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Purchasing Cart - huge blunder

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  • Purchasing Cart - huge blunder

    I was reading about this supposed purchase of Cart (taking Cart private) that is to occur today and I couldn't help but thing this is a huge blunder for those involved.

    First, the assumption that Cart can return to profitability in '06 is a stretch. What would make this occur? A return of big name sponsors to the series is a start but what makes us think this will occur? The IRL will still be around in '06 absorbing their share of the sponsors.

    Return of the big name drivers (like AJ, Sullivan, Mears, Andretti were in the '80s)? Considering the drivers that go to NASCAR and that the IRL will have 20-something seats to fill I doubt this seriously.

    Cart at some point has to change its engine forumla and this is going to cost someone (either the teams or suppliers) a considerable amount of money. Who is going to invest this? Ford, OK that's one but who else? With international suppliers set to enter NASCAR I doubt any will take a chance on a struggling series like Cart.

    Return of big TV ratings? This is a stretch given that NASCAR has sucked up almost all the motorpsports fans in this country. And this country is key to Cart revival. It has already been suggested that the international events go away in the next few season while Cart rebuilds. But if you can't get American fans then how can you rebuild?

    Essentially, what has to happen is for Cart to return to where it was in the '80s for this to be an investment that pays off for those who take Cart private. Can anyone really expect this to happen? Considering NASCAR and the IRL aren't going to fade to where they were in the '80s I just don't see it.

  • #2
    Good questions and perceptions, silva.

    Through the last year or so of hearing how going private is going to be a godsend for CART, the questions you pose have been presented before and been shouted down on the boards by CART's unrealistic loyalists.

    But those questions persist and, with sponsorships and plans hanging in the balance for '04, it would seem that the answers to those questions are coming very close to the time when CART or its suitors need to pee on the fire and call in the dogs.
    "The lunatic fringes on both sides need to be written off." -- stnky pete

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    • #3
      Sadly, I have to agree with all thats been said. Whoever the new owners are, they will need to spend a tremendous amount of money over the next 3-4 years with the hope that “something” and I not sure what that something is, will happen in American motorsports that will shift the current interest that we see today in Nascar towards OW racing. Otherwise, it’s just going to be throwing good money after bad.

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      • #4
        It's doable, and expensive as sin.

        The bottom line is, CART never should have been taken public in the first place. Same effect as the picture of Donna Rice on Gary Hart's lap back in the 80's. 'Nuff said.
        "I didn't hear a single comment about airboxes, "carbashians", or how terrible the car looked. I did see dozens and dozens of little kids in awe of the speed and how cool the cars looked. We should learn from our children."
        --Danny Noonan

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        • #5
          Originally posted by skypigeon
          It's doable, and expensive as sin.

          The bottom line is, CART never should have been taken public in the first place. Same effect as the picture of Donna Rice on Gary Hart's lap back in the 80's. 'Nuff said.
          And where is Gary today?

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          • #6
            Three not so easy steps to make CART profitable.

            1) Recognize that television is the key component to success. (Provide an on track product that people want to watch)

            2) Drastically reduce the cost of not only the equipment, but the cost to operate it.

            3) Drastically cut overhead. CART's administrative and other expenses are in excess of $20 million a year.

            As long as those in power insist on parading half million dollar race cars on street circuits, CART will never be viable.
            I wish I knew - Dennis "Cutty" Wise

            When its game time, it's pain time! - Terrible Terry Tate

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            • #7
              For the latest business model to work, someone has to be willing to pay Cart for their product. TV won't pay, sponsors aren't buying, tracks sanctioning fees are dropping....in my, albeit small mind, I can't see how Cart makes a go of it.

              I think Cart should roll in as a division of another sanctioning group-(ie. Panoz)....or they could be a vintage race club, afterall all their equipement is already 2-3 years old anyway.
              All is well in the Champcar world (momentum, engines, schedule, attendance) unless you like racing ;)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by NIMBUS
                And where is Gary today?
                That's a good question... I heard he's actually being floated as a presidential candidate in '04...
                "I didn't hear a single comment about airboxes, "carbashians", or how terrible the car looked. I did see dozens and dozens of little kids in awe of the speed and how cool the cars looked. We should learn from our children."
                --Danny Noonan

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by skypigeon
                  That's a good question... I heard he's actually being floated as a presidential candidate in '04...
                  That’s right! Now I remember! ..... I think I heard that Bernie Ecclestone is thinking about financing his campaign.

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                  • #10
                    You bet it would be a mistake, at the $50 million figure those who would buy think they need, they would be paying slightly under $3.40 per share, just to buy paper that is selling at a buck-eighty one as I write this. If successful. poof, that $50 million is gone and these geniuses own a failed series that is paying the entire field to show up, and there is no way to change that. The $50 million up in smoke, they would then have to spend $20 more million to finish this season and perhaps another $50 million to get through 2004. Even Pook, who wouldn't know or speak truth if he had to, admits that "the Company" couldn't show a profit until 2006 or 2007, but at that, he couldn't even show how.

                    A $50 million buyout to get something you can pick up off the floor for free in a few weeks, is money wasted. That is money needed to tide you over until the concept fails again, due to bad racing on temporary circuits that, with a few exceptions, never make money for the promoter. CART has had to self promote far too many races because the promoter has gone broke, one of CART's major downfalls.

                    Sometimes the best and hardest thing to do is just let go and let something die, CART's past history and glory(?) means nothing considering the shape they are in now.

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                    • #11
                      Interesting,

                      I read people saying "doable".

                      Quite frankly, I don't think it is "doable".

                      Well let me re-phrase. The new owers would need to spend something like $360 million dollars over the next 3 years to even begin to make C^RT big time again. They would need30-40 million a year to get all the C^RT races on a station like CBS. They would need 40 million a year to field a competative grid. And they would need a large (the larger the better) budget to promote the drivers and races. Throw in normal expenses like administrative work and I would say 120 million spent yearly over a 3 year period, might do it.

                      Now is that really really doable? Nope.
                      Tara was the name of our cat.

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                      • #12
                        And still no guarantees that the American public will take an interest. That’s the big unknown that really can’t be bought.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mackie Sometimes the best and hardest thing to do is just let go and let something die, CART's past history and glory(?) means nothing considering the shape they are in now. [/B]
                          What glory? Every little piece they ever had was tied to the speedway. All the rah rah stories revolve around what happened at 16th and George. Yeah, there were some other bright, shining moments like Alex Zanardi every move, but by and large, it was drivers passing out, crashing on the slip 'n slide, circus clowns, car owners chasing Wally Dallenbach around the safety truck, Paul Tracy roughing up his car owner, Paul tracy getting probation, Paul tracy getting probation, Paul tracy getting probation, Paul Tracy getting suspended,


                          Deep breath.....


                          engine manufacturers cheating, engine manufactures saying cart has no integrity, engine manufacturers bailing, the Andrettis plowing into safety cars, Andretti plowing into parked cars, Penske cars winning failing tech and then being allowed to keep the win, Roger getting fined for unsportsmanlike conduct, cart champion JV saying that the way cart is run is no way to run a profesional seires.....

                          Breathe.....


                          Claiming to have the real cars and stars, THE REAL 500 , then piling up the entire front row and one third of the field before they even got the green. cancelled races, shortned races, races not run at the last minute with cart slinking out of town with the fan's money.......

                          whew!

                          Litigation here, litigation there. Uncle Joe obviates, cart sues Uncle Joe. Uncle Joe sues cart.

                          John Vannani. Grosfeld. Eenie Ooonie Wanna! Shakka Zulu!

                          Did I leave out any other proud and glorious cart memories?
                          Last edited by Sybil D. Sobydianz; 08-15-2003, 06:45 PM.
                          "Is that my *** that I smell burning?" ... Helmet Stogie from "Death spasms of the Mabuchi"

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                          • #14
                            Did you mention running 200 mph race cars through a river? Or driving around in a monsoon until the pace car ran out of gas? Or having a race snowed-out? How about leaving Detroit, the Motor City, because the mechanics were worried about getting bit by rats in the paddock? And, racing under lights in front of empty stands and arctic winds? On and on...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jim Wilke
                              [B]Did you mention running 200 mph race cars through a river?
                              That was the slip 'n slide reference. remember the big strip of plastic you would put on the lawn, plug a running garden hose into it, get a running start and then just side on the water until you went off the end?



                              Or driving around in a monsoon until the pace car ran out of gas?
                              I'll bet that was a classic. I remember Rutherford spinning the pacecar at toronto once, though. It was a great save.


                              How about leaving Detroit, the Motor City, because the mechanics were worried about getting bit by rats in the paddock?
                              Are you serious?
                              "Is that my *** that I smell burning?" ... Helmet Stogie from "Death spasms of the Mabuchi"

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