Motorsport.com spoke one-on-one with Pocono Raceway president and CEO Brandon Igdalsky about the uncertain future of IndyCar at the superspeedway.
Pocono Raceway president and CEO Brandon Igdalsky commented to Motorsport.com on the future of their IndyCar race just hours before the third running of 2015's 500-miler. The viability of the event is in question due to the inability to fill the stands, but the racing itself doesn't seem to be the problem.
We can't go three years losing money. It's a business and you just can't do that
"We just need more fans here," Igdalsky told Motorsport.com. "It's a great product - the series is really doing the right things and there's more things they can do. The drivers are great, the people inside the sport are great and the product on the track is unbelievable.
Wanting to make it work
Despite all the positives, the series may not return for a fourth consecutive year. "It's a coin flip at the moment," he said of the 2016 event. "After this weekend, we need to look at all the numbers. I can't say yes or no at this point. We just got to evaluate everything. We can't lose money. We can't go three years losing money. It's a business and you just can't do that. We're talking to IndyCar - we want to make it work.
If we come back (to Pocono) next year after what we did today, you're going to fill it up
Juan Pablo Montoya
"Indy is part of our long-term growth plan here and we want to keep it. We just got to figure out a way to make it work for everybody."
NASCAR vs. IndyCar
Igdalsky, who has served as president and CEO of the Pennsylvania race track since 2011, believes the issue is getting the product out there better. "NASCAR has done a great job over the years promoting the series. IndyCar obviously, with all the fighting they had back in the IRL/CART split - that hurt them a lot. They're still dealing with the repercussions of that.
"They're (NASCAR) a marketing juggernaut and they've done a great job like a lot of other leagues around the country have done a great job of promoting themselves. I think IndyCar needs to look at some of those models and figure out what they can do to increase their market share."
Montoya praises racing, says IndyCar should return
The aero kits produced some exceptional racing during Sunday's event, but the 500-miler was also plagued by multiple wrecks that kept the race under yellow for over 25% of the time. The final accident of the day has left Justin Wilson in a coma and in critical condition after getting struck in the head by a piece of a debris from Sage Karam's car.
Following the checkered flag, Juan Pablo Montoya spoke about the future of the race and he believes that the series needs to come back.
"I mean, if people come here and watch the NASCAR race, that single-file parade for 400 miles, or you want to see this, you know what I mean? I think it's a pretty easy call from the track whether they want us back or not, you know what I mean? I have no control over it.
"I think it was great racing. It was a fun place. A lot of people showed up today. That is good. I'll tell you the truth. If we come back next year after what we did today, you're going to fill it up. You're going to have more and more people."