For Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Jeff Belskus, it cuts like a knife

December 16, 2009
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It doesn’t make any sense.

That’s the thought that went through my head yesterday when Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Jeff Belskus told me business operations at the famed Brickyard “aren’t as bad as they look.”

Well, they look pretty bad.

There have been two rounds of layoffs within the last year, sending at least 70 people packing at the IMS—and its sister operations. That doesn’t include the people who vacated voluntarily.
There are a couple company jets for sale, the month of May is being sliced by one-third and the golf course and catering businesses are being privatized.

“The sky is not falling,” Belskus said yesterday from what looks like an unmistakable hard hat zone.
Belskus insists the Indianapolis 500 is financially strong and the MotoGP and Brickyard 400 races are “making positive impacts on the business.”
Belskus admits the motorcycle and NASCAR events aren’t making nearly as positive an impact as they once did. Still, something doesn’t jibe.

With all your properties presumably turning a profit, why all the cost cutting. And consider, this is a property—with its famed oval, 2.5-mile road course, broadcast facilities, pagoda, garages and other infrastructure—that was once estimated to have hard assets near $1 billion.

There’s another thing I don’t understand. The notion that shrinking the month of May won’t have much of an economic impact on Indianapolis.

What about all those thousands of motorsports related businesses in the region that the governor and Indiana Motorsports Association have been touting recently. Aren’t they hurt by this—at least a little?

My how things have changed. Steve Goldsmith thought the month of May was so important to the city, he threw all his support behind Tony George in the mid-1990s as open-wheel racing began to fracture.
A former top Goldsmith aid recently told me that the then mayor threw his support behind George after CART boss Andrew Craig told Goldsmith his plan was to cut back the month of May and emphasize the entire series.
In 2000, a study demonstrated the Indianapolis 500 had a $336.6 million economic impact on the city. It takes $6 million to $10 million annually on the conservative side to run an IRL team.

And we’re talking about reducing hotel and dry cleaning costs for teams and a week’s worth of yellow shirt staffing for the IMS. Oh, and a week’s worth of expenses for IMS Productions.
Belskus said the most recent move will create a six-figure savings for the Speedway. Team operators say they’ll save five-figures. By my calculations, this is a low single-figure percentage savings for the Speedway and IRL teams.

Now this startling revelation: Belskus said the IRL teams asked him to cut the month of May. I thought the Indianapolis 500 was the one thing that has kept the IRL afloat during the worst of times. I thought that’s what kept the teams, sponsors and TV partners hanging in there.

And in the same breath, Belskus told a small group of us reporters gathered yesterday at IMS’ headquarters that another IRL race could slide into the calendar space abdicated by the Indy 500—as soon as 2011. Wouldn’t that take a bit more luster off the Greatest Spectacle in Racing? This is the exact sort of idea that caused caused Goldsmith to turn his back on Craig.
This part of the puzzle does make sense: The Indy Racing League is not profitable, and its losses might now be outstripping the shrinking financial gains of the 500, 400 and MotoGP race.

Officials for the Performance Racing Industry Show, the nation’s largest motorsports industry trade show held last week in Orlando, told IBJ yesterday that business for all motorsports companies was down 30 percent in 2009—40 percent or more for open-wheel businesses.

And there’s this: The board that controls the Speedway and Indy Racing League didn’t care for Tony George’s proclamation that the IRL needs to be profitable by 2013 or else. They liked the idea of profitability, but another three plus years of sucking money from the family fortune didn’t sit well. That six-member board includes George’s three sisters and mother.

Belskus, the IMS’ former chief financial officer who replaced George as captain July 1, got the message. He sharpened his pencil—and his scalpel—to a very fine point.
And the transformational surgery is under way.

  • calendar space
    Anthony: Can you expand upon that fifth from the bottom paragraph? Thanks.
  • How Long?
    How long will it be before the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a shopping mall?
    • frightful
      The most frightful revelation about this whole thing is that teams ASKED to have the month of May shortened. If that's true, the IRL has a very serious problem, because the health of the league's teams must be in horrible shape. Can they even fill the field? And in light of the PRI revelation, you have to wonder how many cars they'll have on the circuit full time.
    • I wouldn't worry
      There should be enough of those ancient old kit-cars laying around to glue together enough for a 33 car field . . . . just
    • what about gas money
      Yes, but can they afford the fuel to propel them around the track. I mean, really, if we're talking about money for hotels and dry cleaning. It sounds like a Junior High Marching band budget.
    • Oh SNAP
      IRL = ALL old CART Teams

      CART musta got it's way after all. Who's running the ship over at 16th and Jonestown?
    • explainer
      Terry, Is this the paragraph:
      This part of the puzzle does make sense: The Indy Racing League is not profitable, and its losses might now be outstripping the shrinking financial gains of the 500, 400 and MotoGP race.

      Simply put, the money it costs the Hulman-George empire to run the Indy Racing League is greater than the profits from the three big events at the track.
    • ConDENSEd!!!
      "How long will it be before the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a shopping mall?"

      The sooner the better. It will have a positive economic impact, and not be a hate and scorn generating machine.

      Anthony, you sound like a Hulmanista with this article. Citing a study that was likely funded in some manner by the Hulman-George cabal, and believing the numbers thrown at you by these known frauds is rather naive. :shrug:

      Doesn't matter, the 'league' of losers will continue to fail miserably for my amusement and derision. :)

      code = hmkxg
    • And the haters continue to reveal themselves for what they are. Anti TG, Anti IMS and Anti Indianapolis. My guess is most are former cart fans/employees who never got over losing to what they consider an inferior product. They refused to admit that the cart/owrs/ccws business plan was in a death spiral. Truly sad folks. But it has been obvious, how many normal people spend so much time blogging about something they claim they do not care about?
    • That said, it is what it is. And that is Belskus was brought in by the sisters to make IMS as profitable as possible. Like most corporate types, he will sell the races very soul to make money. it is sad that money is now king at IMS, and like many family companies that are run by outsiders, all the beloved traditions will fall.

    • Blather
      The cart/owrs/ccws business plan was a death spiral. There, you happy? Now, rather than copy/paste your "haters boilerplate", perhaps you'd comment on the apparent "death spiral" of the IRL and the 500? Orient yourself into the current millenium and face facts that the "centennial era" is dire shape. FOCUS on the problems at hand, not what you perceive as hate. Grow with us...
    • This is a good move
      Shortening the month of May should be looked at simply as a sign of the times. The full month of May for practice was necessary when you had over 70 entries competing for a spot in the field of 33. For those historians, I miss the chase for speed as well (track records), but that time has passed. The teams with the highest budgets would continue to separate themselves from the pack by being able to run everyday and collect valuable data and adjust for all conditions on race day. The shortened month just might give a smaller budget team a chance to win by being fast right out of the box.
      The one thing I do believe and I was there in the garage hearing the jabs on both sides, is that the shortening of the month of May in the mid-90s was not appropriate, but now it is a necessity.
    • Suspense
      And it's a good necessity. No one needs to be reminded of the manufactured drama the past several years and the faux rule changes because most of that CRAP has got to be out the window. This is a good change-up thrown by the speedway that could in reality create tension, which creates interest. It's about time...let's hope they open the rules and let as many qualify as can on Saturday with REAL bumping occurring as soon as the field is full. That's interest. Do it IMS, get back to some roots racin', Indy style.
    • wow
      What a joke. It's REALLY funny watching Calabro and the rest of the local jock-media trying to spin this thing in a positive light. Even Benner was on WIBC saying this was actually good for the city because it "loosened up hotel rooms downtown" for some stupid doorknobbers convention. It's like a bunch of 12 year old Carmel girls whining over some vampire movie. Fing digusting and disturbing in one moment. Ignorance is bliss, you crumb-licking Hulmanista boot lickers. Reap and sow.
      Is this what has become of us? Does anyone besides the 100 bronze badgers and 2 remaining Penske dealerships even care anymore? It's a product no one cares about, and even fewer are buying. Not even a Shiny new Danicles can fix this. The race and landmark track that once defined this fair city INTERNATIONALLY has condensed itsself almost outta busines. Bottom line is this: TG messed this up beyond repair, and Belskiss isn't goin to be the answer. Maybe Oral Roberts can talk to Jeebus and send us a Miracle, cause that is what its gonna take.

    • Yep
      Da Hooey appreciates the repost of his earlier posted above editorial, and wonders why this got censored before?

    • Freedom
      Anyone who knows me, knows I do everything I can to limit censorship on this blog. But I have bosses too, and I'd appreciate everyone keeping the tenor of the comments to a reasonable roar. As always, thanks for reading.
    • okiey dokey
      10-4. But, best as I can tell, its the same post, minus the title. Hit me with an email as to the offense, so I can keep it kocher next time, mmmkay?

      That shiny space needle rocket bike thingy they are building for 2012 will be cool, huh?

    • It's TOneys Fault
      I'm a hater.......... of what indyman and tony george have done to the Indy 500
    • Fascinating, somehow I have had control of the 500. How cool. I should have gotten better seats I would have thought.

      Funny how the haters (the ones who personally rip anyone who has a different opinion on this site) tell me to get into the current millenium, then continue to bellyache about the split that happened in the last millenium. By the way, cart/owrs/ccws limped into this millenium.
    • Foolishness
      Frankly, my opinions mirror the exact tone of almost all the IBJ bloggers writings. WE call into question the absurd direction the 500 and the leeGue is headed. As an Indy business and a self-proclaimed world leader in OW racing the speedway has made all-time blunders all the way around that must make even the most ardent sponsor cringe. Hey, it's not me making the calls at 16th and Jonestown, it's them. If anyone would have listened, back in 1994 I said the IRL would be a flop...and it is. I even still today never wanted it (and the results back my point today) and you are watching the death of the sport because of it. History is done friend....the future looks bright like a nuclear midnight. And I can only watch and learn from the AOW experts. Keep up the good work Anthony, someone has to report the REAL facts....not what someone wants us to believe. That's how we got into this mess.
    • The Usual
      indyman's all american oval racing league purportedly opening the season on a phantom street course somewhere in Brazil. Can it get any better for the vision followers?
    • Indyman
      People like Indyman will swallow anything that IMS and the Hulman's feed them.

      If the Indy 500 turned into Chimps riding tricycles Indyman would be here telling us how wonderful it is.
    • Buuurrrrrrrwicky!
      Dang, a bit touchy tonight. Here, have a beer old man.
    • The Usual
      The rumored street course in Brazil that all followers of TOney's visions are excited about, was inundated by water from the nearby river this week. Hopefully, on March 14, 2010, it will flood again and wash all the crapwagons into the ocean
    • They are touchy today. I guess so many years of being wrong on their predictions has got them edgy. the unveiling of another pace car reminds them that May is around the corner and another year of the IRL. Another year that they were wrong about its demise. It must be frustrating to hate something so much and it still won't die. I guess that is why they get so personal and nasty on here.
    • fraud
      The only one touchy is you. You go crying yo Anthony every time someone says somehting you don't agree with and wanted people banned from a public forum for voicing their opinions. That makes you a coward, a loser and a fraud. Just like your drug addicted, out of work hero.
    • Agast
      600 million of the family's dollars- that is the only answer needed for any of iman's drivelings.

      iman: blah blah blah blah
      A: 600 million dollars

      iman: blah blah blah blah blah
      A: 600 milion dollars

      iman: blah blah blah
      A: 600 million dollars
    • Brett,

      As usual wrong again. i have not mentioned an issue with a post to Anthony in many months, and only when it was a nasty attack against another poster and that was done publicly on the blog, not behind anyones back.

      i do not quite understand how expecting some civilty in discussions is infringing on anyones opinion, unless that person cannot put together a coherent arguement without personal attacks. Of course that does describe many of the haters.
    • Truth,

      First rule of telling the truth is to get you facts straight. Most experts, including Anthony estimate that the number is closer to $250 million. So get the facts straight and then we can talk.
      • Agast
        600 million dollars
      • Fred Said
        It was Fred Nation, TG's employee, who said 600 million. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, sweetie. lol.
      • Agast
        and that was at the end of May,'09; so I'm upping the total to 625 million dollars
      • DaHooey,

        You got a link to your claim? not that i do not trust you, but...


        What does your sources say are the best guess for the IRL losses?
      • It's TOneys Fault
        believe it or not iman, there's more to IMS than the IRl

        600 million dollars for a 0.15 on Versus
      • still waiting for a link. Not saying it isn't true, but I have never heard or seen Fred Nation or anyone associated with the IRL throwout that number, or any number.

        Of course whatever the number, it equals survival. How many hundreds of millions got invested into cart/owrs/ccws just to see it repeatedly fail? At least the IMS money was just that, IMS money. How many investors got duped into investing into a financial black hole with nothing to show for it?
      • The Usual
        625 million dollars couldn't buy the popularity open wheel racing enjoyed before indyman and TOney GOrge showed up
      • Funny as hedoublehockeysticks
        I love all this bickering. Don't worry about it guys, the Indy 500 and IMS is no longer even thought about by anyone outside of central Indiana. Neither one is relevant to motorsports anymore.
      • GA,

        Funny you should say that. I was in San Diego and made a trip south of the border to Mexico. On the tour bus was a group of 20 Chinese who were touring North America. Their tour guide was the only one who spoke english. He asked where I was from. When I told him Indiana, his eyes lit up and he said Indianapolis? I said yes, and he said home of the big race? I confirmed that. He said that China is supposed to get a race and he was very excited about it. He asked me about the track and had I ever been there. He told the other members of the tour where I was from and they talked animatedly about it for a few minutes. I picked up Indianpolis in the conversation a couple of times.

        I found it interesting that Indy is still known mainly for the race, and the 500 is still known around the world.
      • $600M and Counting
        What an irrelevant point. Whether it's $250M or $650M, it's a loser with .14 TV ratings. An all american, all oval series racing in China? The gang at 16th and Jonestown can't shoot straight anyway....they DUMPED the Austrailian race which was WILDLY successful. Dang fools...and now China is getting a race? Bwahahhahahha! Chinese tourists on a tour bus! Indyman, you make me laugh! IRL needs you on staff pronto because your stuff is better than Fred Nation's.
      • The Usual
        Is it just coincidence that open wheel racing and the Indy 500 began their precipitous decline at the same time Toney and indyman got involved?
      • IRL
        Chief - Perhaps you should check your facts, your hate and scorn get in the way of facts and common sense. IndyCar didn't dump Australia. The promoters didn't want to pay the sactioning fee. They opted for A1GP instead. We see how that entire program blew up, don't we. Oh, I forgot, you were blinded by the facts.

        Good grief.....
      • Truth,

        It all depends on what you mean by "involved". TG has been involved with IMS all his life. But took over the reigns in 1990. Do does that mean OW started its fall in '90? I thought you guys said it was the glory years?

        As for me, I attended my first race when I was 10 in 1975. And pretty much was a fan from then on. So I guess since that is the extent of my involvement, then per your comment, OW has been going downhill for 35 years.
      • AND
        600 million dollars
      • AND
        Many people in racing spend quite a bit of time looking back these days and it's remarkable how many say that for a short period of time from the late eighties through the nineties CART's PPG Indy Car World Series was the world's best racing series. It enjoyed plenty of great drivers and teams as well as three or four competing chassis builders and four engine manufacturers in Mercedes-Benz, Ford/Cosworth, Honda and Toyota, and was closely-fought and unpredictable, everything a big-time racing series should be.

        Many of us enjoyed watching CART's growth and we hoped and believed it would get better, rather than worse. In recent years fans and participants from across North America and around the world from F1 to NASCAR have remarked that we lived through a great epoch in the sport's history without really appreciating it.

        "We lived through a golden age," Mario Andretti said recently. "We never realized how good it was at the time."

        and then indyman and TOney showed up, and the rest is an unmitigated disaster.

      • It's TOneys Fault
        and before iman pops in: 600 million dollars
      • Still waiting for a link or a source. After seeing so many of your predictions and claims go horribly wrong, forgive me if I do not believe you without some reliable source.

        Sorry, it is clear what killed cart/owrs/ccws, and that was a death spiral of a business strategy. Again, no major race series is operated by team owners. Not NASCAR, not NHRA, not F1. Owners are greedy and want to look out for themselves, and not worry about fans or competition. That is why cart et al. failed. Again, if cart was such a great thing, then why did it fail repeatedly? Remember the Stars and the Cars?
      • Agast
        600 million dollars
        Sheesh...the IRL wanted $20 MILLION to bring it's dog and pony show to the Gold Coast. Then, the IRL wanted to dictate when the race would be held. Then, the Austrailians said "NO DEAL". Seems to me for 16 to 17 years CART/CCWS made it work. Perhaps the IRL product was perceived as inferior and not worth it. That's a point I could agree with. The IRL priced themselves out of a successful market that was cultivated over two decades....just like the Gordon Kirby article above states, Tony George's bumbling has destroyed nearly EVERYTHING in AOW. Austrailia is just another example. Ball is in your court BerwickGuy....
      • It's TOneys Fault
        Whoever thought weâ??d be drawing parallels between the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Capital Improvement Board. But here we are.

        Two institutions that were once bulletproof are now sinking like the Titanic or crashing like the Hindenburg. Choose your metaphor.

        I'm not surprised; with indyman and TOney involved, it was just a matter of time.
      • Truth,

        Then what do you call the fiasco that was cart et al? It died a couple of deaths even with the Stars and the Cars?

        By the way, anyone find that link? Still waiting.
      • AND
        600 million dollars
      • It's TOneys Fault
        What we worked on and developed has been swallowed up into the IRL glob of nothingness. I call this NASCAR car the 'Car of Yesteryear'. It's just like the IRL car. Nobody likes driving it and the fans don't like watching it. It's total crap. But the people who run racing aren't interested in making any changes. Oh, for another day!"
      • Berwick Guy
        "Indy's 18-year association with the Gold Coast has come to an end after the Government refused to bow to the IRL to change the race dates from its traditional October timeslot and pump in more money."

        OH YEAH....this too after the IRL signed a new 6 year contract:

        "However under the new contract with the IRL, Sport minister Judy Spence said that the government's contribution would remain at $11million annually and that no extra money would be spent to fund the US series. "We are not increasing our spend on the event but we expect it will bring more into the economy with the merger of the Champ Car and Indy Racing League making it bigger and better than ever," Ms Spence said."

        I've checked my facts Mr. BerwickGuy, and they seem to run counter to your points made about me earlier. Please, post proof of which you indicated in your message to me. Thanks.
      • $600 Million
        The *rumored* $600 Million originally published was speculated by Robin Miller in his May 27, 2009 Speedtv report titled "Tony George Ousted From IMS". For those who work from facts, Miller's report was criticized as nothing but "ranting by a lunatic" who was seeking revenge. Miller referenced an inside IMS source close to the situation. The speedway quickly denounced the report, only to have the major portion about the TG ouster come true in eventuality. Whether death by a thousand cuts or a massive bleed, the Speedway is in trouble. Unless there is something to refute the $600 million claim, Miller's "inside source" appears to be spot on with credibility.
      • So is fred Nation his "inside source" any links? I mean really, Somehow we are supposed to believe an unamed souce from Miller? Lets try this again, with facts. Link please.
      • $600M
        You don't need a the math. More proof you'd buy anything the speedway sells.
      • Are you saying there is no link, or that there is no truth to the claim?

        Funny how you all throw out numbers,but have no facts to back it up with.

        Here is where I get my number from "Estimates put George�s losses at more than $250 million since forming the IRL in 1996. George doesn�t talk financials. Never has, and I�d be amazed if he ever does. So, the $250 million figure is, just that, an estimate. But it�s an estimate calculated by several motorsports business experts that I think have the insight to peg the figure pretty closely."

        Anyone care to refute Anthony's sources?
      • It's TOneys Fault
        TOney GOerges' sister

        600 million dollars
      • iman's Fantasies
        Anthony didn't quote anyone with facts, all they had were guesses and estimates. try again you irl street race loser
      • I never said that, again haters putting words in my mouth. what I did is provided a link (something the haters have not done). My link was to a journalist who has not discredited himself by whoring himself out to make a buck (unlike Robin Miller). and stated that they are sources he trusts. I will take Anthony's word for that. He does not seem to have an agenda here.

        So unless you can provide a link, like to a quote from Fred Nation, or a journalist who is somewhat creditable, then 600 is just a number.
      • Agast
        that is 600 million as in dollars

        you brazilian street race vision loser
      • It's TOneys Fault
        Motorola's tumble to the bottom of the cell phone industry was a direct result of its irl involvement
      • Really? I think you have finally gone over the edge.

        As far as numbers, since you are pulling them out of your backside, they could be $600 or $600 billion. Provide some sort of backup, and then maybe it will mean something.
      • iman's Fantasies
        600 million it had meaning to those who matter: the BoDs hehehe

        obviously, u dont
      • The Curse of League Involvement
        Northern Light's fade into darkness and obscurity is a direct result of its IRl sponsorship, as is joost's
      • The Curse of League Involvement
        The Indianapolis 500's descent into mediocrity is a direct result of its involvement with the IRl
      • And Truth falls even farther off of the path of sanity.

        Just a number without any kind of supporting proof. But then when has proof been important to any of the haters.
      • Is losing $250+ MILLION ok?
        If it's only $250+ MILLION then I'd say it's Tony George's fault for not spending MORE to preserve the sport. It's apparent he must have wanted the sport dead because $250M didn't cut it and now will no longer prop up the series. Great job Indyman, I know see the $250 Million light...thanks!
      • The Curse of League Involvement
        the ethanol industry was flying high until it hooked with the IRl and caught a venereal disease
      • The Curse of League Involvement
        ...not to mention Oldsmobile.
      • Agast
        Fortunately for Izod, it is already at the bottom of its industry and can't be negatively affected by its association with the League; although we may find that, Yes, fewer people can wear Izod clothing than was previously thought.
      • So now TG did not spend enough? Wow, the haters are all over the place. Thanks for the humor guys, I needed the laugh.

        So I guess you guys blame all your problems on the nearest scape goat.

        Let me try. NASCAR killed Pontiac and Plymouth. Heck they put GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy.

        Good thing the IRL was there to save Honda, Target (and all of their co sponsors)and 7-11 from the bankruptcy cart/owrs/ccws almost put them into. I guess I can blame the loss of Saturn on the IRL since Penske did not buy them. Wow, you guys live in a fun fantasy world.

      • Your World of Fantasy
        Indyman, you're close. Remember that Ed Hinton article about how NASCAR vowed to destroy Indy while he lambasted Tony George for being a buffoon by starting the IRL? Scapegoats aren't needed, the reality will set you free. The reality of $250+ million LOST for essentially NOTHING today. Rumors abound that the series will be sold to the owners....theories that TG's outser is akin to the 1978 plane crash. No new engine....owners forming companies to make a new car. Eleven months ago Barnhart said great progress was being made and decision was immenent. Now, team owners calling a meeting in January 2010 to "discuss" things. Things that make ya go "hmmmm...."? What if they band together in a powerplay against the speedway? Things aren't so rosy anymore, are they?
      • iman's issues
        these aren't our problems, they're yours. According to your only reliable source, Izod couldn't sell its stock of indy shirts even when they were marked down to $5
      • iman's issues
        15 years and the destruction of american open wheel racing; iman and TOney should get some kind of award for their hard work
      • And the Truth should get an award for creative writing. Your fantasy world is an amazing place. Very far out of reality, but fascinating.
      • iman's Fantasies
        Here's an easy question; even iman won't have to struggle to come up with the answer. He'll struggle to admit it, but that's an issue for his psychiatrist.

        Why did TOney suddenly lose interest in running the League?

        hint: no more access to the accounts where the 600 million dollars came from
      • Maybe you should talk to your psychiatrist about your fascination with the $600 million number and your complete lack of sources to back it up.

        Why did TG step down from the IRL? Only he could answer that, but common sense would include the fact that not being CEO if IMS would make it difficult to run the IRL, I would also have to think frustration, anger, disappointment whatever you want to call it, would make it difficult to run the IRL, but no the rest. There may be even other reasons as well. How are they relevant to any thing that has been discussed here is beyond me. I guess more of Truth trying to distract from the fact he has no sources for his numbers.

        Still waiting for the link that Fred Nation used the $600 million number.
      • It's TOneys Fault
        what does no longer being IMS CEO have to do with running an international street racing league for foreign street racers? other than MONEY; or in this case, the sudden lack of it

        600 million dollars
      • Money is part of it, although i am sure he would not have been totally cut off from the money. If the IRL fails, then ims is hurting for cars for the 500.

        i mean the tap has not been turned off yet.

        If I where in charge of a multi million dollar empire, then was told we are taking away 2/3 of it to let someone else run it, but you can still have this piece, i would probably get ticked and tell them where to go, more so when it is your sisters.
      • iman's issues
        but that someone else were TOneys' handpicked men. I guess it's hard to be a team player when you were given everything from the cradle on

        and hurting for cars for the 500, that's where the France family, Humpy Wheeler and NASCAR come in....hehehe
      • No, it is hard to be a team player when you get let go by your sisters. I am sure few ceo's would have liked to be in the same position and probably few would have stayed.

        I really doubt NASCAR will play any part in the 500.

        While i could see ownership of the IRL going to the team owners, i would hate to see that because that is what killed cart et al...

        i am hoping with the economy on its way up, and businesses looking to advertise, the irl stay under single owner control. I would like to see them go with the concept car that has been talked about. That would set them apart and bring renewed interest from fans, sponsors and suppliers. it will be an interesting year. i just hope Belaskus does not dismantle too many traditions to make money.
      • It's TOneys Fault
        nothing is going to bring renewed or newed interest in the IRl. Thanks to you and TOney and so called fans like you. TOney lost every fan the IRl had at the beginning. Something about Americans and ovals and such. What Americans want to watch a bunch of foreign street racers?
      • It's TOneys Fault
        And about TOneys' situation, I'm sure a lot of sisters would enjoy sitting by while big brother mowed through your family's money supply
      • Give belskus a break
        I have been following this discussion from the west coast and I am amazed by the display of sheer stupidity or ignorance displayed from the responses this article. I started as a volunteer on INDY and Trans-Am teams in the 60�s as I was raised in the east. I loved racing my whole life and was fortunate in life to be raised in a place where macadam racing was 6 nights a week during the summer months and champ car racing was king.
        There were no 6 figure salaries, 53 foot haulers, 300 employees�, multi-million dollar shops, testing programs that would steal a king�s ransom. No there were open trailers pulled by pick-up or box trucks, 6 guys that were full time in a shop and guys who showed up after work to spend hours for no pay and a box lunch or dinner to go racing. The days of the late 50�s, 60� and early 70�s were more than likely the greatest days in the history of racing for INDY cars and the speedway from the cars being built from the ground up by the teams themselves. From A J Watson to Penske�s small group of paid staff back then and drivers like Foyt, Johncock, Andretti, Gurney and Warren, and to many others to mention running at 160 MPH, that drew the interest of even F1 drivers from around the word to run the brickyard. If 33 cars are going 150 in a pack or 200 MPH in the same pack it does not mean a lot to the specters, it is still a great tight race.
        We have been on a drunken spree for a decade building huge budgets for the backs of corporations to carry, and for how long did we expect it to last? With the federal government going broke, the financial and automotive industryââ?¬â?¢s dismantled who is going to pay the bills now to operate the IRL series with a budget that looks like numbers out of a phone book. Quit picking on the Guy who took the handoff and is left holding the time bomb. Let him dismantle it and fix the problems, cut the expenses, keep the dream alive. We have not faced this type of financial disaster since 1929, it took 20 years to get here and it will take 15 years to dig out. Think about this fact ââ?¬Å? over one million home owners made the choice to become homeless and walk away from their American Dream because they owed more on their home than they could pay off in a life time in 2009, there are more than 12,000,000 people without jobs and we continue to send jobs overseasââ?¬Â? get a grip, control the racing cost, team cost, and work on closer competition for the entire race event, and you will have a great and profitable show again.
      • links
        Since Indyman seems to have access to financial information at IMS (I didn't know they gave that out to yellowshirts)why not post a link instead of asking others to provide a link to the $600 million figure? Meanwhile a little birs tells me there is another round of layoffs coming to IMS, hopefully it will include Brian Brainfart which will be another step in the right direction. And what's up with this owners only meeting coming up? Insquiring minds want to know?
      • So Brett are you actually reading the threads or just making up stuff as you go?

        When did I ever say, purport or suggest that I have any access to IMS financials? I am asking for the link because the haters love using that number and Dahooey stated that Fred Nation used that number. Hence waiting for a link to it. Unless Fred met Dahooey for dinner one night, he must have read it somewhere.

        I provided a link to Anthony's blog on the number. Somehow I am trusting that number from his inside sources than I am this mystery quote from Fred Nation or Robin Millers very impartial reporting.

        There very well may be more layoffs. As every business cuts fat, muscle and in some cases bone, to weather the recession, they are looking hard where to cut. I am betting TG had loyalty to employees that Belaskus does not. I already pointed out the loyalty TG showed to the laundry ladies.

        So you are hoping that finally your prediction from, what a year ago, comes true? I guess like all good psychics, eventually he will retire, quit, die or something and you can crow about how you were right.

        It will be interesting to see what comes out of this owners meeting.
        Team owners are just gathering to sign a letter of confidence in IMS and IRL, expressing their gratitude for all they've done for the sport.

        In reality, the owners will band together to force a greater share of the Indy money$ or force their desires on the limp sport. The Versus TV deal is NOT attracting sponsors for 2010, no Direct TV, no new engines or chassis, fans bored of IRL-dronefests, Indy condensed, minimal announcements of any value. I look for them to do a "season" condensing next, starting with Brazil. The IRL holds the trump card no longer, it's the owners who put cars on track and promote races. Toronto had 10,000 all weekend last a track that used to get 175,000 for a weekend pre IRL. To the series owners goes the spoils....and the rumored $250 to 600 MILLION lost by IMS in destroying the AOW sport.
      • iman's Fantasies
        if you were really indyman, and not just another indywannabee, you would be a source of information, not a disputer of facts offered by an owner of record of the Indinnaplus Moter SPedway
      • I am the real Indyman. I have been since I logged on here a couple of years ago. Of course I am a life long resident, so I have been indyman all my life.

        What facts from an owner have I disputed? Are you an owner of IMS? Come on, you are beyond silly.
      • iman's Fantasies
        you are boring.

        Fact, TOney got a 9 and a 4 TV rating for his last 500 just like CART got for its last 500. Accourse CART's was 9.4 and TOneys' was 4.9
        But it's just numbers isn't it
      • Indy TV ratings lowest since '86
        Television viewing figures for this year's Indianapolis 500 continued the annual trend of decreasing in numbers as the event, won by Brazil's Helio Castroneves for the third time, received its smallest national audience in the United States for twenty-three years.
      • Many people say facts are boring. Still waiting for the source of the $600 million number. Something tells me I am going to be waiting for a while.

        Of course I would figure any conversation about a racing series you do not care about in a sport that you think has hit bottom would be boring.

        So why do you spend so much time talking about it? I think lacrosse is boring. You will not find me on a blog site discussing lacrosse or Major League Lacrosse.
      • Speaking of boring...
        Honda has admitted to the fact they will steer the IMS/IRL wagon by making a V6 engine, designed to run 225 mph at the speedway. Seriously, why bother? They run 225 now and stink...what makes anyone think lopping off 2 cylinders is gonna grab the interest of the AOW public? Nascar runs V8...anything less is less. When your product sucks, make it suckier. The speedway shot the golden goose in 1994...and again in 1996, 2001, 2008, 2009 and in 2010.

        $600 Million.
      • NASCAR used to have a slogan, win on Sunday, sell on Monday. But it has been so long since anything on a NASCAR has anything remotely to do with with a car in a showroom.

        I am sure cutting the engine to V-6 is so Honda and whoever else builds for the series has a race engine that is based on a production engine. That technology from one can be used on the other. It is a good selling point. If the engine in your Accord is based on an engine that can do 225mph, that is impressive.

        Besides, some very strong engines at Indy have been V-6's.

        Indy has always been a test bed of innovation for the auto industry, starting back in 1911 with the first race use of a rear view mirror. It seems fitting in this day of high gas prices that engine manufactures tweak a 6 cylinder to have the performance and endurance of an 8. I still like the idea of lowering the amount of fuel given to the teams to make them have to decide more fuel efficient cars that can still run at high speeds.

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