Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

May 8, 2012

The Current Engine Situation Is Probably Not What IndyCar Had In Mind

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 11:19 am

Ilmor/Chevrolet when Roger Penske is not around:

‘We’re sorry, (insert prospective Indy Car team here), we cannot possibly provide support for more than 15 participants. There are simply not enough engines, and we have already exceeded our commitment to IndyCar. We are very sorry.’

Ilmor/Chevrolet when Roger Penske IS around:

‘Oh..Jay needs engines? How many would you like, sir? No problem at all.’

Roger is getting up there, and there are only so many times he can beat Chip before he stops. They are even honoring him this month as a legend (which they should). But come on. How/why should he be able to manipulate the process so blatantly?

If I were on the outside looking in (like Michael Shank) or any of the other teams who have been told ‘no’ who may also be saddled with the dysfunction that is Lotus, I would engage legal assistance. cart definitely appears to have returned, complete with lawyers, arrogance and basically¬†the same cast of recidivists that screwed it up last time.

The latest figurehead leader has now reached Craig/Pook/Heitzler-like levels of owner fellatio. I am not saying current leadership has no testicles, but I will say they appear to have just emerged from an ice cold swimming pool. To call them raisin-sized would be a generous stretch. Even Robin Miller warned him beforehand about the bag of snakes with which he would have to deal.

All of this drama would be much easier to deal with if the track was open. Hopefully bad weather won’t screw up the limited days we have too much.



  1. Had this confluence of sad events happened a month from now, probably NO ONE would be talking about it. But this is May, this is Indy, and 33 is a magic number. I kinda have to give Roger Penske a pass here, though. He originally BROUGHT the Ilmor/Chevy combo to the track and I am sure he probably has a bunch of capital tied up in its success (though probably not much of his own.) Roger would like nothing better than to relegate Honda, loyal (and exclusive) engine supplier for the last six years to “best in class” standing behind a top 10 full of “bow ties.” And, while roval Honda has absolutely capped their effort at 15, Chevy has seemed to be somewhat more “flexible.” And, at least with Jay getting the engines, there’s a better than even chance that Chevy will get paid.

    In a perfect world, Lotus would have come out of the box fast and competitive. Not to be, at least not this year, and who knows about the future after their totally underwhelming performance so far. If they survive under the scrutiny they’ve faced this year and come bvack with an aero kit and better performing engine, they may yet be heard from.

    Comment by SkipinSC — May 8, 2012 @ 11:40 am | Reply

  2. I have never had any patience for those who supported CART in the split. If you did not understand the reasons for the split, all you had to do was see 1.) the declining number of ovals as the 1990’s progressed, and (2) Penske’s attempt to de-emphasize the Indy 500 in 1995 by building a car for the “season” and thereby sacrificing Indianapolis.

    Indy Car has officially become F1 Lite. Want proof. Add to the above happening again Jean Alesi coming here after being absent from F1 for over a decade and a half, and having NO OVAL experience at all, shows what this league truly wants to be. And why non-F1 Indy car fans are in trouble with the way this league is going.

    F1 Lite for has been F1 drivers. No oval experience. The story continues…

    Comment by Bob F. — May 8, 2012 @ 1:44 pm | Reply

    • F1 lite? They could only wish.
      Editor’s Note: Oh, by the way, how does your little defensive klatch of arrogant, snobby formula bastards feel about the rumor that Jean Alesi will be driving for Tyce Carlson? That one has to stick in your cute li’l craws.

      Comment by J.B. — May 8, 2012 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

      • that about sums it up. washed up and out of F1 for 10-12 years. A perfect candidate for an irl star.
        Editor’s Note: Hmmm. That’s odd. I was not aware Tyce Carlson was ‘an IRL star.’ He did not win races, had accidents, and seemed to be one of the butts of the taunts of hypocritical, cart-centric idiots back in the day. Funny how your impressions change depending on the taunting framework.

        Comment by J.B. — May 8, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

      • wasn’t talking about the owner

        Comment by J.B. — May 8, 2012 @ 11:48 pm

    • Bob-

      So in 1995 Roger builds a car for the season, to de-emphasize the 500? Care to explain 1994 then? When Roger/Ilmor/Mercedes skunkworked the 500I, an engine built SOLELY for Indianapolis?

      His ‘building a car for the season’ in 1995? Given Penske’s emphasis on winning Indy, it was more likely that he did it because USAC/CART/IMS changed the rules for pushrod engines mid-season, and not because of some imagined anti-500 wingnut conspiracy.

      You may not have any support for those that supported CART during the split. Fine; I don’t show the same intolerance for those who fell in lockstep behind Tony George and the IRL. What I don’t support is those who rewrite history and make up facts to support their point. It was lying then, it’s lying now.

      Editor’s Note: Like ‘lockout’ being used as to describe a ‘boycott?’

      Comment by Steven Kornya — May 8, 2012 @ 6:49 pm | Reply

  3. Dear Defender:

    I guess Bob F. and I are on opposite sides of the fence since I supported CART even though I attended IRL events and followed the series because I am an OPEN WHEEL RACING FAN and not a devotee of Tony George, his failed vision and his single-minded goal of relegating American Open Wheel racing to second class status behind NASCAR, the undisputed racing leader in the US (at least since the split). Now, turning to the engine fiasco, these manufacturers must come clean, cut the double speak and level with the racing community regarding the scarcity of engines for all comers to seek to run Indy. If Honda had the resources to supply the entire field for the better part of the decade, why does Honda now lack the resources to supply more than 15 engines? Same for Chevy….question remains why would either manufacturer expend the time and money to design and build the new engine if both will sustain losses in the process? I do not believe the rhetoric and dispute that either of these powerhouse companies would waste their dollars to furnish the series with engines unless there was a profit at the end of the line….if Roping Randy and the heads of the series cannot ‘persuade’ both Honda and Chevy to supply more engines to teams seeking to run the 500, then this entire exercise will become an epic failure and further expose how the mistakes of the past fifteen years continue to plague our beloved series.

    Comment by Neil Rubin — May 8, 2012 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

  4. Mr. Disciple, this constant revisionist history you spew, gets kind of old. FACT..this Indy Car Series is the baby you supported from day one, the one started by Tony George, known as the IRL. It has evolved, no denying it, but it is still run by the hulman-george clan at the end of the day, they pay the bills, they call the shots, no one else. Be a man, and stop acting like a rat fleeing a sinking ship.

    As for the engine wars, yawn. Been there before. If the league did not see and learn from what happened before in CART 2001, then i have no sympathy for the series at all. Very easy to solve this issue. Question i have for you Mr. Insider, is why is Honda not stepping up to the plate, as they have invested so much in this series over the past few years. A field of less than 33 for the Indy 500 will be an embarrassment.

    Editor’s Note: Suggestion for the idiots: Learn what the hell you are talking about prior to spewing. You kids are pathetic. I was supporting IndyCar before any of you were even born. Get lives.

    Comment by The Ayatollah — May 8, 2012 @ 11:15 pm | Reply

    • I’ve been following this series and race since it was run by USAC and one Anton Hulman, as has “Mr. Disciple,” (although he needs no defense from me.) Yes, the Hulman George family still calls the shots and pays the bills, and WILL (much to your disdain,) as long as they hold the deed to a certain piece of property at 16th and Georgetown. That, sir, is a FACT. It is also a FACT that in spite of everything that has been thrown at it, this series, in one form or another is still around, something those who rebelled (twice) can’t say. Is it exactly the way we’d like it? HELL NO! But it is also a FACT that those who have tried to run a series out of other peoples’ pockets have failed completely. Twice. Seems there wasn’t enough “other peoples’ money” after a while.

      Comment by SkipinSC — May 9, 2012 @ 12:29 am | Reply

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