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What's Kelley going to do?

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  • What's Kelley going to do?

    Kelley is running a three-car entry for the first time in their history, and so far the results have been iffy. We know Renna has the talent, but it's also a given that Sharp and Unser are going to stay for a while. On the other hand, it's the likes of Renna that are the future, and you want to get that future signed, sealed, and delivered now. So if you're Tom Kelley, what do you do?

    (1) Let Renna go and stick with the two-car entry. Not very advantageous future-wise.

    (2) Expand the team to a proper three-car operation. Probably means moving the shop to a large facility, hiring more employees, etc. Keeps everything under control, but economically and managerially risky.

    (3) Subcontract out one of the cars to another team, like what Cheever has been doing with Greg Beck for Scheckter's entry. There are a lot of people around the IRL who have the talent to set up and run a competitive car, but aren't so good (or lucky, depending on how you see it) at the business/financial end of the deal, who are available. Beck himself might be available; there's Paul Diatlovich, Dave Conti, Chuck Buckman, etc.

    My suggestion, as you might have guessed, is #3. Kelley's got the business end of down cold; turn over the technical end to someone else, minimize the risk, and keep a good young driver on board.

  • #2
    not win!!!!!!!
    what the h*ll are you talking about sam !!!! bobby unser


    • #3
      I think he will run 3 cars, if he can find the sponsorship.
      IRL, Champcar and F1 fan


      • #4
        I agree. #3 sounds like a viable option.

        Put the third car in the hands of some guys who are only interested in the on-track product, but keep them in the fold of the team as a whole.
        "Now, for some of you it doesn't matter. You were born rich and your going to stay rich. But here's my advice to the rest of you: Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down." -- Edward Blume


        • #5
          Originally posted by cornutt:
          <STRONG>Kelley is running a three-car entry for the first time in their history, and so far the results have been iffy.</STRONG>
          Actually, I've been quite impressed with Kelley Racing since Renna's been added.

          Scott Sharp 8th
          Tony Renna 10th

          Tony Renna 4th
          Scott Sharp 9th

          Scott Sharp 4th
          Al Unser Jr. 6th
          Tony Renna 7th

          Al Unser Jr. 7th
          Scott Sharp 18th
          Tony Renna 24th

          Sure there's no podiums, but they've been competitive in every race, which is more than what could be said at the beginning of the season.

          I look for a 3-car team next year. All 3 cars are running strong right now, with the exception of Sharp and Renna's mechanical failures at Gateway. I don't think Kelley's team will suffer by expanding to 3 cars like Foyt.


          • #6
            If I'm him, I let Scott Sharp and his one win a season go... and stay at a two car team.


            • #7
              How much economics of scale come into play? As stated by earlier post all three cars are finihing and hence getting purse $. Does that make a team owner more $ since he can staff doing the same job for three cars instead of just one?


              • #8
                Cut back to two cars, keep Renna since he's a young guy and let one of the more "seasoned" older blokes look elsewhere.

                [ August 27, 2002: Message edited by: stnkypete ]


                • #9
                  Texas is going to be very interesting. Kelly always does well there and this time they will have three, equally fast cars. It seems like it's in Kelly's best interest to keep this lineup as long as he can.


                  • #10
                    I like Renna, but he has made two bad mistakes (spinning on pit road on cold tires and coming into the pits to hot and running over a guy) so I think I'll wait a while before designating him the second coming of AUJ.

                    When is the last time a 3 car team really had success (Penske in 94?). I think Kelley should get two cars to consistently contend for wins before going to 3 cars.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cornutt:
                      <STRONG>(2) Expand the team to a proper three-car operation. Probably means moving the shop to a large facility, hiring more employees, etc. Keeps everything under control, but economically and managerially risky.
                      Kelley has the funds to do whatever he wants. In a RACER magazine article written last year, Tom Kelley said that he runs Kelley Racing as a profitable business. In 2001, the team brought in $13 million in sponsorship. I'd think that this year, with Delphi scaling back, might be down a little, but not a lot.

                      He has the resources to run 3 full time cars this year and has the people to do it. IIRC, he hired some of the guys from PacWest when they shut down.

                      As far as space is concerned, they just moved into a 30,000+ square foot shop this year. That should be enough room to run 3 cars, especially now that the IPS team was put on hold for the rest of the year.


                      • #12
                        Thanks to Toms' Daddy... 3 is a viable option.


                        • #13
                          Boy Cornutt,,, you sure have some great thoughts and idea's... You've got a lot of great info... Here's some are random thought's I have mulled over at different times...

                          One thing for sure,,, Tommy's going to spend some more of Daddy's money... LOL

                          And he's done a fair job of that,,, in the 25 year's that I have known him... My take is,,, he might of brought in 15 million dollars of sponsorship money last year,,, but it look's like he spent 50 million dollars... LOL

                          I know his Dad once said a couple of year's ago... "Yes my boy Tommy has a profitable 15 million dollar Indy Car Team,,, only problem is,,, it cost 40 million...

                          It appear's to me,,, he want's to be,,,, the "Second Coming Of",,,, Roger Penske.... I Can't blame him..

                          In my best Frank Pentangli voice,,, from the Godfather movie...

                          "Yes Tommy,,, your father was a friend of Roger Penske,,, your father did business with Roger Penske,,, but your father never trusted Roger Penske"....

                          This might be fair advice for Tommy...

                          There's only one AJ Foyt,,, Roger Penske,,, or Joe Montana every decade or generation... Maybe only one,,, each century...

                          Money did not make Roger Penske,,, Roger Penske made money... And Tommy's,,,, no Roger Penske,,, no matter how much money,,, he throw's at the IRL... Not that Tommy can't learn to be the master of his own ship,,, or a winning IRL team owner... He's a sharp man... But I am not sure anyone can mimic Roger Penske,,, just by throwing a lot of money at a problem....

                          Tommy might buy the same clothes,,, he can wear the same shoes,,, but filling those shoe's of Roger's,,, that's another deal....

                          Roger's a master,,, at selection of talent,,, organization,,, delegation of authority,,, and execution...

                          He is simply a master...

                          There are sure some great characters in this racing game,,, always have been,,, a ton of them... Just look at this forum,,,wow,,, some great folk's... And then there's some like me,,, that need to be institutionalized...

                          [ August 28, 2002: Message edited by: BigWheelHawaii ]

                          Boy,,, I just re-read my post,,, sound's like I was a little negative toward's Tommy,,, that was not the point... The point is,,, it take's a He!! of an organization to run one of these team's... A 10,000 piece puzzle,,, and all part's have to be in place,,, just perfect... Tommy will get it all in place,,, no doubt he's got a super team,,, and he is a very bright person... I know one thing,,, he had the "perfect" P-51... If he get's this team running half as good as he did that P-51,,, it will be a first class team... He does everything,,, first class,,, and I mean first class...

                          No one is a match for Roger Penske,,, he's a master... I give Tommy credit for "hanging" with Roger...

                          [ August 28, 2002: Message edited by: BigWheelHawaii ]
                          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,,,


                          • #14
                            I think Kelley has done an excellent job this year of putting good cars on the track and the drivers have responded with many solid runs despite only the single win.

                            If Kelley was guilty of anything this year it was commiting to Toyota too early in the game. They have paid the price in horsepower ever since.

                            To top it all of he has gone out and done what many of us have asked owners to do - hire drivers based on talent. Scott Sharp has been a consistent winner in the IRL after his sports car success. Unser needs no introduction. Renna got the nod because he was succesful climbing the ladder and proved he belonged in the big leagues when he got the call to sub for Unser. To top it all off he has hired three Americans which puts him in a small class of owners who see and understand the future of the IRL and what it will take to win over the average fans once again.

                            For a guy that takes a lot of heat around here Tom Kelley has done all right in my book.
                            Dan Schlosser
                            Go fast, turn left !

                            "Count all your blessings, just don't keep score...."
                            Mark "Hoot" Marchetti


                            • #15
                              I gotta agree with Mr. turnleft.
                              "If TF members were given solid gold cars, some would complain about the color." - stnkypete


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