Defender of IndyCar

What Happens When an Indy Car Idea Is Stolen by NASCAR Then Turned Into Something Stupid

When a series either rents stars to give the appearance their races are hip or bends over for studios that want to promote projects, resulting stunts can occasionally backfire.

It backfired in 2001 when Stephen Tyler was tabbed to sing the national anthem at the Indianapolis 500. When Tony Hulman invented the phrase ‘Gentlemen Start Your Engines’ for the 1946 Indianapolis 500 he probably never thought it would get twisted into the routine abomination it has become prior to many NASCAR races after they stole the line (along with most other pre-race pomp) from Indy Car over the years. This effect has never been as pronounced as it was this past weekend at the sparsely attended Michigan Cup race, where Kevin James and Adam Sandler, purveyors of many highly successful lowest common denominator comedy films, turned the utterance of the phrase into something so stupid even small children were not amused.

It is easy to understand the motivation; stars to which most of the audience can relate at the big race will always draw attention. Their act at Michigan, however, was not very entertaining. It was just stupid. Flat out stupid. It was as if you were attending church, then just as the pastor prepared to deliver the weekly sermon two pranksters hollered ‘wait a sec,’ ran up to the pulpit, placed the microphone by their anuses, then farted loudly a couple of times into it. People would look around at one another with puzzled looks on their faces.

Frankly, I don’t know which is more offensive. Letting lowest common denominator stars make a mockery of a sacred command, or whoring the privilege out to a sponsor. People may make fun of the Hulman-George clan, but they have generally always recognized the relative sanctity of certain things.

2 replies to “What Happens When an Indy Car Idea Is Stolen by NASCAR Then Turned Into Something Stupid

  1. Sparsely attended? Double the attendance of the largest IRL sactioned Michigan race is sparse? Keep smoking crack and drinking *@# and it will turn you blind, if it hasn’t already.

    Editor’s Note: Way to stay on topic, junior.

  2. I remember that “anthem” that Steve Tyler did in 2001, and while I’m not a super-patriot, it WAS a total disgrace. You notice the powers that be at IMS never invited him back. I’ve sung the Star-Spangled Banner myself at several sporting events, and always showed it the proper respect. I also can’t figure out why the people they choose to give the command to start engines at NASCAR events have to SCREAM it out!

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