Wanting Everyone To Get a Ride is OK
I want Pippa Mann to have a full-time ride. I want Conor Daly to have a full-time ride. I want Stefan Wilson to have a full-time ride. I don't even like him as a driver, but shit lets give Sage Karem a full-time ride. This is okay. This isn't me sacrificing my feminist desires for more female drivers in the series. This is me being a good fan.
I've struggled with this, with wanting all of these drivers to have full rides. With the way funding and rides is currently set up, there's a finite amount of seats/cars and an infinite amount of drivers. If I could wave my magic race fan wand and make sure everyone got funding, then we'd have full fields in every race. We'd have some bumping going on at the Indy 500, we're due for some amazing competition that weekend.
The more full-time drivers in IndyCar, the more exciting races we have. In the 2017 season, the biggest race was the Indy 500 at 33 drivers. Most races of the season only had 21 drivers. Neither an oval nor a race course looks good with a few drivers. With a full field of drivers, you'll have passes and position fights throughout the field and not a handful up front, a handful in the back.
More drivers mean more storylines with races and the season. It means more teams competing against other teams and teammates competing against each other. The Pagenaud/Newgarden battle in the latter half of the season re-energized everyone this season. It brings in a diverse paddock of drivers which would bring in a diverse fan base and increase the fan base.
How can we get this to happen? It's a chicken/egg scenario. We need more funding for more drivers for more fans. We need more fans for more sponsors for more drivers. We need more drivers for more fans for more funding. Quite the vicious circle. It rests somewhat on us as fans. Maybe instead of going to Lowes, we go to Menards and tweet at them saying "went to @menards because they support @IndyCar love the yellow @simonpagenaud car" (or something like that). Really fill in the blank with any of the business you can support as consumers. Not just your favorite driver, any of the drivers' sponsors. Once we get a more robust paddock we can start just supporting only our drivers (#TEAMHONDA).