By the Numbers: The Indy 500


John Kiernan has turned into one of our favorite regulars here at the club.

The senior researcher for Wallethub has taken to dropping by before major sporting events – such as the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics – so I wasn’t surprised to see him this weekend sitting at the bar and discussing the Indianapolis 500 with Baxter.

“I take it Wallethub has conducted another analysis?” I asked as I joined the conversation.

“You would be correct,” John said.  A financial resources company, Wallethub analyzes just about anything related to money, including spending and numbers related to major entertainment events.

“What trends did the numbers reveal about the Indy 500?”

“We found that fewer are watching it on TV,” John answered.  “A lot of that has to do with the IndyCar Series losing its market share to NASCAR.  There’s not a whole lot of name recognition, and it’s hard for it to get a lot of traction when it doesn’t have a weekly event on TV.”

“But surely that doesn’t mean the Indy 500 isn’t still a major event,” Baxter said.

“Absolutely not.  Everybody’s heard about the Daytona 500 and it’s a great, fun race to attend, but the Indy 500 still sounds like it’s a pretty great party as well.”

“You’ve never been to one?”

“No,” John said, “but it’s a bucket list type thing for me, as it probably is for a lot of people.”

“Are you much of a motorsports fan?” I asked.

“Not a big one, although I usually watch the Indy 500 and some NASCAR races.  After college, I took a trip to Europe with some friends, and we ended up in Monaco a week after the race.  We could still see how the track was laid out, and the huge yachts with their hot tubs and who-knows-what else were still out in the water.”

Baxter suddenly produced a pencil and slip of paper, on which he began making indecipherable notes. 

“You’ve given me an idea, John,” he said.  “Next time you’re here, I’ll have a special drink prepared in your honor.  You just gave me the name, in fact.”

“And that would be…?” John began trepidaciously.

“A Monaco Hot Tub,” Baxter said without looking up from his notes.

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