IndyCar CEO: 'I wouldn't grade myself high'

February 23, 2011
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IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard is full of ideas—and determination. He gets high marks on those two fronts, even from most of his critics.

On Tuesday, Bernard rolled out plans to offer $5 million to any non-IndyCar regular who can win the season-ending race in Las Vegas this year. He also announced that all but 44,000 tickets for the Las Vegas race (120,000 capacity) would be given away free.

No worries, though, Bernard said. The race will make its money through sponsorship revenue, and it’s getting a big boost from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Big questions remain though. Like how many drivers and race fans—even with the allure of free tickets—will take Bernard up on his offer.

I’ve been lampooned in the reader comments on this blog for not giving Bernard enough credit for what he’s accomplished during his first few months in IndyCar’s corner office. There’s no denying things are better now than they were last March 1 when Bernard took over. But the former chief of the Pro Bull Riders circuit known these days as Ropin’ Randy understands more is required of him.

“If we don’t have spectacular crowds, I’ve failed,” Bernard told me yesterday.

He hit on a very important point. The lynchpin of success for any sporting enterprise is audience size. The two key measures of that are live attendance and television ratings. The IndyCar Series saw some gains in those areas last year, but Bernard knows it’s not enough.

Case in point, if the series had the kind of following Bernard wants, and needs to secure the series' financial fortunes, a driver as talented at Tony Kanaan wouldn't be on the outside looking in.

More needs to be done to secure the series’ long-term future. Bernard knows the next two years could be make-or-break for this 16-year-old series. That’s what the Las Vegas announcement is all about.

“It’s crucial that we create great buzz and have great momentum heading into 2012,” Bernard said.

2012 is when the IndyCar Series rolls out its new engine and chassis formulas. It’s the year that Bernard hopes the open-wheel series might actually make a profit—or at least cover its expenses.

With three new independent board members of Hulman & Co. looking over his shoulder—not to mention the re-emergence of Tony George on the board—Bernard knows well the time for excuses and financial losses is coming to a close.

I won’t offer my insights on what Bernard’s grade should be after his first year as IndyCar Series CEO. Instead, during a one-on-one interview Tuesday, I decided to ask Bernard to grade himself.

“I wouldn’t grade myself high,” Bernard said. “I would give myself a six out of 10. All I’ve done is lay down a foundation. Now we have to deliver.”


  • spin
    Bernard is doing a fine job. If he's given himself a low grade, it's because no one yet knows how his changes will pay off.

    You really think TG was brought back to intimidate Bernard? I think that's nothing but assumption unless you've talked to ownership about the restructuring of the board?

    Basically you asked him that question just so you could justify the low grade you gave him?
  • Unbelievable
    You are really serious?...How many years did it take Tony George to wreck it? many bad decisions can one guy make over 20 years, he made them all...and you want Randy Bernard to fix it in less than one year. You are like the Pacer and IU fans...they demand that you get rid of your entire team, all the players with talent, and then still immediately expect to go to the playoffs or the NCAA tournament. Randy Bernard was brought in to fix something that Tony George destroyed over a long time. I get that he has to deliver, and you can grade him if you want, but he'd be an 18 on a scale of 10 compared to any year of Tony George. Clearly you are young enough that you are part of a generation that expects immediate gratification in every area of life...I must inform you that your writing delivers much less than immmediate gratification...if I were expecting from you what you seem to expect of Randy Bernard, Larry Bird, etc, I would have quit reading your column a long time ago. As a matter of fact...
  • Justification!!!
    Hey Redd, AS doesn't need any justification. The TV ratings and attendance numbers are all the justification anyone needs. I'm not saying Randy's not on the right track. But he hasn't reached his end game yet. And I'm sure the new board members won't be shy in telling him so.
  • Refreshing humility
    I was very impressed with RB's humble comments as they give a realistic assessment of his tenure to date with IndyCar. While Randy's made huge strides to get the series back to relevance, there's still so much work left to be done - including finding Tony Kanaan a ride! When arguably your most popular driver doesn't have a ride, you're still a series with lots of challenges left to solve.
  • Agreed
    SteveR, I agree with you wholeheartedly! Randy's sense of self and realistic approach to what he's doing has always been a strong point. Thanks for reading.
  • I vote with my fanny
    Like any good politician, Mr. Bernard made promises that he hasn't kept. He used the allure of admitting IMS responsibility for damages done to the sport over the past 16 years just long enough to get the most publicity out of it....which he did.

    That alone deserves an F grade for his freshman year. So, as we enter the sophomore year of Ropin's IMS career let's remember two things:

    1. Like meat at the meat counter, marked down in price and turning brownish-green under it's cellophane and flood of red-dye to hide it's quality, the INDYCAR series today is nothing more that the IRL was yesterday....spoiled and rotting and marked way down in value.

    2. Fans are not buying it. So, you can have bands playing and all the hoopla you want to try and sell that rotting piece of meat....BUT, real consumers know what it really is. And we vote with our fanny.

    So keep on keepin on Randy. I'm sure YOU are immune to the sophomore jinx....stop making promises you can't possibly keep.
  • Ropin' Randy?
    Is that what he's know as these days?
  • Cheif Could Do It!
    I've got it. Since Chief and Anthony concur that Randy Bernard doesn't deserve "high marks" for his work thus far, please enlighten us as to what actions would have been deserving of high marks?

    Don't give us any "spoiled meat" references because your comparing apples to bowling balls.

    Chief and Andy, what would you have done different that you would give yourself "high marks" on this year. Please be specific.
  • Very High Marks
    On a separate note. I will say that Randy Bernard has been the "Godsend" that Indycar has needed for 17 years. He's done more to advance the sport and provide a platform for the future than any one indiviual in OWR in the last 20 year.

    Can you imagine how far we'd be if we'd had him in place in 1992? NECKCAR would be a fringe sport and coupling their weekends w/ demolition derby's in backwoods North Carolina.

    Anyone capable of rational thought would have to agree that Bernard gets a 20 out of 10.
  • Let me be clear
    J, you ask a good question. I've been clear on this point in the past. There are two very specific things Randy needs to do to make high marks, and save his job and the IndyCar Series in the process. 1. Increase TV ratings 2. Increase attendance. I'm not trying to be flip here, but unless he can achieve those two things, everything else is mere window dressing. Making significant gains in those two areas is the only thing that will generate the sponsorship sales and drive broadcast, merchandise and other deals that will make this series self-sustaining in the long-term. Now, if you're going to ask, 'But what differently is Randy supposed to do (and be specific) to achieve those ends.' Quite frankly, that's not my job. That's the job of the series' CEO, and the last time I checked that's what Randy's business card reads. But Randy doesn't have to be concerned with my grade. There's a new sheriff in town. Make that four new sheriffs. And I'm sure, those four new Hulman & Co. board members are going to be demanding a lot more than I am.
    • rational?
      I guess we can conclude that Randy is not capable of rational thought, since he only gives himself a '6.' Either that or he's lying.
    • He Does Not Have To Apologize, Though...Right?
      "With three new independent board members of Hulman & Co. looking over his shoulderâ??not to mention the re-emergence of Tony George on the boardâ??Bernard knows well the time for excuses and financial losses is coming to a close."

      How, exactly, does Bernard know? What are they going to do? Fire him? The scorched earth left in the wake of cart's failure, twice, is a lot to overcome. Randy has done more in one year to advance the stature of the sport than all of the leadership in Indy Car or cart combined in the past 30 years, and he had a lot less to work with.

      I believe Tony George is content to ensure that IMS remains a showplace. He is on record as supporting Randy Bernard. If Randy still holds the support of the Hulman-George women, it does not really matter what anyone else thinks.

      Bernard has also indicated the series could be profitable at this point but that expenditures to build the series are more necessary now. My big hope is that the politics of the ignorant do not drive him away prematurely.

      He gets a B+ in my book.
    • half full
      I agree that "it"--meaning attendance and ratings--hasn't happened yet. I guess where we disagree is that--until say this next season is completed--I give him an A for a huge effort. If--at the end of this year--nothing has changed, then I'd consider lowering his grade. I guess I choose to be positive about RB and Indycar.
    • If you can't do, write
      It is like the old saying, "those who can't do teach, those who can't play coach." Neither postualte is totally true...but those who could not possibly be the CEO of a "series", or a professional sports team, apparently write for a living. You are correct...he will be judged on ratings and attendance ultimately. But the lack of patience to me is just appalling, given the nearly 20 years of mismanagement of IRL by the Hulman-George family, Tony George specifically. And you (and the 4 new Sheriffs) want him to fix all that in less than a year? Completely unrealistic viewpoint...who pays you to write this stuff? Hmmm...I may have answered my own question there, now that I think about can consider it rhetorical in any case...
    • Thanks
      Anthony, I appreciate your response. Much of it makes sense. You will have to forgive me as I just find back-seat driving and Monday morning quarterbacking annoying and a waste of time.

      As far as RB being concerned about the new board members, I would have to laugh if I was in his shoes. Think about this... Tony George quite literally ran AOWR into the ground (with the help of a few idiot advisors and car owners on both sides of the split). He also was incapable of running a profitable series and racing team. Does anyone really beleive that RB sees him as a threat? Tony George should be the guy getting Randy's morning coffee and making sure his car is washed and waxed once a week because he is going to save the racing arm of the family's business. I'm sure he's embarassed about that, but he certainly isn't going to start throwing any heat his way. Even TG isn't that stupid.

      What the board and fans will recognize is that RB has delivered with an A+ in regards to "resonable expectations." Certainly Indycar fans and the board members were not expecting the league to go from an $8 Million defecit to a $10 million dollar profit in one season. That would not be reasonable. Certainly fans and board members woudl not expect average attendences of 30,000 to jump to 85,000 in one season. That would not be reasonable. The same goes for viewership. The important thing is that RB finally has the ship moving in the right direction. As long as he can continue moving the ship closer to the goals they have set, then he will continue to get high marks.

      Also, he's obviously being modest. No one respects, "I'd give myself a 10 out of 10 because I'm awesome." No one likes that guy.
    • Lost in all of this... the simple fact the sport is just not popular. It is a tiny nice sport, few care about. It doesn't matter what Ropin' says, does, or how he grades himself. He is and will continue to find that out. The headline should be: "Ropin' Knows He Took On Effort Of Sport Few Car About." The fact remains, Indy Car racing is yesterday. LOst in all of this, is the simple fact the sport is just not popular. It is just not popular at all. Popular, it is not.
      • Burl Does Have A Point
        What that point is, most of us never quite understand, but he does make a small one here, albeit repeatedly. The sport is not popular and hardly do I ever encounter, in any walk of life, anyone who talks about it or knows anything about it even existing. Some even think the Indy 500 is a stock car race, confusing it with the Brickyard 400 I guess. I have heard that about three times in recent years.
        • mr. obvious
          Of course, Indycar hasn't been popular for awhile--that's why they brought Bernard in.

          That's his job. It's a difficult one. Why are people (especially in Indy) so anxious for Bernard and Indycar to fail? There must be a reason some folks are so bitter about it.
        • wanna bet?
          Ropin' Randy does not make it to 2012 at IMS.
          He is toast.
        • 8 Second Ride
          That's what Ropin' is looking at here. Holding on for the full 8 seconds. Because he's gonan get throwed. That much we know. He's at 5.3 right now. Hang on Randy! Get em!

          Trouble is this old bull is a toughie, Hulman-G is a mean mistreater. I say he gets throwed before he gets his 8. Back to the the cowboy circuit, Randy. And what did you think was going to happen anyhow? The sport is toast. 2011 is it. 2012 talk is equal parts wishful thinking and smokin' mirrors, babes. Smokin' and dopin'.
          • Doh!
            Snout is out of a ride. Now that is some funny funny. Well, one good thing: Fewer wrecked cars.
          • Tony Kaanan Gets an L Cap
            That's a big capital "L" TK's cap. You are right Zig. Fewer cars to qualify last, drive through the field all wreckless like, only to snap fiber and bend titanium each and everytime. Tony The Wrecker sits. I love it. PT is out too. There is a racing God. Well, sort of. He is still letting Rahal bust up carbon fiber. Ha!
          • Really?
            So, the series sees more positive movement in attendance, ratings, sponsorship, and overall good news in 2010 than it has seen in the 15 years prior to Bernards arrival; and people think that he is failing and should be looking for another job? Really?

            This is the same board that let TG stay in charge when the numbers were falling year after year after year. You really think they are unhappy with finally seeing a "blip" on the heart rate monitor? Really?
          • Tina
            You've heard something from 3 people in 3 years. Wow, that's is quite a statistical underwhelming fact. Means nothing.
          • Ted
            Who's the dope here? RB has achieved more in less than a year than you have in your sorry entire life.
          • Burl
            Ok, Mr. Smart Butt, exactly how popular was bull riding before RB took the reins and how high a profile does it have now, hmmmmm? You don't know as much as you mouth off about.
          • Response to J
            I never said Mr. Bernard wasn't a hard worker nor didn't deserve high marks for his effort.

            All I ask is that he keep his promises and stop slinging BS. The humility with which he has gone about his job is impressive, yet doesn't go far enough. He's done everything but admit the Speedway screwed up way back when.

            I stand firm in my belief that to resurrect this sport the Speedway needs to admit culpability....which they certainly won't do and which is the #1 reason why they can't carry CART's twice dead and stinking jockstrap in places like Toronto, Edmonton, Long Beach and anywhere else they've been kicked out of. Getting 15,000 attendance where the series that preceded it got 168,000 should make EVERYBODY's eyes pop right out of their heads. But in Indy, it's business as usual.

            I've seen no evidence of goodwill being extended to fans of this sport...the one's who are not going to the races specifically because of the turn-off the split was for the sport. Seriously, everyone treats it like it never happened which is wrong. And so does Randy. Nothing has changed.

            And unfortunately, the horse is long gone from the barn now and there's no turning back. So, for that alone Mr. Bernard deserves an F grade....bridge building is going after new markets and demographics because their pride is more important than fixing the bridge that was burnt down previously. Isn't that how we got into this mess in the first place? Fix it.
          • Chief
            Chief, Thanks for the articulate response. Now it's slightly more clear as to what you are getting at.

            Here is a recent quote from RB,

            "I promise you, if the NBA split tomorrow, they would have the same problems; or if the NFL split they would have problems. I think it's very important that it's reunified. This isn't Champ Car. It's not CART. It's not IRL. It's IndyCar, and this is the IZOD IndyCar Series and it's about the world's best. That's what we have to deliver."

            RB completely understands that the split is the reason for fan dissention such as yours. You are bitter, angry, hurt, and dissatisfied as a fan. Understandable. However, RB had nothing to do with it. He was growing a Bull Riding series while all of this was going on. Why does Randy Bernard owe you, or anyone else an apology?

            Wouldn't you say your F grade should be reserved for the likes of Tony George, Roger Penske, Chip Gannasi, Carl Haas, and the rest of the "pride brigade" that brought on this mess in the first place. These are the men who owe you an apology.

            But, in reality, what is an apology going to do? Seriously? If these men call you and say, "Gee Chief, we're really sorry about all that. No hard feelings." Is that going to make things all better for you? Come on... Get real man.
          • Sinking further
            Randy has a tough job and I'm not sure he (or anyone) can be successful.

            The $5 million prize to try to attract NASCAR drivers to race and win in Las Vegas race reeks of desperation. Who decides what driver is big enough/important enough to â??getâ?? one of the five spots? What is the long term benefit to the league for this? What does this do to significantly grow the series? I fear it does nothing of significance.

            Giving away a large amount of freebies tends to devalue the product, even one that is significantly diminished already. Also, arenâ??t the intended recipients of these free tickets the people that are actually willing to spend dollars to attend an Indy car race? If theyâ??re going to give away freebies, why not give them to the attendees of the NASCAR truck race to try to convince them to come back on Sunday. Somehow, they have to attract people that arenâ??t already fans to attend.

            Lastly, Randy needs to try harder to find a way to distance the series from the old IRL name. Too many people still associate the tattered remains of the sport with that name. I thought they were going to have some kind of ceremonial "destruction" of the old IRL name, logos, etc. The league still carries too much baggage of the past and I donâ??t hear them doing anything substantive to change that.

            Will they even make it to 2012? Will anyone outside of IMS really care? The future is very unsure.
          • Sinking further
            Randy has a tough job and I'm not sure he (or anyone) can be successful.

            The $5 million prize to try to attract NASCAR drivers to race and win in Las Vegas race reeks to me of desperation. Who decides what driver is big enough/important enough to get one of the five spots? What is the long term benefit to the league for this? What does this do to significantly grow the series? I fear it does nothing of significance.

            Giving away a large amount of freebies tends to devalue the product, even one that is significantly diminished already. Also, aren't the intended recipients of these free tickets the people that are actually willing to spend dollars to attend an Indy car race? If they're going to give away freebies, why not give them to the attendees of the NASCAR truck race to try to convince them to come back on Sunday. Somehow, they have to attract people that aren't already fans to attend.

            Lastly, Randy needs to try harder to find a way to distance the series from the old IRL name. Too many people still associate the tattered remains of the sport with that name. I thought they were going to have some kind of ceremonial "destruction" of the old IRL name, logos, etc. The league still carries too much baggage of the past and I don't hear them doing anything substantive to change that.

            Will they even make it to 2012? Will anyone outside of IMS really care? The future is very unsure.
          • Random Thoughts
            First, I'm not sure I agree with the $5 million bonus for a non-regular driver to win the last race of the season. I can just see some hotshot with nothing to lose and $5 million to gain getting in the middle of the championship battle.

            Secondly, are there really people out there still complaining about the old IRL name? Where have you been the last year or so? It's already gone!

            Finally, regarding TV ratings and attendance...if I was looking for sponsorship I wouldn't focus on B2C prospects with those numbers, only B2B prospects. DuPont, Caterpillar, Gould, Norton, Delphi, FedEx, UPS, etc. are all companies with past or present motorsports programs that primarily justified their sponsorships by the new corporate business they developed through racing. If you're able to generate new sales for your sponsors through B2B sponsorships you don't need the big attendance or TV numbers B2C sponsors look for.
          • Helio
            Randy has one good point. I firmly beleive that Indycar's top-tier talent stands the test as the worlds best drivers. Not everyone, of course. However, I would put Helio, Dario, Dixon, and TK up against any 4 drivers from any other series.

            I guarantee you if they had a 3 race challenge (road, street, and oval), those 4 would dominate.
          • J, your rebuttal
            An apology isn't needed, but was theorized by Mr. Bernard last year. Anthony wrote about it here. But Randy didn't have the guts to do it. So, in my eyes he failed EVERYONE. F is for FAIL and that's his grade.

            That day last year, when the return to Milwaukee was announced and Randy said they needed to put the IRL moniker death....THAT was the perfect time to say 'look, we screwed up bad, ALL OF US, and we are determined to make it right for all fans of this sport'. But, instead all was heard was that the IRL moniker held too many bad connotations. Nobody thought to wonder WHY?

            I've noted previously the unusual marketing campaign of DOMINO'S pizza...where they ADMIT the pizza stunk (my terminology) and urged the consumer to help make it better.

            Well, the problem as it applies to IMS is they don't think their product stinks so they see no need to admit ANYTHING. And there the problem rests....

            So J, where's the 'line in the sand' moment? Was it the merger (that most IRL lovers consider an 'asset sale')? Tony's ouster? The killing of the IRL moniker? That ghastly trophy complete with oval/road season champions? What is the sign to the fans that they are serious about the sport and REALLY want the fans to support them?

            What is that sign? Did I miss it? Skipping steps 5 through 11 in a 12 step program isn't the way to do it....IF you truely want to come clean. I believe the Speedway doesn't want to come clean...they just give the impression they are clean. And that's not good enough.
          • Apology
            Chief. This is productive dialogue. I'm enjoying it.

            You mention an apology isn't neccesary. Just that it was theorized but Randy didn't have the guts to do it. I'm sorry, but that sounds like you are saying, "I don't want an apology, I just want an apology."

            Either way, when Domino's screws up my pizza, I could care less if they admit it and apologize. All I really care about is the free pizza I have coming my way the next time I order. The apology means nothing.

            Indycar doesn't owe me anything. I took my ball and went home from '97 - 2001. Ever since Helio won his first 500, I gradually started watching more and more until the merger. I've enjoyed the last two seasons immensely. The same goes for my friends, co-workers, and associates who are racing fans. That is a positive trend. Not to mention, Indy's crowd has been noticably better in recent years (last year the infield reminded me of the 90's).

            I told you all of that to make a point that, those people didn't need the apology either. They also didn't need Indycar to "admit they were wrong." They just want a great and entertaining unified product.

            How do we justify low marks to a modest guy who is making such a huge impact?
          • J
            Good point J. Can't deny things look a lot better than they did in 2000.

            Long way to go still but they are on the right track.

            Don't pay much attention to Chief. That guy has been barking up the same dead tree for a long time. Indycar and IMS could feed all the hungry people in the world and he'd complain that they fed them chicken and not steak.
          • Jx2
            Mr. Bernard alluded to an apology, I merely suggest he follow up on that. Until then I consider him not a man of his word.

            Huge impact? PR bluster is all it is from a good promoter. I understand Gil DeFerran laid off the entire Luzco-Dragon Motorsports team today. One month before the season. Yet, the IRL is offering $5 Million to any non-regular to come in and create publicity for the series. More huge impact I'm sure...

            So, I'm very glad for the people you suggest don't need an apology. Great for them. But, I ask you directly now, was the Speedway wrong for splitting the sport? And if so, how does this sport get everybody headed in the right direction when HUGE numbers of fans still sit on the sidelines, disenfranchised with the mis-management of the sport under the Speedway's leadership?

          • Rob
            I'm very glad you enjoy the series. I do not.

            IMS and Indycar would never feed anybody anything they NEEDED so your point is moot.

            They also would never recognize starving masses until long after mass deaths from starvation and only if they (the Speedway) became hungry itself. Then and only then would they react....and yes, in it's self-serving way, of course. But only after photocopying the NASCAR playbook....
          • Any news on the 'Minority Groups' treatment changes?
            If I recall, Mr. Bernard also promised changes to the way the speedway treated 'minority groups' he stated, they apparently weren't treated so good by the speedway in the past.

            What does that mean? Free tickets, restitution, what? Another great promise but the rodeo boy wonder that he has failed on. And look at that...HE admitted the speedway was doing something wrong. Hmmmm, what happened?
          • The sport does not fit anymore
            Times have changed. People move on. The sport was always "niche" as some here have correctly stated, with one big annual event that transcended the actual sport. In the 80's and into the 90's, they sport had a NASCAR-like surgence of popularity (although not as big) due to TV accessability. It helped they had big name American stars and a couple colorful former F1 pilotos, plus plenty of money in the economy to fuel things.

            Not so anymore. The wine and cheese set moved on, either due to economics, or loss of enthusiasm, some even to NASCAR. That left the old "niche" fans and they are all that is left. Against this backdrop is a still expensive sport not too far removed from what it was in the 80's-90's heyday. The economic model does not work now. That is why top pilotos and teams struggle or drop out altogteher and are replaced by wealthy or well-funded "ride buyers" of questionable authenticity.

            The image left is that of a sport for rich kids who can afford to drive in the Indy 500 along with a few old CART stars the public never really identified with much in the first place. Many of these drivers are incredibly talented, but they do not resonate with most. This is mostly because they are international pilotos.

            With old but still expensive cars that are not very attractive and races that are not competitive much of the time, driven by many nobody really knows or cares much about, it has image of a "club series" type racing that pays homage to the old days of CART. Poorly, but homage nonetheless.

            It is far too expensive for the level of interest that remains. Truly, this sport is now down to the third-tier status and for sustainment, it must reflect its place in price and participation. It should be a small series of oval races at Iowa, Texas, Milwaukee, Kentucky, and maybe, again, Nashville, Fontana, and Phoenix, plus Indy. This is cars that retail for perhaps $200,000 tops, better less. 8 to 10 races per year. The big one should be on NBC now and the cars should be much like they were in the 70's, only with safety upgrades. Engines should be in spirit of the early IRL.

            The product today is not of appeal to all but a very small minority. Reconciling this with reality dictates a direction to what I have outlined. The sport can then sustain as an honest, small, third-tier, professional racing series of modest means, that has a major event each May, attended by approximately 175,000 to 200,000 people and shown on a major network. The rest will be crowds of 25,000 or so and shown on NBC's rebranded Versus channel. That is the best that can be expected against the real possibility of extinction.


          • It worked quite well
            just about every venue the Irl ever went to eventually became part of the boycott...twenty something and counting...he he he
          • ESPNASCAR
            Indycar may be the only "niche" sport that draws over 250,000 to a single day event (still the largest single day sporting event in the world). That is some niche!

            Don't any of you wonder why ESPN, SPEED, SI, and the other major publications don't have Indycar tabs? I'm sure those of you who are bitter would have a field day with this, but honestly think about this. Once France conivnced TG that the IRL was a good idea (a great play on France's part), NASCAR automatically became the biggest series in the country. With their network deals and media control, they have successfully stopped all sports media from advertising Indycar. No indycar tabs can be found on any of the major publications.

            Despite this intentional lack of coverage, the series continues to improve numbers over the last two years. The 500 continues to improve numbers over the last 5 years.

            That is one hell of a "niche" to be able to see recognizable improvements when you are fighting a media giant like NASCAR.

          • Half as Many
            "just about every venue INDYCAR ever went to eventually became part of the boycott...twenty something and counting...he he he"

            Still a way to go to catch up to the 41 blown off during the cart occupation however.
          • Show your work J or D
            So, it's NASCAR's fault?

            TG locked horns with little Big Bill...and look where it got the sport. And you are looking for IRL tabs on their websites?

            Improve numbers? Like the 22+ tracks they kick out (or are kicked off of)? The lack of coverage is the perception ALL fans have of the sport have. Why? Because the IRL was created.

            Whta numbers have improved? 2010 TV ratings at 3.68 for IRL lowest ever. Versus ratings at 0.30. Attendance at nail-biting season ender....11,000. Toronto (bastion for CART 168k crowds) now reduced to 15K for the IRL.

            What numbers dude? And you never answered my questions....
          • Deja Vu All Over Again
            INDYCAR Attendance in 2010:

            Half a month of May at Indy:
            Race Day = 275,000
            Carb Day = 105,000
            Pole Day = 85,000
            Bump Day = 75,000
            All Other = 35,000
            INDY MAY TOTAL = 575,000

            All Other Indy Car Events that sold tickets:
            Barber open test = 15,000
            Brazil weekend = 80,000
            St. Pete weekend = 50,000
            Barber weekend = 60,000
            Long Beach weekend = 75,000
            ISC Kansas weekend = 20,000
            Texas weekend = 70,000
            Iowa weekend = 45,000
            ISC Glen weekend = 20,000
            Toronto weekend = 45,000
            Edmonton weekend = 37,000
            Mid Ohio weekend = 65,000
            Sonoma weekend = 20,000
            ISC Chicagoland weekend = 18,000
            Kentucky weekend = 35,000
            Japan weekend = 40,000
            ISC Homestead weekend = 11,000
            NON-INDY TOTAL = 706,000

            GRAND TOTAL for 2010 = 1,281,000 or so.

            Failed cart/champcar venues (41 or so):
            -Texas Motor Speedway (Colossally so)
            -Hawaiian Super Prix (Fantasy)
            -Korea (Fantasy)
            -Mexico City I
            -Mexico City II
            -Mexico City III
            -Road America
            -San Jose
            -Denver I
            -Denver II
            -Laguna Seca
            -Quebec I
            -Quebec II
            -Quebec III
            -Miami I
            -Miami II
            -Miami III
            -Vegas I
            -Vegas II
            -Vegas III
            -Houston I
            -Houston II
            -Brands Hatch
            -Chicago Clip

            Tracks that became obsolete in all series:
            -Watkins Glen
            -Belle Isle

            Rescued by INDYCAR:
            -New Hampshire
            -Long Beach
            -St Pete
            -Mid Ohio

            How else may I serve you?
          • J
            you are either delusional and/or a liar. Nonetheless, a typical Ims place fan.
          • J
            One generally needs to go to the official Irl forum and read downtowndeco to get that kind of bs
          • Advice For The Hostile
            Typically, adults provide supporting evidence for any sort of counter argument. The hurling of childish insults in response to something you do not like is generally not a very effective debate tactic.
          • Graspin' at straws
            now, what he thinks he is going to attract crowds to Las Vegas with Andretti and Unsers? These men have had their day, why prompt them to embarrass themselves and in all likelihood put their lives at risk? What is this man thinking? This cannot be deemed a fresh idea? Big joke...Think about it.
          • ways of grading
            Say Anthony,
            any chance of getting Nielsen ratings this year? If the economy's picking up, maybe their policy has changed again, as far as giving out the #s???
            Seeing as TV ratings and crowd count are the 2 primary ways of measuring success in the league...

            I'd throw in web traffic as a measuring stick. When compared to the other "Top Tier" series out there, the .1rl looks to be small potatoes.

   Estimated 4,062,100 visits over last 30 days

   Estimated 3,097,200 visits over last 30 days.

   Estimated 229,000 visits over last 30 days.

          • J really is D or Iman
            CART failed TWICE, you said so yourself. Yet the IRL/IzodCarz can't draw the same attendance, at the same track, with pretty much the same drivers!

            From the Disciple/Defender's examples:

            Long Beach weekend = 75,000 (CART 175,000)
            ISC Kansas weekend = 20,000 (AXED by ISC)
            ISC Glen weekend = 20,000 (AXED by ISC)
            Toronto weekend = 45,000 (CART 168,000)
            Edmonton weekend = 37,000 (CART 200,000)
            ISC Chicagoland = 18,000 (AXED by ISC)
            Japan weekend = 40,000 (AXED by HONDA)
            ISC Homestead = 11,000(CART 75K, AXED by ISC)

            tHE irl SEVERED THE was bad FOR THE speedway AND aow RACING, It was wrong.

            Now the whole sport suffers from one man's greed and meglomania....and people want us to believe it's resurging. That's horse-hockey.
          • Oh I forgot
            CART OUTDREW the IRL at the INDY 500. FACT, look it up. Oh, and CART had better TV ratings at the speedway too, 4, to 6 times higher. So, let's start an IRL and save the sport. Ha.

            Then, let's rename it Indycar and see our fortunes go to high levels again because the fan will never know it is just the IRL with a new name. Ha.

            Working out great, isn't it? An ICONIC team member can't even find sponsorship One Month out from season start.
          • No Defense
            This Disciple-Defender Dude can trot out whatever mix of numbers and data and lists he wants with the obvious incredible amount of time he has on his thinks he retired from his job as the fry guy at Steak & Shake, but anyhow: The fact remains: The sport if not popular. Roughly 99.5 percent of the country is uninterested. That does not constitute "popularity". In constitues a sport virtually nobody cares about. Time to pull the plug on this sport. Plus, it isn't even "cool" anymore. It comes off as kind of nerdy, geeky, in that Gomerton kinda way. Not cool. Geeky. That may be part of the problem too. Plus, it is a sport girls can play. How manly is that? Not.
          • Squealing Like Ned Beatty
            The sport is so unpopular that its obsessed critics inevitably trip over themselves after adult commentary occurs to attempt to shoot it down. Riddle me this, INDYCAR Internet squatters...if Indy Car is the gang that could not shoot straight, how could what began in 1996 still be around, but the series that drew all that attendance and earned all those high ratings possibly go out of business? Twice?

            Credibility does not seem to be a strong suit for the sky-is-falling brigade.
          • Your Hang Ups
            You are haunted by CART...CART owns you. You have CART envy, and so does the series named Indycar.

            You have no response or reply to the issues of the day other than to repeatedly utter twice dead phrases and 'all's well' proclamations.

            FACE IT, the Speedway wants the sport and the Indy 500 successful again, just like in the early 90's....when CART brought AOW to it's highest levels of success ever. AND, then suddenly it was all gone when Tony George created the IRL. The IRL dead and so is it's vision.

            So, all you have left is a facsimile of CART with crappy cars, no fans and horrible TV ratings. And all in the hands of the Hulman destructers YOU supported.

            Sorry you are not happy with the $765MILLION series you have now that can't even carry the helmet bags of the twice dead series.

            Drop the CART references Disciple/Defendderer...everytime you bring them up it makes you look silly because you'll always be looking up with the lipsticked up series out there today. Most important race in hisotry, it's already occurred....

          • loser!
            bernard is a loser. this five mill deal is a joke. Kanaan can't get a ride but he gives 5 mill to any joker off the street to drive in last race. It is all over. no one cares. they are now in full panic mode.
          • Lost in all of this...
   the fact the sport is not popular. And Disciple-Defenseless-Dimbulb, I am not a CART supporter at all. Never was. They stunk the stink too. It is just that your IndyCAR Izod thingy league a more putrid turd. Tony g makes me laugh. He is right. Word on the Indy street was John Force's name was tossed about at W. 16th and Gomertown Rd. If true, that speaks volumes. Why not just be realistic: Offer Justin Bieber a ride. Pink might do it too. And how about the winner of American Idol? That would actually draw buttage and fill some of that goofy multi-colored plastic in the Las Vegas stands. You know, the colored seats all scattered about to make it seem like more people are there? Well, put Bieber in a car, say an Andretti Auto car, that way two little boys are on the team, and maybe Pink in a Sarah Fisher Breast Cancer pink car, maybe the winner of AI with the American Idol logo on the sidepods. And so on. Guarantee the place would be filled. And yes, the cars are that easy to drive. I drov one at Chicagoland two years ago. Easy cheese boys, easy cheese. I wondered what all the fuss was about and it actually made me less interested. Truth is, the whole league is sort of a gimmick to prop along Indy. Now nobody cares about that race. Go home, Disciple. It is over. The sport is just not popular.
          • Grownup Intervention Time
            For 16 years, those not blessed with a great deal of sense have been breathlessly predicting the end of Indy Car. With each passing year these hysterical rantings become simultaneously more desperate and hysterical. For sixteen years this evolution of Indy Car that began as the IRL has been steadfastly continuing a great sport that began in 1911.

            When will obsessed critics who pollute this and other places where otherwise intelligent people could potentially exchange meaningful dialog either grow up and accept reality or add even a miniscule amount of sense to their fumbling?

            Seriously, you kids are embarrassing yourselves.
          • The $5 Million PR Stunt
            What a joke this is....nothing but a backfiring publicity stunt by the speedway. RANDY, 6 out of are a bad joke sir.

            Good lord, 24 days to season start and NO ONE knows about it. The Speedway PR machine must be working overtime.....NOT.

            What is "Most Importent Race in History" and why is it so? No one has been able to answer that question. And the Centennial, what happened to that scam?
          • Randy and Tony
            We are very worried what the return of Tony George might mean to the 500 and Irl. I've read rumors on racing websites that there is already friction. Robin Miller has stated scenarios as well. It doesn't look good because no one likes Tony for what he did. It's a bad move for the Speedway.
          • Too Funny!
            CART starz Michael Andretti and Al Unser, Jr. could be considered to drive in the $5 Millions Dollar scam at Las Vegas...yet Ropin' Randy slaps down TonEe KanaaN (2002 IRL champEEN) because Randy sez TonEe's not a legend.

            Bwahahhahaha! How many IRL legends are there? Billy Boat, Is he a legend who could be considered? Gweg Wray? Leo Mehl? Bob Reif? Fast Eddie Carpenter?

            Rumor has it Tony George is involved in this FAILURE he a legend?

          • Per this weeks IBJ, Allison Transmission is an associate sponsor on Sarah Fisher Racings #67 for the 500. "Sponsoring Sarah Fishers No. 67 and drive Ed Carpenter makes good sense for Allison Transmission" Lou Gilbert, Allison Transmissions Director of North American Marketing

            Also in this weeks IBJ, Andretti Motorsports driver Ryan Hunter Reay gets DHL Logistics in a multi year, high six figure deal as primary sponsor and associate sponsor for Mike Conway.
          • per this weeks IBJ, Allison Transmission already has a huge load of debt, and the DHL wasnt exactly as you describe it. try another lie and get back to your forum, there posts that need to be concatenated and modified to fit your agenda
          • Disciple, help me out here
            tinyD, how come the Speedway would consider CART champions for the $5 million and not someone like Tony Kanaan? What happening here?
          • So how does Allisons debt affect the sponsorship of Indycar?

            So what did I lie about in the DHL deal? Sitting here looking at the paper and what I wrote, do not see any major differences.

            And what forum do I need to get back to? This is really the only one I post on.

            Try to come back with some facts if you are going to accuse someone of lying.
          • Gas prices and the IRL 500
            I'm hearing gas prices between $3.75 and $4.75 per gallon by memorial Day week end. Will the speedway give free tix away like Las Vegas so it'll look like people really want a sellout?
          • What I am hearing...
   if Vegas is a bust, Randall goes back to ropin'. But I don't think he lasts that long. This midsummer, when gas prices are hovering around $4.20 a gallon nationwide, and just weeks after the lowest-rated "500" ever, seen by fewer than 200,000 fans for the first time in years, and with Versus ratings unable to crack .30, and with an unfortunate death at the Speedway caused by the irrational quest for speed, and with Tony G. wooded up and all eager to resume control after Spesh actually manages to drive the Special 67 into victory lane in one of the twin Texans, the other being a bone tossed to Danica who accomplishes the task only because TK is not in the series, and this time Disco Briscoe heeds the radio call from Barnhart in exchange for getting the inaugural Baltimore as 1-2-3, and when words comes down that the $5 million gimmick ain't a workin'out and, in fact, ticket sales are hovering around 8,000, why then that is when Randall gets throwed like he was Robin Miller on Chicken On A Chain. Yep.

            TG resumes the leadership role and promptly puts the finisher on it by his usual mismanagement and after Danica makes it official. At season's end, with a .21 Versus rating, an epic Baltimoran, and Edmonton financial loss, horrid attendance, and the lowest-rated Indy 500 ever, with the lowest attendance in decades, and sportswriters and pundits calling it over, except juicer Cavin and Miller, why then the plug is pulled. Lights out. IRL 1996-2011. Indy 500: 1911-2013, ran as a stand alone two more years until the spade hits the pave.
          • FaZZT Team GONER!
            Unusual that a series so VIBRANT! and under these evolutionary changes with the Centennial 'Most Important Race in History' hoopla would be in danger of losing it's 2ND INDYCAR team in 2 weeks!

            But yes, as reported by SPEEDTV, FAZZZT Racing looks to be GONER.

            HOW are these teams gonna be able to buy new cars next year when they can't even get past the lame duck 2011 IRL season? EVOLUTION!

            Maybe Tony GeorGe can loan them money like in the olden days (circa 1996) when they started the meteoric fall to AOW's death? How do ya think $765 Million got to where it is today? GO SPEEDWAY!
          • Not So Fast!
            Sam Schmidt just bought the FAZZZT team and the diminuitive French Canadian grandstand filler is back driving! So the IndyCar Series is alive and well and certain to have an incredible 2011 Season! Wow! Sam Schmidt and that little Canadian what's his face...I can't even think of it...he has a fu man chu sometimes to ward off the sissy. You know who is it. Anyhow, that world-beater is back with Sam. Now if TK can get a ride the Series is sure to pull in a .31 rating over the course of the season and sell 6 more seats at Vegas.
          • As usual, the haters are slobbering over themselves with their dreams of the series failing. Dreams that have been broken for the last 10 years or more. It would be funny if it were not so sad that they keep doing the same thing over and over. Make up or twist facts, whip each other into a frenzy and then descend into depression when there stories are proven yet again to be wrong.

            Poor haters, so silly, so wrong.

            Truth, still waiting to have you tell me what I was lying about.

            New chassis, new engines, new teams, new sponsors, new tracks, new fans, sorry haters, your predicted futures look wrong least you are consistent.
          • News The Obsessed May Have Missed
            I believe it is both wonderful and charitable that an original IRL participant without the use of his limbs is able to bail out a failed cart refugee and his cash-poor team. Perhaps Panther can bail Gil out now.

            Oh, and additional great news for the Indy Car obsessed: The GP of Long Beach is expected to attract between 175,000 and 200,000 people the weekend of April 15, and that will pump an estimated $35 million into their local economy.

            The folks out west are mighty happy with that, as all real racing fans should be.
          • I am not sure I would have put it that way, but it is good to see Sam back in the big race at Indy. He is a very good guy that took a very bad incident and made good things happen. A true feel good story.
          • What Dispineless fails to mention
            The LBGP has a bigger draw for teh celeb race. The people who attend the event go for the festival. Nearly all have no idea who Ryan Hunter-Reay is from Ryan Seacrest...well, yes they do...they know who Ryan Seacrest is. It is about babes, beer, and well babes again, and their buns. There is always aluminum glistening in the Southern California sun on race day. I have been to many of them. The racing is an afterthought. When the only thign going is an actual racing event, then the IzodCar League Series draws 11,000....for the Championship event. There are forces in SoCal who want to see it switch to a more glamorous sports car event, like ALMS and once, there was even a thought of running the Nationwide cars out there until it became obvious that wouldn;t work, based on history with the L.A. street race. Indy Cars are so unpopular in SoCal they could literally replace everyone but Danica with locals KART racers and nobody would know the difference....or, babes, babes, buns, more beer, babes, buns, more buns, beer, babes, babes, more babes, some buns, and another beer. The cars are just background noise and for the Gomertons in their geeky headseats and IndyNation shirts who sit and watch them flash by. They are out of luck for babes, buns, and beer, free anyhow, from babes with buns. Nerds and all, like Disciplinarian Defensless and WindyMan babes, no buns, but plenty of stopwatch action cheering for Vitor and screaming about TK out of a ride. Babes love that sort of thing right? No? Oh. Back to your drawing board, Defenseless. Back to your drawing board...and stop eating the crayons.
          • Falsehood
            I know where Defender/Disciple got that Long Beach's they HOPE to attract from the article posted. He just spun it because he lies about the IRL series to make them look more important than they are.

            It was HE who stated above the 2010 Long Beach weekend only attracted 75,000....

            IRL/IZod?INDycaRZ series keep praying for CART numbers they'll never get. The Speedway minions LIE to make the series seem poised to get off the floor the public has knocked them to. But they won''s the IRL afterall and EVERYONE hates them for what the SPeedway did to this sport.
          • Disciple is calling for FIGHT amongst DRIVERS
            Yup, on the greatest IRL blog only 500 hits it gets a day, Defender/Disciple has gone to the "JUMP THE SHARK MODE" for the IZodCarz....

            He's urging FIGHTING amongst DRIVERS, owners, ANYONE that will generate interest for the series.

            THIS is how pathetic and desperate the series is becoming. It can't generate interest from the racing (because the speedway snuffed that out with the inception of the IRL in 1996) not it's lowest common denominator racing that will generate interest. Old Man Hulman is spinning in his grave...and so are the racers that gave their lives for the sport. PLEASE sell the speedway and series to someone who will make it a racing series again....not a CIRCUS FREAK SHOW.
          • So does anyone other than Chief have a clue what he is talking about?

            Chief as far as I can tell, you are the only one on here who has been caught lying.

            I am glad Burl finally admits that LBGP and the other drunkfests like that are festivals and not about racing. I always laughed when the cart faithful touted 6 figure numbers as actual race attendance. That is like saying 30,000 people showed up to see the mime perform before the Buffett concert.
          • Too bad the IRL wants them
            The IRl, hypocrites that they are, wanted everything CART had. Now, they have it.

            Indyman, less ovals, less racing, less popularity. Yet you support it. It all Indy's fault.

            When you gonna stop acting like it still means something?
          • Baltimore GP DUMPS Marketing Firm
            This is grate news. Apparently the advertising done on buses and streetcars is embarrassing to the sport and Indy. What's happening?

            This is news Disciple, Iman and the Speedway PR people don't want you to know....
          • Wikipedia > jump the shark

            1. jump the shark

            a term to describe a moment when something that was once great has reached a point where it will now decline in quality and popularity.

            Origin of this phrase comes from a Happy Days episode where the Fonz jumped a shark on waterskis. Thus was labeled the lowest point of the show. Continued examples, IRL/IndyCar using gimmicks to attract fans instead of with racing...70 year old legend Mario Andretti racing for $5 Million at IRL season ender at Las Vegas.
          • Chief,

            I look at it the other way. Much more ovals, american drivers and teams and better racing than cart had. We have been through this before, but how many ovals and Americans were involved in cart at the end?

            Is the IRL everything I want, no. But it is far better than what cart became.

            On another topic, I noticed a judge ordered IBJ and Indy Star to turn over info on anonymous posters in a defamation lawsuit over JA's former CEO. That should be interesting to see what this does to some of the nasty attacks that appear on blogs.
          • Nice Deflection
            Look, you can look at it anyway you want. BUT the bottomline is the IRL/IZOD/INDYCAR/SPEEDWAY isn't getting eyeballs to watch or butts in the seats. PERIOD.

            FACT, they...the solely responsible for it all. So, keep on deflecting the failure that is theirs.

            They know it, WE know it, you know it. And you want to claim defamation? Baloney. You just want to cover-up the damage caused to the sport at the hands of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That's all there is friend....
          • We have been around this track before, but for one more lap here it goes. cart killed itself. You admit that. It killed itself in part because it's financial model was not sustainable. Even an IPO could not provide enough money to feed everyone at the trough. cart was going to die and take ow racing with it. No more 500, no more LBGP, Surfers Paradise what have you. OW would be gone. TG jumped ship and created a series to get racing back to where it was during the racings hey days of the 60's and 70's. More Americans racing on American ovals. Is the vision 100%? No. Is it much closer than cart was? Yep.

            But the bottom line is cart was on a terminal course, it was spending way more than anyone was making, and unlike the IRL, there was not a pot of money to keep it afloat. So without the IRL or some other off shoot, you would be bemoaning the loss of OW and not just crying that the IRL is not your cup of tea. FYI, you do not have to watch it if you really do not like it.
          • DRAW at Texas
            I see where Texas is running 2 races the same nite....

            But, IRL is paying 1/2 points per race. So, this really does count for just one race, right?

            Just another gimmick....LIKE the random DRAW for positions in the second race! WOW, Indycar GIMMICKS are us!!! WHAT a JOKE.

            I will comment on the sport as long as I am alive Iman. Whether I ever see an OW race again in person is trivial. What is not trivial is the damage the Hulman-George family did to this sport....and I will not forget that. EVER.
          • Mid-Ohio SOLD
            How this impacts Honda's movements as of late (jettisoning IRL's MoNtegi race) no one knows.

            I suspect this is the start of Honda's exit strategy...withdrawing from sponsoring IRL races at St Pete (tix sales very bad), Toronto (only 15K attend IRL races where 168,000 fans were previously), and Mid-Ohio (the Honda company pcinic=free tix).

            This not good news for IRL futures.
          • Isn't That Just Precious?
            How cute. A temper tantrum. The Hulman-George family saved the sport that cart tried to kill. Twice. I know reality is harsh, but a little maturity goes a long way.
          • Lobotomy does work
            The Speedway is responsible for the condition of the AOW sport today. FACT.

            Resorting to gimmicks is why the IRL...errr Indycarz got to this point. the OVals gimmick...FAILED. The American roots racers....FAILED. INDY as mostimportant race...FAILED.

            All torn down by the Hulman-Georges in a cotrol fight over AOW.

            Now, that can't fill grandstands or TV ratings. They know the Versus contract is a killer, and so do you. They know they can't fill CART's shoes...

            Even twice dead, The Indycars are a FAILURE. not a temper tantrum...just the truth.

            And there you are, advocating for the Speedway with your "let's have the drivers fight each other to drum up controversy and interest". That's a real BAD idea, and you hatched it. Disciple/Defender, my foot....
          • Isn't He Just Special?
            You're just the most precocious little lad today! Hey, by the way, Kroger has Reynolds Wrap on sale this week so you can make some new hats. Keep up the good work, kid.
          • Lotsa Defending today
            When the IRL is under attack....ala sponsors dropping, teams going away, races dropped or gimmicks being conjured up, DEFENDER/Disciple is here to deflect it away.

            What's the matter...isn't CART died twice your pat answer for aNY IRL suffrage? Hows that sellout in Baltimore, St Peete and Indy going? Bwahahahha!

            Did Sam Schmidt rescue any more ex-Cart teams today (as you so aptly refer to it)?
          • It Takes Some of Them Longer Than Others to Reach Acceptance
            I will be happily attending at least 10 of the full schedule of INDYCAR events again this year as a mature adult racing fan. When will that cart schedule be released for you kids? Oh, wait. Never mind. Twice. LOL.
          • The Fanbase
            I bet Ropin Randy wished he were in charge a League for which he didn\'t have to give all the tickets away. Take the Dipsicle of INDYCAR for example, the biggest self-promoter on the boards, who proudly claims to have never spent a dollar of his own on anything to do with INDYCAR, on which he spends an inordinate amount of time defendering
          • The Aftermath of the IRl
          • Makes you wonder
            How much longer Honda will continue to fund this series? They are funding the TORONTO loser...using Randy's formulae that Andretti promoter should have been cast away like the ISC races and Honda MoNtegi race, for poor promoter performance. St.Pete just had to sell single day tickets because no one cares about the IRL for a weekend.

            I am VERY worried for the long term viability of AOW under this Hulman buffoonery. PLEASE sell the series to ANYBODY that will stop trying to pull the wool over the fans eyes. At least with Tony GeorGe you knew it was going to be real messed up....
          • The Fanbase
            Do those single day ticket buyers qualify for the yearend free giveaway? I hear the League is claiming a venue with no seating is already a sell out. Maybe they should remove the remaining seating from the other venues and claim the whole season a sellout.
          • So Chief you think ovals are a gimmick and you think American Drivers are a gimmick? Spoken like a true cart fan. Those are gimmicks but foreign ride buyers in a series running all road/street races in any foreign country that will have them is not?

            So you agree that cart, which failed twice, which finally killed itself, and which without the IRL would have dragged ow down with it, but yet somehow TG destroyed ow? How do you figure? Hello, maybe it is time we introduced you to sanity.

            The best is that you folks think Honda is currently investing millions into a new engine for the IRL, just to pull out in a year or two. Not everyone went to the school of cart economics.
          • Lost in all of this...
   the fact the sport is not popular. It is just not popular. 11,000 attending the Championship round in a big market is tiny taters. Look how much attention the $5 million gimmick is generating outside racing circles! What is even funnier is clueless saps like Robin "I Really Wish I Could Be With Milka" Miller thinks the sport will turn on Pat Long or Levi Jones in the race. Or Scott Pruett! NOBODY cares! Who? Huh? But when I Really Wish I Could Be With Milka Miller is like the main journalist covering the series, along with CaveIn, what do you expect. Again, the sport is tiny taters. Tiny taters.
          • Oh Great...Now there are two!
            As if it wasn't bad enough to have to go through disciple's repitition of his facts; now there are two of them with Indyman repeating disciple.

            Did not both of you ask for folks to move on away from CART and Champcar as they are in the past?

            I think Chief is always mentioning CART and Champcar as a product not the sanctioning body. Can we not keep the discussions on the actual race product and forget about the team owners that made up CART and now have just about as much power in the newer Indycar???

            And is too easy to say CART ran out of bucks and killed itself.

            How about saying two of the larger teams decided to quit the CART series as they were paid handsomely to go to the IRL, thus starting the downfall of CART. It did not as you like to say kill itself. It was killed from within...but very few folks ever argued the product was not good.

            And that is Chief's use of the CART name.

            You two knuckleheads better watch what you wish for. The dudes (Penske and Ganassi and to a lesser extent Andretti) that took down CART are well capable of doing major damage to the IRL.

            What would happen if Roger, in one of his typical strong-armed tactics, decides that he is pulling out of the IRL...and Chip and Mikey go with him?

            Well, in my mind I think ol' disciple can say CART died three times!

            But, I just love how you two bend things away from the reality that everyone without an agenda knows exists.

            Maybe you two shy away from mentioning the CART product for a reason. You always deflect to the people that ran CART the sanctioning arm.

            Keep it is QUAINT!
          • Quote of the Day
            F1 World Champion, CART Champion, and winner of the last Indy 500, Jacques Villeneuve had the quote of the day:

            "IndyCar needs it," Villeneuve said. "Itâ??s been disappearing and thereâ??s been the period when Danica was single-handedly making all the publicity for the series but thatâ??s been dying out a bit so they need something new."

            And...thank you to Carter for explaining my position. The Emperor has no clothes...
          • Tiny D
            How about just saying the GAF quotient has declined precipitously in the past 15 years
          • What IndyCar needs...
   to stop the grotesque slide into mass gimmickry in the hopes the ratings will boost from 0.30 to 0.70 and 5,000 more will go then the 5,000 they get. Sport dead. People don't care. Note to Robin: 99.9 percent of Americans have no idea who Levi Jones is. Nor would they care. Sport dead. There is nothing Ropin' Randall can do but call it clever and ride off into the sunset. This horse has been done rode.
          • I Believe All Comment Contributors Should Use Their Real Names
            We're almost to 100 comments! Keep up the good, albeit obsessed, work.
          • Not important
            Old stodgy fossils, left around since the 50's, should embrace the future NOW.

            REAL names not needed when IP addresses can be legally obtained through lawsuit.

            Bob Seger was right....I feel like a number...but the truth hurts. Indy has suffered greatly in the hands of the Hulman-George's.
          • Tiny D
            I agree
          • Wat is the 'Most important Race in History'?
            This phrase was coined under Randy's watch, though nationally and internationally it has failed to catch on as a catch phrase.

            Can any of the paid Speedway spokespeople explain this to us? What is this all about and why is this important to anyone?

            It appears to be an arrogant gimmick. BTW, season starts in 3 weeks...I haven't seen or heard a peep about AOW anywhere. Why is that? Randy continues to get the F grade as AOW is INVISIBLE.
          • The Fanbase
            CHief just doesnt get it. The ims place fans know all about it and that is all that matters.
          • Carter you seem new here so you might need an interpretation of Chiefs thanks to you. what he meant is thanks for trying to bail him out. Normally, as can be seen in this and many other threads, he gets backed into a corner and then goes off on a completely different rant ignoring or more appropriately dodging the questions and answers posed.

            Now to your point, is there is a difference between the ownership and the series? The ownership is the series. They own it, make the rules and market it. The series did not make sufficient money to run it. They were in the hole long before any of the big boys left it. It is obvious their business model did not work. Even with two bankruptcies and mulitple changes in owners and staff, it still could not make any money and eventually became a paid commercial tv advertisement. Now do you disagree with any of the above?

            Ok, good. Part 2. If, as I showed above, cart was in a death spiral after multiple "white knights" tried to save it, then how would ow have survived? Bad business models do not fix themselves. If not for the IRL, ow would be non existent in the US. Do you not agree?
          • When did you start crackforum
            cart wasnt in death spirals until the family poured hundreds of millions into the destruction of open wheel racing
          • The Aftermath of the IRl
            In the 15 years prior to the speedway starting its war on open wheel racing, CART had dropped a total of 5 races. In the fifteen years since the speedway began its war on open wheel racing no less than FORTY THREE races have been killed
          • No I do not agree!

            There is absolutely no reason to reply that I agree to what you are trying to revise as far as history.

            CART did not have two bankruptcies. Champcar did. CART was parked as a name once the major teams flew the coop at teh end of the 2002 season.

            And saying CART didn't make any money is really revisionist. How do you explain they went along from 1979 through 1999 without much problems? How do you explain the 100 million that was burned by Pook after the main CART guys bailed on their own series?

            How do you explain the money they made from the IPO? How do you explain all the teams being fat and happy as a lot of their "profits" went directly to the team owners from their sponsors?

            Maybe you should have let Anton and the rest of the Hulman-George family know CART didn't make any money...I think they wanted some of that action.

            But the main you should well know by now, you repeat it all the time. CART IS DEAD. But only once...Champcar twice.

            Can you talk about the Indycar series problems and why they can't make any money and they can't get the fans? That would be so much more today don't you think?

            Oh, and one other thing. Can we agree one of the reasons the three big ex-CART teams took off is they saw a nice pay day from their engine suppliers to make the move. And add that into the fact that they could make that money by NOT running their series during a war. What a effort any longer to fight the 'war' and they get paid to kill it.

            Also figure in the payments by the IRL to run the teams in the IRL.

            It was a sweet deal to kill CART. Indy won at a cost. Popularity of the sport has tanked and now you see the results.

            How about you agree on that...but I know you won't and never will.

            So, go on with all of your distortions and funny time lines. It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

            I think I'll just stick to the facts and watch the realty the sport I loved has been blown up by IMS and the snakey race team owners. Call them CART if you want. I call them IRL teams. That is not living in the is the truth!

            The real winners in this: Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi, Michael Andretti.

            The losers: IMS and the fans!

            And as I posted when I first commented in these comment sections; do you think you and Disciple help or hurt the future? My take is and both hurt it by not being totally honest and with your overall general tone in your comments.
          • I concur
            Carter, that comment above again exemplifies fact over fiction, and I applaud your contributions.

            The circular maze of perpetual false logic expressed by these Indy place fans boggles the mind. Thank you for your clear viewpoints....they like to cover their tracks so no one can find where the bodies of AOW are buried. The truth always will prevail. Kudos..
          • Why Get Emotional About History?
            I merely rely on simple, factual logic.

            1. After they turned their arrogant backs on Indy, cart and the champcar mess that followed it did not amount to a hill of beans. It failed. Twice.

            2. The series started by Tony George in 1996 picked up the Indy Car torch that has been lit since 1911 and has been running with it for 16 years.

            In summary, it does not matter how many loudmouthed, disenfranchised cart enthusiasts are left. You lost. Your preferred series killed itself. Twice. Stop being such immature poor sports. Real Indy Car fans still have a great series to follow. So do the obsessed three or four that run these post counts up to a couple of hundred every time Anthony writes something about INDYCAR.
          • Yet
            Yet, you still fail to see the points from this reflectivity. Your one eye sees nothing of substance.

            When the IRL deserves respect, it will get it. From me, from everybody.

            Until's unpopular, it can't garner the attention the series that existed previously attained. The IRL (or Indycar) is a failure, by ANY measure.

            They sport was raped and robbed of it's dignity...all by the creation of the IRL. And you wish to pave over it by calling us immature and poor losers?

            Keep avoiding the facts. You are a prime example why this sport suffers and will continue to suffer forever.
          • I ask again
            IF 168,000 people in Toronto showed up to see the CCWS/CART....WHY can't the IRL/Indycar draw the exact same attendance? Why is IRL drawing 15,000?

            Please explain all you paid speedway spokespeople.....
          • Chief,

            It is good to see you have found someone else to fight your battles. Of course the last couple of really embarrassed you when you hitched to their wagon and then they admitted they were lying. You need to fight your own battles.

            You really said "They sport was raped and robbed of it's dignity...all by the creation of the IRL. And you wish to pave over it by calling us immature and poor losers?"? Really?

            And when have I ever called you or anyone a poor loser or immature? Of course after that last comment, I would have every reason to.


            Cart/owrs/champcar/ccws is all the same thing, different names. I never said cart et al, never made money. They made money hand over fist early on. When they started losing money is when they tried to become the new F1. Unrestricted spending by teams, abandoning ovals, ignoring very talented American drivers because they did not have sponsors, going overseas to chase bucks. All led to the high costs that started the death spiral. How else do you explain a series with the cars and stars was defeated by a series that had one major race and not much else? Can't be money, cart and its other incarntations had hundreds of millions that they spent, including investor money from their IPO. Cart et al should have defeated the IRL in the first couple of years.

            I have talked about the IRLs issues. I guess since you are new here you have not seen my comments.

            The teams followed sponsors? How long has this been going on? So why did the sponsors leave cart et al? Because the series was so successful and making them so much money?
          • By The numbers
            .3 point 3 0.3 zero point 3

            600 million and counting

            twenty three venues lost

            wholesale ticket give aways,,,nobody buying tickets

            no popularity, no fan base, no TV audience, only web blowhards
          • Word out of Indy Today...FIRESTONE...GONE
            Firestone is withdrawing from IRL/INDYCARS.

            Vibrancy AmPlyFied!!!

            Key metric demographics must not be working...all this just 2 weeks from season opener! Wooot!
          • Further Sponsor news...
            Z-line has reduced it sponsorship to several races from a full season in 2010.

            Perhaps they didn't see the 350% ROI or 40% demographic increases, or the 11,000 that bothered to turn out at Homestead last year.

            Or maybe they did....
          • The truth is...
   sucks Firestone is leaving and you know what? We makes yucks and wisecracks and pick on the series here, but in the end, it is still just racing. I'm done with this blog post. We really have no idea what goes on behind the scenes and the jokes, and innunendo, rumor and heresay is not for us to know whether or not IMS and the Indy 500 will survive. We can conjecture, but in the end, I think it would be more fun if we just try and watch the races this season and see what happens. I don't agree with Windyman's and Defensless' opinions anymore than they agree wthe mine. So let's just call the sport a mess and see what happens to it this year. I kind of feel bad Firestone is leaving. That was a rumor awhile back and I thought it was like all the other rumors we hear...just that, an unsubstantiated rumor from all the noise made in these fan blogs. Blogs are great for fun. But Firestone's loss is sad news.
          • The Aftermath of the IRl
            Firestone realized a 90% loss on every dollar spent on the Irl. Some ROI like a negative 90% 90 cents of every dollar spent was a waste SO SAID FIRESTONE

          • Any truth to your numbers truth?

            Well said Burl. lets go racing.
          • Quite a pickle your series is in
            Let's recap:

            We've got a 2011 lameduck season to trod through. Honda is recoiling by tossing IRL out of MoNtegi, Bridgestone pulls Firestone, mid-ohio gets sold, no body has seen a chassis or engine. They changed future spec to 2.2L....Cotman reports some "cross-over' parts from the 9 year old chassis to be used on 'NEW' 2012 chassis. Izod 350% ROI yield nets ZERO attendance or TV gains for IRL AND gets Izod sued for potential millions. IRL is doing track buys for the ride buyers, and they cut down the IRL welfare program from 24 to 22 cars. They made the claim that the centennial race is "most Important Race in History', yet the Speedway has refused to market the series via advertising on TV or anywhere. They pimp Danica yet anxiously cling to her soft porn status for identity even though NASCAR has thefted her from the IRL's grasp.

            Now, the IRL is forced to use gimmicks to attract fans, like the idea of $25 million to attract NASCAR drivers...reduced to Indy sized $5 million insurance policy with NO NASCAR REGULARS.....toss in a 1/2 points paying 2ea. half races in Texas complete with a shotgun random pick start field in second race. Libyan civil war and independance seeking Middle East governments force oil prices higher and higher, perhaps as high or higher than $5 per gallon by MEMORIAL DAY, only 2 1/2 months from today until the 500.

            Oh yeah, the season ender in Las Vegas...40,000 tix being given away free, and Luzco-Dragon can't find sponsorship so they pull their team from IRL. Oh, that great sagamore, Lord Tony George, fresh from his forced hiatis and subsequent abandonment of AOW and INDY, got a new job...sitting on the board of directors for Hulman and Company.

            Did I get everything? Yep, things are looking up everywhere......

          • Oh, I forgot the ISC stuff
            Due to the IRL wanting higher sanction fees for races at ISC facilities, the IRL loses 5 ea. ISC tracks, Watkins GLen amongst the 4 other IRL legacy ovals. Reasons by ISC? No fan support.
          • Predictive Analytics by the Smart People
            Question for all of the 'sky-is-falling' Michel de Nostredames obsessed with the comment section of this here blog: With the departure of Firestone, when is your revised estimate for the date of the cessation of business of the series?

            Let's see if you can keep your streaks of being 100% incorrect intact.
          • Duh
            I have the answer Mr. Paid Speedway Spokesperson!

            When the Hulman-George's are darn good and ready to cease being in the racing business.

            Have you seen any advertisements about the season upcoming or about the Senility Era important race? No? You don't have an answer do you? Firestone does.

            Someone's signed a deal with the you it will be race fans it'll be blasphemy. And you'll lick it up just like the Speedway tells you to. Good boy....
          • Dipsicle of iNdyCAR
            One more pathetic diatribe like this and you\'re history.

            Tiny d about to get booted from the official IRlcar forum. ha ha haha

            Get Ready Mr. Schottle for an onslaught of Tiny thinking when that happens
          • teams owners BEG Firestone back
            What the heck good is Randy if the owners are going to negotiate on behalf of the league?

            The IRL/IMS couldn't get the job done, that's why!

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