Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

July 22, 2010

Are The Leaders of Indy Car and Its Top Teams Corrupt? Let’s Find Out.

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:59 am

OK enterprising journalists eager to make your mark . . . here is a golden opportunity to put your best investigative journalistic skills to work. Who has the courage to dig into an accusation by a very reliable, highly credible source that something well beyond cheating is occurring right now in Indy Car, and the individuals charged with keeping the playing field level are not only looking the other way but are being paid for their selective blindness? Cheating is one thing. It is, after all, motor racing. Alleged corruption is quite another.

I smell scandal. Is there still enough IRL hate in the media to make this worthwhile, or will your current love affairs with Randy Bernard cloud any deep dives for solid evidence? Add it to the high profile resignation yesterday of John Lewis and this one could be very juicy, especially when alleged puzzle pieces get sorted out:

-The highest profile teams allegedly using parts that are not legal.

A Smitten Robin Miller Prepares for a Dinner Date With Randy Bernard

-Brian Barnhart allegedly telling his enforcement people to look the other way.

-Alleged cash, under the table payoffs to officials at the top for not enforcing rules; payoffs that have gone unexposed for a while, and are scheduled through the end of 2011.

-Inference that if Indy Car does not play ball, the top teams will take almost half the field someplace else. (Oh really? Where? Did that tactic not backfire already? It is all about Indy. Always has been. Always will be.).

There are other seemingly minor pieces; e.g., Ganassi replacing an engine the morning of a race and not being scrutinized in any meaningful way, no investigation into why two Penske rear wings failed in one race a couple of years back, etc.

Perhaps ESPN.com could unleash a certified Indy Car hater like Ed Hinton on it. Or maybe a former cart employee such as John Oreovicz. Gordon Kirby is bitter enough to make it harsh. Believe it or not I am not sure Robin Miller is right for the assignment. He has what appears to have a full blown school girl crush on Randy Bernard. Someone needs to do it, though. When the very integrity of the series gets called into question by a credible whistleblower, an investigation is warranted. Whoever does the digging must also have the courage to objectively report ALL points of view and/or evidence. One side of a story, even if sensational, is not enough for an expose. Even if no media member is brave enough to tackle it (and I am speculating no one will), Randy needs to follow the money internally and clean up any messes he finds. The credibility of the sport might well depend on it.



  1. What whistle-blower are you talking about? An anonymous e-mailer doesn’t count.

    Put up or shut up please.

    Editor’s Note: http://www.trackforum.com/forums/showthread.php?139950-Cheaters….. The man making the claim is in a qualified position to rattle lots of closeted skeletons.

    Comment by Demond Sanders — July 22, 2010 @ 1:23 am | Reply

  2. Defender, when you get your inside information from a moron, who is himself a known cheater, you can expect that information to be crap. Your “source” is a sad, bitter old man, who had no business being involved even when he had a job. Now if your “source” had a current rule book or any rule book printed after 2006 he would know that the supposedly naughty parts on these cars are nothing. He’s just mad that his under qualified abilities and all his friends have been made obsolete.

    Editor’s Note: What if he has a conscience, really does not give a crap, and this is something more than the cheating EVERYONE engages in? I say it’s worth looking into. Besides, most of the criticism directed at the whistleblower is from people who have been trying to tear down that particular institution for decades. Should they not be gleeful?

    Comment by T — July 22, 2010 @ 8:24 am | Reply

  3. WTF is this guy’s motive? What’s in it for him? I think he’s borderline insane.

    Comment by Sum Ting Wong — July 22, 2010 @ 9:11 am | Reply

    • Seems like the man’s got a grudge, for sure, but his motive doesn’t determine whether or not what he is saying is true.

      Comment by Boo Boo — July 22, 2010 @ 4:36 pm | Reply

  4. @T: Problem is, Buddy, most of us have no way of knowing whether what you say is true. Perhaps he is a sad old bitter moron, but I wouldn’t have any way of verifying that. On the thread that Defender links to, the charge being made is that a team is breaking the rule on uprights, and that the rules are not being enforced. The accuser isn’t concerned about cheating, he’s concerned about corruption.

    On the same thread someone posted what they claim is the 2010 rule on uprights, and it states that uprights must be to manufacturer’s specs. Is that correct? If so, the “moron” without access to a rule book at least appears to know what the rule on uprights is. So, setting character assassination aside, three questions:

    1) Has Team Penske (or any other team) modified the design of their uprights?
    2) If the answer to #1 is yes, are league officials aware of it?
    3) If the answer to #2 is yes, why isn’t the rule being enforced?

    Character assassination is not an adequate response to a charge of malfeasance. I find the man’s manner of presenting his case to be bizarre, but that doesn’t mean he’s not right.

    Comment by Boo Boo — July 22, 2010 @ 3:07 pm | Reply

  5. Well, if it’s anything like our government operates, even if real corruption is discovered nothing will become of it–money and power trumps everything, you know–and it’s the whistle blower that will end up getting the shaft.

    Comment by DOUG — July 22, 2010 @ 4:36 pm | Reply

  6. The Penske wing strut failures happened at Milwaukee if I remember correct. Some engineer figured to replace the OE carbon with aluminum. And it shook all race long. Anyone who has flexed aluminum bracket back and forth a bunch of times could predict the outcome of that race.

    Comment by Tim Nothhelfer — July 23, 2010 @ 1:23 am | Reply

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