Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

November 12, 2008


Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:45 pm

Yesterday my words about Gordon Kirby and Lee White drew a lot of commentary. Only one response was intelligently written enough to post. Otherwise you would have been treated to a lot of cursing, name calling, wrecked grammar, bad spelling and a lot of ‘Tony George is Satan’ types of epithets.

The one intelligently written, thoughtful response expressed basically the same theme as most cart-centric fans do, only with a better approach.

Whenever anyone is critical of cart-centric folks still trying to fight a ‘civil war,’ here is usually what happens:

1.    ‘Why are you so bitter?’

2.    ‘Open wheel racing lost.’

3.    ‘Look to the cart past to guide the future.’

4.    ‘Why call cart fans who dislike Indy names?’

Then I chuckle. It is not that such replies do not have merit; they are quite valuable and were relevant at one time. My primary problem is with the approach Kirby and others who have distinct and well defined cart backgrounds generally take, even going in to 2009:

1.    How great things seemed prior to 1996.

2.    The IRL is doomed.

…and sometimes,

3.    People who point out the hypocrisy are the ones with the problem.

The reality is cart killed themselves with bad management and have not been relevant for years. champcar burned through cash at startling levels and alienated venues, promoters and sponsors all over the globe before their own self immolation and bailout.

In all honesty, the arrogance with which these sentiments are tossed out there sickens me. If cart was well managed and as successful (‘zenith’ is a word often used by them) as they have been positioned there is no way they could have killed themselves. In reality they turned their backs on IMS and they lost. That is the way it works.

I have never had a problem with folks who are fond of the cart product. I was as well. My real problem arises when they combine fawning over it with either ‘Tony is Satan’ or ‘IRL is doomed’ scenarios for no apparent reason. Everyone would be better off if they figured out a way to work with IMS and help evolve the sport in positive ways. Tony George and all those who blazed the Indy racing trail deserve thanks and credit for saving the sport from itself.

Longing for something that died from gross mismanagement remains creepy. Almost as creepy as this:


1 Comment »

  1. Well, you got me. I should probably leave this alone, but a post like this is apparently like catnip to me.

    You briefly touch on the main thing that ex-CART fanatics are/were actually fixated on: the on track product. I, for one (and I believe that this is probably true for 90%+ of ex-CART fans), could absolutely have cared less who was driving the ship. We just knew that we loved to tune in every couple of weeks and watch fantastic racing between many distinct personalities on a huge variety of tracks (not at all unlike what we currently have in the present-day IndyCar series). To your credit, you do mention that you liked the product as well, but I do not think that the differences that you see between yourself and the folks that you continuously insult are all that big. Yes, I do somewhat live in the past (we all tend to think fondly of the things that we fell in love with, in the image of the time that we fell in love with it; for me, it’s all racing circa ’91-’92), but so are you. You appeared to hold out an olive branch toward the memory of Paul Newman just a month or so ago, but yesterday you again called him a “militant, petulant whiner”. He is not doing any damage to the IRL product anymore (wether or not he ever did, or if he in fact did so without merit are debates that I won’t get into here), so again, why with the insults?

    Believe me, I’m not happy with the way that CART/ChampCar managed itself, and I really never was. I remember being beyond pissed when I heard that Joe Heitzler was to be the new president (I even remember where I was when I heard, it’s that traumatic an event for me), and I knew that it would result in no good for the sport.

    But, the racing always pulled me back. That’s the most important thing to me, and to thousands of folks out there like myself. And, it’s the thing that will pull people to IndyCar racing in 2009 and beyond, but only if they are not insulted at every turn by folks like yourself. If they do not feel welcome, they will not pony up the cash to come to a race or two, or spend three hours of a Sunday watching a race on TV, or spend an hour of their day on the internet reading blogs and IndyCar news. They’ll say “That’s enough, life’s too short” and go find something else to do.

    It’s true, some folks will never let go of the past. But will you be one of those who can take the high road and keep your eyes on the future?

    Comment by The Speedgeek — November 12, 2008 @ 3:09 pm | Reply

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