I was at the race sitting 3/4 the way up at the popular turn four. These lasik enhanced eyes could not read the LED display. They looked great on the TV though. Back to the drawing board.
NASCAR has more fans than IndyCar based on both TV ratings and live attendance. The best TV rating for IndyCar (The Indy 500) is what the average NASCAR race is. However this is changing as more sports leaves network TV for cable/satellite subscription TV.
For whatever reason, IndyCar struggle to get large crowds at oval events (excluding the 500). I think the future of the series is in street and road courses with the annual Indy 500 going nowhere.
I am a big fan of both IndyCar and NASCAR. By the end of the summer will have attended four IndyCar races (including the twin bill in Detroit) and three NASCAR races. I love them both but the experience is very different in person and on TV. What they do have in common is fan access. I spent the NASCAR race in Kentucky watching from the pits. IndyCar sells paddock passes to every race and they are very affordable.
IndyCar’s style of identical chassis/safety cell with different engines and aero kits is something F1 should consider stealing. This drastically reduces costs for the teams yet still provides room for competition. My complaint with IndyCar is they only have an A (Chevy) or B (Honda) choice. If you have B and A is the better choice, there is nothing the team can really do until B fixes the problem.
There are of course crashes on ovals and they can look very violent but the gains made in racing safety has cut down on death and injury. The SAFER Barrier and HANS device have been the two big ones the last decade or two. Sadly nothing is perfectly safe as we saw Dario (on a street course) and Hinch suffer terrible injuries and of course losing Dan Wheldon on an oval in the last race with the old spec chassis.
Disappointingly, IndyCar isn’t above F1’s stupidity in racing with track vehicles on the circuit.