Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

March 23, 2011

Racing Lost An Institution…And An Institution May Have Lost Its Mind

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:30 am

Two things happened today that put a crimp in a week otherwise filled with great news. First, after nearly 77 (that’s 77!) years, National Speed Sport News ceased publishing. Chris Economaki and a great staff made that paper a ‘bible’ of sorts for racing fans. They covered all forms of the sport while remaining as neutral as possible and every issue was informative and interesting.

In an age where attention spans have vanished and everyone expects every little morsel of news immediately and usually via some sort of electronic gizmo, the printed publication that arrived days after news it reported was made finally had to give in. Besides, Chris Economaki is 90 years old. He probably deserves a break.

In any event, the racing world without NSSN will have a large hole. Reading it was a tradition, much like attending the Indianapolis 500. Those now running that legendary institution may have lost any notion about tradition that brought it to its 100th anniversary.

The New York Post reported today that Donald Trump has been asked by Jeff Belskus to drive the pace car before the 100th anniversary 500. Donald Trump? Really? I want to know who would make such an ill-advised, clueless call. Donald Trump in the pace car in ANY other year? Fine. The 100th anniversary? No way. That goes so far beyond insulting words cannot describe it.

The only logical choice for me is A.J. Foyt. If he said no there are plenty of other three and four time winners who would be honored to make the short drive. This is the 100th anniversary folks. This lowest common denominator crap has got to stop. Trump as a choice THIS year insults most real racing fans who have ever attended and potentially every driver who ever strapped in. Not even NASCAR would probably pull this type of stunt.

It is pretty despicable when the stewards of tradition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway no longer seem to respect it.




  1. Man… that is some CRAZY hair!

    NSSN: it has nothing to do with attention span, it is simply technological progress. The horse-drawn carriage was replaced by the automobile, and the printing press is being replaced by the World Wide Web.

    Full stop.

    The only part of NSSN that will remain is their web site, but unfortunately their web site isn’t up to the standard set by autoblog, or gizmodo, jalopnik, etc… This is a shame, because unlike the aforementioned web sites, the writers for NSSN actually know what they are talking about.

    Survival requires adaptation, that’s a universal law. NSSN is not adapting fast enough, and will quite likely disappear entirely.

    Comment by Boo Boo — March 23, 2011 @ 3:49 am | Reply

  2. We are in total agreement on Trump. AJ, Rick Mears, and Mario Andretti come to mind as being more way worthy then that ass.

    Comment by Matt — March 23, 2011 @ 4:09 am | Reply

  3. Hopefully he’ll decline. I imagine he’s oblivious to the tradition since he has no relevance to the sport or the 500. I’ve never seen him drive a vehicle anyway. The selection of pace car drivers has become mostly a novelty in present years. I remember the days when it was an honor, and deserving people got the opportunity.

    Comment by The Truth — March 23, 2011 @ 9:46 am | Reply

  4. I would agree that Trump is a bad choice but maybe it would work in INDYCAR’s favor. I don’t know where it is at in filming, but maybe Trump uses the Indy 500 on the apprentice and the apprentice wanna-be’s have to market some idea with drivers etc. Long shot maybe…but Bernard has said he is looking for ways to get exposure on tv and they have looked into certain reality based shows. (although I think that was why they opened the Los Angeles office). All the drivers do go to New York before the 500 where the Apprentice tapes. Probably not going to happen but hey, its an idea.

    Comment by Brad — March 23, 2011 @ 12:42 pm | Reply

  5. Trump is a sell-out to ABC to promote “Apprentice.” I realize the selections recently have been based more on promotion than distinction, but I was hoping different for the historical 100th year.

    It being Memorial Day weekend, it seems like a good time to honor the members of our Armed Forces with an appropriate representative, rather than promote this real estate PT Barnum and D-list huskster who has nothing to do with automobile racing, the Armed Forces or the state of Indiana.

    Comment by redd — March 23, 2011 @ 2:38 pm | Reply

  6. Maybe it’s a drive-to-buy deal. If he likes the place, he’ll buy it. Trump Motor Speedway? Yikes.

    Comment by A fan — March 23, 2011 @ 5:27 pm | Reply

  7. Great. I’ve been a subscriber to NSSN since 1978, and now it’s no more. There are no other racing publications that are anywhere near as good. And “The Donald” to drive the pace car???? Give me a break! Wonder how much money changed hands THERE?

    Comment by DOUG — March 23, 2011 @ 5:42 pm | Reply

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