A House Divided

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The date was Saturday April 9, 1994 – the day before the CART race in Phoenix. It was there that Tony George told a handful of reporters that he was forming an alternative racing series to be based on oval racing and American drivers. In my youthful exuberance, I saw this as a good thing. It meant more open-wheel racing weekends. I knew little about the politics of racing back then. I knew that Tony George was Tony Hulman’s grandson and that he didn’t like CART for some reason, but that was about the extent of my interest in the sanctioning body. Times were good. The on-track product could stand some improvement, but why complain? In my naivety, I could see many teams running in both series, since the original plan was not to run races on the same weekends. This seemed like a racing bonus to me.

What I didn’t realize on that spring weekend was that Tony George had just ignited the largest schism in all of motorsports. It didn’t take long for the rhetoric to fly and the posturing to begin. Fans quickly chose sides and dug in their heels. By the 1995 Indianapolis 500, the underlying tension was palpable. I bought the bronze badges back in those days and even the masses in the garage area could sense that the battle lines were being drawn. The AJ Foyt cars sported IRL logos on the lower sidepods as a jab to the CART owners. ABC/ESPN did their best to ignore the silent war because they had relationships with both sides.

By the time the green flag dropped at Walt Disney World for the inaugural IRL race, things had gotten ugly. The Indy Racing League announced that twenty-five positions in the 1996 Indianapolis 500 would be reserved for IRL regulars. This infuriated the CART teams and provoked them to run the US 500 at Michigan International Speedway on the same day as Indy. Unified in their resolve, the CART regulars all headed north of Indy; causing many drivers to reluctantly miss racing at the track that brought them into the sport.

This is not a lesson on the history of “the split”. Instead it demonstrates the deep feelings that run among team owners, drivers and just as important…the fans. For fourteen years after that announcement in Phoenix, the great divide among open-wheel fans was wide and ugly. Next week will mark the two-year anniversary of reunification of what was left of the two series. While it would be a stretch to say that the wounds and feelings have healed in the two years since, things seemed to be thawing among most fans…until now.

When the DeltaWing concept was unveiled last Wednesday, it sparked a river of controversy, emotions and passion among all corners of the IndyCar community. The internet was buzzing throughout the weekend by frenetic fans on both sides of the issue – both sides arguing vehemently that the DeltaWing would either save or destroy open-wheel racing, depending on which side you were on.

You will notice that I now use the term “concept” or “project” when referring to DeltaWing. That’s because confusion reigns on whether this is an actual chassis or a concept for other manufacturers to follow. I’m as completely confused on this issue as everyone else, and if someone says they have a simple explanation for it – don’t believe them. It’s like trying to explain the Infield Fly Rule in baseball or the “lake effect” in Buffalo. No one really understands it. We’ll worry about the concept vs. chassis part at another time.

But the DeltaWing project has quickly become one of the most polarizing issues since the CART-IRL split over fifteen years ago. Whether it is a car or a concept – it has divided everyone. Since Curt Cavin said the e-mails against the DeltaWing outweighed those in favor by a one hundred to one margin, it seems more and more DeltaWing supporters have surfaced. The discussions I read on the different forums and message boards this weekend all took on a nasty tone – from both sides.

The venom has not been limited to fan forums. In the past week, Marshall Pruett wrote three very inflammatory articles for SpeedTV.com. The first two were written before the unveiling. In those two, he basically encouraged the owners to revolt against the Izod IndyCar Series and Brian Barnhart in particular, if the DeltaWing concept is not chosen. The third article was written after the unveiling and reeked of arrogance that is normally reserved for Washington.

In the most recent offering by Pruett, he compared the DeltaWing concept to a big silver vitamin. His exact quote was “I think of the DeltaWing like a big silver vitamin. It isn’t necessarily what I’d call pretty, and it isn’t easy to digest, but it’s what’s best for the present and future health of the series.” Oh, really? This is the type of condescension we have been hearing for years out of Washington – from BOTH parties. It implies that the fans are stupid and the powers that be know more about what we want, than we do. This type of arrogance and elitism is both appalling and revolting.

Pruett claims to be a life-long open-wheel fan, yet his talk of palace revolts is ill timed, at best. His taunting of fans serves to pit the fans against each other (again). It’s one thing to create a buzz and have healthy dialogue. It’s another to intentionally split an already fractured fan base, while encouraging the owners to take advantage of the weaker regime at 16th and Georgetown. Say what you will about Tony George (Lord knows I have), but he left no doubt as to who was in charge. Now with Jeff Belskus and newly hired CEO Randy Bernard running things, the top appears weakened and vulnerable.

In my article on Friday, I joked about how a conspiracy theorist could have a field day analyzing what was behind the true motives of Chip Ganassi and the DeltaWing project. After reading Pruett’s latest article, it has become more evident that Chip Ganassi and the other owners are posturing to leverage more power with the league. It’s odd that the driver being most vocal in favor of the DeltaWing concept is Graham Rahal. I’m sure it is purely coincidental that he is the same Graham Rahal that is trying to plead his case to place him in a third Ganassi entry on the grid next month when the season starts. His clamoring for DeltaWing rings a little hollow when you take that into account.

Whether you love the DeltaWing concept or despise it; this promises to be a volatile issue in the coming months with fans, bloggers, journalists, drivers, owners and league officials. There is still a lot to hear about. As a reader of Curt Cavin’s Q&A correctly pointed out on Friday – DeltaWing dropped the ball by unveiling such a radical car before explaining the actual concept behind it. I’m like most people and I want to hear exactly what this "concept" involves.

The Izod IndyCar Series doesn’t need this. Another power-struggle is the last thing that open-wheel racing should have to deal with right now. With a weakened leadership structure, the loons are coming out of the woodwork. Someone at the league office needs to take a firm stand with the owners. The league has done a poor job with fan relations lately. They have their own image of arrogance that they need to repair. They can start by actually listening to their fans and acknowledging their importance to the life of the series. But now it seems that arrogance is beginning to surface on all sides. A house divided amongst the fans could make any new chassis a moot point.

George Phillips

Read Marshall Pruett’s “Vitamin” article here.

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45 Responses to “A House Divided”

  1. As a native to Buffalo, let me take a moment to explain “Lake Effect” storms… ;-)

    I was a bit taken aback by the vitriol in Pruett’s last few columns on Speed.com. I’ve been reading the internet motorsports blogs, and columns for a couple of years, but I’m not familiar with Marshall Pruett’s history/connection with the Indycar series. I am well aware of Robin Miller’s work, and his personal connections with others in the sport, and while Miller is always a provocateur on issues, you at least know going in which side of the aisle he stands on so you can take his opinion with a big grain of salt. But Pruett’s comments have really surprised me. He has been a bit over the top in the last week, clamoring for the Indycar owners to take up a revolt against the leadership (ie. Barnhart). It seems to me like he has a bigger axe to grind with Barnhart, than any of the other players in this melodrama. Does anyone know what his past connection/history is with Barnhart that would help me to put his shrill comments in context?

  2. Here’s what sorta bothers me about the new chassis deal. Dallara comes out with three tubs and says “here’s our car choices.” Swift comes out with one tub with several options and says “here’s our car choice.” Lola, I assume, is soon to follow.

    But the Delta Wing people say “Here’s sort of a futurey-lookin’ chassis that is the last hope for open-wheel racing in the U.S.A. And although it’s sorta ugly, it doesn’t have to look like this. (Even though we designed and built it to look like this.) But you can have anyone build it and it can look like anything. So it’s great, take our word for it.” It’s–as someone else said–a little like the emperor’s new clothes. And confusing. At least for me, it’s confusing.

  3. I just find, in general, IndyCar is making me work waaaaay too hard to be a fan. Life is too short to let myself get mired in a bunch of controversy and craziness. They can race the ‘Wings if they want (free country and more power to them), but they can’t make people watch. It’s a concept that hasn’t seemed to dawn on anyone.

  4. billytheskink Says:

    To me, the craziest thing about the Delta Wing is that the one thing that I’ve never liked about the IRL chassis, the tall airbox, is pretty much the only thing Bowlby didn’t change.

    As much as that ought to irritate me, I had to laugh.

    • F1 has had “tall airboxes” over the years & there are plenty of beautiful looking eras of F1 cars with over the driver airboxes. Plus, if we are isolating design elements the airbox on the DW is MUCH nicer than the current Dallara. JMO

      One last thing… Bowlby stated repeatedly that his DW was not a styling exercise. If the future 2012 Indycar is to be turbo charged… then the air-box would go away… it would not be needed :idea: This gives me more evidence that the DW on display @ Chicago is not even close to the final design direction :!:

      • billytheskink Says:

        I wasn’t really making a point so much as a humorous observation. More humorous to myself than to anyone else, I guess.

        Styling exercise or not, the Delta Wing is open to debate about its aesthetics because it is now a drawn and mocked-up concept and not just some nice ideas on paper. I also doubt the final DW car will look like the current concept, but the current concept is what we have to look at for the time being.

        And my list of really good-looking airboxed F1 cars consists entirely of the Jordan 191…

      • We agree on the Jordan… was surely a sexy beast :!:

  5. Pruett does seem to love Delta Wing. I have no idea why.

    I don’t think a “split” is likely. If anything, the owners would start another CART and buy the series if the Hulmans decided to sell Indycar. Otherwise, I can’t see Delta Wing actually causing a split.

    • Pruett love the PHILOSOPHY behind the Delta Wing, Dylan… BIG difference. He repeated over & over that he hopes the final DW is a blend of Swift/ Lola & DW :idea:

      Indycar does need a jolt. Heavier ALMS cars are FASTER (& use more technology too) on select circuits. All of the 425 HP Indy Lights cars were FASTER than Milka Duno @ Mid Ohio. Yeah she’s a crappy driver… but an Indycar with 200+ MORE HP should not get beat by a Lights entry :!:

      Visit the Indycar.com message boards… they have about 30 regulars posting :shock: … that can not be good for the future of the sport

  6. The latest column by Marshall Pruett contained a lot of the questions that I’ve had about the Delta Wing over the last few days, a few answers to some of those questions, and a lot of “we’ll have to wait and see”, which is a sentiment that I’ve been echoing the last couple of days in blog comments. The car’s only been out from under wraps for five days now, so I’m hoping that Ben Bowlby and Chip Ganassi are busy filling their interview schedules to tell us about what can be changed (hopefully the overall aesthetic of the car) and what can’t (hopefully the price to build and sell one).

    As for Marshall’s other columns…I’ll preface this by saying that I like Marshall. His sports car stuff is very good, he leads a great weekly chat on SpeedTV.com during the season that focuses on IndyCar and sports cars (i.e. basically no NASCAR talk allowed), and I think he “gets it” as far as being a member of the grassroots motorsport community. HOWEVER, like you point out, George, he obviously has an axe to grind with Brian Barnhart. That’s led him to write a couple of real hatchet jobs where he claims that his viewpoint is one shared by the entire IndyCar paddock. I have my problems with Barnhart (telling the field of drivers in front of 10,000 fans at the public drivers’ meeting at Indy last year to “fall into line and don’t pass before turn 1″ was the height of stupidity), but I can’t imagine that the entire paddock wants him ejected from his position. I don’t spend any time in the paddock, nor do I live in Indy or have any connections to the teams, so I don’t really have any grasp on the attitudes there. It’d be nice for him and Robin Miller to come clean with exactly why they both want him out, and I’d like a better answer than “he’s in bed with Dallara”, because…duh. Dallara’s made his life a lot easier the last few years. Can you blame him for favoring the Italians? I’m wondering if there’s something more deep-seated, like “he yelled at a bunch of us and hurt our feelings” or “he stuck us with the bill one too many times at Mug ‘n’ Bun”.

    All kidding aside, I don’t like the talk of revolution in the paddock. We’ve done that before. It sucked. Let’s not do that again.

    • Hey Speed: Marshall & Robin are reporters… they have the stones to report some pretty inside stuff on the ICS paddocks. Brian Barnhart doesn’t have the technical & engineering background to hold the position he does & Miller does the un-PC thing & states this opinion.

      An opinion shared by many in the ICS community (as RM & MP have support there). As for Dallara making “life easier” :?: :?: WHAT:!: Dallara entered the IRL as a cheaper alternative to the Lola & Reynard ($400,000 for a rolling chassis). Had a design flaw that injured a helluva lot of drivers in the early stages of the IRL… now a chassis that has had its R&D paid for for about & seasons charges $600,000 for a rolling chassis :shock:

      This is obviously why owners want control over what they have to buy & from who. The owners are not happy with “The Italians”. Spares are rare & showcars @ sponsor launches are ususally old G-Forces or 2000 era Dallaras (John Andretti’s #43 launch) or even DP01’s (Dale Coyne’s Chicago Auto Show BSA car) :!: So much for anyone with an ax to grind… JMO

      • Dude, I said that Dallara made *Barnhart’s* life easier these last few years. That’s because as a de-facto spec car supplier, there’s less for him to worry about with “what do I need to do to equalize the performance of two chassis” or “do I need to worry about one of our chassis suppliers suddenly not turning up with their spares truck at the next race”. Also, I think that Dallara’s allegedly been paying the League in return for its exclusive arrangement, so I get why Barnhart’s comfy with them being the only chassis supplier. On the flip side, I also understand the owners not wanting to pay the extortionist prices for Dallara parts or chassis (I wouldn’t want to either) and for wanting a totally new business plan for chassis supply. I’m on their side, and I want multiple chassis going forward, too. I just don’t get if there’s more behind the venom toward Barnhart than “he’s not doing exactly what we want, right this second”. I imagine there is far more to it, I just haven’t heard it yet. That’s all.

      • I see your point SG… but the “venom” aimed at BB is just not that misguided or hard to fathom. I had a friend who worked in OW in the 90’s… went from a Reynard to a Dallara & just was horrified with the IRL machine (when comparing the two).

        The Reynard/ Lola was cheaper & a very working friendly piece. The Dallara has been competition free since G-Force drifted away & costs have not come down. Dallara has been no friend to the ICS… (JMO)

  7. After reading everything I have at this point the solution actually seems pretty simple. Take Swifts 3 designs, demand they base them all off the same tub/monocoque therefore giving people options they can see with the naked eye; but apply all the technical (fuel control, non stressed engine, lightweight) expectations and oversight setup the Delta Wing group has established they want for a new formula.

  8. “It’s not us versus them,” Ganassi continued. “This isn’t Delta Wing against Dallara, or Swift, or whoever. They can build the thing, for all we care. That’s the open source concept again. Anyone has the ability to bid to build all or parts of the car. We’re asking the League to approve our chassis – and you haven’t seen the final version, yet – as the official spec for 2012, and anyone can build it. Anyone. If Audi wanted to hire Dallara to build their car, they can, and if anyone else wanted Dallara to build them a car, they’d have to. If Ford wanted Swift to build their car, go for it. There’s no exclusivity here.”

    Sounds like a Cubscout Pinewood Derby competition or “First Robotics” National Competition, for High School students, in our curent economic auto meltdown…

    The Delta Wing competition for best engineering design should have been tested before it was released to the public.

  9. Andy Bernstein Says:

    Marshall Pruett did not “taunt fans”, or attempt to instigate “palace revolts”: he reported to us the concerted effort that has been under construction for months, and is only now receiving public attention.

    Orevicz metioned the name Don Partel in an artice several weeks ago, describing him as the “Managing Director” of the Delta Wing Group.
    Not being familiar with the man, or the reason why Ben Bowlby would need a managing director for his vehicle concept, here’s what I learned about Mr. Partel:

    He is a former President of Lola cars. During his tenure, he was Lola’s representative in negotions with the IRL the last time contract bids were solicited for new chassis designs. Obviously he was unsuccessful, and left Lola soon after.

    He has experience in organizing and administering spec racing series.

    He has experience with selecting and promoting young driving talent.

    Through his former employment with Firestone, Mr. Partel presumably has a good working relationship with top brass at the company. Perhaps this explains why Firestone endorsed the Delta Wing project by presenting the debut on their stage at the Chicago Auto Show. Delta Wing could have afforded their own stage.

    A view of Delta Wing’s website also reveals that a marketing representative with ties to Mr. Gossage has also been installed as a member of the Delta management team.

    Chip Ganassi’s speech in January ended with a rallying cry: a call for unity to form a new future for the IndyCar Series. A call to IICS management and owners…or just the owners?

    My first read was that the long list of endorsers to the Delta Wing project was just that: endorsements. In December, it was revealed that Messers Penske, Kalkoven, Barnes, Wiggins and George have joined Chip Ganassi as INVESTORS in the project.

    Panther Racing came out in support of Pruett’s first inflammatory editorial as soon as it was published, and put a link up to it on their Facebook page. Three days before the Auto Show. The link is still there. So is the text of Mr. Barnes’ speech, trumpeting every aspect of the Delta Wing project.

    Now, public statements indicate that the Delta Wing group, and the united members of the paddock they represent, are calling for the right to oversee the formation of future regulations. Delta vehicle or not.

    I have written about these developments on any public forum I can find, starting the day after Ganassi made his speech when accepting whatever award is was he received in January. Zero response.

    Everyone has been looking at the cartoons on the wall, and no one has been reading the handwriting. In the meantime, events directly relating to the present status of the Izod IndyCar Series are being allowed to continue in a downward spiral, with no apparent intervention. All eyes are on new cars that there may not be enough customers left to buy.

    Dallara will not break ground for a new American production facility as part of the Speedway redevelopment, if the 2010 IndyCar Season continues to experience a dissolution of the number of participants and spectators. Izod may already be reevaluting its position, with new commercials trapped in the can amd their poster boys left seated on theirs.

    Many owners, including some listed as Delta Wing charter members, could not afford to race their new concept vehicles if the had them today, for FREE. They already own real racecars they can’t run, for lack of funding to fuel operational budgets.

    Transporters load for Barber testing this coming Sunday. Two American drivers are among the contingent of only 15 confirmed full time drivers.
    Mr. Bernard takes the reins Mach 1, and his first priority will be getting up to speed.

    In doing so, I wish him the best at establishing a new track record.

    Andy Bernstein

  10. I think we’re putting the cart (not that one) before the horse here. If you have only one engine manufacturer instead of several (several being the true measure of competition IMO), one chassis builder puts IndyCar racing right where we are now.

    • You wouldn’t have just ONE chassis builder… you would have SEVERAL licensed to build chassis & parts :idea: It also sounds like each team could get creative with a variety of details on their DW (like F1 has slightly different looks in its aero)

  11. Andy Bernstein Says:

    I have previously posted some other points about the specific design and marketing strategies of the Delta Wing initiative on the “Is it May Yet?” blog.

    I am not attemping to advocate position, I am searching for answers to questions. Direct responses have not been received to questions I have asked some of the parties previously mentioned. I welcome any factual information to set me straight in the event I am drawing conclusions from incorrect information.

    Andy Bernstein

  12. Andy Bernstein Says:

    My previous refernce to the Delta Wing marketing magager was incomplete and incorrect: ties to Mr. Gossage are not in his resume. An extensive background with racing teams and suppliers is. All information can ce verified at:

    Bill Lafontaine – Chief Marketing Officer

    http://deltawingracing.com/

    Andy Bernstein

  13. The delta wing thing can easily be seen on the Shuttle orbiter Columbia.

    Why not look to a racecar manufacturer that is already proven itself and allow different motors (besides Honda), and auto parts etc. instead of reinventing a chassis?

    When you have professional racecar drivers, (just barely out of highschool) talking about physics etc. it makes the program look even more laughable.

    “There is no loan money yet”. …so no wonder Mrs. George put the breaks on, she should be recognized as business woman of the year.

    • Speaking of high school skills… You were not very good at reading & COMPREHENSION were you space woman :?: Engines & who would build the chassis/ components was covered in numerous DW articles :idea:

      Since Graham Rahal made the physics comment & he earned very solid grades in HS you again look like a complete FOOL. GR’s parents (both college educated) made him kick-butt in school or he wouldn’t race cars. Yet you ASSume a 20 year old race car driver can not grasp basic laws of physics & other applied sciences :?: This shows yet another personal weakness.

      Please THINK & perhaps GOOGLE before you start to type :idea: It would improve the mood of everyone here. :(

      • ASSO45:
        I might be dyslexic but I can see that GR is just kissing ASSO.

      • Dyslexia doesn’t come close to explaining your spaced out logic. Not surprised you couldn’t defend your ramblings either

        Go read the press on the DW group & do us all a favor & GRASP the info contained before posting here again :idea:

  14. Andy Bernstein Says:

    Lolas are up.

    I have not read this relesae, but there has been no prior mention of a U.S. facility. That makes them a no-starter.

    http://lolacars.com/newsstory.asp?NewsId=189

    • Look’s like they have committed to a US assembly operation. Here’s the quote from today’s PR

      “As well as releasing more technical detail Lola today also confirm that they will be selecting a new assembly facility in the USA. Discussions with US business partners for component supply are at an advanced level. Lola are mindful of supporting as many existing US jobs as can be achieved through this opportunity.”

  15. I’d hate to be Randy Bernard. Whatever he decides, half the fans are going to hate him.

  16. Andy Bernstein Says:

    Lola mentions U.S. production, but I believe falls short of the commitments Mr. Dallara has pledged.

    These are great evolutionary designs, with the safety improvements the IICS is looking for. The common tub for IndyLights is a practical approach.

    However, I don’t think they have gone far enough to change the face of IndyCar racing, or demonstrate enough reason to dump the existing supplier for a new one.

    Dallara #3 still gets my vote to satisfy all of the criteria. It’s a more radical evolution that could still possibly enable old equipment to run on the race track along side it.

    Everybody wants variety, no manufacturers will subsidize it. Alternate body kits can be made for any chassis that receives final approval, and Lola did a nice job of that.

    Still, nobody can build prototypes until IICS tells them what general configuration is going in the engine bay.

  17. H. B. Donnelly Says:

    My one comment about Marshall Pruett’s article: when I got to the bottom of the first page and it said “Page 1 of 3,” I said, “Oh my god, I’m only a third of the way through this?!”

    Lola’s designs, by the way, look to lack some imagination, but then you realize they use the same basic car with different bits and mechanicals bolted on for both IICS and FIL…now THERE’S an idea I can get behind!

    • I agree common chassis for FIL & THE IICS is an awesome concept… but the Lola concepts are chunky mixes of many OW car designs. Better than the Dallara concepts… but that’s not sayin’ much :!:

      I’m still a Swift fan… they look modern yet move the bar forward

      • ASSO45….Swift is a no-brainer..

      • Thanks for repeating what I’ve already said :roll: WTF do you post her again URANAS … eh MARS

      • ASSO45 is not offering any recommendations at this time.

      • Once again URANUS has proven she truly can not READ. Try READING all the posts before you type Goofy… You will find my “recommendations” & we all PRAY you will pick up some knowledge of Indycar racing so you won’t post such rambling nonsense (for the rest of us to have to skip over)

  18. TG remains on a beach somewhere smiling. Like MacArthur, he shall return. Indy should open up to as many varied engine and chassis designs as are possible under a general set of rules keeping it open wheel open cockpit; that’s what made Indy, Indy. There have been turbines and diesels and front engine and rear engine and 4 cylinder and 8 cylinder and Ford and Chevy and Honda and fat guys in colorful suits; that, my friends is Indy. Allow innovation and imagination: it’s something that the racing world desperately wants.

  19. George, I think you’re misreading Pruett. The quote that annoys you is him giving his opinion. That’s part of what he’s paid to do by SPEED. He then lays out in some detail his reasoning. Why is that condescending?

    I, too, think some of the rhetoric about the DW’s looks is way over the top. I’m glad to see the Silent Pagoda back, by the way.

    But I’m confidant of a couple of things. First, Penske, Ganassi, Green, & Micheal Andretti, learned during the split that they needed Indy, perhaps personally, perhaps for their sponsors. Both, I hope. So they switched. The other owners obviously took note.

    Second, people like Penske, Ganassi, Barnes, et al, are strong, independent people, with an unusual amount of, say, self-esteem. If they decide to do or not do something, it won’t be because of what Pruett, or any other reporter, writes. There’s just a chance that Pruett is accurately reporting the mood in the paddock, of course.

    John Lewis, IRL VP of marketing, in a post up on Pressdog this afternoon, took the position that polarization over things is better than disinterest. I think that’s right. At least for now.

    Martin

  20. Andy Bernstein Says:

    Polarizing fan interest is not all bad.

    Polarized management strategies is not what Mr. Lewis was referring to.

    That’s what Pruett was referring to, in spite of overstating his own position.

    Andy Bernstein

  21. HooverOnTheWeb Says:

    Very (scary) good point. I hope this is all over reaction and soon gone and forgotten. I hope the “powers that be continue thier “community outreach” and the new car is a blip on the controversy radar. I did not forsee lines in the sand being drawn between owners and league chassis pickers.
    In other news. During the sensorship of the Silent Pagota, I posted that there were plenty of other sites that post the “other” type of word butchery. Of course, you George, came to mind. I like to think that I read most all of the Izod Indycar blogs. You are as informitive, thought provolking and polished as Hobbson is…uh….Animal House (“remember when the Germans bombed Peal Harbor?”). Of all the blogs I read Hobbson is on one end of the scale and you Sir are on the other. I like both forms very much so I guess that makes you best of class (literaly). Please don’t read to much into this but if someone does a good job and you enjoy thier work, maybe you should say something.
    Cant wait for the new season

  22. Random Hero Says:

    I think the real dilema in selecting a new chassis/formula is this: Go with a traditional car that looks like every other formula car, puts on the same racing we’ve had for the last 15 years, that nobody watches on T.V. and nobody cares about. Or go with a totally new formula, that alienates many of the current fanbase (or at least the 30-40 interneters out there) and take the risk of trying to gain new fans. Either way I think this decision isn’t a panacea for Indycar’s lack of popularity, remember the Panoz DP01 was fast, cool looking and Champcar’s fanbase loved it, but it didn’t save the series. You have to give motorsports fans a reason to watch, do you go radical or play it save? Randy Bernard is screwed!

  23. Randy Bernard is screwed?
    He may be the only force for the fanatics-the paying public.
    Indy motorsports has become “sponsored driven” with the likes of Go-Daddy so much so that the “new design” reflects the wealthy owner’s phallic obsession.

    Randy Bernard may be just the one who gets the motorsport focussed and back on track. Why would Randy Bernard “be screwed”, he has a great, new job. Mrs. George hired him because she felt like she was getting “screwed”…obviously from the reaction of the “new design” maybe she was right!

    Randy Bernard will answer to Mrs. George, and her business interests…first.

    The team owners should want to make the fans happy. This is a very expensive business and now that T.G. has had his business allowance curbed it is up to the team owners, and the sponsors.

    From the reality of the Nascar, people are interested in Danika…they watch….Sad really. Now everyone will be watching to see “what the new car looks like” and how much drama is created. If they wanted motorsports…they would watch Formula-one.

    By the new design, it looks as if the team owners are only concerned about their sponsors.

  24. Swift tis the obvious choice for an auto-sport but the new Dallara may have to be the one everyone settles for because the fans don’t “get a vote.” Do they?

  25. billytheskink Says:

    I’d be down with the Delta Wing’s current design if Stanton Barrett was set to drive one painted like the Budweiser Rocket.

  26. Andy Bernstein Says:

    Billy,

    Would the FIA approve the ramp to ramp jumps in the middle of the front straight?

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