Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

August 21, 2008

Heelllooooo…The ‘Split’ Ended Months Ago. It’s 2008.

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:26 pm

The pointless article of the week goes to Car and Driver, an organization still not quite ready to let go of the past.


It reminds us all of the colossal failure of champcar that cost it $100 million. The ‘loss’ of turbochargers was lamented. It grudgingly positioned the IRL (actually called the Indy Car Series these days) as the last man standing, then once again haphazardly tossed around the pure supposition the IRL has spent $250 million dollars (or perhaps, gasp, DOUBLE that) to ‘subsidize teams, television and promoters. The last time I checked with my contacts at IMS, they indicated they have never chosen to share the finances of their privately held company with columnists. Ever. 

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc.


Whoever wrote the article opines that without the Indianapolis 500, the IRL may have met the same fate. Duh. To their credit, C&D called BS on the lies champcar and ALMS told regarding attendance. The article then seems to position ‘races’ in Australia and Toronto (on one of those God forsaken temporary street carnival abominations that tend to pervert the very purity of the sport) as vital parts of a ‘unified’ schedule. 

Bridgestone Presents the champcar world series Powered by Ford. No Wait. Mazda. No Wait....


The next predictable, myopic stupidity card that gets played is the lament of television ratings that compares the audience and ratings for the Indianapolis 500 in 2008 with numbers from 1976! 1976!? Huh!? In the television and advertising businesses, trends are measured over one to two years. Not 32 years. Lots of things have happened in 32 years. Not even what they call the ‘Danica effect’ or Helio’s DWTS win can help bring about 1976 numbers (which was tape delayed in prime time). With this weak nonsense they attempt to portend doom for Indy Racing. How desperate and ridiculous can otherwise bright people delude themselves into appearing?   

Also No Longer Receives Blockbuster Ratings on Television. Why? Because the ENTIRE WORLD HAS EVOLVED!


Predictably, the article then spent several paragraphs singing the praises and glory of the champcar approach, even hinting at widespread popularity.

The bottom line, as the article indicates, is the end of champcar in bankruptcy court. Anton picked up the entire kit and caboodle for slightly north of $6 million, plus gratuitous mercy humping to the tune of nearly $4 million to run the last cart-like Long Beach deal, then a few million to facilitate the integration of champcar teams to the ICS. All this so, essentially, the whiners would finally stop pointlessly running their arrogant yaps. It has not worked as evidenced by the linked article above.

Like all cart/champcar apologists, the article attempts to portray the ‘unified’ series in some sort of dire straits. Meanwhile the ICS quietly goes about making bold moves, including dumping their counterproductive, abused victim relationship with adulterous unprofessional buffoons at ESPN in favor of actual commitment with an up and coming, aggressive group of actual sports television professionals at Versus. Hopefully Indy Racing loyalty to ABC (now run by ESPN) will not blow up in their faces.



  1. I’ve got to take exception with a couple of the things your post today. The first is that the C&D column in question was in the August print edition. This means that to be able to appear on the newsstands around July 1st (when the August issue would hit; I still don’t get the timing there…), this column was likely written shortly after the Long Beach race. It’s hard to remember this now, after 4+ months of successful “unified” racing, but at the time, it was still questionable as to how things would work out this year. Would the ex-ChampCar teams be able to compete at all? How many of those teams would even survive until the end of the year? Given that we basically know the answers to those things now, you could take just about anything off of the web that’s dated pre-500 (when the renewed interest in IndyCar could be put into correct focus, given the size of this year’s crowd) and nothing would hold up to word-for-word scrutiny. As for some of your other points there: I do believe that turbos are missed. Tony George and Brian Barnhart have said so themselves, and this was a main topic of conversation at the manufacturers’ forum last month. Turbos are not a thing of the past, as many road cars in the near future will feature them, now that their emissions troubles are worked out (that’s why they all but disappeared from the road in the early ’90s). I do agree with you that street courses are not very good racing, but I think that they’re a necessary evil in limited doses. Canada is a huge market for open wheel racing, which the IRL has barely tapped since its inception. Unfortunately, Toronto is one of the only places that has been seriously considered as a Canadian venue for IndyCars. Tremblant was hardly mentioned in anything that I read about the ’09 schedule, Mosport is probably not safe for IndyCars (a vintage racer died there just last month), and Montreal is out of the question, as its two allowed dates are taken by F1 and NASCAR/GrandAm. Where does that leave you? Let’s just be thankful that we’re not going back to that awful street course in Vancouver…

    Sorry for the book there. Perhaps I should have just written a post on my site…


    Comment by ASpeed — August 21, 2008 @ 6:26 pm | Reply

  2. Walt Disney World Speedway is a much better than than Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

    Comment by rick — January 23, 2009 @ 7:48 am | Reply

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