Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

July 16, 2009

Covering IRL News Without Becoming Miller-ized

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

Usually this blog writes itself. There is always something going on that deserves my often inane but hopefully entertaining efforts. I really enjoy reading the commentary that often follows my observations. No individual pieces draw as much commentary as those that deal with the defunct cart series. The piece that has drawn the most attention recently was posted on May 28, and is headlined ‘Robin Miller Fired From Speed TV,’ a tongue-in-cheek mockery of the TMZ-like reporting style to which Robin Miller has devolved.

cart fanPeople often claim I ‘hate’ Robin Miller. Not really. He is enjoyable to read. If there is a Bingham-style family feud about to explode inside the Hulman-George clan, there is no better bottom feeder in media today equipped to cover it. The family history is definitely checkered, so an opportunity for exploitation by motivated sleaze mongers always exists. Hopefully someone with actual professionalism will cover any legitimate stories that result from the continuing evolution of IMS management.

The first legitimate clue in terms of future direction was revealed inside Tony George’s recent public statement. ‘I have offered my advice to the board on management reorganization, but also and perhaps more importantly, a reorganization of our board, which would provide a structure for better governance for generations to come.’ To me, that means get rid of the malcontented sister(s) with the running yap(s) and put together a board that contains business people who are actually experienced in running a large private enterprise. I would also look for Tony to eventually become Chairman. His mother is not getting any younger. Exterminating the rat(s) in the family should be the first order of business.

cart supporterI am serious about the commentary that follows such blogging. It is often way more entertaining than what I put into print. The most vituperative whining inevitably originates with disenfranchised cart fans unwilling to leave the vicinity of 1995. They just cannot imagine anything but that one period. Of course most of the loudest were not even teenagers yet in 1995 so their opinions mean far less to me than those of racing fans who, say, saw AJ Foyt win a 500 as a driver. You ought to see what gets caught in the spam filter or those that just get deleted because they are nothing more than random Tourettes-like nonsense that is always badly spelled.

Youthful cart Enthusiasts Stuck in 1995

Youthful cart Enthusiasts Stuck in 1995

Others tend to make a lot of sense and offer viewpoints my own myopia does not allow me to easily consider while typing. My wish is that readers will keep up the great work. You have my admiration even if I disagree with you in colorful ways.

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5 Comments »

  1. Somewhat similar (but not entirely, I assure you) to my obsession with Playboy Magazine as a youth, I mostly read your blog for the pictures!

    Comment by Boo Boo — July 16, 2009 @ 9:35 am | Reply

  2. I see the mental midgets on the Texas trailer dweller’s parody site are engaging in third grade behavior over Danny Ongais. And getting away with it.

    Comment by Doesn't matter — July 16, 2009 @ 10:59 am | Reply

  3. Turbos will solve all of the world’s economic and social problems.

    Comment by Mike Miller — July 16, 2009 @ 11:57 am | Reply

  4. What is the point of this? You attack RM and CART fans as if they left the party with your dream girl. Were CART fans not race fans? Wasn’t there something good to be said about a series that at one time pitted AJ against Europeans and South Americans? If you want to go back to the “good old days” would you really like to see the pitiful support the USAC series offered to the Indycar teams? Your bitterness is hard to understand.

    It’s funny; not in a comical way but in the sad, ironic way of those who need to re-write history to justify their narrow-minded point of view. 1995 was a good time for many race fans. Why is that a bad thing? Why do you need to devote so much time and energy to attacking those fans?

    You mock those fans and that racing just like you mocked Robin Miller when he first said TG was being moved out of his leadership roles. Then you had to retreat and call him names becauase he was right and you were wrong.

    It’s the same thing here: When CART was the enemy, the theme was the real Indycar fan wanted ovals and American drivers. TG’s divisive efforts were justified, his actions were necessary, because this was the way to fix all that was wrong with Amercian open wheel racing. But, it failed. And the result is CART rebadged as the IRL.

    It failed to deliver the promise you thought it should for two reasons: (1) The realities and economics of the business would not support that concept. In other words, there was not enough fan support; just a lot of noise. And (2) No one effectively built a grass roots organization to support American open wheel racing.

    It is the second point that still limits the growth of the IRL. Unlike Atlantics which are raced all over the country from the top pro series to regional SCCA and club events, no one races Indylights except at an IRL event. If Atlantics were the support series and if it was done right, we could have the local hero running a car that would be legal if entered into the support event when the IRL comes to a nearby track. Then all his/her friends and family would go to the IRL race and identify with the series, the drivers and the teams. Every once in awhile, one of those local heros would work their way up to a full-time ride in the support series and their local fans would follow them. Once in a great while, one of these guys would make the IRL series and/or the 500. By creating a true grass roots feeder system you bring up fans as well as drivers. Neither CART nor the IRL has done anything to build this sort of network throughout the US.

    And, as much as race fans love technology, the IRL, just like CART, has priced the small guys (like AJ) out of competition. This too was something the IRL was supposed to fix but did not deliver.

    I was a CART fan, I like the IRL (as it is now) because it really isn’t much different. I don’t like the cars as much and the racing hasn’t been that good. I wish someone could put together a small budget operation and be competitve. They can’t.

    So forgive me if I look back fondly on 1995. We’ve wasted a lot of time and a lot the Hulman family’s money, going back to the same place. Your plan failed and you’re bitter but that’s no excuse for your rudeness. Robin Miller can be a jerk but he cares about the sport and he’s been right more than you.

    How ’bout something positive.

    Comment by Validqs — July 16, 2009 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

  5. I’m going to offer a different time period that the CART folk are stuck in: 2000. I think 2000 was the turning point where CART was at it’s post-split peak and IRL was starting to get very serious attention. I, for one, enjoyed CART races in that season; Montoya, Andretti, Tracy, Franchitti, de Ferran…great driver list running that series’ best races (though the Handford device obviously became a ploy to get the cars to race as well as the IRL’s cars, which had a naturally-given ability to race hard). I had been to many IRL races by this point and very few CART events, mainly based on convenience to my old home, but this was a time when I watched and respected both series just about equally.

    And Mike, not only are turbos now being deployed in Palestine, Afghanistan, and Iraq, but Tony Cotman has been named Director of Homeland Security, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Federal Reserve. 🙂

    Comment by H. B. Donnelly — July 16, 2009 @ 2:35 pm | Reply


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