An update on nothing

Posted by Iannucci | 2/15/2008 | 11 comments »
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After growing accustomed to a constant flood of unification updates from everyone’s favorite “unnamed sources” the spigot seems to have been turned off all of a sudden. Maybe it’s the clam before the storm or maybe it’s the calm after the storm, but either way there isn’t much.

But here's what there is for sake of discussion.

In his Q&A Curt Cavin refuted the “Kevin Kalkhoven has cleaned out his office” report earlier posted here, and today he has an interesting quote from a previously silent IRL owner, who ponders the obvious.

"I want to see where we fit into this when it's all worked out," (Dennis Reinbold) said. "Obviously, the Champ Car teams will get some assistance to run. We'll see if that applies to any of us (already in the IRL)."

(MORE from IndyStar)
How about similar sentiment from another IRL team owner, Mr AJ Foyt?

Regarding the negotiations between the Indy Racing League and Champ Car, Foyt said, "I don't really know as you hear this today and that tomorrow. I haven't talked with Brian (Barnhart) or Tony (George) about it, so I really don't know. I don't know whether the merger would make much of a difference, although we might pick up a couple more races somewhere. I do know it would be better to have one circuit than two; that would be a plus.

"The top names and owners are there (IRL) now and the only ones you would pick up would be Newman-Haas. I don't know of any American drivers other than Graham Rahal over there, plus Paul Tracy, who is a Canadian driver. Other than car count I don't know where you would gain."

Reportedly, the IRL stands ready to offer incentives to Champ Car teams to make the change. "I would throw a fit and pack up my bags if that was true," Foyt said. "And others may do the same."

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You do not want Foyt angry with you. Just as Arie Luyendyk.

Meanwhile Robin’s latest update expressed frustration, so much so he just vomited out a bunch of unverifiable stuff.

In the past 24 hours I’ve heard:
• Gerry Forsythe has decided to keep Champ Car going without Kevin Kalkhoven.
• Forsythe is buying all of Derrick Walker’s equipment because he’s going to have to field at least six cars to make sure there’s a dozen on the grid.
• Kalkhoven and Craig Gore, the co-owner of Team Australia who still owes Derrick Walker a fortune from 2007, are going to run a team in the Indy Racing League.
• Kalkhoven owns the majority rights to Long Beach so he’ll still cut a deal with George to have the IRL there in April and Motegi will be postponed until 2009.
• Champ Car will show up at Long Beach for the season opener, then disband and join Tony George’s series at Indianapolis.
• The four Champ Car owners will have a conference call on Friday to decide their fate.
• They’ve already decided to file for bankruptcy but, for some reason, they’re dragging their feet.

(MORE from SpeedTV)
OK, then. One thing that keeps being mentioned in a “unified” schedule is the CCWS event in Edmonton, although a report from the Calgary Sun indicates that event – like so many other Champ Car races – is bleeding like a stuck pig. Except cash instead of blood, of course. Sorry if the metaphors seems off lately.


  1. Anonymous // February 15, 2008 1:29 PM  

    Concerning his acceptance by the NASCAR regulars, Foyt commented, "When I first came down here, I was accepted but I can't say why. I would say a lot of people were scared of me as I didn't care whether I was upside down or not.

    They were scared because they knew AJ was the strongest man alive. Even Chuck Norris is scared of him.

  2. Johnny // February 15, 2008 1:34 PM  

    Haha, no offense to AJ, he is a legend, he's no Bobby Allison.


  3. Iannucci // February 15, 2008 1:40 PM  

    Johnny, it's too early in the day to start drinking. But we can send AJ your regards if you like.

  4. Anonymous // February 15, 2008 1:40 PM  

    FINALLY! A rumor thread!

    Jeff, I heard from this guy "Johnny" on some website that Rahal Letterman Racing is going to the ALMS with BMW in 2009, only to come back with BMW power in the IRL for 2010.

    Meanwhile Penske is going to bring an Audi V8 turbodiesel powered by bio-fuel into the IRL in 2010 through his connections with Porsche in ALMS.

    I've already called Robin Miller as an "anonymous source" with this information. :^P

    Expect a call from Robin, Johnny! :^)

  5. Fred Hurley // February 15, 2008 1:42 PM  

    At this point, who knows what's gonna happen? There are a whole lotta people who are gonna have to swallow some pride, on both sides of the divide. In the end, Champ Car is dying. They're spewing cash, with no real hope of stopping the bleeding, let alone thriving. I think A.J. is underestimating the value of adding a few races, and some drivers. Wilson, Power, and Doornbos are legit talents, and NHL, Walker, and Minardi are all legit teams. Also, on the top three teams in IndyCar, only Marco and Danica are Americans, and one of them is the owner's son (yes, I know he's also good, but still). Eventually, everyone has a point where they write their last stupid check, and then say "Stop." Long Beach is under contract, and if they break it, LB might not have either series back for a few years, out of annoyance. Believe it or not, the "show up and LB, then call it quits," option seems to have some appeal. And having the announcement right before the Month of May would provide a direct boost in coverage. Also, if they wait, and then fold, teams can come over to IndyCar, and to some extent, leave the steaming mess behind, rather than having TG help clean it up.

    Either way, this wait is getting freaking annoying. I'm actually jonesed for Daytona. Yeesh.

  6. Anonymous // February 15, 2008 1:46 PM  

    OK, Bobby Allison vs. Chuck Norris...

    Who'd win that one?

  7. The American Mutt // February 15, 2008 2:59 PM  

    The question isn't who'd win...the question is, how bad would Chuck beat him...

  8. Anonymous // February 15, 2008 5:24 PM  

    You mean something like this?¤t=140foyt.gif

    I like Foyt but he doesn't like change and his team is struggling. Bring those other teams in and he'll slip lower and lower sad as it is.

  9. Anonymous // February 15, 2008 5:27 PM

    Try again, if it doesn't show up it's on photobucket under Foyt B!tch slaps Arie

    It's not my picture and I didn't name it either, lol.

  10. Doug // February 15, 2008 7:15 PM  

    I understand AJ's consternation. He, like many other small teams in the IRL, have been doing their best year in and year out struggling for sponsorship dollars and searching for success on the track. The word on the street that CCWS teams may be getting significant assistance while expanding the 2008 season and putting additional pressure on current small IRL teams' budgets would certainly rub someone like AJ the wrong way. Quite frankly, I don't blame him for being a bit upset. I hope that if the new CCWS teams are awarded some assistance, that current IRL teams are afforded some assistance meeting the budget requirements for an additional 3-5 races. I don't think many in the sport see a unification as a bad thing in the long run, but there will be a sting in the short term.

  11. Johnny // February 15, 2008 7:21 PM  

    John Edward:

    Easily Bobby Allison. He said of his fight with Cale Yarborough at the end of the Daytona 500 "I needed to bust my knuckles with his face", 'nuff said. AJ is mighty, but they've never even heard of him south of Gadsden.