Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

September 28, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing in Indy Car?

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:28 am

A couple of things happened last week that made IRL-obsessed critics who always portend doom for the series look foolish again. First, Honda reaffirmed its involvement for a few more years, and still welcomes all comers. The hottest rumors point to a German entity, but Indy Car fans have learned never to count on anything before a deal gets signed. That is because everyone who has ever been in charge of Indy Car who can competently flap their jowls unfailingly spout prodigious doses of bullsh*t every time they get near a live mic. But Honda involvement is great to a point.

Danica also announced she re-upped with AGR for three more years with Motorola-based sponsorship. That is good news from a personality marketing standpoint.

powered-by-honda_logoUsually when performing mundane tasks on non-Indy Car race weekends, I think about big picture items while performing other tasks so I don’t fall asleep when NASCAR is on. Honda in the series is a good deal overall because the reliability of their powerplant has never been surpassed by anything else in history. It is almost too reliable. Does the racing suffer, however, because everyone is limited to unpacking a crate and then bolting it in? I miss the days of multiple engine builders. Engine failure Penske Wins A Lothappened because teams took it to the limit. Is that not what racing is about? Finding a limit then stretching it?

Is Indy Car better off with teams like Penske and Ganassi? Of course it is. But Indy Car racing was a lot better and closer when those teams were engaged in their pointless boycott when cart/champcar was alive. Is the idea of parity flawed? It seems to favor the top teams. Of course it also works that way without parity because they spend more than everyone else.

Is That Tony StewartIt’s food for thought. Only one more chance for a Coyne-like upset this year, but I would not count on it.

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6 Comments »

  1. I completely agree with the engines being actually “too reliable” and have been thinking about this the last few years. We just don’t see engines blow anymore and I kinda miss it.

    I don’t think anybody wants to see it to the point where 5 or 6 engines are blowing every race but certainly 1 or 2 wouldn’t hurt. Who can forget the infamous CART race at Fontana where literally 1/2 the engines in the field blew-up. They had those things wound so tight that trying to make 500 miles was a coin flip at best. It was a total disaster and joke from an engine reliability point of view and it kind of came off as a joke on tv but it kept people watching. Everybody watching that race was wondering “whose engine is gonna blow next”.

    One thing it does is that it adds a bit of suspense and “it’s not over till it’s over” sort of vibe to the race. When Dixon is dominating a race it would be nice if part of the equation was “will his engine last for the entire race…”

    I remember watching a CART race at Nazareth years ago where Michael Andretti was just dominating the field. He had lapped everybody in the race except for Montoya who was a distant 2nd. Suddenly about 2/3 of the way through the race Michael’s engine gives way and shockingly Montoya gets the win. Now I was a fan of Andretti so that was horrible and devastating to watch……but that kind of intrigue and moment is what makes you watch.

    It’s kinda the same thing with Firestone. The tires are too good. They don’t ever go flat and most importantly they don’t wear down. There is no tire strategy on the ovals because 100 lap tires are 99% as good as 1 lap tires. I want to see the Top-5 cars out there with old tires and then see if someone like Helio can run them down on new tires. Of course we won’t see that in this series because the tires are made of the same compound that the Everlasting Gobstopper candy was in the Willy Wonka movie.

    Comment by Serg — September 28, 2009 @ 3:11 am | Reply

  2. There’s one thing I’ve learned about fellow Indy Car fans over the years, especially in the web era, when the get their way, they find another things to complain about.

    But I do agree, engine competition would cause each manufacturer to kick it up a notch, and there would be failures. It would make it more interesting. But in this economy, it may not be such a bad thing.

    Comment by Mike Miller — September 28, 2009 @ 11:47 am | Reply

  3. I was a big supporter of the IRL until reunification. I saw from the beginning that reunification would result in more road and street courses, more foreign drivers and out of country races, and more control by Penske and Co. It is exactly what is happening. If these trends continue, the IRL will not survive in the long term. While I know you defend the IRL, you have to agree that these trends portend trouble.

    Comment by Bob F. — September 28, 2009 @ 12:55 pm | Reply

  4. I would rather a series with the best drivers from anywhere as opposed to mediocre field made up purely of US drivers – now that would be a turn off!!

    Comment by Leigh O'Gorman — September 28, 2009 @ 8:49 pm | Reply

  5. Sounds like Camping World Trucks…

    Comment by dylan — September 29, 2009 @ 1:00 am | Reply

  6. AmazinG!!!

    Comment by valentina — September 29, 2009 @ 9:01 pm | Reply


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