The train is pulling into the station

Posted by Iannucci | 2/21/2008 | 36 comments »
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The bigwigs are meeting.

Will Power, Justin Willson, and Graham Rahal are being added to IndyCar.com.
(good catch, IndyCar NewsStand)

And the name "Indy Racing League" will soon be obsolete.

Oh, dear. My Name Is...ICS?

UPDATE: As readers have noted, the names of Champ Car drivers are currently OFF the Indycar.com site. Webmasters have been known to get squirrelly, so that's not a huge deal. Yet. Meanwhile Curt Cavin - clearly under pressure to say something - has published a story about nothing.

Barring an 11th-hour snag in negotiations between IRL founder Tony George and Champ Car World Series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven, who planned to meet Thursday night, the two Indianapolis-based sanctioning bodies are expected to officially become one, potentially as soon as a 11:45 a.m. news conference Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
(MORE from IndyStar)
"...potentially as soon as...11:45 a.m...." carries about as much weight as saying it's definitely possible someone could show up and start talking around, oh, 11:45 p.m. Maybe. But it could totally happen. Really.

Also, he used the word "absorption", which if memory serves is the term first coined here by The American Mutt. Which makes me wonder if Cavin's leads have run so dry he's now scouring blogs for any shred of information. (Everybody, please smile and wave to Curt.)

All I know is it's 8:00 p.m. here in Arizona, which means it's time for "Lost". With all the plot twists in open-wheel racing this week it wouldn't be surprising to see Tony George and Kevin Kalkhoven appear on the island(s).

UPDATE 2: Go to bed. Curt says they're thisclose, but not there yet. Hey, after all these years of "split" what's a few more days, right?

36 comments

  1. mmack // February 21, 2008 3:58 PM  

    [Dr. Evil mode on]

    "I shall call it the Championship Auto Racing League, or CARL. CARL, you complete me."

    [Dr. Evil mode off]

  2. Tabernerus // February 21, 2008 4:15 PM  

    Wow. Is there a chance that this may .. you know ... happen? Nice.

  3. Zappatista // February 21, 2008 4:41 PM  

    You HAVE to stay with IRL, too classic....

    but, of more importance....

    Although Cavin is reporting that the meeting is on, the ground here in INDY is being covered (quickly, I might add) with the joy of white, fluffy, cold SNOW. It has been snowing since around 3 and it is getting pretty bad on everything except the main roads. I haven't looked at the delays at airport, but I would assume that there are some at this point. (IRL, no need to explain to us how it is 70 and sunny in the valley) Also, last paragraph, "no announcement is set for Friday", what is this bullshit! Let's get on with it!

  4. John Edward // February 21, 2008 4:41 PM  

    good thing domains are cheap... i remember the day when they cost 75 on up for a top level domain.

  5. John Edward // February 21, 2008 4:55 PM  

    I don't care what they call it, really... It's all good.

    I have but one request. I don't this to happen again:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=qe67YFClxts

  6. The American Mutt // February 21, 2008 5:28 PM  

    Yeah, but how about more of these--http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmX08S5Pc2c&NR=1

  7. pressdog // February 21, 2008 5:34 PM  

    The guy at the grocery store looked at my IndyCar shirt and raised his eyebrows every so slightly! HE KNOWS SOMETHING.

  8. Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. // February 21, 2008 5:55 PM  

    Y'all are all so funny. I have had a crappy week and I just got several really good deep laughs out of your posts.

    This is exciting.

    But are we the only ones who care? If you asked your Average Joe about "the merger"/melting into one another/whatever would they have a clue?

  9. Tabernerus // February 21, 2008 6:15 PM  

    Thanks for posting that clip. Sam Posey talking, as Mears reels in Johncock, man, THAT is Indy.

  10. Anonymous // February 21, 2008 6:57 PM  

    You might want to check that list again...those names have been removed....

  11. erika // February 21, 2008 7:14 PM  

    Jeff, you realize that you are completely spoiling us with your very timely updates, and that we will all now expect at least four new posts a day throughout the season.

    Thank you for keeping us so informed!

  12. John // February 21, 2008 7:17 PM  

    Very peculiar. The names have, in fact, been removed. Hmmmm.

  13. pressdog // February 21, 2008 8:04 PM  

    Names removed ... merger must be off.

  14. Tabernerus // February 21, 2008 8:08 PM  

    Man, no! Stop it! My stomach lining can't take it!

  15. Anonymous // February 21, 2008 8:12 PM  

    I'm gonna be pissed...

  16. Tabernerus // February 21, 2008 8:20 PM  

    I think it's more likely that someone got cute in the web dept, and someone told them to knock it off.

  17. John // February 21, 2008 8:21 PM  

    This just in:

    Paul G-String has teamed up with a deranged CC Crapwagon FTG lunatic and they have taken the restaurant hostage where TG and KK were attempting to dine in peace. Meanwhile, behind the facade of this innocent looking bookstore, Cavin has recruited Robin (Bruce Wayne was nowhere to be found), and they are planning a full breach. And A.J....well, A.J. is standing by just being pissed off, ready to slap someone in the face........... Stay tuned.

  18. the american mutt // February 21, 2008 8:35 PM  

    I actually LOL at your lost reference. Thanks. To be honest, I'm just glad KK landed in Indy. I don't know what the weather was like there, but I'd heard snow, and here in Southern Indiana we are for the second time in as many weeks socked in by ice.

  19. Tabernerus // February 21, 2008 8:42 PM  

    http://blogs.indystar.com/racingexpert/

    They were at dinner. Now they're not. Still optimistic. no real new content. Ai ai ai.

  20. erika // February 21, 2008 8:47 PM  

    I have a vague recollection of the IRL's website posting and removing things in the past - it might have been when the 2007 schedule was being finalized. I remember that the new schedule popped up for a few hours, then disappeared, and didn't reappear until the schedule was final. My guess is that they are just prepping the site behind the scenes.

  21. John // February 21, 2008 8:56 PM  

    Yes, there is definately substance to your insight. Interestingly enough, Bruno Junqueira is still on the driver list, but Paul Tracy is not. Bruno only raced in the 500 as a Champ Car driver, while PT raced pre-split and post-split. However, Bruno was on the pole in 2002, so maybe that's why he cracked the list? Ahh, the speculation continues. Maybe Bruno was on the list the whole time, and I never noticed it. You'd think PT would make it on their, just for the mere fact he drove for Penske.

  22. Will // February 21, 2008 9:27 PM  

    Personally, like Lost, I find the split to be filled with cliffhangers, but little resolution is ever given at the end.

    Also, I think GF might be an evil smoke monster.

  23. John // February 21, 2008 9:32 PM  

    Talks intended to unite open-wheel racing broke off tonight without a resolution, although Indy Racing League officials aren't concerned.

    Another round of meetings will be held Friday morning, according to IRL spokesman Fred Nation.

    A news conference has not been scheduled, he said.

    "They made much progress," Nation said of the meeting between the IRL's Tony George and Champ Car's Kevin Kalkhoven, "but there is no (deal) yet. And there is no news conference scheduled for tomorrow at this time."

    Asked if fans should be worried, Nation said no.

    "Absolutely not," he said. "They made a heck of a lot of progress, but they're not over the hump yet."

  24. John // February 21, 2008 9:34 PM  

    Whoops. Sorry, that was per Curt Cavin and thindychannel. Sorry, got to make sure I quote properly. I understand. If they are going to do it, they are going to do it right.

  25. Anonymous // February 21, 2008 9:47 PM  

    the Indy Racing League name is not going anywhere.

    the Indy Racing Leaguen (IRL) is the sanctioning body and organization which includes : the IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series.

  26. chrisestrada // February 21, 2008 9:48 PM  

    If they're gonna wait, now would be a good time -- what with the travails of Kelvin Sampson and the fact that the bulk of America's racing media will be in Cali this weekend.

  27. John // February 21, 2008 10:00 PM  

    I agree. This announcement is major news in the world of racing. It's best to utilize it as a marketing tool as well, and doing it right before the weekend probably isn't the best timing. It sounds like the CC drivers are going to get a later test date at Homestead anyways, so what's the rush. I'm guessing the Dallaras are already in transit.

  28. SS Minnow // February 21, 2008 11:33 PM  

    Know what???

    I'm drunk and can't see a thing right now. Wake me up when it's over. Bring back a Bettenhausen and all is forgiven. Can't wait 'till May!!

  29. pressdog // February 22, 2008 5:02 AM  

    Number 1, we gotta put the engines back in front. Number 2, the star can only get pecker slapped so many times before they say, "Dude, there might be a story here." Number 3, I am fully ready to go on record if Curt would just call. Number 4, I hear Tony had the linguine and pesto sauce, a clear sign that the deal is done. Number 5, the CC Web masters have hacked the IndyCar site and a photoshoped image of Tony being intimate with a goat will soon appear on the home page.Hahahahahahahahaahahaha.

  30. John Edward // February 22, 2008 5:21 AM  

    The series needs the colorful and superior talent of Salt Walther...

    But I hear he'll need a good defense attorney first.

  31. mmack // February 22, 2008 6:58 AM  

    The series needs the colorful and superior talent of Salt Walther

    Holy Flyin' Crapwagon Batman! SALT WALTHER?!?!?!? He of the 1973 Indianapolis 500 "highlight" reel? Salt "The Black Glove of Death" Walther?

    Wow John, while we're at it can we see if Josele Garza and Roberto Guerrero are available? :^)

  32. Billy Coy // February 22, 2008 7:04 AM  

    I was thrilled to see the the head honchos dined at The Eagles nest it was voted
    "Most Romantic Restaurant in Indianapolis"

    Maybe that will help seal the deal

    I will be staking out the IMS offices from the vantage point of the Speedway gas station across the street. it's not romantic but the hot dogs are 2 for 2 dollars

  33. Dale Nixon // February 22, 2008 7:07 AM  

    It's got to be the Indy Car Championship International...

    ICCI for short.

  34. mmack // February 22, 2008 7:12 AM  

    The Train is Pulling Into the Station

    With apologies to Curtis Mayfield and Bob Marley:

    People get ready
    There's a merger coming
    Shed your Champ Car baggage
    And just get on board
    All you need is faith
    To hear the Dallaras humming
    Just buy your tickets
    And then thank the Lord

    People get ready
    Take the road to Indy
    Picking up fanatics
    From coast to coast
    Faith is the key
    Open the gates and enter
    There's room for all
    Among the loved the most

    There ain't no room
    For the hopeless Crappie
    Who would hurt all racing just
    To save his own
    Have pity on those
    Whose chances are thinner
    'Cause there's no hiding place
    From Tony George's throne

    So people get ready
    For the merger a-comin
    Just shed your baggage
    And just get on board !
    All you need is faith
    To hear the Hondas humming
    Just buy your tickets
    And just thank, you just thank the Lord

  35. mmack // February 22, 2008 7:17 AM  

    Billy Coy,

    What, Tony couldn't spring for dinner at St. Elmo's downtown?

    And stay AWAY from those gas station hot dogs! We don't want to lose a My Name is IRL poster to food poisoning.

  36. Tabernerus // February 22, 2008 7:32 AM  

    You know, I'm glad KK is the one handling these negotiations for Champ Car. He's always struck me as being far more reasonable than his fellow co-owners.