Racing’s Three Stooges: Bernie, Mark and Brian


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Ever wonder why major league racing isn’t run better than it currently is? Or feel as though F-1, IndyCar and NASCAR are in a state of decline? That the message is quite often muddled or just plain wrong? We do. Especially in light of the billions of Dollars (and Euros, Yen, and Pounds) spent and made every year around the globe in the pursuit of artistry on wheels.


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Here’s one explanation: The leaders of F-1, IndyCar and NASCAR are inept stooges – as in Moe, Larry and Curly maladroit. When they’re not shooting their mouths off about things they shouldn’t be, the three stooges of racing remain silent about events that need explanation. When they’re not getting slapped around themselves, their series’ drivers are doing the slapping, acting like they’re in the WWE or worse.


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So let’s get to know the three stooges of racing a bit better, shall we? F-1 Billionaire Bernie Ecclestone says extremely stupid things and refuses to accept criticism or entertain new ideas, which is a lethal combination. As Moe would’ve threatened and Bernie no doubt has, “Why I ought a moida ya! ”  His repeated reckless statements make one wonder how the former car salesman became so wealthy, amassing a fortune of over $4 billion dollars according to Forbes. The answer: Formula 1, and its sale to a private equity firm.



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Boss Bernie – very similar to Moe in many ways, right down to the haircut – publicly lambasted struggling teams recently, likening them to “beggars” in the press. He then belittled and dismissed young fans because they aren’t old and wealthy like him. One would think Ecclestone would try to present a better face for his series, or what’s now 5% his series. To put it another way, what the hell are the other 95% owners of F-1 thinking in letting Czar Bernie be the spokesman, face and kingpin of the series? It makes about as much sense as lighting cigars with revolvers.


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Brian France got to be prince of NASCAR the way all princes get that way. He inherited it. Just as his father inherited the series from his father. Like Curly, France is every bit the family fool. His utter lack of leadership this season with all of NASCAR’s violence and (alleged) criminality is unpardonable. These issues remain a serious, ongoing problem that reflects poorly on everyone involved. France’s failure to correct NASCAR’s Jon Gruber sized image problem alone would be more than enough to dismiss (or impeach) any other series president. But of course not in the France family.


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Mark Miles is somewhat new to the job and since Larry was always our favorite Stooge we’ll cut him some slack. But Miles comes from a bean counting background as an accountant and his leadership of IndyCar shows it. Miles prioritizes profits at the expense of fans (and that’s not a comment upon Larry’s being Jewish, either). The new Indy Grand Prix is a perfect example. Sure it makes financial sense for the Speedway and even some sense generally, we admit. But is it really what people want to see? The “fastest cars on the planet” doing street car speeds through slow corners? Not judging by the attendance. The rest of the 2015 schedule shows this unfortunate tendency as well, despite what many fans want.


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At least Moe, Larry and Curly made us laugh as well as cringe. The three stooges of racing leave us feeling underwhelmed, disappointed and offended. Whether they’re spouting off inappropriately, incompetent legacies or down right dollar-oriented at the expense of the fans, these stooges aren’t relegated to black and white comedy shorts of seventy five years ago. They’re extremely powerful figures who have control over three racing series that millions of fans – and billions of dollars – follow globally. Viewed in that light, the three stooges of racing are downright scary.


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