Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

December 22, 2009

IMS Bends Over Backward (and Forward)

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:34 am

I like Jeff Belksus. He is a Hulman-George family outsider (by blood anyway) who has taken a business approach to running the greatest race course in the world. The facility needs that type of business leadership. He is also willing to talk with most anyone about anything at most any time. His accessibility is commendable.

There are only two things that bother me about the guy, and the two things really bother me pretty badly.

  • He speaks in clichéd, buzzword-filled rhetoric. Every single interview he has given since taking over is filled with such tripe. It is as bad as the average professional athlete. He is Joe Heitzler with an accounting degree. You could record the content of every interview and simply plug in the answers for a completely different interview. I wish he was more human and less sound bite generator.
  • He has hopped into the sack with many who have actively worked in the past to lessen the importance of the Indianapolis 500 as well as those who have spent much of the past fifteen years scorching the open wheel earth. He needs to listen to what these mostly ex-cart leaders have to say in the overall interest of the sport, but he should never bend over for them. He seems to be doing a lot of that. The fifteen days or less month of May, for example, is probably their idea. So is the radical new car idea. How long will it be before these self serving sport killers talk the impressionable leader into getting rid of the majority of current ovals? If Belksus and Anton are still buddies he needs to listen to Anton a lot more than the other bunch.

Like many, I am excited about the possibility of more focused evolution, but the last thing any of us need is a transformation into a series that de-emphasizes the Indianapolis 500 and runs mostly non-ovals. That has never worked in the past and will not now.

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9 Comments »

  1. As usual, another uninformed piece of drivel, Defender.

    Here’s a suggestion. Since you dislike what the IICS is becoming-which is the right thing to do-start your own series and run it the way you want to. And when you fail-and you will fail-don’t come back complaining about it like you usually do.

    Editor’s Note: Clearly you only read what you want to. Evolution is inevitable. I have been a fan non-stop since 1959. We have evolved beyond what cart was in 1995. I would like to see innovation, multiple manufacturers, and Indianapolis as the marquee of a series with mostly ovals in the future. That is what I am working toward. Any questions?

    Comment by Bluefalcon — December 22, 2009 @ 5:02 am | Reply

  2. Defender, put Tony George’s &#$@ down and walk away, your jaw has to be sore by now!

    Editor’s Note: Dealing with idiots who laughingly claim to be fans is another challenging aspect of supporting Indy Car. One would hope an inkling of maturity would eventually catch up to delinquents, but evidently not.

    Comment by Laughing at your expense — December 22, 2009 @ 12:16 pm | Reply

  3. I saw this weeks interview with Danica live on speed which was part of a rebroadcast of the NASCAR race this year at Atlanta. The comment comes across much more forcefully live. This is happening a lot more than we know and people like Jeff Belksus had better wake up.

    Miller: I think I met you in ’95 or ’96. Look at your body of work already. I understand why Sam Hornish Jr. did what he did – he won the Indy 500 and the championship. I understand why Dario did it. This is all about opportunity and when I met you in ’96, you had no idea what was going to happen. It’s like when someone like Go Daddy or JR Motorsports comes along, ‘I’ve got to jump in.’

    Patrick: I am excited about the opportunity. Just over the last couple of years watching the transition that the IndyCar Series has made with its schedules and tracks and everything. It’s not that I don’t enjoy that, as well. There’s probably nothing more rewarding than being fast on a road course because it’s really up to you. But on the other hand, the races, there’s a lack of racing and not much passing that happens (in IndyCar). It came to how much I liked oval racing, short ovals, mile-and-a-half, side-by-side, the challenge of the short ovals, the chess match that is the two-mile ovals – it’s just interesting to me. I’m excited to do more of that and that’s going to come with all this running.

    Comment by Bob F. — December 22, 2009 @ 1:52 pm | Reply

    • Danica finds herself in this position for all of the wrong reasons, as far as racing goes that is. She won’t even be racing in Cup but will get more attention than all of the Cup drivers.

      I’m not sure how that’s going to go over with the drivers (especially those paying their dues) and the fans. People will tune in to watch a Cup race and there’s no Danica. It could backfire on NASCAR just like all of the other quick fix gimmick tricks that have driven fans away. If the NASCAR Danica plan works, then Nationwide ratings will top Cup ratings potentially when Danica races there. That could confuse fans over there. We’ve learned in open wheel that confusing fans is not good.

      Danica can’t win on a road course and there is nothing Jeff can do about that. And if Simona comes along and gets up to speed like many expect her too, Danica could be left out in the cold, washing out in NASCAR and being shown up by a new queen of speed in IndyCar.

      Jeff Belkus can only watch while this plays out.

      Comment by Mike Miller — December 22, 2009 @ 8:54 pm | Reply

  4. defendir,

    how comes my comments aint showing up no more? I have a following that supports me from the downforce club. they like my andy granitelli stories of when i was a crewman and if i support yoiu then more is better to support the cuasee of the irl being based on the indy 500 of the irl series. i still got my stp crew shirt if you ever wantto see it as proff. it gots my name sewed in it and awthentic grease from back in the day. mr. tony human used to always comed by our garage and say hi. he called me bingO. probably cause that was my name, i figger.
    but i digriss.

    let me know how i can help the cuase.

    bingOOut brOtha =)

    bingO jOhnsOn
    mars hill, indaina, USA

    Editor’s Note: I suspect your weak, pointless, copycat attempts at humor triggered a spam flag and sent a post or two to that folder. If I have time I will check. Meantime, why not try to contribute something original?

    Comment by bingO jOhnsOn — December 22, 2009 @ 3:56 pm | Reply

  5. Bingo, possiblity 1 is that you never look at your screen, and didn’t actually post it. Possibility two is a spam block, which could be because you tried to post something with too many links, or because of your email address. I have had an issue on my blog where Jayski tried to comment and it got picked up as spam.

    Comment by Dylan — December 22, 2009 @ 5:53 pm | Reply

    • thnak you dylan, i will watch it moer carefulley. i apperciate the help. defendar, why did you say that? it was kinda mean when i just have suppoert and nothing else.. when i was in racing i was in a head injurey accident in the pits, got hit by a tire and flipped in the wall haed first so i don’t alweyas seem to smart nowadays but it aint my fault. im just a irl fan anymoer….im just like you. i was top wrench in my day. i was part of tuneup masters in new miexico for andy until i got intwo racign for him.

      irl brOtha.

      BingO Oooooooout.

      Comment by bingO jOhnsOn — December 23, 2009 @ 1:26 am | Reply

  6. defender,

    i see you are trying now to put the blame of the whole mess that north american open-wheel racing is in, on jeff belksus. nice try. there is but one man who is 95% responsible for this mess, and you know exactly who he is, anton george.

    Editor’s Note: I see your reading comprehension skills are lacking. Not surprising.

    do yourself a big favor, read the latest gordon kirby article, with alot of comments from tony cicale and mario andretti, two very well respected names in the industry. there is not much to refute in that article, it is pretty much spot on! here is the link as well, for you and anyone else who wants to read it…

    http://www.gordonkirby.com/categories/columns/theway/2009/the_way_it_is_no215.html

    Jay

    Editor’s Note: I did read that nonsense and will offer commentary on it at some point in the blog. My initial reaction is that both Kirby and Cicale (and Mario by association) are whining crybabies who lack the maturity to orient themselves in the current decade/century. While cart was a fun deal while it lasted, the greed, arrogance and ignorance of its owners and leaders killed that series. If Kirby, Cicale and anyone else still stupidly crying over spilled milk ever decide to grow up and work in positive ways to advance the sport, that would be great. Meantime, the horses*&# they are spouting has been heard 100 times before. Grow up already.

    Comment by jay — December 22, 2009 @ 8:34 pm | Reply

  7. If the people in charge of IMS/Indycar want to work this way that is there business but they should really look at history. Doing whatever team owners want is only going to work for so long. I’m no Indycar fan but I think the IRL should tell the owners to go f*#k themselves and if they don’t like it leave.

    Comment by Tim — December 23, 2009 @ 11:17 pm | Reply


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