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"The Indy 500 is Broken, So Fix It"

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  • "The Indy 500 is Broken, So Fix It"

    At least, according to Brock Yates it is. Brock has written a thoughtful article on the Indianapolis 500 in the latest "Car and Driver" magazine. His old articles are posted on the magazine’s website but this issue is just hitting the newstands. I’ll post a link when it is available online.

    Here’s a (very) short summary of Brock’s points:

    Brock says that the glory days of the Indianapolis 500 were from the ‘50s through the ‘80s when it truly was the greatest spectacle in racing. Each May the greatest drivers in the world (both domestic and foreign) would show up to play the fastest and most dangerous game on earth in a wide variety of race cars. Each year thousands of people would show up to watch practice, qualifying, and the race. This year tickets were available race morning and last minute deals had to be made to insure a 33-car starting field. He said that he agreed with Tony George’s decision to break the ties with CART but says that his strategy so far is showing only limited success. And he unloads on Chevrolet and GM, too. He says that it is a major black eye for GM (and the domestic industry) that Toyota and Honda came to Indianapolis for their first year and just humiliated them. According to Yates, “Japanese domination at Indy only reinforces the impression that they operate on a higher technological plane than the Detroiters.” He also devotes a paragraph to the fact that the latest generation of American open wheel stars (Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, etc.) have wisely gone to NASCAR.

    According to Yates radical change is needed:

    1. No spec chassis. If you can build it to the rules you can race it.
    2. Stock block push-rod engines (400 c.i.) allowed to run with the factory racing engines. (edited 8-8-03)
    3. Allow front engine cars with a 200 pound weight advantage over the rear engined cars
    4. Allow diesels
    5. Encourage alternative fuel engines
    6. Limited the current aerodynamic rules to put more driver input into the equation.

    Brock states that he’s not Tony George so it’s up to Tony George to fix the race.
    Whether you like it or not this is one of the best articles that Brock has written in a long time. Yates has always been something of an outlaw but he has also always been a racer at heart. And he has always been passionate about the Indianapolis 500. Get your hands on the September issue of “Car and Driver” and read the entire article.
    Last edited by indyrjc; 08-08-2003, 07:59 AM.

  • #2
    Quote: 5. Encourage alternative fuel engines.


    Does this mean its OK to bring Carroll Shelby's turbine back.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: "The Indy 500 is Broken, So Fix It"

      Originally posted by indyrjc
      At least, according to Brock Yates it is. Brock has written a thoughtful article on the Indianapolis 500 in the latest "Car and Driver" magazine. His old articles are posted on the magazine’s website but this issue is just hitting the newstands. I’ll post a link when it is available online.

      Here’s a (very) short summary of Brock’s points:

      Brock says that the glory days of the Indianapolis 500 were from the ‘50s through the ‘80s when it truly was the greatest spectacle in racing. Each May the greatest drivers in the world (both domestic and foreign) would show up to play the fastest and most dangerous game on earth in a wide variety of race cars. Each year thousands of people would show up to watch practice, qualifying, and the race. This year tickets were available race morning and last minute deals had to be made to insure a 33-car starting field. He said that he agreed with Tony George’s decision to break the ties with CART but says that his strategy so far is showing only limited success. And he unloads on Chevrolet and GM, too. He says that it is a major black eye for GM (and the domestic industry) that Toyota and Honda came to Indianapolis for their first year and just humiliated them. According to Yates, “Japanese domination at Indy only reinforces the impression that they operate on a higher technological plane than the Detroiters.” He also devotes a paragraph to the fact that the latest generation of American open wheel stars (Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, etc.) have wisely gone to NASCAR.

      According to Yates radical change is needed:

      1. No spec chassis. If you can build it to the rules you can race it.
      2. Stock block push-rod engines; 400 c.i.
      3. Allow front engine cars with a 200 pound weight advantage over the rear engined cars
      4. Allow diesels
      5. Encourage alternative fuel engines
      6. Limited the current aerodynamic rules to put more driver input into the equation.

      Brock states that he’s not Tony George so it’s up to Tony George to fix the race.
      Whether you like it or not this is one of the best articles that Brock has written in a long time. Yates has always been something of an outlaw but he has also always been a racer at heart. And he has always been passionate about the Indianapolis 500. Get your hands on the September issue of “Car and Driver” and read the entire article.
      By George! he's onto something again,
      Can't agree more.
      If it's not fixed it will fix itself and NASCAR will take over in May.
      Not my favorite scenario but at least we will have the best of the US short-trackers once again.
      carl s
      Indio, CA
      Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

      Comment


      • #4
        Seems to me that at about the time the 500 began losing its luster (according to Yates) was the time when technology surpassed the track. Speeds crept up ever so high and lots of bad crashes ensued. Not saying that bad crashes didn't occur during his golden era, just that technolgy and cost surpassed the track.

        And even during the years that he discounts, there were still great races.

        Do you think if the race were become an "open" race that interest would increase? I doubt it. Just promote the heck out of the league and ratings will return.

        jmart

        Comment


        • #5
          I think the drivers are more important than the kind of cars used, if the goal is finding new fans. Keep the drivers around for a while, bring in new drivers who have fan interest, and the series will grow.

          But I think Brock's ideas listed here are valid and interesting to have on the table of possibilities.
          Barney Oldfield - AJ Foyt - Jim Clark - Dan Gurney - IMS - IMS YT - INDYCAR - INDYCAR YT

          Comment


          • #6
            Up Brock's, he is full of spit, leave my race alone.

            Comment


            • #7
              Pretty much sounds like he is trying to return to the old roadster days. Back then a lot of chassis were inhouse built. But with todays technology, chassis construction is a very expensive item. Sounds like the price of chassis would increase because of the few built by any team. Except for the one or two "rich" teams, Penske. OK, so one team could buy a chassis from another team, but do you buy as good a chassis as the builder team runs?

              But it still boils down to the driver. NASCAR today sells the drivers very successfully. The days of selling the cars as the stars has gone away. Tho, about the engine formula, it might increase interest if the engines were based on stock manufacture engines and 5 or 6 were involved.

              Comment


              • #8
                You sure Andy Granatelli didn't write that column? Sure sounds like Andy.
                "Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate."

                2018 Indianapolis 500 photo gallery

                2018 Long Beach Grand Prix photo gallery

                2017 Indianapolis 500 photo gallery

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jmart


                  Seems to me that at about the time the 500 began losing its luster (according to Yates) was the time when technology surpassed the track. Speeds crept up ever so high and lots of bad crashes ensued. Not saying that bad crashes didn't occur during his golden era, just that technolgy and cost surpassed the track.

                  And even during the years that he discounts, there were still great races.

                  Do you think if the race were become an "open" race that interest would increase? I doubt it. Just promote the heck out of the league and ratings will return.

                  jmart

                  Aloha J Mart


                  Well you did it this time,,, didn't you,,, Old Buddie,,,,


                  You Are Going to Get It,,, and I mean "GET IT" ,,,

                  Grand Poo Bah J Mart,,, Sounds Pretty Good, Don't It,,,...

                  Now just,,,Pass Go, Pass Jail, head right to the "Grand Poo Bah Hall of Fame",,, buddie.... You also, will have, and are entitled to, a life like "Bronze Bust" of your "Holiness", that will be displayed, and located in the Main Rotunda of the Grand Hall of Fame... Also a Life Time "Membership" to the "500 Club of Winners" ...


                  Congratulations, "Grand Poo Bah J Mart", you just won a lifetime, pass, right to the "Grand Poo Bah Hall of Fame",,,, With this last post of yours...

                  I don't care if you have been here 6 months, 6 hours, or 600 years,,, or if you are direct descendant of Barney Oldfield, or the second coming of AJ Foyt.... You Just Got to Get It,,, that's all, and use a little common sense, kindness and tolerance, in the process...

                  And,,, YOU JUST GET IT... don't you,,, J Mart

                  Something evidently Yates, don't get, that's for sure... Nor does he have a shadow, of understanding, not a clue for the reasons, nor any understanding of the history, of what happened.... Almost like he is brain dead, kind of sad...


                  And J Mart, I am not smart enough to know,,, but I think you can lay some of these accusations, right at the feet of Roger Penske, and some of the other "New Wave Owners", at that time in history, right after Anton, went to the Promise Land....


                  For the Rest of You,,, Just Keep Digging,,,, it's all about "Common Sense", it's not about time in grade, or pedigree...

                  Keep digging folks, and remember, all Bingo Winners, are automatically entered in the yearly judging, and are up for consideration, to be one of the "Top Ten Honorary Poo Bah Winners" for each Year"... And as a Top Ten Winner, your "Face" will be added to the base of the "Pure Gold Statue of Anton Hulman, and the Boy Prince, each year... But remember, it will be an "Honorary Grand Poo Bah Award", only, not like the one that J Mart just won, he's a full blown, Grand Poo Bah now........


                  Just some of those that have been, "Anointed" Grand Poo Bahs, already in the last 3 years....


                  Da,,, Bird,,,
                  Doggie With Many Rings,,,
                  Defendo,,,
                  Race Writter Man,,,
                  Professional Joe,,,
                  Indy Motor Man,,,
                  Very Fast Man,,,220 MPH,,
                  J Mart Man,,, One Step Ahead of K Mart,,,,
                  Grand View,,,,
                  Truthie,,,,
                  Adam M
                  Knockoff ,,, aka, Knock Your Block Off Man, (But only if you continually act Stupid)



                  I will have to get the other computer fired up,,, and cooking, for the rest of the "Inductees".... Quite an honored list, I think there is about half a dozen more...


                  Remember the " Solid Gold Indy 500 Statue" will depict, Anton holding the "Boy Prince" in his arms, while standing on the "Yard of Bricks", gazing off in the direction of the first turn, at the Speedway ... This Pure Gold Statue, will also be located in the Main Rotunda,,, only it will be located right in the center of the Rotunda, surrounded by All the Grand Poo Bahs, all done up in Bronze, surrounding Anton, and offering their "guidance" to Anton, and the Boy Prince, for all "Eternity"...
                  Yes,,, Yes,,, Tony,,,

                  Your Grandfather was a friend of Roger Penske,,,

                  Your Grandfather did business with Roger Penske,,, but

                  Your Grandfather never trusted Roger Penske,,,

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you listed all the schemes that Yates has thought up in the last 40 years to "save the 500" you'd run out of bandwidth. This is merely the latest. By next week, he'll probably have another one, maybe calling for cars powered by rubber bands. Never forget that this is the same person that wanted qualifying to be run clockwise so that roadsters would die out. He thought the 500 was too important to be run in "lopsided cars".
                    Proud to be a complainer.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Brock needs to pick his arse up out of 1969 and realize that time has passed, and perhaps so should he.

                      This is not a denigration of his pie in the sky 'solution,' but let's face it. Evolution has made execution of a lot of those types of ideas impractical.

                      Based on conversations I've had with several people portrayed as in the know, the IRL simply needs to enforce the rules it has, and if it means severe sanctions against a rule breaker, say, Toyota, who agrees in writing to provide engines through an authorized builder to two teams and then reneges on the deal leaving the teams and the builder out there in the wind holding their johnsons, then so be it. Tony has testicular fortitude, but apparently he needs to grow them a little bigger to take care of this problem.

                      I would like to think the dishonest, disingenuous, unethical game playing ended with the demise of c^rt. I sure as heck don't want that kind of bullshirt popping up in the IRL.

                      Besides, Brock's entire premise is flawed to begin with. The Indy 500 is STILL the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. It hasn't lost a [email protected] thing to me. As a matter of fact, it has improved. The sky is not falling. The 500 will be around for a long time. It will be OK. Calm down. This bleating hysteria has gone beyond comical to downright annoying. Get over it and move on with your lives.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As usual, Brock is right...... Indy car racing has about high teched and high priced itself out of business.
                        Last edited by mac miller; 08-08-2003, 07:04 AM.
                        .

                        http://indyroadsters.webs.com/
                        http://macmillersgarage.webs.com/
                        http://www.youtube.com/user/macmiller46241


                        I love any race car whose last name is "Special"

                        .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Defender
                          Brock needs to pick his arse up out of 1969 and realize that time has passed, and perhaps so should he.

                          This is not a denigration of his pie in the sky 'solution,' but let's face it. Evolution has made execution of a lot of those types of ideas impractical.

                          Based on conversations I've had with several people portrayed as in the know, the IRL simply needs to enforce the rules it has, and if it means severe sanctions against a rule breaker, say, Toyota, who agrees in writing to provide engines through an authorized builder to two teams and then reneges on the deal leaving the teams and the builder out there in the wind holding their johnsons, then so be it. Tony has testicular fortitude, but apparently he needs to grow them a little bigger to take care of this problem.

                          I would like to think the dishonest, disingenuous, unethical game playing ended with the demise of c^rt. I sure as heck don't want that kind of bullshirt popping up in the IRL.

                          Besides, Brock's entire premise is flawed to begin with. The Indy 500 is STILL the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. It hasn't lost a [email protected] thing to me. As a matter of fact, it has improved. The sky is not falling. The 500 will be around for a long time. It will be OK. Calm down. This bleating hysteria has gone beyond comical to downright annoying. Get over it and move on with your lives.
                          Well stated. The race is fine. A little promtion, and insurance of the availablility of equipment for all. Stop trying to fix what isn't broke.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Brock is right about one thing the Indy 500 is broken. We can debate his fixes, most of which I wouldn’t agree with, but to deny that the race is going through troubled times is foolish. By any objective measurement, such as tv ratings, car counts and attendance at the track during the month of May, things are not well. Heck, for years I’ve spent plenty of time at the track for practice and qualifications and there is simply no denying there has been a massive drop off of interest in the past couple of years. And I’m not talking about pre-split times, I’m referring to the level of buzz back in 98 & 99. The place was dead this year in terms of excitement and wasn’t much better the year before.

                            I personally think it’s because Tony George misunderstood that a large % of the IRL fan base couldn’t care less about the return of the CARTer’s and the more he and the league pandered to them, a siginificant group of them just tuned out. Plus a large % of CART fans hold such personal dislike of TG that when he nods in their direction they give him the bird. That’s why a month of May that has Steve Kinser qualifying for the Indy 500 had a whole lot more appeal to the IRL fan base than the return of Michael Andretti.

                            So yea, Brock’s ideas are nutty, but he’s a whole lot more on the ball than the new crop of ostriches that don’t even see there’s a problem. The first step toward fixing thing is to at least admit there is trouble, that’s where Brock is at, but unfortunately some here and the whole crew at IMS are doing their best to imitate the CART fanatics.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I guess he left out the part about the IRL providing the best open wheel racing in the world.

                              I don't know a lot, but I know where I will be ever Memorial Day to the day I die, Stand J, Section 23, row M.

                              See ya there!

                              Comment

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