At the track, it would have started like this...
The last driver to be introduced to the crowd isn't a driver at all.
In a racing suit emblazoned with the sponsor's colors, across the platform walks the winner of this week's sweepstakes. Time to Share The Ride.
As part of the pre-race show, one of the Series teams is featured as the host for this week's ride. Brief bio on the team owners and crew, views of their transporter, maybe a bit of footage from the race shop. Different team every race.
Moments later, the director's shot jumps to a close-up of the rider as they are strapped in the two-seater. Video switches to helmet cam. Radio mic on.
Running in front of the grid on a pace lap sounded dangerous to me, and the full effect was in making this a pre-race event in itself. On TV, and the bigscreen at the track.
So while the pre-race prep is finalized by the drivers and crews, out goes the two seater for a quick blast. I wonder what that would look like...and sound like... from the rider's seat.
Switch back to cameras on the car as it returns to pit lane, and the Share The Ride winner climbs out. Do they laugh? Scream? Hurl?
"Drivers, Start Your Engines" and the cars roll off the grid for the race. We had at least a little fun, and wonder how we would react in their shoes. Time to get down to business.
At several points during the broadcast, brief reminders are dropped to stay tuned for the announcement of the next Share The Ride winner at the end of the race. Hey look, the rider got a cameo on the podium with the Izod girl, too...
At home, we remember to look for the "specially marked boxes" next time we're at the grocery store. Mine would have been for pizza, but any volume retail product works just fine. Buy your product, get your entry, and see if you get to Share The Ride at the next race.
Not your favorite brand? Go to the sponsor's website (also linked through IICS) and register to get an entry number. Site operator gets a database for future retail offers. IICS gets a database for ticket and promotion offers. Go online for tickets, there's a link to the sponsor's site for your sweepstakes entry.
If you happen to miss the race, you can still go to the website and find out if you won.
'Cause you'd like that ride too, in front of a packed house and right before the race. No way you're gonna climb out dizzy, or blow your lunch like that last guy did.
That's the YouTube video to put up, with the website links included. Watching the car go by at an empty track doesn't work. Parading out front on the pace laps is a distraction that steps on the anticipation of the race. This is just a gimmick, use it for what it is and get the most out of it.
Maybe it wouldn't always be great, but there would be a new YouTube clip posted after every race. Who knows, maybe one could go Viral.
And who knows how many people the Izod IndyCar two-seater can carry?
I say a million. Easy.
Link to previous "Stay On Track" entries: