Like most American kids that grew up in the 80's I watched the Indy 500 every year and became interested in motorsports thanks to that race, but I didn't really get hooked until I started watching Formula 1 racing in the late 90's. My favorite era were those years with the great Mika Hakkinen/Michael Schumacher battles. (I was a Mika Hakkinen fan) So my fondness for Formula 1 waned once Mika retired and Schumacher started winning everything, even at the expense of his teammate Rubens Barrichello. My interest in F1 has only been lukewarm since.

Then I turned to Champ Car racing here in the US for my motorsports fix. However that was quickly extinguished once Champ Car and Indy Car merged and we were stuck with Tony George and his many foibles. (It was entertaining to watch the Hulman/George drama I'll admit.) My interest has been less than lukewarm with Indy Car lately, even without Tony George at the helm.

Over time however, the excitement I once had for motorsports has slowly gone. Maybe it has to do with my age, I don't know. But I think I will pour my efforts into my Trooper and my interests in the outdoors to add excitement to my life.

Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it. I will still post racing news when I find something interesting or noteworthy.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Obi-Wan wisdom

(by Obi wan 7-14-09)

I wonder what it takes to be a bona-fide Gomer nowadays?

Robbing Mealworm just announced on TSR that the IRL has signed a multi-year deal to hold ICS events at Barber Motorsports Park!

That would be the 2.38-mile motorcycle road course (meaning narrow) in Leeds, AL with lawn seating (because it has no grandstands).

Obviously, the event will be televised on Versus so the Gomers are going Zen on us: “If a tree falls in an Alabama forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

Naturally, the TF Gomers – who in past years would have deemed a Champ Car race at Barber a sure sign of the series’ coming apocalypse – are ecstatic.

They are also salivating at the idea of ICS races at Ribeirao Preto, Brazil – quick, where’s my map – and Qingdao (pronounced CHING-dao), China – hold it, don’t put away that map – at an imaginary stadium that will seat 400,000! Which would make it about twice the size of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I thought Tony formed the league to protect the Brickyard from such foreign incursions by the un-American CART team owners?

Oh, and Panther Racing co-owner John Barnes is all bullish about a possible IndyCar race in Abu Dhabi!

Whoa! Since it is costing Tony. . .er, Mommy and the sisters. . . a minimum of $2 million each for almost all of the current races, I wonder if their checkbook can stand the hit(s)? I mean a 20 or 22-event schedule can get pretty pricey when you haven’t got sanction fees, sponsorship, advertisers, television ratings or ticket and concession sales for your events.

What’s that you say? Oh, that’s why races in Alabama and Brazilian forests, China's hinterland and the desert of Abu Dhabi are such a GOOD thing (if you’re a Gomer): those crazy foreigners are actually willing to PAY to get their own IndyCar event. Kinda like getting your six-year-old a pony or clown for their birthday.

I don’t know, though, some of the homegrown Indy events are looking mighty shaky and may have to be dropped in order to make room for those foreign races.

I mean, you know Milwaukee is probably toast.

Edmonton has been rumored to have lost millions over the years and the local government is looking to close the airport.

Toronto attendance was abysmal to everyone but Kevin Savoree last weekend.

Chicago and Kansas are probably going to drop the NASCAR 'track-pack' for 2010...and we all know what that means: one grandstand colored red and the rest aluminum color.

Kansas was a ghost town this year and the rumor mill has had Homestead-Miami in trouble for a couple of years. . .

Let’s see, except for Edmonton, what do these ICS events have in common. . .besides being failures that is? Oh, they are all OVALS; the raison d’etre of the IRL.

Huh, what’s that you say ‘indycool?’ Oh, right, in his very first IRL press release Tony George talked about road races in Ribeirao Preto and Qingdao (pronounced CHING-dao) and Abu Dhabi; it’s right there in the corner of the Post-It in microscopic fine print.

Meantime, Tony and the league dropped the only really successful overseas event (Surfers) on the ICS schedule. Go figure.

What’s that, indycool? Oh, I see, it’s all part of Tony’s master plan. Er, did that master plan include firing Tony? Ah, I see now, it’s to throw Bernie and Max off his scent as Tony expands internationally and knocks Formula One off its pedestal.


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