Defender of IndyCar

The One Area In Which INDYCAR’s Randy Bernard Fails

This advice is offered in the most heartfelt manner possible. The feelings of many legacy racing fans about temporary circuit racing, particularly on streets, are very well known. It is not racing. It is mostly an abomination. It is a twisted perversion of the purity of the sport. So why are such feelings being ignored?

It has been proven multiple times that the economics of temporary circuit street racing simply do not add up. Cities nearly always end up feeling as if their coffers and taxpayers got fleeced. All you need to do is look at the list of failed venues, including Denver (twice), San Jose and Houston, to understand. How can someone as normally bright as Randy Bernard NOT get this? Why ruin the reputation of INDYCAR by becoming some needless vagabond gypsy carnival as cart and champcar did?

Edmonton has been on shaky ground all year and Baltimore talks a good game, but is finding out the hard way how much it REALLY costs. Enough is enough. Why can’t Long Beach be INDYCAR’s Monaco and let it go at that? The only reason that is successful long term is because the management of it knows what they are doing. St. Pete has never been known as profitable.

Here is a suggestion for dealing with requests from cities who want races. Be like Bernie. Make them build tracks to exact specifications like he is doing in Austin and just like he has done with every other newer F1 venue. Houston is a top 10 market. They need to build a proper track. City streets are not race tracks. Baltimore ought to knock down blighted neighborhoods (no shortage of them) then gentrify with a sports complex that includes a nice permanent race track. That would be money far better spent.

So what is Bernard doing? Meeting with city officials, touring Reliant Park and glad handing. Houston is geographically perfect for a new permanent race track. Why not talk city leaders into building one? How about finding a rich oil man to do it?

Enough with temporary circuits. Cotman, Bernard and crew need to pay more attention to the purity of the sport and forget street racing nonsense once and for all. It is INDYCAR racing. Not some damned circus.

7 replies to “The One Area In Which INDYCAR’s Randy Bernard Fails

  1. One could argue that INDYCAR needs to race in large markets to grow the sport and it needs to do that through the current available means. If that is street courses then so be it. While San Jose wouldn’t meet this criteria, Houston does. Houston is a very large market.

    Also, it’s not realistic to make F1 like demands when the market and national media perceive INDYCAR as a niche sport. I am not an ex-cart fan, that just appears to be the reality.

  2. I think street circuits offer something that Nascar doesn’t. And it seems to be popular with city officials right now–it brings people downtown, like any great summer festival. And that’s what civic leaders want.

    I think the success (or lack thereof) of Baltimore, how much Edmonton improves and if the races in Florida and Long Beach continue to do well, will have an effect on the future of street races.

    To me, they’re hear to stay. So what can been done to make them better races, and not just a summer festival?

    1. Just re visit the F1 race held in Phoenix, AZ. the people did not come, that race was in the heart of downtown, all that was accomplished by holding that race was it did a good job of pissing off the business owners in downtown, same for the last Las Vegas race, as long as they want a gimmick race why not do a 500 mile interstate hi way race, Phoenix, Las Vegas and back to Phoenix.

  3. A funny thing is that some of the most famous “Proper” road circuits in Europe were once upon a time public streets. LeMans, Hockenheim and Spa Francorchamps were all public roads when cars started racing on them and hence fell under the moniker of “Temporary Street Circuit”.

    I am willing to give a couple new venues a try as most of the races you mention were contested during the split, an era where plenty of races on “proper” tracks failed miserably also. The thing I hope they do if more of these are planned is to design the layout to be condusive to good racing. Sao Paolo and Toronto are entertaining races for different reasons, but Belle Island and Long Beach were/are painfull to watch much of the time.

  4. Houston is not a street circuit, it’s a piece of crap. It always was a piece of crap, and it always will be. No race should ever be held in a freaking parking lot.

    IMO, guys like Lanigan were/are a curse on the sport.

  5. The IRL wouldn’t bring in enough money to get a ROI for a brand new permanent road course. Simple economics, the IRL is a piece of crap.

    Editor’s Note: Once again, I will only get worried when the darkly obsessed cart enthusiasts simply stop commenting. Until then it is obvious the fan base is secure, regardless of the ignorance associated with their desperate yelping.

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