Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

January 28, 2010

Things Jeff Belskus Can Learn From Tony (Stewart)

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 11:17 am

Officially or unofficially there may well be a search in progress for a new IZOD Indy Car Series CEO. The guy who leads the Professional Bull Riders Association, Randy Bernard, says he has an offer. Many think he would be a good choice, thinking along the lines of if the guy can make Bull Riding more popular he can do the same for Indy Car. He is 42 but the Indy Star says his resume says he built it up starting 25 years ago. When he was 17 years old? Perhaps he was 27 and began 15 years ago. Due diligence will provide the answer.

Whether he is a fit or not remains to be seen. My biggest worry is the move away from someone guided by the spirit and tradition of Indianapolis and Indy Car racing. If I were Jeff Belskus, I would study what Tony Stewart has done with Eldora Speedway. After Earl Baltes built the place from nothing in 1954, it became one of the best known and loved dirt tracks in the country. Earl eventually got old and despite his continuous passion and tenacity, those types of tracks became less popular and many like it closed.

Baltes struck a deal with Tony Stewart about five years ago to take it over. That turned out to be the wisest sale possible. Baltes’ legacy remained and Tony Stewart, who has always loved the track and respects its spirit and tradition, has made it better every year he has owned it. Recently, Tony purchased the slightly used jumbotron screens from the old Texas Stadium to use at Eldora.

THAT is the type of passion and commitment that is needed by both owners and management of Indy Car. Can a guy associated with bulls for 15 or 25 years pull it off, or do we call bullsh!t? We shall see.

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1 Comment »

  1. Very lame comparison. The 2 venues are not even remotely close to each other in size, revenue, and upkeep. The cost of those jumbotrons to Tony Stewart likely doesn’t even pay the yearly electrical bill at IMS.

    Editor’s Note: Wow, ya think?

    Comment by TroyM — January 30, 2010 @ 1:54 pm | Reply


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