Defender of IndyCar

Putting IZOD Indy Car Sponsorship To Good Use

Some of our Canadian friends are all giddy about a rumor (or ‘rumour’ for my good friends up north) the goofy cart-centric pay web site AR1 is foisting that Graham Rahal is steering 7 million dollars of TBC sponsorship toward the Ganassi organization. More reputable, credible publications such as NSSN indicate Ganassi is sticking with two cars.

If we assume the rumor has legs, is it a good thing? Ganassi runs one of the top two organizations. The problem is he and Penske win all the races. If we are honest with ourselves how can that possibly be good? Fans want to see underdogs win.

If I had that kind of money and I was shopping I would try to enhance a team that is almost there. Panther would be my choice. They have a history of winning and with the right funding they run a first class operation. That seems like a marriage made in heaven.

Any number of other teams could become winners with that type of funding. Dryer & Reinbold, Fazzt, HVM, etc., could use a second car full time. There would be an added benefit of a two car team.

Indy Car fans are happy Graham has lined up the funding (by the way, where does that leave Jay Howard…was that not his sponsorship?) and we hope he drives for a team capable of winning other than one of the big 2.

11 replies to “Putting IZOD Indy Car Sponsorship To Good Use

  1. Defender, you are looking at this from the standpoint of a fan and not a businessman.

    If it was my money on the line, I want my name in victory lane as often as possible. I likley will not know the teams as well as the racing fans do, and will go with past performance.

    Not so many years ago, sponsorship was STP, STP, and STP. The sponsorship thing will play itself out, but I think in all sports and entertainment we have seen the topping out of sponsorship money. Our wealth is being redistributed……..

  2. randy barnard needs to dictate where he goes with his sponsorship. for the health of the series. no to ganassi and no to penske. i think coyne is a good choice now that he won once. shows that the little guy can do it. what does rahal care? he gets to race in the premier open wheel series in north america. panther is one of the premier teams and they don’t need the help. they always find a way.
    bring back hemelgarn and let him have the money. the series needs to filter the sponsorships and also take a percentage. like 10%. an obama like healthcare tax for irl racing if you will. split the money between two drivers. why not?

    lets wrestle control back in this series. when they buck like a bronco, randy barnard will bust that horse.

    to race in the irl is a priviledge, not a right. crack the whip.

    now let’s stepin and take over baltimore while we are at it. those guys are gonna make the hawaii super prix look like a well planned event.

    i’m sick and tired of being sick and tired after 15 years of this.

    mennonite farms, IN

    1. Randy Bernard needs to dictate where he goes with his sponsorship? I think if Randy tries it, the sponsor will tell Randy what orifice he can shove his series in.

      What your suggesting is, in a word, stupid. If you think Randy can actually dictate where sponsors spend their money, and what teams drivers race for, why stop there? Why shouldn’t Randy tell Chip that they have to give their Target money to HVM ‘for the good of the series’? Or that Roger has to have Power and Helio drive for D&R, and hire Milka because it will make the series more competitive. The series should take a ‘cut’ of all sponsorships? For doing what, exactly?

      Racing in the IRL is a privilege? Are you kidding me? Milka drives in the IRL. She shows up with a big check and gets a ride. She’s not qualified to drive a minivan to K-Mart, let alone an IRL car.

      Graham busted his ass, got a sponsor to fund him, and now is shopping for the best situation for himself and his sponsor. Pardon me, but it’s not Randy’s place, or frankly, any of his f’n business where KidRahal winds up. And if Randy, or anyone, tries to shove his nose in this, it’ll likely make future sponsors think twice about sponsorship.

  3. The good thing about Graham going to Chip’s team is that a young USA talent stands a chance to win big. This will be good for Rahal and the series.

    I think TK would be great at Panther.

  4. Yeah, Service Central will want the best shot of victory possible, but I’m not sure they’ll want to pay the amount that Ganassi would ask for. I’m going to guess that Rahal effectively buys a ride at Andretti Autosport to keep them at four cars after either Kanaan or Hunter-Reay is let go. My guess is Hunter-Reay is the driver they’ll keep because Kanaan is getting up there in age and based on recent results seems to be becoming second-tier (although that could just be the equipment), not to mention that Kanaan was probably one of the most highly-paid drivers out there, even relative to the other AA drivers. Then with Rahal replacing Kanaan they could stress how they were an all-American team. At least Rahal would deserve a ride of that caliber, unlike most ride-buyers. I’d probably take him over Kanaan myself since Rahal has done some great stuff in mediocre equipment and Kanaan really didn’t even when he was in CART (save possibly 2001 when he blew out Alex Zanardi at Mo Nunn) before switching to IndyCar…

  5. I’m just reminded of how Formula One lost a lot of fans a decade ago because Michael Schumacher was winning everything in sight. It hasn’t happened yet in IndyCar, but I can see it coming. Sooner or later, fans will get fed up with the same two teams always winning–it’s already happening in NASCAR, compliments of Hendrick Motorsports. And the Can-Am series in the 70’s totally dried up for the same reason. I agree with Defender, the money should go to a team(s) that really need it. When the fans disappear, that is NOT good for business.

  6. I’d take my 7 mil. to Penske or Ganassi if I had the choice. I would have bought a Cadillac instead of a Cobalt if I’d had the choice too.

  7. Ganassi provides an instant opportunity to win with quality equipment, engineering, and a driver with a future. (Age & Talent)
    Penske the same, but not a real option in all reality at this stage in the game.
    The Andretti name and Rahal together on the same team??? Doesn’t that, in and of itself, sound strange to anyone other than me?
    Panther… Have we not seen the issues that have arisen since the Wheldon machine went to Panther? (Panther doesn’t pay on time and it’s a long time issue. 1 Car team… really!?) I wanted nothing more than Graham to drive the National Guard car, but it won’t happen with Service Central on board. How much publicity can you get, give, or create with Service Central? It’s just not the long term partnership you look for. That said, in this economy, maybe getting the money in hand, landing a full-time tier 1 or 2 ride, provides the opportunity to show you can finish in the top 5-10 in points for 2 years, landing him a long time sponsor with big money down the road? Just look at what he did in points while only racing “3/4” of the races, beating out others who raced all or most of the races. The young man has talent, especially on road and street courses. His knowledge in that area is large and expandable. Take into account that he’s done consistently better on ovals, no matter the quality of equipment, and his dad is a great resource. Let’s not forget, while the Rahal name has helped, Graham has been cut loose long ago and told to find his own way.
    That brings us to Rahal-Letterman Racing… maybe, just maybe, we see RLR as a ride for Graham full time or as a ride provider while utilizing CGR, Penske, or AA equipment and engineering?
    Until there’s a press conference with Graham… better yet, we don’t know what his Twitter notes mean for ‘teammates’ anymore, so until posts, posts, and the team that signs him, as well as Service Central post, we’ll just keep babbling.
    Go Graham Go!

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