Some of the more idiotic of the obsessed Defender followers seem to lump me (and many others) into a category of Tony George worship, usually accompanied by colorfully descriptive epithets. Names such as ‘boot licker’ or ‘kool-aid drinker’ are common. So are scatological references dealing with perceived intimate contact.
This has been a banner year for Tony’s howling critics. It is my sincere hope that the outrageous squealing since 1995 by imbeciles who have never truly understood the meaning of the words ‘ill advised boycott’ has not played any part in driving the man away. Tony is not responsible for the failure of cart; cart did that to themselves mostly because they stupidly believed they could de-emphasize Indy and remain successful.
Tony brought the sport back around for a time until the cart-centric personalities and ideals crept back in. The homogenized spec racing series we have today is a direct result of that return. The perceived problems Tony has run deeper than just yammering malcontents stuck in a prior decade. The sisters voted him off the island and mums is said to be miffed over the removal of the landmark outside turn 2. Then there is the money.
Most people understand those types of politics. As generations pass, many times succeeding relatives dilute the purity of what ancestors built. Even those enamored of Hulmans and Georges occasionally wonder how a business operated mostly with cronyism and nepotism and all the sophistication of a lemonade stand got as big as it did. The future is up to others to decide now, but I have always thought the model of a visionary leader linked to someone capable of running a successful business works fine. Tony Hulman had immense vision and Joe Cloutier.
I would not blame Tony George if he gathered up all his toys, headed out to sea, then mooned the state of Indiana permanently. He has had more dung thrown his way than a bagger in a fertilizer factory. I hope he does not take that path. IMS is too valuable to place into others hands. It is possible his daughter has a spark, but I do not give the current young generation much credit in the vision area. I also do not see Mr. Belksus as a suitable Joe Cloutier successor, but it is early.
Vacation? Yep. But I would like to believe Tony will return and really kick some ass this time. Take no prisoners.