Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

October 28, 2014

Meanwhile, While Awaiting Release of the IndyCar Schedule for 2015….

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 10:54 pm

While viewing a few YouTube racing clips for nostalgic purposes one of the suggested related clips was the ‘Outside the Lines’ episode entitled ‘500 Miles Apart’ from ESPN released and aired shortly after the Indianapolis 500 in late May, 1996. This goofy pundit had not seen it in a few years so why not? Based solely upon on-camera performances the interviewees and participants can easily be classified into two groups, which is even easier now given the added benefit of hindsight:

  1. Most Stupid, Clueless, Bitter, Hypocritical, Hostile and/or Arrogant People on Earth at That Time.
  2. Most Sensible, Rational Thinking People on Earth at That Time.

Group 1 features (in roughly order of appearance on the program):

IRLDan Gurney. When asked whether the winner of the Indianapolis 500 in 1996 could take away the same satisfaction as any champion, Dan answered ‘…no, absolutely not, and he will know that.’ Somehow, Dan, as much as we love you I doubt that Buddy Lazier, actual winner of an Indianapolis 500, knows a little more about that feeling than someone who did not win and chose not even to compete when your idea was disrupted. Dan continued: ‘…it isn’t about trying to help out the little guy; it’s for control of what has the potential of being an enormous business, and the rest of it is so much hooey.’ Or…’I’ve known A.J. a long time…one of his modus operandi is to put words in other peoples’ mouths first and then tell them why it’s wrong, and that’s a no-win situation.’ ‘…(Tony George) and his palace guard and schemers decided that they would pull it off this way.’ Personally I really do love Dan Gurney and respect what he has done over the years in terms of innovation. But with regard to the ‘split’ he comes off like a petulant little dick.

Scott Pruett. ‘…It’s not the same level of competition you’d have otherwise.’

Bobby Unser. ‘…Tony George’s thing, he’s gonna make stars overnight. OK? I say he won’t.’

U.E. Patrick. ‘…to do what he did down there…which is part of America, to me it’s like apple pie and motherhood…it’s something you just don’t mess with and I think he’s gonna screw it up.’ Even ‘ol U.E. eventually formed an IndyCar team.

Andrew Craig: ‘…they said he wanted the world to stand still or perhaps I’d put it another way, they want the world to revolve around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.’ ‘It would be really difficult to bring the two sides back together.’

Roger Penske: ‘…Tony George, he’s the one who’s going to have to make a move. At this particular point our people want to go to Indy but at the end of the day we wanna go on a level playing field.’

Paul Newman: ‘…We’re being shut out of Indianapolis. We have 26 or 27 drivers here and 8 of them would have been allowed to run Indianapolis. Well, what do we do with the other 20 guys? Send ‘em home?’ ‘I promise you if Mario thought what was best for racing would be the IRL he’d be sitting down there right now.’

Rick Mears: ‘…When they started to regulate who can and who can’t run in the Super Bowl that’d be like going to the Dallas Cowboys and say hey you guys can’t play this year.’

Al Unser, Junior. Evidently ‘…you just don’t know what Indy means’ was a lie, as evidenced by his presence in Michigan. He regrets it, as almost everyone there that year. That regret hit some harder than others. Had Al Junior done the right thing it is not difficult to wonder whether his domestic and substance abuse problems might have been minimized by a clearer Indy Racing conscience. ‘…the gist of it is, uh, the best drivers in the world and the best crews in the world are, a , racing in Michigan this year.’

Emerson Fittipaldi: ‘We are doing right to be here. I’m very happy and, um, I’m going to stick to this group.’

Bobby Rahal: ‘….all 19 owners are unified.’

Bryan Herta: ‘…it hurts not to be there but you know I think that uh we really didn’t have any choice and so since we can’t be there I’m glad that we’re here at the US500.’

David Letterman: ‘…it would be great to be in Indianapolis if you had the Greatest Spectacle in Racing you deserve to have the best race and this year that’s not what they have. The best race is here in Michigan.’

Paul Tracy: ‘…I’m not a traditionalist. I’ve been to the Super Bowl, I’ve been to the Stanley Cup playoffs, I’ve been to the World Series. I don’t go to look at the stadium. I want to compete against the best drivers.’

Mario Andretti. ‘Indianapolis represents the theatre but the players are someplace else.’ ‘…to have a totally oval series you almost have to go back to the 50’s. Why do we want to go back to the 50s? Times have changed guys.’

Steve Potter, then Mercedes-Benz Marketing Manager, distinguished himself as one of the bigger douchebags on the program. ‘…tradition is important and it’s worth something but they have to be valid traditions. They have to be traditions that have continuity. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway made a decision about the qualifying rules and they cut the tradition. They cut its head off. They cut the head off it and it’s dead. That tradition no longer has a business value to Mercedes-Benz and that’s why we’re here.’ ‘….Wake-up calls for the Speedway? I think they’re sleeping pretty soundly.’

Robin Miller: ‘…the month has been a disaster. People have not showed up. And…they’re gonna blame the weather but I’ve been out here when there’s been a hundred thousand people waiting in the rain for ten hours hoping for qualifying to open.’

Phillip Morris and Valvoline, who decided to place all their sponsorship into the US500 and cart.

Robby Gordon: ‘…Best sponsors, best drivers, best cars, best teams. Right here. I guarantee our race will be better.’

Bob Tossel, a veteran of 51 straight 500s in that year, who compared the Indy field to the Toledo Mud Hens and the US500 field to the New York Yankees.

Paulla Weinberg, a chunky gal who started a group ‘Fans United To Save Indy’ and got 1300 signatures on a petition well before social media was the norm. ‘…We don’t recognize it as the Indianapolis 500. It’s the IRL 500. The Indianapolis 500 doesn’t exist this year as we’ve known it.’

Dan Kidwell, who made anti-IRL T-shirts and went to Michigan for the US500 instead of being with his brother and his new wife, who got married at the track the day before the race.

Brian Brown, a decades-long fan who dumped his family to attend the race in Michigan instead.

¾ of the field of ‘stars n’ cars,’ who failed to make it to the green flag due to crashing each other into an extended red flag. Idiots. Compare that to a field half filled with rookies who put on a great race.

So-called fans adorned in T-shirts with anti-Indy messaging, often expressed in crude fashion usually referencing human excretory functions.

Whiny ticket scalpers who bemoaned a drop in value of tickets they were trying to scalp. Poor bastards.

Group 2 features (in order of appearance on the program):

Johnny Rutherford, whose words ‘…you don’t buy tradition; you build it…’ were brilliant. ‘I can assure you all those guys wish they were here.’

Tony George: ‘…I want to have some input into the direction of where the sport goes. That’s paramount. I think this institution has to have some input.’ After being informed of many of the nonsense epithets being hurled his way Tony replied: ‘…I didn’t just fall off a turnip truck…I’ve been around a little while and I’ve had a lot of interaction with a lot of the drivers and car owners. I’ve gotten to know their personalities pretty well. A lot of it is not surprising to me.’ ‘I don’t think there will ever be an accord whereby cart as a unit comes to compete at the Indianapolis 500. They as individuals are going to continue to be welcomed here.’

A.J. Foyt: ‘…the big Roger Penske. Where in the hell was Roger Penske made? Right here at this goddamned race track. He damned sure did not make this place like A.J. Foyt didn’t or Wilber Shaw or whoever. I’m sick and tired of hearing their crap and I’ll tell you why. Because…like Mario…like they made Indianapolis…they made shit.’

Johnny Unser. ‘…I never thought I’d be the only Unser at Indianapolis, especially in my first year.’

Derrick Walker, who was smart enough to run cars at both races.

The Disney family o’ channels: The Indy 500 on the big OTA network; US500 on cable. Editorial bias, however, remained clear as long as cart clung to existence.

Jack Long: ‘…we’re talking about two different philosophical approaches to business and to the sport.’

The Keith Brown family with the exception of son Brian. The family did the right thing on Memorial Day weekend in 1996. Brian did not.

Jim Nabors, Dan Quayle, Florence Henderson and other regulars who put politics aside and never wavered in their respect for IMS.

Creative T-shirt wearers at Indianapolis with slogans such as ‘Crybaby Auto Racing Teams’ and such.

Stubbs BBQNow that nearly twenty years have passed and knowing all that has followed, it is really easy to observe the differences between arrogant and rational. It is too bad Group 1 wasted our time for a few years before the inevitable occurred. The best part about their whiny boycott was quality racing when the IRL schedule was painfully thin. Unfortunately they managed to keep the then-best young talent away from actual IndyCar fans who never got the chance to see folks like Alex Zanardi or Greg Moore in the 500. What a waste. Imagine the potential sponsorship opportunities. It is really telling to evaluate Group 1 in terms of who returned without adherence to their original terms.

Is anyone else craving release of the 2015 schedule? We could use it.

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17 Comments »

  1. Group 2 (specifically, Tony George) are solely responsible for the greatly diminished stature of both US open wheel racing and the Indy 500. Their power play failed. Period.
    Editor’s Note: You know if I was as adversely affected by the colossal kinship of ignorance, arrogance, avarice, hypocrisy and outright hostility you share with your twice failed brethren I might try to crap out the same type of pointless nonsense. Fortunately I am blessed by intelligence, hindsight and a grounding in actual reality. Perhaps you should try that approach for once.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — October 29, 2014 @ 2:45 am | Reply

    • The fact remains,
      Editor’s Note: Fact? LOL. You are very good at spouting; not so good at reasoning.

      however, that Tony and his allies essentially destroyed the sport.
      Editor’s Note: Helpful hint…should your desire ever evolve toward being taken seriously you might learn the art of making a case to support your opinion. Merely spouting an opinion is fine, but is empty.

      Eventually, even his mother and sisters realized it and mercifully sent him away.
      Editor’s Note: Too bad Dan Gurney, Scott Pruett, Bobby Unser, U.E. Patrick, Andrew Craig, Roger Penske, Paul Newman, Rick Mears, Al, Jr. Emmo, Bobby Rahal, Bryan Herta, David Letterman, Paul Tracy, Mario Andretti, Steve Potter, Robin Miller, Phillip Morris, Robby Gordon, Bob Tossel, Paulla Weinberg, Dan Kidwell, Brian Brown, 3/4 of the US500 field that found themselves crashed before the green the flag, ‘fans’ with the mental agility of four year olds or whiny scalpers did not have mothers and sisters intelligent enough to send them away too before they actually did kill themselves. Twice. At least Tony has not slithered back like nothing happened, unlike the majority of the list above who are not dead yet.

      Comment by Bob Chinn — October 29, 2014 @ 11:31 am | Reply

      • I’ll certainly agree that it’s fortunate George “hasn’t slithered back” to further destroy the sport, as he and his supporters indisputably did. Gurney, Penske et al knew he wasn’t up to anything other than a power grab, and that he quite clearly lacked the intellectual ability to make it work. Sadly, the sport is far worse off due to him, as is universally understood.
        Editor’s Note: What may be ‘universally understood’ by you, Gurney, Penske, et al is laughter inducing considering their organizations actually did cease to operate. Twice. All this while IMS continued unabated and is entering its 106th year of operation. If it was not for IMS the universal understanders would not have a legitimate place to ply their trade. Perhaps your kind should begin to practice contrition and thanks for a change.

        Comment by Bob Chinn — October 29, 2014 @ 12:41 pm

      • We should thank Tony for relegating the sport to has been status, for significantly reducing crowds, ratings, sponsorships and prestige, for turning the most widely recognized auto race into a largely forgotten relic, and for emptying the family bank accounts? Now that is laughable.
        Editor’s Note: Typical. Slamming by stereotype. I prefer dealing in the realm of actual reality. Here are a few such nuggets: IndyCar still pulls off a full schedule every year attended by over a million fans and with rising television ratings. The series has a strong and committed title sponsor that replaced another one. ‘Prestige’ is an eye of the beholder thing. Disenfranchised cart enthusiasts usually compare it to the mostly self-imagined utopia they believed existed at one time (you know, the utopia that failed, twice, without IMS before having assets and a lot of their debt rescued by IMS) while actual racing fans continue enjoying tte sport. The ‘relic’ known as the 500 still welcomes hundreds of thousands of fans every May, and the family still seems engaged despite what the ignorant believe they know about bank accounts without their names on them. LOL.

        Comment by Bob Chinn — October 29, 2014 @ 4:59 pm

      • Attendance at most races, including indy, has been falling.
        Editor’s Note: Correct. And now, that wonderful, factual thing called ‘context.’ Attendance at the vast majority of sports and entertainment offerings have been falling. NASCAR and F1 as well. In other words this attendance falling phenomenon is hardly unique to IndyCar. Surely that is something your kind can comprehend.

        One need view the races at places like Texas and Fontana (and the dishonest and credibility destroying attendance claims that followed) to see that fans are continuing to leave the sport. Television ratings are minuscule, with few fans left from 20 years ago. The 2014 indy 500 was one of the lowest rated in history. And we’ll below 1 in 10 indy viewers bothers to tune in for any other races during the season.
        Editor’s Note: Oddly, NASCAR and F1 are having Texas attendance issues as well. As previously stated attendance challenges abound for just about everything. I understand your species enjoys pointing out how low you believe the ratings are for the 500, but that trend also mirrors the overall trend. The fact remains the 500 is the highest rated open wheel event of them all year after year, and all other races have always seen dropoffs. Nothing is even remotely similar to the way it was twenty years ago in any sports or entertainment venue. The world has changed. Do you get that?

        Venues and title sponsors come and go, but they mostly just go (Phoenix, Michigan, Baltimore, Nashville, Richmond, Charlotte, Chicago and Northern Lights, Pep Boys, Izod), with the most recent title sponsor delivered by one of the people you chose to criticize. Their spend, by the way, is microscopic in regard to both their overall promotional budget as well as what is spent in other sports.
        Editor’s Note: I understand. Take your utopian years for example: Atlanta, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Cleveland, Denver I, Denver II, Detroit City, Gateway, Germany, Hawaii, Houston, Las Vegas I, Laguna Seca, Las Vegas II, Meadowlands, Mexico I, Mexico II, Miami I, Miami 2, Miami 3, Miami 4, Michigan, Monterrey, Nazareth, Netherlands, Ontario, Pocono, Portland, Quebec I, Quebec II, Riverside, Road America, Sanair, San Jose, Spain, Texas, Trenton, UK I, UK II, Vancouver and Watkins Glen, presented by FedEx, Havoline, K-Mart, Bridgestone, Ford, Cosworth, Lola, Swift, Reynard, Jimmy and various primary colors. Twice. As a self-proclaimed rational thinking adult is it not obvious that IndyCar, which continues running reliably season after season, beats the rather sordid alternative of actual failure? Probably not in the whacky alternate universe of the squatters.

        The NFL on network television usually gets great ratings, College Football, NBA, College Basketball, Olympics (every few years), Golf, NASCAR, Horsies, IndyCar, and Soccer and baseball get good ratings for marquee events. Sports that are on US television that are rarely, if ever, rated higher than IndyCar include hockey (other than Stanley Cup finals), lacrosse, rugby, volleyball, Formula 1, sports car racing, V8 Supercars, NHRA, sprint/dirt/et al racing, monster trucks, rodeos, MotoGP, Superbike, demolition derbies, figure 8’s, boxing, mixed martial arts, track and field, tennis, hunting, fishing, cycle racing, mountain climbing, water sports, mountain climbing, equestrian, wrestling (not the WWE-type), archery, shooting, racquetball, X-game type crap, bowling, figure skating, Australian rules football, CFL, cricket, water polo, ultimate Frisbee, curling, handball, inline hockey, roller derby, dodgeball, kickball, softball, most women’s sports led by WNBA, and others. So as you can easily see, the same 9 or 10 sports that have always been more popular than IndyCar still are, and another 50 or so are still rated lower than IndyCar (or in most cases not rated at all).

        And all of this has led to a steep decline in the reputation, profile and prestige of both the sport and its signature event, the indy 500. This is simply irrefutable, and it was due largely to the actions of those whom you celebrate and laud.
        Editor’s Note: ‘Celebrate’ and ‘laud?’ you really are nearly illiterate, aren’t you? The only ‘people’ who feel the reputation, profile and prestige of the 500 is declined are disenfranchised cart enthusiasts. As always. It would be nice to have the handful still breathing to finally grow up and enjoy the sport like the rest of the actual racing fans.

        Comment by Bob Chinn — October 29, 2014 @ 6:22 pm

      • The case is easily made, and the facts are irrefutable: Under Rony George’s leadership, the popularity, profile and prestige of indy car and the indy 500 declined precipitously. Massive reductions in crowds, television ratings, sponsors, advertisers and participants were the direct result of his stewardship. No amount of deflection about cricket or the changing media landscape changes any of that. Through all of your protestations, you and a few others who were badly fooled by the empty promises of Georgeare as wrong today as you were then. The numbers don’t lie.
        Editor’s Note: OK, Einstein. Let’s take your cryptic crapper ‘logic’ and apply it in even more of a blanket fashion. If what you say is true then when ‘Rony’ (LOL) was dispatched by the family a few years ago, followed by the family giving up voting control on the board of directors, then slowly but surely the same people who ran cart became omnipresent in today’s IndyCar, led by old stalwarts such as Derrick Walker….would it not stand to reason that everything would begin looking rosy, hearkening back to those utopian days of cart yore your kind is always telling us we had? Wha happen? LOL.

        Comment by Bob Chinn — October 30, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

  2. all they had to do was join the league, run the races that year and they would of squashed tony’s sereis. but no, they let the bus leave the station then bitched about being left behind. they were never accused of being smart thats for sure. moore and zenardi could have scored 500 victories.

    Comment by a fan — October 29, 2014 @ 10:31 am | Reply

    • Ok. So your contention is that Tony George only had the stomach to run one season and one Indy 500 under his control? That the existing CART owners could have broken his resolve by showing up to what, 2 or 3 events prior to the 500?

      Ah, sure. If you say so. The fact that he continued to operate and lose money for years ( as confirmed by Tony himself, and the subsequent heads of the IRL/ICS) would seem to indicate otherwise. But if that contention makes you feel better, then by all means…

      And I thought Defender was delusional.

      Comment by Olderfan — October 29, 2014 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

      • i think what i copied and pasted here from wikipedia should refresh your memory.

        In a controversial move, in July 1995, it was announced that the top 25 drivers in IRL points would secure guaranteed starting positions for the 1996 Indianapolis 500. Presumably, that left only eight positions open for at-large competitors. However, some interpreted the rule otherwise. {1}

        The IRL points system was to be staggered to adjust for the number of races each driver entered. The number of points awarded per race would be multiplied by the number of events the driver had participated in. For example, if a driver had entered all three events, the points awarded for that third race were multiplied by three. This move was supposed to be an encouragement to enter all IRL events, but it did not attract any additional teams from the rival CART series.

        Initially, IRL officials hoped that competitors from the rival CART series would choose to race in the IRL events, presumably since there were no foreseen conflicts in their respective schedules. The 1996 IRL schedule was finalized by May 30, 1995. However, a couple weeks later the CART series announced their 1996 schedule, immediately with conflicting dates. The CART race at Road America was scheduled for the same day as the IRL event at Loudon, while the CART races at Rio and Australia were bookended around the IRL race at Phoenix, creating an impossible travel situation. The only CART teams that participated in any IRL events in 1996 were Galles and Walker, but neither fielded drivers who were CART regulars.

        wikipedia refers {1} above to the following cut and pasted below this pargraph from motorsport.com. i remember this stuff like it was yesterday. i also remember cart shatting where it ate more times than i can remember. it was destined to kill itself off without tony’s involvement. that was just a matter of time. at the time i was so pissed at them because the on track product was the best in the world but they just couldn’t manage it worth a dam. so read carefully and interpet the way you wish. i contend nothing, just laying out the facts. i pasted slowly so even you can comprehend it.

        FICTION AND FACT — HERE’S WHICH IS WHICH

        INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 4, 1996 — In order to clarify some of the issues surrounding our sport, the Indy Racing League has presented the facts to answer the most frequent misrepresentations and misunderstandings that have come forth as follows: ***

        FICTION: Twenty-five of the 33 starting spots in the 1996 Indianapolis 500 have been guaranteed to IRL teams.

        FACT: There are no guaranteed spots in the Indianapolis 500 field. If a top-25 car in IRL owner points after the Phoenix 200 enters and completes a four-lap qualifying attempt at Indianapolis within a percentage (to be determined) of the pole speed, the car’s in the show. EVERYTHING ELSE STAYS THE SAME. ***

        FICTION: The first 25 positions in the Indianapolis 500 field are reserved for IRL competitors.

        FACT: No individual starting positions are reserved in the field. As stated above, EVERYTHING ELSE STAYS THE SAME. The pole is decided by the fastest qualifier either on the first day or after the original qualifying line is completed, whichever comes last…the same as 1995 and before. ***

        FICTION: The percentage hasn’t been announced, so CART teams don’t know their chances of making the field, or what speed it’ll take to make it.

        FACT: Nobody else knows, either, regardless of the percentage. Nobody knows, any year, on Jan. 4, what it’ll take to make the Indianapolis 500 field. The percentage will be announced prior to qualifying at each IRL event. ***

        FICTION: The percentage allows an unfair governing procedure as to who makes the field.

        FACT: Percentages of the pole time to ALLOW cars in fields have been part of rule books for years, very similar to the IRL rule, in order to protect the quality of fields. The IRL rule does just that, and at the same time offers a “perk” to the top cars in IRL owner points. In CART during 1995, the figure was 115 percent for all races. (Source: 1995 IndyCar Rule Book, Chapter 6.17.1, page 20, which states: “Eligibility. In addition to the requirements set forth herein, a race car or driver that has not demonstrated the ability to run with consistency and safety with other competitors at a speed greater than one hundred fifteen percent (115%) of the time posted by the fastest qualified race car and driver during practice or qualifying for a competition, may be denied a starting position for that competition by the Chief Steward.”) Both Formula One and IMSA have also had percentage procedures in their histories. ***

        FICTION: CART car owners and drivers have been “locked out” of the Indianapolis 500.

        FACT: No drivers or owners have been locked out of any IRL event, including the Indianapolis 500, in any sense of the words. All CART owners and prospective IRL team owners received entry invitations for the first IRL event at Orlando. All CART and IRL teams will receive entry invitations to the Phoenix 200 and Indianapolis 500. Accepting or declining to enter is up to them. ***

        FICTION: The IRL created scheduling conflicts to deny participation to CART owners.

        FACT: On Jan. 23, 1995 at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resorts in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the IRL announced the dates for the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World and the Indianapolis 500. On April 3, the IRL announced that Phoenix and Las Vegas would be on the 1996 schedule, saying dates were “yet to be finalized in order to blend without conflict into the full year’s schedule of races expected to be run with similar cars by Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc.” (Source: IRL news release 95-05). The dates for Phoenix and Las Vegas were announced on April 13. On May 30, the IRL announced an additional race at Loudon, N.H., for Aug. 18, 1996. On June 10, CART announced its schedule, showing Elkhart Lake on the same weekend as Loudon. Later, CART announced its Brazil date, putting the IRL’s Phoenix 200 on a weekend between CART’s Australia and Brazil dates. USAC’s Rookie Orientation Program at Indianapolis was not formally announced (and hasn’t ever been since it’s not open to the public) but has been held on the weekend prior to the official opening of the track for the last 12 years of its 15-year history. In 1996, that’s the weekend of April 28. CART scheduled its Nazareth race for April 28 weekend. ***

        FICTION: CART’s Elkhart Lake date on Aug. 18, 1996 is a “traditional” date.

        FACT: On that weekend in CART history, the date has been “open” seven times, at Loudon twice, at Elkhart Lake twice, at Pocono five times and at Trenton once. Elkhart Lake’s date has been, since CART started running there in 1982, on the second weekend in July (1 time), last weekend in July (1), first weekend in August (2), third weekend in August (2), last weekend in August (1), second weekend in September (3) and third weekend in September (4). (Source: IndyCar Record Book, 1995 edition, pages 31-35.) ***

        FICTION: The IRL’s Phoenix date was selected to deliberately keep CART teams from being able to compete.

        FACT: CART’s Brazil date was selected and announced more than two months after the IRL’s Phoenix date was selected and announced. Since 1995 model or earlier cars must be used in the IRL, teams could send their 1995 cars to Phoenix while they took 1996 models to Brazil, then fly to Phoenix to participate, as one of many travel possibilities. ***

        FICTION: Competitors must have committed to enter all races in the IRL series to be allowed to run any of them.

        FACT: There is no such requirement and there never has been any such requirement. ***

        FICTION: The IRL has put fans in the position of choosing sides in regard to the Indianapolis 500 and the CART U.S. 500 at Michigan.

        FACT: Although it is the traditional Indianapolis 500 date of Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, the May 26 date for the 1996 Indianapolis 500 was announced in concert with the Walt Disney World event on Jan. 23, 1995. Ticket order/renewal blanks, as is the longtime tradition, were in the 1995 Indianapolis 500 souvenir program, available throughout the Speedway grounds last May. On Dec. 18, more than 10 months after the announcement of the traditional and accepted date for the Indianapolis 500, CART announced the U.S. 500 for May 26. ***

        FICTION: The IRL wants to discourage foreign participation.

        FACT: Stephan Gregoire (France), Eliseo Salazar (Chile) and Michele Alboreto (Italy) are all entered in cars at Orlando. The IRL is in discussion with both foreign and domestic automakers about engine programs for its newly-announced 4-liter engine formula to take effect Jan. 1, 1997. The IRL is also in discussion with both foreign and domestic car builders for the future.

        Comment by a fan — October 29, 2014 @ 8:57 pm

      • You’re kidding, right?

        Look, I don’t have time this evening to debate/rebut all your B.S. so we’ll just look at the first (and EASY to verify claim)

        “FICTION: Twenty-five of the 33 starting spots in the 1996 Indianapolis 500 have been guaranteed to IRL teams.

        FACT: There are no guaranteed spots in the Indianapolis 500 field. If a top-25 car in IRL owner points after the Phoenix 200 enters and completes a four-lap qualifying attempt at Indianapolis within a percentage (to be determined) of the pole speed, the car’s in the show. EVERYTHING ELSE STAYS THE SAME. ***”

        So…since their weren’t more than 25 entrants in the IRL that first season, there would be NO ONE outside the top 25 in points. Which effectively “locks out” whatever number of spots, so long as the car can limp around at some (as then undetermined speed). Never mind that the chassis used in the first IRL season were previous generation CART, which due to rules changes made to address safety concerns, weren’t going to be needed in the CART series that year. So any teams would be required to maintain two sets of equipment JUST to run Indy. And if they chose to run @ Disney, the info generated wouldn’t neccesarily be of any value for their “full time” programs.

        And if you can’t see the contradiction in the statements -“no guaranteed spots/top 25 in points get in” (paraphrasing) then no amount of copy/paste from wikipedia is going to help you.

        Look , we all get it. You buy into the the urban legend of the IRL. Great for you. The rest of the sane population sees this: empy grandstands, virtually NO media coverage, lousy TV ratings, incoherent/invisible marketing, and “red headed stepchild” status on your broadcast partners. Go pop open a cold one, and celebrate. The rest of us pop in for the laughs.

        Comment by Olderfan — October 29, 2014 @ 11:53 pm

      • what’s there to kid about? i didn’t write that stuff, but i remember how it all went down. i can see plenty of offers extended to cart teams ^^^ but they were all ignored. the only interest was cherry picking indy. it was the typical arrogance displayed by them and you that found them out of business twice. scheduling races to deliberatly conflict with irl dates, etc. typical of that mind set. cart failed on its own, and not because a “barely coherent mumbling idiot” facilitated it. like it or not, one series still exists, the other doesnt.

        Comment by a fan — October 30, 2014 @ 10:41 am

      • You know, if you look through Wikipedia long enough, you MIGHT noticed that it isn’t always terribly accurate. It’s filled with unattributed, unverified( or needing additional research) tidbits, so I’d be careful when citing Wikipedia as an un-impeachable source.

        That said, let’s look at one or two other things shall we?

        From your post (Wikipedia?)

        “FACT: CART’s Brazil date was selected and announced more than two months after the IRL’s Phoenix date was selected and announced. Since 1995 model or earlier cars must be used in the IRL, teams could send their 1995 cars to Phoenix while they took 1996 models to Brazil, then fly to Phoenix to participate, as one of many travel possibilities. ”

        Have you looked at a globe lately? Your contention is that the CART teams could simply “fly back” while sending their previous years cars to Phoenix. Ignoring the fact that most of the teams (stupidly, in hindsight, SOLD off the bulk of their chassis to the startup IRL teams). Do you have any conception of the logistical (not to mention the financial) issues faced by having to send personnel & equipment to Australia, while at the same time sending LAST Year’s equipment (and personnel-I’m sure that all the CART teams kept full complements of additional crews around JUST for such circumstances-LOL). Then packing up and shipping from Australia to Brazil, all while trying to fit in the Phoenix race? Despite the relative success of many of the CART teams as it regards to sponsorship and operating capital, only F1 generally has the resources to make that kind of scheduling nightmare work. And even they don’t do it.
        Editor’s Note: I cannot resist jumping in here. The real problem did not have to be the logistics about which you whine. The real problem was cart intentionally scheduling competing events that made it difficult or impossible for their teams to participate well after the IRL issued their modest schedule. Typical of the kind of arrogance that killed them. Twice.

        And then there’s the unmitigated bullsh*t about the IRL being a “complementary series”, which has been spouted ad naseum here by the ‘ol D-man. Please. If you really buy into that then you also must believe that Fontana was sold out this year. The first IRL season, with the IRL teams using cast off CART equipment, ALMOST could pull that argument off (if you covered your ears and squinted REALLY hard). After that? Uh, not so much. If the goal was to run a “complementary series” then it would have made sense to align the IRL technical specs with the existing CART specs-engines, chassis, tires, etc. THAT way teams COULD choose to run in the IRL IF they wanted to.
        Editor’s Note: Why would they do that? One of the goals was cost reduction.

        But that’s not what happened. The establishment of a completely different set of technical regulations was designed to set the IRL apart, and drive up the costs to try to compete in both to the point that teams would eventually have to choose one or the other. And several years later, after a series of bad management decisions CART tried to align IT’S regs to the IRL’s-Chassis, engines, etc. What happened? The IRL (Tony George) wouldn’t allow CART teams to compete with an IRL specification chassis that wasn’t provided by one of the IRL annointed vendors-Dallara, Panoz/G-Force, or Falcon. Despite the fact that at the time Lola was probably one of the most (if not THE most succesful formula car and sports car constructor in history). But Falcon (Michael Kranefus) WAS approved, and selected OVER Lola, despite having NEVER (and by NEVER i mean NEVER) built a single chassis for ANY series, EVER. Lola’s crime? They supplied CART, so they weren’t approved. And if you believe that the approval of Falcon over Lola wasn’t a punishment or retribution for supporting CART, then I’ve got a bridge (a few, actually) to sell you.
        Editor’s Note: Nice conspiracy theory but perhaps those involved could have followed published rules instead of nailing themselves to crosses and crying like the bankrupt little bitches they turned out to be.

        And you and Defender are correct; CART without the 500 failed. But the flipside is this: The IRL/ICS WITH the 500 has never been successful-no profit, ever (attributed to TG, Randy Bernard and Mark Miles) , attendance is half of what open wheel used to draw. Ratings average about 20% of what they used to be, and the 500 has reams of empty seats every year, when it used to sell out by June for the following years event, not to mention record low ratings. While ratings, and in SOME cases attendance, for all sports have dropped, that isn’t the fact that the Defender claims it to be. Check out attendance figures for MLB, NFL, NBA & NHL. All fairly stable, despite over exposure and a bad economy. The ICS is the only sport to lose that much of its audience.
        Editor’s Note: And yet the facts remain….IndyCar is here and cart is not. Twice. With each passing year the kind of abject stupidity you spout looks even more stupid. Grow up.

        Look, as I said before, if you like what is the current incarnation of INDYCAR, great. Enjoy. Sit back, relax, spread out (and you’ll have plenty of room) and take in the action. But don’t try to peddle this revisionist history nonsense. Leave that to Defender. He’s quite good at it.
        Editor’s Note: As an actual racing fan I enjoy it as much as I did in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90’s and 00’s. Perhaps you should get back to the spirit of the sport and leave the politics to those with even minimal intelligence.

        Comment by Olderfan — October 30, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

      • Re:Lola and Falcon-so you were in on the bidding process? And had all the technical specs and bid protocols? So you’re sure of your facts? Ok, if you say so Einstein. Somehow I doubt that but hey, if it makes you feel better…
        Editor’s Note: How about you? What was your role? Does the tin foil on your head get itchy?

        And scheduling? Sure, you were in on those negotiations with promoters, cities, track owners, too? Wow, now you’re omnipotent. Who knew?
        Editor’s Note: You are making excuses for arrogant behavior. No surprise there.

        And for what may be the hundredth time: The IRL/ICS is still here. Goody for you. As explained over and over again as long as the family is willing to subsidize the ongoing losses it ( the IRL/ICS )will continue to exist. The minute the Hulman well runs dry Indycar ad you know it will be over. But fortunately for you after nearly 20 years of red ink ( and that is confirmed by the current and previous heads of the IRL) the family appears willing to continue the deficit spending.
        Editor’s Note: Again, not something anyone outside the family really knows. But keep spouting. It’s funny.

        So enjoy the ride guys. I’m happy for you. Just please don’t try to call this series a success. Unless of course no crowds, no publicity, no marketing, no technical interest and red headed stepchild status on your broacast partners is your version of success
        Editor’s Note: Factually incorrect disenfranchised cart enthusiast bullet points include the no crowds taunt, the no publicity taunt, the no marketing taunt and the no technical interest taunt. None of those items is at the levels any fan would like, but each is pretty distant from ‘no.’ Factually correct in a blind squirrel and nut sort of way: red headed stepchild status on television.

        Comment by Olderfan — October 30, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

      • like I said, i didn’t write it, so i’m not contending anything. but I do have an idea. start a new openwheel racing series with all those raynerds, lolas and dp01’s just sitting around collecting dust. yall seem to have great ideas for success. hell look at all those tracks out there starving for it. laguna, road america, watkins glen, etc. I’m sure mrercedes and toyota would jump at the chance to supply motors. and that mexican motor oil company too. and there’s gotta be a television network ready to jump at the chance to cover it, because you know, it’s so damn fantastic. and no shortage of new talent out there. you can call it cart or champcar or something like that. nice rings to those names. what’s stopping you?

        Comment by a fan — October 30, 2014 @ 6:20 pm

      • (Repetitive nonsense relocated to comment section of 12/19/13 blog)

        Comment by Olderfan — October 30, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

  3. Dead horse being beaten soundly

    Comment by Tony Dinelli — October 29, 2014 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

  4. This is unbelievably boring.

    Comment by The Speedgeek — November 1, 2014 @ 6:42 pm | Reply


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