The latest needless battleground in IndyCar is Texas Motor Speedway. On one side are panic stricken road racing enthusiasts who decry pack racing as ‘not racing.’ While I may personally agree with them to a certain extent, occasional packs of speeding cars throughout a 26-car field add a fairly significant amount of excitement. Over the past few years much of the raciness has been dumbed out of the cars. Here is the perfect example. For the first few years Indy Cars ran at Richmond the racing occurred all the way through the field, mostly in small clusters. Positions were changed and no one raised a stink about cars side by side for laps at a time. Then, mandated changes to the way the cars are set up caused a succession of relatively boring parades that drove fans away from an otherwise successful venue.
Add to that Richmond’s attempted poaching of IndyCar event sponsors for NASCAR events and we ended up with a needlessly vacant slot on the racing calendar.
Texas has been a race of edge-of-your-seat beauty since its inception. Only recently has a cacophony of condemnation occurred. Many of the same instigators were around in 2001 when cart strolled in there and promptly stepped on their genitals, again screwing racing fans as the result of their egos and poor planning. If not for Eddie Gossage, IndyCar would not have a second home. I cannot imagine losing a venue that routinely draws 80,000 for Indy Cars, particularly to appease the whining of a small group of what are essentially, to be blunt, pussies.
Drivers and road racing enthusiasts are clamoring for changes to the cars that will turn actual racing into single file parading with the occasional pass. Some are even calling for a parking lot temporary course at Texas. These people desperately need to find some other amusement and stop meddling in a branch of the sport in which they have absolutely no business. Many actual racing fans are sick and tired of the imposition of the philosophies of road racers onto oval racing. Enough is enough.
Chicagoland, Kentucky and Kansas (to name a few) have been eliminated and oval fans are angry. Randy Bernard may hide behind research as an excuse, but in reality when a venue is as inconsistently scheduled over time as Kentucky was with little to no meaningful promotion, what does he expect?
The most sickening aspect of the anti-Texas movement is their gratuitous use of the Dan Wheldon freak death at Las Vegas. They have convinced themselves that the same accident is waiting to happen at Texas. No, it’s not. If the cars are set up properly and the drivers drive them like the professionals they are supposed to be, nothing bad will happen.
I love small ovals as much as the next guy, but Indy Car MUST maintain a presence on ovals of ALL sizes, from short tracks to 1.5 milers to places like Fontana and up to Indy. My group of long term fans is ready to go to war over Texas if necessary.