Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

April 28, 2012

Someone At Indy Car Has Their Panties In A Wad

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 11:42 pm

One of the best owners for my fan money in the Indy Car Series for many years is John Barnes. Some folks have problems with him and business partners have come and gone. But he and his team are remarkably consistent and have been there for the series for many years. They are one of my top three favorite teams every year.

One of the biggest jokes perpetrated all year by IndyCar management is the levying of a $25,000 fine and probation for a TWEET. Are they kidding me? Being the classy professional he is, Barnes issued a statement in which he basically kissed the arses of the management.

Here is what he tweeted: “Today is the day to resolve TURBOGATE! I hope @indycar gets their act together. It has been embarrassing.”

$25,000 and probation for that!? Are they out of their minds? Whose thin skin was rubbed the wrong way? Randy? Barfield? Who the hell do they think they are? Bernie Eccelstone? It’s a good thing I am not John Barnes because I would have told them to cram their fine and probation right up their ass(es). First of all, IndyCar was stupid enough to let rules loopholes create a situation in which everyone does look foolish. It IS embarrassing. They do not appear to have much control over manufacturing participant actions.

If IndyCar has a brain in its collective head they will quietly rescind this bullshit fine and probation, respect freedom of speech, and lose the colossal arrogance they just displayed with this classless action.

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April 23, 2012

Random Thoughts About Uncomfortable IndyCar Items

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 2:41 pm

As the IndyCar Series heads really far south, like South America south, for the next non-oval before 9 days in May, several items have my admittedly limited intellect churning with all types of thoughts. There is no scientific rationale nor links, but some of the items running between my ears include:

-Beaux Barfield is an enigma. Fans appreciate the way he has shaken up Race Control (it needed it) but wonder how/where his bread is buttered. The ‘avoidable contact’ rule, for example. No one seems immune unless they drive for Penske or Ganassi. In those cases most of their drivers are given carte blanche to wreak havoc. Helio Castroneves for example. Big star. Immune. There have been at least three instances this season where Helio adopted the ‘rubbin’ is racin’ philosophy. Dario Franchitti, another big star pretty boy, is immune. His blatant punt of Josef Newgarden was obvious to everyone except Barfield. On balance, Beaux is shaking things up. He needs to work hard on the not playing favorites claim, because right now that is a joke.

-The other things that really bother me are shenanigans being tossed by engine manufacturers. In theory new Indy Car rules make sense on some levels. Minimum mileage mandates or grid penalties, and at a reasonable cost. In practice, loopholes are being sought, excuses are being made, and teams are being penalized for abhorrent behavior.  Would things be any worse if engine production was opened to any qualified builder who could badge it however they wanted? What we have now seems creepy.

-Several Lotus teams have become disenchanted with the way they are being treated. Being behind is one thing. Being nearly non-existent with no apparent funding and management turmoil is another. Screwing teams, whether intentional or unintentional, should not stand. A smart plan would be to have some sort of contingency that does not involve being at the mercy of either Chevy or Honda for teams saddled with the Lotus burden. Fan appreciate real competition between deserving factions.

-Speaking of engines, something in either the rules or supplier protocol is screwy when one-offs are not possible for Indy. Planning for only 34 or so entrants in advance is not what fans pluck down their money to see.  Many of those who typically field one-offs have given up in advance, primarily because there is no chance for an engine. That is not acceptable.

Once May arrives we will probably feel better.

April 17, 2012

IndyCar’s Latest Excursion: Long Beach, or Was That Long Bitch?

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:25 pm

The Long Beach street parade for 2012 is in the books and by most measures (if you discount the predictable screeching by the handful of obsessed IRL-hating imbeciles) it was successful. Great crowds, a celebrity factor, wide ranging sponsorship, increased 12+ overnights and not a bad race for a festival o’ speed. As an added bonus the weather on Sunday was a chamber of commerce postcard.

The one fingernails-on-a-chalkboard aftermath by both haters and people with the maturity to know better was Marco Andretti’s brief flight in the DW12. That event has somehow become a story. As a result widespread condemnation, borne mostly of either ignorance or hysteria, of the DW12 is fairly prevalent.

Is it an opportunity for legitimate criticism or more of the agenda-riddled hysteria by obsessed critics that has characterized IndyCar since 1996? If you are able to reason like any rational human you understand that ANY race car that goes faster than the average sedan can get airborne for a variety of reasons. We have seen this through the decades in ALL forms of the sport. Even the old boxy roadsters of Indy’s yesteryear could take flight. Ask the Vukovich family about that. The bricks on wheels that NASCAR uses can (and have) get airborne as well.  Another factor to consider is what I call the ‘Andretti’ factor. Given the driving style of that entire family and the fact that Marco gets airborne more than most other Indy Car drivers why should there be the degree of concern many have expressed?

If IndyCar is going to be the fastest racing (other than down a ¼ mile strip) in the sport, are its fans not going to have to accept the risk of flight? Oh, I know…there is an agenda to foist. But come on.

Meanwhile, the ill-advised scheduling of no ovals prior to Indy continues outside the country at the end of the month, then the handful of days in May will be upon us. Here’s hoping for no rain. It will be an interesting month given the politics, shrieking, teeth gnashing and other such primitive behavior. I can hardly wait to see all the cars on the track.

April 10, 2012

IndyCar Direction Remains Ominous

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 3:01 pm

As the IZOD IndyCar Series continues to try and grow itself in the context of 2012, some of the same insidious tendencies that have caused conflict for decades continue to be obstacles. Let’s be honest. The primary issue for IndyCar continues to be class warfare forced by Euro-centric non-oval racing enthusiasts on the establishment that has been in place for over one hundred years. The ‘split’ was merely another manifestation of it.

The enthusiasts, unable to establish the kind of footing they desire on their own, continue to try and transform the Indy Car identity into something more to their preference. Whenever any group has tried to establish such a niche on their own without an identifiable brand like Indy, they have failed.

Since Randy Bernard became the CEO of IndyCar he has enabled such enthusiasts in again attempting to transform IndyCar into a domestic flavor of F-1 using the ‘variety’ moniker to make it appear they are better and faster. Devotees are convinced that if they ‘get back’ what they have convinced themselves  they had in the late 80s and early 90s everything will be peachy keen.

A lot of the enthusiasts, many of whom arrogantly dismiss legacy IndyCar fans as ‘gomers’ or worse, advise not to worry. Variety is the spice of life and all that. The only realistic way to judge is to use facts, and the facts since 2005 clearly demonstrate something touted as ‘balanced’ being anything but.

-2005: 5% non-ovals.

-2006: 21% non-ovals.

-2007: 29% non-ovals.

-2008 (the bailout year): 44% non-ovals.

-2009: 42% non-ovals.

-2010: 53% non-ovals.

-2011: 59% non-ovals.

Street Festival Economic Model

-2012: 69% non-ovals.

Pretty distant from ‘balanced’ and the trend is not encouraging. Worse, the ladder series are 100% road-racing series except for perhaps Indy Lights, and even they do not run at all the ovals. Every new rung added to the ladder; e.g., Skip Barber, is road-racing centric.

Despite obvious financial malfeasance associated with street festivals o’ speed; e.g., the mess in Baltimore where a new contract has not event been signed, the failure of most of these abominations, etc., Indy Car continues to pursue these dead end boondoggles.

Clearly my patience is wearing thin with this idiotic direction. I plan to actively encourage Randy Bernard and others to remove their faces from the hind ends of leaders of that particular class and broaden their horizons in a realistic way. I am tired of excuses and lip service.

April 4, 2012

IndyCar Television Ratings: The Most Misunderstood, Misinterpreted Thing Ever

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:49 pm

This will sound arrogant to some but is entirely unintended. The way in which I make my living and pay the bills is helping cable television networks manage their operations; everything from getting programming on the air to selling commercials and managing all workflow. Doing that for a living gives me insight others do not have. If you are a carpenter and can build a house, my hat is off to you. I do not have that skill. If you are a gearhead and can take a motor apart, put it back together and make it run better than ever, you have my undying respect. Whatever you are good at you should be proud.

In that spirit may I just proclaim that angst over Googled 12+ overnight ratings spouted by mostly incomprehensibly ignorant naysayers on the Internet after every IndyCar event constitutes some of the most entertaining, whacko banter anywhere? The most excruciating reality of this phenomenon is knowing we have to put up with it more than a dozen more times this year. Again.

If anyone actually lent credence to the meanderings of such willfully retarded individuals common sense might suggest IndyCar should have been out of business over ten years ago. And yet it is now profitable. Go figure.

12+ overnights are vanity numbers that mean nothing in the actual commerce of cable television advertising. What matters is how actual numbers are sliced and diced into their demographic components. Those are the revenue generating numbers that are packaged, sold and analyzed. And unless/until the Internet television executives are willing to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to get a peek they remain in a position of absolute and sheer ignorance.  I could count the number of heartbeats a person generates in a minute and proclaim myself a cardiologist, but that would actually make me insane.

So please, while the season is still young, pay attention to things that are important in the sport. 12+ overnights aren’t. Unless you are ignorant.

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