Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

July 29, 2011

How Some Will Try To Ruin The Fun At The Brickyard 400 This Weekend at IMS

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:17 pm

Last year the Indianapolis Motor Speedway served over 1.1 million hot dogs to customers. $3.00 a pop. That grosses $3.3 million. If you figure each one costs IMS, say $.35 each, that is nearly $3 million in pure profit. I know that drives the haters crazy, and good for them. Their mental deficiencies are fun to laugh at. But that does not REALLY bug me. What REALLY bugs me are people who take it upon themselves to stick their noses into other peoples’ business and believe they have the right to even suggest how others lead their lives.

It happens all the time. The most egregious offenders are religious nuts who continually try to shove the concepts of God, Jesus, redemption, being ‘saved,’ etc., down our throats. They show up every year at IMS whenever there is a crowd offering two choices: Submission to the Almighty or eternal damnation. Some choice. There is very little difference in their uncouth presentation of an otherwise OK when you are in church topic than the approach the Phelps family takes at funerals, and that is scary. At the 500 they bus entire loads of these morons in.

For years other holier-than-thous have altered the way society functions. There was a time when anyone could smoke cigarettes anywhere. Even though people are bright enough to know smokes can kill them some still enjoy puffing away. Smokers these days are usually relegated to the same category as lepers. My problem, as usual, is not the message…it is the way in which dogma is shoved down the throat of society.

The cause of the moment is trying to police food. People are smart enough to know that if they eat hot dogs every day they will die young or at the very least be very fat and diabetic. Yet a hot dog every now and then, like at a sporting event, is really good and WON’T kill you. Everything in moderation. The latest group of well intentioned but in your face do-gooders is something called Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. They have stuck a billboard up near IMS that compares hot dogs to cigarettes. Come on. Their solution is an all plant-based diet. Chances are that won’t fly at the race track for a few decades.

I have reached the conclusion that the more I try to enjoy something the more likely it will be that one or more assholes will come around to try and spoil the fun.

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July 27, 2011

Racing Weekend: No Indy Cars But NASCAR Invades IMS

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:01 pm

There is a lot of great news about Indy Car that is noteworthy. Ratings for the Edmonton temporary circuit event went up, and that continues a trend that began in earnest two years ago. Predictably, there are obsessed critics whining because they are not high enough and as a result, they shriek, the end is near.  Never mind they have not been correct with any such prediction for sixteen years.

NASCAR invades the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend for the Brickyard 400. The vociferous critics do not seem to mind that the 400 no longer even half fills the joint or that drastic measures are being taken to pump it up. In my mind, two things would help:

-Shade (it is hot that time of the year)

-Faster cars (compared to Indy Cars, racing speed looks like May yellow flag speed)

The IZOD Indy Car Series continues making a splash in NASCAR country. One of the best new events in the history of Indy Car was added a couple of years ago when George Barber’s nifty road course outside Birmingham became a permanent part of the schedule. It drew thousands to pre-season testing, and over 50,000 show up every race day. Many of the attendees are curious NASCAR fans used to Talladega who were curious about the Indy Cars.

The Alabama Tourism Department this week named the Honda Indy Grand Prix 2011 Alabama Event of the Year.

As an attendee of all the Indy Car events at Barber thus far I can vouch for the diversity of attendees, enthusiasm of those at the park, and the quality of the event. That is a nice honor. Congratulations to Indy Car.

July 25, 2011

Indy Car Canadian Swing Mercifully Concluded

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:14 pm

Watching Indy Cars in action yesterday was great, but on a day when there was no NASCAR and the lead-in was Formula 1 on a much better rack was Edmonton the right venue to try and take advantage of virtually no other sports on television? Yesterday typifies the traditional marketing approach of Indy Car. Squandered golden opportunities and people not enough in tune with common sense.

As for the race, Will Power and Helio Castroneves got redemption, but the end result was predictable and Prince Darnell still leads the points. The Chip Ganassi B-team are still bastard stepchildren, but Scott Dixon threw ‘em a bone. Not many folks were happy with Alex Tagliani, and even more were ready to administer an arse whooping on E.J. Viso.

The Edmonton circuit of years past used to get compared to Cleveland in terms of being wide open. This year the reconfigured track drew comparisons to narrow, alley-like street circuits. The configuration encouraged ill-advised moves that always look bad on television.

Indy Car suggestion box: Strive for exciting venues on NASCAR off days in the future. Up next: Mid-Ohio.

July 22, 2011

Imagine That…An ‘I Hate Indy Car’ Rant in Robin Miller’s Mailbag

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:56 pm

One of the most enjoyable guilty pleasures I enjoy with this blog is exposing blithering, hypocrite idiots who mindlessly pontificate for generally suspicious reasons. Predictably yours truly often gets chided for what folks incoherently claim is similar uttering.  Their M.O. is always the same. They are critical of Indy Car for fairly stupid reasons and usually after allowing themselves to become disenfranchised after the cart boycott and the subsequent failure, twice, of that owner managed debacle. They follow by offering advice and then swear off Indy Car for good. Just as predictably you can bet these same people will be glued to their sets for Edmonton this weekend and for every Indy Car race that follows.

The latest such childish malcontent to nail himself to an ‘I hate Indy Car’ cross for no apparent reason is Duncan Lee, who positions himself as a former ‘Director of International Sponsorships’ for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco. He claims involvement with every form of motor sport except Indy Car. His angst took the form, as many do, of a comment question to Robin Miller’s mailbag on the Speed website. Even though his self proclaimed area of expertise is sponsorship, his criticism of Indy Car centered on race control on restarts. Being the ‘expert’ he believes he is, he has pronounced race control ‘amateur’ and has dismissed Indy Car as not a real series.

He does not stop there. This supposed angst has him so worked up he says he is giving his free tickets for Vegas to someone else and is canceling the suite to which he was inviting potential corporate sponsors. Hey Duncan…how about letting me use your tickets and suite? I have more corporate interest than I can reasonably accommodate, and I could really use the extra space. Potential corporate sponsors would be better served anyway by someone without any ax to grind and a balanced demeanor borne of over five decades of experience of supporting all forms of the sport.

These types of people are the scum of the Indy Car racing earth. Guess when his involvement with R.J. Reynolds sponsorship ended? 1995. Guess what else happened that year? LOL. And just what was he doing willingly working for a company that knowingly produces a product that kills people? Is his outrage not misdirected? Really, what is more important? Brian Barnhart being Napoleanic over where cars get positioned for restarts or millions of people dying slow, agonizing deaths by using products you represented?

Miller offered to forward Duncan’s missive to Randy Bernard who will no doubt begin quaking in his Tony Lamas.  If Duncan cared as much as he says he does, why would he not leverage his vast experience to contact Randy Bernard directly, especially if potential sponsorship is at risk? Why even bother ranting like any other childish Indy Car obsessed hater on a mostly hidden web column?

Enjoy Edmonton this weekend, pal…and all the rest of the Indy Car season. We know you will be watching it all.

July 20, 2011

Hoping For Actual Racing for Indy Cars This Weekend

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:02 pm

The IZOD Indy Car Series remains north of the border and headed west to Edmonton for an event on another temporary twisty, this time on a reconfigured track. With any luck at all it will not devolve into a county fair demolition derby as it did in the narrow alleyways of the horrid Toronto temporary circuit.

What the Indy Car Series needs at this moment given continuing inconsistency in the micromanagement booth is for drivers to take matters into their own hands after another ruins their day. It worked for the southern series in 1979. Granted, Dario and Will duking it out would probably resemble two skirt wearing 2nd grade girls pulling hair but it would get both ink and coverage on Sports Center. Lowest common denominator titillation always does.

The idiot doomsayers continue stupidly predicting the end for Indy Car (wrong for 16 years running). This time their mostly incoherent theme seems to be a purported motor shortage even though three manufacturers are set to join the party. Along the same line the chicken littles continue cackling about how they feel the new car will not be ready. Meanwhile, back in the realm of actual reality, Dan Wheldon is in Parma getting a new seat and Tony Cotman indicates delivery is ahead of schedule and the new car will begin testing in less than one month. The Dallara facility being constructed on Main Street in Speedway is ahead of schedule.

Jeff Belskus announced yesterday that entire stands will be closed for the Brickyard 400 this year. Hopefully they won’t cram the remaining fans into camera friendly narrow seats in the sun.

Good luck in Edmonton to the Indy Car competitors. Hopefully competitors will discover either talent or their best UFC impressions.

July 18, 2011

Michael Knight: Yet Another Former cart Employee Devoted to Destruction of the Sport

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:36 pm

He also writes a blog. The purported topic of his latest missive is the fan unfriendly traffic disaster at Kentucky that alienated tens of thousands of NASCAR fans and the seemingly unfazed attitude of Bruton Smith and crew. Officially, their attitude seems to be of the que sera sera school of thought.  THAT is a legitimate topic.

Why, then, would he devote the first meaningful paragraph after the setup to express his wish for public apology from IMS for all the ‘damage’ caused to the U.S. open wheel industry? The only real ‘damage’ was watching cart kill itself off in brutally stupid fashion. Twice. It could not have happened to a more deserving bunch of self-interested, arrogant egomaniacs. Did you know the number about how much the ‘IRL’ spent now being bantered about by this band of ignorant, cart-centric tongue-waggers is now $2 BILLION? He even goes as far as to try and excuse the taunt by saying he believes champcar leadership should also apologize. As if that makes such pointless inclusion into an unrelated topic OK.

It is always the same with that bitter handful of ex-cart employees who refuse to let go of any portion of the past. We are nearly sixteen YEARS down the road for the ill-fated cart boycott/mutiny II and they STILL bring up the same pointless garbage at almost every opportunity.

These people are also hypocrites. In his ‘split’-related missive of just a week ago, he chided the anonymity of chatroom dwellers that slam him and subjects of his writing by hiding behind their screen names. Isn’t Knight the guy who uses an anonymous pen name when he writes on behalf of an oil company?

The sooner these bitter, petty losers begin either dying off or discovering maturity (unlikely given their continuing hysterical yammering) the more at peace the sport will finally be. The top 3 are Gordon Kirby, Michael Knight and Ed Hinton.

In truth the open wheel niche is being nurtured in ways never before attempted. It is being led by a successful CEO with a proven history of turning very little into a whole lot and involves the dedicated effort of players from both sides of the so-called ‘split.’ One of the biggest impediments to forward progress are heels-dug-in malcontents with column space who refuse to budge from the last century and feel compelled to spread some of the most bullshit-riddled propaganda ever foisted on rationally thinking people.

Michael, it is high time you grew up, pal.

July 13, 2011

Turning the NASCAR Debacle at Kentucky Into A Positive for Indy Car

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 3:38 pm

First, follow-up to Monday’s Toronto ‘race’ on barricaded city streets near downtownToronto: Well-known loudmouth Paul Tracy says his Twitter account got hacked (and presumably his online persona on message forums as well) and that allegations leveled against Randy Bernard; e.g., he was seated with Target brass and ordered Race Control to rescind a Princess Dario penalty, are hogwash. If I had to guess I would say a handful of bitter idiot cart enthusiasts still incapable of thinking beyond the third grade are responsible for the typical hooliganism for which they are widely known. What else would anyone expect given their aversion to maturity?  It is my belief that they are more fun to laugh at than allow their pranks to matter.

The inaugural Cup race at Kentucky was a rousing success in terms of ticket sales. Problem was over 20,000 never even got into the gates. Arriving and leaving took some people six hours. Each time. Bruton Smith can be arrogant and boastful, but that nightmare is no way to build loyalty. He should give away double the tickets for the next Cup race to people left out (like IMS did after the Michelin Formula 1 fiasco), then offer discounts to anyone stuck in traffic who can produce a stub. He will never do that, however. It would cut into sales. He won’t even buy blocks of IMS tickets for the Brickyard 400 to give away. Qualifying and practice? Sure…but that is more IMS than SMI.

He is offering freebie replacements to the Indy Car race there later this year. He must figure that will be more manageable. If you figure they would sell 40,000 tickets anyway that still won’t fill up the arena even halfway. BUT, if some of the NASCAR fans are looking for a viable alternative, have open minds, and are not barely literate redneck hilljacks who go out of their way to denigrate Indy Car; e.g., ‘Lee’ on one such redneck forum, we can bump up the total.

My prediction for promotion is that essentially SMI will open the gates on the weekend Indy Cars are there then wave for folks to come on in. Being above any sort of comprehensive event promotion other than Vegas, Indy Car is likely to give ‘em a hearty ‘attaboy’ as their only contribution. Media in Cincinnati, Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, etc., will largely ignore the Indy Car event because they have been brainwashed into the flawed NASCAR = racing mentality, mostly based on their youth and inexperience, and in many cases laziness or fear of being cut off that particular teat. So basically the base will be 40,000 diehards, mostly from central Indiana, if we’re lucky.

If Bruton gives away 50,000 Indy Car race tickets that could mean 90,000 will show, but that is not realistic either. Too many NASCAR folks just waste space on earth like ‘Lee.’ Still, it is not hard to imagine some were so pissed off after the debacle there for Cup that they could swear it off. They will definitely see a better race with Indy Cars. We could probably count on 20% of such free ticket recipients to show up. That’s 10,000 bodies. Optimistic estimate thus far = 50,000.

If just a little promotion is added in the markets mentioned above along with a message that traffic problems for Indy Cars are mild by comparison, you could easily add another 15,000 paid attendees. That would bring the attendance total up to around 65,000. That would fill it up more than halfway and would be considered a rousing success. With Eddie Gossage-style promotion that race could easily draw 80,000 every year.

Sadly, a more likely outcome will be 40,000 or so due to no real promotion. Then the road racing apologists now dominating the series will not so subtly intimate stupid thoughts such as ‘ovals are dead’ and other such counterproductive, mutinous nonsense. I am confident, however, that it will be a great race.

July 11, 2011

Indy Car At Toronto: Lousy ‘Race’ But Lots of Entertainment and Controversy…

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:24 pm

The annual God-forsaken Toronto street parade was the typical crashfest it always is with all the usual obvious complaints by otherwise professional drivers after they run out of talent. We heard about how the circuit is narrow, has no run-off area and how drivers are aggressive. Well no fooling. First, it is not a race track. It is barricaded city streets. At least the youthful exuberance of the participants tended to make things entertaining and the soap opera/wrestling match made it worth watching.

The highlight of my day was hearing Will Power lose all restraint and let loose on Dario. His best line had to do with what happens if a penalty gets called on one of Chip Ganassi’s drivers; i.e., Chip threatens the job(s) of those making the calls. That is a very serious allegation.

So is what Paul Tracy alleges. He claims Randy Bernard was seated with Target executives, and when the Dario penalty loomed the Target brass was supposedly chagrined.  It is then alleged that Randy called Race Control to call it off. Further, Roger Penske is said to be livid behind the scenes and now wants Bernard’s head on a platter.

Imagine that. A controversy that potentially threatens the future of the series/sport (again) and both Penske and Ganassi are smack dab in the middle of it.

There are some things I would like to know:

-Was there, in fact, a penalty called on Dario? As I viewed the replay he definitely moved away from the wall and into Will Power.

-If there was a penalty and not someone getting a little too eager with Twitter, why did it get changed?

-If it was premature tweeting, how did the TV folks end up swallowing the entire load?

-Is Al, Jr. to be believed when he claimed there was never a penalty?

-Was a penalty called off by Randy Bernard?

As a blogger my non-paying job is to be a cantankerous gadfly. It is my hope that someone who gets paid to cover the sport will do the right thing and investigate this to answer the questions. Letting it fester gives it a brown sheen of crap that whips idiot children into frenzies. We do not need more of that. What we do need is spotless credibility, particularly when trying to attract new fans. Controversy sells, but this one could go over the line.

July 8, 2011

IZOD Allows Their Indy Car Gals To Be Sexy; Sprint Takes A Different Approach

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 10:42 am

NASCAR’s title sponsor fired a pretty hot ‘Miss Sprint’ (one of three who strut suggestively at Cup events) this week. Why? Someone forwarded Sprint and NASCAR brass an old e-mail from the college days of Paige Duke at Clemson in which she was naked, flopping her luscious mammary glands around and shooting beavers. All for the benefit of a long-departed boyfriend.

It would be easy at this point to chide the young gal for not using her noggin as much as she used her plumbing, but let’s face it. We all do things we wish we had not before our brains catch up with our hormones. She is not alone in either posing nude or getting fired for it.

My real issue is not the nudity. The girl is smoking hot, especially naked as a jaybird. Isn’t that the entire point of having these gals strut around race tracks with their teats pointed straight ahead in Sprint uniforms that are too small for their bodies? Most of the orthodontics challenged, deodorant deprived, t-shirt wearing male attendees at Cup events probably need the stimulation for later. And have you ever seen the mostly bovine companions they bring along?

Before I get chided I freely admit there is a lot of that at Indy Car events (and most other racing events except Formula 1, where the trend leans more toward fruity). To the best of my knowledge the IZOD Indy Car gal, Cameron Haven, has not been around much but I do not believe she has been fired. As far as I know neither IZOD nor Indy Car has ever had a problem with exposure of her teats or holiest of holes, and in reputable publications no less. Again, is that not the point? To titillate?

As usual, Sprint and by association NASCAR come off as a bunch of bible-belt hypocrites. What else is new? Memo to IZOD and Indy Car: Get this gal into an IZOD uniform and send her to the track. We need all of the willing-to-shed-clothing attractive gals we can get. And get Cameron back to the tracks too. I miss her.

July 7, 2011

All American: Hot Dogs and Indy Cars. Uh, Wait. We’re Going To Canada. And Hot Dogs Can Kill You.

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 9:11 am

Yay me. Back from a mini-vacation and feeling refreshed, but no less cynical.

One of the many reasons ESPN must go as a future ‘partner’ of Indy Car goes a lot deeper than just neglect of the Indy Car franchise. It includes highly questionable editorial decision making that sees events such as the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest seeing the light of day on television.

When did gluttony become a sport OR entertainment? Has society really devolved to such a primitive state? I have always liked Paul Page but when he is relegated mostly to drag racing and also gets stuck calling men shoving wieners down their throats (literally) it is a wonder he ever achieved the things he did in Indy Car.

That contest would not necessarily be as bad if Nathan’s product, like most other mainstream brands, did not suck so much in a general sense. Admittedly I am operating from personal taste, which tells me their casing is too tough and the dog just does not have enough flavor. There really ought to be more disclosure regarding the pieces and parts that get ground up to go inside those things. Plus, a regular diet of that crap will kill you young.  Nathan’s in particular in my case cause noxious gas and eventually force an unpleasant and involuntary evacuation of the entire intestinal tract.

This year they even had a competition for women, won by a 43-year-old South Korean gal named Sonya Thomas. How would you like to be the guy married to her and wonder, like me, whether such wiener gobbling techniques transfer in any way to her personal relationships and whether she can handle more, uh, girth?

My cynical side takes ESPN to task for a lot of things, but what can any normal person say about society in general when 1.67 million people tune in to watch what is essentially a disgusting display of animal behavior cloaked as a glorified infomercial? I can see almost 40,000 showing up. People in that part of the country are, by and large, freaks.

That one event should demonstrate conclusively to Indy Car leadership how important shameless self promotion really is.

I wish we had an Indy Car race to which to look forward this weekend, but we will have to settle for racing against a clock, crisp shifting and a street parade along narrowly barricaded public thoroughfares in Toronto instead. In that sense is it any wonder ESPN chooses gluttonous primates instead? Obviously people believe it is more exciting.

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