Why Is INDYCAR Shouting?

If you have found some of my posts on logos and such to be tedious and tiresome, you probably won’t like this one much either. I’m convinced that my wife loves me very much. But I also know that I drive her up the wall when I go off on some random and obscure tangent, which is not uncommon for me to do.

If you’ve read this site for a while, you know that I was a fan of Randy Bernard when he served as IndyCar CEO from 2010 to 2012. I thought he brought a lot of fresh and new ideas to the table, although I couldn’t stand the series trophy he introduced that featured a naked guy on a unicycle. That monstrosity lasted all of one year before it was retired in favor of the current Astor Challenge Trophy.

But one thing instituted by Randy Bernard rubbed me the wrong way from Day One. Although he has been gone for over four years now, this memory of him still remains.

Sports entities love acronyms. We all know that the NFL stands for the National Football league, the NBA is the acronym for the National Basketball Association and MLB is short for Major League Baseball. The NHRA denotes the National Hot Rod Association and USAC stands for the United States Auto Club. Although some mistakenly, irritatingly and foolishly refer to a stock car as a Nascar; the term NASCAR does not refer to a type of car. It is the acronym for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing – the governing body for many (but not all) stock car racing series in the US.

So what is my beef that I’m obsessed with? Randy decided that the governing body that oversees the Verizon IndyCar Series should be referred to as INDYCAR, written in all capital letters. The problem is, INDYCAR is a non-acronym that doesn’t stand for anything. So why is every letter capitalized? I was always taught that the use of all capitals in type meant that you were shouting. It always makes me wonder why INDYCAR is shouting.

Some will think that I use the term problem very loosely. I mean, the very existence of the series is not threatened in the least by this. It probably has not driven away a single sponsor and the cars are just as safe whether or not it is called IndyCar or INDYCAR. It sounds the same regardless.

I’m sure even the most loyal readers of this site have never once noticed that I have always refused to use the non-acronym on this site. I always use the term IndyCar, whether I’m referring to the sanctioning body or as a quick reference to the series when I’m too lazy to type out Verizon IndyCar Series.

By now, most of you are thinking that my old age has crept into my mind and you’re wondering how Susan has put up with me for all these years. Those that know me and considered me to be a bit quirky are now thinking that I’m not too far from full-blown psychosis. But before you decide that I’ve completely lost my mind, just remember that when Randy Bernard introduced INDYCAR over IndyCar – Curt Cavin spoke out against it too, for the same reason…it doesn’t stand for anything.

Of course, that was when Curt was working for The Indianapolis Star. I took note that in the past several years, Curt never used INDYCAR in his articles either. I’m not comparing myself to Curt Cavin, but that is one thing that we had in common.

But now, Curt works for IndyCar…or INDYCAR as Vice-President of Communications. On Trackside, Kevin Lee kiddingly refers to him as the Grand Poohbah of Talking Points. I’m sure that in his new role he is being forced to use the non-acronym, but he probably cringes every time he types it out.

I’m thinking that Curt should use his new position to officially abolish the all-caps spelling of his new employer. The generic logo has INDYCAR spelled out in all-caps, but that’s fine. How a brand name is written on a logo is one thing. How it appears in a press-release or a news story is another.

I don’t think Mark Miles was even Chairman of the Board for Hulman and Company when Randy Bernard introduced the non-acronym. I know Jay Frye, C.J. O’Donnell or the other current key leaders for IndyCar were not around then, so it’s not like this will cause hurt feelings.

Are there far more pressing matters for IndyCar to deal with, less than two months before the start of a new season? Well, yes. Is there anything more trivial they could find to worry about than how the name of the company is written out? Probably not.

It took nothing to introduce it five or six years ago. No new graphics had to be produced and no new logos had to be created. Basically it was just in a press-release that stated that from that point forward, the sanctioning body wanted everyone to type out the name INDYCAR. All they would have to do is send out another memo-style press-release to undo the one sent out in Randy Bernard’s tenure.

If some of you had questioned my sanity before, I’ve now confirmed your suspicions. It’s a little thing, I know. But little things lead to big things. I’m not sure why Randy Bernard thought that all letters needed to be capitalized, but he did. But given the fact that INDYCAR stands for nothing and that the Grand Poohbah of Talking Points has previously spoken out against it – it can be undone in a matter of minutes. Then the series can move on to real important things and so can I.

Now, about that new tenderloin they’re serving at IMS…

George Phillips

14 Responses to “Why Is INDYCAR Shouting?”

  1. Love and understand the pedantry but I think that, although it matters not to joe public, it should be changed for 2018 along with the new ‘look’ of the cars.

  2. I’m wondering if we could fix this by having our creative commenters come up with a meaning for INDYCAR? 😉

  3. Frankly, I have never thought about it. I like it all caps on t-shirts, ect.. However, in writing about the series I always have used IndyCar. Regardless, I’m fine with it.

  4. billytheskink Says:


    There, problem solved.

  5. I think INDYCAR was a quick reaction that shouted “We are NOT the IRL”. And you had to shout it to wake up open wheel fans who would gag at the mention of ‘IRL’.

    I’d go for ‘IndyCar’ but it’d be just too much to get a new acronym that would confuse the public and media any more than they already are.

  6. DZ-groundedeffects Says:

    #tangientaloffseasonposts are tangiental.

    I’ve always preferred it use the lowercase C so as to unhinge itself from both the IRL and the CART derivative.


    There’s another $0.02 from the vast expanse of the internet today.

  7. We are sharing a brain on this one, George. I have always used, and will continue to use “IndyCar” in all of my posts. When I retrieve some clippings from a press release, I always find myself going through and replacing INDYCAR with IndyCar. Not sure it should bother me that much, but it does!

  8. I agree. The logo is one thing, but print is another. Not only does it seem incorrect to type INDYCAR, but it takes more work to do so, which draws attention to its apparent incorrectness. I prefer IndyCar or Indycar, myself. Have kind of wondered why we capitalize the C…

  9. Bruce Waine Says:

    George – Not to worry

    All is not lost.

    There is still hope for you.

    You may just require some minor remedial English speaking lessons from Donald……………………….

  10. George, maybe I should introduce you to a person I know whose business cards provide his name followed by IDSFA. People often ask him what IDSFA means. His reply, “It doesn’t stand for anything.”

  11. SLOWNEWSDAY……….If only.,,,,

  12. Hmm, I always thought the governing body of the sport that oilpressure.com is mostly about is called IndyCar Series or Indycar. It never even occurred to me that it was supposed to be written in capital letters. I wouldn’t write it in capital letters: it’s always been Indycar (or IndyCar if you will).

    Abolishing the IRL name for the governing body during Randy Bernard’s tenure as CEO was a necessary move to conclude reunification of the two predecessor series. It sure did help mend the Split, no matter how people spell the current series’ name.

    What I miss most that came from Randy Bernard’s tenure as CEO of the series is the Grand Prix of Baltimore. That race has always been a fun one to watch on TV. I even liked the chicane on Pratt Street.

  13. Folks, bring on the 24 of Daytona. After reading this post I’m convinced our friend George needs the racing season to start. Haha!

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