Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

August 3, 2009

Richmond and Indy Car. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Learn it. Practice it.

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:17 pm

The Indy Car Series staged the most exciting race they have managed in two years. The rain held off at Kentucky and was the highlight of the weekend. NASCAR had to wait for their bumpy ride at Pocono.

I remain sick and tired of being treated like a gullible retarded person by those who run race tracks and racing series. They truly believe anyone who spends money on a ticket is stupid. After sending communication last week to Indy Car and to Richmond over the dropping of the Indy Car event at that wonderful small oval I got unusual responses.

RichmondIndy Car, to their credit, responded within an hour. Terry Angstandt, the guy in charge, authored. He says Indy Car wanted to continue at RIR, but the track refused to negotiate. A few days later, a PR person from Richmond sent a form letter to me and a lot of other people that I found insulting and disingenuous. ‘The IndyCar Series is a high-quality racing series and we have enjoyed hosting them at Richmond International Raceway. The series puts on good shows all over the world, but here at Richmond we just didn’t have the racing that our fans have come to expect. We strive to provide you, our loyal fan with Racing Perfection at all our events.’

This is from a group that hosts two NASCAR Cup events at their track complaining about quality. So evidently they feel the crashfest in 2008 and the parade in 2009 stunk. Fair enough. Never mind the excitement of all the other years. 

‘Given the economic challenges facing all businesses, this decision is not any different that what other companies are making across the globe.  These measures are designed to help us meet immediate needs while continuing to position our company for long-term growth.  At the same time, we want to continue to provide the best experience possible for our fans, partners and guests.’

OK, which is it, racing you have judged not up to your standards, or the economy? It is not hard to imagine that if one of the Fortune 500 companies centered in that region or even some local entity came up with title sponsorship the race would be back on the calendar immediately. I lost a lot of respect for RIR. The approach they took is sleazy.

Oddly RetardedMeantime, Indy Car announced their 2010 schedule, and a fundamental shift occurred. Non-ovals now outnumber ovals. This is NOT acceptable. Indy Car management loves to tout how diverse they are, and according to them the series remains primarily oval. Again, assuming their potential customers are all ignorant, they classify course types in three groups: Ovals, road courses and temporary courses. Here is how they need to look at it:



About five years ago it was all oval. Today ovals are the minority and anyone who believes that is unintentional is naïve. That notion is reinforced by the words of those in charge at New Hampshire, a venue no longer managed by the Bahre family, who have been pleading with the IRL to return for two years. Indy Car has just blown them off with the popular ‘scheduling conflicts’ excuse. I call bullsh*t. Make it work. Also make Michigan work and facilitate a title sponsor for Richmond, which is in a geographically desirable location.

Indy Car management needs to have a diverse series to be certain, but it must be 65% oval. Period. Get it done. Stop repeating the mistakes of the past. Temporary circuit events are nothing more than glorified Ponzi schemes designed to extract large amounts of money in return for ambiguous hard to prove economic benefits and the counting of the same people three times combined with other over the top fiction. After a few years bridges to cities that deserve actual tracks get burned and everyone ends up screwed. Plus, the racing generally cannot suck enough. Indy Car should NOT be headed in that direction.



  1. AMEN to the too many road courses comment. This is not what IRL started out to be, and it certainly did not help CCWS to survive when they eliminated all ovals from their program.

    I’d love to see the ICS back at Michigan, having been there several times back in the 80’s, and it is an outstanding place to watch a race. Sadly, with the tintops running there twice a summer, I don’t think it’s very likely.

    Comment by SkipinSC — August 3, 2009 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

  2. Your point about ovals being outnumbered on this year’s schedule is weakened by the fact that that two ovals didn’t make it on the schedule for reasons that are apparently not the league’s fault. Many a good diatribe has been ruined by this kind of sloppiness and lack of attention to detail.

    “Get it done!” Yeah… right. You know better than that. You’re not getting 65% ovals no matter how hard you stamp your feet.

    I too have had the thought that street races were a scam of sorts, a way to get one’s snout into the public trough, but that idea is countered by long-running events like Long Beach and Toronto. Kinda hard to believe a ponzi scheme could hold together for that long.

    Maybe there’s no real need for separate standards of judgement for street/road courses vs. ovals, eh? If a race is successful, then it is, regardless. Oval track races will come and go based on their economic viability, or other legitimate factors, and so will street or road courses. The schedule balance will tilt one way or the other depending on what the league can actually get done—not what you demand be done.
    Editor’s note: So much for what fans want.

    Comment by Boo Boo — August 3, 2009 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

  3. I regard the RIR response to you as BS!! It is a LIE. This weekend showed that the changes to the Dallara worked, and had the Richmond race been this weekend, it would have been incredible. But ISC cut away with the low blow comment while they could.

    ISC is turning on IndyCar and something has to be done. The series needs to find events outside of ISC owned venues. The unfortunate fact is ISC ownes a good share of the ovals.
    The addition of road and street courses may seem sickening, but it might be the only stop gap available while the league works on establishing more races with SMI and other non-ISC ovals.

    It would not surprise me if the manifest destiny of ISC was consolidation of all racing under their umbrella. That would be accomplished by killing off what they feel is competition. That race at Kentucky was incredible towards the end. RIR and ISC knew the Indy Car Series would fix the problem with the aero package making sure the next race at Richmond, if one was on the schedule, would have been fabulous.

    With this economy and massive cut backs by GM, Chrysler and many other sponsors to come full force in 2010, ISC DOES NOT WANT THAT (Indy Car coming into Richmond and putting on a show that makes CUP cars look like turtles marching in molasses). So they took a shot when the shield was down.

    Comment by Mike Miller — August 3, 2009 @ 4:43 pm | Reply

  4. I can sort of understand the Richmond sponsor problem. The Richmond area took a big economic hit when Circuit City went under. The rest of the story here may be that Richmond expected the IRL to go out and find a new race sponsor. Usually, that’s the track’s job, and if ISC expected the IRL to go find a sponsor but then still wanted the track to get a cut, then I’m not surprised that negotiations broke down.

    And of course Milwaukee is a perpetually screwed up situation. Apparently the last promoter didn’t go a very good job, but any promoter is going to be hamstrung by having to deal with the fairgrounds authority there. Really, the ideal time to have a race there is during the state fair in August, but the authority is adamantly opposed to that, for some reason. Couple that with the fact that NASCAR expects to get their $2.2M back before they’ll schedule another race there, and we can expect that the Milwaukee Mile will be sitting idle for a while, at least as far as any big-name series is concerned.

    But yeah, the bit I don’t get is Loudon. Why the heck not schedule it? Yeah, I know attendance was bad there the last time, but that was under the previous management. SMI seems eager to have a race there — why not do it? I don’t understand.

    Further: That may not be the end of the carnage. In 2011, we’re looking at the loss of Kansas if that track gets a second Cup date, and of Homestead if attendance there doesn’t pick up. That would leave us with a very CART-like five ovals, and let’s not forget that Chicagoland is now owned by ISC and Iowa’s long term future is still not assured. The IRL needs to develop a plan now for how it’s going to develop new ovals races and bring ovals back up to at least 50% of the schedule in 2011.

    Comment by Cousin Dave — August 3, 2009 @ 4:50 pm | Reply

  5. Agreed – we need more ovals – road courses are generally snooze fests – unless Scheckter throws his gloves of course…

    Comment by Amy — August 3, 2009 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

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