Jay Howard will gladly take your calls

Posted by Iannucci | 10/07/2008 | 5 comments »
Bookmark and Share

A lot of folks have taken the time over the past few seasons to, how is it said, “politely asked” Marty Roth to pull over as a driver and devote his resources to being a team owner. In fact, after the season finale at Chicagoland, Auto123 reported that IRL officials had said as much to Roth.

After last weekend finale at the Chicagoland Speedway, many drivers are left with an empty feeling, realizing that their future in the IndyCar series is uncertain despite having had a strong year. Like always, sponsorship rather than performance will be the key to their comebacks for many of them.

One of them, Canadian Marty Roth, who had the good fortune of having a lot of personal financial resources but not as much talent, has been politely asked to confine his involvement to managing his team next season instead of pursuing a career of trying to be a moving chicane at each event.
This always seemed to be a strange suggestion, since there’s nothing to indicate Marty every got into an IndyCar because he wanted to be a championship owner. As a guy who had previously raced vehicles with two and four wheels, it seems a safe bet that he was just here for the driving. And while IRL officials had embraced his self-financed field filler in 2007, the newly bimergified series rendered obsolete the necessity of Roth Racing.

So it should come as a total surprise to no one that Marty Roth (21 races started, 10 races finished) may be taking his toys and going home. From the braintrust at TSO:

TSO has learned that Roth Racing laid off most of their employees today. Word is that a very small skeleton crew has been retained (three people), and that Roth is looking at various options for what he will do in 2009.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Roth Racing as an IndyCar entry is dead, but let’s just say somewhere a Dallara sales representative is silently weeping.


  1. The SpeedGeek // October 07, 2008 1:53 PM  

    Marty really ought to go Daytona Prototype racing. There's even a separate sub-championship for, uh, "gentlemen drivers", which is basically shorthand for "guys who want to own a team and drive but aren't really all that good at the second part". This way, he could pay somebody to co-drive with him (instead of paying somebody to not drive) and the repair bills would be far, far cheaper. Also, he'd be able to build up his career credentials to rival Milka's!

  2. Anonymous // October 08, 2008 7:29 AM  

    Marty really ought to go to Go-Kart racing at his local family fun center. There's even safety bumpers on the carts for, uh, "poor drivers", which is basically shorthand for "Marty Roth". This way, he could pay for a round of totally safe racing (instead of causing headaches in a real series) and the repair bills would be non-existent. Also, he'd be able to build up his career credentials to rival Milka's!

  3. Anonymous // October 08, 2008 1:32 PM  

    Marty Roth(The Sloth), worst Indycar driver all time.

    I will miss saying that, however it will be decades before someone dethrones the king of the backmarkers.

  4. Anonymous // October 09, 2008 8:17 AM  

    Interesting Marty stat:
    In 2008, Marty had as many Top-10 qualifying runs on ovals as Graham Rahal, Buddy Rice, Justin Wilson and Townsend Bell COMBINED.

    So in fact, Marty is far from the worst IndyCar driver ever; 'King Hiro and Dr. Jack Miller have yet to be bumped from the Top-10 WOAT.

  5. The SpeedGeek // October 09, 2008 8:47 AM  

    On the other hand, Marty had as many "crashed in practice or qualifying and then missed the race" as the entire rest of the field combined this year, so there's that too. I'd probably put Marty higher than King Hiro on the "WOAT" list (due to Hiro's Atlantic championship and very occasional top-10), but probably still lower than Dr. Jack. I don't think Jack ever finished in the top-5 in an Indy Lights race before going IRL racing...