Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

June 11, 2008

Lots of Potential Idiots

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 4:09 pm

I do not know whether Michael Knight is an idiot or not.  He occasionally makes some great points, but his history is firmly aligned with cart and cart teams, and that prejudice oozes in both his blogs and as I.N. Sider on the Valvoline site.  

Quote:  “The first was for George and Kalkhoven to apologize to disenfranchised fans and disenchanted sponsors for 12 years of strife and a $2 billion blunder. The fact neither has done so is sadder than Sarah Fisher after her collision with Tony Kanaan. But, it’s no more surprising than Scott Dixon’s victory.”

Why would Tony George need to apologize for anything?  He didn’t boycott the most important race in the world for US open wheelers then spend the next few years trying in vain to kill it before killing themselves.  Twice.  If anything, Tony George is owed apology.  I suspect neither will happen.  What I genuinely wish WOULD happen is cart apologists and former employees orienting themselves into the current decade and century and doing something positive to make the sport more popular in 2008.  Telling me how great they thought it was in 1995 serves no purpose except to make themselves look like whiny children.  

The abomination known as champcar after cart’s failure was a mistake on which few real racing fans dwell, except the same sort of apologists who thought THAT was great.  It died a merciful, embarrassing death as well. To Kevin Kalkhoven’s credit, his recent rhetoric has been positive and he has kept a very low profile.  

Quote: “Every former Champ Car driver or owner I’ve asked says the same thing: “They better listen to Cotman.” While specific opinions vary as much as track conditions during May, the emerging general consensus seems to favor: A small-block turbocharged engine – technically interesting to attract multiple manufacturers – and a chassis versatile enough for both ovals and road courses without drastic modifications.  For many reasons, I’m in favor of a turbo. It’s been proven to work in this form of racing. It can be adjusted, if necessary, to reduce speeds. And – not to be overlooked – it makes it easier for people to actually talk to one another during events!”

Why do virtually all champcar apologists and former employees want turbos?  Why should the clock should be turned back?  Go forward.  Turbos are not innovative.  Innovation is what is needed.  Why think in such narrow terms?  Why not encourage alternative power plants?  What about something that does not require internal combustion?  Indy Racing has got Ethanol for fuel.  Even though that’s mostly just a glorified publicity stunt why not take it to the next level?  Electric cars?  Even more odd alternative fuels?  New body styles?  The possibilities are unlimited.  I hope they begin embracing innovation in a meaningful way soon.  But turbos?  Let it go.  

Quote:  “I want some downforce taken off the cars. I want driver skill to matter more – every fan agrees with that – and that means enough power and not enough downforce so that drivers actually have to lift entering the turns.”

I want average laps at around 220.  Not 250 on the straight and 180 in turns.  That concept worked for roadsters.  That evolutionary phase has passed.  I also want close racing at every venue.  That’s one reason why the godforsaken street course plans being foisted by primarily the AGR folks should be limited to what they have.  Find real courses.  Not ‘temporary’ anything. 

Two other observations on somewhat unrelated topics:

1.     ESPN has been taking deserved heat all week over that cable-access-like turd dump they foisted, delayed, from Texas.  Fans, newspapers, television broadcasters, columnists and lots of others have been chiding ESPN for their outright neglect of Indy Racing.  Despite the lack of anything even remotely resembling a professional effort, the race earned a 1.0 rating on ESPN2.  Too bad it was earned on what was the worst Indy Car broadcast ESPN has ever bungled.  I hope the IRL leaves whatever sentimentality they may have over the 40+-year partnership on the shelf.  The IRL has always been plagued by a lack of ruthlessness.  ESPN must be tossed out on their behinds soon.  They jumped into bed with NASCAR and forgot about Indy Racing. They do not deserve the product they are neglecting so badly.  

2.     I am somewhat amused by a lawsuit that has been filed by a former NASCAR B-team official named Mauricia Grant, a black woman.  $225 million.  Racial harassment.  Sexual discrimination.  Wrongful termination.  You can read all about the lawsuit from a variety of sources, and the prudent thing is to await judgment. That said, I have some predictions:

ü  It won’t be long before Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and God knows who else slither forth in angst-riddled attempts to join the shakedown and crusade against this latest injustice.  

ü  Every single person employed by NASCAR will be forced take ‘sensitivity’ or some such indoctrination.  

ü  We will never hear any other side of the story.  

ü  Lawyers will get rich.  

This case will provide great non-racing entertainment.

Next stop:  Iowa!  Great track. 

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