Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

January 13, 2009

‘Made in the USA’ A Thing of the Past

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:21 am

There is increasing talk that Helio Castroneves may have to forego driving for Roger Penske this season while his tax issues get sorted out. Considering the fact the government is involved, bloated bureaucracy and red tape could take a while. Discussion in the meantime has turned to who Penske might place in the seat. There are a lot of qualified shoes who cannot afford to buy their rides in todays Indy Car Series walking around, and Penske has his pick of a really good group of potentially unemployed, experienced Indy Car drivers.


The three most commonly mentioned are Justin Wilson (across the pond), Will Power (way across the other pond) and homegrown talent Ryan Hunter-Reay. Whenever you are ever in doubt, always bet on the foreigner. ALWAYS. I do not consider that xenophobia, just reality.


Even Roger Penske is not immune to lodging his own head inside his nether region, and as perfect a fit as I believe Ryan Hunter-Reay would be for that entire organization I just cannot see it happening.


As a result of that and folks like Jimmy Vasser selling a seat to Mario Moraes, Indy Racing is doomed to remain the niche it has become. Basically it is a sports league with one home ‘game’ and 16 or 17 road ‘games.’ It is bad enough hardly any of the venues have homegrown talent. Indy Racing conceded that territory to NASCAR years ago.


I enjoy watching the vast majority of the Indy Car field. They are folks at the top of their games. The weak links are mostly being weeded out, and at least most of those buying rides these days can actually drive. But outside the small group of us, who cares?


The two things that drive me the most nuts about Indy Car are:


-The propensity of Indy Car owners to hire/sell seats to foreign road racers.


-The continuous pressure by these people to move away from ovals and toward non-oval races.


I am all for diversity behind the wheel and with regard to venues, but the balance is way out of whack. This year my mission will be to convey to as many of them as possible a basic necessity to get back to the fundamentals. If the goal is to garner loyalty by providing a product people care about, then people need to have something to care about. It took Helio Castroneves winning a lowest-common-denominator television dancing program to gain widespread acceptance. That is something that should have occurred by winning two Indianapolis 500s.  


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