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Watching the 1995 Indycar Series

February 5, 2013

I love Youtube. You can almost find any type of video you are looking for on Youtube. Especially Indycar races. In being a relatively newer Indycar Series fan (only since 2008), I have spent some of this exceptionally long offseason watching old Indycar races. I have been watching races in chronological order, because well, that is the way it happened. I just finished watching the 1995 Indycar season, which is arguably one of the best seasons of all time.

Wow……just wow. The 95 season had everything. Multiple winners, 9 in total, 4 first time winners, as well as a rookie winner the final race of the season (Gil de Ferran at Laguna Seca). An Indy 500 where the winner was 2 laps down early in the race. A photo finish at Michigan. A controversial finish at Portland. Four different engine manufacturers to go along with 5 different chassis’. A relatively balanced schedule of 17 total races, consisting of 7 street courses, 4 natural terrain road courses and 5 ovals. Races at Michigan, Road America, Portland, Surfer’s Paradise, Phoenix and Laguna Seca. Some very well-known sponsors were also involved in Indycar, companies like Firestone, Target, STP, 3M/Scotch, Miller Genuine Draft, K-Mart, Nike Canada, Players LTD, Pennzoil, VISA, Texaco Havoline, Copenhagen, Marlboro, Duracell, Valvoline, Tecate, Quaker State, Budweiser, Goodyear, AC-Delco, Bosch, Craftsman, PPG, Gillette, Motorola, and Cummings. On some of the videos, the original commercials of the race broadcast were on them. Sponsors who had Indycar related commercials were Target (who knew?), Miller Genuine Draft (where Bobby Rahal’s car turns into a MGD jet, one of my favorite Indycar commercials of all time), a Toyota Atlantics commercial (!), a Firestone Indycar commercial, as well as several Texaco Havoline Indycar commercials. There was also a relatively well-known NFL legend who was also a co-owner of an Indycar team, 3 time Super Bowl champion QB Joe Montana was a co-owner of Ganassi Racing. The other thing I noticed was the crowds at the races. With the exception of the New Hampshire race, damn near every seat at every Indycar race was filled.

Being a Hoosier my whole life, I know how popular the Indy 500 was during this time, but since I did not follow the series at all I really had no clue the series was as popular as it was. I had always heard the 95 Indycar season was the last of the “glory years” of Indycar. Thanks to Youtube, I have been able to make the offseason seem a little shorter. Comments are welcome as always, either on here or on twitter (@djordan3223) Thanks for reading.

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