Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

July 8, 2009

Hold Your Noses

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:12 am

The Indy Car brass is at it again, evidently pursuing yet another God forsaken, idiotic street parade. This time the victim city is Baltimore, and the heaping helping of fresh, smelly bull manure is as generous as ever. The hot air is swirling amid predictions of over $100 million in revenue and 150,000 fans.

BaltimoreWe have all heard this nonsense before in any number of ‘temporary street circuit’ events. Why can we not leave this crap at just Long Beach? There is a perfectly good REAL track nearby at Dover. If Baltimore is hungry for racing, why not build a proper course? It doesn’t matter if it’s twisty. There are plenty of decrepit areas of town hungry for gentrification, and what better project than racing? Look what George Barber did with a strip mine just outside Birmingham. Build a permanent track.

This kind of pointless dollar chasing far away from the actual core of the sport will kill off the IRL just as certainly as it killed off cart. The people trying to make these decisions are generally no smarter than those who killed cart. In most cases they are the same people.

Why does Indy Car make it so difficult to become, then remain a fan of the series? Street races are a perverted abomination of the spirit of the sport. One a year is enough. When will Indy Car learn its lesson or even from mistakes of the past? It is as if they are expecting a different result.

It is high time to begin focusing on REAL RACE TRACKS. Not closed off streets. Baltimore is not Monte Carlo, nor will it ever be. This is not a slam against the city; on the contrary. Baltimore is a great place to do things, and a large part of it is being continuously revitalized. A baseball game at Camden Yards is a great experience, and we enjoy the harbor, the aquarium and lots of other convenient attractions. The people there deserve better than the empty hype that is street ‘racing.’ Please, for the love of God, grow some sense.



  1. I like how street courses look, but, your right, most aren’t very good racetracks. I felt Surfers Paridise, and mabye thats because it was at 1am, was a good race, but, overall, temp courses don’t work, unless, they are held completetly at an airport, like cleveland and Edmonton. I agree though, with a perfectly good track at Portland, Cleveland, MIS,and either Vegas or Phoniex, Baltimore is the least of our worries. Although, who knows, this could be a good street course. Acually, my favorite street course is Macua, road course the Glen, and oval MIS.

    Comment by dylan — July 8, 2009 @ 2:30 am | Reply

  2. Defender I’d like to agree with you as I prefer ovals and real road courses myself….

    but the problem is some (and I emphasize some) of the street courses were/are among the best events on the schedule.

    St. Pete has consistently been one of the best races of the year over the past few years. The racing is great with a ton of passing (which is odd considering it’s a street course) and it’s a beautiful venue that’s well attended. St. Pete has certainly been a lot more exciting than most of the ovals the past two seasons.

    Likewise Surfer’s Paradise always put on a great event and was a beautiful setting for a race and the racing was also great.

    Cleveland of course always provided outstanding racing.

    The actual racing at Long Beach sucks but the history, tradition, and fan support is too strong too pass up.

    Then we of course have wastes of time like Detroit.

    Now I’m not saying having a street race in Baltimore is a good idea, in fact it’s probably a horrible idea….

    BUT to generalize and make blanket statements that all street races are bad is just a foolish belief. You’ve gotta be smarter than that.

    You have to judge and analyze each event on it’s own merit. There are good ovals and there are bad ovals. There are good road courses and then there are boring snoozers like Sonoma. There are great street races like St. Pete and then there are parades like Detroit.

    Can you honestly say that Homestead, Nashville, or Motegi deserve to be on the schedule over St. Pete?
    Editor’s Note: GREAT points, but I would really be curious to take a look at the books for St. Pete. I also agree on Cleveland as a potential exception.

    Comment by Serg — July 8, 2009 @ 3:41 am | Reply

  3. This race is not going to happen. The organizers may feel like they have a chance but there are simply too many other venues to be worked out by the Series.

    It’s a shame the ISC tracks are blotted out of potential with two Cup dates.

    New Hampshire, Cleveland, and $$$$$China$$$$ (if the Chinese actualy build the roval and present the massive fee) will be in front of Baltimore for consideration. It’s simply people in that city talking IMO.

    Comment by Mike Miller — July 8, 2009 @ 1:00 pm | Reply

  4. There is a silent chant on repeat in my head when I go to sleep every night. It goes something like…
    “Elk-hart Lake!!
    Elk-hart Lake!!
    Elk-hart Lake!!
    Elk-hart Lake!!
    Elk-hart Lake!!”

    You get the general idea

    Editor’s Note: That makes too much sense. 😉

    Comment by Leigh O'Gorman — July 8, 2009 @ 1:16 pm | Reply

  5. Dover is probably the fourth of the four Dover Motorsports tracks that should have an IRL race. It was too rough for the league when they did run there, and it only lasted two years for a reason. I’ve always said that Memphis is the one they should look at, but it has too low of a capacity to ever be profitable. Nashville was a snoozer and Gateway was actually an interesting track, but I don’t know that any race has ever been all that successful there.

    The only real alternative in the area (Connecticut isn’t in the area) is Jersey Motorsports Park. Pocono is a dump that was unsafe in the 80s and continues to be to this day. Nazareth isn’t going to ever be resurrected. I really have no issue with another street course, as long as you limit yourself to a handful in reasonably placed locations (one in each cardinal direction) with decent layouts. As of now, Baltimore meets all of those requirements. Sure, we’d all rather have natural terrain road courses, but the ones that are good are a) in the middle of nowhere and b) can’t afford a seven-figure sanctioning fee. I think that’s a big reason why you don’t see Laguna Seca or Elkhart Lake in discussion very often, let alone VIR, Miller, etc.

    Comment by will-isitmayyet.com — July 8, 2009 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

  6. acually, I really like the Daytona roval, but, I’ve heard lots of questions of its speeds for ALMS and IRL cars.

    Comment by dylan — July 8, 2009 @ 10:44 pm | Reply

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