The Autosportradio.com 2016 Show presented by Honda HPD will stream live on Tuesday April 5th, live from McGilvery’s Speedway.. 3009 North High School Road, beginning at 7PM ET.
The program can be seen/heard by logging onto www.autosportradio.com and the program streamed live on YouTube will be on the home page.
When the program concludes you will find the archive available on Don Kay’s YouTube channel.
Scheduled Guests are:
Mark often has lunch at a restaurant not far from his office at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He says he is often stopped by race fans who tell him what the Indianapolis 500 means to them. The race, for many, is still a deeply cherished tradition.
Many major sporting events move from site to site, so fans do not tend to go to them every year. But they do for the Indy 500, which has been contested since 1911 on the same two-and-a-half-mile paved oval on the northwest side of Indianapolis.
Not long ago, a woman walked up to Miles, pointed to her husband, and asked Miles to guess how many consecutive Indy 500s her husband had attended. Answer: 73.
“There’s nothing like that for a Super Bowl or a Final Four,” said Miles, the chief executive for Hulman & Company, the parent company of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series.
Because six races were not held during World Wars I and II, this year’s Indy 500, on May 29, will be the 100th. Miles predicted that all of the estimated 230,000 reserved seats to the race would sell. But then what?
The 16-race season begins Sunday, March 13th, on a street course in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Will Power won the pole Saturday as Team Penske swept the top four spots in qualifying. As the season unfolds, Miles has a goal: avoiding a drop in interest in the Indy 500 and the series in 2017. He said the series had the venues and the schedule to lure, and keep, ticket-buyers and viewers.
Miles, 62, grew up on the north side of Indianapolis. His father was an executive at Eli Lilly and was, Miles said, “the tightest person I’ve ever met.” So Miles listened to the race on the radio until he was a teenager, when he got in free by hiding in the trunk of a friend’s car.
He said of his hometown: “I didn’t want it to be a redneck motor-head place. That was an unfair way to look at it then. But I kind of did.”
He gravitated to other sports, serving as chief executive of the Association for Tennis Professionals for 15 years, often catching Indy 500 telecasts while at the French Open in Paris. He also oversaw two large events in Indianapolis: the 1987 Pan-American Games and the 2012 Super Bowl. He became chief executive at Hulman & Company in December 2012.
In the last 20 years, IndyCar races have often been trampled by Nascar races in TV viewership. In 2013, nine IndyCar events covering 23 hours of programming overlapped Nascar events, but those numbers have been pared to four events covering only seven hours.
In another concession to the ratings reality, Miles wanted to wrap up the series schedule by Labor Day, when he said viewership of IndyCar races, as a rule, drops 30 percent, largely because of football. Only one race will be held after Labor Day: the season-ending Sept. 18 race in Sonoma, Calif., which starts at 7:37 p.m. Eastern, between N.F.L. afternoon games and the well-watched Sunday night game.
“We could race in October, and there are some places that would like to have us in October,” he said, “but I don’t see that being the right call.”
Of a long-discussed race on the streets of Manhattan, Miles said: “We haven’t had anybody really working on it. There are some other cities where we thought we could see more of a right direction. Point us in the right direction, and we’ll see.”
Miles has enough on his plate. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, also known as the Brickyard, used to be the province of IndyCars, a hub in May but relatively quiet the other 11 months. Much has been added in the last 25 years, including Nascar, Formula One and motorcycle races.
Formula One and MotoGP have departed, but the 400-mile stock-car race remains, with a road-course race added two years ago for IndyCars and a Red Bull air race to have its debut in October. The Rolling Stones played at the speedway’s first stand-alone concert last July.
The Brickyard has become more than just a place for watching fast cars. Carburetion Day for the 500, on May 27, the last practice before the race, includes a Journey concert, with Blake Shelton featured in a concert the day before the race.
Another concert is scheduled on race day in the area known as the Snake Pit, where 30,000 people, mostly college students, are expected to buy general-admission tickets, even though they will be able to see most of the race on video boards only.
They will come for the music and the experience. The experience is what drew Mark Miles to the speedway more than 40 years ago. The college students might not go to 73 in a row, but the 100th race, then the 101st in 2017, would be a good start for Miles.
“For me, it’s good enough that these college kids want to get up early and be out at I.M.S. that day,” he said. “That’s what it means to them all.”
Local radio veteran Laura Steele has joined the 24-Hour News 8 team as an Indianapolis 500 correspondent. Steele recently wrapped up a successful 15-year run at Q95. Her voice has also been heard in Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas and Milwaukee. Steele is no stranger to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, having been part of events there for 12 years. She was the track’s first female public address announcer.
“Discovering intriguing stories at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has always been a joy. I consider myself a fan first and foremost. The tales in the rich history of the Indy 500 amaze me each year,” Steele said.
“To work alongside the WISH-TV race team as we celebrate 100 years of the 500 is going to be a blast. I’m ready for the ride!”
In her contributing role, Steele joins longtime WISH-TV racing analyst Derek Daly and sports director Anthony Calhoun in shaping the station’s coverage of this historic year at IMS. 2016 marks the 100th running of the race.
“I can’t think of anyone more connected to the Indy 500 in terms of what news is buzzing on and off the track,” added WISH-TV’s Calhoun. “We are so fortunate to have Laura as part of our historic month of May coverage.”