TV execs are counting on story lines to sell Indy 500

Indycar driver Ana Beatriz. Photo credit

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Television executives are hoping a robust bunch of story lines accompanying this year's Indianapolis 500 will help build interest in IndyCar beyond the signature race.

Rich Feinberg, ESPN's vice president in charge of motorsports production, acknowledged Tuesday that IndyCar ratings have been "challenged in certain areas." But Feinberg says the best way for ABC-ESPN to help build the sport is through compelling story-telling.

Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti are attempting to become four-time winners on Sunday. A.J. Allmendinger is making his Indy 500 debut, there are four women in the field and the pole sitter, Ed Carpenter, is a local boy and part of a strong American contingent.

Feinberg believes those story lines can help build on the success of last year's race, the most watched since 2008.

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