The following is a transcript of an imaginary press conference, where IndyCar answers a bunch of questions it shouldn't have to:
(Please note that I don't actually speak for IndyCar, IMS, Verizon, or anybody else. I just wanted to write something you'd enjoy reading.)
IndyCar: Welcome to 2015! This season marks the fulfillment of a promise we made to fans and manufacturers in 2010-the arrival of brand-specific aero kits! The series now has variety in differentiated cars!
IndyCar Fan #1: God, those are hideous!
IC: But they are modern, factory-supported designs developed with CFD and tuned on-track! Teams even have almost unlimited options to mix and match aero kit elements!
ICF1: But the track will be littered with broken winglets!
IC: Well, um, we don't know that since, you know, we haven't actually run a race with the aero kits yet... We would assume that the manufacturers will avoid that situation, since it's one no party wants.
ICF1: So you haven't tested them yet? How can you run a series like this? The season will be a disaster!
IC: Well, if it does become an issue, you can rest assured that it will be IndyCar who cleans up the debris, and IndyCar will legislate a solution.
IndyCar Fan #2: Brian Barnhart is a @#$%&!!!! How can you have him back as a chief steward?
IndyCar: We understand that some fans are not happy with the decisions made by Mr. Barnhart in the past, but we assure you that he is the best man for the job.
ICF2: But he's made so many bad calls in the past!
IC: Again, we understand many fans' concerns, but we'd like to point out that the Race Control procedure (and, indeed, the entire regime) is different from when Mr. Barnhart last held this position. We are confident he will do a good job.
ICF2: (Unprintable comment questioning Mr. Barnhart's family heritage)
IC: ...Well, that was kind of harsh. Tell me, do you follow racing, or race stewards?
IndyCar Fan #3: What are you doing to promote the heroes of the series, the drivers? We don't hear nearly enough about them!
IC: We're glad you asked. Check this out.
ICF3: Could you have shot an uglier commerical? And all the footage is from 2014! There are drivers who aren't even in the series this year!
IC: ...Uh, um, er, the 2015 season hasn't started, so... we don't really have footage from this year... We thought that shooting the drivers in serious poses would help illustrate the commercial's theme...
IndyCar: In addition to the TV spot linked above, we've inked a partnership with USAToday to include regular features on IndyCar!
IndyCar Fan #4: Yeah, that's going to reach a lot of people-how many people read USAToday?
IC: About 4 million...
ICF4: But are they the right people?
IndyCar: We are testing a new system that will display current running position on the side of each car so fans can more easily follow the action and strategy of the race!
IndyCar Fan #5: But you'll never be able to read it at the speeds IndyCars travel at! And you should make the colors different. This looks awful.
IC: Um, ok, we admit it, we didn't invent this. Similar systems are used by other series, who don't seem to have any problems. Oh, and we're STILL TESTING it!
IndyCar: Ok, we'll take one more question and wrap up what's become a train wreck of a Q&A.
IndyCar Fan #6: Why can the Verizon IndyCar app only be had on a Verizon phone? That's really unfair. I want the app on my [Not Verizon] phone!
IC: There seems to be some confusion among the general public about what a "sponsorship" actually is. You see, Verizon is interested in selling cell phone plans. The point is for the customer interested in IndyCar to seek out and purchase a Verizon cell phone plan so that they can download the app. If the app could be used on another brand's phone, that would defeat the purpose.
Yes, I criticized Brian Barnhart back in 2011. A lot. I'm still optimistic about 2015. My cell phone plan is NOT Verizon. I think the commercial is awesome. And I LOVE the new aero kits. I can't wait to see them at Indianapolis and Milwaukee.
In short, I'm really really excited for 2015. Sure, not everything is perfect, but I think it's going to be a great season!