Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

March 2, 2010

Indy cart Seats for Sale

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 2:19 am

Indy Car has nearly gone full circle to become the latest iteration of cart. As usual, there is good news and bad news. The good news is car counts continue to rise as well-financed foreigners buy them. The latest actually has potential, is easy on the eyes, and carries sponsorship that is relevant to the target demo. HER name is Simona De Silvestro (she is from Switzerland), and she is very easy on the eyes. Keith Wiggins’ HVM team is her destination, and that means that more often than not there will be multiple good looking young ladies battling it out with the gents. De Sivestro displaces for F-1 driver Robert Doornbos because he did not bring enough money. The sponsor is the Stargate Worlds thing.

The bad news is that there are talented Indy Car winners still walking around holding helmets awaiting a quality ride. Graham Rahal won his first Indy Car race. Buddy Rice won the 500. Tomas Scheckter always makes races more exciting. All are rideless.

Back to good news for a moment…Sarah Fisher, who is running a team the old fashioned way (lots of hard work, sweat, pavement pounding and bootstrapping), has confirmed Jay Howard (a driver hired mostly on merit) for five sponsored races.

The blatant ride buying phase caused many fans to gravitate toward NASCAR. Hopefully they will get this musical chairs to the highest bidder crap resolved before too long.

The only thing still missing to make it indistinguishable from cart is turbochargers.



  1. Get over the ride buyer thing. Simona brings 0$ to the team other than what she’s worked hard getting via sweat, a lot of phone calls, and a lot of people who would like to see her succeed. She isn’t rich and doesn’t bring a sack of money, so the ride buyer comment is just dumb. The problem is not ride buyers its the sport. Until the sport is heatlhy and fille dwith rich owners this will continue to be the case.

    Comment by Simona's Friend — March 2, 2010 @ 5:23 am | Reply

  2. In all fairness though the latest so-called pay drivers of Sato, Romancini, Beatriz and Silvestro have either already done more than enough to display their good talents on either the world scale or in Indy Lights / Atlantics, so from that angle I don’t see a problem.
    However, if Rahal, Tracy, Rice and Scheckter, et al… cannot source sponsorship, then maybe they should examine how they are going about it – their methods could be the reason why they’re cannot find the backing.

    Editor’s Note: I would like to see an evolution in which drivers were HIRED and then PAID based 100% on the skills they bring to sport. I do not believe that is too much to ask.

    Comment by Leigh O'Gorman — March 2, 2010 @ 6:16 am | Reply

    • As the person above said, that may well have to wait until the economy gets better – everywhere. For the moment, I would hardly say the likes of Milka Duno or Marty Roth are within a country mile of the four I mentioned in terms of talent.
      Sad as it may seem, Tracy and Rahal may have to become ridebuyers should they want to get back into the series full-time.

      Comment by Leigh O'Gorman — March 2, 2010 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

      • I’m with Leigh. Anybody who has enough chops to finish in the top-3 in Lights or Atlantics, or can score a podium on pace (as Taku did at Indy in ’04) in F1 is IndyCar material. I can handle “ride buyers” like that. In an ideal world, drivers would be hired on talent alone, but I’m not sure how many years in the entire history of the sport (like, even going back to the pre-500 days) have actually been like that.

        Comment by The Speedgeek — March 2, 2010 @ 2:25 pm

    • Editor: That is the way it should be, not just in Motorsports but all sports, we see guys break the butts for a year or two, then get a big fat guaranteed contract, when this happens they seem to just go on cruise control, take # 9 and # 11 for example.

      Pay the drivers for results, just like the IRL pays extra for 1st / 5th, the guy in 6th place receives the same as the guy in 20th. If every driver received 40% of their winnings they would make over $40,000 every race.

      Comment by rosco — March 2, 2010 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

  3. It’s important to note that IZOD spent considerable time and money filming spots with Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter Ray. I can’t point blaim at anyone for this situation because the economy around the world varies a bit and other countries are in better shape than the USA. But I feel for the two drivers mentioned above, based on their relationship with the title sponsor, action should be taken.

    The league might want to get involved for the sake of the title sponsor relationship with IZOD and see what can be done to put both of these drivers in the cockpit full time.

    Comment by Mike Miller — March 2, 2010 @ 1:22 pm | Reply

  4. Foreign drivers mean more road/street courses because that is what they are used to. Don’t people understand that it was all the foreign drivers and increasing road courses that played a part in the split. Indy car was on its way down after all the retirements about 1991 and the very trends we are seeing now. These trends lead to the rise in interest in Nascar by open wheel fans such as myself. I would rather watch slower cars on ovals than faster cars on road/street courses who cannot even utilize their speed.

    I just hope the Indy 500 survives the wreck of the “new” IRL

    Comment by Bob F. — March 2, 2010 @ 1:29 pm | Reply

    • Maybe I’m having a “cup half-full” sort of day, but I don’t see the League going to many more road/street courses than what they’re doing now, and certainly not at the expense of any more ovals. Outside of going to Road America (which we should be doing in 2011), or maybe doing some ALMS/IndyCar combo weekends at certain places (Road Atlanta, Sebring, maybe Laguna), there aren’t many more road courses that IndyCar could want to go to. And I’m not seeing any other street races actually coming to fruition. Gilette Stadium? Baltimore? I’ll believe them when cars are rolling off the transporters into the temporary paddocks there. They sound to me like the old “Korean GP” races that ChampCar used to promise ad nauseum.

      I’ve got some faith that with the decline in NASCAR popularity that tracks (ovals, that is) are going to start looking for other revenue streams, i.e. other series that they could offer to fans and sell tickets for. Maybe this is misplaced faith, but you have to hold on to something, right?

      Comment by The Speedgeek — March 2, 2010 @ 2:32 pm | Reply

  5. Excuse me for double posting, but I feel that more foreign drivers does not mean more road and street races as much as Randy Bernard could mean more ovals.

    I could never for myself find interest in the manipulated competition of NASCAR,dumbed down to the point of being pablum. Now they see empty seat; NASCAR was a hit record.

    And my point is: this is a time for the Indy Car Series to slap some ovals on the schedule because those SMI tracks need, more than ever,another race.

    Comment by Mike Miller — March 2, 2010 @ 2:22 pm | Reply

  6. I don’t think IIRS is a wreck. I do think it’s trying to hold on in an era where NASCAR eclipsed open-wheel by such a large margin that–other than the 500 and Danika Sue–no one realized it existed.

    I don’t foresee going back to a time when all a driver had to do was drive. It’d be nice, but it’s a different economic world now.

    I like a lot of the drivers no matter what country they’re from. I think they’re in open-wheel because OWR is still popular in other countries and American drivers are now shooting for NASCAR.

    Comment by redd — March 2, 2010 @ 2:29 pm | Reply

  7. I refer you to Ianucci on this one: http://www.mynameisirl.com/2010/03/thus-begins-simonamania.html

    Duno and Roth deserve the type of slating you have done here, Simona has worked hard, proven herself to be a good driver and has managed to get hold of the funding to go racing without the aid of a rich daddy/government.

    She deserves to be in Indycar much more than Danica does.

    Comment by hates crappies hates gomers — March 2, 2010 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

  8. So if a good driver brings sponsorship, is he or she still a ride buyer? As I’ve said elsewhere, Ayrton Senna and Peter Revson were both ride buyers under any definition.

    Open wheel was destroyed by someone who was jealous of the success and growth of CART. In 1995, at its peak, the oval/road course balance was similar to what it is now. Nobody complained, bar one moron. There were genuine stars in the series then, that was the difference.

    How did the all-oval IRL work out for you? And how would it have survived without the Indy 500?

    Editor’s Note: Without the Indianapolis 500, NO open wheel series that calls itself Indy Car can survive. The difference between Indy Car and cart of fifteen years ago was that Indy Car embraced the 500. cart shunned it. The end result was quite predictable. Despite its star power, cart failed. Twice.

    The idiotic ‘Tony ruined everything’ argument continues to make me chuckle because it remains as inane as ever. How could someone perceived to be as big a moron (and every other childish name he has ever been called) as Tony George bring down a force as supposedly powerful as cart? The correct answer is: He didn’t. cart (and later champcar) killed themselves in arguably some of the most stupifying ways anyone could possibly imagine, most due to ego-charged hubris. They deserve what they did to themselves. Boycotting the Indianapolis 500? How stupid can an organization of otherwise smart people get? Do you know how many primes of drivers’ careers were wasted on that nonsense period? I would bet Jimmy Vasser, for example, would rather be an Indianapolis 500 winner than the answer to a trivia question.

    The sooner those who still choose to stick to one point in the past figure out a way to evolve the better. The rest of the sport already has. As the last remants of cart continue to be buried, would it not be easier for the handful still flying the cart 1995 flag to just become real racing fans?

    Comment by Declan — March 4, 2010 @ 12:09 pm | Reply

  9. Who said I was waiving any flag?

    You are the one complaining about there being too many road courses.

    You are also conveniently forgetting that CART were not able to compete en masse in the Indy 500 even if they had wanted to.

    Editor’s Note: Whoa. Stop right there. cart was FULLY able to compete in the 500 (despite 25/8) and had they not boycotted, Tony was willing to create extra spots in the field. Had cart not let their egos get in the way of common sense, they could have squished the then nascent Indy Car Series like a bug. Instead, they engaged in the most ill advised boycott in history. Arrogance eventually killed them. Not Tony.

    I need to correct you on one point, without the 500, NO open wheel series, no matter what it is called, will last. Sadly TG knew that and pretty much nothing else.

    CART absolutely was ultimately responsible for its own downfall but only after being mortally wounded by a moron who listened to Jim France and Bernie Ecclestone for way too long. Its funny how the France family and Bernie now run the most powerful racing series on Earth, But where is Tony

    Editor’s Note: Stop blaming Tony for being supposedly so dastardly. He cannot simulataneously be as stupid as he is portrayed yet cunning enoungh to have killed cart. That defies any sort of logic. Tony started a series intended to be complimentary to cart. The overreaction and subsequent juvenile delinquency of cart damaged the sport. Stop trying to frame perceived success or failure of today’s Indy Car on the failed cart business model of twenty years ago. It has no merit. The sport, and the WORLD, have evolved. Frame your arguments around the year 2010.

    The good thing is, I believe Randy Bernard can move things in the right direction. I’m speaking to him this afternoon and I’m looking fwd to hearing what he has to say.

    Editor’s Note: Tell him I said hello. It is a beautiful day in Indy here at my current location a few hundred yards from the track. Once he gets settled in I intend to take him to lunch.

    Comment by Declan — March 4, 2010 @ 2:02 pm | Reply

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