Less fanfare, more surprise

Posted by Iannucci | 7/15/2008 | 7 comments »
Bookmark and Share


Way back when your humble host was merely an undergraduate word butcher at Arizona State’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, there was a big event announcing Bill Frieder as the new basketball coach for the Sun Devils. The hiring was problematic inasmuch as Frieder was still contractually the coach of the highly-ranked University of Michigan squad who was expected to participate in the upcoming NCAA tournament. Long story short, Michigan didn’t want a lame-duck coach so they axed Frieder before the tournament, the Wolverines went on to win the championship with an interim coach, and ASU never really did much in the Frieder era. Karma.

Why is this relevant? Because the press conference introducing Frieder at ASU began with the school’s Athletic Director plainly stating “I’d like to say a word about timing ...” And so with that quote in mind we come this Forsythe Racing press release on “Paul Tracy Special Announcement Day”.

The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights Series will see the return of Forsythe Racing Inc. to the grid as the championship winning outfit announced today its intention to compete in the official feeder series to the Indy Racing League from next season onwards.

“The opportunity to return to Indy Lights is obviously one that we’re relishing,” said Neil Micklewright, Vice President of Operations at Forsythe Racing Inc. “This is an extremely exciting time for Forsythe Racing as we’re once again in the thick of a title battle in the Atlantic Championship while we’re also looking to further bolster our race programs, starting with our Indy Lights announcement.

(MORE from Forsythe Racing)
Yes, very curious timing indeed given the shotgun marriage of bimergification left Mr Tracy with a long-term contract to a no longer existent Forsythe Racing team. I’m sure Tracy is absolutely thrilled that on the day he finalizes months of work for a one-race ride his old employer decides now would be the PERFECT time to reveal their intention to finally do something involving the Indy Racing League. Yes, Paul and Gerry are most certainly meeting at St Elmo Steak House for shrimp cocktail right now.

Then again this could just be posturing because it doesn’t take a great deal of resources to simply say an organization is intending to start an Indy Lights team next year. To the point, allow me to also take the opportunity to announce that My Name Is IRL has a similar “intention to compete” in the 2009 Indy Lights program – just don’t hold your breath on seeing us at too many events.

But if Forsythe’s intentions are genuine, Indy Racing Revolution notes this jump into the IRL pool would lend credence to the theory that Gerry and Kevin Kalkhoven are looking to sell the Atlantic series. It remains to be seen if anyone out there is in the market to buy a feeder series that feeds into nothing, but maybe that guy that bought all of those DP01s is interested in making another deal.

Should such a transaction occur, we can look forward to some interesting timing on that announcement as well.

7 comments

  1. mmackk // July 15, 2008 2:58 PM  

    To the point, allow me to also take the opportunity to announce that My Name Is IRL has a similar “intention to compete” in the 2009 Indy Lights program

    Forget the press pass, can I get access to the team hospitality tent?

    And getting down to the heart of this post:

    If this is true, and Uncle Gerry does come to the IPS, I mean, Indy Lights, does this protend a Forsythe entry in the IRL in, say, 2010/2011/whenever the heck we figure out when the new chassis rules are?

    Furthermore, if it is true, is this the day The Crappies truly die? If PT and GF can make peace with FTG, well then who is left to believe in?

  2. J E Clerk // July 15, 2008 3:48 PM  

    Cool! I hope Hinch comes along too. He has a really cool personality that'll be a big plus in whatever series he decides to participate.

    If you haven't found him already, check out some of his videos at:

    http://youtube.com/user/HinchVision

  3. wild05gsu // July 15, 2008 3:57 PM  

    Man someone bought all of those DP01's I was hoping to buy one and take it club racing, or just to track days out at Road Atlanta. Does anybody know who bought them? I need to talk about buying one of those cars back.

  4. Rodney King // July 15, 2008 4:37 PM  

    "Can't we all just get along?"
    Great post. Thanks for the insight on things.
    Motodanica.com.

  5. Robert // July 16, 2008 6:51 AM  

    "My Name is IRL-lites" would be the first team with a rocking hospitality tent, huge following, and really hot pit girls -but no cars! Sign me up! I have all "intention to sponsor" your "intention to compete"

  6. Tabernerus // July 16, 2008 12:18 PM  

    Seriously, though. If Forsythe really does run a Lights program in 2009, as a precursor to running an Indycar program when the new chassis goes live, who is left to fly the Crappies' flag? Paulie G?

    It's not a huge deal, except that it would finally get everyone under the same proverbial tent. There would be nobody except the aforementioned Paul Gentilozzi out there thumbing his nose. Gotta be some good karma there.

    As for Atlantics, I'm reminded of a Tony Cotman remark from a couple of months ago. He said they were looking at ways to better integrate the open wheel ladder system to provide a clearer pather to Indycars for aspiring American drivers. It would start with the driving schools' series, progress through Formula BMW and Star Mazda, and then on to Indy Lights and Atlantics, and then to Indycar. I think adding Atlantics to the fold would be great, if this opens the door. Make one of the two a bit more expensive than the other, add pit stops, and make it a two-tiered feeder.

  7. Robert // July 16, 2008 7:41 PM  

    in response:
    "Make one of the two a bit more expensive than the other, add pit stops, and make it a two-tiered feeder"

    The IRL just needs to make sure that one or both do not become feeders to other forms of racing (Tin-top taxi cabs, ALMS, or Rolex). Internal growth is key number two after stealing a major series sponsor away from Tin-top taxi cab series and letting it fall apart like a house of cards on a windy day- die Nascar, die!