In one of the most oddly timed press releases I’ve ever seen Jonathan Byrd’s Racing announced that they will return to the Indy 500 in 2016.
I had to read it over twice just to make certain, but yep, they dropped a press release to say that in two years they plan on doing something. We don’t even know the rules package for 2016, or how many engine manufactures will be involved, but supposedly Jonathan Byrd Racing will be there in partnership with another team. The partnering team has yet to be announced, the driver has yet to be announced, the engine manufacture has yet to be announced. Essentially what I’m reading is an announcement that an announcement is coming… in a while.
I mean it’s great that someone wants to race in the Indy 500, but dropping a press release 25 months in advance? That’s, well, that’s odd. In journalism there is this little thing called a “Time Hook,” and that means that typically in order for a story to work you typically need to have some sort of relevance, and two years is a long time.
So I looked around. Why announce that you’ll be running in the Indy 500 that’s two years and one month away? I don’t get it. They’re sponsoring Fan Forced United in the Indy Lights series. They could sponsor a car in this year’s Indy 500, but aren’t. What I can’t figure out is why drop a press release now about something two years from now. What would make sense to me would be to announce that you’re going to the 2016 Indy 500 when you’re actually at the 2014 Indy 500. I have to wonder if it isn’t somehow related to the Indianapolis Star reporting that Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria and Catering, which apparently only has one location, is going to be closing that one location for a downsizing, renovation, and rebranding.
Jonathan Byrd’s Racing does have an impressive bit of Indycar history to its credit. It currently co-owns the Indy 500 qualifying record when Arie Luyendyk posted a 236.985 in the first year of the CART/IRL split. It also was part of the double with John Andretti during the first Indy 500/Coke 600 double.