IRL moves to improve racing

June 29, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
darioIndy Racing League officials were probably not too pleased to hear Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Dario Franchitti telling a national television audience how “dreadful” and “awful” Saturday night’s race at Richmond was.

But he has been heard. League officials are considering changes that could make oval racing more compelling and competitive this season.

“I really apologize to the fans because that was a dreadful race … We have to do something,” Franchitti told Versus commentators immediately after the race, in which he placed second.

IRL officials acknowledged the lack of passing in the race. Graham Rahal said he passed only two cars while finishing third. IRL officials said they have no plans to muzzle drivers.

“The drivers are free to speak their minds,” said IRL spokesman John Griffin. “The only time we’ll try to stop the drivers from talking is if they’re outright wrong.”

This is not one of those times. Saturday’s race was a bit of procession, with the pit stops providing the most excitement. Debris from tires on cars in a previous race caused the IRL cars some problems. IRL officials said the race also showed the league’s parity. Some of that is due to a chassis and engine formula that is several years old, which means everyone has equal equipment.

“We’ve spoiled some people I think, because we’ve had some of the most dramatic racing the last three or four years,” Griffin said.

IRL officials will meet tomorrow with officials from Richmond International Raceway to discuss plans for next year. Griffin said this is a pre-arranged meeting, and he expects the series to return to Richmond next year.

Brian Barnhart, IRL president of competition and racing operations, has already met with several team officials over the weekend and this morning to discuss on-track issues, Griffin said, adding that Barnhart is considering “a couple things” to improve the racing—especially on ovals.

Griffin said IRL fans could see some changes as early as Kentucky—the series’ next oval race—Aug. 1.

To follow The Score on Twitter:
  • Begin the IRL bashing in 3...2...1...
  • Sorry, but Franchitti beat already beat everybody to the punch.
  • Really shouldn't be much for them to bash. The IRL has been pretty straight forward here, more so than any other racing series or sport for that matter. Do you see Bernie or France saying that their racing may not have been the most exciting because of X? Do you see the NBA admitting that they are not as exciting as they were because it is becoming thug ball or whatever? Do you see the NFL admitting that parity in the sport has watered down the product? No. Heck, most would have fined or at least had a stern talk with their player, owners or coaches if they stated the kind of thing the IRL is allowing. Ask NBA and NFL players how much they have lost in fines for criticizing the league or officials.

    The IRL has arguably had the most competitive racing of any league over the last decade. The closest finishes, the tightest racing, some of the best passing and the tightest points races. Both F1 and NASCAR have changed rules and ginned up the action to try to get similar results. Ask NASCAR why they have the race for the chase.

    As long as the IRL does not go to gimmicks like push to pass, I am good with them trying to fix the problem short term so they can keep the racing interesting. And long term, new chassis and engine specs will handle it long term. Especially if they can get additional manufacturers involved.

    It will be interesting to see what they decide to do. But give them credit for recognizing the problem, admitting to it and trying to correct it without killing the messenger.
  • This year's IRL season has been a woeful collection of identical bathtub racers stretched out in a 200mph conga line. No passing, no drama, no reason to watch - even if you can find Versus TV. Someone best tell Tony George his race series presently has a sports interest rating right below late night poker TV.
  • SPIN CYCLE! :lol:
  • It doesn't matter what technical changes Barnhart and the boys make. 2009 is the Lost Season. Unless Danica wins another race (or slaps someone), there is not a headline to be had.

    The sport is in the first year of a three-year death slide. They'll make it to the 2011 Indy 500 and then die all Champ Car-like.
  • Why does this Griffin fellow suggest that we are
  • Why does this Griffin fellow suggest that we are spoiled by exciting races? What a goofy comment. Of course we like exciting races. I guess Honda will be allowed to increase the rev limit an extra 200 rpm to achieve an extra 5 (five) horsepower. That'll solve the problem.
  • The IRL and it's clabber king have destroyed American open wheel racing to the point of no return. I think we are seeing the begining of the end for our once beloved sport.
  • I'm so excited!........I found a lawnmower race this weekend. Should be some good passing there. Can't wait!
  • I take back my comment, the IRL/TG haters will reach for anything to attack the series with. Truly sad.
  • The IRL chassis spec is a piece of crap.

    First, it was crap when it took Kenny Brack and one week later Tony Renna through fences and into the spectator areas at Texas and Indianapolis.

    Second, today it's still a piece of crap with wings and fins stuck on all over it to keep it from going into the stands.

    YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. Either you artifically race three-wide or you maim someone. The IRL is SO stigmatized for it's past and now it's future, is it any wonder these final generation CART/CCWS rejects (that race in the IRL now) want to be anywhere near architypical IRL spec side-by-side BS racing? Adding a 5hp boost button won’t make a bit of difference, that dog just won’t hunt.

    The key objective (other than complete control of AOW racing under the IMS umbrella) was to have ONE leader who could be “NIMBLE” and react to change. The IRL and TONY GEORGE have failed AOW fans for several years based simply on the above premise alone, as the IRL chassis spec will continue to be a piece of crap. Don’t think for one second that sponsors, fans and the above mentioned drivers haven’t known that for the past 15 years either.
  • Pretty damn race car, though. You have to admit that.
  • The IR2 Dallara looks like a turd with wheels
  • Oh come on AAARRRGGGHH!

    With all of its appendages, flaps, vanes, plates, and winglets and thingamabobs riveted, tacked, stapled, taped, and glued on to keep Barnhart happy and the procession of the column of files precise, it looks more like a snazzy farm-implement than a turd.

    Fitting it runs on corn.
  • That's not corn in the tank. Brazil makes its ethanol from sugar cane.
  • berwick, you should have been at Salem Saturday night
  • Don't miss this at Winchester

    Thursday July 2
    Thursday Night Thunder Rich Vogler Classic & Fireworks
    USAC Sprint Car 40
  • Iowa was corn was just brokered by the Brazilians that way to keep folks in IOWA happy. Wait until the Brazilian ethanol imports start.

    Iowa oval gets dumped....count on it due to a Brazilian street race / sponsor pressure (mOnTEgi is HONDA's home race in Japan...Mid-O is home here). I can see VISIONs clearly now.....keep buying yer 500 you fools and supporting Tony George. He's a fraud and has RUINED the sport.
  • Actuallu Thundermutt is right. I forgot about that. The IRL switched. They couldn't even keep that in the USA. It is Brazilian sugar cane. He's right.

    Incidentally, the proposed new aero changes Barnhart has are interesting.

    1 - Raise the air induction box 4.5 inches and add a horizontal stabilizer across the top of the air induction box, two feet in length with three-inch high end plates.

    2 - The end plates on the lower rear wing will be lengthened three inches. That’s right, I said “lower rear wing.”

    3 - The new “upper” rear wing will feature triangular endplates with the apex on the triangle facing forward. It will be six inches shorter than the “lower” rear wing and feature an octoganal attachment for the rear wing in-car camera.

    The front wing will not be changed, but a cross-over wicker bill will be added to the nose and raised two inches off the car for the purposes of appearance.

    Barnhart says the new changes should increase stability on pit entrance and exit where all of our passing is done.
  • here is a godd article to read
  • Like Jan never 'reached for anything' in his war of words
  • This is grate - one of my replies to the ratings thread works equally well here:

    It’s funny to hear/read people talking about ‘fixing’ the ‘league’. It won’t happen, ever. Changing the spec won’t help, replacing Lord Anton the Stupid at this point won’t help, nothing will.

    The ‘league’ is a plague, a scourge. The only thing that will improve it in any manner is for it to cease in permanence.

    Until then, it will be mocked, derided, and ridiculed for the farce and fraud that it is.

  • Stan,

    Why do you always put the stupid smiley face at the end of your posts? It's as if you are saying, just kidding.
  • The league shall be placed in stocks in the market square for an undetermined period. Townspeople shall be invited to view and mock at their pleasure. Thereafter, the league shall be sent to the parade grounds, qaurtered, tarred, feathered, and separated by two horseman of skill to the delight of the onlookers and the pelasurte of the Queen. A gathering shall be held henceforth and forever that day forward recanted in song.

    I am Indy. I am Indy.

    There will be general merriment and frolic.
  • Another IRL myth is that they have reduced the cost of racing. How so? Last year alone they racked up approximately $13 million in car damage. Participation in the IRL is far more expensive than CART. If the IRL was as cheap as the mythology suggested, then what happened to Jonathan Byrd, Fred Treadway, and Ron Hemelgarn? Even millionaire John Menard was unable to continue with his own separate team in this mythological low-cost series. Almost every accident results in expensive car destruction against hard concrete walls, the SAFER Barrier included.
  • The myth of the IRL business plan - While we have not been privy to the IRL Business Plan, common sense tells you that racing Open Wheel cars on concrete walled ovals is absolutely absurd. Not only are we seeing an unconscionable number of serious bone breaking injuries, but the series produced approximately $13 million of damaged cars in one year (2003). We don't care if the IRL has a gold plated business plan, because no amount of blind vision or business plan will save this ill-conceived series.

    Without the massive continued infusion of the Hulman George family coffers and the support of Honda and Toyota, the IRL's continued existence is highly suspect. The IRL has been in business for 8 years now and has lost money every single year. Whether you know it or not, we know that Tony George has paid every single purse for those 8 years. This is voodoo economics at its best. Any company losing money for 8 straight years would be bankrupt by now. When Honda and Toyota pull out for the greener pastures of NASCAR, the IRL will go into the trash bin of history. Some business plan, huh?
  • Uhhhhhh, Mr. Truth, I believe Toyota left several years ago, but then you knew that. So why in the name of sense did you say what you did?

    SSD-great article on the good years of racing with the legends. Many thanks for posting it!
  • that was written 6 years ago
  • That's right, NASCAR created the Chase and F-1 changed rules to keep up with the EARL. :) That's the funniest thing I have ever heard. Jesus H. Christ some of you people need to get a clue.
  • Presser at IMS on Tuesday. Hopefully _TG falls on the sword, with or without a push
  • They are going to TALK about fixin' the LEEeege. Speaking of TALK, Where in the World is Fred Nation in all of this? Has Fred finally gotten Fred Up? :lol:

    All this crapple written about IRL/TonyCar is TRUE now and was TRUE then. This mess was started at the top, and that's where the blame lies. Sounds like the Teams, Sisters, Fans, and now even FRED understand this. Yep, even with all of old man Treadway's money, Ricky Bobby started up Lake Trash instead of stickin with the LEEeege.

    Sad? Yes. Absurd? Absolutely! Predictable with Tony in charge? You better F'in believe it is.

    The IRL: A LEEeege so ugly, not even your sister will love it. :lol:
  • The IRL costs more now then ever before. It is COMPLETE myth this series is cheap to run. A TOTAL fabrication. I should know. I have written the checks. I stopped when the figure surpassed a pre-established mark I anticipated I would reach in three full seasons (factoring in a modest sponsorship). It took me less than two seasons to reach that mark.

    Consider that in 1998 we ran the entire season and turned a profit. Yes, a profit. Modest, yes. But Christmas money bonus checks were mailed out. We broke even in '99, '00, profitted again in '01 and '02. In 1996 and 1997 we lost a small amount of money. Nothing like '03 forward.

    This league has done nothing but burn through money with no ROI for six years, easy.
  • Yep, even with all of old man Treadway’s money, Ricky Bobby started up Lake Trash instead of stickin with the LEEeege.

    Now that's funny, I don't care who you are.
  • A TOTAL fabrication. I should know.

    Total Fabrication was the name of one of the sham companies Larry Curry sent Menards checks to. :lol:
  • have ya'll ever even SEENED ?

    Antne Shuttle outta do a StorE on the guy. he's nearly FAMOUS!


    the IRL: Not even Ricky Bobby wants a piece of it.
  • All I can about Rickey Treadway was he bent some of our equipment by getting in the way.
  • Brett,
    Then why did NASCAR create The Chase? It was because the IRL had very close points races that just about every year went down to the last race. Most NASCAR seasons were decided with 5 to 10 races left. One year the leader. JOhnson I think, had to just park a car on the starting grid to the last couple of races to win the Cup. NASCAR knew they had to create some artificial equalizer. Just facts, don't hate me for pointing it out.

    Dahooey, you are so brave, now you are calling out the moderator on his own site. Get a clue. You do not have to make fun of people to make your point. Well I guess it distracts people from your point since it is pretty much the same hate spewed over and over again.
  • HAHahahaha this is grate. THEre aint nothin to fix. THis is the INdyCars. WAht more do you want? IT was a good race. I was drunkerd up have way through. THAts a darned good race for me. YOU laugh all you want. CARt never woud run this race. NEver. WAht more needs to be fixed? THese are INdyCArs. THey race at INdy. TOney done fixed it years ago.
  • I-man: You need to bring a better game, cause when I call someone out, you will certainly know about it. :lol: Anthony is cool, and if you had any sense of that yoursef, you would understand the context, BRO.

    I do feel that he could have some fun with Ricky. Did you know he was on Peoples Court about some woman suing him cause he lent her $$ for her new boobies but she never paid him back? :D True storie BRO!
  • why did NASCAR create “The Chase”? It was because the IRL had very close points races that just about every year went down to the last race.


    Complete fiction. Laughable idiocy.
  • The IRL races are great for my narcolepsy, better than ambien. I put on the race when I want to take a nap and PRESTO snooozin' in no time.
  • It is a folly not achieved since, well, since the IRL was created in the first place.
  • sheeesh indyman, and people thought Michael Jackson lived in a fantasy world
  • To make the racing better tthe IRL needs to run the Indy 500 wings on all ovals and tell honda to give the cars 1000 extra revs at ALL venues, that should liven things up!
  • HOW much you wanna bet Brainfart comes up with some coc-a-maimy idea like double-file restarts? The worst IRL insult was written today:

    There may be some reading this who think I’m exaggerating to describe Richmond’s event as the worst oval race I have ever seen. But yes, it was even worse than Champ Cars at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

    Heal the away woith the IRL brand and get rid of TOny GeOrGE. The sport will magically return to it's lofty heights that were enjoyed BEFORE Tony goofed it up.
  • what is the worst thing that could happen to TOney GEorge the weekend before an IMS BOD meeting?
    Some fool decides to hold an indycar race....bwaahahahahaha

    Sports Business Daily

    IMS Corp. BOD may decide future of IRL's Tony George
  • Humpy Wheeler would be good for the Indy this from his Wikieapaedia:

    After becoming the president of Charlotte (now Lowe's) Motor Speedway, Wheeler earned the reputation for organizing publicity stunts. A few weeks after driver Cale Yarborough gave the less-than-complimentary nickname 'Jaws' to rival driver Darrell Waltrip, Wheeler bought a giant dead shark, placed a dead chicken in the shark's mouth, and had it driven around the track on a flatbed truck before a race at Charlotte (Yarborough's sponsor at the time was Holly Farms Poultry).

    Just what AOW needs....more stunts. Hasn't the FAILURE of the IRL, and Tony George's leadership been enough of a stunt? ENOUGH ALREADY.
  • Uh-oh. looks like Tony's in trubble again.......

    There is still hope people.
  • Hey Davey:

    You missed this post from Sports Business Daily:

    Ron Furman, NFL's most senior sales exec, leaving for top sports sales post at Comcast.

    His duties will includes sports sales for your favorite channel - VERSUS.
  • Tony George resigned his position as chief executive officer of Hulman & Co. and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. today, but he will remain on the board of the family’s organization.

    I guess Miller was wrong after all
  • Tony George resigned his position as chief executive officer of Hulman & Co. and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. today, but he will remain on the board of the family’s organization.

    I guess Miller was wrong after all


    About 17 years too late. If they didn't realize what a lunatic he was and force him out in 1992, they deserve every bit of ongoing pain and misery that the legacy of his tenure will bring.

    Eff the entire lot of them. The Hulman-George crime family, all the paid enablers of effbag TG, all the teams that played along with the outright fraud that was 'the vizhun', and the very few, yet incredibly stupid, so-called fans that supported any of this garbage in any way.

    Just grate.
  • ALL this meens ia PEnsky and GOnadsi better wach out. THe Vision teem is gone to be a real jugglenut now. HE can focus on makin them the bestest team ever with Ed behined the wheel.

    HAhahahaha LAugh you CARt strret race loosers. JUst you imagne wear INDy racing would be today if it aint for TOney Gorge. BOggels the mined dont it?
  • cavein is reporting he resigned from the Indy Racing League as well. If true, there may be some hope someday. I guess iman's paycheck has been terminated also
  • Eff the entire lot of them. The Hulman-George crime family, all the paid enablers of effbag TG, all the teams that played along with the outright fraud that was ‘the vizhun’, and the very few, yet incredibly stupid, so-called fans that supported any of this garbage in any way.

    Preach on, brother!
  • The IRL: Not even TonEEy wants the job. :lol:


    *he resigned, didn;t he? :D
  • Even though that effer TG got the royal order of the boot today, his legacy lives on in his lackeys and yes men doin fixin', 'league' style. :lol:

    Someone will find grateness at Sparta.

    series officials approved a series of changes that combined are expected to add about 300 pounds of downforce to the cars.
    Tools include tire ramps, sidepod extensions and brake backing plates.
    Brian Barnhart, the IRL's director of competition, said the changes can be accomplished without additional cost to the teams.

    irl star article. I'd post the link, but that seems to make comments go into a black hole and never appear. :shrug:

    Yeah, that'll fix everything. Omfglol.
  • The IRL will cease to exist in 2011. Indy Car racing will cease to exist as well.

    The Indianapolis 500 Mile Race

    And so on, you see. Big time professional racing is a dying sport in this country.

    Amateur racing will continue.

    Indy Car racing has had its run.
  • Count,

    Stop being such a know-it-all d-bag. If you were so smart, you'd be in charge.

    As for the rest of you, I have been a denier of the reality of the situation for a long time. But, I don't and won't relish in the potential end of competetive open wheel racing. I know some of you will say it died several years ago. Fine, I see your point. We have still had some semblance of tradition left that someone needs to get their arms around for the good of the 500 and the city of Indianapolis. What a sad day it will be if it were no more.

    So stop your gloating and find something else to harp on. This is one tradition that should never have taken the hit it did, no matter whose fault (I know, I know).

    I understand that the people left leave a lot to be desired in your minds. They've made a horrendous mess of things under TG's watch. Can there be no hope? Can someone or someones be tapped to make the right decisions with the direction, the horrendous cars, etc, etc?

    It will be a sad day for life long fans it is no more.

    I'm out.........
  • BerwickGirl actually made a worthy post.

    And I don't want to be in charge. It takes you from the actual racing.

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.