Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

July 6, 2009

Things are Changing Right and Left

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:19 am

Justin WilsonDale CoyneFirst and foremost: Hats are off to Dale Coyne and his team. He has been the model of perseverance and today, after decades, it paid off. It is outstanding when someone like that wins. Justin Wilson and the Coyne team made it happen, and I don’t know of anyone who is not happy about what happened at Watkins Glen 4th of July weekend. Just fantastic.

A team that is considered small without Penske/Ganassi-type resources beat the big boys pretty convincingly, and that is a story. I think Justin Wilson is the last non-Penske or Ganassi driver to win, and the last driver to do that was…Justin Wilson in the Newman Haas ride last season. If we could get Panther or Dryer & Reinbold or one of those teams back in the win column we would have a much more compelling series. But congratulations again this week to Dale’s team.

Now, on to the ugly. Hypocrites are beneath contempt. Bitter hypocrites are even worse. The resignation of Tony George has confirmed what we have all known for over a dozen years about many who speak and act in two faced ways every day. The most egregious form of such hypocrisy occurs when such mental giants trip over themselves to let everyone else know how they never watch and how bad they believe things are. Then when anything happens, they continuously offer commentary. The Tony deal is the mother lode for these imbeciles. Now that he is officially not running the show will his most vociferous critics get on board or will they find something else about which to whine?

Fans come in all flavors, and I wish the Indy Car Series did not have so many classless, lowest common denominator types, or as many arrogant twisty course aficionados stuck in 1995. We must, however, take what we can get. The fact that both groups obsess about Tony George and the Indy Car Series more than any other is one assurance of the continuing viability, health of, and interest in the league going forward.

Now that Tony is out, many of the idiots mentioned above are not prepared to just evolve; they want to find a grave on which to pee. Is that any kind of sportsmanship befitting the greatest sport on earth? One thing will become apparent to the critical Einsteins cackling out there, and that is Tony ran very little of the day to day anyway. The people who have been running the show are still running it.

If someone came to me and said ‘Defender, YOU be the CEO’ here are a few things I would do:

  1. Kick ABC/ESPN out. They do not deserve any part of the Centennial era. What they were early in the partnership is long gone. NBC/Universal would do a much better job and would treat the Centennial Era with the dignity and respect it deserves. ABC and ESPN is an abomination, and the international deals are a sham. Versus is the lone bright spot but the primary sponsors should be forced to change their copy every few weeks. The Macy’s metrosexual spot is more annoying than any Billy Mays spot in history.
  2. Open the rule book to meaningful innovation. Tight restrictions and making the playing field legal has not dented the one sidedness of the rate at which Ganassi and Penske win.
  3. Multiple manufacturers for motors and chassis. NOW.
  4. Open up alternatives to internal combustion.
  5. Try at all costs to avoid temporary courses. They are not viable long term. The only possible exception is Cleveland.
  6. Have someone in Canada build a real race course. I love Toronto, but they have a street race. They all suck.
  7. Never EVER dip below 50% oval. Get some of the good ones back in such as New Hampshire and Michigan.
  8. Market the series with intelligence. We are still futzing around with relatively amateurish efforts, although this year has shown great improvement.
  9. There are about 150 other items on my list, and bandwidth here is limited. That said, I am as big a fan today as I was in any other decade since the 1950s.

Most important, given all the changes at the top, we need to determine whether anyone on the board other than Tony or Mari has the passion required to successfully operate IMS. Making money is important, but at that place you need the kind of passion Tony Hulman brought to the place after the war. If they remain concerned just about money, we will get a Rickenbacker-style speedway that is rarely improved (like most ISC tracks), and that would be utterly tragic. I remain unconvinced the sisters want anything other than a free, no-strings ATM. Passion is way more important than bean counting.


  1. Canada does have a real race course, its called Mosport: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zWEIRQGOBQ

    Comment by hates crappies hates gomers — July 6, 2009 @ 8:41 am | Reply

  2. I also wonder about how hard NBC or CBS was courted. While I applaud VERSUS and their “OUTSTANDING” coverage. I had to have my nephew in another state, help me find it on my DIRECT TV before the season started. Let’s face it, if it is not “ready-to-eat” or it doesn’t cook in “5” seconds via a microwave, folks now will not take the time to look. No one outside of an avid Indy Car fan knows or cares about VERSUS.

    My concern is attracting a title sponsor with a small, still relatively unknown cable network as your primary television contract. To me it seems, every step the IRL takes forward, it takes two steps back lately. wow!

    Greg (Owings Mills, Maryland)

    Comment by Greg L. — July 6, 2009 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

  3. I really wasn’t happy to see Dale Coyne win. He was a boycotter of Indy and I would much rather see someone who ‘gets’ Indy win.
    Editor’s note: Grow up.

    Comment by Billy Joe bootlicker — July 7, 2009 @ 10:20 pm | Reply

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