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.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Tony George kicked in the nuts list

Since the end of the 2008 season Tony George and his IndyCar series have been kicked in the nuts time and time again with bad news. Granted, economic times are not making things easy but with the series now unified things should be looking up instead of down.

1. Helio Castroneves, 2 time Indy 500 winner and Dancing with the Stars champ is hauled into Federal court to face tax evasion charges. He in turn looses his seat with Penske Racing and could spend significant time in jail.

2. After their television contract with the IRL ends ABC decides to no longer air any races on ESPN and only signs to air 5 races on ABC.

3. The IRL is forced to take whatever they can get in terms of television coverage for their remaining races, they then sign a deal with the little known Versus channel.

4. The IRL looses their "presented by" sponsorship with Direct TV due to their deal with Versus since VS is owned by Comcast, Direct TV's biggest competitor.

5. Citing economic reasons the Grand Prix of Detroit is cancelled.

6. After the price of oil falls dramatically and gas becomes cheaper than Ethanol the American company that produced the ethanol the IRL used to fuel their cars goes out of business.

7. The IRL is forced to get their fuel through APEX-Brasil, a company that makes ethanol from Brasilian sugarcane, angering the IRL's corn growing midwestern fanbase.

8. Rahal Letterman Racing looses their Ethanol sponsorship and cannot find a replacement. They announce unless they can find a last minute sponsor they will not compete in 2009.

9. KV racing (the K stands for Kevin Kalkhoven, the man that engineered the sale of ChampCar to TG) announces they most likely will cut down to a one car effort due to lack of sponsorship dollars.

10. It is announced that IndyCar magazine is going out of print due to lack of interest.

A "Kicked in the Nuts" Update

* Helio Castroneves beat the rap. Lucky for him and lucky for Tony.

* The coverage on the Versus channel has been excellent, it was something IndyCar needed, the only problem is nobody is watching.

* IndyCar's tv ratings have been absolutely horrible this season.

0.3 - St. Pete - VS
0.5 - Long Beach - VS
0.15 - Kansas - VS
3.9 - Indy 500 - ABC
0.6 - Milwaukee - ABC
0.36 - Texas - VS
0.8 - Iowa - ABC
0.22 - Richmond - VS
0.9 - Watkins Glen - ABC
1.0 - Toronto - ABC
0.23 - Edmonton - VS
0.14 - Kentucky - VS
0.2 - Mid Ohio - VS
0.25 - Sonoma - VS
0.24 - Chicago - VS
0.14 - Motegi - VS

(On the same weekend as the Milwaukee race more people watched women's college softball on ESPN than watched IndyCar, oh my.)

Now this is really getting kicked in the nuts, Tony has resigned as IRL CEO after being removed as IMS CEO by his mother and sisters. Ouch.

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