Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

January 30, 2009

Chicken Little Returns

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:57 am

The faux fan idiots are out en masse portending doom for Indy Racing again. The primary cause of today’s obsession/angst:

  1. Bobby Rahal indicated he MIGHT not participate in the Indy Racing season because his Ethanol funding vanished more rapidly than his F-1 career. As a result, Indy Racing is DOOMED.
  2. DirecTV is no longer a presenting sponsor because the IRL linked up with Versus. Therefore, Indy Racing is DOOMED.

When will these children ever learn?  Good Lord.

 

Bobby Rahal

I do feel bad with regard to Rahal.  While he did field an Indy winner and introduce the world on a large scale to Danica, his efforts always seemed sort of half-hearted. His role in trying to continue the existence of cart back in the day probably clouds my viewpoint, but I cannot understand how a team as potentially great as Rahal AND Letterman cannot attract adequate sponsorship even in trying economic times.

 

Here is a pop quiz for the those using the DirecTV absence as a foolish taunt:  Name the two largest (by a large margin) subscription-based entertainment providers:

 

  1. Comcast
  2. Sirius/XM Radio

Versus is on all Comcast systems, and Indy Racing will again be featured on the newly merged Sirius/XM platform. How could that possibly be bad? DirecTV also carries Versus, so Indy Racing will continue to be available to their subscribers.

 

One of the most entertaining aspects of the off-season is watching fans who claim to hate Indy Racing but follow its every move in microscopic detail make complete fools of themselves with one dire prediction after another that never actually come to pass.

 

Enjoy the season again! 

January 29, 2009

Let’s Get the Football Out of the Way So We Can RACE!

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 2:38 am

For a price (it’s an auction) you can drive in the celebrity race on the streets of Long Beach. Believe it or not, that is probably the only temporary street circuit abomination that actually works, as evidenced by its long history and great promotion. I have attended that ‘race’ in the past, and while the atmosphere is definitely party-like, it is not a race course.

 

I will miss, terribly, Michigan and Nashville this year. I believe Pikes Peak was/is the finest one miler in the country. The fact that Indy Racing no longer races on these tracks is appalling.

 

I hope the Andretti team makes listening on their frequencies easier. Mikey engineering Danica is a headphone and ears match made in heaven. It is potential eardrum damage material from shrillness if nothing else. I can hardly wait to hear that. Oddly, I think the two of them have chemistry and may well connect as driver/choreographer. Mikey knew exactly what he wanted and needed behind the wheel, and I think there is a potentially powerful bond that could occur. Both seem to have equally hard heads and temperaments, and it could work.

 

Speaking of Danica, her Super Bowl spots for Go Daddy are already receiving media attention. Although the content is predictably sleazy and over the top, who cares? It’s a spot destined to air in a football game, which is still not sold out. As of today, 6 :30 avails remain, and rates are down.

 

Wonder whether the idiots will concoct a way to blame it on Tony George?  

January 28, 2009

Playa del Herta

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:17 am

It is always fun to highlight news that is not bad in these tough times, especially within the confines of the Indy Car Series. The best news of recent days involves one of the best representatives of the sport in recent history and a fairly recent Indy Car Series winner, Bryan Herta. Since his departure from AGR and their ALMS team, he has been acting as a road racing coach with Vision Racing.

Now comes word he has purchased the assets of Playa del Racing to form his own Firestone Indy Lights team called Bryan Herta Racing. No word on drivers or sponsors, but what a great story. He has always been a tenacious competitor on the track while measured and classy off it. New owners like Bryan are exactly what has the series continuing to head in the right direction. It will be good to see his efforts come to fruition on the track.

 

 
 

 

 

 

January 27, 2009

Nagging Questions

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 2:06 am

Congratulations to 2004 Indy 500 Winner Buddy Rice for being part of the winning team in the sparsely attended Daytona 24-Hour endurance race. They broke Ganassi’s string and provided a great weekend of racing entertainment. That is something we all needed.

Buddy Rice is also the topic of Indy Racing discussion, and it centers mostly around where he might end up. Rubicon? PCM? D & R has hired yet another foreigner (pretty good show…and here’s hoping that team wins one or two in ’09), and the rest of the league is engaged in a larger than normal game of musical chairs with the 24-or-so seats there will probably be. The fine folks at Trackside Online do a really good job of helping keep score and if you follow Indy Racing, there are few better coverage choices.

Judging by the number of e-mails in the Defender in-box that arrived during my recent soirée in Las Vegas, I may have been missed. Much of it was the predictable hate mail from spelling and grammar challenged cart youth, but that is not surprising. It never is. What kind of surprises me is the general question I keep getting asked over and over again. I have answered several times in the past but some apparently do not yet have the scoop.

One of the quaint IRL hate sites (run by some guy down under) went under. Hate and delinquency can be expensive, and in addition to being thought challenged, the cart youth are evidently finance challenged as well. Karma is a bitch. Is the other one still around? I have not kept up with it. What that means is that I no longer post in cyberspace.

My traditional posting favorite (over 13,000) was Trackforum, but it will be two years in May since I’ve posted anything there. I was removed by the management for something I posted on a separate, unrelated, now defunct site. If I want to return they say I would have to change my Defender moniker to something they approve in advance and never allude to the fact Defender ever existed. Bending over in that fashion is not something I will ever be prepared to do. I would be honored to post there in the future, but only as Defender. I appreciate the ongoing concern, but if you want me to post there that is something you will have to take up with the management of that place.

Proprietors of other sites simply cave in to the hypocritical pressure of morons then allow their testicles to be removed. What a shame. I am perfectly happy to provide consistently colorful rumination here on the blog, and will on a mostly daily basis. You are more than welcome to comment as many do. I will only edit and/or report spam when the input is vile, vulgar or stupid. Thankfully, most responses are thoughtful and worthwhile, and I appreciate that.

Racing season is just about here, even if it is just NASCAR.

January 25, 2009

Hangover

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:59 am

Sorry for the lag this week; it has been unusual. The week began with a day off for MLK day followed by the inauguration of our first really mixed race President. A little over a year ago I made a deal with my teenage son that if he got a meaningful (with bennies) job and enrolled in college that I would give him a blowout 21st birthday celebration in a domestic United States location of his choice.

He chose Las Vegas.

It has been a busy week. J I have to go to Vegas once a year for business, and every time I go it is different. This time, for pleasure, it was different again. There is literally nothing on one side of the strip from Circus Circus all the way down to Treasure Island. No more Frontier or Stardust or any of the other old-style strip casinos that dotted Las Vegas Boulevard at one time. New construction has slowed or stopped due to the crappy economy. Casinos are laying off. Construction projects are idle. While still relatively depraved, it has gotten depressing even there. He had a memorable 21st birthday, however!

I hope the Indy Car Series does not ever decide it would be a swell idea to race on any city street in Las Vegas. That would be pointless and lose millions like all of those unnatural abomination temporary circuit ‘races.’ Bruton’s big oval is ideal, and decent promotion of an IRL event there would be worthwhile.

Here is hoping I can catch up next week. Sorry for the delay. I’m going to sleep now.

January 19, 2009

Chain Jerking On Hold

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 11:15 pm

Blog contributions may be sparse over the next few days. I have a son who is about to turn 21. I made him a deal that involved a small vacation to a domestic spot of his choice. He lived up to his end of the bargain and chose Las Vegas. Lord only knows what he has in mind once we get there. I probably do not want to know. The economic hard times make for some pretty sweet travel deals and we are taking full advantage.

I am receiving a sizeable amount of what appears to be hate mail for calling the idiotic ‘split’ politics as I see them. I thought that deal ended. Would it not be nice for the originators of the ‘Defender you suck/cart rules’ handful of refugees to embrace that reality?

Why not focus instead on the future growth of the sport? cart as you remember it will not return. The future of Indy Racing is and probably always will be linked to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Embrace it. That is a much more prudent approach than pining for a corpse.

Most of the rest of the world has already decided to move forward. My goal is to get everyone who fancies him/herself a racing fan to do the same. Racing season is just around the corner. Everyone who reads this blog will be watching anyway. Enjoy it.

January 18, 2009

Century Check: 21st. Decade Check: 2000s. Year Check: 2009.

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 9:05 pm

One of the few frustrating aspects of being a lifelong Indy Racing supporter is attempting to tolerate the abject stupidity, hostility and outright whining of people who laughingly claim to be fans of the sport but whose only real contribution is attempted destruction of it for everyone else. This is mostly because they lack the maturity and class to simply enjoy it and work in positive ways to affect its future evolution.

The following quotes are lifted from one of the small niche forums of mostly dumbed-down NASCAR enthusiasts/open wheel (except cart) haters, but are fairly typical of the flat earth, myopic, counterproductive malcontents described above.

“In American Open Wheeled racing, that type of racing self-destructed more than a decade ago when a silver-spooned scion of a prominent mid-western family assumed the control of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and decided that he should also assume the “control” of Indy type racing, and formed a series that would exclude the existing, healthy series, and attempt to answer an unasked question; he believed by want of his ownership position of the IMS (Indianapolis Motor Speedway), he should control the cars AND teams that would race at his facility.”

It is the same old story over and over with these blithering idiots, many of whom live well outside the Midwest and have not stepped foot inside the IMS gates in decades if at all.  They forget that Tony Hulman almost singlehandedly rescued the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from being assimilated into the National Homes hell that is now the decrepit barrio/ghetto/glorified trailer park known as Eagledale. Now, the grandson (the ‘silver spooned scion’) is preparing to just as nearly singlehandedly gentrify the entire worn out west side of Indianapolis with little to no taxpayer money or fanfare, just as he and his family have done at the motor sports mecca of the world for seven decades.  

These fools like to position Tony George as ‘answering an unasked question.’ Look no further than the brutal, embarrassing self immolation and ultimate bankruptcy, twice, of the buried and decomposing cart series before crapping out ‘unasked question’ nonsense. Had Tony not acted when and as decisively as he did, there would be no Indy Car racing at all now. The same hypocrites who spent years decrying Indy Racing but ultimately joined it after they killed their supposedly ‘better’ series are up to their old tricks in Indy Racing and could well kill it as well.

History has shown over and over that road racing as a base simply does not work, and likely never will no matter how much self deluding excuse making occurs. Most Indy racing owners are trying to shove soccer down the throats of a football hungry nation. If Roger Curtis, the President of Michigan International Speedway, is telling the truth, he has been told by the ICS the future direction of Indy Racing is decidedly toward more road and street racing and away from ovals except small ones. That would exclude especially phenomenal ovals such as Michigan. It appears Indy Racing is in the process of squandering a beautiful Labor Day opportunity and ultimately their entire future.

Look at the road and street racing series/venues in this country that have failed. All of them have. A1GP is a great idea, but makes former cart management look as competent as NASCAR and is floundering. ALMS may not have enough participants to make it worthwhile any more. As long as the NASCAR pocketbook does not dry up Grand Am may make it, but not on its own. Formula 1 no longer has a home in North America.

I WISH Tony actually controlled the series he built. The horrible advice he is currently receiving from the recidivist serial motor sports series ownership failures and former cart employees who currently have his ears will help kill any road racing-centric series again.

That does not stop the idiots from blaming all their woes on Tony, then expecting everyone else to believe lies they make up.  Over the past decade plus, this poseur series, the IRL (Indy Racing League) has sown its own destruction in taking a successful operating series, and using the overwhelming influence of the Indy 500, and developed a “spec series” that has generated very little interest in what the fans had made the basis of their appreciation of that kind of motorsports; innovation and diversity. In my opinion, they deserve to fail. Regardless, this series, which has never caught its breathe, is further being battered by the economic recession/depression.”

cart was not a success. It was a well intentioned Dan Gurney wet dream series that merely occupied a throne it did not deserve after a palace coup, then perverted Indy Cars into a road racing series over the course of 16 years before bankrupting themselves. A nearly identical fate befell the successor asset sale group, only in much shorter time primarily because they also stupidly believed they could survive sans Indy but actually tried it from the get-go. Most substantive innovation occurred well before cart was hatched.

To dismiss Indy Car as a series that has generated very little interest displays a stunning amount of ignorance and denial. In an economic climate that is seeing not only entire sports leagues but major business entities in all sectors simply vanishing, and all in a 500+ channel universe with more content delivery options than ever before, not to mention a nearly universally available Internet. Of course it is not at the level of popularity it was. You know, before NASCAR dominated, in a 10+ channel environment with rabbit ears and no Internet, and without malcontents selfishly attempting to kill it. Indy Racing does hold a viable position with paid network television, cable television, satellite radio and satellite television deals and a reasonable, cost efficient amount of sponsorship, manufacturer support and participation. Best of all, there is a lot of room for meaningful growth. Generally the best repudiation of the mindless taunting of bitter old men is reality. It works really well.

“Indy type cars: This series, which at one time, was my favorite American series, but now is, in my humble, but practiced opinion, is FUBAR (Flugged Up Beyond All Recognition). The horses left the barn a long time ago, and may very well be lost forever. But, I’ll venture something that should be considered by the “powers that be” in that kind of racing (listening Roger?).  The most exciting time in the history of the Indy 500 was when it was the epicenter (the central place) of innovation. When six wheeled cars, cars with engines on the side, different kinds of engines, twin engines, turbines, rotaries, diesels, ad naseum, were not only “allowed to compete”, they were “encouraged”.

News flash for the flat earth society: It is no longer 1964. We are well beyond that. Orient yourselves into the current century or die. Or at least find something else about which to obsess. If you people hate it so bad, why have you spent the past sixteen years obsessing over its every evolutionary nuance? I know the answer. It is because you not only lie to the rest of us, you lie to yourselves. You watch every second then bitch like fat, spurned spinsters with knotted, wet frilly lace panties.

The biggest opportunities for innovation involve the ways in which the cars are propelled. Current aero configurations allow for mostly safe racing north of 220 MPH, and trying to maintain high speeds while getting exotic with design is dangerous. Formula 1 attempts it, and cars just get ugly. Indy Racing is entertaining alternative internal combustion configurations and have already moved away from fossil fuels. Innovate using hydrogen, electricity and other cutting edge technologies. That will innovate in meaningful ways. Today costs must be controlled. Indy Racing is no longer the only big game in town as it was during the utopian era from which these folks park their whining behinds then refuse to budge.

“The current supporting series, the IRL, cannot exist on its own, and is no more than sucking from the teat of the Indy 500, should be quietly put to death, and let the car owners and team owners the task of a supporting series with venues that could properly support a series that can accommodate the types of cars that would be eligible at the Indy 500. That should be enough of a incentive to keep the series alive.

Sentiments like that constitute the single most stupid line of thought I have ever encountered as a racing fan since 1959 and during this so called ‘split.’ What need would there be for an open wheel series without the Indianapolis 500?  The IRL depends on the 500!? Well du-uh. Let the car owners and team owners manage the series? Why? It would die, just as cart and EVERY other road racing series has. That imbecilic notion is just laughable. The prescription for success is 60+% oval with a meaningful cultivation of AMERICAN driving talent. They need to be mining two or three Danicas, Marcos and Grahams every year. Period.  Not being at Michigan International Speedway is the single most stupid decision ever made in Indy Racing history by the road racing apologists trying again to run the show.

“The last thing in the world this series (IRL, or alternative) needs is a restrictive, one make, one model type of racing that it currently struggles with. This series needs to re-visit the excitement of the “60’s”.

I’d like to see the Beatles reunite as well. I enjoyed them tremendously in the 1960’s. The reality, however, is that two of them are DEAD (like cart and champcar) and the remaining two are old men, one with a drinking and talent problem and the other who got stumped then fleeced in his latest attempt at marriage. Hell, even A.J. Foyt is in his mid 70’s.

How long before these pathetic excuses for fans begin to exit the planet? Perhaps then they will find the peace they have deluded themselves into believing does not exist. They lack the courage both to be truthful and to exchange meaningful dialog.

 

January 16, 2009

Stupid….eerrrr….SILLY Season

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 2:13 am

Silly season is always fun. From that north of the border paragon of journalistic excellence, the Sun, comes word/wishful thinking that Paul Tracy could supplant Power or possibly Servia provided somebody comes up with some sponsorship teat on which Kalkhoven and Vasser can suckle. Surely there is some type of successful enterprise in Canada willing to foot the bill. Or not. Perhaps they view this situation as I do. Tracy is old. 40. What purpose would he serve? I would be far happier to see Ryan-Hunter-Reay get a good ride instead of some loudmouthed malcontent whose best days are behind him, despite that good one off at the Edmonton circuit last season.

The series no longer needs Tracy. Never did, actually. They need more Danicas, Marcos and Grahams. It seems way too hard for owners to get that message. AFS/AGR signed a young Columbian to drive their IPS car in ’09. Perhaps they believe they have the next Montoya. Who knows? Way to cultivate young American talent.

The IRL does not worry too much about turning their back on the 1996 to 2001 fans. They are thought to be too old, too poor and too set in their ways to make a difference, so screw ‘em. They are correct in knowing they have to market to a much younger demo, but they need to understand balance. The kids do not spend nearly the amount of money on this entertainment venture as us older farts.

They need charismatic youthful AMERICAN cast members, easily accessible venues primarily on ovals, and an acceptance that temporary street races in most every city except Long Beach are money losing jokes that make everyone involved look stupid.

January 15, 2009

Talent Upgrade

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:44 am

Versus announced their on-air lineup for Indy Car Series races in 2009. Frankly, it is pretty good.

Bob Jenkins serves as the anchor (solid choice), and here is hoping Jon Beekhuis and Robbie Buhl can help Bob re-elevate his game to the level that made him great. Buhl is potentially great and will make many of us thankful that Scott Goodyear will now only be heard talking about marbles and being a passenger along for the ride up in that gray area five times next season. The first time Beekhuis makes any type of comparison of any kind to the old cart I am going to personally seek him out, grab what is left of the Brillo-like remnants of his hair and stuff a sock down his throat. Actually, I am not serious and Beekhuis will add a lot. He does need to realize it is a brand new day, however.

Robby Floyd, Jack Arute and Lindy Thackston are going to be the trackside reporters. Arute probably does not like the assignment, but there is no one any better except Gary Gerould, and he evidently will never return. The combo of young talent Robby Floyd and Lindy Thackston has tremendous potential. Lindy is no stranger to Indy, has actual broadcasting talent, and will make the Pedigo ornament pale by comparison.

I am very pleased with this dramatic upgrade of on-air talent and offer congratulations to the team that put this together.

The 2009 season cannot arrive quickly enough!  And now, the token picture of the most attractive member of the new team:

January 14, 2009

A Good Versus Sports Partner Activity

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:02 pm

I have had the good fortune over the past few years to visit many NHL venues for games as part of my job. I have attended hockey games in Detroit, Philly, Vancouver, Minnesota, Buffalo, Nashville, Colorado, Toronto and other places on a fairly regular basis. Last night I saw the Caps (they dropped a stinker on the home crowd) and Oilers in DC. I have noticed a few interesting things at all of them. In all places, they root for mostly foreigners with hard to pronounce names, are fairly rabid in terms of intensity (especially in Detroit and Philly) and turn out in large numbers. Last night in Washington, a Tuesday night, the place was nearly sold out and despite the home team stinking on ice there was enthusiasm everywhere.

 

On the way in on the Metro I spoke with a season ticket holder who is an immigrant from Uruguay. I asked him if he also liked soccer. ‘Naw, soccer sucks,’ he said.

 

I do not know whether there is a parallel to be drawn between hockey and Indy Racing or not, but after being spoon fed doom and gloom by hostile idiots nearly continuously for fifteen years (with no signs that it will subside) it is refreshing to have a great time at a sporting entity that is said to have fallen on hard times that is about to fail with a ‘lousy’ TV deal on Versus. There were a ton of people and nearly continuous bombardment with sponsor messaging.

 

Oh, and by the way, if you haven’t been to a hockey game lately or at all, you really should go.

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