Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

January 5, 2012

Yet Another Jerk Weighs In Against Indy Car 1.5 Mile Ovals

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 11:58 am

The latest blithering idiot to disguise disdain of 1.5 mile Indy Car ovals as safety concern is Preston Lerner, a journeyman writer who has a book about Paul Newman under his belt and has written recently on topics such as the Delta Wing concept.

In Automobile magazine, his latest column is entitled ‘A Death Foretold’ that whines early and often about Dan Wheldon’s Las Vegas demise. In it, Lerner tried to make a point that Indy Car is more unsafe than Formula 1, which has not had a death since Ayrton Senna’s ‘freak’ accident in 1994 because Formula 1 re-wrote its rule book. I guess Dan Wheldon’s accident wasn’t just as ‘freak’ as Senna’s. Indy Car is also evidently more unsafe than NASCAR, which has not had a BIG TIME death since Dale Earnhart in 2001 because ‘NASCAR overhauled its safety regulations.’


NASCAR should probably thank Indy Car for funding, testing and rolling out SAFER barrier technology first; technology that is now mandatory at all NASCAR ovals.

NASCAR should probably also thank open wheel for first offering then mandating safety devices that prevent basal skull fractures.

I wonder how many deaths in other series such advancements prevented? In typical fashion, Lerner tries to position open wheel as doing nothing while seven drivers die since 1996. Lerner dramatically asks ‘…how many coffins have to be filled before Indy Car takes action?’

Then, in a flourish, the agenda becomes apparent. ‘Pack racing’ on ‘high banked intermediate ovals’ is the problem. Wonder whether Preston calculated how many of those ignored (LOL) Indy Car deaths occurred on ‘high banked intermediate ovals?’

The type of irrational screeching Lerner and his type offer has resulted in Indy Car jettisoning all but four ovals in a really stupid schedule top heavy with street ‘racing’ that completely tramples the legacy of Indy Car. Only by the grace of God and probably Eddie Gossage is Texas still with us.

I am sick and tired of the holier than thou pontificating by self-serving non-oval enthusiasts. On a much smaller scale what they are basically attempting is akin to replacement of the NFL with soccer. I wish such malcontents would become more honest and less disingenuous as they continue trying to impose their wills. It is actually kind of a shame there is no longer a split so such people could follow something that appeals to them while still remaining obsessed anyway with Indy Car. Unfortunately, their style failed. Twice. Recently.



  1. “On a much smaller scale what they are basically attempting is akin to replacement of the NFL with soccer.” Or as I like to say (as a fan of thoroughbred racing) to replace flat Thoroughbred racing with Harness racing.

    I am fed up with the CART obsessed F1 wannabe people who continue these attack on ovals. The same damage being done to oval racing is being done to road racing tracks as well. There are only three road races this year at a real track. These street parades are going to kill Indycar. They are nothing more than the demolition derby at the county fair. They won’t grow the sport. They will kill it.

    Maybe the split was not such a bad thing.

    Comment by Bob F. — January 5, 2012 @ 1:49 pm | Reply

    • ….or maybe it was..one of the two

      Comment by J.B. — January 5, 2012 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  2. “On a much smaller scale what they are basically attempting is akin to replacement of the NFL with soccer.”
    I think you stole that line from “J Stein” who wrote that analogy awhile back on this site. It’s a great analogy and a good line, but please don’t take credit for it or claim it as your own!

    Editor’s Note: Who is this ‘J Stein’ fellow and what is this blog of which you speak? Methinks such a comparison is merely coincidental. I have heard that exact analogy in several places and do not take credit for inventing it. Who cares? It is apt.

    Comment by lkallen — January 6, 2012 @ 5:35 pm | Reply

    • Credit L Kallen for reading comments!
      From the Dec 9 article comments:

      Is it time for IRL 2.0.?

      In 1995 there were 6 oval vs 11 street/road races which led to the formation of the IRL the very next year. The whole concept of the IRL was to return Indy Car racing to its roots, oval racing (leaving out board and dirt tracks!). The fields were weak and it could have better been called the Indy Crashing League the first few years. Then the CART teams began to drift over and the competition took an upswing. However, now it seems like a case of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Sort of like Manchester United joining the NFL and ten years later there is no tackling and they are trying to get a round ball into a big net.
      So perhaps some sort of cost effective formula (i.e. 1930′s junk formula) would draw car owners and builders into a series built around the Indy 500…or go the route of 2 divisions in one national championship, which seems more realistic.

      Soccer may be a legitimate sport but football fans would not accept it as a substitute.

      Comment by J STEIN — December 9, 2011 @ 2:09 am

      Comment by J STEIN — January 6, 2012 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

  3. A few things…When it comes to driver’s and deaths, it is an unfortunate part of the sport, one which will never truly be taken away. Having said that, to compare Senna’ accident to Wheldon’s, and call them both “freak”, is completely way off base. Senna’s was truly a “freak” tragic event, as the circumstances that led to his accident were not something that could be seen coming. In Wheldon’s case, and in no way less tragic, the events leading up to his accident were just waiting to happen, being predicted by many as inevitable.

    Editor’s Note: Ah bullshit. Pull your pompous, self-righteous panties up, little kid. If Wheldon’s death was inevitable so was Senna’s. A couple of inches either way would have turned out differently for either.

    There is a big difference when you have tight, pack racing that you come by in a very honest, and competitive way, as opposed to having pack racing that is “contrived”. Indy Car designs and specs basically ensure accidents will happen. The sad thing is, in the days prior to the race, almost all the teams and drivers voiced concerns over the dangerous conditions, but Indy Car did not listen. Can you imagine if CART ran the race in Texas after the drivers voiced there concerns, and then there was a huge accident? I can only imagine you Disciple, would be all over CART for not listening to it’s own drivers, etc;.

    Editor’s Note: The ridiculousness of your agenda is exceeded only by your sheer ignorance.

    Make no mistake about it as well, i do not care where they race, streets, road courses, flat ovals, etc;. Indy Car owes it to it’s teams, drivers, sponsors and fans to put on a product that is competitive, and safe. In the race at Las Vegas, they did not do that at all. If i was the family of Dan Wheldon, i would be looking into claims of negligence for sure.

    Editor’s Note: Fortunately, the family of Dan Wheldon is blessed with the kind of class and intelligence that is sorely lacking from your kind. As an actual Indy Car fan since 1959, I want to see close, competitive racing on all kinds of tracks, including 1.5 mile ovals. As a matter of fact, I INSIST on it. Don’t like it? Don’t watch. Your choice.

    Comment by The Set Disciple Straight Guy — January 7, 2012 @ 4:16 am | Reply

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