Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

November 30, 2011

The Broom Comes Out At Indy Car Headquarters

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 3:07 pm

The IZOD Indy Car Series made some major changes at the top of the organization this week. Terry Angstadt is out of a job, and Brian Barnhart is out of Race Control. This is good news to some and not so good to others. On the one hand, Angstadt brought a lot of new dollars into the series. On the other they were mostly street festivals o’ speed in far flung destinations; e.g., China killing the entire month of August when competition for eyeballs is minimal. Under Angstadt the Indy Car Series has completely forgotten how to deal with oval venues, preferring instead to make excuses about them ‘not working’ any more. Oddly, NASCAR makes them work almost every weekend.

Barnhart was relieved of Master Control responsibility, something that makes critics of all backgrounds happier. He has been offered a position elsewhere in the organization.

So are these moves good or bad? They are dovetailed on top of a lot of personnel sweeping that has occurred at 16th and Georgetown in recent weeks. Optimistic viewpoint positions Randy Bernard finally asserting the kind of leadership that has been expected by putting his own team in place. Pessimistic viewpoint indicates that Angstadt and Barnhart were the last high level links to Tony George, and given recent events that make Bernard look like a deer in headlights in public it is not difficult to fear the worst about the legacy road racers who have wanted the money and control for decades. In many ways they have assimilated themselves into Bernard’s noggin and are now controlling his puppet strings. Will he be just another Chris Pook, Joe Heitzler or Andrew Craig, or does he really have the testicles to forge his own way independently? Time will tell.

Which brings us back to the personnel changes. Have the cartiers lost the battle but won the war? How will these personnel changes affect an oval/non-oval schedule balance? Who is going to run Race Control? Another former cart employee? What has/will Bernard done/do to forge the identity of the Indy Car Series of the future? Will the clock simply continue to be turned back to 1995, or will the series finally go forward independently and profitably?

This silly season is even better than the one last year. It certainly has the racing community all abuzz in the downtime.



  1. another article that gives all of us indycar fans some good laughs, if indycar could go back to the schedule we had in 1995, would you bitch about that too?? I would have no arguments with a 1995 schedule. there was a perfect blend of road and street courses, and ovals. the only beef i have with you bitching for more ovals is you begging for the 1.5 mile ovals back (like chicagoland, kansas, vegas…etc). whenever i say i want indycars to race on ovals that require talent, you usually say to me. “my guess is that you have either never been to a 1.5 mile oval, or your not an indycar fan”… let me clear the air, i went to the 2008 indycar race at chicagoland, since i live in iowa. It was my dad and me. We left by lap 50… reason: it wasn’t racing, everybody drove with there car at 100 percent throttle, and if you were sitting in 3rd you could not out drive your opponents to take the position. ( i race by the way, and this my friend is just not racing). I would much rather see indycars on ovals where you can show and display your talent, examples: iowa, richmond, milwaukee, new hampshire, homestead (before they ruined it)… why can’t you see the light? now for Brian Barnhart to be “relieved of his duties” that is something that needed to happen, i am very happy he wont be in race control anymore, quit trying to make conspiracy theories about why he was fired. it wasn’t because “all the cart enthusiast got in randy’s head, and convinced him to remove all the IRL ties to tony george”, the facts are he was a terrible race control director

    Editor’s Note: One thing that remains remarkably consistent among the cart enthusiasts is their wildly knee-jerk defensiveness when any real or perceived slight is leveled against them. Then it inevitably continues to blowing each and every observation completely out of proportion. I do not have a problem with Barnhart being replaced. I do have a problem with some of the replacement suggestions. As a racing fan who DOES enjoy the skill and racing on 1.5 mile ovals along with all other sizes, I will fight to keep them in the mix at all cost. I also remain absolutely convinced that those who dismiss racing on those types of tracks as not racing is either brain dead or stupid. It’s one thing to personally not enjoy it…that’s fine. But to claim they have no place is irresponsible and unbecoming of people who claim to be racing fans.

    Comment by birel 0499 — November 30, 2011 @ 7:03 pm | Reply

    • okay well simple, ask any and all the drivers, they all hate it, and have said it is not racing, so they are all brain dead i assume, scott dixon, tony kanaa, adrian fernandez, ryan briscoe, will power, dario franchitti, … should i keep going?? it is not racing, end of story, it is a death trap waiting to happen ( AGAIN.. rip dan) and you will fight to keep them in at all costs??? haha okay you and the other 15 people who show up to those tracks can fight all you want, meanwhile the thousands of fans that love every other venue the series goes to (streets, roads, short ovals, and indy). those tracks require talent. don’t call me brain dead again, i sir have far more racing experience than you, my whole family has more racing experience than you. My grandpa raced against foyt and andretti on dirt, my dad has raced against scott pruett in the trans am series, and in scca, and in the rolex sports car series, and i sir have raced against conor daly, and others…. so please quit trying to sounds smart when all you do in every article is how how much of an idiot you truly are…. thanks for some more good laughs “disciple”…. until the next dumbass article!

      Editor’s Note: Those drivers you mentioned? We can do without a bunch of whiny road racers that few can relate to. I want drivers with the balls to race ALL kinds of circuits, even the 1.5 mile ovals. I want to see racing and not bitching like arrogant high school cheerleaders on their periods. You are obviously a road racing enthusiast. I don’t begrudge that style even though I personally believe it is as dull as soccer. I sure as hell don’t nail myself to a cross in blog comment sections telling fans of that discipline that ‘it’s not racing’ or something equally stupid. If all of you road racers want to go road racing there are plenty of places to do it. Just stop trying to convert Indy Car into something it has never done successfully over time.

      Comment by birel 0499 — November 30, 2011 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

  2. Indy cars should race on ovals,2.5,2.0,1.5 and 1.0 miles 15-16 times a year and then maybe 2-3 road courses and 1 (Long Beach) street race,period. The other choice is 2 divisions, oval and road 15 or so races in each, different cars, allowing drivers and teams to specialize if they want, with all races counting for a national championship.

    Comment by J STEIN — November 30, 2011 @ 7:52 pm | Reply

    • I think that is where we are headed. Two leagues within one.

      The only other alternative is the creation of another league, primarily ovals, and an “open” Indy 500. Financing would be an issue, but if Indycar continues its decline, you might see this.

      Comment by Bob F. — November 30, 2011 @ 10:51 pm | Reply

  3. 1995 couldn’t come soon enough.

    Editor’s Note: Just remember…those who choose to make the same mistakes are doomed to its consequences. Would it not be better to move forward?

    Comment by J.B. — November 30, 2011 @ 10:52 pm | Reply

    • I’d agree with you,except the irl has taken the sport backwards

      Editor’s Note: You probably ought to work on accuracy with your quaint little taunts. It has not been called ‘IRL’ for quite some time. Again, moving forward is always a better strategy. Perhaps when you gain a little maturity that will become obvious.

      Comment by J.B. — December 1, 2011 @ 12:11 am | Reply

      • dark ages backwards.

        Editor’s Note: The OCD is pretty bad today, eh?

        Comment by J.B. — December 1, 2011 @ 12:16 am

      • evidently, you keep replying to immature individuals such as myself. That said, I was an immature person that sunk a ton of money into the sport. was is the operative word. 1995 was hard on the pocketbook, don’t have that problem these days.
        Editor’s Note: Obviously you have not stopped following the sport. Indy Car thanks you.

        Comment by J.B. — December 1, 2011 @ 3:38 am

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