland Valley DAILY BULLETIN, 10/20).
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