Love and hate in the time of Ethanol

Posted by Iannucci | 3/17/2008 | 4 comments »
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Sherman, set the WABAC machine about 10 years to when the IRL was in it’s infancy. Check out the standings for the 96-97 extended season or the 1999 season and you’ll see the drivers at the top were powered by one of the dominant entries of the league’s infancy: the Menards team.

Yes Menards, the same hardware store that now sponsors the founder’s son Paul in a racing series to be discussed later. Now Robin says Menards is coming back to the IRL as a sponsor (though not a team owner) and will be backing Vision Racing’s Ed Carpenter in 2008. It should be noted that Tony George’s Vision Racing employs Larry Curry as a Team manager, because:

Curry went to jail for embezzling Menard’s money in the late ‘90s.

“He (Curry) apologized and I think he meant it,” said Menard.

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That would be embezzling to the tune of one meeeeellion dollars, friends. Does "apologized" mean paid back, or does that not matter so much when you’re already a billionaire? If there are any billionaires in the audience please enlighten us.

Also, it should additionally be noted Ed was also sponsored by Lowe’s in 2007, so the odds are ACE Hardware is readying for a 2009 package.

In decidedly less happy news, Robin also notes that Derrick Walker will be unleashing the legal dogs on Kevin Kalkhoven’s new sponsor, which is Walker’s old sponsor who allegedly forgot to pay the bills.

“We gave him (Craig Gore of Team Australia) in writing an opportunity to settle this and not go through a legal dogfight,” said Walker, who formed Team Australia with Gore three years ago. “It’s up to him to respond by tomorrow so if there’s no response or no effort to resolve, then Tuesday I start building my case.

“There’s damages, money owed and I’ve got a huge paper trail. I have no hesitation going into court to prove our case.

“He took my driver, my engineer and completely submarined us, so it’s pretty shabby to say the least.”
Gentlemen, start your lawsuits!


  1. Fred Hurley // March 17, 2008 8:07 AM  

    Oh goody. Just when things were looking up, it's lawsuit time! Yeah, baby! Maybe the Patron settlement will give Rahal Letterman the money to run a second car, and maybe a quick settlement here will give Walker the money to run one car. Man, Champ Car really was a rotting mess of a series, huh?

  2. Anonymous // March 17, 2008 10:47 AM  

    Remember when a million dollars was a lot of money? I can't fathom being a billionaire. In my world, 1k bucks seems like a lot. I guess it's all how you were raised. Some born into money have no concept of a dollar, but if you've had to work for everything you got (like I have), you value 1k as much as 1M and 1B ...

    or something...

    sorry for the thread diversion.

  3. Anonymous // March 17, 2008 2:27 PM  


    If what Miller says is true, it will be cool to see John Menard come back to Indianapolis, even if it's just as a sponsor, and not a team owner. I remember the obnoxiously neon colored Menards cars carrying Glidden or Quaker State co-sponsorship and running the old Buick (later Menards) V6 turbos.

    IMO, Nothing beat the old "humpback" Lola T95/00 Menard's V6 for sheer speed or looks of all the cars Menard entered: like this one.

    Get your sunglasses on folks! Eddie Carpenter's Menard's ride is gonna glow in the dark!

  4. Anonymous // March 17, 2008 8:56 PM  

    Hopefully Walker gets his money $$$ and Paul Menard and dad completely leaves NAPCAR to comeback to their roots !