Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

August 8, 2013

Attention Walker, Miles, Anderson, et al…Put The IndyCar Focus On What Is REALLY Important

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:48 am

Old Formula GuyMuch of the rhetoric emanating from the mouths of those charged with the future of IndyCar is increasingly disturbing, defies sense and foolishly dismisses the reality of history. Derrick Walker is on record as saying balance is 1/3 ovals, 1/3 street circuits and 1/3 road courses. Uh, no. That is not balance. That is 67% non-oval. Insist on 50% oval and 50% non-oval.

Dan Anderson, now the guy in charge of the ENTIRE IndyCar ladder, openly advocates purging ovals as expressed in an interview on Gordon Kirby’s website: “We’re going to do less ovals,” he said. “I think that the model that requires Indy Lights to do five, six or seven oval races a year is just not workable. It defeats the population in the series because too many drivers from foreign countries don’t understand ovals or are scared of them. Oval racing is exciting but there’s a high cost in crash damage and everything else.  We definitely need to train drivers on ovals. My F2000 series does one oval race. My Pro Mazda series New Formula Guydoes two oval races and my Indy Lights series will do three oval races. That’s the progression that I think we need to do. In the years to come if we see ourselves healthy and we can expand beyond that without hurting the car counts, we’ll do that. “ I like Dan and the way he operates, but American racing IS oval racing. ‘Training drivers’ and ‘crash damage’ are weak excuses for aberrant behavior by self-serving team owners that have been trying unsuccessfully for forty years turn IndyCar into a domestic version of Formula 1.

The only real proof anyone needs to make a case for ovals is to look at NASCAR’s recent deals. Despite attendance that is slipping and television ratings that are down, NBC Sports just opened the bank for NASCAR rights and their 30+ ovals, two road courses and no street circuits. I strongly suggest the Formula One-abees again wresting control of IndyCar take a strong, objective look at the history and demise of every big time road racing series in the country.

It is high time to concoct the strongest possible lineup that mixes every type of venue over twenty events spread from right after the Super Bowl to the beginning of football season. Each one can be made to work with coherent terms, promotion and execution. In no particular order, here are the best choices:

Ten Ovals:

(Big ovals)

  • IndyThis is an OVAL
  • Pocono
  • Fontana

(Mid-sized ovals)

  • Texas

(Small ovals)

  • Iowa
  • Milwaukee
  • Phoenix
  • Richmond
  • Memphis
  • Rockingham (Hillenburg’s track)

Ten Non-Ovals (5 natural terrain; 5 temporaries):

  • Birmingham
  • Mid-Ohio
  • COTA
  • Watkins Glen
  • Sonoma
  • Long Beach
  • St. Pete
  • Detroit
  • Toronto
  • Baltimore

SWave ithould one or more of those twenty choices be deemed unworkable, there are PLENTY of backup oval options:

  • Homestead
  • Michigan
  • Kentucky
  • Gateway
  • Chicagoland
  • Get Pikes Peak reopened for real racing, install SAFER and go racing.
  • Charlotte
  • Kansas
  • Loudon
  • Nashville

Need alternate non-ovals? There are some choices:

  • Road America
  • Portland
  • Miller in Utah
  • Houston
  • Something in Canada

Ovals must be the primary basis for the series. If the mostly foreign twisty specialists are more like Mike Conway than Ed Carpenter, find more Ed Carpenters. It is not difficult if you look. If you want, open ten races to the formula bunch and award its own championship. Run a field of Ed Carpenters on ovals and award a championship for that. One thing is for certain: Over emphasis on non-ovals is pointless and and has no meaningful future. Do what is right for a change.



  1. I agree. But like Rome…..it must burn to the ground before that will happen!!

    Comment by oldwrench — August 8, 2013 @ 1:52 am | Reply

  2. Say it ain’t so! How can they be so stupid?

    We know now losing Randy Bernard was a bad thing, a very bad thing.

    Comment by Bob F. — August 8, 2013 @ 1:26 pm | Reply

    • Easy……They have an agenda. It is what they want and not what fans or racers want. You by into their agenda and you are part of the problem. Snake oil is sold everyday. They just polish the bottles here a bit more.

      Comment by oldwrench — August 8, 2013 @ 8:19 pm | Reply

  3. Defender, this is great. There has to be a dividing line between ovals and non-ovals. As I have said before, at least 2 divisions are needed (I would throw in a third, dirt) all counting to an overall National Championship (whatever happened to that term?). Let each division be run by the people who know that division. Each division could have their own traditions (i.e. no more podiums at ovals!) and ideally specially built cars. I believe this would expand the driver pool by bringing in more oval (or dirt) drivers, perhaps even bringing back the excitement of watching more drivers than starting spots for qualifying. (Outside of Indy, when was the last time a driver went home because he could not qualify? As it is now, if you show up, you get a spot even with no qualifying speed! With Indy Lights in such a pathetic condition the driver pool is likely to continue to shrink. The only part of your post I would question would be to end the season before football starts. The fall has long been a great time to watch Indy cars. Maybe with some innovative programming, i.e a couple of Friday night races, it would work. I have just hated it when the Indy season ended by Labor day a few times.

    Comment by PB2Y — August 8, 2013 @ 8:11 pm | Reply

  4. PB2Y – I can remember going to New Breman when the talk was that the Eastern Champ, wearing a #1, the Western Champ, wearing a #1 and the National Champ, also wearing a #1 would all be there. You just knew it was going to be one memorable night.
    Defender – Thanks for including PPIR in the list. I went to the USAC races there a few weekends ago and I was surprised at how well the racing surface has held up. A tribute to C.C Myers original paving job.
    A last thought on road races vs ovals. If the rumor I hear is true, that Mid-Ohio got 0.08 Tv rating, thats Zero (point) Zero Eight, are true, then Indycar is in serious trouble. There could have been as many people at the track as watched on TV. People in the USA do not care for road racing, except for the small, vocal, parade brigade contingent and, sadly, the PTB in Indycar management. I don’t know how long management can ignore what is happening right in front of their eyes.
    I may not watch the Sonoma race. I have a fear that if I don’t, I will realize that I have not really missed much. I don’t want my passion for Indycar to just fade away. P-dog has hung it up, as have a few other bloggers over the past two years. I don’t want to lose the sport I love.

    Comment by Chris Lukens — August 8, 2013 @ 9:36 pm | Reply

    • Chris, I will freely admit that I DVR almost ALL road and street races. Ovals I will watch live, but I guess that makes me one of the old time fans who the young whippersnappers keep ignoring and hoping we’ll just die off.

      Comment by SkipinSC — August 10, 2013 @ 1:21 am | Reply

  5. The new management is in charge of turning a profit, which the IRL has never turned. The days of Tony George showing up at some oval venue with the IMS checkbook in hand to make up for lack of ticket sales is over.
    Editor’s Note: As usual you are factually incorrect on multiple counts. When will your bitterness subside? It’s a little pathetic after nearly twenty years.

    Comment by TroyM — August 9, 2013 @ 10:05 pm | Reply

  6. (Crapper missive)

    Comment by Youowemeabeerasshole — August 12, 2013 @ 3:48 am | Reply

  7. I appreciate this point of view…but I must say that I really, really, really enjoy the non-oval races. I just see the hairpins, left turns, and right turns are being so pure in auto racing. Full disclosure here…I am a NEW auto sport fan, having first become interested after watching this year’s Monaco Grand Prix in the F1 series. I just don’t enjoy the ovals folks…reminds me too much of NASCAR. I REALLY enjoyed the road race in Long Beach…that stretch past the dolphin fountain was awesome…and the palm tree shadows on the street. Awesome!

    Comment by sme — August 13, 2013 @ 8:25 pm | Reply

    • and lets also make a distinction between road races (where actual public roads are blocked off) and circuit courses (twists involving lefts and rights but are not on public roads).

      Comment by sme — August 13, 2013 @ 8:29 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: