Public Forum – June 9, 2010
USAC Has Some Issues
If there ever was an organization that needed to go the way of AAA, it’s USAC. The race fields are dwindling big time (especially Silver Crown and midgets).
A few short years ago the Hoosier Hundred drew 50 to 55 entries, but now it draws 36. The midget division is in disarray (several teams pulled out at the end of last year) and USAC has no clear vision as to what to do in the future for this division.
The down economy has a little bit to do with this situation, but not nearly as much as USAC’s stumbling way of doing things. Any racing fan in the Midwest will know immediately what I mean by that statement.
USAC has also lost some key racing and technical advisers in the last five to 10 years. It’s time that Jason Smith and a few others leave before another organization gets the idea that it can put on a better show.
Why would Dustin Morgan, Robert Ballou, Donnie Ray Crawford and others leave to run ASCS? I know why Brady Bacon left USAC, but why did Chad Boat (besides the fact that his dad sold last year’s equipment) leave to race stock cars?
ASCS provides similar purses, uniform rules, more equitable sanctioning fees for tracks, better car counts and a better atmosphere for competitive racing.
The national point shows of ASCS are much better than USAC. As of now, POWRi and MSCS will be on the receiving end of a lot more of my racing dollars in the future.
A Bit Worrisome
After reading Dave Argabright’s piece — and about a thousand others in NSSN recently — about the mess that is IndyCar/CART II, I worry about open-wheel racing’s future.
I’ve been going to Indy for 46 years and I have never seen a more pitiful crowd than at Pole Day this year. From 150,000 in the month of May to one week and nobody there.
The bull rider president says he wants the best drivers in the world there; well he hasn’t got them now.
Twenty-nine foreign drivers to nine Americans doesn’t fill the stands. If you think I’m some redneck, listen to this: Ascari, Brabham, Clark, Hill, Stewart, Hulme, Ganassi, Fittipaldo, Piquet, all world champions, raced against Foyt (a Le Mans winner), Andretti (an F-1 world champion) and some of the best speedway multi-500 winners.
Today all the best Americans are racing you-know-where and we have at Indy a bunch of foreign nobodys whose only claim to fame is a Japanese Formula 3 champion or rich 19 year olds who buy their way into the all-too numerous rent-a-racer teams that exist in the sport.
Kudos to Andretti Autosport for putting four Americans and a really likeable Brazilian in the race. When will Penske, Ganassi and the genius CEOs of IndyCar realize it pays to hire well-known short trackers?
Too Much Entertainment
Indy has gone the way of globalization with nine American drivers in the field.
I still get goose bumps when Jim Nabors sings and Mary Hulman gives the command, but things have sure shifted from a race to pure entertainment. There was a movie star waving the flags and a two-person Indy car circling the fabled Brickyard with another movie star riding tandem.
Then there was a horrific accident at the end, but we couldn’t focus on Mike Conway. We had to follow yet another movie star running through the pits.
Then there was the race, if you call it that. Not much chassis, suspension or engine innovation was going around the track — just 33 Dallara Honda slot cars. Times have sure changed and I suppose they have passed many of us older racers by.
What About The Pre-Race?
I guess ABC thought it was more important to run all the commercials instead of covering the pre-race activities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I went to the radio broadcast and caught the great pre-race events.
Get Over It, Tracy
I empathize with Paul Tracy not qualifying for this year’s Indy 500, but there is one thing he does frequently, which has become quite irksome.
That is his whimpering about the 2002 500 where he got shafted by scoring. Maybe things are different in Canada, but here in America no position changes are allowed on yellow-flag laps, no matter when the yellow waved.
For scoring purposes, that lap was never completed. Positions always revert to the last completed green-flag lap. That rule has been in place for decades.
So it’s time to man-up, Paul, and drop the boo-hoo shtick. It was an unfortunate incident, which has also affected many other racers in the past. Rules are rules.
Sterling Heights, Mich.