Is Izod-Penske pact a conflict for IndyCar Series?

December 9, 2010
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I sat across from a source Monday silently pondering a question.

“Isn’t Izod’s sponsorship of Penske Racing a conflict of Interest?” the source asked me. “Aren’t they the title sponsor of the [IndyCar] Series too? I mean, isn’t that an obvious conflict of interest?

The source’s business is sought by some sports properties, but it’s not directly a sports business. Sometimes when you’re immersed daily in sports, you overlook the obvious.

I had given the conflict of interest issue a quick thought, but this type of crossover sponsorship seems to be somewhat commonplace, at least in the world of motorsports.

My source was dogged in his line of questioning. “If a title sponsor forking over million of dollars to the series is so directly affiliated with a team, wouldn’t the series have a vested interest in seeing that team and sponsor do well?”

Well, I suppose he has a point. But, I answered, sports—and racing in particular—are so desperate for sponsorship money, they’re not about to turn away a cash paying sponsor on any level. And the IndyCar Series could hardly afford to lose Penske Racing of all teams.

The room went silent for a second, before my source, who has no skin in the open-wheel game, quipped “Sounds like a conflict to me.”

So, what do you think? Does Izod’s growing relationships within IndyCar circles, and with Penske Racing in particular, pose a conflict of interest?
 

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  • Nope
    Not until it starts to become an obvious problem....
  • already a problem
    Since it is an appearance of a conflict of interest, (and it's being pointed out in the media as such) it's already an obvious problem. But money talks, especially in this cash-strapped sport.
  • Didn't Help RHR
    It did not seem to help AA last year. RHR won a race, but as a whole he was never going to much more than that. Penske does not need to bring on the Title Sponsor to win races. I think he was doing just fine without it.
  • Riddle me this Batman
    Great question Anthony.

    But, before the answer is generated by the Indy hype machine, let's carefully analyze this conundrum.

    PENSKE brings Chevy, will build the engines by his owned Ilmor engine company, he will get Detroit street race back on the schedule and now POACHES the IZOD sponsorship from Andretti Autosport....same IZOD sponsorship that utilized Ryan Hunter-Reay as IRL posterboy these past two years and IRL series TITLE sponsor.

    To parody PurdueFan and echo the famous Alfred E. Neuman...."What, me worry"?

    Yup, this is the same Roger Penske that the IRL was built for...you know the IRL mantra, CART was getting too big garbage, Penaske has the nerve to exploit INDY rules to his benefit...so let's start the IRL stuff.

    Looks like the CAT'S in the HENHOUSE now fellas. This is what I meant when I said the IRL is so powerless and greedy right now, PENSKE is in control at the speedway. Just look at Anthony's question above....we haters have been seeing it for YEARS. But, you have it all now, it's on Indy's clock, ENJOY!
  • Sponsors
    Seems strange bringing this up now, since IZOD served as sponsor for Hunter-Reay for Andretti Autosport last year. In reality, it should be less of an issue this year than last.
  • HUH?
    Chief,

    You have gone over the top and now you are hereby sentenced to watching six months worth of Sponge Bob with only rest room and food breaks allowed.

    Maybe then you'll be worth hearing from.

    Ye-gods.......
  • Can't Afford to Lose
    Even more interesting to me, is your source's response to your statement that the series can't afford to lose Penske: "Sounds like a conflict to me."

    That conflict has existed for years. Suspension uprights are spec, but Penske's aren't. Race-time rear wing adjustments aren't allowed on oval tracks, until Penske wants them at Indy... etc.

    Ultimately it's a matter of trust in rule making and enforcement. My impression is that Barnhart is not really completely trusted in the paddock, or by race fans.
  • Not really
    IZOD sponsored Ryan Hunter-Reay at Andretti Autosport last year and it did not appear to be a conflict of interest then. Why would it be one now?
    IZOD is in this to promote their brand, sponsoring a team in the series poses no conflict.
    If they owned a car perhaps, but not just as a sponsor.
  • How is this different?
    Than Izod sponsoring Andretti Autosport last season?
  • nice try Chief and others
    its america everyone - land of the free!! IZOD can direct their sposrship any where - answer this, are they going to get a bigger rturn on their $ from Penske - of course (Chief thats called good business!!) Are owners gong to ahve to purchase motors from Penske like the old days - NO! so let it grow. If you look hard enough you can find something wrong with everything!! Just ask the Board of the IMS and Indycar!!
  • Bob
    Andretti wasn't building spec engines for the leagues title sponsor's league.

    See, there is a conflict.
  • Nope.
    Did NASCAR types balk when Winston sponsored a car for years during their title sponsorship of the Cup series.
  • NASCAR has nothing to do with this
    Winston wasn't in control of the leagues engines. (at least they'll tell you that) Penske builds the engines for the IRL...IZOD is title sponsor. Why, that's a match made in heaven for the league. Just like AJ Foyt's "special" turbochargers were. Hmmm....godfather to the IMS' owners grandson has it's advantages....

    Don't be naive people. This certainly is a conflict. And Barnhart is a Penske loyalist too. The conspiracy thickens....too bad Sarah couldn't get IZOD to sponsor her.

    Rich get richer, and the poor get dumped from the IRL welfare system. but, it's ok for Penske to poach sponsors and build engines EXCLUSIVELY for the league which is controlled by his former employee.

    Wake up people!!
    • The CHAIRman of the Bored
      Danny Sullivan summed it up best. When the music ends, Roger always has a chair. 'Ol Rog got him a recliner this time and now he can sit back and watch his little Izodmobiles go round and round and round to a diminishing audience of who cares. Bonus: he most likely gets the last Borg.

      This is all a bunch of doesn't matter. The sport is, for all intents and purposes, dead. Disagree? Look at all the sports buzz over Rog getting Izod? Wowwee! So much cahtter on sports talk radio and columns in the papers! See? It does not matter. Rog is King. But the empire is dying. What's funny is he has come full circle, no pun intended. He started at in an amateur series and he will end in one.
    • I Don't See It
      I really don't see the conflict. When Jimmy Johnson races at the Lowes track twice a year is there a conflict? When a golfer plays in a sponsored tournament that also sponsors the golfer is there a conflict? When a pro bass fisherman catches fish in a boat that also sponsors the fisherman is there a conflict? When Peyton Manning drinks Gatorade on the sidelines during a game is there a conflict? Penske is the Yankee's of racing...accept it. You may think they come from the "darkside" but that's sports - you see them as either a hero or villain. I believe there are much greater concerns for everyone to worry about when it comes to the IRL then this.
    • Lighten up Francis
      It's only racing and entertainment so who cares about the conflict. The buzz is back and i look forward to a great May. There's no doubt Indycar is poised to take back the fans lost to Neckcar. Fans want the villian and Penske is Indycar's Yankees so bring on the new era!!
    • engine builders
      Chevy will be an engine builder yes and I see the conflict that "cheif" points out but Honda and Lotus will also be building engines for the teams. Your EXCLUSIVE comment isn't true. If the other teams don't like the chevy engine for that reason...then get another engine they have options.

      I think IZOD should sponsor a car. I think it is IZOD activating the sponsorship; now they have a face to promote the the IZOD brand not just a series. Many people pointed out that no one cried foul when IZOD was sponsoring Ryan Hunter-Raey...would we be having this conversation if IZOD was sponsoring Dixon or Dario? Those guys win as much or more than the Penske guys.
    • Huh??
      Everyone has been spending the last 10 plus years talking about how open wheel racing was going to die in the US...we finally have a shot at multiple engine suppliers, etc....and now there is a big conspiracy because of IZOD and Penske,,,who cares? If the other teams are willing to continue to race under these "obviously unfair conditions" then let the games begin.
    • Who cares....
      I hope the Captain wins my race and IZOD is plastered everywhere that day.....you know what that means, chief? IZOD gets 500% ROI and there name is plastered around the globe ...They re-up for 10 years 200 million and I am promoted to King of All Racing

      Oh yeah, almost forgot Chief, I'm sorry!
    • The Roger Rule
      Lowes doesn't sponsor the series AND make engines for the series, only a track.

      The IRl is DESPERATE for $$$, and will take it anyway they can. IMS is POWERLESS against the former CART owner PENSKE. Next to the physical plant, PENSKE is Indy...nothing else. Not Randy or Belskus or the sistas. Just Roger, and he wouldnt take advantage of a situation in the post-split world, would he?





    • Just had lunch
      with the Captain - he was telling me how he raked MILLIONS from the coffers of CART - Too funny - You will like this Chief, he said "I'm Sorry"
    • impartial?
      The series leadership above all else is supposed to be impartial. And they must also look out for the welfare of their sponsors. When one of the series' primary sponsors puts its name one of the teams that the series is supposed to judge impartially, you bet there's a conflict. There was a conflict last year with RHR, and there's a bigger one this year with Penske. One of the critical elements of sports competition is supposed to be impartiality ... an level playing field. When both the league and one of its teams has its hands in the pockets of the same company, that impartiality is out the window.
    • Now The Critics Emerge!
      Where were the critics when Izod sponsored Ryan Hunter Reay with Andretti Motorsports? They saw no conflict then.
    • Success breeds contempt...
      My series is exploding and I understand and expected your jealously, but get use to it because IZOD series is EXPLODING and you're IMPLODING
    • Another Heaping Helping of Sense
      "PENSKE brings Chevy, will build the engines by his owned Ilmor engine company, he will get Detroit street race back on the schedule and now POACHES the IZOD sponsorship from Andretti Autosport....same IZOD sponsorship that utilized Ryan Hunter-Reay as IRL posterboy these past two years and IRL series TITLE sponsor."

      And now, let us deal with actual reality:

      -The Ilmor Chevy will be available to anyone who chooses to run it.
      -He has not been able to get a Detroit street 'race' back on the schedule yet.
      -How do you know IZOD did not look Penske up?
      -Is IZOD sponsoring the series and a team now a BAD thing for the quaint little haters?

      "Yup, this is the same Roger Penske that the IRL was built for...you know the IRL mantra, cart was getting too big garbage, Penaske has the nerve to exploit INDY rules to his benefit...so let's start the IRL stuff."

      That's a fairly new spin. Here is the only thing we confirmed for sure: Neither cart nor Penske amounted to much, much less survived, without the Indianapolis 500.

      "Looks like the CAT'S in the HENHOUSE now fellas.

      Does that fairly ignorant statement mean that you stupidly believe the end of the IZOD IndyCar Series is at hand?
    • It's a conflict of interest
      ANDRETTI didn't MANUFACTURE engines for the SERIES. PENSKE does. That's an IZOD-PENSKE-IMS conflict of interest.

      PENSKE will do as he pleases and the speedway has no recourse BUT to appease it's title sponsor (and demigod, Roger Penske). CONFLICT of interest.

      It's so easy to understand even a CAVEMAN could understand it's a conflict of interest and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night either.

      AND, if the media wasn't so darn SOFT on Indy right now, they'd call the speedway out on this and make it right.

      PENSKE has TOO much power always....it once challenged the speedway, now they roll in it gleefully.
    • It's not a cat...
      I thought it was The Fox in the Henhouse?
    • yes
      I had Jack "The Cat in the Hat" Roush on my mine apparently. Apologies to all who I may have offended. (But, if Jack Roush built all the engines and got Sprint for a sponsor for all his cars, well, there might be a CONFLICT of INTEREST due a Cat "with the Hat" in the HENHOUSE")
    • All of this blogging, chatterr, and opining...
      ...is irrelevant, pro-IZODCAR or Anti-IZODCAR. Because hardly anyone in this country is interested in the sport! You guys are inflated by the sense this is important because it is your world. The rest of the nation could care less. Penske this, return on inventment that. Yada Yada Yada. The sport in meaningless to 99 percent of America. You guys are arguing over a minor league, niche nothing! Now that is funny! We are talking about Dungeons and Dragons, LaCrosse, and Jim Croce-level blogdom and fan base. Too funny!
      • Conflict
        Burl,

        How many times did your mother drop you on your head when you were a baby?

        Answer-one too many.....
      • Weak, BerwickGirl, very weak
        I was going to say I expect better from you, but upon second thought.........nah. That's you.
      • More Conflict
        What kind of moron would continue to spend so much time commenting on something he himself continues to deem irrelevant?

        The answer - he has SIDS.



        Surpressed Indycar Desire Syndrome
      • Burl...
        you just need to worry about CA, that niche state that is the armpit of America.

      • Chief
        Other than comments about why Indy Car is dead, I'm curious as to how Chief would go about resurrecting it?

        Chief - You are now CEO of the speedway and the League, assuming it's dead and your only job is to bring it back to prominence, how do you do it?
      • Chevy sponsors NASCAR race, Chevy builds engines for NASCAR. Conflict of interest?

        Same with Ford, same with Dodge.

        I am sure all the other teams will now be watching for the "special" P on the engine crates.

        Chief can't face the reality of the IRL's success so he now is inventing conspiracy theories. since Penske has been winning races since Chief was in short pants, i am really doubting the conspiracy thing.
      • There is a conflict of interest
        Iman, I don't write the stories, that's Anthony's job.

        I think there's a conflict of interest. Your "NASCAR does it so the IRL can too" is flat-out idiotic. PENSKE is in bed with IZOD which is the series sponsor. PENSKE owns the company that will make the Chevy engine.

        IRL's SUCCESS? With what? There is NO new chassis yet (just a hologram), NO engines (just a bunch of PR hoopla and groundbreakings), NO engine spec, NO body kits. There's NO $$$ yet, NO fans in the stands, NO TV Ratings.

        How do you measure success Iman? IF 2012 gets here, and the first car rolls I will be the first to say "hey, they made it". But I guarantee you there's rough road ahead.

        So, stop acting like the AOW world is NOT tipped on it's axis due to the damage caused by the IRL's existance...and now that PENSKE is in control of everything at the speedway I'm SURE everything will be alright. NOT.





      • Just a change of name and pledge of $$$ does not change a series
        It's still the same old IRL, with the same tired 8 year old chassis and spec engine/boat anchor. 2011 season will be just like all the others...meaningless and with out fans. 2012 is not here yet.
      • STUPID ARTICLE
        I can't even believe I am reading this garbage - why didn't your "source/blowhard" mention this last year? Tell your idiot source to look at the NFL, MLB, and all other leagues that have the league sponsors that also dip into individual team sponsorships. It is all over the place.
      • Josh
        That's quite a task you've given me Josh.

        I said this before...the sport today (to me) is like someone murdered it and left it laying on the sidewalk. Passerby's just gently nudge it out of their way and move by like they don't even see it. Even police and EMT's go by like it's not even there.

        Yet, you and me, and everybody know how this sport was killed...but no one does anything about it. The killers run free, not even trying to conceal the fact they killed it. I believe the fans deserve justice, even if it comes in the simple form of an apology.

        It really is that simple. The passion was stripped and can't come back until culpability assessed. I would do that as the first step to restore prominence of the sport. Randy has done everything else BUT what I mentioned...he alluded to doing it, but never did. So, the mistrust and feelings associated with the IRL continue.

        They'd rather move forward without dealing with it...I strongly believe this is suicide for the series. Just covering the tracks of a killer doesn't erase the killing.
        • easy now
          Mike N. Take a deep breath and count to 10. My "idiot source" is the CEO of a very successful and growing multi-national company. Actually, it's just the sort of company the IndyCar Series should be doing business with, or at least be trying to do business with. For all I know, my "idiot source" did mention this last year. The fact is, I didn't talk to him last year. In any event, thanks for reading.
          • You keep saying things like Andretti racing did not supply engines to the series, so I was showing that in NASCAR Chevy, Dodge and Ford, who sponsor races and supply engines are not considered conflict of interest. If the most popular racing series is able to do it without being accused of it, I do not think there is an issue. But of course I did not expect you being shown to be wrong well.

            "Yet, you and me, and everybody know how this sport was killed...but no one does anything about it." Cart killed itself, you stated that yourself. So it was suicide which means the killer could not possibly be running around. Unless you consider yourself an accessory to the suicide since you supported the series while it killed itself. I would not call you a killer chief, but you did contribute to the death.

            Now as far as open wheel, it is not dead. You said yourself that it will go on for years. Pretty good trick for a dead sport.

            You keep repeating the same blather, and still you say nothing.

            Did you supply the Versus stats you were quoting, I have not had time to look at the the last thread.

          • Cheif
            Cheif - I'm sorting through the barrage of vocabulary you so eloquently scribed in your response and from what I can gather, all you are requesting is an apology.

            I can understand you're being butt-hurt over the "injustice" you (and all OW fans) have endured over the last decade plus. You seem to make that clear in every post. However, we already knew that. My question to you was, "how do you bring INDYCAR back to prominence?"

            Let's say Randy Bernard, even though he personally doesn't owe you one, calls you personally to apologize. Do you really think that will be the majic potion that catapults INDYCAR to prominence? Come on, Chief... I gave you a golden opportunity to lay out the plan you have obviously been concocting for over 15 years and the only thing you can come up with is an apology? Why don't you sprinkle a little fairy dust on it as well and maybe it will grow up into a bean-stalk?

            Well, do INDYCAR and yourself a favor. Stop watching, stop writing, and stop thinking about it. Put in your old VHS tapes of 1970's races and enjoy a PBR because that time has passed. When you are 90 years old, you will be watching the 500 from your armchair still screaming doomsday while 400,000 screaming drunks are packed in the stands and infield. INDYCAR is an institution and despite all your crying, it isn't going anywhere.

            The next time someone gives you an opportunity to explain yourself, I'd take advantage with intelligent content, not vocabulary.
          • I see the point...
            While I see the point, I think it's a bit of a stretch. Isn't IZOD only sponsoring a few races? And isn't their name on every car anyway thanks to the title sponsorship? Sponsoring the series and a car just means you are putting more money into the series, sponsorship isn't going to directly affect the outcome, which is where a conflict would arise. If you wanted to argue conflict of interest, it would have been when Tony George was President of the league and a car owner. That's a clear conflict in that he could impact the league in such a way to allow his car to finish better. IZOD doesn't enjoy that same influence.
          • None of this matters because
            The sport is no longer of interest to all but perhaps 300,000 people in a nation of more than 300 million. It is like the sports radio talk guy the other day: "The Indy 500? They still have that?" or words close to that. I thought that was pretty funny. Only forum posters, bloggers, Robin Miller, and Donald Davidson are left.
          • Channeling Spiro T
            Burl, have you taken the time to so generously share those startling 'facts' with the 83 blue chip sponsors that have decided to spend millions with the IZOD (as in 'happy with the ROI') IndyCar Series? Oddly, people actually in the business world tend to disagree with the nattering nabobs of negativity obsessing over Indy Car all over cyberspace,
          • Josh, ?butt-hurt?
            That's funny.

            It wasn't a plan...it's a starting point.

            Look, I'll cut through the blather....the IRL or IZoD series (or whatever) needs to find a way to appeal to fans. Yes, the same fans that have rejected it since 1994, FOR WHATEVER reason. Alienating ANY fanbase or market is not good business sense....a track history that the IRL is great at. Instead of seeking forgiveness they soldier on with change (to coverup the past). Hey, it just might work. It appear that's what they are banking on.
          • Keep on Walking Kids
            IMHO, every single one of the cart-centric 'fans' who have rejected the IZOD IndyCar Series since 1996 should keep on walking (and preferably stop being hypocrites by running their pompous yaps about something they claim to hate). The sport needs those type of 'fans' almost as much as they might need terminal cancer. There is not much difference between the two anyway.

            Indifferent casual fans turned off by cart's scorched earth are a different story, and Randy Bernard and crew have done a commendable job reaching out to those actual fans.
          • Your comment
            Anthony - Ok counted to 10. I thought about it and realized you listened to that guy, thought about it and wrote an article. Seems you are the idiot for suggesting even the possibility that this represented a conflict of interest when there are so many other examples in sports of situations like this one.
          • Mike N maybe you should try to 100.

            All Anthony did is write what someone in business related to him. He is not saying it is fact, he is throwing out an item for discussion. This is a blog, not a news article. It is a place for people to write what they think, no matter how wacky, just look at what Chief posts.

            So if you do not like it, move on.
          • It a BLOG
            It wasn't designed to be a mouthpiece for the IRl leEgue. If everything was hunky-dory there would have not been the need for rear-engined cars, CART, the IRl, CCWS, or the current IzoD abomination. Or Randy Bernard, or the ICONIC commitee. or spec engines and spec chassis or Fred Nation or Leo Mehl. Or even Tony George and the defenseless defenders of things that apparently needed defending.

            But it's not hunky-dory, and the world SUCKS bigtime at times....so let's stop pretending heaven resides at 16th and Georgetown...IMS is fallible and negligent in how they've been steering and running this sport into the ground and this blog highlights that. Deal with it.

            "Chief" posts the truth...those who refuse to accept the truths are the ones who vigorously defend, mock and bullyrag even on Anthony for having the guts to raise the questions.

          • Hypocrisy Rears Its Ugly Head Again
            It would not be an issue if it was a valid question. But it is not. It is essentially a troll designed to elicit 100 or so comments. Comments to Indy Car topics are always much higher in number than for most other sports topics primarily due to extreme viewpoints (like yours).

            This type of activity occurs every day in all major sports.

            By the way, what is 'IR1 leEgue?' is that some sort of attempt at humor?

            If things at 16th and Georgetown 'suck' as you so eloquently state, why do you comment ad nauseum on every single Indy Car topic? In my 50+ years of supporting Indy Car racing throughout its various evolutionary periods, one thing is constant. The center of the sport remains 16th and Georgetown. Those who fight it are doomed to remain miserable by choice. Series who forget that fact go out of business. Twice.

            'Chief' and that ilk remain a cancerous blight on the sport of auto racing. The sport would be far better off without their 'contributions.'
          • Wrong again
            No one is fighting anything....the IRL is not under attack and is in no danger of losing it's supposed "center" of anything. Your paranoia gets the best of you.

            And, poo-poo on your opinion Mr. IRL Sensitive. You set the stage for debate with your stodgy conservative defense mechanism. Cancerous blight? YES, and until the destruction caused to AOW sport at the hands of the Hulman-George family is remedied, the cancer shall SPRED, so each business and fan knows the TRUTH. Better get to work defending sir, DEATHBLOW 2011 is upon the speedway!

          • Comprehension Difficulties
            Pop quiz: Which series remains in business, and which one killed itself? Twice?

            Answer: The series whose center is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is here, growing and strong, with leadership that continues moving it forward.

            The only series that suffered actual destruction was cart. Twice.

            You continue having difficulty accepting even basic facts.
          • Here's a basic fact
            The dominant features of the current evolution of the IRL are indeed based entirely on FAILED CART concepts. For some reason YOU feel this is euphoric holy land the cpoying of a failed twice dead series, complete with their owners, street circuits, drivers, even their foreign engines manufacturers and evil engine leases.

            Oh, and Tony Cotman orchestrating it all. Those are some evolutionary concessions the speedway must have made to abandon it's vision and adopt CART principles. Hypocrites.

            FACTS, all of them. DEAL WITH IT.
          • Engine Lease
            Hey Chief,

            Why exactly is the engine lease evil?
          • Lost in all of this...
            ...the sport is not on the American sporting scene radar screen with the exception of the Indy 500, and that barely registers a blip. Mom and Pop Sportsfan and Li'l Jimmy and Gena do not follow Indy Car racing, the latter have not even heard of it. A three-time Indy 500 Champion known as "the Dancing With The Stars guy", and a two-time Indy 500 Champion (including this year's event) known as "that guy married to Ashley Judd", herself sort of a minor league celebrity, B-ish list, maybe High C. Too funny. Oh, and "NASCAR" racer Danica Patrick. The IZOD car league series thing sure is lookin' up there Defenseless! Eye opener for ya': Only you and a small, niche audience even know about the sport. It is just not a big deal. Even the once-mighty Indy 500 is an after thought on the grand stage of American culture. Yesteryear. Get real about it. You follow a fast-fading sport of little interest to 99 percent of Americans.
          • I don't know
            IMS paranoia (led by Tony George who was spoon fed from USAC/Speedway handlers) felt CART was moving the sport's direction away from Indy importance. The "Evil" engine lease ploy was one of several excuses used to try and justify IRL creation and start the great open wheel split.

            Indy apparently felt it was important to get engine builders back in the business etc ad nauseum.

            Of course, these days it's all engine leases that is now championed by the IRL. Too bad it took down the sport and $775 million Hulman-George dollars to get the sport back to engine leases and have the IRL brethren accept them. I guess today it can be considered "CART's fault" by those who refuse to accept blame for the IRL's continued failures. Just more speedway hypocrisy at the expense of the sport. Indy hasn't produced any stars in the last 15 years. How come?
          • Did We Give Up When the Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor?
            Li'l Chief, it is easy to understand how someone with such a simplistic way of thinking might believe today's IZOD IndyCar Series (that is what it is actually called...the beloved 'IRL' acronym has been retired by just about everyone but simplistic thinkers) resembles yesterday's cart.

            Here is the critical difference: Has today's IZOD IndyCar Series forsaken all things IMS as yesterday's cart did? The answer is 'no.' That one thing is what cause cart to kill itself, twice, while the IZOD IndyCar Series continues a steady, upward trajectory of commendable growth.

            This circular brand of taunting with which you continue to whip deceased equine entities leads to another logical question to many adults, and that is if today's IZOD IndyCar Series is merely cart reconstituted, why would those enamored of what they thought they had with the now twice-deceased series not enjoy it?

            I know, I know...spec cars and Tony George. Get back to me, son, when you have had 50 years of fandom watching all of the evolution that continues to this day. Real fans do not hop on and off bandwagons and whine like little girls while they are off.

            Your tone sounds increasingly like fringe tea party nutjobs.
          • What fans Defenseless?
            There are about 300,000 or so in the country. Tops. Maybe less. So you must be referencing those. Small potatoes. Small sport. I predict the Indy 500 will bare aluminum next May in previously occupied places. The 100th year is big only to Donald Davidson and Trackforum nerds. Some sports writers, however, will play it up. As they should. However, the masses will not notice or care. The Indy 500, like the sport, is a faded relic.
          • Paranoia Strikes Deep
            "IMS paranoia (led by Tony George who was spoon fed from USAC/Speedway handlers) felt cart was moving the sport's direction away from Indy importance."
            It was. And that was/is unacceptable. Sans emphasis on Indy, any other series stupid enough to go down that road fails. History has proven me correct. Twice.

            "The 'Evil' engine lease ploy was one of several excuses used to try and justify IRL creation and start the great open wheel split."
            Wrong again. That particular taunt is just another concocted straw man to mask what was essentially the most idiotic boycott in the entire recorded history of sports by arrogant buffoons who thought they were bigger than the entity that created them.

            "Indy apparently felt it was important to get engine builders back in the business etc ad nauseum. Of course, these days it's all engine leases that is now championed by the IRL."
            It does not seem so bad to actual racing fans. Honda has been involved for nearly a decade. Three other manufacturer badges have been involved in the past (built by many builders) and starting in 2012, at least two others are joining the fun. That is what we long term fans refer to as 'evolution.'

            "Too bad it took down the sport and $775 million Hulman-George dollars to get the sport back to engine leases and have the IRL brethren accept them."
            LOL. The only part of the sport that has been brought down is cart. Twice. I see your quaint li'l WAG regarding the Hulman pocketbook is up to $775 million today. Any chance any of you will ever give me the breakdown accounting of revenue versus expenses for which I have been asking for months now? Are you aware the name of the series has officially been changed to IZOD IndyCar Series, using the acronym IICS? It seems as though obvious things elude your comprehension in a variety of areas.

            "I guess today it can be considered 'cart's fault by those who refuse to accept blame for the IRL's continued failures."
            Your guess would be incorrect, as usual. cart is not a relevant entity, nor has it been for years. Assuming the IZOD IndyCar Series 'failed' clearly demonstrates either your abject stupidity and/or refusal to orient yourself within the realm of actual reality.

            "Just more speedway hypocrisy at the expense of the sport. Indy hasn't produced any stars in the last 15 years. How come?"
            Danica Patrick. Dario Franchitti. Helio Castroneves. T.K. Rahal. Andretti. Ryan Hunter-Reay. Hey, they are no Paul Tracy or anything. LOL. You have some definite issues, kid.
          • I Wish We Were Dealing with Adults
            "There are about 300,000 or so in the country. Tops. Maybe less."
            Actually, when researching remarkable instances often referred to by adults as 'facts,' one quickly determines that over a million watched in person last season, and the television audience numbered in the millions. Responsible adults with actual skin in the IZOD IndyCar game have determined the ROI is phenomenal. Perhaps that is why series sponsor numbers increased to over 80 this past season. The combination of quality sponsorship, television rights, merchandising, etc., have made the IZOD IndyCar Series one of the hottest sports properties in the nation. That belies your consistently dire obsessions about the series.

            "So you must be referencing those. Small potatoes. Small sport. I predict the Indy 500 will bare aluminum next May in previously occupied places."
            I predict every seat will be filled (except perhaps those backstretch outside seats that are crappy, as usual) for the 100th anniversary provided it is not raining.

            "The 100th year is big only to Donald Davidson and Trackforum nerds. Some sports writers, however, will play it up. As they should. However, the masses will not notice or care. The Indy 500, like the sport, is a faded relic."
            It is obviously also big to the obsessed chicken littles who are constantly informing actual race fan adults how rapidly they believe the sky is falling. That type of empty prattle has been making your ilk look foolish for sixteen years. That type of stupidity shows little sign of letting up, either.

            Why not grow up and actually enjoy the sport, kid?
          • History revisioning
            Yet, the IRL continues without fans in the stands and TV ratings that are one third what they were before the "merger". STARS put butting in seats and make the Speedway run with black ink instead of red ink.

            There are no stars there, just ex-CART drivers taking all the champeenships and prize money (along with their owners). The kids are basically shadows of their dad's legacy, and Danica is a soft porn model that one a race once in JAPAN after the Dancing with Stars winner pulled over.

            What honor has the IRL restored to AOW? Seriously, it's re-run CART drivers in 8 year old spec foreign chassis and sealed foreign engine leases? AND it still holds the WORLD record for broken backs.

            No issues here Mr. Defender. You can't handle the TRUTH. After 50 years you'd think you would have learned something. Maybe it's time for you to go, and let Indy get some fresh air from your staunch stodgy conservative ways.
          • But Defenseless...
            ...how do you explain the literally tens of thousands of seats currently available for the 2011 Indy 500? Think not? Call the Speedway or go to any of the ticket sales sites and you'll soon learn there are buttless seats aplenty. Large swaths, stud. How do you explain that? The Indy 500 used to be compeltely sold-out by mid-summer if not sooner. Then there is that pesky 3.68 TV rating, the lowest ever. Then there is that pesky 0.25 to 0.30 TV rating on Versus. Then there is that pesky unable to get a 1.5 rating, heck barely able to crack a 1.0. Then there is that pesky crowd at Homstead for the championship battle. MMMMMMMhhhmmmmmmmmmm. Then there is that stellar corwd they had at Watkins Glen, oh wait, I was told they were hiding under the trees. Why seat in a grandstand seat on the front stretch when you can squat to pee under a tree and watch the race. MMMMMMhhhmmmmmmmmm. No two ways about it, Defenseless, the sport is on the outs, waaaaaay down the list. Millions watching. That is a gas. Like the radio sprts talk show host said the oher day, "The Indy 500? They still have that?" And he wasn't trying to be a smart aleck. NOBODY cares except you, Donald Davidson, and Trackforum nerds. Your turn, stud. I'm not liking your funny numbers, though, you silly sidewinder.
          • ROI is Phenomenal?
            The stodgy one sez IRL ROI is "phenomenal"? How so?

            Please explain your numbers...like "How much did someone have to invest to get a 350% return on investment"? $1, $10, $100, $1000, $10000, $1000000? $10000000? And the ever pressing question: How does the IRL turn 350% increase for IZoD into a return for them? IZoD spelled "HUNEDRED" correctly though. Hahaha.

          • Giving Generously To Those Less Blessed This Holiday Season
            Thank goodness I am a giver and take the time out of my busy day to set the ignorant free with truths they so vividly crave. To wit:

            "Yet, the IRL continues without fans in the stands and TV ratings that are one third what they were before the 'merger'."

            Is it your opinion that had Tony George NOT formed the IndyCar Series ratings would be at the same level or higher than they were in 1995? If that is what you believe, you really do need help dealing with reality.

            "STARS put butting in seats and make the Speedway run with black ink instead of red ink."
            Hmmm. That's odd. Every race I attended had thousands of people attending. For the season, more than a million saw IndyCar racing in person. Will there ever be a time that any of you address my long asked but always ignored question about an accounting of revenue versus expenses for IndyCar?

            "There are no stars there, just ex-cart drivers taking all the champeenships and prize money (along with their owners)."

            This 'cart' thing...the series that offed itself, twice...what relevance do they have again? The last time I looked everyone was racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series, the one with the Indianapolis 500 as its spiritual center. You know, as it should be. Are you really immature enough to do your thinking in terms of a twice-self immolated failure?

            "The kids are basically shadows of their dad's legacy, and Danica is a soft porn model that one a race once in JAPAN after the Dancing with Stars winner pulled over."
            What soft core porn features has Danica been in? I'll have to look them up. How come Helio pulling over did not work the same way for Paul Tracy? Tell me, did you have access to Helio's telemetry and fuel capacity numbers in Japan? Once again, actual reality conflicts with abject stupidity.

            "What honor has the IRL restored to AOW?"
            Restored? For real racing fans honor has never left. The IndyCar Series centered itself around IMS on day 1. That is as honorable as it gets. Dishonor is reserved for charlatans that boycott and subsequently kill themselves. Twice.

            "Seriously, it's re-run CART drivers in 8 year old spec foreign chassis and sealed foreign engine leases? AND it still holds the WORLD record for broken backs."
            In case you have not heard, the spec chassis are being phased out after the 2011 season. Multiple manufacturers will be joining as evolution embraces innovation. Thinking cars are 8 years old also demonstrates ignorance. Most of the cars were built in the past few years. Updates occur regularly.

            "No issues here Mr. Defender. You can't handle the TRUTH. After 50 years you'd think you would have learned something. Maybe it's time for you to go, and let Indy get some fresh air from your staunch stodgy conservative ways."
            I would much rather take valuable time out of me day to educate non-race fans who clearly do not get it where Indy and IMS are concerned.

            "...how do you explain the literally tens of thousands of seats currently available for the 2011 Indy 500? Think not? Call the Speedway or go to any of the ticket sales sites and you'll soon learn there are buttless seats aplenty. Large swaths, stud. How do you explain that?"
            How is that phenomenon any different from any Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, (insert name here) 500, or any other auto race and 95% of every other sporting or entertainment event on earth over ANY of the last ten years or so? Listen, kid...the economy is lousy, and people have more entertainment choice and the means to enjoy them than at any other time in history. If you were able to take a closer look at the numbers regarding Indianapolis 500 ticket sales, you would see an historic trend toward increased sales between roughly now and race day, and if you graphed it, the line would be going up slightly now; sharper a bit later. I have long predicted a sellout for the 100th anniversary. The sense of history is palpable for actual racing fans.

            "The Indy 500 used to be compeltely sold-out by mid-summer if not sooner."
            Actually, it used to sell out the day after the race. But then the world went and evolved. Stupid evolution, right? How, in the name of all that may be holy, could any non race fan attempting a weak slam again possibly find fault with the sale of almost 300,000 tickets year after year? Who would even care if the sales occurred before June 1 or some point in the next year? The level of desperation primarily just two of you children demonstrate regularly here is utterly laughable.

            Then there is that pesky 3.68 TV rating, the lowest ever. Then there is that pesky 0.25 to 0.30 TV rating on Versus. Then there is that pesky unable to get a 1.5 rating, heck barely able to crack a 1.0."
            Why do you believe those are numbers 'pesky?' You are aware that those numbers are generic, 12+ numbers that even advertisers do not use? The only 'people' to whom those particular numbers matter are simpletons trying as hard as they can to paint the IZOD IndyCar Series in as negative a light as they are able to concoct. If you ever get an opportunity to do a deeper dive into television audience numbers relevant to sellable demographic targets, you will soon discover substantial increases in groups that result in increased spending for sponsorship and advertising. In a general sense, the 12+ numbers are down substantially from 10 to 15 years ago. Again, the entire landscape has changed. The simplistic way in which you children think is very quaint, however. The funniest aspect of your simplistic thought is attempting to apply what you think you saw in 1995 with what you think you don't see in 2010.

            "Then there is that pesky crowd at Homstead for the championship battle. MMMMMMMhhhmmmmmmmmmm. Then there is that stellar corwd they had at Watkins Glen, oh wait, I was told they were hiding under the trees. Why seat in a grandstand seat on the front stretch when you can squat to pee under a tree and watch the race."

            How nice. Scatological, juvenile humor. Typical. Those two tracks with lousy attendance? Gone. That's what happens. It has happened that way since 1911.

            "MMMMMMhhhmmmmmmmmm. No two ways about it, Defenseless, the sport is on the outs, waaaaaay down the list. Millions watching. That is a gas. Like the radio sprts talk show host said the oher day, "The Indy 500? They still have that?" And he wasn't trying to be a smart aleck."

            Look, I can't speak for the relative ignorance of the average radio show host. I merely try to educate those types. Please give me the name and call letters and I will contact the host to fill him in.

            "NOBODY cares except you, Donald Davidson, and Trackforum nerds. Your turn, stud. I'm not liking your funny numbers, though, you silly sidewinder."
            You forgot to add obsessed, immature, IBJ comment contributors to your list of people who care. It is obvious based on the sheer volume of your efforts that you do, in fact, care. Over and over again.
          • That reads like a bout with Crohns
            But the real question is who are the REAL powerbrokers of AOW sport now? Tony George, he can't be because he can't even get a ham sandwich outside of Marion COunty these days!

            Chip Ganassi and Roger Penske! Them CART boys are running away with the championships and prize money! But, it's all good now that they are under the IMS IRL IZoD umbrella! Just the way it was before, just without CART. How many times are they dead? Why is that relevant?

            You see D, they are in control from the inside, and you IRL fans and CeO's let it happen. You are the greatest!
          • tickets
            I used to be a ticket broker. Now I'm broke. The races at Indy haven't been successful.
          • But Defenseless...
            ...you still have not explained to us why the sport has such a minscule following and why people like Indy 500 champions Dan Wheldon and Scott Dixon have such little to no name recognition and how it is that a three-time champion is known as "that Dancing With The Stars guy". You need to explain that, stud. Otherwise, you come off as an Angstadt shill all Donald Davidson like. Why, I'll bet you cry when Gomer sings "Back Home Again In Indiana".
          • Defenseless...
            You are up, stud. The clock is ticking...as before...an explanation for the low name recm please....step up, cowboy. Tick......tick.....tick.....tick.....tick....
          • The Giving Generously Continues
            The premise of your supposition remains, as always, inherently flawed. In actual fact, Indy 500 champions of the present day have as much or more name recognition than most in the pre-IndyCar past. To claim otherwise is to clearly demonstrate your continuing lack of understanding of the sport.

            Here is another word of wisdom: 'Gomer' is a fictional television character. Jim Nabors does a consistently great job with BHAII.

            In between the delinquency of you and Chief, some supposed ticket broker whined about the lack of activity for scalped tickets. I am sorry; I have no place in my heart for scalpers. Never have. Never will. Their business is also affected by evolution. I have had very good luck, for example, with stubhub.com when I decide to attend entertainment events at the last minute. It is less sleazy than dealing with mostly shady hucksters on corners.
          • Defenseless. The Struggle within.
            The names Unser, Andretti, Foyt, Rutherford, Parnelli (in slang lexicon no less), Vuky, were household names known to even non-sporting fans. "Present day" Indy 500 champions are known as "that Dancing With The Stars guy", and "that guy married to Ashley Judd". The names Wheldon, Rice, de Ferran and Dixon have no such recognition as you claim. Sam Hornish Jr. and Juan Pablo Montoya are "NASCAR" drivers. What you consistently fail to understand is you see the sport through the prism of your unhealthy obsession. 99 percent of Americans not only do not know who these drivers are, they are unaware of the sport. It is a small, small world, this Indy IZOD car thing. But it was a noble effort on your part, Defenseless, noble indeed. Laughable, but noble. You're a Donald Davidson-class taker aren't you?
          • X's and O's
            The NFL is a robust league enjoyed by millions. Likewise, Major League Baseball. I was particularly impressed with the huge turnout for the World Champion San Francisco Giants. College Football also enjoys a significant fan base and is as popular as ever. I enjoy that too. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the fast fading sport of Indy Car racing and the Indy 500. Luminaries Rutherford, Unser, Mears, Sullivan, Sneva, Foyt, were replaced by too many Montoya's, Milka's, Meira's, and Muthoh's, to sustain the popularity. Talentless heritage hopefuls such as Foyt, Luyendyk, and Andretti, failed to fill the void.
          • Apples Vs. Apples
            Gee...go figure, Burl. The NFL, MLB and college football popular? Gee thanks, Mr. Obvious.

            You seem to imply that a 'golden age' in Indy Car coincided with a period between roughly 1979 and 1995. That immediately makes me suspicious.

            So you are saying Johnny Rutherford, Al/Bobby Unser, Rick Mears, Danny Sullivan, Tom Sneva and A.J. Foyt were more popular than Juan Montoya, Milka Duno, Vitor Miera, Hideki Mutoh, Anthony Foyt IV, Arie Luyendyk, Jr. and Marco Andretti? I can buy that for the most part.

            Now let's compare apples to apples. If I walk down the street today with Danica Patrick, Dario Franchitti or Helio Castroneves, for example, they will get as much recognition as I would walking down the street in 1985 with any of the old timey drivers you mentioned.

            If I walked down the street in 1990 with Jeff Andretti, Juan Manuel Fangio II, any driver named Guerrero, Teo Fabi or Lyn St. James, I would get the same lack of recognition as I would for any of the Indy Car drivers you mentioned with the possible exception of Montoya.

            Apples and apples, son.

            As a student of Indy Car since 1959, I can say with certainty there have always been drivers less talented and popular than others.

            Once again, your attempt at a point fell woefully short.
          • What ever happened to
            Guys like Donnie Beechler, Billy Boat and the other stars of the IRL. Household names I tells ya. Greg Ray is still paying off that HONDA LEASE payments he got stuck with when they were giving away free engines to the CART boys that came over to the IRL.

            It worked out great for those Indy Stars. And that Mark Dismore, that guy can't walk in Broad Ripple without getting mobbed. Oh, the IRL is such a success.
          • Chief's Ongoing Obsession with the IZOD IndyCar Series is Humorous
            Hmmm. Odd. Greg Ray told me at an IZOD Indy car event this past season that he had been free and clear for years and was having lots of fun on the water. He looked good, too.

            By the way, how are stars of your favorite era...folks like Fabrizio Barbazza, Mark Blundell, Luis Diaz, Fredrik Ekblom, Juan Manuel Fangio II, Memo Gidley, Carlos Guerrero, Eddie Lawson, JJ Lehto, Jan Magnussen, Tarso Marques, Hiro Matsushita, Desiré Wilson or Alex Yoong? Can they go anywhere without being mobbed?

            LOL.
          • Delusional, Defenseless, Dimwitted
            You mean "That Dancing With The Stars Guy", and "That guy isn't he married to Aslkey Judd" right? Those two instantly recognizable super celebs? The only one I can give you is Danica. And she is a glorious contrivance. You fall short, Defenseless. Again, you only see things though the narrow prism of an obsessed fan. Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick, and maybe, I said maybe, Jimmie Johnson, are the only "household" names in American motorsport. Helio has marginal name recognition mostly for a dancing show. Dario doesn't even come close. In the 70's I knew people in the freaking theater and college professors in San Diego and L.A. who knew Petty, Pearson, Yarborough, Rutherford, Foyt, the Unser's, Sneva, and Andretti. Why? Because they knew I was a racing fan and those guys were larger than life. Heck, I even had a female, Chinese-American cultural anthropology professor who asked me what I thought of Salt Walther! It was that kind of world. Today, a three-time champion is "isn't that the Dancing With The Stars guy?. Yeah, old what's his bucket, I tell them. That's him. Dario who? Danica, she's a NASCAR racer.MMMMMMMMMMMMmmhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. You gomers are too funny. You constantly overestimate the importance of the sport. 99 percent of the public has not heard of Dario. Danica? From Super Bowl ads. Certainly not the Indy 500. Nice try, though.
          • 2nd Grade Behavior Exposed Again
            'Gomers?' Do you understand that even when you try to articulate something that may resemble a point which might otherwise have merit, routine cheesy attempts at amateur psychoanalysis aside, it all falls apart the very moment you fall into that hater hole by using such juvenile epithets as 'gomer?'

            Look, I get the disruptive, taunting stuff. But how difficult would it be for primarily the two of you obsessed Indy Car stalkers to merely attempt rational discourse?

            I know, that would take maturity. A guy can dream.
          • Stars of my my favorite era?
            Apparently the SAME as the stars of your era, and your starts did it WITH INDY. Hahaha, you made my point.

            Indy hasn't produced a star since 1996...Why can't BUDDY RICE get a ride? he's American, won the 500, tows the Indy line. But the IRl let's Milka and Baguette out there. PATHETIC IRL stars.

            IRL FAILURE. And that's the TRUTH. Put that in your pipe and smoke it stodgy old man.
          • New IzOD brand awareness campaign!
            "The IRL, so mature your dad that's been going for 50 years loves it!"

            HEY, DefenDEr, that will sell like hotcakes!!! 18 to 35 year olds, males, eat that mature stuff right up. INDY eyecatcher!

          • Leading The Blind From The Darkness
            Evidently the school for the 'gifted' is out this week for the festive holiday season.

            'Apparently the SAME as the stars of your era, and your starts did it WITH INDY. Hahaha, you made my point.'
            Uh, perhaps a remedial class in reading comprehension is in order. Go back. Re-read. Only this time try to absorb the meaning of the actual words that were typed.

            "Indy hasn't produced a star since 1996...Why can't BUDDY RICE get a ride? he's American, won the 500, tows the Indy line."
            Buddy, for better or worse, does not play the game that requires whoring yourself out to raise money yourself to buy a ride, a trend that began during the cart occupation of the sport before they killed themselves. Twice. He still races in other disciplines. A lot. But he is one of those principled drivers who believes rides should be earned, not purchased.

            "But the IRl let's Milka and Baguette out there. PATHETIC IRL stars."
            When you were younger, just how much lead paint did your mother allow you to ingest?
            First, 'IRL.' You are aware that acronym is retired, correct? It is now referred to by everyone else on earth as the IZOD IndyCar Series. Second, Milka and Bertrand. The series thanks you for knowing even the lesser known drivers in the series. Both made a choice Buddy Rice did not to purchase their seats. I will just go ahead and mark you as part of the camp that believes that is a bad thing. Evidently Randy Bernard agrees with us. He has stated he wants measures to prevent that. I believe you may have seen the last of Milka. But again, thanks for watching so closely.

            "IRL FAILURE. And that's the TRUTH. Put that in your pipe and smoke it stodgy old man.
            The IRL, so mature your dad that's been going for 50 years loves it!"
            Actually the demographic group of which I am a part spends more money in the sport and in general than most of the other demographic targets combined. We're more affluent. As opposed to effluent like you, which is obvious every single time you fat finger any almost unintelligible comment in knee jerk fashion whenever adults offer intelligent commentary.

            "HEY, DefenDEr, that will sell like hotcakes!!! 18 to 35 year olds, males, eat that mature stuff right up. INDY eyecatcher!"
            That particular demo showed a 40% increase in television ratings last year. It appears the IZOD IndyCar Series is on the right track.
          • So, it's Cart's fault?
            An Indy 500 winner won't play the games the IRL/IMS needs...like ride buying, paying kickbacks to the speedway etc. Right? Do, Milka races in IRL, so does Danica, but a race proven IRL 500 champion can't get a ride because the IRL system has excluded him. That's your words....

            Great, another success story for the FAILED IRL series...oooops, thats the IZOD INDY CAR SERIES. Soon to be setting records up in the south west vista if the cars can reach that far. That'll sell tickets. Buddy's doing himself a favor not racing in this abomination of a league. Good for BUDDY RICE!!!
          • Explaining Rocket Science to Toddlers
            Actually, my words sailed completely over your head again, as happens every single time you contribute anything. My advice freely given in my last offering was obviously not heeded. I will slow down even more.

            Go back and re-read slowly. Digest the material. Comprehend the words. If you need assistance, any number of persons here can help.

            Then, if you feel any need to respond, adults will treat you in kind if said response is literate, contains correctly spelled words, follows most rules of grammar, and is reasonable in tone. You consistently fail in all of those areas, so you have a lot to work on, kiddo. Hop to it.
          • Purchasing their seats?
            "Ride buying Foreigners" was part of the IRL mantra. Now, the IRl specializes in it and it's liked by all the IRL stodgy conservatives types who have been going to the speedway for 50+ years.

            IRL: Hasn't had integrity...not now, before or ever.

            So, you are saying INDY 500 winners take a back seat to ride buyers the IRL so desperately needs to fill the field. You admitted to it.
          • Chief, You Stopped Making Sense a Long Time Ago, Pal.
            It appears I will have to go REEEeeeeaaalllllllyyyyyy slowly for the comprehension-impaired.

            "Ride buying Foreigners was part of the IRL mantra."
            It was? Oddly, I do not remember seeing that tenet anywhere in any Indy Car mission statement. I do remember that in the early part of this decade, after cart owners began slithering back to Indy Car after they murdered their own series, twice, also brought many of the operational philosophies adopted since they begin in 1979. Philosophies that included selling seats to ride buyers with money.

            "Now, the IRl specializes in it"
            Well, Chief, you said yourself the IZOD IndyCar Series (well, not in those words...you are one of, like, two people desperately clinging to the obsolete acronym 'IRL') is actually being run by former cart people, so there you go.

            "and it's liked by all the IRL stodgy conservatives types who have been going to the speedway for 50+ years."
            Actually, as one in that demographic group, I have despised the practice since 1979. It is sleazy at best. That is why I am gratified the IZOD IndyCar Series still has owners such as John Barnes who is willing and able to pay a deserving American to drive his car. J.R. Hildebrand could well be that next great America star for which you two stalkers pine.

            "IRL: Hasn't had integrity...not now, before or ever."
            So what has no integrity? Ireland? In Real Life? A political party in Estonia? I am not following your juvenile, childlike, circular meandering. Start at least trying to make sense, boy.

            "So, you are saying INDY 500 winners take a back seat to ride buyers the IRL so desperately needs to fill the field. You admitted to it."
            This is another example in which you clearly demonstrate to adults that you should really work on your reading comprehension skills. What I said was that Buddy Rice, not all Indy 500 winners, would rather be paid to drive than pay to drive. One driver. Is there any morsel of this re-hash that you are unable to wrap your brain around?
          • Still and all...
            ...the sport is just not popular with the masses and the Indy 500 has greatly diminshed ratings. There is nothing Defenseless can convey that changes that fact.

            J.R. Hildebrand will do nothing to increase the interest either. If that wer ethe case, please provide me links to the huge coverage his signing at Panther is getting in the mainstream media. J.R. who? Mmmmmmmmmmhhhmmmmmmmmm.
          • I Should Start Charging for Quality Entertainment
            Nonsense commentary by a couple of delinquents followed by an adult taking charge. It is a show that seems to repeat itself often.

            I see Burl is back to once again attempt to drill home a point he feels may be valid; i.e., in his opinion the IZOD IndyCar Series is just not very popular, and that simplistic 12+ rating numbers for the Indianapolis 500 have mirrored most other sports and entertainment offerings over the past fifteen years, and doggone it, they are, gasp, lower than they used to be.

            Thank goodness he is insignificant in the big picture, and is not one of the sponsors that increased their spending last year to about $80 million, one of the target demographic members who increased Indy Car ratings by 40%, or is not associated with IZOD, who often refer to their ROI in the IndyCar Series as 'well beyond their wildest expectations.' Otherwise, we might have a problem.

            As it is, whatever problem Burl and his little friend perceive is largely a concoction of their own vivid yet salty youthful imaginations.
          • Hey Chief...
            Got Bitter?
          • Drillin home points
            The self proclaimed mouthpiece of the IRL series has spoken. Man did he set us "salty" youth straight.

            John Barnes? When was the last time ex-CART drivers and owners let that guy even SNIFF victory lane? You wanna keep CART in the news big fella at least credit them for slapping down your IRL/IZoD CAR brethren.

            Good for JR though...too bad the REAL winners like IzOD and Penske won't give the American a chance. But it's ok, because ride-buyers rule in the 50+ year old's league.
          • Oink Oink Oink
            Well what do you know? One of the li'l piggies is back...this time to tell us what a bad idea Panther hiring J.R. Hildebrand is. After all, he is just an American that actually matriculated to the burgeoning Indy Car ladder...is that theme not a taunt the piggies often use depending on the Indy Car-hatin' situation? LOL.

            Then, of course, we have to hear about the supposed superiority (again) of cart owners who killed their own series. Twice. As if the twice defunct cart series is relevant after so many years of dormancy. Again, LOL.

            I am having a difficult time following the whole 'IRL' taunt. Chief, are you referring to Ireland, In real Life, or a political party in Estonia? And what would any of that have to do with some perceived conflict of interest Roger Penske might have?

            Suggestion of the hour for li'l Chief: Why not go wee wee wee all the way home so the adults can focus on mature topics. I like to focus on the IZOD IndyCar Series. It continues growing impressively.
          • With
            Lowest Indy 500 ratings EVER!

            On remote outback cable network that is losing thousands of subscribers to cable burnout and IPTV selections.

            That couldn't fill TORONTO or EDMONTON in 2010 despite the previous series hundreds of thousands of attendance. Keep using CART numbers to justify new street circuit markets friend. You are just setting yourself up for failure with those 8 year old crap cars the IRL uses.
          • WAIT!
            Now the IRL wants to set Indy speed records in the old 8 year old dallaras this year! WooT!

            What do Kenny Brack, and Mike Conway have in common? Tip: Those cars don't fly. Well, they might if they go backwards and raise speeds. Doesn't the IRL learn from history???
          • It is a hoot...
            ...to see Defenseless just keep coming back for more, gnawing away like the junkyard dog he is. Fact of the matter is, a dying entity with a diminishing audience can use a barker like that. Hey, it's his energy being wasted. The rest of us are content to sit back and watch it flatline while enjoying some good yuck yucks. Go get em' Defender! Grrrrrrr!!!!
          • Let's Just Let The Kids Enjoy Themselves
            Uh, OK. Actually, perhaps it is best to let the words of both of you speak for themselves. That is far more entertaining than anything I can come up with.
          • What are you covering up?
            And why are you covering it up Defender? The IRL sucks is common knowledge everywhere.
          • Flying tigers
            Chief, don't forget Aces Ryan Briscoe, Dario Franchitti, Buddy Rice, Dan Wheldon, and thrill-seeker Mario Andretti. Former IMS boss Eddie Rickenbacker would blush. Granted, these pilotos did not earn a Purple Heart like Lieutenants Brack and Conway, but the aerial display would make a Blue Angel turn Army green with envy.

            Next May's speed quest should be good theater. You have to love the gunslingin' IZOD IRL.
          • If
            If the media allows IMS and Randy to execute this plan (and the drivers), they will all have blood on their hands.

            Remember, the current 8 year old Dallara chassis has a propensity to:

            1. Become airborne.
            2. Break backs with alarming regularity.

            After Brack's crash at Texas and weeks later Renna's death they had to reduce speed via smaller engine displacement, AND add the "full body wicker" to keep the cars on the ground.

            Now, with essentially the same chassis they want to raise the speeds higher than ever to create buzz for the centennial? IMHO, bad plan. This is how desperate the IRL...err...IZod series is.
          • Forgot about Renna
            R.I.P Tony Renna. Purported to be cut in half and a scene so devastating it has been said if it happened on race day it would have changed the face of the Indy 500 as we know it forever. That car, a G-Force I believe, was launched into and through the fence. While Barnhart worries about the field coming down to take the green all spread out and safey-safe, he and the other Einstein's at IZODCAR IRL Series league think nothing of then turning them loose to run 235 plus. It would be epic if the 2011 Indy 500 features the first race death since 1973 and the first fan fatality since 1987, but that is what they are looking at turning these dogs loose at old Luyendyk speeds. Mmmmmmmhhhhhmmmmmmmmm. And that is to say nothing of the fact that only roughly third of the field are actual real race car drivers, the rest being, club racers, of course, monied as they are. It's a lot of wad to spend playing race car driver when you can do it much cheaper and without fear of being halved at sya, an Indoor kart racing track. Mmmmmmmmhhhmmmmmmm.
          • When Did The Subject Change
            ....from Roger Penske's supposed conflict of interest to gruesome potential for death? Sounds as if the kids are scared of something.
          • Which Direction is Better
            As long as we're changing the subject let's discuss what original IndyCar owner John Barnes did this week: Tested an American, then gave him a ride based on his talent after he matriculated through the IndyCar ladder. That is the formula for which many of you have pined over the years.

            Let's compare that to the activities of former cart bailout recipients Newman-Haas this week. They tested a Spaniard and a Canadian, and will probably sell their seat to the one who can come up with the most money if Hideki doesn't come through.

            Which scenario offers more hope for the future?
          • Burl the Brave
            Why should I be scared? It is not me strapping myself into 8-year old carbon brittle. And that doesn't scare me either. Bores me, yes. I went to racing school and couldn't stop yawning. It is just not that interesting and compelling. Really, wehn you get right down to it, it is a ludicrous sport. Simply a monumental waste of time, money, and resource, to drive 'round and 'round and 'round for hours on end in a quest to be the "first" to cross a line and declared "victor". Rather silly isn't it? Lots of sports are silly, in fact. It is just that Indy Car racing is silly, dangerous, and unpopular. That also makes it funny.
          • Original?
            FACT: John Barnes is not an "ORIGINAL" anything. His IRL team formed in 1997 and first raced in 1998, 2 years AFTER the IRL first raced.
          • FACT 2:
            Barnes has trouble paying up.
          • Straightening Out The Kids Again
            Burl, if the sport is uninteresting, ludicrous and a monumental waste of time, why on earth would you offer so much commentary about it? That makes very little sense.

            Trouble paying? Like cart? Twice?

            Here are a few facts that are certain:
            1. Barnes' team was formed as an IRL team.
            2. He hired an American on the basis of talent that came through the ladder system.
            3. Newman-Haas 'tested' a Spaniard and a Canadian, and the seat auction will follow.
          • Barnes Lost Weight
            Not being associated with an organization that killed itself? Twice?
          • Who cares?
            Good for Hildebrand. Good for Barnes.

            Isn't the IRL fronting the $$$ for Barnes to take JR? Let's see, $$$ toward a ride in IRL PLUS IRL welfare system for Barnes. The big prop ip.

            Seems to me the IRL is still subsidizing it's "original" teams. Yep, that ladder system is working....how long has it been since Barnes won anything?
          • Team Funding
            "Isn't the IRL fronting the $$$ for Barnes to take JR? Let's see, $$$ toward a ride in IRL PLUS IRL welfare system for Barnes. The big prop ip."

            No, The IZOD IndyCar Series is not contributing any money to Barnes outside the TEAM funds distributed to all qualified teams. A team that could probably use held, however, is former cart stalwart Newman-Haas. They are looking for seat buyers.
          • How do you know?
            That Alex Zanardi is going to be GRAND MARSHALL and drive the Indy 500 pace car in the centennial 500?

            This would be a great concession to the CART contingent who already run the IRL from inside. Now, with Randy in their back pocket, the take over is almost complete. PEnske is great, 1994 was just faded memory in all the IRL faithful.
          • Oh, Another Topic Change I See
            I don't know who they have in mind. What I DO know, however, is that many of the fringe cart enthusiast brigade has proposed such a choice.

            A. Alex Zanardi never got to drive in the 500. Some stupid boycott cause that, and ultimately led to his loss of limbs after cart, in their infinite wisdom, decided to race the weekend after 9/11 when the rest of the world decided, respectfully, to take the weekend off. That type of choice would insult real race fans and be extremely disrespectful to the institution and its fans.

            B. The ONLY logical choice is A.J. Foyt. It will be the 50th anniversary of the first of his 4 wins. He drove in more of them than anyone else. He respects its history and heritage. Not choosing him would also be insulting ans disrespectful.

            You representing the cart contingent and asking for such a concession is just as disingenuous as an inner city gang thug demanding reparations for slavery.

            Get real, kid.
          • they need someone
            They'll need someone to lift the weight of the 2010 tv ratings above 3.68. It's apparently not working....maybe they should bring in Ludacris, Aerosmith, or Donnie Beechler again.

            It's always great when the Speedway tries to be hip....and falls flat on their faces.
          • Don't forget
            Kim Kardashian. She loved her visit to the "500." At any rate, the ratings might go up to a solid 4.0 next May if the Carbon Brittles are turning 240 at launch. The potential for a car into the stands will get a big tune-in. Randall knows this. There are plenty of shoes in the league who can accomplish the tasking.
          • I Honestly Believe They Have no Idea How Foolish They Appear
            Have either of you Nielson prodigies ever laid eyes on any numbers other than those quaint 12+ estimates? Perhaps you should. You just might appear slightly less foolish than you do now.
          • What Defender fails to undertsand...
            ...is no matter how he breaks down the numbers...the sport is JUST NOT POPULAR with the masses. 12-plus, 18-34, 99-103, it just doesn't equate to a substantial numer of viewers. The "500" today is a shell of its once great stature. You must wear yourself out, Defender. The sport is minuscule on the big screen.
          • The IRL 500 brought to you by.....
            ...."Snooki" Polizzi.

            nOW, that's a free tip for the Speedway to pimp the "Centennial Era" which was a bust anyway. Fits 18 to 35 demo, they like to fight, drink and be naughty....Indy stylee! Whats up yo'?

            Come on, it's as good as the American gimmick, the all oval gimmick, the "hey we got all the CART teams and YEN" gimmick, the 50 G impact lights gimmick, the "our cars don't fly" gimmick, Danica gimmick, Milka gimmick, the Sarah gimmick, the AJ IV-Special Ed gimmick and all the other gimmicks they use at the speedway for attention.
          • The Marco Wins Infineon Gimmick
            Don't forget that one. Marco is as gimmick as they get. His Grandpappy Coming Out of Retirement Gimmick was going to be good until he littered his suit playing Rickenbacker.
          • the Smoke Gimmick
            Don't forget that one....remember when Tony Stewart held "court" that bump day to generate attention and boost TV ratings...probably in the 18 to 35 yr. old bracket too.

            But, it was just another gimmick then, and Tony just dissed the IRL within the past month anyway declaring the engine rules stupid. So, maybe this one evens out.

            NAAH.
          • Willful Ignorance...
            Well I guess that answers my earlier question. They have not laid eyes on the numbers and choose to continue looking foolish. I don't really get that, but it's their choice. It also appears Chip Ganassi does not share the quaint li'l pessimism of the incoherent. He added two new teams today, both with paid American drivers. Oh, the humanity.
          • So what
            Great for Americans. it's about time the arrogant and pompous IRL series did something they were supposed to do long ago.

            Too bad about getting kicked off of American ISC ovals. Darn. Oh well, get right back to that IRL pioneered street racing again! Go I(ndy!

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