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  • Walker: Still breathing

    Over the last 48 hours we have been flooded with calls and emails from fans and colleagues offering their support and we thank you for it all. We really do. It means a lot to all of us at Walker Racing. Now here is the story behind the story!

    Up until a few days ago, I was of the belief, because of commitments that had been previously made to me, that we were to continue the Team Australia program into 2008. In addition, we had other new sponsorship opportunities that were progressing towards an agreement but, suddenly, both deals evaporated in the span of two days. Faced with that situation, I met with the employees and advised them of the difficult road ahead and the fact that we were starting all over again with new sponsor relationships. As of right now, these commitments and new opportunities have ruined the great plans we had been working on for the last two months.

    Although the Team Australia program and relationship with Craig Gore has ended, as well as his commitment to move forward with us into IndyCar, Walker Racing is not out of business, nor have we thrown in the towel. Walker Racing still has the Atlantic program going. In fact, I am currently in California for the Atlantic test with Greg and Leo Mansell, and Kevin Lacroix.

    The employees are the biggest asset of a race team. Whether it's driving the car, engineering it or taking care of the trucks and equipment, the employees are the most important asset, period!

    Having said that, my first meeting was with the employees. I shared with them the bad news and the difficult situation we were in. I asked them to give us until Monday, but to be aware because I had my work cut out for me. We released the statement in as professional and businesslike of a manor to inform everyone that the Team Australia partnership had ended along with the new sponsorships. Never sugar coated it, nor did we hang out our dirty laundry in public.

    As for my partnership with Craig Gore, we have some loose ends to sort out, which Craig has assured me they will be taken care of. Through these last couple of years, Craig had the passion for the Team Australia program and time will tell if Craig will stay in IndyCar, but for us it was unfortunately the end of the Team Australia partnership. It is part of the business we are in today. Things change and we have to move on.

    So we are not out of racing by any means. There is a huge mountain to climb, but if I can get the job done in time we will be there at Homestead. I will not kid you, it will be tough. The Atlantic program will definitely continue, and we are looking at A1GP to possibly help out some other race teams and take that time to work our way back to IndyCar in 2009. It's the best time to be in open wheel racing and we want to get back as soon as we can. Stay tuned, we will keep you posted.
    link

    Translation: I had a contract with Gore. If he honors the deal and at least pays me what he owes me for last year and settles up, I'll go forward and you'll see me in Homestead. If he doesn't pay me, then I am preparing the ground for a massive breach of contract deal, claiming that he put me out of business.

  • #2
    Walker has pulled this same routine many times over the years.

    He'll get his money he is owed by Gore (which is probably why he went public with the story he was "shutting down" his IRL operation) and then he will be miraculously at Homestead in late March, with a full-time car on the grid. Probably all he is missing for his 2008 budget, is that 1.5 million bucks Gore owes him.

    Walker is good at this. He sucks at going out and finding sponsors on his own, but he is a master of playing the "woe is me" card.
    IRL 2009: "Cars you can't see, driven by drivers you have never heard of, on a network you don't get"

    "I'd hire your grandmother, if she brought a budget"- Bankrupt Indy Car team owner Tyler Tadevic, to Curt Cavin in December, on the tough standards he looks for when "hiring" driver talent.

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    • #3
      Regardless of posturing, I hope he gets an ICS program together for 08.
      "You have not converted a man because you have silenced him."
      -John Morley

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JBaiza
        Regardless of posturing, I hope he gets an ICS program together for 08.
        I'm also glad he's at least gotten his Atlantic program together enough to go to spring training. It's a start.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jimmy Hendricks
          Walker has pulled this same routine many times over the years.

          He'll get his money he is owed by Gore (which is probably why he went public with the story he was "shutting down" his IRL operation) and then he will be miraculously at Homestead in late March, with a full-time car on the grid. Probably all he is missing for his 2008 budget, is that 1.5 million bucks Gore owes him.

          Walker is good at this. He sucks at going out and finding sponsors on his own, but he is a master of playing the "woe is me" card.
          If he is owed money, I hope he gets it!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jimmy Hendricks
            Walker is good at this. He sucks at going out and finding sponsors on his own, but he is a master of playing the "woe is me" card.
            That's not quite accurate. Walker has, in the past, developed a significant amount of sponsor relationships that funded his ontrack activities. Porsche, Quaker State, Foster's, Valvoline, Cummins all come to mind.

            However, with the advent of ChampCar and their continuous subsidy programs, Walker realized that he had minimal need to go hunt big sponsors (and incur the added costs that requires), knowing full well that a subsidy check would appear immediately before the first race of the season.

            To his credit, he felt he had a 2008 season deal with Gore for the IndyCar series once the merger was done, but that has now moved to KK's team, most likely due to the rumored purchase of Aussie Vineyards by one of KK's venture funds. Trying to find season sponsorship for any series in only a few weeks is a daunting challenge.

            However, since you find it so easy to criticize people who are actually doing something besides merely sitting at a keyboard, I'm certain your check was sent to Walker already..... or does your check writing ability suck?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Fueler

              1. That's not quite accurate. Walker has, in the past, developed a significant amount of sponsor relationships that funded his ontrack activities. Porsche, Quaker State, Foster's, Valvoline, Cummins all come to mind.


              2. However, since you find it so easy to criticize people who are actually doing something besides merely sitting at a keyboard, I'm certain your check was sent to Walker already..... or does your check writing ability suck?

              1. Wow, I am impressed at those sponsors. Too bad all of them came before George W. became president. How has he done this decade?

              2. I enjoy watching filthy rich people gave other rich people handouts too. I love watching DW beg for money and whine to the press on an almost yearly basis. The rest of your question is pointless.
              IRL 2009: "Cars you can't see, driven by drivers you have never heard of, on a network you don't get"

              "I'd hire your grandmother, if she brought a budget"- Bankrupt Indy Car team owner Tyler Tadevic, to Curt Cavin in December, on the tough standards he looks for when "hiring" driver talent.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Fueler
                To his credit, he felt he had a 2008 season deal with Gore for the IndyCar series once the merger was done, but that has now moved to KK's team, most likely due to the rumored purchase of Aussie Vineyards by one of KK's venture funds.
                Ahhhh.... that's the missing piece, if true. I had wondered how Gore and Walker would have parted ways, and had assumed that Derrick and Craig had come to some sort of mutual misunderstanding (I'd pictured CDW and Pettit, but less volatile?).

                This would certainly make more sense.
                ... Since all men live in darkness, who believes something is not a test of whether it is true or false. I have spent years trying to get people to ask simple questions: What is the evidence, and what does it mean?

                -Bill James

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jimmy Hendricks
                  2. I enjoy watching filthy rich people gave other rich people handouts too. I love watching DW beg for money and whine to the press on an almost yearly basis. The rest of your question is pointless.
                  Oh I don't know, I thought fueler's last question was right on the money, so to speak.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Starter
                    Oh I don't know, I thought fueler's last question was right on the money, so to speak.
                    I thought it had nothing to do with Walker's business acumen of begging and pleading for a handout most every year. It was just your standard TF blast, at "keyboard jockey's".

                    If I was going to send an owner a check, it sure as hell wouldn't be him.
                    IRL 2009: "Cars you can't see, driven by drivers you have never heard of, on a network you don't get"

                    "I'd hire your grandmother, if she brought a budget"- Bankrupt Indy Car team owner Tyler Tadevic, to Curt Cavin in December, on the tough standards he looks for when "hiring" driver talent.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wouldn't it be funny if Tracy drove for Walker in the ICS this year with Monster money? Hendricks would have a cow.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jimmy Hendricks
                        I thought it had nothing to do with Walker's business acumen of begging and pleading for a handout most every year. It was just your standard TF blast, at "keyboard jockey's".
                        It's a standard because the shoe fits many.
                        Rest in Peace, Miles Nelson

                        Never forget, 'Mackie' was here.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jimmy Hendricks
                          1. Wow, I am impressed at those sponsors. Too bad all of them came before George W. became president. How has he done this decade?
                          It sounds like he was doing fine with Aussie Vinyards until the team naming sponsor didn't pay in full, and led him into thinking things would continue.

                          Fueler also forgot Pioneer and Denso, and that did occur in this decade.

                          ANY team that can manage a full time ICS or CC/CART openwheel program in the last 7 years deserves kudos. ANY.
                          Rest in Peace, Miles Nelson

                          Never forget, 'Mackie' was here.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jimmy Hendricks
                            1. Wow, I am impressed at those sponsors. Too bad all of them came before George W. became president. How has he done this decade?
                            Pretty tough decade.
                            2. I enjoy watching filthy rich people gave other rich people handouts too. I love watching DW beg for money and whine to the press on an almost yearly basis. The rest of your question is pointless.
                            You don't have to go out of your way to sound like a jerk.
                            There's really no such thing as Gary the Moose, Sybil.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dreamracer
                              Fueler also forgot Pioneer and Denso, and that did occur in this decade.
                              Engine manufacturer "sponsors".
                              IRL 2009: "Cars you can't see, driven by drivers you have never heard of, on a network you don't get"

                              "I'd hire your grandmother, if she brought a budget"- Bankrupt Indy Car team owner Tyler Tadevic, to Curt Cavin in December, on the tough standards he looks for when "hiring" driver talent.

                              Comment

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