Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

November 2, 2012

IndyCar Team Owners, Management and FANS!

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 5:46 pm

It has been a busy few days in the never dull world of IndyCar racing. Many, including myself, have weighed in on the Randy Bernard bum’s rush and the tawdry ways in which it played out. Many have made great points about the relative dysfunction of the Hulman-George clan, the self-serving nature of the owners and the kiddie games they all play.

It is difficult not to notice the tone and reaction of those who call themselves fans, and that is the focus for today. I tend to dismiss the ones who use any real or perceived misstep whatsoever to heap mostly illiterate condemnation on Tony George for ‘ruining’ everything. That small group concocts identical rants whenever anything happens. You know the type—their frame of reference is usually the early 90’s and nothing else matters. It is my personal belief such people are mentally ill and incapable of moving forward. Such boorish behavior is unsurprising considering their confusion about the difference between a self-immolating boycott and a punitive action against the object of their affection, not to mention youth and immaturity. They are too ignorant to understand that team owners involved in scorched earth that characterized ‘the split’ are displaying the exact same sort of self-serving stupidity that led directly to Randy Bernard’s ouster.

My favorites that have emerged are those who have declared this to be the final straw. They are leaving and not coming back. Period. They state that over and over again. It is also my belief that 95% of such folks are liars. They are not going anywhere. I wish the 5% who may actually not be hypocrites would reconsider given that actual enthusiasm is supposed to be for what they see on the track. That is what made me a racing fan, and I have been through everything from USAC (original incarnation) to the IRL and everything in between.

Fortunately most fans that expressed misgivings about the departure of Randy Bernard are in it for the racing and not the politics, and to that I exclaim ‘Bravo!’ They understand that dealing with owners is as impossible as negotiating fellatio with a badly cramped pre-menstrual woman who would just as soon bite it all the way off and then spit it back at you. Worse, that is only part of it. The reason the Hulman-George clan makes such an easy target in general is because they have no sense about coherent marketing or public relations and they tend to dismiss fan input, positive or negative, with flowery lip service and buzzwords. It is usually all about the deal and what is in it for them, and they never talk publicly about anything, which is out of step in a social media age.

No matter how much warranted or unwarranted criticism anyone heaps upon team owners or IMS/IndyCar, both are always willing to sell me a ticket, merchandise or refreshments for every single event. THAT is what it is all about. In summary the dismissal of Randy Bernard rubs me the wrong way, but will not stop me from going to races or watching them on television. If IndyCar was smart they would leverage his marketing expertise for two more years, but I have a feeling they will simply cut him  checks and buy his silence. If they do hire another CEO, it needs to be someone that enjoys being treated like a dog walked simultaneously by several constituencies, all of whom with their own leashes and different destinations and do never allow him to bark or bite or pee on the yard without the ongoing fear of euthanasia. Good luck.

Is it wrong to opine how enjoyable the silly season has become in a driving slowly past a train wreck kind of way?



  1. I agree 100%. people over react. I liked RB but I go to the races for the Drivers and the race it self and thats what it should be about.

    Comment by Nick — November 2, 2012 @ 8:06 pm | Reply

  2. I will read the book that R. Bernard writes in a couple years.

    Comment by redcar — November 2, 2012 @ 11:02 pm | Reply

  3. It should be noted that perhaps the greatest era in IndyCar racing, the 60’s and 70’s, was effectively looked over by two distinct personalities: USAC, which took care of the racing series, and Tony Hulman who was the benevolent dictator of all things Indianapolis. Once the owners formed the first “split” (the original CART,) the series became someting of a ball of confusion, to borrow the words of the old Temptations song. The only reason the series was not in serious trouble then was the legendary drivers, (the Unsers, Mario Andretti, Mears, McCluskey, Sneva, Rutherford, and the like) were all still active and competitive, there was no altermnative entertainment, (no Ipods, computers, MUCH less television, (like four channels), and NASCAR was strictly a regional series.) Even with all that going for it, there was some controversy, since legendary driver A. J. Foyt had sworn allegiance to USAC. There was, at the time, some perception that there might be one series with Foyt (along with some up and comers) and one with everyone else.

    Disciple, perhaps you can help my failing memory, but it occurs to me that there was a Pocono 500 in that era when Foyt was about the only prominent driver there, joined by Danny Ongais. Anyway, point is that even with the exceptional roster of talent that was in the series in those days, once the owners tried (through CART) running things on their own, there were problems. Now, the truly legendary drivers don’t race into their 40’s (or sometimes into their 50’s,) there are wayyy more options for the entertainment dollar and NASCAR has gotten HUGE by expanding into all parts of the country, rather than just the southeast. Consequently, OWR will NEVER be as big as it once was, regardless of whom you blame. At the same time, we, as a fan base, have far less of a voice than we did back in the bygone era simply because there are fewer of us (and quite a few of us are “age challenged.”)

    With Randy Bernard in charge, I had the sense that even though he was not of “our” era, he understood the roots of IndyCar racing and strove to achieve that kind of series. The question that has to be settled in the immediate future is, “How long will sponsors spend the money to fund million dollar race cars in a series that virtually no one (save us “old farts”) watches?” If the fan base of this sport does not get younger and quickly, that timeline is very finite. If anyone can deliver on that promise to the satisfaction of the HG family, they’ll pretty much be able to write their own ticket.

    Comment by SkipinSC — November 3, 2012 @ 11:59 am | Reply

  4. IMS would be wise to get on the phone to australia and ask a Mr Tony Cochrane if he would like to come and fix the series. Given what he did to v8supercars from when he purchased it for 50k in the early 90’s to selling it this year for 350million. I’m sure he would do wonders before IMS get fed up with him improving the series and fire him.

    Comment by Naca — November 13, 2012 @ 12:00 pm | Reply

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