The root of ALL current Indy Car problems, both real and perceived, can be traced directly to one single event: ‘Unification.’ Since that occurred the sport has been almost completely destroyed again from within. It is unacceptable. Unless people wake up quickly, what has actually become cart III will fail with as much certainty as cart I and cart II before it.
The arrogant, self-serving sleaziness that now fully characterizes the way things are today began in February, 2008. Worse, this one topic has been declared off limits by everyone from Randy Bernard to even the most obscure kissers of behinds throughout the sport. I believe I am one of the few who speaks for a majority of people who have simply wearied of being shouted down at every step by overly defensive cart-centric cretins since 1995 and as a result remain either silent or gone.
It is high time not only to deal with the 800 pound gorilla in the room, but to put a bullet in its head, dissect it, then burn the carcass, then ground the ashes to a fine dust, then put them onto a Soviet spacecraft and shoot them to a place that is not anywhere near our galaxy. The Indy Car Series of 2012 is a bad Planet of The Apes movie that has actually come to life.
The ungrateful bastards who had their livelihoods rescued with virtually no conditions have been neither humble nor have they not lost any of the baggage they carried after they destroyed their own series. Twice. Unless these specific people are singled out and dealt with firmly and with authority there is really no point in having a series. As it stands today, every single event my party attended outside of Indy every single year since 1996 has been eliminated, usually replaced by a street circuit.
I may be the only one left who cares enough to take a stand, and perhaps that explains why the sport is no longer popular. ‘Unification’ has not only not moved that needle, it has gone backward into the red. Everyone with even a casual interest has been either scared or shouted away.
The moment that cemented the way things are right now was the death of Dan Wheldon. That particular racing accident was one of the saddest moments in the sport. It ranks right up there in terms of sadness and impact with Bill Vukovich or Eddie Sachs in Indy Car, Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR or Ayrton Senna in Formula One. None of those events, however, caused entire portions of the sport to grind to a halt while insolent children threw floor fits centered mainly around the types of tracks on which they do not like racing. Instead of just mourning the loss of a great driver then moving forward (which is the very thing Dan Wheldon would have wanted) they have turned the event into a tawdry freak show to advance a flawed agenda that decries ‘pack racing’ and all 1.5 mile ovals. This is extreme to a point where Indy Car is seriously considering jettisoning the second largest event on the calendar! Never mind Jeff Krosnoff died almost exactly the same way Wheldon did only on a street circuit. Where was the outrage and indignation then?
Guess what? ‘Pack racing’ and 1.5 mile ovals were not ‘problems’ before February 2008, although that never stopped cart refugees from sticking their noses in and bitching from the outside. We got our first clue of their ineptitude in April, 2001, when in an attempt to prove their superiority over Indy Car they shot another of their appendages off in a colossal display of stupidity at Texas. Given the way many of the same participants raced there is it any wonder the Vegas accident occurred in the first place? Again, racing on those types of tracks was never a problem until they showed up.
Here are the kind of drivers Indy Car needs: Davey Hamilton. He was the iron man of the old IRL, competing in every race until his Texas accident. Davey did not spend his entire recovery pissing and moaning about 1.5 mile ovals, perceived danger or ‘pack racing.’ He spent an inordinately high amount of time pushing his recovery to an extreme level, then willingly gave up all insurance funding and coverage solely to get back into a race car and race again at that very track! THAT is the kind of driver Indy Car needs in every car. Not road racing pretty boys who get the best opportunities, teams and equipment but still do little more than whine, bitch and complain, even when they win.
Sadly, I am likely talking to a wall. Current Indy Car leadership proves over and over they simply do not care what fans want. They decide what fans are going to get, usually after extreme influence by those who either joined the series because there was no other choice in February, 2008 or those who saw the writing on the wall and joined before their own series failed again. Even after obvious attempts to turn back the clock to 1995, they STILL bitch. Current targets include the Dallara, air scoops, IMS, Tony George (why…I do not know, other than needless grudges they obviously never let go of), anyone who ever worked for Tony George, any oval except flat one mile ovals, and on and on and on.
My only New Year wish is that Indy Car gets the benevolent dictator leadership it deserves, although with each passing day that seems less likely. Many important positions get filled by former cart employees, which is roughly akin to operating a school for ten year old boys then hiring Jerry Sandusky, Michael Jackson and Bernie Fine to run it. Between the dysfunctional politics of IMS on one side and the presence of self-interested mutineers on the other, Randy Bernard has the most difficult job in the sport, and thus far has made no real progress. He needs to take more of a Big Bill France approach in dealing with entities in the series in 2012.
If I were in charge I would simply throw most of those who slithered back in or slightly before February, 2008 out and take my chances going forward. The odds of long term success would certainly improve.