(by Curt Cavin indystar.com 9-4-09)
Trouble finding a sponsor is reaching the heart of Indy-car racing.
Vision Racing owner Tony George, who founded the Indy Racing League, said Thursday his family's team is not yet funded for 2010 and needs to be before the end of this season "or it will be decision time."
Ed Carpenter, who drives the team's Indy car, said his stepfather began taking a more fiscally sound approach when the series went to its TEAM program, which guarantees the same amount of financial support to each full-time team.
"Basically, we're always drawing (funding) out and keeping the team together, acting on faith too much," Carpenter said. "Now we have to stick to our budget."
Vision fielded two cars at the start of the season but let Ryan Hunter-Reay go to A.J. Foyt Racing after the Indianapolis 500.
About the only positive things which have been said about Tony George in the press the past few years were praise for his “passion” for the sport and for his determination (some say stubbornness) to “stay the course.”
Now, when push comes to shove, and the Idiot Grandson is required to spend his own money for the first time, the world discovers that he has neither passion nor perseverance and his motor sport and team are left slowly twisting in the wind.
I’ll bet that this is news to his mother and sisters; who didn’t realize that little Tony was only bullish about spending their money, but not his own. They should have taken the hint when he suddenly decided to cut himself free of the IRL millstone instead of accepting its leadership; some might say that he “owed” it to his motor sport not to abandon it in its time of need. I guess Toe-knee has been taking lessons from the Pimp.
In any event anyone want to bet that Lord Sagamore is about to take a powder on the Indy faithful. With bossman Belskus assuming his throne in the Pagoda and Tony no longer present in the pits and garages as a team owner, I don’t expect him to accept a red cap and a free ticket to sit with his Gomers in the stands. After all, he’s been telling them for years that he finds the ICS events “boring;” but they refused to believe him. If TrackForum is smart, it will start a "Tony Sightings" stickie or a “Whatever Happened to Boss Gomer?” permanent thread.
Moving beyond the immediate I figure that there is no way that Tony is going to let his lieutenants succeed where he failed. If he’s bailing on the league, he will no doubt also remove his support of Angstadt and Barnhart. Without the IG to protect them, those two are toast. Which will leave Toe-knee’s former school chum and toadie, Belskus, in complete command of a disintegrating league; look for him to find a way to put it (and the family) out of its misery.