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Sep 20, 2012 - 03:57 PM
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The Mavtv 500: An Adventure In Izod IndyCar Racing, Sept 15, 2012
Posted by: newsla on Sep 20, 2012 - 06:29 AM
IndyCar News
The Mavtv 500: An Adventure In Izod IndyCar Racing, Sept 15, 2012

The banners, hats, tote bags, flags, posters, programs, every TV monitor in the place, even the racetrack's infield grass blazed with the words:


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MAVTV American Real 500.

History was made on Saturday night, September 15, at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA, as the MAVTV American Real 500 became the only other 500 mile IndyCar race in the world after the Indianapolis 500 and the first IndyCar race on the fast 2-mile Superspeedway in six years. The race itself was extraordinary with the final few laps deciding the 2012 series champion.

At the track, the pageantry and excitement were electric, and MAVTV's presence was strong, from the first day of the official press announcement a few weeks prior, to the sign-off in the NBC Sports booth. After nearly five hours of non-stop action on Saturday evening, the name MAVTV American Real was on everyone's lips and in the air.

There were some (on-site at the track and in the TV audience) who might not have heard the name MAVTV prior to this 500-mile race, but by midday Friday the question: "What's MAVTV?" had turned to: a statement: "Oh, that's a new TV network that Lucas Oil owns." The transition was something of a revelation to many of the MAVTV and Lucas Oil staffers who had come out to work the event and take the pulse of the public ... The consensus was that the pulse was strong and that MAVTV got maximum recognition for its efforts.

"Motor racing fans are among the most-loyal of all sports fans," said MAVTV President Bob Patison. "We know that they truly appreciate, support and patronize companies that support the sport. They are also, demographically, an exact fit for the sort of programming that MAVTV puts in its schedule."

Of course Patison was talking about MAVTV's unique blend of family fun, action, adventure, classic film and TV shows, reality and fantasy targeting American families living active lifestyles. In other words: high-test, no-nonsense TV that strives mightily to live up to the words that always accompany those first five capital letters MAVTV: "American Real", it's a motto that really comes to life when sponsoring a world class competition event like the MAVTV 500.The 500-mile daylight-into-night race was simply spectacular start to finish with an independent team winning the race (Ed Carpenter) out-dueling Indy 500 Champion Dario Franchitti that was matched for excitement by the late-season title run that had American Ryan Hunter-Reay racing flat out to claim the 2012 Izod IndyCar World Championship from points leader Australian Will Power.

Veteran Indianapolis racing reporter Robin Miller had this to say about the 500: "If you didn't like the MAVTV 500, then you probably need to find another sport to watch." It was a blistering hot day for the fans and drivers alike, but everyone who took part in the event went home with the knowledge that they had seen a real contest.

The MAVTV 500 race is on the books again for the next two years at Auto Club Speedway, and there's a distinct possibility that IndyCar could add a third 500-mile event to the 2013 schedule thereby bringing back the renowned "Triple Crown" point chase within the series championship. That excitement will garner additional national interest in the MAVTV500 at Auto Club Speedway ... particularly if a driver wins the first two events going in!

This was a first sponsorship effort for MAVTV American Real, but it follows in the footsteps of its parent company Lucas Oil Products, Inc whose corporate philosophy is summed up by owner Forrest Lucas. "We got into the entertainment business to sell oil" says Lucas "And nothing is more entertaining than fast cars, trucks, planes and boats." Today Lucas Oil is a motor racing juggernaut which sponsors more than 700 race teams and drivers plus owns, produces/sanctions series and events while using its involvement in motor racing to research, market and develop its products.

Even as the event was concluding there was a torrent of phone calls asking first what MAVTV American Real was, and then asking how to contact their local cable or satellite operator to make MAVTV American Real a part of their regular viewing package at home!

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