Defender of IndyCar

An Open Letter To IndyCar’s Randy Bernard and TMS’ Eddie Gossage:

Dear Randy And Eddie,

It is not difficult to see that conflict between the two entities you represent is not being resolved amicably, and has begun to mutually fester with pompous animosity. That is a genuine shame and is completely unacceptable. I am speaking purely as a fan, and probably represent other fans as well. As an American racing fan that enjoys Indy Cars on ovals far more than Indy Cars on non-ovals, I do not EVER want to see the Texas Motor Speedway annual event ever go away for any reason.

Randy, Eddie built that event from scratch. For fifteen years it has been second only to Indy in the number of people who attend. Eddie has done more for Indy Car than any other track operator outside Indy. Do not be stupid. Letting that event wither and die, especially over a personality conflict and lack of respect (not to mention a seemingly noble direction that preaches balance but in reality practices imbalance), would be the most incredibly foolish thing an Indy Car CEO has ever done. The list of incredibly foolish things Indy-style racing CEOs have done is already extraordinarily long but that feat would take over the top slot. Fans always bear the brunt of such ill-advised foolishness and most of us have had enough of either sheer ignorance or insolence (or both) putting absolutely great venues at risk.

Eddie, I offer the same sort of advice. I understand Indy Car has never afforded you the kind of respect you deserve. Join the club. They have alienated peers, partners and many fans for decades. Dealing with Indy Car for long periods of time requires really thick skin and a penchant for masochism on many levels. Further, I do not really care about how deals get put together, just that they are. If you are able to make some money with the Indy Car event every year, that makes everyone happy. If Indy Car prevents you from making money by jacking up the price every year, why not gripe about that publicly and work it out privately? That is relevant. I do not care that you and Randy butt heads for whatever reason. I do not care that you seem to hold a grudge about something that happened over ten years ago. Just stop it. You risk further punishing fans that regularly support the events, buy the tickets and the merchandise, and watch on television.

Randy and Eddie, just work it out. Be adults. Divorce is not the answer. Losing the great Texas oval is definitely not an answer regardless of how whacko the general Indy Car direction gets. Remember the fans FIRST, and stop both bickering and posturing. It is cheesy and counterproductive.

Also, a note to Indy Car drivers: Shut up and race. We want to see you run the cars. Not your mouths. The new car has not even turned a wheel in competition on any oval, much less that one. Further, it is designed to minimize the kind of airborne mishap that puts drivers at risk of one-in-a-million accident. I have also been told the fencing at Texas is on the outside of the posts. Why is any of this still an issue?

You can also stop whining about Eddie’s reaction to April of 2001 as well. My party was the third car in line at one of the gates as they closed them and turned everyone away. This after driving a few hundred miles to get there. It does not really matter how good the reason was for calling it off, fans got screwed that day too. By the thousands. I am over it, but fully understand Eddie’s wariness given the cast of characters then, many of whom dominate Indy Car today.

Finally, it is difficult enough to be an Indy Car fan over time anyway given the economy, rampant inconsistency in race scheduling, increasing inaccessibility, willy-nilly dropping of events that have been around for years, a procession of mostly no-name foreign formula drivers with money who come and go…not to mention an increasing predisposition away from what made Indy Car great in the first place. When you add in this kind of catty backbiting the fans are left in the crosshairs and that is not good.

Straighten this out once and for all, and please keep the Texas event on the schedule after 2012 no matter what.




12 replies to “An Open Letter To IndyCar’s Randy Bernard and TMS’ Eddie Gossage:

  1. While this comment does not pertain to Texas per se, I fully agree with your “Shut up and race,” dictum. Is it too hard to remember a couple of summers ago when oval racing became a succession of non-action parades? Do you guys remember that? The fans, those of us who have stayed despite the inconsistent scheduling, questionable race control calls, and such were howling. Right before Kentucky that year, the series tweaked the rule book a tad and all of a sudden, we had exciting racing again.

    Look, I get that some of you may not have the stomach for “pack racing,” but if the alternative is more boring parades where races are only won and lost in the pits or by attrition, then we might as well bury this puppy and RIGHT NOW. Those of us who have been around since way before the IRL came along crave nose-to-tail, side-by-side racing where you are afraid to get up from your seat for fear you’ll miss something.

    I understand that Vegas happened, but Vegas and Texas, though similar, are NOT the same. I can’t recall much racing at Texas that got more than two wide, and if it did, it certainly wasn’t four-wide, all the time like the ill fated season finale from last year. Moreover, you guys haven’t even done much testing, let alone in any kind of traffic on an oval yet, so why create a “problem” when one has not as yet reared its ugly head?

    As A. J. Foyt said MANY times, “This isn’t badminton, it’s AUTO RACING.”

  2. Seems to me that R. Miller jumped the gun and printed some unverified gossip and then Gossage over-reacted and called Indycar drivers a bunch of over-rated pussies. If I was a driver I couldn’t wait to race there, and when it was over I’d punch Gossage in the nose.

  3. All I ask Disciple is that you forward this to both parties. Not only should they keep the Texas event, they need to build it up even more in a way Michael is doing with Milwaukee. Eddie and Mike together,, wow.

  4. If they take Texas away will you stop being a fan? Bid not what will it take to make you stop caring? Honestly, I hope the answer is that if Texas goes, you will too. Band then I hope they take Texas (a race I love) off the schedule for next year. Why do I hope this? So that you will stop driving the Indycar fan base insane with pushing your idea of what Indycar should be vs what Indycar circa 2012 is now. I’m sorry if it’s not your favorite. I’m sorry you feel cheated, and want the good old days back. We’ve lost a lot of fans who pine for their version of the good old days. I just want the now days and a bunch of us current fans are over your need (and others like you) to go around ripping the series that we are actually enjoying while you try to push for a different product. You’re a one trick pony, and the fact that your web address disrespects the very essence of your bias is sad. The IRL and CART are dead. Long live Indycar and if you don’t enjoy 10 races a year, don’t watch and leave us alone please. This is what Indycar is NOW. Once again, sorry it’s not what you (or the people at want it to be. Stop obsessing about this like the Star wars fans did over the newer movies. Worry about important shit, like your health and your family. Please for your own sake stop being bitter.
    Editor’s Note: ‘Tommy Thompson’ eh? Nice new handle, kid. Same schtick. Same lack of comprehension. Same tirade. Different day. Welcome back.

    1. Well, just because I’m not going to post my real name in a comments section on someone’s website, doesn’t make my points invalid. You did a good job completely ignoring them to take a shot at someone over there use of a pseudonym online (which is incredibly common for identity theft issues), and ignore my entire post. I’m curious to know who you think I am, handle-wise, because I’ve posted on here twice before, and I believe used the same handle. If not, then possibly Tom Miles, both of these are my over obvious-on-purpose pseudonyms. Anyway, respond. Show some gravitas, some strength of opinion and position and actually try to argue why my position is invalid. You represent the past. I represent the real current reality and future, and I, annoyed with people on all sides pining for the past. So, please, retort…I’m dying to here it.
      Editor’s Note: Two observations….1) Climb down off the cross. 2) Keep comments confined to topics.

      1. Come to Long Beach Grand Prix in April on me. I’m buying email me if you interested. I cannot wait to meet you and debate you in person.
        Editor’s Note: Thanks for the offer…if I go I’ll drop a line. Right now it appears I’m in for only the ovals and Barber (maybe Mid-Ohio too).

  5. Quite a bit of research went into those supporting photos. Who do they represent? Drivers, promoters or the fans? Disciple, how come you don’t mediate between the associated groups? You are the self professed knower of all these malcontents.
    Editor’s Note: The middle photos represent most vocal road racing enthusiasts.

    Why is IRL Defender is still in the wordpress address? You too cheap to change it or is it you can’t let go of your hate?
    Editor’s Note: Too lazy.

    How’s the Indycar Russian road course race coming along?
    Editor’s Note: Given those actually in charge it cannot be far away.

  6. Comment No.7 takes the position that Indy Car fans should like what they get or leave. Too many already have left already. If the fan base gets any lower professional soccer will be drawing bigger crowds. This is really an argument over the nature of the beast . As of 2012 it appears the series has taken a decisive turn towards street racing. The cars and teams will be going into the Indy 500 having done no racing on ovals. This seems to indicate that the 500 is now just another race, which it is not. These cars need a track like Texas BEFORE the 500 (and probably a couple of others as well). Then a fall race in Texas would add punch to the second half of the season. This year if you like oval racing you better be paying attention in June because that is about it.

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