Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

February 4, 2010

Randy Bernard’s One Person IRL Focus Group

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:09 am

Congratulations to the IZOD Indy Car Series on their official hiring of Randy Bernard as CEO, replacing Tony George. That alone should be enough to silence critics who have been howling for Anton scalp since the needless cart boycott of ‘95, but this is Indy car we’re talking about. Nothing short of their own deaths will likely silence incessant yelping.

I am officially on board with the whole outsider angle. No baggage that way. We already know the guy started a niche and made it viable. Let’s see what he can do with a bigger, established niche and make it huge again. When I talk to Mr. Bernard, I will have a few pieces of advice from someone who has walked through the gates in parts of seven decades. He says he would like to hear from folks like me, and I am more than happy to oblige.

  1. Walk around the race track when it is dark and silent one morning at around sunrise. Open your mind to the possibility that 100 years of life and death history can touch you.
  2. You wouldn’t let a cowboy try to stay atop a bull on a city street. You would insist that such an adventure take place in an enclosed, purpose-built facility where everyone in the stands could see everything that is going on. Why then would Indy Cars be allowed on city streets? It is just as stupid. Those events are poison for most cities that attempt them and screw taxpayers. Gypsy carnivals leave a bad taste in the mouths of multitudes. There are a lot of high quality race tracks without Indy Car, especially OVALS.
  3. Do not allow the gutting of the month of May to stand for your series’ biggest event. The recent evisceration of May is sacrilegious. Open the track early in May and have cars on it every single day.
  4. There must be 33 on the grid at the end of May, and it would be nice if 50 or so tried to make one of the 33 slots.
  5. Open the rule book. Specify a bare minimum of specifications and let the Darwinian nature of creativity become a part of the mix again. The panic based fear of the past few years is that Penske and Ganassi will win most of the races. How would that be any different from the long in the tooth specs that have gotten boring?
  6. Encourage participation by a lot more manufacturers.
  7. Enable the economics to facilitate DOUBLING the size of the field.
  8. Ask anyone who tries to cram how ‘great’ cart was before 1995 down your throat why they didn’t survive, twice. If they stupidly try to blame Tony George, punch them in the face as hard as you possibly can. Or, maybe not. Just apply facts.
  9. Listen to everyones’ opinions but be wary of most of the legacy owners. Most are slithering snakes in shirts and will screw it up in a heartbeat if given half a chance. We do not want you to become like one of the revolving door CEO’s many of the owners experienced in the downward spiral days of the now defunct predecessor series.
  10. Summarily dismiss the line of absolute crap that attempts to position the Indy Car Series as something less than it was in the mid 1990’s. The memories of a few zealots with loud yaps have taken on unrealistic fantasy proportions. The future is now and you need to hit the ground running. Respect history, but only the history that matters.

Good luck Randy. You will need it.

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12 Comments »

  1. I’m so glad you mentioned that you were going to speak to Randy Bernard, Defender. Now I can write to him and tell him not to listen in any way shape or form to the biggest village idiot out there. I have every faith that Mr. Bernard will listen to your idiotic, unintelligent, hateful, simplistic, first grade education rants, and treat them with the respect that they deserve, to be dismissed and disregarded. Sorry, Defender, your ship has sailed and now that your hero has left the building, you will be further minimalized. You are a pathetic little piece of human garbage.

    Editor’s Note: I am certain Mr. Bernard will have his day just absolutely brightened by your objective words of wisdom, Mr. Sunshine.

    Comment by Thesmartestguyintheroom — February 4, 2010 @ 4:00 am | Reply

    • That room must be Solitary confinement.

      Comment by Mike Miller — February 4, 2010 @ 12:56 pm | Reply

  2. They’re going to pick one chassis and stick to one engine because that’s all the economy and state of the series allows at this time. They’ll continue to add street courses because–apparently–they are more attractive to local sponsors. (I think owners like them better because of cost control also.) And the revenue and sponsorship will continue to flatline until they either leave Versus or until Versus becomes a viable network available to everyone.

    Mr. Bernard’s job is to market the series as it is, but also to plan down the road for how it could be if the economics allow–perhaps more ovals, hopefully different chassis and engines, and certainly more competitors, drivers, sponsors and fans.

    Comment by redd — February 4, 2010 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  3. From a strictly historical perspective, I always wondered what it would have been like to have had a front row deck chair on the RMS Titanic and watch the events unfold over the final hours. Passengers gleefully scurrying about their evening, enjoying themselves and their supercilious company. Fine food and drink to be enjoyed in the various suites and dining rooms. Merriment and music fill the air. The self-righteous and haughty nature of the important passengers who were ever so fortunate to be an insider and a part of the excitement of this world renowned event on the high seas. Old money is code for inheritance, but it all spends the same, and what it buys is a pompous belief that the man with the most cash in his side pocket gets what he wants, when he wants it, no matter the cost. It never seems to buy any happiness. The appearance that everything is gonna be awright was announced to the minions – if you know what I mean. The smug arrogance about their perceived places in history was worn on their sleeves with great honor. They were, after all, a part of greatness. Slowly, minute by minute, hour by hour, as the events began to unfold and the panic began to set in, reality fired a shot across the bow and it hit them square in their center of their slope headed brows. Soon they realized that their places in history would indeed be burned into the pages of history forever more – however, burned in a much different history lesson then they dreamed of. We would all later read about this group with much fascination – a group forever linked together in death and tragedy by the arrogance of a few.

    No my friends, everything was not gonna be alright. Not then. Not now. Not ever.

    It is highly doubtful that the highly experienced and respected Captain Smith would have ever navigated those iceberg laden waters that night at high speed in such a wreckless manner, on his own accord. However, it seems that people of wisdom sometimes make unwise decisions when they get out of their element. They make poor decisions influenced by others with transparent, ulterior motives and monies galore and no ones best interest at heart but their own. At the expense of many lives, and sparing no cost, they do indeed charge full steam ahead, damning the icebergs that lay in their path. What a self destructive, megalomaniacal behavior these faux wealthy narcissicists demonstrated that fateful night.

    Those that cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    So, I sit here watching from my formerly prized, paddock penthouse, overpriced deckchair, and I can’t help but notice a few things going on down below and feeling this eery connection to that fateful night in April of 1912. It seems that there is a lot of commotion and stirring going on, but the band keeps playing on, creating a fallacious aura of security, as Captain EJ Smith-Randall Bernard takes the helm. All the while, the grand architect and arrogant creator of this bogus sham, J. Bruce Ismay Barnhart-George orders this once beautiful and proud liner, The IMS Titanic, full steam ahead into the bergs.

    All that is left today is for the sacrificial Captain Smith-Bernard to go down with the ship and the cowardly Ismay Barnhart-George to sneak over the last standing safer barrier into a life raft and slowly slither away into the cold, unfriendly, dark night air and into the bowels of history as one of the single greatest destructive components to annihilate the once proud jewel of the American Open Wheel fleet and obliterate all that surrounded it.

    Yes indeed. Nearer my God to Thee you all are.

    History does indeed repeat itself.

    First as a tragedy.

    Second as a Farce.

    Editor’s Note: Given all that articulate prose one has to wonder whether today’s Indy Car Series, with vibrant, young, OUTSIDE leadership, will learn from the disasters that sunk the cart and champcar ships, mostly as the result of arrogance. I remain less worried about the future of the Indy Car Series than I was even two years ago. Indy Cars will be racing at IMS and elsewhere long after we’re all pushing up daisies. I say we all enjoy this great sport while we are still breathing.

    Comment by Still there, still there, still there — February 4, 2010 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

  4. Still beating the same dead horse……..Whining about a shortened month of May…….Taking pot shots at the former CART owners…….trying to downplay the success of the mid 90’s. You need a new tune.

    Editor’s Note: I want at least three weeks in May with two qualification weekends. cart owners nearly ruined the sport. I do not want that to happen again. When cart was in charge, I watched and attended and thought it was great despite its ominous direction. What I did not do is plant my heels and refuse to budge. The sport evolves. Those who fancy themselves fans should as well. There is no denying their success. The thing to look at is how they managed to squander it. They do not look so smart after all. Reality. What a concept.

    Comment by TroyM — February 4, 2010 @ 2:47 pm | Reply

  5. How did CART owners nearly ruin the sport? It was in TG’s control since 1996?

    Editor’s Note: They spent well over ten years attempting to convince anyone who would listen that Indianapolis was just another race and that it was more important to have a great series than to have a series of races with one huge marquee. I understand that perspective, but it is and always has been, foolish. Tony George had zero to do with the brutal self immolation and ultimate bankruptcy and death of cart or its successor series. The shenanigans of those who thought the cart side was best scorched the earth for everyone. Tony sought only to repair damage, ultimately bailing out those who spent years screwing him. Had cart not boycotted and chose instead to kill the infant IRL before it got a toehold, perhaps they would still be around as a legally recognized entity. They Darwined themselves out of being. That hurt the sport. TG had nothing to do with that except in the twisted minds of those looking to assign blame instead of taking responsibility.

    Now kindly STAY ON TOPIC or find somewhere else to crap. Capeche?

    Comment by TroyM — February 4, 2010 @ 5:15 pm | Reply

  6. [Quote]Editor’s Note: They spent well over ten years attempting to convince anyone who would listen that Indianapolis was just another race and that it was more important to have a great series than to have a series of races with one huge marquee. I understand that perspective, but it is and always has been, foolish. Tony George had zero to do with the brutal self immolation and ultimate bankruptcy and death of cart or its successor series. The shenanigans of those who thought the cart side was best scorched the earth for everyone. Tony sought only to repair damage, ultimately bailing out those who spent years screwing him. Had cart not boycotted and chose instead to kill the infant IRL before it got a toehold, perhaps they would still be around as a legally recognized entity. They Darwined themselves out of being. That hurt the sport. TG had nothing to do with that except in the twisted minds of those looking to assign blame instead of taking responsibility[Quote]

    Riddle me this fat…..errrr Batman: then why did Josie and her merry band band of post menopausal pussycats fire boy george and send him running for the hills?

    Editor’s Note: ‘Boy George?’ They fired the flamboyantly gay lead singer of a 1980’s dance band? Huh? Oh, I get it. You are taking a stab at humor. Ha-ha. Good one. You must be referring to Anton being voted out of IMS. Hmmm. Let’s think. The economy became the worst it had been in over 80 years. Panic set in. Family began infighting. It happens. Does that not make the Anton haters gleeful or do we need to wait for him to perish in an aircraft accident?

    There’s quite the history – in a very brief 15 uears or so – of internal scorching that has gone on at 16th and Josietown Rds. You can let CART/CC go now. They are gone. Move along down the road. The corpse has decayed. Your incessant bleating about it is pathetic in nature. Children learn from their parents. What were their issues?……so we may better understand you of course 🙂

    Mirror mirror on the wall
    which series had the greatest car
    ovals and airports and a street parade
    the IRL is really just a complete charade
    Cart is dead
    where did they go?
    reinvented as
    The Izod Rodeo

    Magical Bob The Joker

    things that make you hmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

    Editor’s Note: How about let’s making a deal with you and your little friends? If I stop reminding you of cart’s repeated failures will you stop living in 1995 and pretending that was the high point for the sport? It wasn’t. If you would have been around in the 60’s you might know that. In other words, how about an attempt to evolve? Deal?

    Comment by B. Reif — February 4, 2010 @ 7:15 pm | Reply

  7. [quote]Editor’s Note: How about let’s making a deal with you and your little friends? If I stop reminding you of cart’s repeated failures will you stop living in 1995 and pretending that was the high point for the sport? It wasn’t. If you would have been around in the 60’s you might know that. In other words, how about an attempt to evolve? Deal?[/quote]

    Absolutely. I’d be happy to…..as long as I get to make a counterpoint for every one of your points. Deal? Hey, it’s just racing and ultimately we are all friends… aren’t we,maybe? So therefore, I agree to the terms of service on your blog and welcome myself as a breath of fresh air representing the other side of things moving forward harmoniously.

    Deal right? ( I need a password and the keys to the joint…thnx bro 🙂 )

    P.S. I was around in the sixties…….perhaps we sat in the same section 😉

    Howie

    Editor’s Note: How many comment personalities do you have, anyway? You, and anyone else, even variations of the same person, are welcome to comment on any of my points at any time. If you do not go off topic your observations will be published. I love my readers. Even the darkly obsessed ones.

    Comment by Howie Mandeal — February 4, 2010 @ 7:41 pm | Reply

  8. If I hated the Indycar series that much, I’d just not watch it. (Which Versus actually makes fairly easy.) And I wouldn’t read about it, let alone comment on it. I hate tennis and fried rice but I don’t get on Federer’s Fans or Uncle Ben’s Ricemania websites and whine about it.

    Comment by redd — February 4, 2010 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

  9. I agree with Defender on most of the points you have. I think 3 street races are okay (Long Beach, Cleveland, Toronto). I think Bernard can tell what will excite fans, and how to promote it, so he should do good things for the oval races remaining on the scheduale.

    Comment by Dylan — February 4, 2010 @ 8:48 pm | Reply

  10. Excuse me for being on subject here, but one of things the new CEO will have to deal with is Robin Miller. Robin will print false information to fit into his attempts at being clever. Randy will come to realize that there are hired hacks to distract his work which lies ahead.

    I call Robin a hired hack for two reasons: #1 his history,#2 the fact that he writes for SPEED and never seems to report on NASCAR. If he were to print what he thought of that Series (he does not like it), SPEED wouldn’t even give him the respect of escorting him to the door. They’d throw him out the window, regardless of what floor he was on.

    I wish Randy the best and hope Robin will show he’s a IndyCar supporter by trying to help the series instead of attacking it. However, that might not set so well with those who pay him. Unfortunately, this is not a new scenario for him.

    Comment by Mike Miller — February 4, 2010 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

    • Wow, another conspiracy theory by Mike Miller.

      Comment by TroyM — February 5, 2010 @ 3:01 am | Reply


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