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A couple of things struck us while reading Curt Cavin’s story in the Star on potential candidates to replace Derrick Walker. Fortunately it wasn’t flying shards of aero kit debris. The first striking item was how unfamiliar and frankly unremarkable the names on the list seem to be. Talk about vanilla! Where’s The Donald-like figure to step in and take control of IndyCar, make some waves and generate some buzz?
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IndyCar needs a guy who can turn things around – or at least act like he can – and at the same time turn a profit. Heck, IndyCar needs a president who can turn methanol into Mojitos. That guy wasn’t on Cavin’s list, at least as far as we could tell. Suggesting a NASCAR guy for God’s sake?! Come on, Curt.
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It’s certainly not that we support Trump – or Lord knows that hairdo – although it would be a vast improvement over Walker’s Lucas Oil dome. Like many Americans however, we do admire his moxie, his tell-it-like-it-is, can-do attitude. That’s what IndyCar needs, not some mealy-mouthed, tell-you-what-you-want-to-hear politician type. That and a good dose of “you’re fired” both would help IndyCar immensely.
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The second striking thing from the piece was the two headed monster idea that according to Cavin was floated by “team owners.” Both suggested names happened to be Penske or former Penske guys, coincidentally enough, including Brian Barnhart. Barnhart’s baggage aside, we’re against this co-rulers concept of two heads lording over all IndyCar, each with his own sphere of interest.
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It’s all very late Roman Empire-like, with far too much intrigue and way too little actually getting accomplished, which is the exact opposite of what the series needs. That is unless you’re the Vandals and then you’re happy with the bumbling, leaderless decline and just waiting to swoop in and scoop up the loot. And that takes us back to point number one. IndyCar needs someone who can make it great again.
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The two heads thing almost never works, egos and humans being what they are, and often turns into a two headed monster. See any cheesy sci-fi film or book for evidence, starting with “The Man With Two Brains.” When the powers that be resort to such trickery, it’s usually either to cut costs, sow discord or spread the blame. What they sometimes lose sight of is this – more important than the position’s responsibilities is the person who will occupy the position. That’s what’s been sorely lacking in IndyCar – a charismatic figure who can energize people. A couple of years isn’t enough time for anyone to start generating results.
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Randy Bernard recently said he wouldn’t return to IndyCar and who can blame him, particularly after the shabby treatment he received and being given so little time? IRR predicted Mike Hull wouldn’t take the job and he recently confirmed it. Unfortunately, we don’t have an ideal candidate since The Donald’s otherwise occupied, but do strongly recommend against a co-Presidency, monsters being what they are. We also recommend that IndyCar hire someone who’s up to the job – and then leave him alone so he can do it.
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