Slow cars causing big concerns on Speedway's fast Friday

May 18, 2012
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It’s fast Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

So why are so many people talking about the slowest cars on the track?

That’s because the two cars powered by Lotus are so slow that many are saying they’re dangerous.

While Scott Dixon on Thursday was turning top speeds of 223 mph and Josef Newgarden and Graham Rahal were in hot pursuit at better than 222 mph, the Lotus cars were running at speeds not seen since before the split.

The car piloted by France’s Jean Alesi turned a fast lap of 207, while Switzerland’s Simona de Silvestro’s best lap was a blazing 205.

This has been a recurring situation for Lotus, which has trailed the field all season—its first in the IndyCar Series.

Earlier this week, Jay Penske’s team jumped ship, snatching Chevrolet engines for its drivers, English rookie Katherine Legge and France’s Sebastien Bourdais.

So how bad is the situation? When IBJ talked to IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard on Wednesday, he played it down.

“They told us they were six weeks behind, so we understand what’s going on,” Bernard said.

Six weeks behind?! Parnelli Jones could jump in a car with a stock block engine parked inside the IMS Hall of Fame Museum and beat these Lotus-powered chuck wagons to the checkered flag.

“I have had many conversations with Lotus in the last four days and they remain committed to competing in this series,” Bernard told IBJ. “I believe they’ll persevere this month. They’re taking aggressive steps to evaluate their program and I’m confident that Lotus will be in the series next year and in the future.”

Other team owners and drivers are more worried about the dangers and aren’t waiting until after the Indianapolis 500 to “evaluate” Lotus.

Dixon and the other fast drivers are expected to hit 225 mph today, and the talk at the track Thursday was that having Lotus cars circling the track on race day, May 27, at close to 20 mph slower than most of the rest of the field is simply too dangerous.

Despite safety improvements to the new chassis that debuted in races this season, the deadly crash at last year’s season finale in Las Vegas is still fresh in drivers’ and owners’ minds. The series can’t afford that type of spectacle on its biggest stage.

And don’t think drivers and owners have forgotten that Marco Andretti went airborne and almost flipped just last month at Long Beach when his car contacted the back of Graham Rahal’s ride. Cars will be going a lot faster at Indianapolis than at Long Beach. A lot faster. The concerns about the Lotus cars this month are real.

So on Thursday, there was a lot of chatter in the garage areas and along pit lane about some of the Honda and Chevy teams fielding an extra car or two to bump the Lotus cars out of the field. One owner, who requested not to be named, told IBJ Thursday that the performance of the Lotus cars was “disgusting.”

It’s unclear whether the biggest teams owned by Chip Ganassi, Roger Penske and Michael Andretti would have the resources or desire to enter another car, but Dale Coyne and A.J. Foyt are certainly interested in entering another car if they get their two primary cars safely in the race. Officials for Ed Carpenter’s team told IBJ Thursday that they, too, might field another car if all goes well.

The new chassis and engine formula—the first for the series since 2003—is drawing a lot of attention. But series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials have to hope that the hype continues for all the right reasons.

Bernard said he expects one of the most exciting Indianapolis 500s in a number of years. He isn't alone. Firestone's Al Speyer and other notable racing experts have said they are anticipating an eye-catching race this month. Part of the intrigue is the suspense over how the new car will perform in a large group on the series’ biggest stage.

“We haven’t seen this car on a super speedway so you kind of hold your breath,” Bernard said.

Let’s hope the breath holding is reserved for an exciting qualifications bump day and a race that features 33 competitive cars. And let’s hope the aerial displays are limited to the pre-race flyover.

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  • More non issue. This is nothing new. When The V-6 Buick engine was being developed, it was 15 mph slower than the rest of the field. They had to significantly increase boost to make it competitive. It then swept the 1-2 qualifying spots on 85 causing screams of protests from the other teams.

    You can go back through history and see this. this year it is exacerbated by the new equipment and new engine perfect storm. An issue Indycar wanted to defuse by not introducing both in the same season, but the teams wanted it that way.

    Lotus will limp through the first half of the season, but will get their act together. Whats more surprising is how well Chevy is doing right out of the box. Not that typical for an upstart to come in that strong.

    If Lotus cannot maintain a minimum speed, then they should not be allowed to qualify. End of discussion.
    • History
      Good points Indyman. Don't expect Schoettle or Cavin to remind us of history. They are both hacks.
    • What time is Pole Day on ABC TV?
      When does the Pole Day Coverage start on ABC?...I want to set my alarm clock so I can be awake for the first qwalifyer.

      Thanks, any help appreciated.
    • Chief,

      Are you still waiting for your personal apology before you go back out to the track? Check the mail, I am sure it should arrive at anytime.
    • Chevy is Ilmor
      Ilmor engines were the ones that built all the Honda's for the past 10 years aren't they? They are obviously differ engines (physically), but Ilmor has a lot of good people who have been working on these for awhile.
    • ABC
      What time is Pole Day airing on ABC, Indyman?

      I remember all the years of my youth watching qwaulifying on ABC. What time Indyman?
    • I remember in my youth the 500 was only shown in portions on Wide World of Sports.

      So did Tony send you the apology? Was it hand written?
    • HONDA is the SLOW car now!
      Reports from the speedway have Honda not even in the top 10 and .5 sec off the fast car friday, additional turbo boost day at the speedway.

      I also just heard ABC is NOT broadcasting the qualifying for the first time in many decades. How did this happen? Indyman, you seem to have NOTHING. Can you answer?

      Oh, and Indyman, the speedway had the chance to apologize....they chose not to....several years ago. Get over it. IF they got 10K fans through the gate this "Month" so far I'll apologize to them. Why? because I'm so sorry they messed it up all on their own. FIRE RANDY!
    • Tony is stumbling around the speedway
      with nary a soul to keep him company. How is his car wax business going? How did he make out with his garage sale?

      Actually, Buick was 1-2 in '95, the last Indy 500 of note.
    • Or maybe
      it was the 2000 500 when Juan Pablo and his grandmother spanked the field. Or it could have been the 2001 500 when the top IRl finisher was 7th
    • Ah, so much to correct, and so little time.

      Truth, if you actually read my post, I was discussing the fact that Buick was 15 mph off pace when it first debuted. And in 85 it was 1-2, its breakthrough year. Not sure how the 95 race is involved in the Lotus engine issue.

      Chief is wrong again, 2 of the Honda cars were in the top 10, including Dixon in 5th. Of course as any race fan knows, it is hard to get a good read on qualifying speeds since most runs are made in traffic. Since Chevy has been dominant in the first races, it is not surprising that they would be dominant at Indy. Honda got the competition they wanted, now it is time to step up.

      So how old is Chief if all of his youth he was watching live pole day on ABC? Considering the race was not broadcast live from start to finish until 1985, and Pole Day was not broadcast live until about that time, Chief if just a young buck. That would explain his slavish devotion to cart. That is all he knows. He doesn't remember the 60's and 70's and the legends and history of the track. That would explain the lack of his historical perspective and knowledge. We can't fault him for thinking that the 80's were the best time for Indy, that is all he knows.

      Maybe TG will apologize to you today, go ask him to sign a can of Clabber Girl and he may be willing to hook you up with an apology.
    • Fired. Twice
      TG doesn't have any cans of Clabber Girl, his mother fired him from Hulman and Co. too.
    • Chevy had as little to do
      with that engine as Iman and Tony had to do with making indycar racing popular
    • Mother goose is miffed
      because Tony stole all her eggs for his Nielsen ratings
    • Oh yeah, 1985
      Back when the track was open from the last week in April all through the month of May. Yeah, good thing someone showed up to fix that.
    • What a joke
      I see infomercials on ABC today. WHY did they not offer broadcast of qualifying on ABC?

      I thought they were improving coverage....this is more of that CONDENSING huh?

      Oh I see where Kanaan's car DQ'd, yet he uses a second attempt to make the fast gimmick race by bumping a sloweer car already in on first attempt. What a JOKE.

      Now I hear they are going to handicap the Lotus cars in an effort to get 33 cars....WHAT A JOKE. Indyman, Indy is a joke.
    • Go Away
      Chef

      There's a basketball game on ABC.

      Sorry there wasn't a rigged, no pass F-1
      event on to grab your attention.
    • Yep F1 is RIGGED
      5 races and 5 different winners, 4 manu's in the top 5 drivers standings. RIGGED I tell ya.
    • Maybe Tony & Iman
      can go over there and fix it. And lose 90% of the fanbase again, as well.
    • Real Truth
      F-1 is great, if you like hanging out with 25,000 of your closest wealthy friends, while Nazi-inspired boot-jacks handle security and keep the local riff-raff out.
    • The Truth is losing it. i didn't know eggs from Mother Goose were involved in the ratings. Does he really think the track was open in April? Sorry, track has never opened in April. Earliest opening of the track was first weekend in May.

      You have to cut Chief a break. Cart made him think their infomercial air time buys were real races. So he now has the belief that real sports that don't have to buy air time are infomercials as well. With ABC carrying the the NBA Playoffs, something had to give. Maybe now Chief can answer his own question.

      Again we need to cut Chief slack, anyone who only knew Indy through the cart glasses was bound to feel that cart was the only thing. Again, I feel bad that i have been slamming Chief for what turns out to be ignorance born of youth. We need to get him some sessions with Donald Davidson so he can realize there was an Indy before cart and there is one after cart.
    • There were more people
      at my graduation ceremony, thanks to iman and Tony's hardwork

      http://distilleryimage0.instagram.com/322893b2a1e411e19e4a12313813ffc0_7.jpg
    • iman just thinks
      he knows it all

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1985_Indianapolis_500#Race_schedule
    • goose eggs will always be involved
      in your racing league
    • Back in the CART Days
      this would have been the second weekend of qualifying with over 100,000 fans in the stands, and on broadcast TV with no goose eggs in the ratings
    • You would think as much as Truth claims to know about the track, he would know the difference between ROP and Opening Day at the track. Using his logic, we could count tire tests in the spring and fall has the track being open.

      And 5 years ago Daytona was a sellout. Your point? I wonder if Truth is a young pup like Chief and also basks in the glory days of cart because he knows of nothing else.
    • And yet
      there were more fans on Georgetown Road those days than IMS fans in the stands yesterday. You would think the league with the track and the one race would be vibrant and not a cadaver looking for its tomb. Chief and I know the past 16 years of suckage under the care the IMS brainrust.
    • Davidson knows the same as I
      Donald Davidson and I have a lot in common, the difference is I'm not on the $$$ dole of the speedway. Therefore, I can speak the truth about what his bosses impact was on the sport.

      This whistling past the graveyard tactic IMan is using is pathetic. here's facts....NO OVER THE AIR broadcast of qualifying or fill-the-field day. Best weather in 15 years for the 9 days of May and NO ONE SHOWED up. Gimmicks that try to keep peoples intereest, boost handicaps for Lotus, Fast Nine secondary pole day gimmick. Come on, it makes the heart bleed what has become of the "Most Important Race in the Universe". Bob Jenkins.....eeegads.

      I also think there is a design flaw in that chassis....lack of proper sidepods and exposed undertray showed the cockpit angled directly into wall during the bevy of wrecking that happened yesterday. Not good. Heads close to the wall in crashes are not good.
    • Come on Chief
      give iman a break. If he is at IMS, he is not whistling past the grave yard, he is whistling IN the graveyard. The graveyard of open wheel racing. You know they carry people out of there on stretchers.
    • Oh Chief and Truth, the cart apologists who have dreamed and tried to predict the end of Indycar. They have cheered at every setback and cried at every success. Thats why a series that has successfully introduced a new engine and body combination, two new engine manufacturers and welcomed several large and many small sponsors just totally ticks them off.

      While they sit and bemoan their lost cart, a series that they admit killed itself, I am enjoying watching this season.

      Even Robin Miller admits that the crowds at the 500 are getting larger and this years car should provide some of the most competitive racing.

      Chief and Truth can try to attack the series and predict its demise....we are coming up on the 10th anniversary of your first prediction?......but the series keeps moving along. Can't wait until Friday. I am expecting record crowds at Carb Day this year.
    • record crowd
      for an IRL carb day. Like a record tv number,,,,that would be soooo hard
    • I heard its gone to be a
      record low crowd and a record low TV audience.
    • Not really an upstart
      Well it's a new engine for everyone, but remember 95% of the old SA Honda V8's were designed and built/rebuilt by Ilmor Engineering. Honda decided to develop their own engine for this year while GM contracted Ilmor Engineering to develop their new motor. So really Honda and Lotus are the new competitors.
    • LOL
      Record crowd for Carb Day? To see washed up Leonard Skinner or to catch a glimpse of Special Ed before he moves on to Ferrari? Inquiring minds want to know.
    • Iman
      Indyman i wonder who you are at TF. Crispy, Doc? You like to act like a know it all like those two but just like them you really know nothing. I am not surprised since you are just a "place fan". Most of your type really know little outside of Speedway so to see your constant blathering over a dead race and series is fun from this end. Can't wait to see the no rating for this new abomination.
    • Ilmor contracted GM
      to pay for the development. It wasn't GM's idea. Sheesh, how some people try to rewrite the facts. The only input GM had was the font of the lettering on the valve covers.
    • Indiana Business People
      Seriously Iman....

      NONE of the factual information I have provided has anything to do with CART/CCWS. Only to do with Indycar TODAY. Just because you can handle the truth don't blame it on me or the legacy of CART.

      Ok, they put together the tremendous feat of slapping an updated Dallarra Chassis to a new engine...big deal. Indiana business people don't give a hoot aboout that garbage...

      They do care aboout the series' perception in the minds of the consumer...and I got a clue for you IMan, NO ONE IS CONSUMING IT.

      Facts are hard to digest, as are the other undesireable products in the sandwich the speedway is serving here in 2012.
    • Not To Derail, But...
      I have been told since about November of last year that the 2012 Indianapolis 500 would have fewer than 33 starters, just like every year since 1996.

      Oddly, those who cackle the loudest have a 100% track record. Of being wrong.

      2012 = Wrong again.

      Congratulations to the 33 starters.
    • Oddly
      Oddly traditions are being sacrificed at a rapid rate to satisfy the one goal: To stop the series from looking bad. You wouldnt want screw with potential value if a future sale takes place.


      Plus, everybody knows the physical plant itself it being sacrificed to provide for that.
    • 33 is just a number
      Some bump day, huh? Why were Loyd and Hamilton not allowed to run? Both say they had rides. It must be all part of the Vision. The good news is no traffic and plenty of room to stretch out. It would be nice if someone picked up some trash, there was so much trash in the Paddock Penthouse yesterday it looked like a Hulman George family reunion.
    • I am still laughing that Chief thinks he has presented factual information. Well that and the fact that he only knows indy from the 80's till today. Hims just a little guy. It is sad to see him denying his heritage by trying to pretend the whole cart/owrs/ccws thing never happened. He never rooted for KK and the informercials that that they called races? I guess sometimes you need to deny your past to try to justify where you are.
    • Iman's delusions
      Only relevant points you make IMan are your delusional denial that Indy 2012 sucks. CART/CCWS/OWRS/KK et al are meaningless EXCEPT that it was better than the crap the speedway is dishing out now, in every conceivable fashion.

      BUT, your ilk refuses to even acknowledge it in those simple terms.

      Face it dood, Indy 2012 is a shallow, pale comparison to ANY era of Indy. Indy 2012 is only slightly better than Indy 1945 but only a historian like Donald Davidson and myself would know why.
    • what has happened since 1996
      to cause the relatively youthful people who run the mainstream outlets to have no clue whatsoever about IndyCar. In 1996, the mainstream outlets had a clue. What happened since?
    • The IRL did manage another record
      it has tied the record for the fewest number of American drivers to ever take the green flag at mIndy. Good job iMan, Fred, John, Jim, and Jan
    • Off Mice and Men
      Ropin Randy's trying to milk this Lotus engine disaster for PR gain. It will be the only compelling story this week....apparently the LEeguE may allow a start and park. WOOT! IMan's rooting for Lotus to win!

      More Indy 500 history for Davidson and myself to keep and report on. While IMan is ok with it all, my opinion is that it sucks, and sheds a light on the speedway buffoonery of Lotus, qualification rules and the sacred traditions that are no more at the Indy 500.
    • As typical, the cart apologists continue to rant. This will last until they realize that this 500 will not be the last, then they will go back into their semi secclusion and cry about the fact they have not been apologized to. How many years have you been predicting the end of the 500? We are getting close to the number of years cart lasted without the 500.
      • What's not to like?
        Mindyman must have a Union job, there's no way he could be that dense and work anywhere but a Union shop. What's not to like? CART teams have won every 500* since 2000 and that won't change anytime soon. TG was fired, twice, and Barnhart was neutered. Turbos are in and crapwagons are gone. The original IRL* teams are history and the remaining ones are "combining resources" which is another name for life support. Spartucky, Kansas, Vegas (RIP Dan) are gone and were replaced with better venues. It's only a matter of time before all of the negative factors of the IRL* are gone and the ICS will be CART 2, it's almost there now without the big sponsors, attendance, ratings, multiple chassis makers and credibility but you can't fix 15 years of scorched earth overnight.
      • Lowest evah
        2009 = 4.3
        2010 = 4.1
        2011 = 4.3

        What will the TV rating be for the 500? 3.9? Only storylines all 9 dayz of Meh is that the Lotus engine stinks even with extra boost. There's been no advertising nor tie-ins with ABC as the IICS was relegated to NBC OCHO on the remote cable subscription outback tier. No Danica either.

        Tumbleweeds look better on track at Indy...
      • Now the cart apologists are dreaming of their cart 2. If that is the case, you guys should be estatic. Imagine their series is back with the owners fully in command. I mean cause look around, every series where the teams run the series has been successful. Lets see F1...no, run by a single owner. NASCAR....nope, run by a single owner. NHRA....nope, rung by a governing body. Cart/ccws/owrs.....run by the teams, and failed three times.

        I guess that is the biggest problem with the cart apologists. They do not understand why cart failed repeatedly, why having team owners run a series is a bad idea, so they are forced to want to repeat it. Chief admits Cart committed suicide, but yet longs for the days when cart ran open wheel. I guess he enjoys watching his series die over and over.
      • Asleep at the wheel
        If you think the ICS* isn't controlled by Penske and Ganassi then you are even more stupid than I thought. I didn't think that was possible. The teams that lead to the demise of CART are the teams that dominate the ICS*. But keep burying your head in the sand, it's good for you. The clock is ticking on Jabba the Foyt, Fisher, PantherDreyer and Special Ed Racing. Tick tock, tick tock. Where will the Vision be then? LMAO
      • Asleep at the wheel
        If you think the ICS* isn't controlled by Penske and Ganassi then you are even more stupid than I thought. I didn't think that was possible. The teams that lead to the demise of CART are the teams that dominate the ICS*. But keep burying your head in the sand, it's good for you. The clock is ticking on Jabba the Foyt, Fisher, PantherDreyer and Special Ed Racing. Tick tock, tick tock. Where will the Vision be then? LMAO
      • Panic Borne of Ignorance
        So, in your adult, mature rationale, is it your belief that because you think Penske and Ganassi are actually in charge that the current IndyCar Series is just as bound to fail?

        When will this occur? It has been sixteen years, and every May we hear the same chicken little hysteria, and yet here we are.

        When is this supposed doom supposed to occur? Any chance it will coincide with the Mayan calendar deal?
      • Who cares
        WHo cares if it dies...and why does there have to be some kind of 'Carnac the Magnificent' prediction that it might? So you bootlickers can get your jolly's when it stays alive?

        How dumb is THAT? You Indy lovers constantly ignore the condition the sport is in and remain content to let the idiots who got it in this condition STILL continue to run it into the ground. Even Disciple his own self knows the true condition of the sport and incessantly whines about it in his pitiful blog.

        When faced with facts you divert and dodge and NEVER hold the leadership responsible. How will change ever occur if someone won't get out of line and voice an opinion? The same way change occurs for forever in Indycar, something has to die, I suspect.

        You keep requesting the status quo and you will always have to accept less, for what? Nothing other than loyalty to the Speedway, I guess. That is the most ignorant position you and Iman have chosen....Rome burns as this new speedway management fumbles away everything. 5 years into the unification of the sport and it is floundering, BADLY.
      • Move Over, An Adult Has Arrived
        'Floundering' would seem to indicate the sport is not long for the world. Sixteen years seems like a long time to 'flounder.'

        When one looks objectively at the metrics that matter; e.g., sponsorship, attendance an ratings, all are up.

        Is this another of those silly hater deals where you hold the sport of today up against the sport of twenty years ago then try some cutesy, childlike comparison to validate your little straw man?

        Here's another question: What is the specific purpose of television ratings?

      • Stay on topic
        Please act like and adult and stay on topic, your attempts at deflection are like a cornered four year old child. Grow up. By they way, NBA ratings are still up.
      • Still No Answer To My Question
        Have any of the youthful Internet television empresarios compared the NBA percentage increase over last season with the IndyCar Series' percentage increase over the same time period?

        Also, could one of you please answer this question: What is the specific purpose of television ratings?
      • Stay on topic
        Last I checked you weren't the moderator, stay on topic or leave. For someone who comes here only to beat up on CART apologists you sure do pollute this forum. Interesting.

        The Brazil Indycar race was up this year, of course last year they had a monsoon and the race was only 15 laps. You're welcome.

        Maybe you should ask Andretti about the purpose of television ratings. It appears he knows the answer is not the ICS* and is starting a NASCAR team.

      • Brett chides people to act like an adult, but yet he calls people stupid? That sounds like my 5 year old grandson, but he gets a whipping for using that word. Adults do not go around tell people their opinions are stupid.

        I believe you haters are the ones who want it to die. It is you haters who have tried to pull of the fortune telling stuff. How many times have we seen you folks say IRL will end in 2005 or it is done in 2007 or the 100th anniversary is the last race, or it will not survive the loss of "the cars and stars", or Tony Stewart or Sam Hornish, or Danica or fill in the blank driver? You folks are the ones who can't stand that your series died and the other one survived. Again, Chief you are too young to know better, but there was a series before cart, there was an Indy 500 before cart. Indy was here long before cart with its "stars and cars" and it will be here long after. The IBJ predicts increases in attendance, tv and advertising this year. So do most of the sports marketing folks. Sorry guys, sounds like your predictions, and your hopes and prayers are wrong for another year. But hey, there is always next year.
      • See Bloviation In Action
        I am predicting under 4.0 TV ratings for the IRL 500 on Sunday. Why? The series has not promoted the race...not on ABC (because apparently the 7 year contract had in year two the total cessation of coverage of practice and qualifying on a major network), not on VersuS/MBC Sports or anywhere else. Super Bowl zip-lines and assorted hoopla did not and will not work. The Speedway also did not advertise during ANY major sporting events leading up to the 500.

        Now, watch the bloviation take place as paid speedway propagandists twist topic and meaning into childish taunting and pompous retorts aimed at discouraging ANY discussion that may put the Speedway/500/or series in a negative light....here goes!

      • Focus, Kids. Focus.
        Still no answer to my basic question:

        What is the specific purpose of television ratings?

      • Nothing left
        Hater is a term used by people who have been defeated and can't come up with any rational thought. Much like calling someone a racist or bigot because they don't agree with Barack Obama.

        If you had one ounce of reading comprehension you would recall I said what is there to hate? CART/CCWS teams and drivers dominate the ICS. TG was fired, twice. Barnhart is gone and Barfield, Phillips and Cotman are in. Turbos in, crapwagons out. Vison IRL* teams will soon be gone, a clear case of survival of the fittest. Kansas, Spartucky, and Vegas gone, Hopefully Iowa gone soon. Shorttracks are for stock cars.





        It's just too bad that 15 years of TG scorched earth caused the former greatest spectacle in racing to get lower TV ratings that the spring NASCAR race at Darlington but it's a work in progress.
      • They Are Firing In All Directions
        'Hater is a term used by people who have been defeated and can't come up with any rational thought.'

        Is it amusing to any other adult that this kid tries to define the word hater? Just look at its parroted obsessions:

        -A fixation with an era that ended years ago. 'cart/ccws teams?' It has been called IndyCar Series since IMS picked up the twice-failed assets.

        -Unoriginal thought. 'Tony George fired, twice.' Gee, that seem clever.

        -Scapegoats for their own shortcomings. 'Barnhart is gone and Barfield, Phillips and Cotman are in.' Actually, Barnhart is not gone. He is the boss of the three folks mentioned.

        -Equipment arrogance for no apparent reason. 'Turbos in, crapwagons out.' When someone uses a term like 'crapwagon' does it not imply the same ignorance and lack of maturity you perceive in someone who uses the word 'hater?'

        -Bold predictions that turn out to be wrong about 100% of the time. 'Vison IRL* teams will soon be gone, a clear case of survival of the fittest.' Which ones? When? Does this imply that a team like Newman-Haas is weak and could not survive because it was not fit enough?

        -Venue arrogance for no apparent reason. 'Kansas, Spartucky, and Vegas gone, Hopefully Iowa gone soon. Shorttracks are for stock cars.' Hmmm. Oddly, many of the cart/ccws heroes crave flat short tracks, Indy and other ovals as part of the mix. Perhaps Formula 1 would be more to your liking. They probably require their fans to at least be coherent, however.

        -Reliance on the Tony George crutch to childishly obfuscate what was actually one of the most ignorant boycotts in the history of sports, not to mention feeble attempts to position IndyCar as a failure by comparing 12+ overnights for it to NASCAR. 'It's just too bad that 15 years of TG scorched earth caused the former greatest spectacle in racing to get lower TV ratings that the spring NASCAR race at Darlington but its a work in progress.' Let me get this straight...the scorched earth is up to fifteen years now, even though Tony has been out of the picture for a few years? Did you not claim earlier that he got fired, twice? Which is it? Is he still scorching the earth or he is fired, twice?

        This scattershot approach of kindergarten-level taunting reeks of obvious obsessed desperation. Still, it remains amusing.

        Also still awaiting a coherent answer to a very basic question: What is the primary purpose of television ratings?
      • They Are Firing In All Directions
        'Hater is a term used by people who have been defeated and can't come up with any rational thought.'

        Is it amusing to any other adult that this kid tries to define the word hater? Just look at its parroted obsessions:

        -A fixation with an era that ended years ago. 'cart/ccws teams?' It has been called IndyCar Series since IMS picked up the twice-failed assets.

        -Unoriginal thought. 'Tony George fired, twice.' Gee, that seem clever.

        -Scapegoats for their own shortcomings. 'Barnhart is gone and Barfield, Phillips and Cotman are in.' Actually, Barnhart is not gone. He is the boss of the three folks mentioned.

        -Equipment arrogance for no apparent reason. 'Turbos in, crapwagons out.' When someone uses a term like 'crapwagon' does it not imply the same ignorance and lack of maturity you perceive in someone who uses the word 'hater?'

        -Bold predictions that turn out to be wrong about 100% of the time. 'Vison IRL* teams will soon be gone, a clear case of survival of the fittest.' Which ones? When? Does this imply that a team like Newman-Haas is weak and could not survive because it was not fit enough?

        -Venue arrogance for no apparent reason. 'Kansas, Spartucky, and Vegas gone, Hopefully Iowa gone soon. Shorttracks are for stock cars.' Hmmm. Oddly, many of the cart/ccws heroes crave flat short tracks, Indy and other ovals as part of the mix. Perhaps Formula 1 would be more to your liking. They probably require their fans to at least be coherent, however.

        -Reliance on the Tony George crutch to childishly obfuscate what was actually one of the most ignorant boycotts in the history of sports, not to mention feeble attempts to position IndyCar as a failure by comparing 12+ overnights for it to NASCAR. 'It's just too bad that 15 years of TG scorched earth caused the former greatest spectacle in racing to get lower TV ratings that the spring NASCAR race at Darlington but its a work in progress.' Let me get this straight...the scorched earth is up to fifteen years now, even though Tony has been out of the picture for a few years? Did you not claim earlier that he got fired, twice? Which is it? Is he still scorching the earth or he is fired, twice?

        This scattershot approach of kindergarten-level taunting reeks of obvious obsessed desperation. Still, it remains amusing.

        Also still awaiting a coherent answer to a very basic question: What is the primary purpose of television ratings?
      • It must be said...
        Disciple, you are constantly a good source of humor.

        And while you can get away with your own personal revisions of racing history for those that don't really know it, you should not be able to get away with killing the vocabulary.

        floun·der 1 (floundr)
        intr.v. floun·dered, floun·der·ing, floun·ders
        1. To make clumsy attempts to move or regain one's balance.
        2. To move or act clumsily and in confusion. See Synonyms at blunder.

        So, the word has nothing to do with an entity dying.

        And, though you will deny it as you deny just about everything...floundering is a very apt description.

        It also fits some of your commentary.

        Chief wins that round!

        Now back to your typical bombast.

        It is way more entertaining than the current indycar. Which is why I really stop in occasionally for the good times!
      • You Can Tell The Big Race Is Right Around The Corner
        So IndyCar is NOT dying. Is that your final answer?

        By the way, can any of you junior Einsteins please answer the following question:

        What is the primary purpose of television ratings?
        • That one is easy...
          The primary purpose for ratings for Disciple is to act like an insider and make the most infinitesimal ratings into a success.

          I have a feeling Mr. Bernard would like to see a big increase in ratings no matter what ratings you measure. Bigger is always better.

          And don't get me mixed up as one of the "Indycar and the 500 are going to die by..." prognosticators. You've never seen me post that.

          It seems to flounder along quite well. What that costs I don't know either. There have been indications that it cost too much, that is why Mr. Bernard was hired.

          Anyone going to argue that point?

          All I know is it is not the same as it was years ago. Gone is the technology and the verve that made it all so special.

          And both you and Indyman do not seem to ever get it through your heads that most everyone knows CART isn't coming back...and that is never the point. You guys keep stating that, over and over again. maybe that make you feel good, or feel like you all won something.

          I just wished that both of you would get around to admitting that CART did nothing to hurt IMS and the 500. I would go so far as to say it helped strengthen it and helped keep its luster bright.

          And yes there was a series prior to CART. And anyone willing to be truthful would admit the CART series was more successful than the old rag-tag races USAC used to put on. It was the whole reason for Gurney's White Paper and the formation of CART.

          I will speak only for myself. What most true race fans want is an organization that knows a series built around Indy, with open rules like the old days (less spec, yuk!)can be as successful as the big race. And, it doesn't matter if it is run by one entity or a group that represents everyone involved (teams, tracks, sponsors, manufacturers).

          But I will admit, recent history and even past history seems to indicate the Hulman/George family might not be the best entity to run it either.

          Now, I know you and indyman will run my post into the ground, but there it is.

          I hope the drivers are safe in the oncoming heat. I also hope the new cars propensity to tilt to the wall when hitting doesn't cause some major head injuries or worse. I probably won't be watching...but I do want the drivers to be safe.
        • The Year We Are In is 2012
          'The primary purpose for ratings for Disciple is to act like an insider and make the most infinitesimal ratings into a success.'
          Oooooh. Swing and a miss. Try again.

          All I know is it is not the same as it was years ago. Gone is the technology and the verve that made it all so special.'
          Neither is NASCAR. Or the NFL. Or just about any other sporting entity. Technology is not the issue. For many it is no longer 'run what you brung' but the homogenization of the competition began well before that magical 1996 date to which the mostly ignorant point.

          'I just wished that both of you would get around to admitting that cart did nothing to hurt IMS and the 500. I would go so far as to say it helped strengthen it and helped keep its luster bright.'
          I would say that it is as irrelevant as a USAC sanction today. As did every other evolutionary phase. That entity was no more or less important than any other that has occupied it over the years. They're problem was thinking they were bigger than the institution that made their existence possible. That turned out to be a mistake.

          'And yes there was a series prior to cart. And anyone willing to be truthful would admit the cart series was more successful than the old rag-tag races USAC used to put on. It was the whole reason for Gurney's White Paper and the formation of cart.'
          Oddly, however, that ‘successful’ series turned out to be anything but sans IMS teat. It appears they needed more than just bravado. And why should anyone care? It is 2012. Look ahead. Not backward.

          'But I will admit, recent history and even past history seems to indicate the Hulman/George family might not be the best entity to run it either.'
          But they have been since 1946. It is probably about time to get used to that.

          'I hope the drivers are safe in the oncoming heat. I also hope the new cars propensity to tilt to the wall when hitting doesn't cause some major head injuries or worse. I probably won't be watching...but I do want the drivers to be safe.'
          If you do not watch, why would you bother offering commentary? That defies logic. I do not watch soccer, but I do not recall ever going to a comment section to offer any words about it. But with regard to your safety sentiment, me too. And just today Dallara announced modifications to the undertray specifically designed to avoid the type of pivoting seen in the Carpenter and Kimball accidents. Kudos.
        • Big Mo? LOL
          Chicago Tribune nails it.

          http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/motorracing/sc-spt-0523-lede-autos-module--20120523,0,4219457.story


          Probably a lazy, irresponsible, youthful CART apologist, eh?
        • This is the problem
          "They're problem was thinking they were bigger than the institution that made their existence possible. That turned out to be a mistake."

          The above quote made by Disciple shows his continued inability to grasp a simple concept: CART is dead. Twice. It provided a brilliant stage for some of the best open wheel racing in all the past century of racing. It's gone DOOD, get over it.

          PLEASE explain, Mr. Disciple of INDYCAR, why you continually hammer home, even on the eve of the 2012 Indy 500, this same point...over and over? Seriously, why does the legacy of CART haunt you so much?

          The same problems that affected the sport for over a century of AOW racing STILL affect it now. Your answers (or lack thereof) belittle the very sport you claim to love. Indy rots in your hands yet you request status quo. You negate salient points with drivel...always.

          Indy is not going to die. But, it is dying...are you willing to accept that? "Indy is a hot mess"....it's true. Yet you want it that way? What is wrong with you?
        • for some reason
          a couple of posters here have a hard time with the fact that the CART owners chose to let the Hulman family bankroll their racing businesses twice
        • For some reason
          the league with the one race and the one track has cost its owners over $600 million to keep it running. Too bad they weren't smart like the CART owners, who chose to let the Hulman family fund their racing businesses, twice.
        • Chief, take a break from your singing and dancing shows and watch some sports. ABC and ESPN have provided good advertising for the 500 during the playoffs. I am guessing the same reason you don't see ABC advertising the 500 during their singing and dancing shows is the same reason they don't advertise any of their other sports. The 15 year old girl crowd is not their demographic....but you seem to enjoy it.

        • Because...
          Disciple I offer commentary because I am still an auto racing fan. Just one in holding regarding Indy style American Open Wheel Racing.

          Just because I do not like the current offerings doesn't mean I don't have a past history to use as a basis for commentary and a hope for a better future.

          Why is that so hard for you to understand? I think you just act thick and try to bully people, but I bet deep down you actually understand.

          Maybe because you know there are legions of ex-fans that walked away for similar reasons.


        • Brett, did you really just try to compare being called a hater of Indycar as to being a racist? Really? Hater is the perfect term. What else would you call someone who comes on here and posts dozens of times how much they hate something, how horrible it is and how they can't stand it? Personally if I don't like something, I just ignore it. But you and Chief are so hung up about it that 16 years after the split and 5 years after cart died...again.... your still here telling us how much you hate it. Move on, cart is long dead, get a hobby or a life. This obsession with something you hate...dislike....can't stand (call it what you want) is unhealthy.
        • Is Indycar dying? It has been dying for years, Chief and his band of dislikers, have been prediciting its end for 16 years. Heck, I am sure the addition of sponsors, new engine manufacturers and the new chassis has sealed its fate. I am sure it will all come crashing down soon. Just a matter of time. Yep, just a little while longer. Lets have a latte and wait on it. Just a few more seconds....
        • How To Be A Racing Fan 101
          'Disciple I offer commentary because I am still an auto racing fan. Just one in holding regarding Indy style American Open Wheel Racing.'
          Then why are you here? If you do not like what we have today go watch old races or something else. Continuously pining for something you wish you had at one time is not going to make it happen or affect future evolution in any way.

          'Just because I do not like the current offerings doesn't mean I don't have a past history to use as a basis for commentary and a hope for a better future.'
          As previously stated, whining about some self-perceived utopia in the past is not going to reconstitute your version of paradise in the future. There is a right way and a wrong way to affect evolution, and the tactics of the handful of you squatting along the Internet is not the right way.

          'Why is that so hard for you to understand? I think you just act thick and try to bully people, but I bet deep down you actually understand. Maybe because you know there are legions of ex-fans that walked away for similar reasons.'
          I believe most obsessed critics should put their money where their typing fingers are and just stay away. Perhaps toughen their hypersensitive hides while they are at it. Expressing the kind of sentiments you have once and a while is fine. Obsessively expressed parroting every time any column is written about IndyCar is hypocritical. Clearly none of you have the slightest clue about what the Indianapolis 500 is or means, and all of you are devoid of the kind of respect it takes to be actual racing fans.
        • Respect
          Those who request respect for the old speedplant are way off base...it's just not the old speedplant anymore.
        • Those Who Get It and Those Who Do Not
          To those who do not possess the first clue about what is in the first place that sentiment is unsurprising.
        • LOL
          I haven't seen any races restarted on ovals in the rain, Penske has been penalized this season, and restarts have been good so far, so The Great Brian Barnhart is gone from race control. I really don't care what paper shuffler job they gave him. As long as I don't have to see him trying to be the show was ridiculous. Give me 4 good ones... Buh Bye.

          When will this upward trending key metrics equate to actual increases? Not comparing a full racer to a 15 lap monsoon and calling that growth? When will the Indy 500* rating beat the weekly NASCAR race? Soon? 5 years? What year was it that TG said the IRL* would be bigger than F-1?

          Will these key metrics lead to some blue chip sponsors jumping on board? RC Cola and Dollar General aren't blue chip right? What ever happened to Frank's Energy Drink?

          What former CART/CCWS team or driver will win the 500* on Sunday? They have won 12 in a row, how is that even possible? You would that a super team like Vision, PDM or Foyt would have one at least one of those, right? Odd.
        • What is there to get?
          Wasn't the heritage and traditions all the rage a few years back? Many of them have been sacrificed by the speedway to survive.

          How can you respect that? If you are a traditionalist, how can you not be angered? If you claim to be a traditionalist, yet you support the destruction of values established over 100 years....why aren't you angry?

          Tell me again, what am I not getting here about speedway respect? It's a race, that's it these days. On Monday, after 364 more days pass I suppose it will raise to significance again for 2.5 hrs on Memorial Day weekend. Big deal....it will probably be on closed circuit TV in the movie theaters by then if it was up to the great media partners the race has. Place fans have destroyed the 500.
        • The Worst Week of the Year for Haters
          'I haven't seen any races restarted on ovals in the rain,'
          I have not seen any races restarted on ovals this year period.

          'Penske has been penalized this season, and restarts have been good so far, so The Great Brian Barnhart is gone from race control. I really don't care what paper shuffler job they gave him. As long as I don't have to see him trying to be the show was ridiculous. Give me 4 good ones... Buh Bye.'
          Uh, you are aware that he is the direct report for Barfield and crew, correct?

          'When will this upward trending key metrics equate to actual increases? Not comparing a full racer to a 15 lap monsoon and calling that growth? When will the Indy 500* rating beat the weekly NASCAR race? Soon? 5 years?'
          Is it necessary for the Indy 500 12+ overnight to beat the 12+ overnight of a NASCAR race? I still have not received an answer to my question: What is the sole purpose of television ratings? The boo-birds seem ignorant of the answer.

          'What year was it that TG said the IRL* would be bigger than F-1?'
          More than ten years ago. Relevance?

          'Will these key metrics lead to some blue chip sponsors jumping on board? RC Cola and Dollar General aren't blue chip right? What ever happened to Frank's Energy Drink?'
          Define blue chip. Is the money spent by Dollar General and RC just as green as these so called 'blue chips'?

          'What former cart/ccws team or driver will win the 500* on Sunday?'
          Actual racing fans have evolved past that type of immaturity. Most have also managed to begin walking upright and breathing through orifices than their mouths as well. Is it not time for six or seven so obsessed to at least attempt a minimal amount of maturity?

          'They have won 12 in a row, how is that even possible? You would that a super team like Vision, PDM or Foyt would have one at least one of those, right? Odd.'
          Or Sam Schmidt and Bryan Herta. It is actually quite simple. Penske and Ganassi won a lot then, and they win a lot now. Could you give me the career cart stats for Wheldon, Hornish or Rice?

          'Wasn't the heritage and traditions all the rage a few years back? Many of them have been sacrificed by the speedway to survive.'
          Hmm. Which ones are troubling you, son? Seems most of them are still in place. I can hardly wait for tomorrow and Sunday.

          'How can you respect that? If you are a traditionalist, how can you not be angered? If you claim to be a traditionalist, yet you support the destruction of values established over 100 years....why aren't you angry?'
          Why should anyone be angry? It remains the race to which all aspire. Hundreds of thousands attend. It gets great ratings. The traditions that began at Indy and got copied everywhere else remain. How could a real racing fan possibly be angry this week?

          'Tell me again, what am I not getting here about speedway respect? It's a race, that's it these days. On Monday, after 364 more days pass I suppose it will raise to significance again for 2.5 hrs on Memorial Day weekend. Big deal....it will probably be on closed circuit TV in the movie theaters by then if it was up to the great media partners the race has. Place fans have destroyed the 500.'
          Hmmm. Oddly, there will still be a race with 33 starters, hundreds of thousands of sweaty fans, millions more watching and listening throughout the world and lots of attention. For something that is supposedly destroyed it seems in pretty good shape. You should probably spend the weekend doing some self-reflection on what it takes to become an actual racing fan. You would probably enjoy the spectacle a lot more.
        • I find it funny that the guy who grew up in the 80's watching quals on tv is lecturing us on the traditions and what makes Indy, Indy. I wonder if he knows the angst the newfangled rear engine roadsters caused among the faithful when they were introduced. The conern that rose through gasoline alley when Teo Fabi dared flaunt fate by driving a green car. There were actually drivers and owners who wanted the color banned by the speedway due to it being unlucky. Or the deep concern of that hair brained driver who dared not have a riding mechanic on board...granted, I was not around for that one. The traditions at Indy are still there, and still deep rooted. Indy is Indy. always has been, always will be. Again, if you don't get that, then you don't get Indy.

          I guess Brett also must be a young pup. He must not remember such stellar sponsors as the Penske cars sponsored by the Machinists Union, or Arie as the '84 Rookie of the Year in the Dutch Treat/Provimi Veal. Boy I wonder how provimi veal is doing on the Dow Jones these days.

          Of course I also chuckle at his slam on Dollar General Stores as not being blue chip. They have over 10,000 stores in 40 states. certainly not a mom and pop business.

          Of course he was remiss in not mentioning new sponsors like Chevy and Shell Oil who not only sponsors cars, has advertising at Indy, but will be sponsoring a race next year. I am not sure you can get more blue chip then that.

          I still feel most of the problem with the haters, or dislikers if you feel that is to racist, is their ignorance. they don't know any better. Their frame of reference is cart of the 80's, before the greed of the owners drove it into bankrupcy. That is even colored by thinking cart of the 80's was all high finance and big companies. I mean I am sure he is still cranking up his Kraco Speakers.
        • Old
          The only orientation needed is the one going forward. Otherwise, you chaps are just living in the past.

          Name one new tradition please? i have one....lowest TV ratings EVER. Oh, here's one....no one bumped from field anymore. Here's another one: lowest attendance for the month of May. Oh, and another one: NO ABC coverage of Pole Day, Bump Day, or Carb Day. OOOH! And the "pace has more horsepower than the Indycars" new tradition!

          All fresh 2012 traditions at the speedway! I see those new traditions don't fill your senses, do they IMan?
        • Slow cars aren't the only problems....
          Apparently ticket sales are slow too...mas emails have been sent by the speedway in a last ditch attempt to get place fans to come.
        • So now Chief is saying the history of Indy does not matter? Traditions are nothing? Chief, you are all over the place.

          One of my new favorite traditions? Kissing of the bricks. Started by NASCAR, but carried on by all winners, nothing shows the love and respect for the speedway that drivers, crew members and team owners have. What other track has world famous drivers putting their lips on a yard of bricks that has 500 or 400 miles of dirt, grime and rubber on it?

          Honorable mention? Climbing the fence. Started by Helio and carried on by drivers from NASCAR and Moto GP. Pretty cool. Both traditions are images that are easily recognized around the world.
        • We aren't haters we're lovers
          we love that we were right in our predictions for the outcome of Tony's boondoggle. We aren't negative, we are positive that the league that never has will continue to blow chunks and stink up the place
        • LOL
          Dario says he wishes he had a time machine to go back to 1995. I wonder why?
        • Brett not sure why you wonder what he said in his quote. "''I would like to jump in a time machine, go back to 1995, and tell the owners and Tony George not to split,'' Franchitti said. ''As soon as my time machine is done, I know where I'm going.''"

          Pretty clear, he would love to go back and tell TG and the team owners not to split.

          I am not sure there is anyone who wanted the split, and I don't think there is anyone who would not like to go back and prevent the split. But, as has been discussed ad nauseum, without the split carts management by team owners would have run all of ow racing into bankruptcy. If cart had such a wonderful product, then losing IMS would not have forced it into bankruptcy. If NASCAR lost Daytona or Charlotte, it would not fail like cart did.

          Truth,

          So you predicted that cart would go into bankruptcy and cease to exist while Indycar would continue on? I missed that prediction.
        • iman is still have trouble
          with the fact the CART owners chose to let the Hulman family bankroll their racing businesses twice. Six hundred million. $39 million this year on team support.
        • No, cart owners chose to let gullible investors bankroll their double bankruptcy. Seems like cart acted like Enron and Goldman Sachs. That is sad. It is sad that you seem to think bilking investors while the team owners padded their pockets is a good thing. The Hulmans saved OW racing by spending a small fortune, but not as large as you claim.

          It is amazing to think that knowing all you know about Cart, that you still support them and hold them up as the model for racing. But then again, that is the only racing you knew, and you have already said history is not important.
        • Take the Dan Wheldon
          shades off and see if you can see anything resembling reality. 16 years of propaganda is hard to put behind you I suppose

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        1. If what you stated is true, then this article is entirely inaccurate. "State sells bonds" is same as "State borrows money". Supposedly the company will "pay for them". But since we are paying the company, we are still paying for this road with borrowed money, even though the state has $2 billion in the bank.

        2. Andrew hit the nail on the head. AMTRAK provides terrible service and that is why the state has found a contractor to improve the service. More trips, on-time performance, better times, cleanliness and adequate or better restrooms. WI-FI and food service will also be provided. Transit from outlying areas will also be provided. I wouldn't take it the way it is but with the above services and marketing of the service,ridership will improve and more folks will explore Indy and may even want to move here.

        3. They could take the property using eminent domain and save money by not paying the church or building a soccer field and a new driveway. Ctrwd has monthly meetings open to all customers of the district. The meetings are listed and if the customers really cared that much they would show. Ctrwd works hard in every way they can to make sure the customer is put first. Overflows damage the surrounding environment and cost a lot of money every year. There have been many upgrades done through the years to help not send flow to Carmel. Even with the upgrades ctrwd cannot always keep up. I understand how a storage tank could be an eye sore, but has anyone thought to look at other lift stations or storage tanks. Most lift stations are right in the middle of neighborhoods. Some close to schools and soccer fields, and some right in back yards, or at least next to a back yard. We all have to work together to come up with a proper solution. The proposed solution by ctrwd is the best one offered so far.

        4. Fox has comments from several people that seem to have some inside information. I would refer to their website. Changed my whole opionion of this story.

        5. This place is great! I'm piggy backing and saying the Cobb salad is great. But the ribs are awesome. $6.49 for ribs and 2 sides?! They're delicious. If you work downtown, head over there.

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