Fearless at the 500 Stunt Will Mark 100th Anniversary of Indianapolis 500

Indianapolis 500 Stunt

UPDATE:

Here are the deets on the stunt, Fearless at the 500…

Fans tuning in for a thirty minute special will get to see Team Hot Wheels™ Yellow Driver take on the 10-story high (100 feet tall) V-Drop® jump inspired by the iconic Hot Wheels® track set in an attempt to make history within the infield of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
On Sunday at 3:30 pm ET, fans can tune in to ABC for a 30-minute televised action-packed special that features an inside look at how Hot Wheels® tests their vehicles in the real-world and the “IZOD Presents Hot Wheels Fearless at the 500™” stunt jump.

The Indianapolis 500, which used to be the “greatest spectacle in racing” and now can’t even fill the stands for the race on Memorial Day Weekend, has resorted to a carnival/tractor pull/county fair gimmick.

Fearless at the 500 is an attempt to jump a truck 302 feet at the track in Speedway, Indiana.

I am truly embarrassed for the Indianapolis community and open-wheeled racing in particular.

A dedicated crew of dozens has secretly spent the past few weeks in Southern California building, testing and tweaking a custom-built truck as well as a life-sized version of the Hot Wheels toy track set so many of us enjoyed of us as kids. And if all goes according to spec, the Pro2-style truck (driven by a masked stunt driver) will jump across a gap more than 302 feet in length, breaking the world record for largest leap by a four-wheeled vehicle.

The once proud tradition of the Indianapolis 500 is reduced to this horrible gimmick. The track will be turned into a replica of a kid’s bedroom.

Louie Meyer, Wilbur Shaw, Parnelli Jones, Jim Clark, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, et al must be spinning in their graves – even the ones that aren’t dead yet.

The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 could have a tremendous crash before the green flag drops. There might even be a death.

Nice way to start the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.
UPDATE:
Nobody died. The stunt set an insignificant record that nobody real cares about. But Hot Wheels spent a bunch of money on a lame-ass stunt backed up by a lame-ass tee vee program.

Daredevil Tanner Foust thrilled the crowd at the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday by producing a spectacular world record distance jump of 332 feet.

Notice the stands in the background? 1/2 full — as were many of the stands during the Centennial running of the Indianapolis 500.
The side-by-side restarts proved to be the disaster the drivers thought it would be with major wrecks occurring because of the new rule for restarts.
A rookie mistake cost a popular driver a win.
Again, the race turned into a fuel efficiency run to the checker.
And fans were disappointed again.
Will the Indianapolis 500 ever regain it’s luster? Not if they keep doing stupid stunts like the Hot Wheels Fearless at the 500, and insist on race cars that are fuel efficient and keep ignoring drivers.

UPDATE: Here’s the video of Fearless at the 500. Aka Stupid Stunt of the Century.

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Comments

Fearless at the 500 Stunt Will Mark 100th Anniversary of Indianapolis 500 — 44 Comments

  1. Oh. My. God. Someone is doing a stunt before a race? Are you kidding me?! A stunt!?

    You should probably look up Mr. Evel Knievel and all those proud stunt drivers that rose up before and because of him. If you’re 60, surely you should realize this has been going on since you were a baby dinosaur.

    Get off your high horse, enjoy the spectacle and stop whining about nothing at all.

    • Exactly my point: the spectacle. The marching bands, the cars hauling the drivers around the track, the thousands of balloons being released, the flyover… Spectacular! This stunt is a stupid stunt. The Indy 500 is not some country fair/tractor pull.

    • It was after the race, why dont you read and know what you are talking about, it was at 330 pm

      • Actually the stunt was completed a little before 11Am,the race did not start until later.I know this because i was at the race

  2. They gotta have a gimmick…Indy car racing is suffering…since NASCAR………….and there’s no real big name anymore………..

  3. Since I was born…I have been part of the Indy 500. I was raised close to 16th and Georgetown. Obviously the track continues to change. When we were kids we could only afford to by infield tickets…stay up all night and send the fastest of our group to be by the fence at the Start finish line. Can you do that now? Of course not.

    Life changes. Can you imagine once a guy saying something like – what the heck? They are letting that Gomer guy sing “Back Home Again in Indiana”? But for the life of me, I tear up every time I hear him sing it.

    For me – I am curious to see a truck fly through the air. And more details would be a great thing if you ask me. None the less. I hope the truck flying or drivers in cars that fly or celebrity drivers…or whatever keep the track and all of it’s beauty around 100 more years. Whiners? They can go to Europe and watch Formula One…

    • I disagree. The “whatever it takes” attitude only leads to more gimmicks. With that said, at one time, marching bands, releasing the balloons and all that were a gimmick too. I just think the truck jump isn’t worth of the Indy 500 pageantry.

      The popularity of the 500 is falling due to a plethora of problems. Gimmicks don’t fix these issues.

      Thanks for commenting! And I too will hate it when Jim Nabors is pulled from the line-up and replaced with Shakira.

  4. does it matter im just saying 100th anniversary maybe just maybe this is for the 100th huh ever thought of that.

  5. I live in Indy and I’m not embarrassed. Yes, this is a gimmick. Regardless, if this is what the race needs to attract more (young) people so be it. This will only be a footnote in a month that packed full of events, ending with the 500. Plus it’s the centennial, they need to mix it a bit.

  6. If a 100 year old race needs gimmicks there is something drastically wrong with the race. Do they want to attract young race fans? Then put on a great race. All the drivers are the exact demographic they want to attend. Having a stupid stunt only attracts the stupid-stunt lovers.

    • Those “stupid-stunt lovers” are paying customers like everyone else. This is the business of entertainment. The 500 is what my town is known for, but it doesn’t happen just because it happens — it takes MONEY to hold the greatest spectacle in racing.

  7. everyone forgot the most important thing to put on a race you need money, money comes from sponsors! what do u think Hot Wheels/ Mattel is paying to do this ad? duh people if u love racing, would u rather see this series go the way of IROC? i dont care if they wanna put barbie out there with a pink car. get a clue! NO SPONSOR = NO RACE!

    • Nope – wrongo. What a race needs is paying fans in the stands. Fans to tune in to the tee vee. Putting on a stunt doesn’t appeal to the race fans. Barbie in a pink car has been done (See Danica Patrick.)

  8. You should change the name of your site to “Going On 60.” Enjoy staying mired in 1950, dude. It’s not like they’re auctioning off raffle tickets to actually drive *in* the race. Times change. You know what other sport was timeless back in the day and has ceased to progress? Boxing. And look where that’s at these days. The race itself has not changed. Just the hullabaloo surrounding it, and that hullabaloo is created to help draw more eyeballs to the sport…something you should be thankful for.

    • @TheKindest: Dude. I’m 64. Boxing is a great example of what’s wrong with the 500: they lost out when they started having TWO champions. Just like CART and IndyCar split. This allowed rasslin’ to get a foothold. Same thing happened with Indy… NASCAR stepped up. Thanks for making my point even stronger.

      • Let me give you some perspective.

        Boxing’s decline in popularity had nothing to do with multiple champions. It had everything to do with a bigger, badder sport coming along that people were just more interested in. (Full disclosure: I can’t stand MMA, and I definitely fancy myself as more of a traditionalist than a “let’s move onto the next fad” kinda guy.) Boxing, sadly, couldn’t do anything to stop it, and Pacquiao vs. Mosley is further proof of boxing’s death knell.

        The 500, thankfully, will never go the way of boxing. There’s a larger fan base and boxing provides no real “book-end” capabilities to showcase additional entertainment. Plus, boxing is still sticking with overpriced PPV, while races are on network TV.

        Traditionalists, for better or worse, are a dying breed. Print media is dead, family values on network TV are (essentially) a thing of the past. The only way to fill those empty seats you hate seeing is to create more fans…YOUNG FANS…who will further not just the love of the 500, but Indy racing in general. For every traditionalist that scoffs at the stunt, there’s a 10-year old kid that gets his mind blown.

        And mind you, this isn’t some parlor trick. Don’t let the super-sized play set fool you. This is a full-fledged word record attempt. And it’s’ not like he’s jumping a massive Subway sandwich or Taco Bell is going to parachute in a chihuahua to wave the green flag. Hot Wheels is a car brand, for Chrissakes. One that’s been around for a very long time, and one that has always had close ties to the racing world.

        Your statement of “If you want to attract young race fans, then put on a great race” is, I’m sorry, asinine. There have been many great races, yet the butts aren’t in the seats. Look at USA men’s hockey in the Olympics. You couldn’t ask for a more thrilling game or even series of games, but sadly, apart from a few more jerseys sold and high Nielsen ratings for that week, it’s not going to do anything to raise the awareness, let alone the appreciation, of hockey on a national level. That’s only accomplished through “gimmicks”…or as they’re called in other circles of business, marketing and promotion.

        The funny thing is, I’ll bet money you watch…

        • Indy 500 tv ratings are down 40 percent from when Danica Patrick first raced in 2005. That is a huge drop in a very short time.

          Will I watch? I didn’t last year because the weather was good enough where I live I was on the golf course. And there are lot of people like me… who only watch if there is nothing better to do.

          A one day stupid stunt that has nothing to do with the rich tradition of 100 years at Indianapolis is still a stupid stunt.

          How about a world-record attempt for fastest lap time? Now that would be interesting.

  9. At the very least we can agree on our mutual appreciation of Allee Willis. 🙂

  10. “For every traditionalist that scoffs at the stunt, there’s a 10-year old kid that gets his mind blown” TheKindestCut

    this is so true. and how many of us race fans where the 10 year old that played with Hot Wheels!!!!!!!!!!!!! i maybe 37 but i still love Hot Wheels cars, and yes i play with them with my kids. if it wasnt for a classic like them i dont think the car industry or racing would be where it is today.

    I THANK HOT WHEELS FOR ALOT IN MY LIFE AND ENJOYMENT YET TOO COME!!!!!

  11. with one exception this jump will be a side bar to a historic race much like all the other hours of TV fillers leading up to the race.

    That exception will be the real power and drama associated with a world record attempt of this magnitude. The engineering and science behind this attempt is equal to anything the Indy teams themselves are capable of. Imagine sitting at the 50 yard line of a football stadium watching a a truck roll over the edge of a 100 foot drop, pulled by gravity and pushed by 875 hp the truck will quickly accelerate past 100 mph before launching end zone to end zone before landing on a ramp narrower than the uprights on the goal post.

    A purist like yourself might scoff triviality of it all, but the average Joe motor sports fan will be impressed and kids will be awed. It will draw extra attention and media coverage on race day. Which for a sport where great drivers like Louie Meyer, Wilbur Shaw, Parnelli Jones, Jim Clark, A.J. Foyt and Al Unser were once houshold names, and today most people could not name one driver can’t be all bad.

    • What a load! Some dumb stunt will convince younguns to become Indy 500 racing fans? This is ridiculous on it’s face! It IS trivial… and has nothing to do with the rich tradition of the 500. It’s the 100th anniversary of what USED to be the most popular race in the U.S.

      Again: a STUPID stunt will do nothing to add to the luster of the Indy 500.

      • @Krashman: I bet you watch racing just for the wrecks because of your personal comments. You can’t argue facts so you just attack the person who has original thoughts.

        Tickets are expensive? Lower the ticket price instead of jumping a pickup truck. This is just not right for the 500, it belongs at a Monster Truck event.

  12. I think that goinglikesixty is more like goingoneighty. The tickets are expensive and what race fans wouldn’t want to see this in addition to the race? Well maybe there is one. Get over it goingoverthehill and let the rest of the world enjoy. After all, this is a world record attempt and this driver obviously has bigger balls than you.

    • @Krashman: I bet you watch racing just for the wrecks because of your personal comments. You can’t argue facts so you just attack the person who has original thoughts.

      Tickets are expensive? Lower the ticket price instead of jumping a pickup truck. This is just not right for the 500, it belongs at a Monster Truck event.
      GoingLikeSixty recently posted…5-21-11- Rapture Fail Move to Costa Rica is On AgainMy Profile

    • Absolutely should be for the 100th. But where is the sell-out crowd? Blocks of four seats are still available a few days before race day. Unbelievable!

  13. Indy’s decline began when greed for $$ and control steered the focus from an event that was unique then by focusing on ways to “improve” it, diluted it to its current state. The 70’s and before were it’s hayday for attendance.

    Took out the snakepit to improve it, took out the on hands mechanic and engineering (CART/IRL split) to improve it, Took out the month of May with a reduced schedule to improve it, let NASCAR and F1 to run there to improve it. Let Tony George do ANYTHING to improve it. It was improved into the ground.

  14. Let’s not watch the stunt lets wait till the race comes on…………. Thats stupid, I’m only watching the stunt racing sucks.

  15. I watch racing for racing, and I watch stunts for stunts. Any combination of the two is no problem in my book. I live in Indiana and USED to attend the time trials and race in Indy EVERY YEAR, however with ticket prices spiraling into the heavens, we no longer go to the track. You do not attrack race fans with a great race, nor do you pay for the race through ticket sales alone.

    Sponsors play a key role in ALL MOTORSPORTS, and the 500 is no exception. Hot Wheels were a big part of my life as well, and if they can raise a few bucks to help with the 500, then so be it. You want fans in the seats: make ticket prices reasonable. I now take my family annually to MIS for the Michigan 400, another race that I have attended since I was a young child with my father, and the package we purchase to attend the race there costs less than a ticket to the Indy race. Could GREED actually be part of the demise of the 500?

    I am a motorsports fan in general, and there are alot of us out here that are. We attend NASCAR races, motorcross in INDY, NHRA at Raceway Park, and even Monster Jam when they visit Indy. We also enjoy freestyle motorcross, which happens to be all about tricks, possibly even considered “stunts”.

    The race in Indy could have died off years ago if not for the changes made in Speedway to keep the track open. Just out of curiosity, did you likewise oppose the addition of the F-1 road course at the Brickyard and NASCAR and GP-1 racing at the speedway? Goinglikesixty, understand the sentiment, but life goes on. The stunt will actually take place following the race on a seperate telecast. I will be TiVo’n both, but you are free to disregard the later broadcast and only tune in for the 500 if you like. The Motorsports fans like me out there won’t mind at all if you choose not to tune in.

    Take Care, GL

    • No, racing is racing. Stunts are stunts. I love that NASCAR races at Indy. It’s too bad that F1 couldn’t find a following in the midwest and now is scamming Texans into building a track in Austin.

      Motocross is racing.

      Like you, I’ll watch winged sprints, drags, modifieds. But I just don’t care for stupid stunts like Evil and others.

      Pair two hotwheels trucks and race them down a giant ramp!

  16. indy didnt need the stunt hot wheels needed it what better place to do it then the largest racing event in the world

    • @joe: Indy should have refused the stupid stunt on the 100th race. Anybody else totally unimpressed with the commemoration coverage by ABC?

      • Unimpressed is not even the word for the horrible coverage, especially the coverage provided to Northwest Indiana by ABC 57…(see below).

  17. Someone missed the point here, Paul. Regardless of WHEN the stunt was performed live, it was AIRED on television after the race, so one could simply power off the TV or change the station to avoid watching it. Sorry for any confussion.

    It all hardly mattered to me, as I became a victim of the ABC 57, our local affiliate station, and their idea of severe storm coverage. They interupted the race with 14 laps to go and never bothered to air the rest of the race, offering this advice to viewers, “For all the details of the 500 finish today, watch ABC 57 news at 11.” Way to go 57…….. The stunt was likewise never aired on our local television broadcast due to the “severe” weather broadcast, which amounted to severe thunderstorms. Can anybody say “dropped the ball”??