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Incoming -- A new book on the split by John Oreovicz

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  • ... which is the typical CART fanboy answer. But then you have to ask yourself, what's the problem? If CART wanted the race to be part of their series, they could have made an effort. If not, why do they care? It's no longer their concern.

    Comment


    • That's a different point though. Were I running CART I would have done things very differently - and whatever it was would not have involved NOT turning up to Indy.

      But I would like to hear from some of the initial drivers, especially those for whom the series was supposedly made, and who were discarded post haste.
      "An emphasis was placed on drivers with road racing backgrounds which meant drivers from open wheel, oval track racing were at a disadvantage. That led Tony George to create the IRL." -Indy Review 1996

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      • Originally posted by ensign14 View Post
        That's a different point though. Were I running CART I would have done things very differently - and whatever it was would not have involved NOT turning up to Indy.

        But I would like to hear from some of the initial drivers, especially those for whom the series was supposedly made, and who were discarded post haste.
        They probably liked that having a better opportunity at racing the 500 and getting money from the HGs to make it happen. That's not me speaking as a "CART fanboy" either, just being realistic about what it was that happened. I don't know what else they can really offer though beyond that from the perspective of how the IRL ran, the intent of the IRL vs. what was stated, etc.

        Comment


        • The split seemed inevitable to me. I enjoyed the IRL years, YMMV. I also found it an opportune time to get my own 500 tickets, and it turned out very well.
          “Church supper with grandma and granddad, lets go out and have ourselves the best time we ever had" - John Mellencamp

          Comment


          • To clarify, I didn't want to suggest that ensign14 (or anyone else) is a "CART fanboy", it just struck me (after earlier reading the Jalopnik reviews suggested by Don on the previous page - or, rather the comments below them) that most of those who made such a hue and cry about the downfall of the Indy 500 clearly identified as CART fans, and it got me wondering. Why was that so? I have never heard an F1 fan complain about the state of the Long Beach or Detroit GPs after they changed over to CART. Some may miss the race because they liked the track or the event, but no one's going to slam Chris Pook because Long Beach is now "a regional clubbie". They still have F1 and just get on with their own life, and their own favourite racing series. Same with CART fans, one would expect? But no, their world crashes when the IMS decides it doesn't need CART. Something's wrong with that picture.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Indyote View Post
              Question: How do posters out here, who have read "The Indy Car Wars" by Sigur E. Whitaker rate that book?
              Robin Miller felt that the book was poorly written and didn't contain any interviews with the major players. I found it to be quite dull to be honest. I think Indy Split will be better written and researched than that book was and is by someone who was actually there and reporting on the sport. The person who wrote IndyCar Wars is NOT a journalist but rather a former banker. It appears to be published by one of those sites/publishers that allow you to self publish a book using their guidelines. I know that Miller has stated that he never encountered the author at any track.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Jonewfan View Post

                Robin Miller felt that the book was poorly written and didn't contain any interviews with the major players. I found it to be quite dull to be honest. I think Indy Split will be better written and researched than that book was and is by someone who was actually there and reporting on the sport. The person who wrote IndyCar Wars is NOT a journalist but rather a former banker. It appears to be published by one of those sites/publishers that allow you to self publish a book using their guidelines. I know that Miller has stated that he never encountered the author at any track.
                Your opinions are certainly your own, as are those of Robin Miller, but, as much of a shock as it might be to you and others, it is entirely possible to write a book or a monograph or an article on a contemporary topic -- even if it is concerning motor racing -- without conducting a single interview or even, gasp!, visiting a single racing venue. Journalists, believe it or not, tend not to be historians, although they do provide some/much of the fodder that historians use during their research and to develop their interpretations. What the questions are that might be the focus of the research and analysis and how the interpretation is to be framed may or may not require personal interviews. Their absence should not be automatically taken as a showstopper, just as personal visits to racing venues may not be required. Perhaps helpful, of course, but not necessarily always vital.

                Your portrayal of McFarland is not necessarily one that actually fits your rather spurious remark, especially given that all publishers have "guidelines" required for publication, not to mention that McFarland tends to now function for the most part as a university press does -- especially given that the university presses have experienced a serious reduction in their numbers in recent years, allowing for monographs to be published that rarely are considered by the mainstream publishers (unlike most publishers, the vast majority of those published by McFarland have footnotes/endnotes).

                I thought that both the Whitaker and the Orevicz books were interesting, with their various strengths and weaknesses, but also useful in their own ways. Neither is the final word on this topic, of course, given that there are still issues that can/should be considered for further exploration and interpretation. Again, I suggest, as several others have, that history will not necessarily be kind to either party, but not necessarily for the reasons we might think at the present. That the IMS holds a unique place within the US racing community and, its history, and, again, the various cultural factors/issues are factors that will be among those looked at in the future, almost certainly from different angles than we might consider at the present.
                And so we beat on, boats against the current, drawn back ceaselessly into the past ... F. Scott Fitzgerald
                Ever have the feeling that the rest of the world is a tuxedo and you're a pair of brown shoes? ... George Gobel

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Don Capps View Post

                  Your opinions are certainly your own, as are those of Robin Miller, but, as much of a shock as it might be to you and others, it is entirely possible to write a book or a monograph or an article on a contemporary topic -- even if it is concerning motor racing -- without conducting a single interview or even, gasp!, visiting a single racing venue. Journalists, believe it or not, tend not to be historians, although they do provide some/much of the fodder that historians use during their research and to develop their interpretations. What the questions are that might be the focus of the research and analysis and how the interpretation is to be framed may or may not require personal interviews. Their absence should not be automatically taken as a showstopper, just as personal visits to racing venues may not be required. Perhaps helpful, of course, but not necessarily always vital.

                  Your portrayal of McFarland is not necessarily one that actually fits your rather spurious remark, especially given that all publishers have "guidelines" required for publication, not to mention that McFarland tends to now function for the most part as a university press does -- especially given that the university presses have experienced a serious reduction in their numbers in recent years, allowing for monographs to be published that rarely are considered by the mainstream publishers (unlike most publishers, the vast majority of those published by McFarland have footnotes/endnotes).

                  I thought that both the Whitaker and the Orevicz books were interesting, with their various strengths and weaknesses, but also useful in their own ways. Neither is the final word on this topic, of course, given that there are still issues that can/should be considered for further exploration and interpretation. Again, I suggest, as several others have, that history will not necessarily be kind to either party, but not necessarily for the reasons we might think at the present. That the IMS holds a unique place within the US racing community and, its history, and, again, the various cultural factors/issues are factors that will be among those looked at in the future, almost certainly from different angles than we might consider at the present.

                  Journalist of more than 44 years here ... some of the best sports writing that has ever been done took place back in the days when nobody went to the locker room and no one interviewed anyone. Those people wrote with authority because they were trained observers who actually possessed knowledge. Too many modern sports journalists are little more than fans who have been given loud megaphones (metaphoric of course) and basically are stenographers for quotes.

                  I agree with your assessment of McFarland. Some of their books can be lightweight but as a publishing house they serve a very useful purpose absolutely like that of a university press ... getting books out that wouldn't be published otherwise. For example, they published two very good NASCAR books, Bud Moore's autobiography and Bud Moore's son's autobiography (he was worthy of one because he was his dad's right-hand man from a young age and saw/experienced a lot of stuff). They published an excellent biography of Gene Kiniski, the great pro wrestler. They published Whitaker's bio of Tony Hulman, which I've not read so I can't vouch for how good it is.

                  Do any of y'all think a major publishing house would've touched any of those books on those particular subjects? There's a reason an awful lot of sports books end up in the remainder bins or on sale used at Amazon for $1.99 within a year or two ... the audience for them is niche and limited.

                  And you are absolutely on target that the cultural factors/issues have been the zillion-pound gorilla in this deal not just since the White Paper but since Gurney brought Chapman to Indianapolis to see the race in '62.
                  Last edited by Big G 94; 06-11-2021, 12:27 PM.

                  Comment


                  • [QUOTE=Big G 94;n6782864]


                    Journalist of more than 44 years here ... some of the best sports writing that has ever been done took place back in the days when nobody went to the locker room and no one interviewed anyone. Those people wrote with authority because they were trained observers who actually possessed knowledge. Too many modern sports journalists are little more than fans who have been given loud megaphones (metaphoric of course) and basically are stenographers for quotes. " END QUOTE.

                    I would have to agree with that point. If you look back 20 years there was a lot of resistance to bloggers and online news sites. The reason being was that people who couldn't write well could be seen as "reporters" and get accredited where they shouldn't. That's not to say that some bloggers or sites aren't worthy but it has made it so that some of the people who don't have journalism skills or training can get in.

                    I think 9/11 really is responsible for the 24/7 news cycle we have now and "journalists" who were nothing like Walter Cronkite, Frank Reynolds, Dan Rather and Ted Koppel . Anderson Cooper etc etc. can't hold a candle to them. It's those guys journalism schools should tell students to emulate. There are a lot of people that wouldn't get accredited or invited to cover CART, CCWS etc 20 years ago that couldn't write that are now getting access. It's changed from focus on newspaper reporting to online. When I was in journalism school back then profs scoffed at online outlets. Boy has that changed. Having said that, there are a lot of talented interviewers out there that just don't have it in the writing and researching department. When I was in school you had to be a skilled reporter, researcher, page designer and photographer and able to adapt. We actually worked for real papers and had internships we could get fired from. We started with 44 students and it got whittled to 6 including myself graduating after 3 years. It was intense training. Whether or not the new generation is getting training like that now is questionable. When you see what is being published or broadcast now you more or less have the answer to that one.

                    Comment


                    • OK, my copy arrived too and I've started reading.


                      I've seen comments made about the exact heritage and bloodlines of the Miller Marine Four and its influence in the Offy blood line.


                      But if anyone has read page 7 thorroughly, can you understand then why I ask:

                      - Who was the builder of, among others, the two Novi FWD chassis, the postwar Bowes Straight Eight powered chassis of Rex Mays, the 1950 and 1951 winners at Indy and the sistercars of the 1950 winner and the updated verions of that?

                      - After reading page 34 I ask the specialists on the subject.
                      I have read stories that the McLaren M24 was not merely an strengthened version of the F1 M23 desing that goes back to 1973 already but instead it was a brand new design inspired by the M23. Was this indeed true and also how Penske went to work with creating the Indycars PC5 and PC6.

                      - Finally,
                      After treading page 82:
                      I know Jackie Stewart won the 1970 Spanish GP with a March F1 car though that was a privateer team effort with a car entered and maintained by Tyrrell Racing,
                      Then there was Victor Brambilla who famously won the rainshortened 1975 Austrian GP and after finishing wrecked the front of his March F1 car. But due to the race not long enough there were only half points awarded. That event was also marred by the accident that lead to the death of Mark Donohue.
                      Anyway, two events with an Asterisk if it comes to the winning constructor.

                      Now I wonder which of these two GP victories for March did the author ignore/overlook when he stated that March scored only two GP victories, and mention only the Monza 1976 GP won by Ronnie Peterson but that race being more famous for the return of Niki Lauda after his fiery accident in Germany.

                      Am I the only reader who spotted these errors?
                      Or am I simply knitpicking about details that, as a European (and thus having another look onto matters regarding Indy & Indycars than the majority over here) are not detected by the average American Indycar fan?

                      Other then that.
                      I also miss a few thing already mentioned within the thread as possible topics to deal with within this book.
                      But overall, I must confess, for the time being up to the point where I am right nos, I think the author does a decent job in presenting the facts and backgrounds. I went down too hard on the errors I spotted, the book reads well and accessible for me.

                      Further update to follow when finished reading.




                      Comment


                      • I decided not to nitpick the book to death -- there being ample enough opportunities to do so without even much effort on my part, but that wasn't why I read the book: I was simply curious as to how he approached The Split and his views on the topic. I had absolutely no interest nor any intention of writing a review of the book, just a personal curiosity in how someone might handle the topic.
                        And so we beat on, boats against the current, drawn back ceaselessly into the past ... F. Scott Fitzgerald
                        Ever have the feeling that the rest of the world is a tuxedo and you're a pair of brown shoes? ... George Gobel

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Don Capps View Post
                          I decided not to nitpick the book to death -- there being ample enough opportunities to do so without even much effort on my part, but that wasn't why I read the book: I was simply curious as to how he approached The Split and his views on the topic. I had absolutely no interest nor any intention of writing a review of the book, just a personal curiosity in how someone might handle the topic.
                          I agree that I was knitpicking in this one.

                          Got to say that what I read about the main topic of the book, I'ver read a few things already that I wasn't aware of.

                          Comment


                          • Here is something that I came across in today's (13 June 2021) Book Review section of the New York Times that closely mirrors what a friend of mine, a journalism professor, said at a roundtable we participated in some years ago: "There's an old journalistic saying that access is a curse, because it puts the author in debt to his source and brings him too close to the person he is covering." (Ben Smith in a review of a book on Jeff Bezos.)
                            And so we beat on, boats against the current, drawn back ceaselessly into the past ... F. Scott Fitzgerald
                            Ever have the feeling that the rest of the world is a tuxedo and you're a pair of brown shoes? ... George Gobel

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Don Capps View Post
                              Here is something that I came across in today's (13 June 2021) Book Review section of the New York Times that closely mirrors what a friend of mine, a journalism professor, said at a roundtable we participated in some years ago: "There's an old journalistic saying that access is a curse, because it puts the author in debt to his source and brings him too close to the person he is covering." (Ben Smith in a review of a book on Jeff Bezos.)

                              Absolute truth.

                              Comment


                              • I'm about halfway thought the book. My impression is that CART offered an olive branch to the Speedway multiple times, and each time the Speedway said no, we're not going to compromise.

                                Comment

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