Commercially It Is Important For All Full Time IndyCar Entries To Be Locked Into The 500
The debate ranges amongst fans and observers of the NTT IndyCar Series as to whether or not full time participants in the series should be guaranteed a spot on the grid for the Indianapolis 500, the showcase event for our sport.
The answer is very simple, of course they should! There are 33 grid slots to be filled for the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and when you look at what happened last year with James Hinchcliffe failing to qualify for the race it was a disaster for the Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team.
As a result of missing the 500, Hinch missed out on the double points for the race and although he won in Iowa he ended the season tie on points with his team mate Robert Wickens.
Arrow who are Hinch’s title sponsor and now co-owners in Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports had their giant hospitality tent at the Speedway but didn’t have the No.5 in the field.
Although it could be argued it adds to the drama of the Indianapolis 500 but can imagine the Monaco Grand Prix without Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel on the grid?
Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports could have bought their way into the race for Hinch but decided against it.
Let’s look at it like this, AutoNation one of the US’s leading car dealerships are involved in sponsoring several teams and drivers including Andretti Autosport and Meyer Shank Racing. The Indianapolis 500 offers up plenty of exposure for the company.
Their are other company’s such as Gainbridge who are of course the presenting partner for the 500 as well as the primary sponsor to Zach Veach in the No.26 Gainbridge Honda.
When you look at Chip Ganassi Racing, Felix Rosenqvist who will make his Indianapolis 500 debut next month, the Swede’s primary sponsor is NTT DATA who of course are the title sponsor to the IndyCar Series and it would be extremely disappointing if he failed to qualify for the race.
For information about the Indianapolis 500 visit – https://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/