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Columnist nails it: How IndyCar became a big hit in ‘Bama

Apr 28, 2014, 1:54 AM EDT

Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Getty Images

There are sports columns that are so bad that readers stop reading after the first paragraph or two – sometimes even after the first sentence.

Then there are sports columns that absolutely hit the target dead-on.

Huntsville (Ala.) Times columnist Mark McCarter falls into the latter category. His column on Barber Motorsports Park and this past weekend’s IndyCar race there absolutely, positively nailed it – with some good-natured humor thrown in.

From the headline, a reader is immediately drawn in: The preposterous notion of an IndyCar race in Alabama turns out to be a rousing success”

You can click on the headline to read the whole column, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t repeat the best part of McCarter’s outstanding piece of prose:

Just as (track founder/builder George) Barber envisioned, (Barber Motorsports Park) also was a magnificent racing venue for the daredevils on two wheels and those expensive, sleek sports cars that make so many cameo appearances in mid-life crisis dreams.

But IndyCars?


Too tight. Can’t pass. Too many elevation changes.

And, besides, didn’t anybody look at a map?

It’s Alabama, for cryin’ out loud.

It’s Talladega territory, the sole – and soul – of NASCAR’s Southern footprint. This is where kids are taught to count, “One … two … Earnhardt … four…”

But, look here. The Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama is in its fifth season. It’s still a hit.

Indeed, IndyCar racing continues to be a big hit and success deep in the heart of Dixie, and will likely keep doing so for many more years to come. Who knew?

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

  1. Jeff - Apr 28, 2014 at 6:26 AM

    From watching the race on TV, it didn’t look like there were any good vantage points to watch the race at interesting sections of the track.

  2. testover6370 - Apr 28, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    The race wasn’t all that great until the DW12 was introduced. For some reason that car just WORKS at Barber. It helps that the track is visually stunning. As the PWC race proved, even if you don’t have a lot of passing, the racing looks good at Barber, at least on TV.

  3. crunge4461 - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    The DW12 has really turned into the best thing IndyCar has done in recent years. The car really produces close, fast, and exciting racing on every track. Barber looks good because of those fast sweeping and high G corners! Great race, way to go Marco, what a drive! Pulling for Andretti to have a big Month of May!

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