Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

February 20, 2012

Anger and Frustration in the Indy Car Off Season

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:48 pm

The single most disappointing aspect of the Indy Car off season for fans is beginning to move from frustration to outright anger. The racing team of Sarah Fisher and Wink Hartman has almost everything they need to thrive:




-A talented young American driver who has won on all types of tracks

-Construction permits for a new headquarters right next door to Dallara in Speedway

-Commitment to run the entire season

….everything EXCEPT engines. And it seems unlikely Josef Newgarden can pedal fast enough. Chevy and Honda seem all set with drivers and teams, and Lotus still seems shaky. Almost everyone who is serious about running can. But not Fisher. Why?

Why would that team lose the most important round of musical chairs in the series? What sort of whacko, goofy politics are involved in this abomination?

Enough is enough. If the supposedly intelligent leadership of the series cannot facilitate some sort of solution (and starting at Indy is NOT a viable solution) what can be done? It would be nice to think some sort of grassroots effort could make a difference as it did when Donald Trump was replaced as the pace car driver for the 100th anniversary 500. The main problem is the way the game is played.

Still, why exclude Fisher’s team? They actually won their first race last season, albeit at a venue series leadership has decided is not important enough to continue, itself an egregious insult to many fans. If this team remains unable to secure a deal, it is time to change the rules. Having this team (or any other qualified team) unable to sign an agreement is not acceptable.

Randy Bernard needs to do more than just merely suggest or cajole. He needs to stomp on some heads. And he needs to start today.



  1. did Indycar really refuse to return to Kentucky? or did Kentucky ownership decide they weren’t worth the money?
    Editor’s Note: From a fan perspective does it matter? Kentucky is another of those Indy Car oval venues that has been jacked around since its inception in terms of inconsistent scheduling and lack of meaningful marketing. That venue could work extremely well with minimal effort.

    Comment by redcar — February 20, 2012 @ 3:28 pm | Reply

    • –agree that Kentucky should work, but it’s fallen off. is it Indycar’s job to market the venue (and the race) or the venue’s responsiblity.

      ovals that are well-run and marketed well (Indy, Iowa, Texas) seem to do fine. ovals that had a lackadasical approach to marketing Indycar (Chicago, KY, Milwaukee) didn’t do well. Indycar won’t succeed at a track without good cooperation on part of the track owners.

      Comment by redcar — February 20, 2012 @ 8:12 pm | Reply

  2. I agree with your comments in principle. I think however that it is possible that Fisher was too picky in choosing an engine. She wanted a Honda and that’s that. When the musical chairs was over, she was stuck without an engine and a back up plan. This is what makes a team like Foyt look brilliant in selected an engine as early as possible. Teams such as Conquest who historically have left things in the air until the final week of before the season are finding out that they don’t have an engine. While I think that a team that hasn’t been in the series for a few years (Rahal) shouldn’t get engines for two cars, you can’t fault them for having their ducks in order. I hope that Conquest and Sarah Fisher racing will learn from their mistakes and I hope that by next year maybe another manufacturer can join the series and stop the nonsense.

    Comment by Bill — February 20, 2012 @ 9:32 pm | Reply

  3. Caveat Emptor. Josef Newgarden has the pull Americans have always wanted in their top level AOW series. Sarah Fisher is the series sweatheart since she was whoopin boys in midgets. Seems like a win-win! But, the reality is, between the engine manu’s and the drivers association, Indycar is powerless. Strange thing it is of their own doing and what killed other series, twice. How could it happen now, in 2012? IMS sold the sport down the river, DOZENS of times, this is no different.
    Editor’s Note: Well, the comment section was abuzz with intelligent folk until now.

    So really, who cares? Sarah can’t cut the mustard anymore and her importance is nil.
    Editor’s Note: Say what? Fisher’s team has backing, sponsorship, a driver, chassis and a commitment to build headquarters right next door to Dallara. That seems like cutting the mustard with importance.

    What is more important is the fact this is the way IMS Indycar wants it. Caveat Emptor. Too bad the $61,000 spent by teams trying to get a TEAM franchise only to get denied couldn’t be used to fund homer type gomer teams like Sarah Fisher. Betcha Rubens Barrichello will have engines, lots of ’em. He won lots of midget races, didn’t he? That must be why he gots engines.
    Editor’s Note: No, dumb ass, Rubens Barrichello has never raced on a short track anywhere in the United States. Ever. That particular taunt grew old in 1996. Update the repertoire, kid. And ‘gomer?’ What are you? 4? Grow up.

    Comment by Goran Liddy — February 20, 2012 @ 9:40 pm | Reply

  4. Nil. Sarah deserves no special treatment despite the indy media hacks that act like this is earth shattering. Danica at the Great American race is getting all the national press.

    Seriously, Fisher is toast and deservatively so because this all makes the sport look so tiny. Like a backwater hilljack series. We dont need that.
    Editor’s Note: Uh, try to keep up here kid.
    A) No one that I know of is asking for any type of ‘special treatment’ for Sarah Fisher. Almost everyone is merely asking that she receive the same treatment as those who have deals, in many cases for teams that have not turned a wheel.
    B) Danica Patrick mentions? Why? There is nothing about Danica or Daytona anywhere in this blog? What purpose does flogging it serve? Are you that ADD?
    C) What kind of word is ‘deservatively?’ I guess you missed a few elementary grades.
    D) Sarah Fisher and Ed Carpenter and that team beat the big boys last season. What they deserve is a shot.
    E) Who is the ‘we’ that does not deserve a ‘backwater hilljack series?’ That ‘we’ is undeserving of following IndyCar.

    Comment by Goran Liddy — February 21, 2012 @ 2:52 am | Reply

  5. I think it’s a shame that a young American driver is left without a ride. There was a guy back in the early 90’s that had an issue like that, I think his name was Gordon or something. My dad has been saying for the last year or so that some of these older guys need to go. I like TK and Dario and Helio, but eventually they are just going to take rides away from younger people and it will hurt the series in the long term when the young drivers look to Nascar.

    Comment by Jon — February 22, 2012 @ 4:11 am | Reply

  6. I hear Bobby Rahal may be stepping up to help Sarah? Leasing her an engine until Indy. Someone with a spine will help Sarah. How long has Bobby been trying to get back in the game after DP took his house and car and everything that wasn’t nailed down? Andretti knew what he was doing when he kept GoDaddy. The beeyotch ain’t putting him out of business.
    Editor’s Note: Sorry, I do not understand your obtuse jabbering. And what is a ‘beeyotch?’ another of those clever epithets perhaps?

    Comment by atb73 — February 24, 2012 @ 2:35 pm | Reply

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