Quote of the Day

Posted by Iannucci | 3/28/2008 | 2 comments »
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"Yeah, I'd do it again. But with the benefit of hindsight I'd do some things differently. When we made bad decisions, I tried to correct them with what I thought was best as soon as possible...We shouldn't have done that." - Tony George, discussing the now infamous 25/8 rule that led to CART's ill-fated USA 500.

I don't know many who would argue with that, but in the article in the IndyStar, George also suggest, well, this:

He acknowledged that "IRL" carries a politically charged connotation with many people coming from the Champ Car side. "Maybe we could get back to 'Indy Car World Series,'." George said.

No change is expected before he secures a title sponsor.

George also would like the series champion to receive the Vanderbilt Cup, America's first auto racing trophy. The Cup has gone to Champ Car's champion since 1996, but is unavailable to the IRL until the CCWS bankruptcy case is settled.

What’s really confusing here is that the winner is acting like the loser. The IRL – silly acronym and all – emerged as the victor in the open-wheel war by the fact that it had more fans and a better balance sheet. Sure, that’s almost entirely due to the Indianapolis 500, but so what? It makes little sense to destroy what you’ve made by changing the product’s name and the product’s award, and when not doing that talk about changing the product itself just to appease your old nemesis.

If we hit the WABAC machine to 1995 we can once again read Tony George’s words.

The purpose of the IRL is to provide growth, stability and opportunity for open-wheel, oval track racing. That mission is certainly not intended to harm or control CART.

I felt the long-term protection of the "500" depended on a solid series of top level open-wheel, oval track races. To that end, this league was created because CART provided no long-term guarantees to the "500" or to oval track racing.

Forgive me for getting out of Kumbaya here, but these concessions for the sake of unification are coming at an alarming rate. If we take away the name, the award, and tracks like Phoenix and Michigan and instead add more road courses and more foreign ride-buyers then what exactly do we have? Is this Tony George in charge of CART, but without the turbo-chargers? Holy smokes.

OK, going back to good feelings now. Qualifications are happening today, video is up introducing us to some of the new drivers, and if the rain holds they shall be dropping the green flag in Miami tomorrow night.


  1. Fred Hurley // March 28, 2008 9:56 AM  

    I understand how you feel, but a few thoughts to consider:

    1.) Phoenix and Michigan happened outside of any merger, or discussions thereof. I don't think the merger has anything to do with losing those tracks - in fact, it might help get them back for 2009 or 2010.

    2.) A name change to the IndyCar World Series is actually fairly subtle - they were already promoting the IndyCar Series name well before the merger. Adding World Series just helps recall halcyon days when a World Champion eschewed the defense of his title to come race over here. The Vanderbilt Cup? Whatever trophy they use to represent it, the Vanderbilt Cup is (debatably) the first racing trophy in America, and open-wheel racing is the original auto racing in this country. I just can't muster much ire for something that doesn't affect the racing, and might lend a touch of historical context.

    3.) That all said, I want the series to be at least half oval going forward. A 20-race season with 10 ovals, 5 roads, and 5 streets looks like a good blend of circuits. Anything more road-heavy than that is asking for trouble.

  2. Anonymous // March 28, 2008 12:12 PM  


    Well said. That is all.