There’s an ad on the radio for a free trip to the Indianapolis 500 and the race in Charlotte the same day.
It’s a Pennzoil promotion and the voiceover stars Kurt Busch, who drives for Roger Penske in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
In the ad, Busch says the prize will be a flight to “the big race in Indianapolis,” followed by a private jet ride to Charlotte for the “Coca-Cola 600” later in the day.
Did some copy-writer write that? Did some Pennzoil-connected ad person really write “the big race at Indianapolis” instead of its official name, which is the Indianapolis 500? Which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year?
Or did Kurt Busch take it upon himself to change those words?
After all, when Busch won the race in Charlotte last May, he said over his car’s radio: “The real Victory Lane is in Charlotte.”
Now, bear with me here.
Years and years ago, I lived in Montreal. People in Montreal like to tell Toronto jokes. “Why do the lights on the Decarie Expressway keep burning out? They were made in Toronto.”
All the years I’ve lived in Toronto, I’ve never heard a Montreal joke so I wondered what was with all the Toronto jokes I heard in Montreal.
Then it dawned on me: Montreal people felt inferior and it was their way of feeling superior by putting down Toronto.
So, it’s obvious that Kurt Busch, a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, feels inferior because, somehow, he just couldn't bring himself to say “Indianapolis 500” in that radio commercial.
Of course, he should feel inferior.
Kurt, when it comes to comparing the Indianapolis 500 and the race in Charlotte, there ain’t no comparison.
The real Victory Lane always has been, and always will be, at 16th St. and Georgetown Rd., back home in Indiana.
Speaking of NASCAR, the Camping World Truck Series is the only professional series in action this weekend. The trucks will be at Darlington Saturday for a one-day show.
The Sprint Cup and Nationwide groups have the weekend off. Let’s hope it doesn’t stall NASCAR's early season momentum because attendance has been up, as have TV ratings, for both series since Daytona. Trevor Bayne and Danica Patrick have given both series a boost.
Oh, and to refresh your memory: the Formula One season was supposed to start this weekend in Bahrain. There’s still talk that the race will be held at the tail end of the season but don’t count on it. F1 continues pre-season testing and will do it for real in Australia in two weeks.
The IZOD IndyCar Series will test in Alabama next weekend, with the season opening in Florida the same weekend F1 gets going Down Under.
That Alabama test will signal just how healthy that series really is. There are a lot of names and teams being bandied around out there but there haven’t been a lot of formal announcements.
Right now, today, I count 19 cars and drivers signed, sealed and delivered.
As I said, lots of talk; not a lot of action.