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Looking at Despain and Yates thoughts...

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  • Looking at Despain and Yates thoughts...

    Where there is smoke there is fire, I don't look at problems and bury my head in the sand, I know they are there, but who will change them? Not seeing anyone willing to take the bull by the horns, I love what we are lucky enough to have, but consider this..

    Way back when I got into big time racing, Indy racing had ALL the big names in racing. That was in the car crazy era, when all the manufactures were in three-year build cycles and the roll out of a new version was as big news as it is with us now in IndyCar. Sure NASCAR had names, but it was a Southern sport then, the time period was early 60's, Chevy had Ray Fox, the Allison's and Smokey (beginning in 1963, the first big year) Before that Smokey and Fox had Pontiacs, later, Pontiac had Nichols and independents. Ford had Holman-Moody and Mopar had the Petty's and then later K&K, Mercury had Bud Moore, the Wood Brothers and Bill Stropp. There were others that played a part but it doesn't matter that much in the story I am telling.

    Basically, what I am saying was in the car-crazy ere, the NASCAR following was brand related, you had to be a late-teen at that time to really understand what I mean, Ford, Chevy and MOPAR guys would either street drag or fight over brand loyalty. Yes, NASCAR had names, but the fans were into the cars. When Junior Johnson started his own team, he was a Chevy guy going to Ford, some of the fans called him a traitor and wouldn't switch, some people did go so far as to by a new brand of car. Heck, when NASCAR ran the Hemi off, Petty tragically drag raced, then ran a Ford, later GM cars. All the teams sought out OW stars for on offs. Andretti ran and won Daytona, Foyt ran fall-season for the Wood brothers. Johnny Rutherford caught the public eye with the '63 Chevy big block run that year. Paul Goldsmith ran Pontiacs for Nichols, USAC had a Stock Car division, Norm Nelson the star. Both series ran dirt.

    Gradually NASCAR built "name" stars that replaced the "car" stars. Meanwhile, the Indy "names" were getting older, starting to retire or run badly. This didn't happen overnight, it took twenty years. Fred Lorenzen was NASCAR's first "Golden Boy," But Richard Petty was always the King. By the time all the Indy names were done, NASCAR had all its "name" stars in place and it no longer mattered what car they drove.

    NASCAR has caught the public eye with names and personalities, now fans love and hate drivers, not cars, the cars are changed like pairs of socks. That is what open wheel lacks. Sadly, some of NASCAR's biggest names have open wheel roots, the "Indy" owners, looking for the easy way, embraced those from afar and that is what is going to kill CART as much as poor decisions in management personnel, style and financial irresponsibility.

    I love some of the great drivers we now have from Brazil, I would hate to lose any of them. I think I am one of the last anyone would call a xenophobe, ****, I didn't even know the word until I saw us clubbed over the head with it in the past year. But if the owners really care, if IndyCar really cares, it is time to draw a line in the sand and stop this crap. I know of sports, I think Canadian Pro Football is one, that had a requirement relating to the number of Canadian's that had to be on the team. It is time, beginning in 2004, where the teams will have to be put on notice that the next driver hired for multi-car teams should have American short track roots, and after that, no multi-car team can have more then half their drivers come from outside North America. Such a rule would grandfather all the drivers in a ride today. Toyota, Honda and Chord may not like it, but they must realize that this series runs all it's races but one in America, and, at least for now, all on ovals. It will do none of the engine manufacturers any good if the series continues to be dwarfed by NASCAR, whether in the stands or on the couch, we need our own American stars that people can root for and support, and they might as well fess up to it. If and when T&H go off to NASCAR, they will be running American drivers anyway.

    IndyCar must build their driver base from America, to draw the American audience, again, at the track or on the couch. The owners, greedy and thirsty for success as they are, can't be trusted or left to do it on their own, it has to be done by mandate or it will never happen. Ryan Newman is a great example to use as a "roadmap," should Penske, Ganassi and others take the time, effort and tutoring with young OW stars that Penske did with Newman, it wouldn't be long before IndyCar would have a new batch on Foyt's, Unser's, Rutherford's Andretti's and others, in fact, some of those same names are in the pipeline.

    I have not recently "seen the light," I have felt this all along, I just don't see where a constant P&M here solves anything, so I love what we have and hope for better.

  • #2
    Thanks Miles.
    Your carefully thought-out contributions are always valued by this indy-car, short-track fan.
    I guess my worst fear is coming true.
    If the Indy-car "world" doesn't actively deal with the "troubles" then defacto change enuses.

    ps: Did you "really" tell Bobby A that cousin Freddie slept in a cage? :>)
    carl s
    Indio, CA
    All the rivers, they flow into the sea - or the sea dries-up.
    Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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    • #3
      No Carl, Bobby asked me if we kept him in a cage every night and only let him out to put him in a car. It was after a consi at Martinsville that started "24," Freddy somewhere at the back. The Modifieds always brought about 50-plus cars to Martinsville in those days, it was our "Indy," twice a year. We ran 500 laps. The hardest thing to do was make the show. I can't recall if Freddy won that consi, but he was up front, Bobby made the show, behind Freddy, while Freddy hit every car on the way to the front, at least twice. He also spun out a couple of times. Freddy was a bulldozer operator, in real life and on the track. He was a ton of fun at all times, but ready to fight in need be. We had great times, some saw me at C&B, having a great time, I learned to live my live to the fullest from those guys, having honest fun at the real expense of no one.

      When I think back, I am amazed at all the "names" from that era I knew and knew me by name. At Daytona with Pete Hamilton in 1967, I baby sat Davey and Clifford Allison at the Holiday Inn pool while Pete, Bobby and Judy went to dinner.

      Racing wasn't all business then, we lost that somewhere.

      Comment


      • #4
        Does it have to be SHORT TRACK drivers,or could it be American Winston Cup West drivers,orAmerican Toyota Atlantic drivers?

        As a minority myself this is going to be funny to say but you are wanting some sort of "affirmative action".

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Longhorn
          Does it have to be SHORT TRACK drivers,or could it be American Winston Cup West drivers,orAmerican Toyota Atlantic drivers?

          As a minority myself this is going to be funny to say but you are wanting some sort of "affirmative action".
          Exactly. Of course, for some, it has to be the "right" kind of American driber, not those "road-racing losers."

          Sure, I'd like a few more American drivers, but I don't really give a **** about their background. Furthermore, a little more promotion of our current stars, American and international, is needed.
          "Why do we do this? Because we love it, don't want to be anywhere else but a race car. We will keep your legacy my friend. Racers race."

          Tony Kanaan

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          • #6
            Whatever it takes, darn right I am, affirmative action, in it's place, when called for and done correctly has been needed this is Country. IndyCar races in America for the most part, run on American style ovals and plays to an American audience, just as NASCAR does. Few drivers have had NASCAR rides that come from outside North America. In desperation, the Petty's called on Christian Fittipaldi, but not because he was better then John Andretti, just different. Affirmative action is called fore when all other avenues of relief have failed, I think that is a case here. Once something like I suggested becomes rule, they find a way to live with it, or they will leave. It may result in tough times, but what would come from it would give us our racing back.

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            • #7
              1. I am not disagreeing that more Americans would increase interest.

              2. I have nothing against short trackers.

              With that stated,I think it does not matter where the Americans come from. As someone stated on another thread,you cannot relive history. If you can get some short trackers in good. But if they come from Toy Atlantics or whatever then thats fine too. Was Hornish a short tracker?

              I think its safe to say the big numbers Nascar is pulling from the major cities have NOTHING to do with where the drivers came from. They(audiences in the metro areas) do not know what a midget car is or what is a USAC.

              To back that up,in Austin,on the sports radio,they have a Nascar section.....nowhere do USAC or Short Driving come up in the discussion.

              Again,nothing against short trackers,but they may not be your end all. Getting sponsors to step would help a whole lot,remember the Target Zanardi commercials?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Longhorn
                1. I am not disagreeing that more Americans would increase interest.

                2. I have nothing against short trackers.

                With that stated,I think it does not matter where the Americans come from. As someone stated on another thread,you cannot relive history. If you can get some short trackers in good. But if they come from Toy Atlantics or whatever then thats fine too. Was Hornish a short tracker?

                I think its safe to say the big numbers Nascar is pulling from the major cities have NOTHING to do with where the drivers came from. They(audiences in the metro areas) do not know what a midget car is or what is a USAC.

                To back that up,in Austin,on the sports radio,they have a Nascar section.....nowhere do USAC or Short Driving come up in the discussion.

                Again,nothing against short trackers,but they may not be your end all. Getting sponsors to step would help a whole lot,remember the Target Zanardi commercials?
                Thats pretty much my opinion also.

                I really don't care much about where our IndyCar drivers got their racing experience or about their nationality. I want to see the best possible drivers competing which provides that fantastic on track action I have come to love with IndyCar racing.

                Yes, it would be nice to have more American drivers but it matters little to me what type of racing they did prior to IndyCar. The individual perfromance of each driver is the main item for me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Excellent post, Miles. Knew you had it in you.
                  "It was actually fun, because you're back fully driving again in these trucks. Ninety percent of the tracks we go to in the IRL, you're flat-out. I was having to lift off the corners some here." - Buddy Rice

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                  • #10
                    Gee Miles, I'm at a loss for words...nah...you are correct...and, I agree with you whole heartedly...except the part about being happy with what we've got...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hdolan
                      Gee Miles, I'm at a loss for words...nah...you are correct...and, I agree with you whole heartedly...except the part about being happy with what we've got...
                      compadre!
                      Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Mackie:

                        Three or four years ago on Speednet, at the height of the deterioration of that site, a CART supporter predicted that IRL fans would call for this very thing.

                        He was hammered mercilessly for even broaching the subject.

                        It's certainly not the only prediction that bore fruit.

                        GV

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                        • #13
                          This has always been my position, I have posted the same before, I just don't hammer it home all the time here because we can't fix it here.

                          As for being happy with the mix we have now, I can be also, but that is not the point, we have a fan base, it just isn't big enough and it isn't growing fast enough. We are mid-contract with the mouse, by renegotiation time, there won't be enough value to keep us out of the position that CART got in if we don't come up with a way to make inroads into the NASCAR fan base. Building the series with drivers from South America willing to pay their way isn't getting it now and won't for the long run. The defection or OW stars, supported mostly by Chevy, Ford and Dodge NASCAR teams, has to stop. Chevy will have to be part of stopping it, but T&H, NASCAR bound, will have to help too. Why is it that they will help these drivers "go South," rather then stay with their roots? It is all about available money, they should make the money available here.

                          The mix we have is giving us great racing, but their names are turning people off that we need, the FOX/NBC watcher. We will race today, almost heads up with NASCAR, I expect because of that we may not get a "1" rating, we will not have a good crowd, probably a slight gain, but with common knowledge that the series won't be returning, we could face a backlash. It is interesting how many reasons people have for the schedule not being out yet, F1, CART, NASCAR, how about this one, if the schedule was out now, everyone would know that Gateway is off and this becomes a "lame duck" race, with almost no one in the stands. Funny, the schedule comes out next week.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "Three or four years ago on Speednet, at the height of the deterioration of that site,..."

                            I'm sure you meant the IRL Forum, of course, and its "deterioration" by an influx of anti-IRL posters, just to keep the record straight.

                            Thank goodness the IRL forum here is effectively moderated, and we only have to endure the occassional these occassonal squeels and grunts.



                            "You people worry too much. Strive for change. Root for your favorites. Enjoy the racing. Drop the flag." rev-ed, 3/04

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by KnockOff
                              "Three or four years ago on Speednet, at the height of the deterioration of that site,..."

                              I'm sure you meant the IRL Forum, of course, and its "deterioration" by an influx of anti-IRL posters, just to keep the record straight.
                              Not at all KnockOff.

                              Are you interested in reviewing some of your posts on the CART forum?

                              I can PM or email them to you.

                              GV

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