Help wanted

Posted by Iannucci | 7/09/2008 | 8 comments »
Bookmark and Share

Roth Racing may not be anywhere near as competitive as Andretti Green Racing, but the little team that couldn’t has certainly been doing their best to be as entertaining as a team like AGR.

While Marty has been furiously shredding equipment at nearly every venue he’s raced, the rest of his two-car team has been quite a newsworthy turnstile. Jay Howard has been in, then out, then in again. Engineer David Cripps was in, then out, along with a reported mass exodus of other crew members. Then Larry Curry came in and got the cars up to speed. Then John Andretti came in and had a few good runs, but it looks like he’s out. And now Larry Curry has joined the growing ranks of former employees, reportedly being fired or walking away from his second team this year.

And that’s just the stuff we know.

Since blogs are often chastised by the credentialed members of the media for being fast and loose with facts, My Name Is IRL tries valiantly to avoid rumor-mongering. However, in the interest of glasnost it should be noted that a few recent emails have hit the Inbox indicating that Roth Racing may soon be transforming into something less than what it currently is. Among items simply up for discussion and not to be confirmed in any way as fact until Cavin or Robin or Oreo or Olson declare them so:

• For whatever reason Marty himself was not at Watkins Glen, either as a driver, owner or IndyCar fan. Maybe he misplaced his “I (heart) N Y” shirt or maybe he checked his latest bank statement and went back to bed.

• After waiting several weeks to get back into an IndyCar, Jay Howard was substantially less than thrilled with the ride he inherited this weekend. Supposedly the steering wheel got stuck whenever he turned left, which isn’t a good thing unless you desperately want to make a snarky remark about the car being given the Roth Racing oval setup.

• Tony George has apparently inquired about buying or leasing one of the Roth cars. This could be because he wants to add an addendum to the TEAM plan by paying Marty to not race or because Mr George figures if you’re going to have someone destroy Dallaras at least Paul Tracy can do it at a more competitive speed.

• Lastly, perhaps most shockingly, is word that Tony Kanaan may be interested in purchasing assets of Roth Racing. That’s a head-scratcher, but this is silly season and with Rafael Matos reportedly guaranteed a ride in AGR’s 2009 IndyCar program the math says either Kanaan or Hideki Mutoh will be gone. On the surface this conflicts with the report in Autoweek that said Nariz was looking to extend his contract with AGR, although maybe he just wants some leverage and this is just part of the process of bending Michael Andretti’s arm behind his back until his wallet cries “Uncle”. The kids today would call this “bidness”.

For what it's worth both Howard and Roth are entered as drivers for the upcoming Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville, so for now Roth Racing is still a two-car team with the same two drivers they started the season. The rest of the team, well, you could call it a "dynamic" work environment.


  1. Anonymous // July 09, 2008 8:05 AM  

    Marty Roth(The Sloth), worst Indycar driver all time.
    The day Marty's money ( the money his dad spent a life time making)runs out, Marty will be back racing what he is qualified to race, slot cars.

  2. Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. // July 09, 2008 8:06 AM  

    Perhaps TK + Herta + Dario are looking to become team owners?

  3. Tabernerus // July 09, 2008 9:16 AM  

    Umm, I thought Marty made his money in real estate. Is there more to the story, or is this another case of someone throwing out belittling accusations of "spending daddy's money" while posting under the guise of "anonymous" because they themselves haven't accomplished half of what their target has, and thus they feel better shooting from concealment?

  4. Tabernerus // July 09, 2008 9:23 AM  

    This whole thing gets weirder and weirder. I thought Roth was on his way to building a solid team that could run mid-pack, and give young drivers their first Indycar shot. Certainly, it looked like a full season of Roth and Howard with Marty doing a last hurrah before becoming a full-time owner. The stars were lining up that way, and it made sense. But now? Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot, over?

    Maybe Tony George can broker a buyout that gets the team and its not-insignificant infrastructure into the hands of someone who wants to buy in, but isn't in position to do so right now. Like, say, Walker Racing. Just a thought.

    The TK rumors are weird, though it would not be unheard of for an active driver to found a team while still personally running for their longtime team owner. Dale Sr. made it work in Cup, while running for Childress, and now Dale Jr. might try it while running for Hendrick. Let's say Tony only wants to run for maybe 5 more years, tops. He buys a team, knowing it'll struggle for a few years, and not be a threat to AGR, while giving some young drivers their first shot, and letting AGR farm out its young drivers without putting them in top rides before they're ready. So Matos and Ana Beatriz (for example) can get into Indycar rides without taking a prime seat, Tony can keep drawing that nice AGR paycheck (and running up front), and then when he retires, he has a future all ready for him. Not saying this will all happen, just saying it does make SOME sense that he's featured among the rumors.

  5. Anonymous // July 09, 2008 10:01 AM  

    Marty's dad made all the money with his company the Avro Group out of Toronto. Marty had an office in his dad's company, but no real responsibility's.Marty wanted to race when his dad was alive and his dad did provide some limited funds to race in the eighties and early ninties.However Marty's dad thought racing was a waste of money and placed a limit on the money Marty could have to race.Once his dad passed away, marty decided it was time for him to become a big time Indycar racer and the money burn rate increased significantly.

  6. Grizzlor // July 09, 2008 10:14 AM  

    The only use Marty Roth has to this series is that he continues to field the 24 car, although if they are going to run as slow as Howard did on Sunday, what's the use? Roth himself I think is only in this to drive. If he can't or is not allowed, he's out of the sport.

  7. Doug // July 10, 2008 7:26 PM  

    This just in... er... out... er.. whatever. Jay Howard is out of the #24 car for Nashville, and Marty "The Sloth" Roth will be taking his place! This is per the latest entry list from

  8. grizzlor // July 10, 2008 8:05 PM  

    Yes, shows why Tony George has been looking to get the 24 car. In related news, a French Canada website reported that Alex Tagliani had been contacted about driving an ICS car for several races this year (likely road courses). Possibly related.