Can IRL survive sans IMS support?

June 30, 2009
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georgeItâ??s official. As reported by SpeedTV and IBJ more than a month ago, Tony George has stepped down from his leadership role at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The biggest question remaining is what will happen to the Indy Racing League. The IRL has long been supported by revenue (likely tens of millions of dollars annually) from the IMS. With Tony George no longer in charge of the purse strings at the Speedway, you have to wonder where the money is going to come from to keep the series rolling.

Itâ??s true the IRL has made solid progress by signing several key new sponsors this year, but race attendance appears static and TV ratings are still lower than league officials would like in the first year of a new deal with cable channel Versus. Car count and overall team health is also a continuing concern.

By Georgeâ??s own admission, the IRL has been unprofitable since its founding in 1996. As reported by IBJ in May, George told a gathering in New York in December that if the IRL was not profitable by 2013, thereâ??d be no 2013. George later told the Indianapolis Star the IBJ article (authored by me) took that comment out of context. Iâ??m not sure how you can take such a comment out of context. But since George declined to talk to me for the story despite repeated requests, we may never know.

What we do know is that change is in the air. And Iâ??m sure in the coming days, weeks and months, weâ??ll get some answers to those big questions.

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  • 14 years too late.
  • So last month he was told to come up a plan, and thirty days later he resigns.hmmm some plan there
  • Yikes! This is very bad for IRL. Who knows what new leadership will do. And more importantly, who knows who is giving them their marching orders. Will the 3 sisters have some influence. I'd say yes!!!
  • 14 years too late.

    I'd say 17 years too late. They never should have let him get that far. Bunch of idiots. Sounds like none of the lackeys and yes-men are getting fired, so it's doubtful much will change, other than the Tonybux program disintegrating. If that part is true, I don't see how this fraud continues much longer as a going concern, since it has never been profitable by their own admission. :lol:

  • Regardless of the change at IMS, the league will continue to be viewed as the bastard child of auto racing with TG still involved in the IRL. I don't think there is a chance of any significant rebirth until he's gone from any roll in the direction and management of the league. Once that is done, they'll need to do away with any/all reference to the IRL nomenclature and then maybe we can begin rebuilding!
  • heh heh heh just as the intelligent among us suspected but the iman and the other gomers were denying

    Last month, board members declined to continue funding the second Vision car that Ryan Hunter-Reay was driving.
  • So Mari says Tony fired himself. Too funny.

    Sounds like the IRL will get no more free money from the Humans.

    Better sell IMS quick before it all comes crashing down.
  • GOOD! The Clabber King is almost dead, long live the king. Now the H.U.R.L. will fold and somebody will buy the licencing rights to the venues, dust off the DP01's and start a proper series!
  • Miller was right, again. How's that crow taste to all of the Hulman George apologists? This is a great day.
  • AInt no finer man than TOney Gorge. HE signle handedly kilt CARt. HE returned teh control of open wheel to where itt shoudl be all a long an given the sport lots of potenchal. THink of a nother race series with so much potenchal. AInt none. POised for gorwth. THats INdyCAr and thats thanks to TOney. THAnks TOney you done good. YOU killed CARt.
  • The one bright spot from all of this will be what will the usual haters complain about at the speedway now that TG isn't calling the shots.

    Will they stop complaining and leave the board alone or will they still deride every decision further proving their bitter anger?
  • The Indy Racing League will cease to exist following the 2011 Indianapolis 500.

    Look for an abbreviated schedule next season. Fields will be about 18 to 20 cars.

    Brazil is an evil necessity to pay the toll for 2010.

    The reason a new car was not developed is because the league had neither the capitol nor the reason to bring it into play. The current chassis will suffice until the 2011 500 has been run.

    The potential new engine manufacturers into play is now a moot point and was somewhat a smoke and mirrors ploy in the first place to entice current sponsors to commit.

    The IRL has about 25 races left in its existence and then its curtains.

    I should know.
  • YOu should know? WAht the hell is that sposed to meen? YOU cant even spell capital right. EVen I know that hahahahahahaha

    THe IRl is awsome and aint gone away.
  • hahaha you stupid morAns.

    we all told you this day was cumming. You hulmanista apologists. Think about it. even berwickguy has seened the light.

    the big question remining is - What happens to Open Wheel now? Those two bean counters aren;t going to lead anything but a return to Terre Haute. :lol:

    toldya so. :lol: x 1000000000000000000000000000000
  • HAhhaha Wrong again DAhooey. THe entiry list for WAdkins GLand is out an there is 22 cars for that race THAts a 10% growth over last week baby. SHow me an other series wil 10% midseason growth. HUh? Cant do it can you. Figgers. THe IRL is gone to be jst fine. Egspecailly sense MIlkas back. WHooo hooo
  • I love that the bighurlfan is mental retarded.... Classic.
  • Watkins Glen is happened the day the IRL stepped foot in the place. No one goes one will see it either as the sweet 10 year veRsSUS tv contract will bury it deep in the cable lineup.

    The IRL is giving tickets away free under Tony George's business plan. The series is screwed by the same way they tried to capitalize on it. Either way, the IRL is a failure, and will be AGAIN at Wadkuns Glem.

    Raise your glass to Tony's to destroying the AOW sport! Good job moron.
  • Maybe Penske, Ganassi and Andretti could buy a piece of the series, or better yet take it over. Penske has the cash, that's for sure. Deja vu all over again. Could an IPO be far off?
  • toldya so. x 10000000000000000

    Tony: no one loves you. :lol:

  • Capitol. My mistake. Since I spend time at our Nation's CAPITAL, I can see the error as one easily made. Beside, I would hazard a guess I earn BIG GIRL IRL Fans annual CAPITOL in less than a week. In fact, I KNOW I do. So who cares?

    Anyhow, 25 races tops. One lead-in race to Indy then Adios!
  • BTW, Barnhart is out. You read it here first, sports fans. And that is the real schnitzel.

    Reports to the newbie for his execution after Watkins.
  • I need to head over to 10 10ths and see if that Tim Northwhatever guy has slit his throat. Bad day to be a gomer. Tony doesn't even want to be one any longer
  • Count Tracula = Leader Card?
  • Hahaha this is just so much fun on so many levels.

    wher are all the lemmings now?
  • DaHooey, Tony was right about someone being dragged kicking and screaming; he just had the object wrong
  • I love Nelson Philippe
  • Hey guys,

    I support your thoughts that changes need to be made and starting at the top. Somehow, people with brains and good plans need to be at the helm to right this ship. I'm talking about open wheel (not the IRL) and the Indy 500. I also don't want to be one to gloat over the demise of people that have made bad decisions. I'm not into defaming and ill wishing. In some way, I just hold out hope that what once was such a great tradition can be brought back to life before it dies with no one caring.

    Brett, you in particular have such hate and venom. I can understand why, but what good does all that ill will accomplish? What's done is done. Do you think that there are good people out there that care enough and have the resources to make lemonade of this lemon we've been dealt?

    Do any of you think something positive can develop? Can we just be civil about any hope for the future? Or, is the Edmund Fitzgerald in too deep of waters to be righted?
  • you are all drinkning the Robin Miller Kool aid

    The person who leaked this story out just 72 hours after the greatest race in the world should be the first one the new President fires. Loose lips sink ships! In todays tough economy the 500 attendance was good. People who are true open wheel race fans are watching the much less exspensive as well as the more comprenhensive telecasts of races on TV. They are also geteing the word out.

    The IRL is changing rules to amke it a more competitive series as well. Lets jsut stay tuned but in my book thatnks Tony for the work particularlyn over the past 5 years!!

    And oh yea - where is Robin Miller (the fifth quarter :)
  • Hmmm - ya think ole Humpy said - boot TG out and I might take on the task????
  • Tony george can kiss my A$$ for the last 14 years and I would thank him if he agreed to crawl under a rack and die like the cockroach he is. The IRL is gonna change the rules because their rules have always been lame. Little Al won the 94' 500 with 1800lbs of downforce and 1000hp Clabber boy changed that to 5000lbs of downforce and 600hp............RAD! Get in the ground before you rot clabber boy you won't be missed!
  • Brian Barnhart is that you? I hear you are next on The chopping block those 0.3's you are bringing in is really impressive
  • Brian, Toney doesn't believe in the visions anymore. What are you hoping to get out of it?
  • You can bet your sweet schinitzel Brian Barnhart has updated his resume. Steak & Shake may be doing some hiring soon.

    It is over for Barnfart, Joie Shittwood, and about hald a dozen of their bootlickers. You can bet your schnitzel on it.
  • Did anybody get the Nielsen's for Richmond
  • You DO know that Belskus fella is another Terre Haute lackey hired by his bubba ToNEE, right?
  • Man, I feel sooo good today! I feel good, like I did 15 years ago, I wonder why?
  • you are all drinkning the Robin Miller Kool aid

    That's right, Miller was wrong. He got the exact second _TG was fired wrong. That's it. Moron.
  • Dim wit FTG says he'll put out a statement next week. It will probably take Fred Nation that long to edit all the um's and I don't know's out while TG is lighting firecrackers out of his shorts.
  • Jeebus did anyone read the Star interview with Mari this morning? :lol:

    Talk about a complete cluster**ck! Sounds like more than just family fued going on here, this thing may just fall apart in the next couple monthS!

    The IRL: Nobody wants it.
  • The IRL will fold following the 2011 Indianapolis 500, which will also be the last Indianapolis 500.

    This is the plan. Secretive, yes. But soem of us found out what the plan is and are letting the cvat out of teh bag, knowing full well we will be derided and dismissed.

    But it is quite true. No IRL, no Indy 500 after May 2011.

    The fact the Hulman-George Family has allowed all this to happen this summer shows the hysteria within the company and the family. Thsi was all not to take place until this time next year. Announcements were to be made in Summer 2010 in order for teams ans sponsors to prepare for the inevitable end and before sponsorship agreements, driver contracts, etcetera...could be put into place for multi-year arrangements.

    There will be two more seasons of IRL competition and two Indy 500s. And really the 2011 season will be either a very short season with one lead in race to the 500, or a stand-alone race with a field more resembling the 1996 race as some key drivers depart to earn money in other series.

    The end is near for Indy car racing.
  • Count - you should be run out of town - immediately - and for a lot of reasons. You offer no value to the world in any endeavor. You are just a back stabbing, bragging zealot. Good riddance to you on your way out.
  • Drastic measures are usually needed to wipe out a plague.
  • BerwickGirl,

    Not actin'. Just factin'.

    My involvement in the Series will last until we take our final checkered flag in May 2011.

    This is a bitter, hard pill to swallow, I am sure. People love the IRL and Indy. Well, a few people love the IRL.

    But I feel it is more important to state the facts as they are. Not as some would make them appear to be.

    The truth will be told.
  • Boooo on Berwickguyy.

    c'mon man!? I thought you were a true blue, patriotic, gun-toting Constitutionalist Bible thumpin Right winger! Everyone is allowed their say in the USA! I happen to think the exact same thing Count is opining....that the IRL is toast, and the sooner the better. the hulman/george heirs can spin this any way they want in the media, but its a crap car in a crap ceries that's been lead into the ground by Captain Crap himself, Tony.

    Oh yeah, everything was gonna be A-OK after they killed CART/ChampCar. :lol: I seem to remember Tony telling the world the fans would come kicking and screaming and that one day all of this would be bigger than F1 and

    And now he's been kicked to the curb, in an ironic twist of fate by his own tribe. Perhaps it was his ever-evolving Vi$ion$ or perhaps his inability to effectively communicate to the world his naked power grab attempt, but along the way the only constant was that nobody was buying it. The prized Demographic of the CART fan despised Tony from his initial tantrum. the original gomers who bought into the All American/All Oval BS mantra hung on as long as they could, but in the end he betrayed them too. All that is left are an aging and dwindling crew of place fans who don;t watch MoNtegi, couldn't tell you what or where Watkins Glen is, and still think AJ might have sumpin up his sleeve on Bump Day. What's that you say? Recycled Chevy Pace Cars? No more Fords or Toyotas? Hmmmm, pass me anuther Bud Light, dude.

    so in the end, Berwickguy, it is you to blame as much as it is Tony. He strung out some cheap cloaked Vi$ion, and you bit. We CART fans have been telling you guys for YEARS that he was doing it wrong. Penske and ganassi laughed all the way to the bank and Vistory circle, rocking on eveyone else's dime, while true oval-bred American racers fled for NASCAR. You thought Tony was listening to you? Tony failed at all of this, and he failed the sport. Count is right, as are many others. This thing is a joke, crippled for the foreseeable future, with no remedy in sight. Like you, I hope one day it returns, but there is an awful lot of damage done, and it will be a long road to any sort of recovery.

    Sad days ahead for all of us, but don;t get pissed at us because -

  • Amazing how much damage a stupid, arrogant person can do using other peoples' money
  • Bravo, DaHooey,

    Actually, I was just trying to get a rise out of the Count, cause he always steps up to the plate to defend himself. Sorry, Count, shouldn't have sounded so blatently bad.

    As you know, my eyes have been opened and I feel like a fool. And man whenever that happens, especially when it involves tradition, it hurts big time. Who would ever have thought that the blood lines of Tony Hulman would turn to ruin what he raised up like a Phoenix???

    But, hey, the blame games stops with it being my fault as much as his. I may have held out unrealistic hope and may have been one of the naive nabobs, but I didn't fund his habit. You can cast that stone towards the Count. He's a participant, not me. I haven't paid to attend an IRL race EVER!

    I also didn't flock to NASCAR. That series has become a sham as well with their stupid Car of Tomorrow. It has become a bloated bag of money, foraging on fickle fans that will turn on them with the latest in thing, and slapping around and abandoning some of their bread and butter in their southern roots.

    Thank goodness we still have WOO and the real racers of dirt track America. Unfortunately, they don't have a route to the top anymore. No real Indy to showplace the creative that we used to see in A J Watson and his counterparts. No place like Indy to see today's version of AJ, Mario, the Unsers, the Bettenhausens, and so on.

    I've said before that I prefer to see the glass as half full. I realize that it has to be a different glass. Here's hoping someone steps forward.

    And oh, by the way, where's Indyman been???
  • iman's paychecks have obviously stopped. Jan Shaffer has been absent as well

    No love from Robin Miller....
  • And oh, by the way, where’s Indyman been???Jan Shaffer has been absent as well

    Probably both on suicide watch at Wishard. Bt the way, who well get Tony's hammer now that he won't need it any more? BAAAAAHAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  1. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  2. Funny people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

  3. Good try, Mr. Irwin, but I think we all know the primary motivation for pursuing legal action against the BMV is the HUGE FEES you and your firm expect to receive from the same people you claim to be helping ~ taxpayers! Almost all class action lawsuits end up with the victim receiving a pittance and the lawyers receiving a windfall.

  4. Fix the home life. We're not paying for your child to color, learn letters, numbers and possible self control. YOU raise your children...figure it out! We did. Then they'll do fine in elementary school. Weed out the idiots in public schools, send them well behaved kids (no one expects perfection) and watch what happens! Oh, and pray. A mom.

  5. To clarify, the system Cincinnati building is just a streetcar line which is the cheapest option for rail when you consider light rail (Denver, Portland, and Seattle.) The system (streetcar) that Cincy is building is for a downtown, not a city wide thing. With that said, I think the bus plan make sense and something I shouted to the rooftops about. Most cities with low density and low finances will opt for BRT as it makes more financial and logistical sense. If that route grows and finances are in place, then converting the line to a light rail system is easy as you already have the protected lanes in place. I do think however that Indy should build a streetcar system to connect different areas of downtown. This is the same thing that Tucson, Cincy, Kenosha WI, Portland, and Seattle have done. This allows for easy connections to downtown POI, and allows for more dense growth. Connecting the stadiums to the zoo, convention center, future transit center, and the mall would be one streetcar line that makes sense.