Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

February 13, 2014

One Man’s Idea of the Perfect IndyCar Schedule – Revisited

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:55 pm

Assumptions:

-Must schedule around the NFL

-Can’t generally run on NASCAR tracks that have two Cup dates with some exceptions

-Should try to beat all other series to the bell

-Successful scheduling and marketing by IndyCar will need to consist of more than ‘. . . fork over 1.5 million dollars and we will appear.’

-IndyCar must work hard to improve the venue balance. Non-oval predominance is getting ridiculous, and is a historically proven path toward failure.

With that in mind, here is a proposed schedule and rationale:

  1. IndyCarSecond to last weekend of January: Walt Disney World Speedway (after SAFER installed). Why? It is a week before the Daytona 24 hours. It is the only time of the year Disney would actually like a race there. You would attract a lot of snowbirds in the throes of winter. OVAL.
  2. Last weekend of January: Run at Daytona just before the 24 hours. Great publicity at minimal cost. NON-OVAL.
  3. Mid February: The Houston street race. Weather would be better than in mid-summer. Far enough away from Eddie’s race. NON-OVAL-STREET.
  4. End of February: Try Homestead again because Cup only has one date at the end and perhaps both entities could finally learn how to market a great product. OVAL.
  5. Mid-March: Circuit of the Americas. It is time. Weather is usually 65-70 and it is far enough away from F-1. Far enough away from Eddie’s race. NON-OVAL.
  6. End of March: Andy Hillenberg’s Rockingham. Great short oval with SAFER; all classes can run, and it opens up a brand new Iowa-style market. Creative presentation required. OVAL.
  7. Early April: Barber. Traditional slotting and great partner. NON-OVAL.
  8. Mid-April: Long Beach. Maintains its normal position. NON-OVAL-STREET.
  9. End of April: Phoenix. Perfect spacing between Cup events and nice pre-Indy oval. OVAL.
  10. First of Mary: Memphis Motorsports Park. Opens up a brand new market, is not owned by ISC or SMI, is geographically desirable, has SAFER and is a great short oval on which all classes can run. OVAL.
  11. Mid-May: IMS road course deal. NON-OVAL
  12. End of May: Indy 500. OVAL
  13. First of June: Give Eddie back his first race after Indy status. He deserves it. OVAL
  14. Mid-June: Belle Isle. Personally I think Detroit is a hopeless cause and these cars actually deserve MIS more, but as long as Roger Penske is alive and Chevy is a partner we will probably have to live with it. NON-OVAL
  15. First of July: Pocono. What a great addition last year and if the slot stays consistent could be a long term winner. OVAL
  16. Mid-July: Iowa. Enjoy that great small oval while it lasts. OVAL.
  17. Late July: Toronto. NON-OVAL-STREET.
  18. Early August: Mid-Ohio. Great fan attendance. NON-OVAL.
  19. Mid-August: Milwaukee. Hopefully they continue building this event. Track is as historic as Indy. OVAL.
  20. Late August: Sonoma. Good money. Great location. NON-OVAL.
  21. Season climax: Fontana. OVAL.

11 ovals, 7 road courses, 3 streets. Perfect balance.

Other out of the box ideas: Make a deal with ISC that basically states ISC will take their heads out of their asses with regard to Pikes Peak, and IndyCar will stop running there as soon as they get their track built in Denver. That was a great little market for IndyCar, and the area has blossomed both in terms of population and economy since. Weather is nice most of time too.

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22 Comments »

  1. Imperative to get that schedule completed PRIOR to NFL kickoff. Any free eyeballs floating around the TV will land on NFL if they overlap. I like it.

    Comment by Tony D — February 13, 2014 @ 1:59 pm | Reply

  2. Wow. Keep dreaming Disciple.

    WDW Speedway? Attendance cratered after first year. Worst temporary grandstands in history. SAFER barrier? Least of your problem. If Disney wanted the IRL/Indycar they’d already be there. They make more money with the Petty Experience than you’d ever see with Indycar.

    Daytona? Ah, sure, why not? Because A: the road course at Daytona STINKS. B: Two races in the same market within a week or two? Indycar barely draws a crowd when they’re a “unique” once a year deal somewhere.

    Houston? Only after they collect the catch fence from the grandstands.

    Homestead-THREE Indycar races in the same state within one month’s time? After Indycar tanks at Daytona? I’m sure ISC will want that scenario.

    COTA-Other than F1 & MotoGP, COTA has struggled to draw crowds with products that have much larger followings-V8 Supercar, WEC. The sight of Indycars circulating around an empty facility will make a big impression with sponsors.

    Rockingham-who knows. A blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while.

    Barber-Actually decent, not great for passing, but there are other technical draws for racing-doesn’t have to be a overtake fest to be a good race.

    Long Beach. Whatever. The “buzz” left with CART (not Champcar)

    Phoenix-See WDW, Daytona, etc. If there was any market for it, then ISC would have already booked it.

    Memphis-who cares?

    Indy-Road course and the 500. I’ve got a better idea-how about that tractor pull you talked about in another one of your excursions into stupidity. At least PEOPLE (fewer of them ever year, but still real people) show up for the 500.

    Texas. Maybe that date will get the crowd back. Another year like last years as far as attendence goes, and Milwaukee can have that date back for good.

    Belle Isle. Bring some Speedy Crete, and spackle. MIS-no crowd when there were fast, good looking cars there. Look at the overhead shoot you put on this page. Think anybody wants to watch them drone on for 3 hours? Not.

    Pocono-My neck of the woods. I’d say that track access and egress alone is reason enough to avoid it, but after Year One of Indycar, crowds won’t be a problem.

    Iowa-Like you said, enjoy it while it lasts. ‘Nuff said.

    Toronto-Used to be a fun event-I know, I went every year. Went to one Champcar event, wasn’t the same. As long as the city kicks in the budget, go for it. Once that well dries up, say goodnight.

    Mid Ohio-great venue, a bit behind the times, Honda has a presence in the area, so it will stay.

    Milwaukee. Sad to see such a historic old site dying before our eyes. Indycar brings nothing-no excitement, no buzz, no nothing. Just pull the plug already. (Although once Texas goes away, the magic “date after the 500″ is available again).

    Sonoma-Good money? Ok, if you say so. The racing there isn’t great, however.

    Fontana. The Season Climax. For you and about 500 of your closest friends. Season title decided there in last two years? ANd that helped HOW?

    Just take the 4 or five races on the current schedule that actually do draw something of a crowd, run them from early May through the end of June. This way, the NFL, most of the NBA and NHL seasons, the CFL, Pro Bowlers Tour or any of those other pesky “competitors” won’t siphon off the fan base.

    Keep up the good work, Disciple.
    Editor’s Note: Well, as is typical of your ilk, you do a remarkable job of tearing down. But I am curious as to what your ideal schedule would be. You know. Something constructive and halfway intelligent. Since you’re so smart and all….and obviously have your fingers right on the pulse of the sport, not to mention humanity.

    Comment by Oldfan — February 14, 2014 @ 4:18 am | Reply

  3. I DID give you my ideal schedule-run everything in May/June. There are only a handful of events that get any following at all.
    Editor’s Note: May/June only is among the most completely stupid ideas foisted at any time over the past twenty years. IndyCar drew over a million fans through the gates of its events again last year, and will again this year. Nice try, though.

    As far as the tearing down goes, that job was already done by your hero, TG.
    Editor’s Note: Seriously, do you know how completely stupid that tired, dated epithet is today? In addition to proving conclusively you do not know how to read your juvenile attempts at stereotyping shows extreme mental/emotional deficiency. You kids behave like you are four years old. Grow up.

    Only now that the rot has begun to set in at the Speedway, do you and the rest of the Indy-centric syncophants realize the damage that he and the Hulmans did. Just think back to the late 80s & early -mid 90s. Was really terrible then, huh?
    Editor’s Note: As someone who has been walking through the gates since 1959 it is a magical place every time I walk in. The late 80s were great. But then so were the mid-80s, the early 80′s, all of the 60s and 70s and 90s, and this century has provided great racing as well. No one period is ‘terrible’ to actual fans. To believe otherwise screams ignorance. Indy-centric is the only reason the sport has survived despite attempts to destroy it by those foolish enough to share your idiotic beliefs.

    You post a total pipe dream, grounded in fantasy and wishful thinking, and NOW you want something intelligent? After you, sir.
    Editor’s Note: Realizing meaningful intelligence is well beyond your capabilities I merely offered a viable way to connect with racing fans from all walks of life and often in underserved areas. So yes, something more than crapping on my carpet and spouting chicken little doom and gloom is what I am after. Minimal intelligence will do. Your screeching became tedious around 1997. We get it. Need more proof of your lack of intellect? Anyone with half a brain and that much misdirected hostility would have found another form of entertainment by now. The only thing your tired, formulaic nonsense is accomplishes is reinforcement of your wildly immature vulgarity. Again, grow up.

    Noticed that you didn’t address any of the points I made, but you DID edit my post, so I know you read it.
    Editor’s Note: The only thing I edited was the part in which turned my screen name into an insult. We can do without that kind of childish wordplay. If you are ever able to muster a valid point perhaps I can address it. Capisce?

    Long story short, son-there is NO ideal schedule for the disaster of the current INDYCAR series. If this was a dog or housecat, you’d have euthanised it by now.
    Editor’s Note: The truly devisive tangent of the sport managed to euthanize itself. Twice.

    Comment by Oldfan — February 14, 2014 @ 3:42 pm | Reply

    • You’re a bit disingenuous, at best regarding the history of CART, and the related history of USAC, AAA, CART, the IRL and Indy. The original USAC “championship trail” that encompassed the Indy 500 along with other races was so badly managed that the sport was basically the 500 and a bunch of races ( like Trenton)that got 15 minutes of coverage on Wide World of Sports, in between the barrel jumping and pong pong. Not to mention no real media coverage of any kind outside of th d 500. That series “died” in the late 70s/ very early 80s when CART was formed.
      Editor’s Note: Having lived through many, many pre-cart years I can say with considerable certainty that despite mismanagement (something that has been a hallmark of this particular branch of the sport since Rickenbacker assumed control) the only way any IndyCar series makes it long term (like for over 100 years) is with a giant marquee and several supporting events. Those who steer off that course fail 100% of the time. History backs up that claim. cart was nothing more than a mutiny attempt by self interested opportunists who took advantage of a plane crash to get their way. A few remnants of that group continue polluting the purity of the sport even today (after they failed on their own, twice).

      Like it or not ( and judging from your history on your blog and the other forums you posted on in the past, you didn’t) open wheel “Indycar” racing achieved it’s highest amount of popularity when the “divisive” tangent of the sport ran it.
      Editor’s Note: Depends on your age (both emotional and physical) and your subjective prejudice. The biggest crowds for qualifications were not during the cart years, they were during the 60′s and 70′s. Tickets for the 500 sold out the next day for decades before cart was hatched. Even if cart had not killed itself twice and had done the intelligent thing in 1996 (showing up en masse to Indy, cleaning house and eliminating the IRL after 3 races) the sport would be in the same or worse shape today. Why? Societal evolution in general, which does not consider any meaningless split peeing contests.

      Tony George got buffaloed by his own ego and Bill France into splitting the sport; from which it has never recovered.
      Editor’s Note: Wrong again, history re-writer. That particular fallacy continues not only to haunt but to mislead the youngsters. When Tony George launched the IRL in 1996 it was not done to split the sport; rather, it was designed to be a complementary series that ran on non-competing tracks on weekends cart was off. Blood from the murder attempt of the sport is on the hands of those who operated and supported cart. Their egos and sheer arrogance could not deal with what they foolishly misinterpreted as an IMS power play. As a result they intentionally obsoleted their equipment, scheduled races on competing or adjacent weekends, and went out of the way to portray themselves as victims. Their sheer insolence alone forced the last resort 25/8. Even then, cart consistently chose the most stupid courses of action humanly possible. It was within their power, even given 25/8, to wipe the IRL off the face of earth simply by showing up at Indy en masse in the first year, dominating and crushing the then nascent series into oblivion. Eventually, that one group killed themselves. Twice. IMS mercifully rescued all of the bitter mutineers from themselves (although there exist those who have never gotten beyond those failures, including Forsythe, not to mention the three or four obsessed children who squat here to add vulgarity and screeching to every single thread) without any sort of ‘thank you’ for the asset fire sale IMS graciously termed a ‘merger.’ Is it any wonder your species pines for those days?

      His original ” vision” of an all oval, American driver, American suppliers series “died” due to lack of interest in anything but the 500.
      Editor’s Note: Hmmmm. Oddly, the vast majority of events I attend are as well attended as most years; over a million per year. When events are on ABC decent numbers are achieved, which is remarkable in our 500-channel, multi-platform society. Even the cable ratings exceed most offerings on similar channels. Also, your view of the ‘vision’ is also clouded by your obviously ignorant prejudice. When will you cave dwellers from the early 90s bother to do some actual research?

      The IRL died with the advent of street courses, engine leases, foreign chassis suppliers and foreign drivers.
      Editor’s Note: Actually, what we have today is an evolution from the IRL, which changed it’s corporate name but not its structure, primarily to attempt to appease beligerent malcontents like you. You speak of such diverse things as if they are bad. From which side of your mouth are you talking? IndyCar has ovals, American drivers, foreign drivers, American suppliers, foreign suppliers, street courses, engine leases, foreign chassis supplier (that built a factory in Speedway, Indiana), etc. Are you saying such diversity is bad or good? Your species can be very obtuse.

      So, if you’re keeping score, I’d say that it’s about even. The sport’s died 4 times now- the biggest difference is that at least one of them- the CART/PPG Indycar World Series had sponsors, ratings, manufacturers, good crowds and worldwide respect; if only for a (relatively) short time. Some thing that neither the IRL or the current Indycar series has managed to accomplish.
      Editor’s Note: Riddle me this, Einstein…If this awesome cart/ppg series was as remarkable as you have fantasized it to be and Tony George is as bumbling an incompetent as he is portrayed by your species, how/why did cart kill itself, twice, and how is what began as the IRL still here? Three letters provide the real answer. IMS. Deal with it or finally succeed at something at which you have probably practiced extensively. Autoerotic asphyxiation. By the way, the only thing that has caused the Indy 500 not to be run are two World Wars. It survived those and will no doubt outlive even the most bitter knuckle draggers left on the planet.

      Comment by Oldfan — February 14, 2014 @ 6:10 pm | Reply

  4. Judging by the sheer numbers of FORMER CART-PPG INDYCAR fans that stay away, (both at the track and on TV) I’d guess that I, and those who feel the same way have a far better handle on the state of INDYCAR than you could ever hope to have.
    Editor’s Note: No one with a brain gives a damn about FORMER cart-ppg fans. Any of them that are actually racing fans still follow. The remaining few who still hold a militant stance against IMS need to either get a life or die. Given the tone of their idiotic, vitriolic rhetoric, the latter would result in peace more quickly.

    The sport DOESN’T HAVE A PULSE. THAT’S THE POINT.
    Editor’s Note: Perhaps I should cancel my airline tickets, credentials and tickets for the eight (so far) events I was planning to attend. Now go take your Xanax, malcontent.

    Comment by Oldfan — February 14, 2014 @ 4:26 pm | Reply

    • Yes. We get it. You don’t give a damn about us FORMER fans. That’s the same mindset that TG had. That’s worked out so well for you. As far as your airline tickets, creds, et al good for you. Say hello for us to the other 50 people left that care.
      Editor’s Note: You know, man began walking upright some seven million years ago. The only question I have after attempting to wade through the lunacy you attempt to foist as commentary and even giving you the courtesy of participating involves wondering when your sub-species might evolve to even a minimally primitive state. As previously stated, FORMER fans that possess human qualities eventually let it go. And I’m OK with that. Most of your misery is self-induced and comes off like some sort of bad acid hallucination. Find something in life that is beneficial. Using sticks and rocks to start fire. Figuring a better way to carry water from the stream to your cave. You know, practical things.

      Comment by Oldfan — February 14, 2014 @ 5:49 pm | Reply

      • Now who is insulting who. You don’t agree – fine.
        Editor’s Note: Insults my lard arse. My comments merely reflect the tone and worthlessness of your dated, pointless, repetitive, vulgar diatribes. Act like a human adult and you will treated accordingly.

        I’ve got plenty of quality things to do, and I do them. It’s just fun to pop in to these forums from time to time to see what fantasies reside here. Speaking of finding something to do-you seem to be able to answer instantly. It appears that you spend most of your day glued to your computer, hoping for someone, anyone to engage you. Glad I could make your day.
        Editor’s Note: Don’t flatter yourself. It’s been humming along just fine without your crapping on my carpet.

        Comment by Oldfan — February 14, 2014 @ 6:16 pm

  5. I’m also in my 6th decade of walking through the gates of IMS. I’ve attended 43 Indianapolis 500’s and 39 consecutive since 1974. When I began watching and attending, the coverage was limited to ONE television network (ABC) and that was segments on Wide World of Sports along with other unrelated sports. Forget following the season. There were newspapers and magazines and thankfully WIBC back when it was a real radio station. Since those were the only forms of media available, the demand was high while the supply was low. The Indianapolis Star reporters were the best in history. The only other alternative was to get your ass to the track into a seat. Pole day crowds were attributed in part because of this. A great family get together day at the track for a bargain. Not much coverage, no internet, no real time coverage besides radio, and any local television stations’ coverage was recorded for playback on their evening newscasts.

    The first year I watched cars on the track was 1968, and the names of the day were Hurtubise, Gurney, Unser, Andretti, Hill, Pollard, Ruby, Foyt, etc. Many of these made the transition from front to rear engine. That phase drew the ire of its fans as well, but most evolved with the sport, mainly because their heroes were alive, well, and competing. The decade of the 70’s (IMO the glory days for this fan) featured diversity of all kinds. Engines, chassis, tire choices, the addition of wings, etc., made for the most interesting decade I’ve ever witnessed. Meanwhile, the tragic year of 1973 again brought out the shrieking and those who called for the end of the sport. Safety was addressed and changes happened. As competitors from the 60’s retired or were fatally injured, emerging names like Johncock, Sneva, Ongais, Rutherford, second generations Bettenhausen, Vukovich and Carter, and by the end of the decade Mears, became the household names.

    In 1979 there was a split and two sanctioning bodies which split the sport right down the middle. You were either a USAC or a cart loyalist. Now two organizations competed for what limited coverage there was. In the early 80’s the mass produced off-the-shelf chassis soon became the norm. March, Lola, Eagle, Penske, and any others who dared try to compete with older chassis of any combination was commonplace. 1984 saw 117 entries and 87(!) physical cars presented for competition. Yet the chassis of choice was March. The names of the 80’s included Fittipaldi, Rahal, Fabi, Guerrero, Luyendyk, Sullivan, and second generations of Unser and Andretti. The racing was always good, and cart was enjoying its best success with great television and media coverage. The greed of engine leases and chassis distribution reared its ugly head and began to tear at the fabric of the sport and its camaraderie. When the 90’s dawned retirements began coming full force.

    Andretti, Rutherford, Foyt, Johncock, Sneva, Unser, Mears and Bettenhausen were replaced by up and coming road racing names like Villeneuve, Gugelmin, Ribiero, deFerran, Tracy, and Mansell. The cart loyal supported this contingent, and rightfully so. The television package was great and among the increased races were the always failing street events and road courses, yet overall it was a pretty good mix of tracks. The internet was created, along with an incredible increase in cable and satellite television and radio stations. Suddenly the amount of information from the worldwide web became infinite. Now the slices of a once three or four piece pie increased to literally hundreds of pieces of that pie. Every sport and television program conceivable can be seen. The size of the viewing audience has never changed. More options, more channels, more available programs have diluted each one. Those who shriek about viewership and audience numbers can’t seem to grasp this.

    When the latest split in the sport divided the fan base once again, the media assclowns chose sides, wrote and pandered to their audience, and as a result the sport suffers today. Meanwhile another batch of ‘heroes’ retired, and anyone emerging in the sport today is raked over coals by racing forum fans and haters who are self proclaimed internet experts. None of which have ever sat behind the wheel of a race car. So in short, a) drivers retired and still do, b) more channels competing for an audience that never changed in size thus diluting viewership for ALL programs, c) real time data/information/coverage keeps some at home away from the track, d) the economy. Tickets, flights, hotels, rental cars, gasoline, food, tracks scattered all over the United States and fewer in the Midwest become difficult to afford. And e) the respect of the sport has gone right out the window from the networks who cover it.

    Long gone are the days of the real Indianapolis Star reporting (go check out the microfilm at the Marion County Public Library sometime). Yet some can’t evolve nor let go, so tearing it all down is the only mindset these individuals. I don’t care for Justin Bieber but I choose not to join a Bieber forum and tell the world how much he sucks. Mainly because I have a life.

    Comment by another old fan — February 14, 2014 @ 11:10 pm | Reply

    • And yet, with all of those additional entertainment options, sports like the NFL, MLB, the NBA, the NFL and even Major League Soccer continue to post steady, if not increasing exposure on both network and national cable outlets. Not to mention significantly increased rights fee payments from those same networks to broadcast those events.

      And let’s not forget NASCAR, whose product is closer to WWE with fenders. While on track attendance drops, ratings have stabilized and rights fees have only increased. So it can’t JUST be a product/problem of exponentially increasing viewing options, there’s something else going on.

      Can’t let it go? WE HAVE. That’s why the numbers are what they are . Every once and awhile, an article on racer.com, or Gordon Kirbys site piques our interest, and elicits a response. Then the usual reply from the Disciples of the world surfaces to put us “in our place”.

      Good luck with that.

      Comment by Oldfan — February 17, 2014 @ 5:11 pm | Reply

  6. This is a dying sport, rushed to the grave by the incompetence of Tony George and his family. Attendance and television ratings are consistently declining, with even Indy suffering tens of thousands of empty seats lower tv ratings every year. Those are in arguable facts, and nothing is likely to improve. So, enjoy it while you can, because it’s not likely to exist for long.
    Editor’s Note: Well, what do you know….another version of one of the six chicken littles stopping by to crap on the carpet and attempting to spread their pervasive fantasy mythology; a.k.a. bullshit. Thanks so much.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — February 15, 2014 @ 2:29 am | Reply

    • Look at how contradictory the first sentence is. How can someone so “incompetent” kill a sport and rush it to the grave? Seems to me the ones who killed it were the owners with their greed and arrogance. Twice

      Comment by Guido Dacco — February 18, 2014 @ 10:28 am | Reply

  7. CART/PPG Indycar World Series … not so good.

    Too many foreign drivers.

    Too many road courses.

    Too many people who ran the series into bankruptcy (multiple times).

    Yep, those were the good ole days, huh?

    Comment by spreadoption — February 15, 2014 @ 4:59 am | Reply

    • So outside the bankruptcy (not multiple times, by the way, just once-not that that is anything to be proud of) you’re happy now? Plenty of foreign drivers. More road/street courses than ovals. Foreign chassis supplier. A 42 year foreign “star” back in the 500 (Who , I think, can get around an oval better than the 85 year old grandmother you think all road racers are).People in charge that can’t seem to market their way out of a paper bag. I guess you hate this product, too.
      Editor’s Note: Contrary to oversimplified generalized stereotypes your kind concoct, I have been a big fan of Indy Car racing since the late 1950s, and appreciate its history back to the beginning. I have never boycotted, or walked away or spent countless hours screaming about the end being near. I do not go to Internet discussion areas that do not interest me and obsessively tell folks how much what they enjoy sucks. So the answer to your last ‘question’ is no. Now please allow me to address each one of your ‘points.’
      -Bankruptcy. cart went teats north, ended up broke in court, and the judge mercy humped Kalkhoven and associates to birth champcar. That also ended broke and out of business. IMS essentially picked up the assets (and a lot of the accumulated debt) in a glorified fire sale, mercifully referred to the bailout as a ‘merger’ with the hope the fanbase would get excited and went along about their business. Obviously not everyone could get past that, and for those who count, the non-IMS affiliated version of IndyCar failed. Twice.
      -Plenty of foreign drivers. Foreign drivers in and of themselves are not a bad thing. They add tremendous diversity to the field. My problem is not that a lot of them are foreign, it is that a lot of them like to pretend this is Formula 1 lite, and they and many of the owners who hire them continue stupidly pushing the series in that direction, completely oblivious to the fact that every time that has been attempted here it fails. I want a primary base of oval tracks and the best drivers anywhere who attack them as voraciously as they do non-ovals. I do not want specialists that drive in non-oval or oval only
      -More road/street courses than ovals. Again, every time the same bunch has gone down that road the result is abject failure. IMS has always come to the rescue. I do not mind and enjoy the diversity IndyCar offers, but the slippery slope they are on is very dangerous from a sustainability standpoint.
      -Foreign chassis supplier. I wish we had more than one. As for Dallara, I am happy they built a factory right outside the main gate, will construct and maintain the new Lights cars there, and continue to fabricate the vast majority of parts for existing IndyCars. They do great work and provide racy cars. Swift, Lola or any other qualified chassis manufacturer are also welcome to do the same and lobby for future inclusion. I would be very happy with that.
      -Jacques Villeneuve. It is great to have a former champion in the race, even one that is log over the hill. My biggest hope is that he doesn’t kill or seriously injure himself or anyone around him.
      -Marketing woes. That has been a problem since Eddie Rickenbacker owned the place. For decades all they had to do was open the gates and wave people in. There are a lot of VP-level folks that are supposed to be marketing, but it’s been months since we have seen anything memorable. Their inability to perform such tasks does not detract from my ongoing enjoyment of the sport.

      Thanks for attempting to stick to the topic.

      Comment by Skeptical1 — February 27, 2014 @ 5:20 pm | Reply

      • Ok, I’ll take the bait. First off, my reply wasn’t directed to you. It was directed to spreadadoption. It was he (or she) that ticked off the list of all of the things that were bad about the long deceased CART/Indycar series.
        Editor’s Note: Hopefully spreadadoption will see it respond.

        I merely pointed out that, ironically, nearly everything that he(or she) apparently disliked so much about CART appears to be alive and well in the current Indycar series. And the logical assumption from reading spreads’ list is that he/she can’t really likeit that much (at least if he/she is being consistent).
        Editor’s Note: Perhaps the difference between succeeding and failing is the ownership structure.

        Second, he made a comment back in November about all those road racers who are too afraid to drive on ovals faster than an 85 year old grandmother.(as Casey Stengel used to say-”you can look it up”) So again, if spreads’ being consistent, he/she can’t be too excited about another foreign road racer in the field.
        Editor’s Note: Perhaps not. I don’t mind them; I just want them to be excited about racing on ovals at least half the time.

        I think anyone that has ever spent a minute of time reading your blog knows where you stand. As far as going on sites that don’t interest me, well, first and foremost, I’m a racing fan. I’ll read just about anything. With a long off season coming to an end, my interest gets piqued (sue me). And whether I agree with you or not (and generally, I admit, I don’t), at least it’s some motorsports related stuff to read. It would be nice if you could hold yourself to a higher standard when responding to comments; you don’t appear to have any trouble dropping to the lower grade levels when replying to real and perceived incorrect (in your opinion) viewpoints. As you’ve often stated, you think we’re all whining babies, although there isn’t much difference between your replies (when you get your back up)and those comments of the people you call “haters”. In any case, it’s your blog. Have at it D
        Editor’s Note: Whenever anyone who decides to contribute here does so in a way that concentrates on the topic and does so without the smarmy genital waving endemic among a few obsessed lurkers, even if the content is perceived as contrary, they are treated in kind. I just have little tolerance for willful retardation, and rarely hesitate to expose it for what it is.

        Comment by Skeptical1 — February 27, 2014 @ 7:19 pm

  8. Sounds good to me.

    Comment by redcar — February 15, 2014 @ 3:22 pm | Reply

  9. Is there a reason why you respond to every criticism as if you are a tantrum throwing fourth grader? Perhaps if you took the time to have a more open and objective view of the sport, you might then offer a more intelligent and thoughtful response to those who disagree with your perspective. Instead, you offer immature, childish babble absent any factual support. It leaves you without any credibility and it’s why you’re not taken seriously, in spite of your knowledge of the sport. If it’s discussion you truly seek, you’ll approach it differently than you do. If not, your true intentions will be confirmed. Again.
    Editor’s Note: Sorry pal. Your original words and the ones above are straight out of the hater’s playbook. There is a huge difference between legitimate criticism and pointless chicken little doom and glooming. Your original contribution was nowhere near the former and personified the latter. As such, it is completely worthless because you offer nothing more than ‘the sky is falling and it’s all Tony George’s fault.’ If you want to be treated like an adult, behave like one. Start by orienting yourself in 2014 and finally leave 1995 in the last century. Continue by actually reading what you are so quick to criticize. You dig?

    Comment by Bob Chinn — February 15, 2014 @ 6:10 pm | Reply

    • Again, more of your childish, immature babbling. You are totally lacking in credibility because you refuse to engage in dialogue but rather attempt to both deflect blame away from those who unquestionably heaped damage on the sport while simultaneously proposing nothing of substance in terms of improving a declining, dying sport. Keep stomping your feet and throwing tantrums. That which you claim to love is disintegrating before your eyes while you mindlessly pontificate about nothing. That’s the real story in 2014, whether you’re honest enough to acknowledge it or not.
      Editor’s Note: I’ll slow down. Contribute something worthwhile and topical and you will be engaged with equally worthwhile and topical. Blaming real or perceived problems in 2014 on something a few people thought Tony George did in 1996 and remain bitter about nearly twenty years later is neither sane nor rational. That is like blaming Islamic jihad on Hitler. You have not provided any rational examination of any real or perceived problem much less anything even remotely to do with the topic, nor have you offered any proposed solution. Until you do your insolent finger wagging will continue being chided appropriately.

      Comment by Bob Chinn — February 17, 2014 @ 5:11 am | Reply

      • Ok, Disciple, What’s your proposed solution? A fantasy schedule that has no chance in heck of happening?
        Editor’s Note: Well I agree with the ‘no chance in heck of happening,’ but if open wheel hopes to thrive to the levels most of those whose only orientation is a brief period of cart thought existed IndyCar must pursue the following without delay: A) A diverse schedule not top heavy with non-ovals. Every single non-oval top heavy series that tried to be major has failed. IMS must figure out a way to reinvigorate and expand the oval portion. B) The people behind the wheel must be relatable to a primarily American audience. C) The concept of ‘spec’ racing must be de-emphasized over time. You and your buddies are free to contribute likewise worthwhile suggestions.

        Ignoring the viewpoints of disaffected fans who, believe it or not would still like to see a viable US open wheel series, but don’t believe with the past and current structure and management it will ever happen?
        Editor’s Note: I only ignore (and chide) those who have built for themselves a mostly self-perceived utopia then blame Tony George for destroying it. That is among the most foolish, retarded things anyone who has ever fancied themselves racing fans has ever uttered. As for current management, it is what it is and if history repeats itself (as it has done repeatedly) the cast of characters will be different in no time. I will even go so far as to kind of agree with those who question the wisdom of having IMS control everything. It might be different if they had a proven track record of making overwhelming success happen. But at the very least I am grateful they have thus far refused to let the sport fail. The same cannot be said for those who ran the seemingly almighty and powerful cart. Twice.

        The “see no evil, here no evil, speak no evil” approach? There are countless examples of mismanagement in business and sports that only changed for the better after the customers voiced their dissatisfaction with the product. In your view, we are to be dismissed and discounted, and only those who support with unquestioned faith have valid opinions.
        Editor’s Note: Wrong again. When legitimate customers voice concerns to the right people in an adult fashion, their input makes a huge difference. The bitter since 1996 cart sycophant Tony George haters are not ticket buying customers (or so they say) unless they are also hypocrites and liars. They are creeps.

        If you want to keep believing your version of facts re: 25-8 rule, decent TV ratings, solid attendance, etc by all means do. The fact the reporters such as Miller, Kirby, David Phillips have long documented positions to the contrary won’t bother you and your ilk in the slightest.
        Editor’s Note: What would you expect? Most if not all you mention were either cart employees or worked for its principals. Kirby is particular has made a habit of grotesque criticism of all things IMS/IndyCar and still clings to his cart-era fantasies as vociferously as the creeps who squat at all IndyCar related sites to wreak havoc.

        You don’t need us? We’ll see. The numbers over the past 10 years don’t support that claim, but you are entitled to your opinion.
        Editor’s Note: I am far more interested in cultivating generations that will follow mine and my children’s. I do not see a point in even trying to appease cart enthusiasts who have not yet gotten beyond 1995 emotionally. There is nothing to gain and it is a waste of time and money. So why bother? Start fresh with those whose orientation is not polluted.

        Comment by Oldfan — February 17, 2014 @ 4:59 pm

  10. I blame Tony George because it’s universally recognized that the sport deteriorated significantly under his watch.
    Editor’s Note: Universally my ass. A handful of bitter cart enthusiasts is not very objective. The straw man known as ‘deteriorated significantly’ is also subjective at best given the reality of the rest of the sports, entertainment and communications landscapes. Adults know that.

    That’s indisputable to anyone except those with an unhinged and unintelligent view of the sport. If you wish to be taken seriously, you need to demonstrate some actual understanding of why the sport is where it is. Otherwise, your “contributions” are devoid of substance and offer nothing of credibility or worth. Sorry, but that’s the simple and unvarnished truth.
    Editor’s Note: The sport exists and puts on a full schedule of events every year, and I attend about 70% of them. It gets ratings, attendance and sponsorship. I wish it had more of each and I continue working in positive ways to see that it happens. Conversely, do you think you could ever: A) Contribute something, ANYTHING, that is even remotely relevant to the topic on which you choose to try and comment, and B) Save the finger wagging for, say, the handful of idiots who make fools of themselves at IndyCar hate sites? That would be a far more constructive use of all of our time.

    It’s why you’re no longer welcome at TF.
    Editor’s Note: Incorrect again. The primary reason the Condre clan has disabled my identity is because they simply do not want to screw around with obsessed, squatting idiots that follow me around all over the internet. I am like a pied piper of people who are nuts. The MO is always the same. I post something that makes a point someone else does not like, then it’s immediate attack mode, replete with obsessive illiteracy, cursing, off-topic meandering and finger wagging that ruins otherwise worthwhile discourse for everyone. A lot like the comment section here. It is far easier for Condre to simply throw out the baby, bathwater, bathtub and for good measure chop the bathroom off the house. Can you blame him? That bunch tries hard (too hard in most cases–the vast majority of dialog there is generally insipid, gossipy or otherwise worthless and mining for something truly enlightening by a handful of actual insiders is generally more tedious than the time it takes to wade through all that crap) to run a respectable joint. I could add a lot but there is not a chance in hell that is possible while my ‘fan club’ is active and any handle that contains the letter ‘D’ is used. I know dramatic oversimplification of any topic is the hallmark of your kind, but please try to contribute to the topic, addressing only the topic, and see how things turn out.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — February 17, 2014 @ 5:46 pm | Reply

  11. Attendance, ratings and sponsorship are declining year over year over year. Those are facts, in spite of your assertions to the contrary.
    Editor’s Note: Ratings, proportionately, have declined for the vast majority of sports and entertainment options over the same period. You folks conveniently leave that fact out of your shrieking 100% of the time. The fragmentation is what happens in a 500 channel universe with nearly limitless delivery options. Attendance remains steady at well over a million per year, and more events are well attended than not. Sponsorship, such that it is these days, remains. One of my biggest sources of laughter where your kind is involved is your apparent belief these things are completely unique to IndyCar.

    And ovals, in spite of promotion, are poorly attended and watched on TV. In short, they have been an undisputed failure.
    Editor’s Note: They seem to work OK for NASCAR, although they have had precipitous drops in attendance (always overlooked by your kind) and are removing entire grandstands at most every track (also always overlooked). Indy a failure? Iowa a failure? Texas a failure? LOL. Hell Richmond used to draw 60K before the sponsor poaching episode. Be careful with such ‘failure’ pronouncements. The only type of racing that has actually failed every single time it has been attempted as a series in the US is non-oval racing.

    As for Tony George, no one who understands the sport believes him to be anything but the architect of its abject failure. Only you and a small band of deniers argue against these undisputed facts with your ridiculous falsehoods. It’s why you have zero credibility.
    Editor’s Note: LOL. If you actually believe everything was completely hunky dory in 1995 and magically went to hell in 1996 all because of Tony George you are clearly demonstrating and engaging in a willful retardation that goes well beyond the bounds of even basic sanity. If I have no credibility among your klatch that only means I will sleep soundly again tonight and remain happy I am grounded in a world of rational thinking adults and not wading in a sewer with a bunch of special needs children.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — February 17, 2014 @ 11:11 pm | Reply

  12. You’re a “pied piper” because you consistently post untruthfully, and people rightly call you on it.
    Editor’s Note: I’m a pied piper because a small group of children hold a Mark David Chapman-like obsession with me. That disrupts rational conversation, as evidenced by the tone and off topic nature of the yelping polluting this comment section. Frankly I would rather discuss the topics with actual racing fans.

    Your continual lies about attendance, television ratings and sponsorship (all are in in arguable decline, and have been for some time),
    Editor’s Note: You will have to be specific as to ‘lies.’ Sometimes it’s obvious your perception of a lie is merely not wanting to hear the entire story as related by an adult. Attendance is steady – fact. Television ratings are down. As they are for virtually every sports and entertainment offering on television today. Sponsorship exists but is highly fragmented, as it is throughout the sport regardless of sanction. Those are not lies. As you can see, you need to quantify your taunting.

    …as well as Tony George and his sport destroying invocation of a lockout (25/8) simply leave you absent credibility. People simply aren’t appreciative of your untruths even as you claim to support the sport. It’s hypocritical, and you know it (even if you don’t care).
    Editor’s Note: Ever done any research on the following: A) How Tony George’s hand was forced vis-a-vis 25/8? B) The difference between a ‘lockout’ and a ‘boycott’ (not to mention trying to out big dick the entity that gave your kind both life and legitimacy on Memorial Day)? C) How cart actually did have the power but evidently not the will, courage or humbleness to completely eliminate the IRL after three races with just a smidge of sense? THAT is truth. You should REALLY look into it.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — February 18, 2014 @ 1:58 am | Reply

  13. Attendance is on decline . . . That’s simply a fact.
    Editor’s Note: As it is for the vast majority of sports and entertainment offerings. You act like this phenomenon is unique to IndyCar. Far from it.

    At Iowa, at Texas, and definitely at Indy. Again, it’s a fact.
    Editor’s Note: Have you also noticed the precipitous drops for NASCAR at both Texas and Indy? Despite these ‘sky is falling’ proclamations which race still draws hundreds of thousands each May? And can attendance at over a million every year really be considered ‘bad?’

    And television ratings have been in perpetual decline because the sport is less and less attractive to viewers. Again, it’s a fact.
    Editor’s Note: Again you are fretting over a reality that encompasses the vast majority of sports and entertainment offerings on television. IndyCar is not alone in this trend. Whatever points you are attempting are mired in some kind of crapper myopia.

    Which leads to fact three: Sponsorship is down. Again. These are facts.
    Editor’s Note: By what metrics? For the past five years IndyCar has had a title sponsor and is preparing to sign another. There remain over thirty series level sponsors. The vast majority of teams have sponsors, albeit mostly partial season deals just like NASCAR. There are exceptions, however; e.g., Foyt, Ganassi, etc.

    And yes, knowledgable observers plainly say that the decline is overwhelmingly the result of the failed leadership of Tony George and policies like his 25/8 lockout of competitors, which served to degrade the most famous and renown automobile race in the world.
    Editor’s Note: Let me guess…knowledgeable observers like Gordon Kirby and other former cart employees stuck in 1995? Ever do any research on what forced Tony George’s hand on 25/8? Or the difference between a lockout and a boycott? Or how a couple of simple uses of a couple of brains could have wiped the IRL off the face of the earth after three events? Try to revise history to your heart’s content but it won’t change reality. As an observer since the late 1950s the leadership of the sport has always been dysfunctional. The short reign of Tony George does not really stand out in the big picture and only matters to cart flat earthers who have created a mostly fantasy world in which nothing before nor anything to come will ever equal. That’s fine in a creepy fan boi way but it would be much more enjoyable for me to exchange banter with knowledgeable fans with a firm grasp of both history and reality.

    Any wonder why it’s stature has undeniably declined in the years since TG took control? Intelligent, honest observers understand.
    Editor’s Note: Actually, intelligent, honest observers understand the world of 2014 is quite different than the world of 1995 in fundamental ways. The fact that IndyCar draws fewer eyeballs and butts is reflective of societal changes in general. Attempts to connect anything that happened before 1996 with today are retarded beyond measure.

    Sadly, you’ve elected to embrace dishonesty and disingenuity in a vain effort to deny the obvious, all while the sport continues to decline. In short, you’re part of the problem, not the solution. Thankfully, you’re not in a position to matter.
    Editor’s Note: Except to obsessed comment writers who are great at outlandish bitching and screaming ‘the end is near’ but painfully short on ways they believe the sport could be better. Typical. If I am not in a position to matter why are you wasting your time ‘discussing?’ LOL.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — February 19, 2014 @ 7:55 pm | Reply


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