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IndyCar 2009 (merged)


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#451 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 13:50

Originally posted by aportinga
Yeah - the IRL does not have the management or leadership to accomplish what they are projecting - not even an once of it.

If they did then I would suggest opening up the chassis regs for Reynard, Panoz and Lola and allowing for a multitude of engine configurations - which will in effect force the series to beef up it's technical staff but so be it if it helps stir interest.

Next on the block would be a schedule... I would reduce the races in the US and increase those in Europe - specifically legacy regions left behind by F1 and so on.

Long Beach
Road America
Indy
MIS
Texas
Gateway
Cleveland
Portland
Kansas

Canada...
Edmonton
Toronto

Europe...
Nurburg
Austria
Holland
Oval in Britain

Others...
Suzuka
Surfers Paradise
Mexico

Merge up with Superleague and get Williams and maybe a few other teams who will be leaving F1 in the next 3 years. Score a title sponsor and eventually more F1 sponsors which are regionally specific to the Europe exclusively will follow suit - no different then what happened to a good deal of CART sponsors who ran to the IRL because they either did not have the budget to go international, product or the customer base.

Next up - PAY to be on SPEED and secure an equal broadcast partner in Europe (which I understand has been a huge problem for Superleague so that helps them out as well).

Sadly - and as mentioned, Tony George couldn't even find Europe on a globe much less handle the above.


The British oval is Rockingham I recall.

They SHOULD race in Mexico the crowds are HUGE, also Surfers is a famous Indycar race... another must. Road America is an obvious must, a CLASSIC track. Suzuka, Holland etc seem not likely, and a poor fit for the US based sponsors.

Why 'merge' (or compulsarily acquire) and then not run the best Champcar (and famous CART Indycar series) races... not at all logical.

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#452 red stick

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 14:46

Originally posted by B Squared
A few observations from this morning's Indy Star . . .


That black shoes, black pants bit is priceless.

#453 Keir

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 17:46

Talk about bad dreams ..... taking the IRL out of the USA is the Mother, Father , Sister and Brother of baaaaaaaaaad ideas.

The series can't fill seats here, so let's fly all over the globe and spend more money that he series doesn't have to play to an empty house !!!

Tony George doesn't have to know where Europe is !!

#454 blackhand2010

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 18:16

Originally posted by Keir
Talk about bad dreams ..... taking the IRL out of the USA is the Mother, Father , Sister and Brother of baaaaaaaaaad ideas.

The series can't fill seats here, so let's fly all over the globe and spend more money that he series doesn't have to play to an empty house !!!

Tony George doesn't have to know where Europe is !!


Apart from when he needs drivers (with sponsorship money) to help his white elephant keep running.

#455 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 19:16

Originally posted by Keir
The series can't fill seats here, so let's fly all over the globe and spend more money that he series doesn't have to play to an empty house !!!

Yeah, it was amazing that no one ever showed up at the Australian, Candian or Mexican races
:rolleyes:

#456 wewantourdarbyback

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 19:37

Living very close to it, from what I remember CART was able to fill Rockingham, I'd love to see an IRL race there giving us the chance to see it. Problem is with the monetary problems atm I'm not sure the transfer costs can be totally justified.

#457 Jim Thurman

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 20:04

quote:Bufe, can you, or anyone else, see and make that connection from the announcers to the creation of the IRL itself yet?

Originally posted by Buford
No I think it was all about a joke told at the Houston meetings by Pat Patrick that ended up in "a druggie and a drunken slut" that put the burnout over the top and after that there was no reasoning with him. He was determined to "show them" they were not dealing with a lightweight and he was willing to spend any amount of mommy's money and actually bring the sport to its knees to defend what he thought was the family honor.

There's a problem with the timeline, Bufe...the infamous Houston meeting took place after all of the examples I cited. All the on air carrying on about how the Indy 500 might not have any American drivers, might not have enough cars to fill the field "unless something is done" and more importantly (to them) how "They've already lost Jeff Gordon" and "they can't afford to lose Tony Stewart." That was during the '92 Indy daily reports, in May, the Houston meeting was in the Fall.

In addition to everything on ESPN, there were the magazine articles, the apocryphal story of Jeff and stepdad being thrown out of the CART paddock...these all came before the meeting that led to the creation of the IRL.

#458 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 20:33

What amuses me so much about the various versions of the Jeff Gordon CART stories is the supposed indignation that he was expected to bring a sponsor or money for his first season(s).

As if that is so out of the ordinary in road racing :lol:

#459 aportinga

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 21:08

Originally posted by Keir
Talk about bad dreams ..... taking the IRL out of the USA is the Mother, Father , Sister and Brother of baaaaaaaaaad ideas.

The series can't fill seats here, so let's fly all over the globe and spend more money that he series doesn't have to play to an empty house !!!

Tony George doesn't have to know where Europe is !!


My contention is that no one cares about the IRL in the States and that vendors and business folks alike feel that Tony George is a colossal moron. Because of this I personally do not think anyone will be doing any serious business with this league until management - perhaps even ownership falls in someone elses lap.

America is done for OW.

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#460 aportinga

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 21:09

Originally posted by whitewaterMkII

Yeah, it was amazing that no one ever showed up at the Australian, Candian or Mexican races
:rolleyes:


Holland did excellent for a 1st year :up:

#461 aportinga

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 21:10

Originally posted by Jim Thurman
quote:Bufe, can you, or anyone else, see and make that connection from the announcers to the creation of the IRL itself yet?


There's a problem with the timeline, Bufe...the infamous Houston meeting took place after all of the examples I cited. All the on air carrying on about how the Indy 500 might not have any American drivers, might not have enough cars to fill the field "unless something is done" and more importantly (to them) how "They've already lost Jeff Gordon" and "they can't afford to lose Tony Stewart." That was during the '92 Indy daily reports, in May, the Houston meeting was in the Fall.

In addition to everything on ESPN, there were the magazine articles, the apocryphal story of Jeff and stepdad being thrown out of the CART paddock...these all came before the meeting that led to the creation of the IRL.


I believe the Houston meeting was in 91.

#462 ZenSpeed

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 21:12

when is Elio's trial starting? I read somewhere if found guilty he could face 35 years of jail for evading Federal Taxes. Isn't that a bit steep when people get a lot less for manslaughter or rape?

#463 aportinga

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 22:09

He's a furrier though.

#464 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 22:41

Originally posted by aportinga
He's a furrier though.


Wait 'til PETA hears about THAT!!!!
;)

#465 EVL29

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 01:41

Originally posted by ZenSpeed
when is Elio's trial starting? I read somewhere if found guilty he could face 35 years of jail for evading Federal Taxes. Isn't that a bit steep when people get a lot less for manslaughter or rape?


Manslaughter and rape are crimes against people.

Tax evasion is a crime against the State.

Guess which one is going to get governments' blood up.

#466 red stick

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 03:41

Originally posted by ZenSpeed
when is Elio's trial starting? I read somewhere if found guilty he could face 35 years of jail for evading Federal Taxes. Isn't that a bit steep when people get a lot less for manslaughter or rape?


In my eighteen years as a prosecutor, the press has always handled criminal cases the same way--you take the number of counts in the indictment and multiply by the maximum sentence in each count, then print the result as the maximum sentence. The fact that the maximum sentence may not be appropriate, and that penalties in multiple counts are usually served concurrently, never enters into the equation. :rolleyes:

#467 red stick

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 03:47

Originally posted by EVL29
Manslaughter and rape are crimes against people.

Tax evasion is a crime against the State.

Guess which one is going to get governments' blood up.



Nice try, but actually in my experience the more likely the possibility that a legislator may commit a crime, the lesser the penalty. I was not shocked several years ago to find that in Louisiana, where manslaughter gets you forty years and armed robbery gets you ninety-nine, failing to file a tax return is a misdemeanor.  ;)

#468 B Squared

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 12:16

Minor adjustments to the schedule for Indy & all IndyCar races this season:http://www.indystar....391/1004/SPORTS

Craig Baranouski started his racing career as a "gofer" for Brayton Racing in 1981. My friend, Mark McComb, got him on board with the small team. Craig's been with Foyt for years now. They still remain close after all these years. Looking forward to seeing Meira and the team working together. I hope that the Speedway officials can show some flexibility & common sense with the schedule in case of the inevitible rain factor.

Brian

#469 McGuire

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 14:11

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
What amuses me so much about the various versions of the Jeff Gordon CART stories is the supposed indignation that he was expected to bring a sponsor or money for his first season(s).


The story can be framed any number of ways depending on if the teller is pro/anti CART, IRL, NASCAR, etc. Zzzzzz. But beyond all that, the undisputable truth here is there was more opportunity for Gordon in NASCAR than in open wheel. And this was in 1991-92.

#470 McGuire

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 14:23

Originally posted by V8 Fireworks

They SHOULD race in Mexico the crowds are HUGE


They were huge the first few years but then rapidly tapered off. Kind of a shame too. I really liked Monterrey, interesting city. Mexico City not so much.

#471 Slyder

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 14:24

Originally posted by red stick



Nice try, but actually in my experience the more likely the possibility that a legislator may commit a crime, the lesser the penalty. I was not shocked several years ago to find that in Louisiana, where manslaughter gets you forty years and armed robbery gets you ninety-nine, failing to file a tax return is a misdemeanor.  ;)


Yep, that's why Wesley Snipes walked...

#472 Slyder

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 14:25

Originally posted by McGuire


They were huge the first few years but then rapidly tapered off. Kind of a shame too. I really liked Monterrey, interesting city. Mexico City not so much.


Isn't it obvious why they declined so much? With Adrian Fernandez moving to the IRL and Michel Jourdain left in the cold... and Mario Dominguez with no decent ride... the writing was on the wall...

#473 red stick

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 15:44

Originally posted by Slyder


Yep, that's why Wesley Snipes walked...


And he got three years, not thirty.

#474 Keir

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 22:28

Let's get back to the IRL "hillarious" flying circus.

Assuming that the naysayers are correct and no one truly cares about the IRL in the "States" and these same naysayers truly believe that the "packed" houses in Mexico ???????? and Europe will in some way create a cash surplus for the struggling OW, just whose money are the owners and drivers going to risk ?

It always comes down to money, ALWAYS.

..... and who is willing to spend said money ? The always, much maligned Tony George, who is purported to be untrusted by all and sundry, yet no one else will raise their pinkies to effect any change !!!

KK has a ton of great little Cossies he bought for a song and he'd like to lease them !!
Fact - KK is a dope who got stuck with some neat boat anchors.

OW in the States may fail for one reason, the truly great drivers don't live here anymore and they don't want to race here. The second tier wonder boys drive NASCAR where all their adoring fans flock mindlessly from one venue to another like some Dead Header wondering how come Jerry isn't with the group anymore !!

We still have CocaCola, but we don't have Foyt, Unser, Andretti, Rutherford, Jones, Vukovich, Mears et al.

All we have now is Coke Zero and a group of so called fans who bitch more than a room full of five dollar an hour hookers during covention week. Oh wo is OW, OW is dead, TG sucks !!

..... and all the while effecting no change, offering no "real" solutions.

All aboard the IRL express, the sky is falling, the end is near !!!

#475 aportinga

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 14:36

Originally posted by McGuire


The story can be framed any number of ways depending on if the teller is pro/anti CART, IRL, NASCAR, etc. Zzzzzz. But beyond all that, the undisputable truth here is there was more opportunity for Gordon in NASCAR than in open wheel. And this was in 1991-92.


CART was shooting itself in the foot with just how audacious they were. By then they were treating everyone like shit - vendors, promoters and track owners (not just Tony George). This largest up was the failure to secure solid American talent and then retain it.

NASCAR was all over them - and later (now) the IRL like flies on shit.

THAT is when it started to go down hill seriously for OW in the States.

#476 aportinga

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 14:38

Originally posted by McGuire


They were huge the first few years but then rapidly tapered off. Kind of a shame too. I really liked Monterrey, interesting city. Mexico City not so much.


They destroyed the paraltada... Otherwise Hermanos was THE track in South if you ask me. Check out a google/youtube on Mansell+1990 Mexico City :up:

#477 aportinga

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 14:40

Originally posted by Keir


..... and all the while effecting no change, offering no "real" solutions.


You said we couldn't because we had no skin in the game.

Personally I find this thread quite tame and respectful.

#478 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 14:43

As a market Mexico was only useful to Mexican drivers. The other teams and the series itself got very little traction from it.

From what I recall the TV market was surprisingly small too. What was interested was that even at its lowest points CART/Champ Car had a massive following in Brazil but no money came out of there (except Brahma in the mid 90s) that wasn't driver linked.

#479 Jim Thurman

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 18:50

Originally posted by aportinga


I believe the Houston meeting was in 91.

That may be the case aportinga. Perhaps my timeline was off on the Houston meeting (if so, sorry Buford, I stand corrected). I do not have anything to check, and there is precious little on line on it as well.

I recall TG trying to takeover CART and stomping off when rebuffed.

Regardless, all of what I mentioned came before the announcement of the IRL - which came more than two years after these constant screeds on ESPN and in some racing publications, which is my relevant point.

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#480 Jim Thurman

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 19:02

quote:Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
What amuses me so much about the various versions of the Jeff Gordon CART stories is the supposed indignation that he was expected to bring a sponsor or money for his first season(s).

Originally posted by McGuire

The story can be framed any number of ways depending on if the teller is pro/anti CART, IRL, NASCAR, etc. Zzzzzz. But beyond all that, the undisputable truth here is there was more opportunity for Gordon in NASCAR than in open wheel. And this was in 1991-92.

You guys have actually heard various versions? Now, that I am interested in, please pass them along. I have only read/heard one side, and one side only.

Another point. If the incident widely purported truly did happen to Jeff and his stepdad, and was such an outrage, how come it was not more widely reported at the time and a bigger deal made of it by the same people who recycled it ad naseum later? (EDIT: wow, was that enough of a run on sentence? :) )

While it's true that a story can be framed many ways, whether it actually happened or not is down to truth or fiction.

And I can guarantee several things that have come from that camp are pure bullshit.

#481 Keir

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 19:30

Here's something.

Drop ticket prices. Not alot, just a little.

Increase the show. Vintage classes on Saturday. My pals "downunder" tell me their vintage meetings have multiple races each weekend. Ken Smith, who is 67 years young, still races and wins in the F5000 class. The cars are brilliantly turned out, some look better than they did when they were new ! For my part, I'd drive quite a way just to see or drive in a vintage Vee race !! Any other takers ???

Have a real "junior class" with IRL pro support going to the higest placed American. Now, some of you will say, "Sorry, we already tried that." It needs to be tried again and again. Somewhere out there there must be another Scott Speed or Speed Racer or Racer X - somewhere !!!

..... and market the series properly. If I were the owner of VERSUS, I would buying every inch and second of air and print just to tell everyone that I HAD INDYCAR - and that you need to suscribe - NOW !!

When you yell loud enough, even the deaf start to listen !

#482 qwazy

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 20:47

What I'd like to see is a bridge built between the dirt trackers Robin Miller always talks about and Indycars.

Right now, no roads lead to an Indycar seat. And by that I mean, for example, success in Indy Lights doesn't equate to success (or even an opportunity) in Indycars.

While that may be down to funding, there wasn't seem to be any sort of translation from Lights to the big leagues, as far as car performance and feel. What you learn racing Lights doesn't come in handy at the next level.

And going back even further, what you learn dirt tracking on weekends doesn't translate AT ALL to rear-engine Indy Lights -- let alone Indycars.

There has to be a meeting of the minds, on all levels, to sort out how to get everything and everyone on the same page, as far as a drivers progression and a teams progression is concerned. One thing that should be a result of a spec series is the accessibility and affordability. Therefore, more teams should be able to make a jump from Lights to ICS. But the formula just doesn't seem to allow that, and it's unfortunate.

#483 McGuire

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 11:47

Originally posted by Jim Thurman

You guys have actually heard various versions? Now, that I am interested in, please pass them along. I have only read/heard one side, and one side only.

Another point. If the incident widely purported truly did happen to Jeff and his stepdad, and was such an outrage, how come it was not more widely reported at the time and a bigger deal made of it by the same people who recycled it ad naseum later? (EDIT: wow, was that enough of a run on sentence? :) )

While it's true that a story can be framed many ways, whether it actually happened or not is down to truth or fiction.

And I can guarantee several things that have come from that camp are pure bullshit.


The stories are just that, stories. The bottom line is Gordon found opportunity in NASCAR but not in OW.

People like to project overt intent onto these things, but the fact is that in CART circa 1991 there were no persons or mechanisms charged with drawing the Gordons and Stewarts into the series. Or with keeping them out for that matter. That is not what CART did. CART did not have any long-term or big-picture objectives for its driver lineups. Even as it came to an end in its final iteration as Champ Car, the series was still struggling to define itself in these areas.

And even with a solid and dedicated plan, there is only so much a series can do to influence driver lineups, as witnessed by NASCAR's diversity program or the IRL's efforts to attract and keep American drivers. And really, it's a good thing that drivers can race wherever they want. We want total free agency for drivers, right?

#484 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 17:19

Hey, here's an idea.
Let's sell indy racing by putting Danica naked in a shower with a German babe!

Coming soon, I sht thee not...

:rolleyes:

#485 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 17:20

Originally posted by McGuire


The stories are just that, stories. The bottom line is Gordon found opportunity in NASCAR but not in OW.


true, but unfotunately that turn of events caused some to have visions...

#486 Keir

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 17:40

Hey here's an idea ! nah, too easy !!

#487 Jim Thurman

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 18:32

quote:Originally posted by McGuire
The stories are just that, stories. The bottom line is Gordon found opportunity in NASCAR but not in OW.

Originally posted by whitewaterMkII
true, but unfotunately that turn of events caused some to have visions...

Exactly whitewater, and that's the point...that these "stories" were propagandized, used as a rallying cry and cited as reason for change and used to demonize CART and appear to have undue influence on everything that came after them...

And they were nothing more than "stories"!!!?

And then Tony Stewart came along and this sort of thing went to 11 (i.e. all the comments about "they lost Jeff, they can't lose Tony").

So, what would the motivation be for doing this? Particularly if Jeff already had a future lined up in NASCAR? (and without getting into the hows of that). Why trash CART? Why go on a campaign that comes off like nothing but vengeful?...especially if it's based on "stories"?

Ask yourselves...why?

#488 Jim Thurman

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 18:35

Originally posted by McGuire
The stories are just that, stories. The bottom line is Gordon found opportunity in NASCAR but not in OW.

Before or after ESPN paid his way for Buck Baker's Stock Car driving school?;)

#489 Buford

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 03:28

Many younger fans who were not around in the 1950s through 1980s and before that do not really understand the role the sanctioning body traditionally took. It was not about promoting the series to any great degree and it was not their role to have visionary five or 10 or 30 year plans looking ahead to enhancing the future of the sport for future generations.

Sanctioning bodies came into being because the racers simply couldn't trust the promoters to pay them the fair and proper amount they were due and often before the race was even over the promoter was long gone out of town with all of the gate money. Sanctioning bodies like AAA, IMSA, USAC and eventually CART had the primary function of scheduling, rules writing and interpretation, staging the races, purse and point fund distribution, safety, and eventually television schedules. But they were never about visionary planning for the future. Sanctioning bodies were pretty much involved in the here and now and at the most next year.

When younger fans criticize CART, and when those who have an agenda to apologize or smokescreen for the disaster of the IRL, for not seeing that Jeff Gordon was in one of the cars simply don't understand or want you to know that sanctioning bodies didn't do stuff like that. Promotion was the job of the promoters and the sanctioning bodies never did much about getting butts into the seats beyond strong-arming a couple of drivers to go to the next town a couple days early and do some press. Sanctioning bodies did not tell car owners who to drive their cars. So when somebody says CART let Jeff Gordon get away and should have known he was this potential hero and savior of the sport, they are saying something that had never been done by a sanctioning body before should have been done in that special case and everybody should have known something they never knew before that this kid was the one and should get a special boost or some damn crap whatever it is you're trying to claim.

If there is any criticism due it isn't CART the sanctioning body organization who deserves it, it would be the actual car owners themselves. But you may not realize or don't want others to understand depending on your position or agenda, that CART owners had already tried some of the top sprint car drivers in their cars including Jan Opperman and Sammy Swindell in their primes and they simply were not as good as the funny named South Americans and Europeans. They weren't as good do you understand??? None of the car owners were looking to the future of the sport years up the road and thinking this American is our savior and I should put him in my car now even though he isn't as accomplished as this other guy who can win for me now, because they didn't think they needed to be saved. IndyCar racing was at an all-time high of popularity in the early 1990s in every conceivable category. What was Jeff Gordon going to save them from unprecedented success?

He simply did not have the resume that impressed them in light of previous drivers of considerable skill in the things he had done who could not make the transition to Indy cars. Beyond that was still very young at a time when youth was not valued like it is today and let's face it he had a really goofy little mustache.

You can rewrite history all you want but you are wrong if you are trying to say CART should have done something to get Jeff Gordon in a car because of his sterling record he brought to them at the time he thought he was ready. How did they know? Why not Tyce Carlson, Dan Driden… why not me!!! Why not you, why not all kinds of drivers from all kinds of different racing series. How many other Jeff Gordons did they miss? We will never know because they picked who they picked and many of them were damn fine drivers too don't forget. Jeff Gordon was no more worthy at that particular time than 100 other drivers in America who didn't get CART rides either. There was only about 20 paid seats don't forget.

CART the sanctioning body was not engaged in a conspiracy and in fact were not involved at all. If you want to blame somebody blame Roger Penske. He didn't hire him either you know. He was happy with who he had and so were all of the other owners.

#490 McGuire

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 11:08

Originally posted by Buford
Sanctioning bodies came into being because the racers simply couldn't trust the promoters to pay them the fair and proper amount they were due and often before the race was even over the promoter was long gone out of town with all of the gate money.


Sanctioning bodies were created for the benefit of the track owners and promoters. That's who created them. The resulting stability and continuity was also of benefit to the racers, but that was strictly a byproduct.

As an association of racers that was also a sanctioning body, CART was a historical anomaly. That had never happened before and it is unlikely to happen again.


Sanctioning bodies like AAA, IMSA, USAC and eventually CART had the primary function of scheduling, rules writing and interpretation, staging the races, purse and point fund distribution, safety, and eventually television schedules. But they were never about visionary planning for the future. Sanctioning bodies were pretty much involved in the here and now and at the most next year.


That is in part how NASCAR ate their lunch: by planning and building three, five, and ten years down the road.

#491 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 11:21

I think NASCAR's cleverest move, in it's simplicity, is making everyone refer to it as 'our sport' in their interviews. It showed they weren't petty crime comitting rock apes like other people in American sports, respected their fans, and it had the oh-my-thats-convenient benefit of hypnotising people that there wasn't any other form of racing.

I'm always disappointed when the drivers do it because I know they all love all racing equally, and it feels like a betrayal.

#492 McGuire

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 11:23

Originally posted by Jim Thurman

Before or after ESPN paid his way for Buck Baker's Stock Car driving school?;)


Meh. ESPN conspiracy stories are like CART conspiracy stories. If Gordon could be swayed to NASCAR instead of CART by sending him to Buck Baker's school, what does that tell us about the relative states of the two series?

To me this whole Jeff Gordon thing is a red herring. The problem was not Jeff Gordon going to NASCAR; he is one driver. The problem was a shortage of American drivers in CART, and beyond that a shortage of marketable drivers. That is still the issue today.

#493 Buford

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 13:09

Originally posted by McGuire


That is in part how NASCAR ate their lunch: by planning and building three, five, and ten years down the road.


While I don't disagree in total I think many people these days give NASCAR way too much credit for having had a vision they really didn't have on how to become popular. I recall and still have on tape somewhere a panel discussion on "Inside Nascar" around 1990 or a little after led by Ned Jarrett where numerous people in NASCAR were basically saying not a single one of them had anticipated the then surging popularity of NASCAR. They were saying this had happened on its own without any planning on their part. They cited the non stop ESPN coverage in the 1980s at a time ESPN didn't have much content as having gotted the drivers known to the public. And most of them were attributing a lot of it to the Tide Sponsorship and the fact that NASCAR had started to attract women fans. The fact that they had doubled their fan base was primarily being attributed to the fact that women had joined the audience in ever-increasing numbers. Not because they were being dragged there by men, but because they actually enjoyed it and understood what they were seeing and they were talking about efforts to keep that trend going.

So what I'm saying at the time it was happening the people in the upper echelon of the sport were not claiming they were all that brilliant in their marketing strategies and in fact they were claiming it had happened all on its own without any particular clever marketing strategy or anything they had done. And this was before the split in open wheel racing so that had nothing to do with it.

That said however NASCAR going back to the 1950s was always far more interested in putting on a show than putting on a pure race and spectator entertainment was a far higher priority for NASCAR than it ever was in open wheel racing which was expected to attract attendance based on the fact it was the best, the top level in public perception and had been for 50 years.

In the mid 1950s Bill France used to call up my dad in Chicago every year and try to use every form of economic persuasion to get him to bring his racing team down to the south to play the role of Yankee villains. He needed someone for his redneck fans to hate and boo and be the bad guys and he was willing to pay first and 2nd Place money to our cars at every race entered regardless of finishing position as well as pay for all the damage the good old boys laid on our Yankee butts for the thrills of the crowds and when that was turned down additional bags of gold beyond even that was offered. He made this offer multiple years in a row and my dad turned him down every time and so did others who raced against us. Tom Pistone went and Bob Pronger made a race or two but nobody ran the whole season and was billed as the invading yankee team like France envisioned doing to create controversy and resultant attendance.

Although it was all friendly business discussion France never offered to fix the races or anything. It was expected that we would be competitive but lose more than we won and if we didn't they would make sure of it because our role was to be the black hats. Why did we turn it down. Because frankly the South was a hellhole in the 1950s and my dad and driver did not want to move there and they were making a very good living racing stock cars around the Midwest and primarily Chicago which had multiple tracks at the time and they both had real jobs too and young families to raise. So despite how well paid it may have been they had no interest in becoming a part of a NASCAR charade soap opera and live in an alien culture.

My point is even back to the beginning of NASCAR the management was focused on putting on a good show to please the spectators. AAA, USAC, and CART never had anywhere near the same commitment to be entertainment because they were committed to being real unadulterated racing without manipulated results. While they weren't totally opposed to people showing up and watching they certainly weren't going much out of their way to assure it. Those sanctioning bodies were all about running the races, not being promoters and not looking up the road thinking maybe we should get more of this kind of driver or that kind of driver to please the fans. Because that's the way it always was done.

But it's true that NASCAR always had far more of a promotional aspect which originally worked quite well in the South and then they expanded that fan friendly approach nationwide. But to say their success was craftily manipulated Svengali like from NASCAR headquarters with a step-by-step point by point plan is a fallacy. They were just as surprised around 1990 as the rest of us how successful they had become and at the time were grasping at straws to try to figure out why.

#494 wewantourdarbyback

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 13:26

Mike ConwayFormer British Formula 3 champion Mike Conway will compete in the IndyCar Series in 2009 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.

The 25-year-old rookie had his first taste of an IndyCar Series machine during a test with Panther Racing last summer at the Infineon Raceway. Although no official times were available, Conway was recognised as the fastest man at the test.

He has spent his whole career to date in European single-seater racing, having won the British F3 title and Macau Grand Prix with Raikkonen Robertson Racing in 2006.

Conway subsequently spent two seasons racing in GP2, winning at Monaco last year, while also testing for the Honda Formula One team.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to race in the US with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the IndyCar Series," Conway said. "I'll be visiting a lot of new tracks for the first time, especially oval tracks, but I'm very much looking forward to the challenge."

The Briton will drive for Dreyer & Reinbold for the first time in a private rookie test before the IndyCar Series open-test at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on 25-26 February. These tests will be his first laps on an oval.

Team co-owner Dennis Reinbold believes that Conway, who is managed by former Champ Car race winner and F1 driver Mark Blundell's 2MB Sports Management company, can take his squad forward.

"We're excited to get the things rolling in getting ready for the 2009 season," Reinbold said. "We've made a lot of improvements in the off-season, and combined with Mike's talent, we're excited to see lots of positive results in this year's IndyCar Series events."

Dreyer & Reinbold are planning to field a second car, and autosport.com understands that their 2008 driver Milka Duno is a strong contender for this seat, but that her teammates last year Buddy Rice and Townsend Bell are unlikely to stay with the outfit.


form Autosport

#495 B Squared

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 13:44

I know it's down to the $$$, but to see Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice (does anyone besides me remember the drive he put in to win that day?) out of a seat & Milka Duno in the same team, surely is a true sign of the impending apocalypse. :wave: I'm anxious to see how Mike Conway does.

Brian

#496 McGuire

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 15:56

Originally posted by Buford


While I don't disagree in total I think many people these days give NASCAR way too much credit for having had a vision they really didn't have on how to become popular.


Oh, I agree. Whether NASCAR stumbled onto its formula through trial and error or simple blind luck, once they found it they put their heads down and bulled straight forward regardless, staying totally on mission, letting no obstacles steer them off course and never listening to outsiders, especially critics. This has been the organization's greatest strength and its greatest weakness.

#497 Slyder

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 16:10

Originally posted by B Squared
I know it's down to the $$$, but to see Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice (does anyone besides me remember the drive he put in to win that day?) out of a seat & Milka Duno in the same team, surely is a true sign of the impending apocalypse. :wave: I'm anxious to see how Mike Conway does.

Brian


If Milka Duno gets the seat over Buddy Rice, it'll be another pathetic decision in a series full of more pathetic decisions than right decisions.

Other than that, complete surprise to see Mike Conway over here in the IRL. The guy is talented for sure, and he needed a better team than Trident or Super Nova to excell in GP2, so we'll see how he does. Definitely wish him well.

#498 Keir

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 16:31

Revisionist history followed by Milka Duno !! Too bad this thread isn't the Stock Market, I'd be a millionaire.

#499 aportinga

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 16:42

Why do you continue to post in this thread? You've done nothing but ridicule post after post. It's quite obvious that you're in the minority here so why not just move on?

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#500 McGuire

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 16:46

Originally posted by Slyder


If Milka Duno gets the seat over Buddy Rice, it'll be another pathetic decision in a series full of more pathetic decisions than right decisions.


You think the series has any say in that decision? :confused:

Citgo is backing Milka, not Buddy. There is nothing the series can do about that except perhaps to park Milka, which is not going to help Buddy. If Dreyer-Reinbold had funding to run Buddy I am sure it would. We can bet that it has already been pointed out to Citgo that Buddy would do better in the car than Milka. (Who wouldn't?) However, Buddy is neither Venezuelan nor sporting an enormous rack, so there you are. If we are going to blame anything, perhaps it is Venezuelan nationalism and/or the latin obsession with breasts.