Coty Schock is excited to be in Tampa following Houston accident IndyCar owners weigh in on new marketing plan, team payouts, end of Indy double points

TAMPA, Florida. Six days after he crashed head first into the boards at the Houston Monster Energy Supercross, Phoenix Racing Honda’s Coty Shock prepared for the fifth race of the 2023 season by walking around the newly built track at Raymond James Stadium. no worse than an accident.

After three laps of eight laps last week, Shock collided with another rider during a jump, knocking him off the track. Holding on to the steering wheel, legs swinging behind him like a flag in the wind, Shock crashed into the wall as the field and camera swept past. This was supposed to be the end of his night.

But Supercross athletes are different from athletes in any other sport, and Shock is an example.

“I guess I got lucky, but Feld[the Supercross sanctioning body]did a good job putting enough padding on this wall so it doesn’t feel as hard as it looks. I’m just grateful for the luck. And take another shot.”

Shock finished last in his heat, forcing him to qualify for Last Chance. The first half of that race, Shock was out of the transfer position, but the only way to leave behind the accident was to go to the Main and literally forget about the accident. Shock made a pass to the last transfer position with two laps remaining.

“You can’t even tense up,” Shock continued. “At this moment, there is so much going on. There’s really nothing you can think of about preparing. I tried to lean to the left to avoid it, but at that point there just wasn’t enough time.

“You have to put it completely out of your head. It doesn’t even exist; it’s in the past. You just have to keep moving forward and I knew I had to get into the main event. Then, after I did that, I thought, “OK, now it’s time to do what we came here for and just show the best version of ourselves, just try to get some decent laps and come back safe and sound.”

Shock did more than just run some strong laps. With a modest goal selection after exiting the LCQ, he went through the field to finish 12th in a race won by Hunter Lawrence.

“It’s nice to be racing again” Shock said on Instagram after the incident. “Crazy night, but finishing P12 in the main, I’m proud of myself! Time to go to Tampa.

He was still excited as he walked through the rhythm sections of one Tampa.

“I am excited [for this weekend]”, – said Shock. I’ve never been here, so it’s all new. The track is very cool. It will be good racing.”

The Week 6 track in Tampa may be the most unique of the first races, with one all-sand rhythm section and a “Dragon’s Back” that takes riders into a tight bowl turn. The Saturday night event can be found on Click here for a complete list of holidays.

THERMAL, California. Last week’s “Containment Days” and the return of the annual “Spring Practice” Open Test (which debuted at The Thermal Club) were also marketing cramming for the NTT IndyCar Series paddock.

In addition to returning to the track for the first time since last season’s finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, it’s time to find out about IndyCar’s promotional plans for the 2023 season.

These include some ambitious ideas being pursued by IndyCar owner Roger Penske and his top management at Penske Entertainment.

Most notable of these is the documentary series 100 Days to Indy, which is being developed by VICE Media and will air on The CW this spring. IndyCar hopes to attract a younger audience and generate new interest, much like the Netflix documentary series Drive to Survive did for Formula One.

“I love it,” IndyCar team owner Michael Shank told NBC Sports. “We’ve heard from the president of The CW Programming and Entertainment and the head of VICE. I love the fact that the president of The CW is an avid Indiana guy who loves the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar. I think we have a special weapon with that attitude.

“If we give it proper content, we will have an exciting show that people will want to follow and cling to. I don’t know if we’re going to be as successful as Netflix with Drive to Survive, but we have some lovable characters. If they have time to develop, as they did with Drive to Survive, that’s the key.

“What is the key to keeping it running? They explained it to us. This is a business and they need to keep an eye on it. It’s up to us to create exciting television and make it dramatic.”

There are other marketing initiatives in IndyCar’s plan. They have been introduced to IndyCar team owners, team leaders and drivers, but this comprehensive marketing plan has yet to be made public.

Penske revealed some of those plans in an exclusive February 3 interview at The Thermal Club.

“On February 2, we discussed our marketing plans for 2023,” Penske told NBC Sports. “We will spend several million dollars on our Tune In Campaign to generate more interest. 100 Days to Indy is important in attracting new fans. These are all marketing and PR campaigns aimed at making the series more interesting and reliable for customers who expect us to continue to grow.

“We are happy to start. Everything looks very, very positive for us in 2023.

“Demonstrations are important because we are looking for new fans, new people who want to be interested in sports, because it will also attract sponsors and other factors related to the economy of sports. It’s very, very important.”

The “Tune-In” campaign will be featured on NBC and local markets. These will be individual riders who will promote each race weekend.

“This is a very comprehensive marketing and PR program that is being developed this year as we head to St. Petersburg to kick off the season on March 5,” Penske said. “We will increase spending by more than 60 percent, and $17 million of that amount will go to our marketing efforts. Much of this amount will be spent early on.”

Team owners will help invest a portion of this increased marketing budget. The amount each Leaders Circle member receives will be reduced from $60,000 to $100,000 per car.

IndyCar does not disclose the exact amount of this payout because it is a private agreement between the show and the team owners.

According to team owner Bobby Rahal, Leaders Circle payouts fluctuate from year to year. He told NBC Sports he’s happy to support this effort because it’s a wise investment that could pay off with additional features down the road.

“I understand we are all partners in this,” Rahal said. “If he keeps pushing the IndyCar arrow higher and higher, the return will come. I don’t mind.

“It’s an investment and that’s how you should look at it. Everyone or almost everyone understands this.

“If it moves the arrow forward, then money well spent. If it develops the sport, the whole sport benefits from it.”

Team owner Dale Coyne runs one of the series’ leanest operations, but he’s also a strong proponent of an aggressive marketing campaign.

IndyCar has one of the most competitive products in auto racing and some exciting storylines. In many ways, this is one of the best-kept secrets in the sport.

Penske and IndyCar intend to use the marketing campaign to raise awareness.

“The money will go to a good cause,” Coyne told NBC Sports. “We need to raise our TV numbers. We have competition there. We have NASCAR and there is more Formula 1 in this country than ever.

“This is a competition. We must get together and join the game.

“We have to get after this. The press and social media are talking about “Drive to Survive” which they say is so important to F1, why don’t you try and do something about it? I think it’s important.”

Since the 1980s, CART and later IndyCar have looked to NASCAR as their main competitor in the US. But ever since the “Move to Survive” era began in Formula One in 2019 (and it has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020), IndyCar has more competition than ever.

“Formula 1 surprised us all,” said Coyne. “I used to say that you have to be a government to run a Formula 1 race, now you can just be a promoter.

“You can sell enough tickets and make enough season tickets, look what Las Vegas and Miami have done. The authorization fee is crazy money, but when you sell all your tickets and all your apartments, you can pay the sanctions fee. Now it makes sense to arrange a Formula 1 race.

“When we can get IndyCar to that position, it will work for all of us.”

The other owner of the team, Shank, is also a strong supporter of marketing expansion, but admits he would like it to be funded without the involvement of the Leadership Circle…


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