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Not enough oval tracks says Barnhart

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  • Not enough oval tracks says Barnhart

    I never knew their were not 20 ovals in the USA.




    Posted on Sun, Aug. 03, 2003

    Indy Racing League set to hit the roads in 2005
    BY MIKE BRUDENELL
    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    INDIANAPOLIS - (KRT) - Talk at the Brickyard 400 wasn't all about ovals: Much of it centered on roads - the racing kind.

    While NASCAR was entertaining its faithful, the Indy Racing League announced it would probably add road courses to its 2005 schedule.

    If the IRL, which has been an oval-only series since splitting with CART, can find suitable venues, it may run as many as four road races a season in future years.

    IRL vice president of operations Brian Barnhart has already met with chassis and engine manufacturers about the plan. Race teams and drivers have been notified, he said.

    "Almost all the drivers and team owners are behind the idea," said Barnhart. "It will give drivers a break from the constant stress of driving high-speed ovals and allow them to show their skills on the road."

    Many of the IRL racers, including former CART stars Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran, are road-racing experts. Defending IRL champion Sam Hornish Jr., who competed in Saturday's IROC event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has been quoted as saying he'd like to race on roads.

    "The IRL is white-knuckle racing every place we go," Barnhart said. "It puts a ton of pressure on the guys. I think they'll enjoy driving a few road courses."

    The IRL, of course, is basing its oval-road course strategy on the assumption cash-strapped CART will disappear soon. The IRL would like to own open-wheel racing in America.

    "We are now the stewards of open-wheel racing in this country," said Barnhart. "We plan on providing fans the finest open-wheel racing product in the world."

    This year, the IRL will race at 15 tracks across America. It also competes at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan. Barnhart thinks with the inclusion of road courses, 20 races a year is a good number by 2005.

    "If we stayed on all ovals, we'd run out of venues to race," said Barnhart. "We are looking for the right business opportunity to go road racing. But we'll only do it if the opportunity is good."

    ---

  • #2
    Come on guys, listen to your fans and stay ovals only! The CART fans aren't going to enjoy the IRL's road course product, and neither are your current fans. It's a lose/lose situation as I see it.

    Comment


    • #3
      big surprise.


      F1 and nhra keep me quite busy as a fan .
      It's a brand new day.

      Comment


      • #4
        There was some awesome drag racing today. As for RR, I agree with sabin.
        "Freedom, just around the corner from you,
        With truth so far off what good would it do?"

        Bob Dylan- "Jokerman"

        Comment


        • #5
          4 is about 2 too many.

          If the IRL takes any venues from C^RT I think they should let the venue go one year with no racing before stepping in as a White Knight.

          And never ever go to Cleveland.
          Center Grove Trojans
          2008 5A Football State Champs
          2015 6A Football State Champs
          2011 Track State Champs

          Center Grove Jr. Trojans
          2014, 2015 & 2017 IEFA State Champs

          Comment


          • #6
            i can appreciate what brian is saying, but as a race fan i want to see white knuckle racing (not knucklehead racing on parking lots)...

            i'm sure this was done before but shall we list worthy oval tracks that could use an IRL date-

            here are a few options:

            the upcoming houston tack
            pocono (with some work)

            from the irl's past:
            wdw
            atlanta
            charlotte
            vegas
            dover

            i count seven here, there are more...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Truth Detector
              4 is about 2 too many.

              If the IRL takes any venues from C^RT I think they should let the venue go one year with no racing before stepping in as a White Knight.

              And never ever go to Cleveland.
              My thoughts exactly !


              F! Cleveland !
              I'm talking high banks man. Texas - 24 degrees. - Kenny Brack

              Comment


              • #8
                please allow me the chance to blurt out my opinion on this subject (as if I hadn't already ):

                What he should have said is that the IRL has never been against the idea of running a couple rr's during the seasons passed, but it never made good business sense, until NOW!!!

                The ONLY reason the league will pick up these RR's is to appease the team owners whose sponsors want the markets SOME of the rr's are in, the manufacturers for ALL the teams would enjoy additional exposure, and the league would like to boost the interest of the fans who enjoy rr's, and the areas they live in too.

                Why is this hard to understand? I'm the last person to complain about ratings or attendence (just check out my history on the subjects), but the league HAS to look at it. It IS an issue that needs remedied.
                http://brianswish.trackforum.com/brianswish_main.htm/

                Comment


                • #9
                  The IRL quit being about the fans about three years ago. Charlotte, Orlando and Atlanta were all ovals back when the IRL raced on them. I'm with nitrofan on this one. The NHRA has really got it's stuff in a bag here lately, and they did it by listening to the people who buy the tickets, not the companies building the engines. If your fans leave the track happy then tell all of their friends and drag a few of them along next time, the rest will take care of itsself.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The Son of CART...does anybody on this forum really believe that the IRL will stop at 4 roadcourses...when will the first street course be announced...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hdolan
                      The Son of CART...does anybody on this forum really believe that the IRL will stop at 4 roadcourses...when will the first street course be announced...

                      Should Cart fail the first street course will be Long Beach.
                      Center Grove Trojans
                      2008 5A Football State Champs
                      2015 6A Football State Champs
                      2011 Track State Champs

                      Center Grove Jr. Trojans
                      2014, 2015 & 2017 IEFA State Champs

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by hdolan
                        The Son of CART...does anybody on this forum really believe that the IRL will stop at 4 roadcourses...when will the first street course be announced...
                        Good question. Probably not, especially if they have good attendance, which they generally do.

                        Also, what incentive do owner have to hire the Jay Drakes and Tracy Hines of the world. If they are even with the road racers on ovals the tie goes to the road races. I say IF they have them, make them 0 points or 1/4 points.
                        Ending a sentence with a preposition is something I will not put up with.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "Should Cart fail the first street course will be Long Beach."

                          No doubt...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Didn't you know we have to run the street races because if we are running out of ovals in this country we must be running out of road courses too.
                            Last edited by stockblock; 08-03-2003, 11:28 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Racing is an expensive business and has been sponsor driven in recent years. When your corporation spends millions of their advertising budget to support a race team, they will pressure the sanctioning body to hold an event near their headquarters. (Belle Isle comes to mind)

                              The ovals the IRL has abandoned were not profitable to continue racing at. No major sponsor committed to buy enough seats or advertising to keep them afloat.

                              I'm sure Brian Barnhart would love to find economicaly viable oval tracks, but if the iRL wants to expand it may have to go the road course route. Another option would be to increase ticket prices to raise revenue, but I believe that would be counter-productive. If selective, it won't hurt the regrowth of open wheel racing.

                              With sponsorship so hard to come by these days, money becomes a bigger issue than in the formative years of the IRL.
                              "When the music stops playing, Roger Penske will always find a seat"
                              Danny Sullivan

                              Comment

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