Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

June 8, 2011

The Dark Side of Indy Car: Ride Buying. It Lessens Credibility.

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 2:25 pm

The one thing almost every racing fan despises more than just about anything else is the practice of owners selling seats to the highest bidders even though the occupants may not have the required talent or experience.

Eric Bachelart has made it an art form over the years. The musical chairs in and out of his seats are a who’s who mix of everything from entirely untalented to lots of hidden talent that comes and goes. Dale Coyne does it with one seat to keep another occupied.

The field at the Indianapolis 500 this year was deep and talented, and most of those with funding but not as much talent found themselves outside looking in. That enabled potential past and future winners; e.g., Dan Wheldon, to take a rightful spot on the grid.

Sometimes it gets taken to extremes. Paul Tracy, for example, repeated a rumor that has 500 pole sitter Alex Tagliani losing his Sam Schmidt seat in favor of someone who brings more money. One name mentioned for a Schmidt seat is Katherine Legge. God only knows why other than money and so that Derek Daly can look at her chest.

Most teams are guilty in one way or another. That is how E.J. Viso manages to keep his job even though he crashes a lot. Milka is not back, but her male counterpart James Jakes is.

Hopefully Indy Car creates a situation after 2012 that enables owners to fund quality programs, then HIRE deserving drivers that get PAID to drive hopefully cost-effective, sponsored, well-funded (apart from interests connected to drivers)rides. Then fans can watch what would truly be the best drivers fighting it out every week. It is bad enough that even qualified drivers are expected to bring sponsorship these days. That practice needs to change.

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