Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

February 25, 2010

It’s Almost March 1. Mr. Bernard…Almost Time to Get Busy!

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:12 am

The one item that should be resolved before any other when Randy Bernard steps in is ensuring that Graham Rahal has a ride in an Indy Car. That kind of corporate welfare is not an optimal situation, but history has shown repeatedly that you cannot leave a group of owners in charge of anything related to racing. They will screw it

Indy cart Owners

up 100% of the time. Graham has appointments with NASCAR owners. This is a wake-up call.

It would be great if Graham’s dad and his partner could put something together. Perhaps if Dave (and others) spent less time philandering with young women and more time leveraging his increasing popularity with sponsors in the wake of Leno’s career self immolation they might have a shot. RLR has already proven they can run a competent racing team when they want to.

I do not believe the Indy Car Series can survive many more Jeff Gordon-type deals where aspiring Indy Car drivers keep getting doors slammed in their faces only to end up in slow boxes on wheels down south. The insult is magnified when the seat is filled with less talented non-English speakers with checks.

Randy, find a way to fix this immediately. The IZOD Indy Car Series has been on its way to a soccer-like niche for years. The owners’ insistence on dumping ovals for non-ovals exacerbates this situation.

Your second official act ought to be declaring a moratorium on all temporary street circuits. They are cancer. Race on real tracks.

The third order of business is to take a good hard look at the phallus-like creation the owners want to impose. I do not really have a problem with the thinking behind it, but please avoid having that be the only spec. Open it up.

Sometimes free consulting is necessary.



  1. Love reading your posts, even though this is one of the few times I’ve had an opinion that I think you’ll probably share:

    Anyone who both bad things to say about Tony George and also thinks that Graham Rahal MUST have a ride in the series must refer to Vision Racing c. 2009 and shut up.

    Comment by Jesse — February 25, 2010 @ 1:46 am | Reply

  2. Don’t mean to nitpick, but soccer is vastly more popular in America than Indycar.

    Comment by DemondSanders — February 25, 2010 @ 1:53 am | Reply

    • Desmond, so is curling, badminton, college bowling and women’s fencing.

      If Graham Rahal has a competitive bone in his body, he’d get the hell out of Indy Car Racing and go to NASCAR and test his skills against the BEST American talent around.

      Somebody outside his immediate family would actually know who he is too.

      Editor’s Note: Just a slight observation…NASCAR snobbery is far more amusing than the old cart snobbery. In both cases the fact they take/took time to offer commentary means Indy Car has little about which to worry.

      Comment by Jim Bob — February 25, 2010 @ 4:32 am | Reply

  3. Actally, Graham does not like NASCAR, says it’s boring and slow, amoung other things. I don’t think he wants to race there. He wants to race in IndyCar however he needs a ride. This is a great way to get attention.

    And if the teams in NASCAR have read Graham’s Twitters which comment on NASCAR, they won’t like him. NASCAR has it’s own issues they’re trying to patch up with Danica; that’s not going to work.

    Comment by Mike Miller — February 25, 2010 @ 1:16 pm | Reply

  4. It may have escaped your notice but Bobby Rahal & David Letterman ARE running ‘a competent race team’ for BMW in the American Le Mans Series and they have hired three full time American drivers in the form of Tommy Milner, Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand. They will be racing in one of the most exciting and competitive series in American racing, namely the GT class of the ALMS. They will also be racing at Le Mans this year.

    Or is competence only awarded to them if they race in IndyCar?

    Editor’s Note: No. Only relevance.

    Comment by Declan — February 26, 2010 @ 3:03 am | Reply

    • Relevant to who or what?

      The team are pretty ‘relevant’ to BMW or they wouldn’t be racing in the category.

      Maybe if IndyCar was more ‘relevant’ to anything, you wouldn’t have this issue.

      Look at Highcroft Racing, GE have just signed on as a partner so they can use the team as a test bed for new technology. When was the last time you could say that about IndyCar?

      I’m a fan by the way, not a hater, but I also know anachronism when I see one.

      THAT is as big an issue as the quality and/or linguistic skills of the drivers.


      Editor’s Note: Please don’t misunderstand. ALMS is fine. Beats Grand Am. It is a series with a lot of potential and fun to watch. But it is less relevant than Indy Car, and if I was going to have just one program that wasn’t supported by a manufacturer I would choose Indy Car by a country mile if just for the 500. YMMV.

      Comment by Declan — February 26, 2010 @ 2:15 pm | Reply

  5. Right now its MORE relevant than IndyCar, hence the reason so many manufacturers and suppliers are involved. It has an open tyre formula and regulations that promote innovation. The Dyson Mazda is running on Biobutanol this season.

    Sadly in terms of relevance to today’s motoring issues, Indy is nowhere. While the 500 gets a bigger audience and may have more of a profile than the ALMS. The ALMS is important to manufacturers globally.

    Indy needs to go in that direction as soon as it can.

    Editor’s Note: I admire your admiration for ALMS, and as I have stated it is a fine series. But more relevant than Indy Car? Come on. Generally that is only the case within the deluded minds of those with some type of ax to grind. Honda has literally been begging for more powerplant competition but all potential comers do not want to get their asses handed to them. There are five, count ’em FIVE, chassis entities bidding for a piece of the action. Is a ‘tyre’ the same thing as a ‘tire?’ If so, I agree. Open that up too. I believe Indy’s willingness to be/go global is undeniable. Their suppliers are mostly from Europe and Asia. One other difference…Indy Car is not teetering on the brink of extinction.

    Comment by Declan — February 26, 2010 @ 5:53 pm | Reply

  6. I’m not American and that is how we spell tyre where I come from.

    Editor’s Note: I was kinda half joking. Your Euro-centricity is fairly obvious on a number of levels.

    So what makes IndyCar so relevant over the Le Mans, the event that dictates the regulations of the ALMS?

    There is NOTHING relevant about IndyCar right now.

    Editor’s Note: Now your bias is really beginning to show. As previously stated it is fine to like ALMS. But it is not Indy and regardless of what jaded perception you have of Indy Car, your attempted positioning of it as less relevant than ALMS is laughable.

    A deliberately de-tuned powerplant and a chassis that almost qualifies as a historic single seater.
    (I’m not making that up either)

    A car with a drag co-efficient higher than a Sprint Cup car (also a fact not hyperbole).

    Editor’s Note: We get it. You don’t like it. Fine. Lots of us dislike the spec series it has become. I have been a fan since 1959. It evolves fairly regularly and is about to again. I just hope they do not continue down the cart path. No road racing series with big time aspirations has ever made it over time in the United States.

    Tell me how the ALMS and sportscar racing is ‘teetering on the brink of extinction’.

    Editor’s Note: They have been losing teams and manufacturers, they do not draw many fans, sponsorship is minimal and token at best, and they have to buy their way onto television. Many people in the business felt they would not answer the bell for 2010. As a racing fan I am glad they are still around, but that may not last. We shall see.

    Again, this is coming from a fan who wants it back where it belongs, but don’t delude yourself. Indy isn’t even the biggest race in terms of TV on the day of the event!


    Editor’s Note: Let’s of things are no longer big on television any more. Given the high number of channels and distribution methods, fragmentation has never been this evident. Still, there are few seats to be had at Indy in May, and Indy Car attendance at many other tracks draws tens of thousands that ALMS would love to have but don’t. My advice for you is to enjoy ALMS while you can. That is what I plan to do.

    Comment by Declan — February 26, 2010 @ 9:42 pm | Reply

  7. If my position is ‘laughable’ just tell me what is relevant about Indy right now. If it ‘evolves’ regularly why are we coming up to almost a decade with the same chassis. I have no problem with you saying I’m wrong, but at least provide me with a decent counter point.

    Editor’s Note: Indy Car racing has been around 90 years longer than ALMS and 40 more than NASCAR. Indy Car has a full slate of well attended events including the largest attended single day sporting event in the world. The fact that the series has used the same chassis for a few years is galling primarily just to snobs who generally think their own little niches are the cat’s meow or others who have some usually idiotic and petty prejudice against Indy Car that makes them feel compelled to slam it like grade school children ad nauseum. The fact they slam it basically means they are fans and watch it. I generally wish such people would be honest with themselves much less insipid bloggers like me. Casual fans enjoy Indy Racing because of the RACING. Speaking as a lifelong fan, I personally cannot wait until freshened chassis specs from multiple sources becomes reality. Two seasons is too long to wait. It does, however, remain the second most popular motorsports series in the United States at present. To claim it is not relevant is to admit your own insanity, or at the very least incomprehensible denial.

    The ALMS gained teams this season including ones in the LMP C and GT C Classes. But hey ho, lets not let the facts stand in the way of a good story. It lost De Ferran but gained Drayson, there are 5 new cars in LMPC including teams that have left the Atlantic Series. Two new Ferraris too from Scott Sharp as well as probably too Jags for Rocketsports although I think they will be rather cumbersome based on what I witnessed at Sebring.

    Editor’s Note: If I recall correctly ALMS has lost a lot of very high profile teams over the past few years. Seems they prefer the Indy Car Series. Look, I am not slamming ALMS. I like it. I watch it. The cars are cool and so are a lot of the venues and teams. But it is a niche.

    As for this:

    “No road racing series with big time aspirations has ever made it over time in the United States.”

    It’s fundamentally wrong and it is precisely the success of such a series that left us in the mess we are in now.

    Editor’s Note: This script you are following is familiar and very tired. The fact remains no road racing series with big time aspirations has EVER made it in the US. ALL of them have ultimately failed.

    I will enjoy it of course, as I do IndyCar, I’ll enjoy IndyCar even more when it’s full of battling suppliers and manufacturers, just like sportscar racing is now.

    Editor’s Note: The problem is not the desire, the problem is getting participants to do it. Owners constantly complain about costs. Manufacturers want exclusive agreements. The economy is still in the worst shape since the Great Depression. Those who ‘lead’ this country (Republicans and Democrats alike) are turning this once great nation into a third world sh!t hole. Perhaps those who are now plying their trade in a niche will one day join the Indy Car fun. The leadership of Indy Car is showing signs of finally removing their heads from their arses, and their new choice for CEO is bold and way out of the box. More participation is always better, particularly in terms of brands.

    How is a US resident, arguing about the strength of a US series and the fact that a US owner is employing US drivers (my original point) make me ‘euro centric’?

    Editor’s Note: Fair point. Your case would be bolstered if you spelled the word ‘tire’ correctly. 😉

    Comment by Declan — February 27, 2010 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

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