Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

April 27, 2010

Indy Car Pundits: It Is Time To Start Being Honest With Yourselves and Your Readers

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

Anthony Schoettle is a blogger with column space in the Indiana Business Journal, an otherwise highly respected publication. Why this guy regularly chooses to take such a consistently low, dishonest road where Indy Car is concerned is certainly beyond my comprehension. His latest contribution on the 26th offers nothing more than recycled, agenda-riddled dead horse whipping. Why? What exactly is the point? We understood these weak yelps the first few thousand times they were offered.

Please allow me to offer some commentary on this one. Usually this type of banter is reserved for more bitter malcontented ex-cart employees like John Oreovicz of Indy Car ‘partner’ ESPN or former important writer Gordon Kirby who generally crap out prodigious amounts of similarly pointless nonsense.

“After years of hearing complaints from both sides of the Indy Racing League-Champ Car debate, I’ve long thought someone needed to stand up to the fans, sponsors and everyone else henceforth to considered collateral damage in this heinous war and simply say, “I’m sorry.” “The split was wrong. What happened did serious damage to the sport and I’m sincerely sorry for all those whose lives were altered in a negative way.” Did you notice I said ‘serious damage.’ I don’t believe it’s irreparable. But it warrants an apology to those who were wounded.”

Writers who delude themselves into assumption of a flawed premise about ‘serious damage’ and its ‘cause’ and the related implication that it is the fault of Tony George do a disservice to those who read them. They ramble on about a ‘split.’ I am sick and tired of that particularly gratuitous re-write of history. cart boycotted the one event that gave them 95% of their legitimacy, and that colossal act of abject stupidity led directly to their demise. Twice. I know. 25/8. Tony George got backed into a corner and fought back. The facts remain clear. Indy Car is alive and well and cart is dead. Twice.

Most of the impaired who still demand some sort of apology share the same myopic, cart-centric ideology. Apology!? If I was Randy Bernard the only thing I would offer these people is advice: Grow up and orient yourselves in this century. If they refused to accept such advice I would simply suggest they find something else to enjoy and move on. No apology for anything is warranted. Those who feel ‘wounded’ got that way by nailing themselves to a cross. GET OVER IT. Stop whining.

“There’s a simple follow-up to that full mea culpa—one that will allow this series to go full speed ahead.“Now I hope you will join me in re-building this great sport.” The most logical person to make this statement is new IRL boss Randy Bernard. And he’s about half-way there.”

No, Anthony. He is ALREADY there. ‘Re-building’ is an inaccurate, cart-centric word. Bernard is bringing the marketing of the series into the modern era. Lack of competent, modern marketing and product positioning, the most unprofessional broadcast partner in the history of television, and a bygone ‘aw shucks’ way of doing business that worked fine in the 50s but not now is the main thing that caused the series to lag behind as the rest of the world evolved. Having cart-centric chicken littles screeching about falling skies for fifteen years certainly did not help. When will they apologize for all of the scorched earth?

“Over lunch last Wednesday he admitted the open-wheel split was a mistake. A big mistake. It’s the first time I’ve heard someone anywhere near the top of IndyCar say that. Bernard said high-up people on both sides of this thing have told him privately the split was wrong. “It’s like a bad divorce,” Bernard told me. “No one wants to talk about it.”

Many won’t, but I will. What the hell does anyone expect when a sanctioning body tries to kill the one event that gave them legitimacy? Calling a ‘boycott’ a ‘split’ is deranged. Those who use that word are mentally ill and should seek competent professional help.

“It’s time. It’s long, long past time. If nothing else, the fans (and former fans) need to hear it. And nowhere else would this apology ring louder than to those long-time fans living in the shadow of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Maybe it’s escaped some people’s attention, but sports—motorsports included—is more than a sport for some people. It’s a livelihood. I’m not talking about fat-cat team owners or hobbyists. I’m talking crew members, mechanics, machinists and others who dedicated their lives to their craft for decades. And lot’s of those people lost there jobs over this split.”

Lost ‘there’ jobs? Jesus H. Christ. Grammar check. 90% of the blame belongs with cart, who BOYCOTTED the Indianapolis 500 then actively tried to KILL it. What Tony George tried to do was supplement what already existed with something centered on ovals. cart apologists still fail to recognize their own arrogance from day one.

“I’m not saying that open-wheel racing wouldn’t have declined somewhat without the split, but there isn’t a rational person alive who would deny that the split widened the wound. Many, many people would like to see Tony George make this apology. I don’t think that will ever happen. And at this point, I’m not sure an apology from George is appropriate. This isn’t about crow eating. It’s about healing.”

The fact that Tony George consistently gets the blame for the stupidity and hostility of others remains humorous. No one has ever been able to explain to me someone positioned as stupid and/or as petty and hostile as Tony George can be smart enough to engineer the collapse of something positioned to be as great as cart. When do those of us who have followed Indy Car since the 1950s get our apology from the coup d’etat of 1979 that hatched that ethics-bereft group in the first place?

“Right now, there’s still too much bad blood, and not enough good will to regenerate this sport to where it needs to be. Running to foreign markets with a new chassis and re-made product won’t do it. The people of the great Midwest are the ones that made this sport great and they, most of all, need that apology.”

Anthony, look around. Those running to foreign markets with a new chassis and re-made product are the same Einsteins who crafted cart. Their rush to remake today’s Indy Car in the past image they crave is well underway. My biggest hope is that Randy Bernard eventually sees through that and forges an actual NEW, original direction for the sport.

“I know, this is ancient history. The IRL-Champ Car split happened in 1996 and the two sides reconciled more than two years ago. The war is over. Champ Car is dead. Is it?”

Evidently not. If it was pundits like Schoettle, Oreovicz, Kirby, Miller, etc., might embrace the concepts of originality and professionalism.

“It’s time for Bernard to utter those magical words on behalf of everyone in open-wheel. He knows the split was wrong. So do most people who still have power in this sport. But Bernard—perhaps more than most—knows something else. If IndyCar is going to survive going forward, he needs the past. And everyone in it.”

If Bernard apologizes to make a handful of zealous cart apologists feel better, he needs to be fired. Thankfully I do not believe he is that stupid. Pandering to a self-serving fringe group is not a wise direction. Taking a fresh approach with new, energetic business partners is the right way, and it seems to be working. It is my fervent hope that the few remaining cart clingers get with the program and stop trying to screw it up for everyone else.



  1. Defender you are so right on this one. Anthony is just another of the cart street race losers who refuse to enter the 21st century.
    I agree that these hacks from the cart srl side should apologize and kiss the feet of Anton Hulman George.
    Then there may be peace in racing.

    Editor’s Note: I wouldn’t get that carried away. I would settle for honesty and living in the current century. Perhaps simply enjoy the sport. Maybe stick to business writing in a publication that supposedly specializes in that.

    Comment by Gabe Atthaus — April 27, 2010 @ 4:40 am | Reply

  2. This guy is the Bob Kravitz of the IBJ.

    Comment by Race Fan — April 27, 2010 @ 9:46 am | Reply

  3. Come on you Cart-Centric fans. You won. Get over it. Tony George won the battle and lost the war. Its like France after WWI making Germany sign a war guilt clause. Unecessary. You won Mr. Schoettle. So get over all of this.

    You have your little road and street courses in cars bought by foreign interests with foreign drivers. Cars built for 240 making mighty 20 MPH right hand turns. Soon you will have your beloved Delta Wing which is safe, though underpowered and not a true open wheel car. Rename them Champ cars?

    You are leaving us with Nascar if we want to see American Oval racing. (Well after Talledega last week that may not be a bad thing). I would rather see open-wheel Indy cars going 240 than stock cars, because Indy cars on ovals is the best racing in the world. But the new CART seems to be leaving us. Who will pay us to race in your city and who will buy the next ride? We sell, I mean serve to the highest bidder…

    Comment by Bob F. — April 27, 2010 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

  4. This guy from the IBJ seems to be prone to digging up bodies for material. There are far more new and positive stories that include all of us. The split is dead; leave it burried.

    Let’s all move on and hope IndyCar never adopts that stupid Green-White-Checkers.

    Comment by M. Miller — April 27, 2010 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

  5. Hey D i would love to chip in $150 for your next trip to see Randy. I understand you have his ear and are advising him on league matters.

    Editor’s Note: Your understanding, predictably, is flawed. Randy talks to a lot of people, including those of us who are fans and/or working in media. He has a committee to advise him on league matters. He enjoys feedback from people like me. I would be happy to take the $150, though.

    Comment by Gabe Atthaus — April 27, 2010 @ 4:42 pm | Reply

  6. I am not really sure what could be accomplished by aplogizing. I only started watching open wheel about 5 years ago, to date myself the whole split occured when I was in highschool. From my perspective as a new comer to the sport, the split was so long ago why do people even bring it up? Or am I missing something?

    Comment by Matt — April 27, 2010 @ 10:37 pm | Reply

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