IndyCar News Week in Review: The Man Who Sold The Indy 500 Edition

mileswhosoldthe500

Miles Plays Bowie: For the first time in over a century of racing history at the hallowed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indy 500 has a presenting sponsor. Apparently the price Mark Miles demanded for racing’s soul was roughly seven million dollars  yielding three years’ sponsorship, lots of television mentions and many extremely unhappy fans. Even the rather bland 100th running of the Indy 500 logo has been altered, once again proving the old adage that sucky people always sell out. At least it’s Cap’n Penske approved.

rahalsebringtestindycarcom

Photo from indycar.com

Rahal Samples Sebring: Getting a jump on pre-season testing, Graham Rahal stretched the legs of his steak burger special in Sebring, Florida last week. The session was closed to the public and press – marked beyond top secret, or special access, wink wink – and the car even had that funky zebra paint scheme to camouflage Honda’s highly controversial aero kit updates. Frankly, that camo livery is almost as scary as the kits themselves.

RideforSage

Ride For Sage: Thanks in some small measure to our creative efforts (we’re taking some credit for it, regardless of the reality), twenty year old near sensation Sage Karam landed a ride Continue reading

Advertisements

Some IndyCar Owners Need To Seriously Step It Up, Part 3

3sensorychallengedowners

In part three, we take a good, hard look at Michael Andretti’s decisions at Andretti Autosport.

Michael Andretti made our list too, though for different reasons than either Coyne or Foyt. Andretti’s foremost weakness is his insistence upon pursuing tangential business ventures – failed ventures. Some months ago he was forced to dissolve his race promotion group, which landed Michael in a messy legal imbroglio when his own company sued him. His latest get rich quick scheme? Auctioning off Ryan Hunter-Reay’s Indy 500 winning car, with caveats of course. Mario’s son needs to stick to what he knows – racing – and leave the shady money making ventures to others.

Firestone 550 - Practice

Photo from foxsports.com

His purported promotional prowess involved the ill-fated “race” at NOLA where yet another legal battle ensued following the (thankfully) one and done event. Michael himself called it “a nightmare.” Speaking of horror, Andretti’s company also badly mishandled the world’s oldest race track the Milwaukee Mile, now conspicuously absent from the 2016 schedule. Thank you for that, Michael. Another Andretti pipe dream is a green racing series – talk about an oxymoron! – called Formula E or some such thing. Clearly the distracted reality television celebrity should focus more on his IndyCar team and less on derivative business ventures. They not only lead nowhere, but also detract from his performance as an IndyCar team owner.

mathinking2

It’s not just the risky corporate dealings that need to stop, either. Continue reading

Some IndyCar Owners Need To Seriously Step It Up, Part 2

AJsworld3

Image from Indy Race Reviewer

In Part Two, we’re forced to take on Super Tex and A.J. Foyt Racing.

After years of running in the back with Coyne’s cars, AJ Foyt Racing also needs to improve in a big way. Super Tex‘s admonishments of his former driver and still grandson A.J. IV from years ago spring to mind. “You’re so slow you’re gonna to get run over out there!” and “you’re gettin’ beat by a girl!” epitomize the team’s long standing performance struggles.

1celebhealthycom

Photo from celebhealthy.com

A.J.’s now eighty one years young and his son Larry took over day to day operations of the team several years ago. Therefore, it’s really on Larry rather than the first four time winner of the Indy 500, although – and we dislike writing it – A.J. shares in the blame too since it’s his name on the transporter. The team needs to up its game in a Texas-sized manner.

ajfoytracingcom

Photo from ajfoytracing.com

With wins as scarce as intelligent NASCAR fans, Foyt’s team has become an embarrassment. Continue reading

Some IndyCar Owners Need To Seriously Step It Up, Part 1

3sensorychallengedowners

Image from Indy Race Reviewer

Dale Coyne, the legendary A.J. Foyt and Michael Andretti all draw admonishment.

Having made our views methanol clear on the dire direction in which Mark Miles is taking the series – think “Willow Creek” scary – there’s another area of glaring weakness in IndyCar. This too is an issue of leadership, or more precisely a distinct lack thereof. Several owners – one of whom happens to be a legend, while another’s a near legend – need to radically up their teams’ performance both for themselves and for the sake of the sport. It pains us to have to write it, but amateur hour is long over and has no place in big league racing. For the good of IndyCar – think of the 100th Indy 500! – Dale Coyne, A.J. Foyt and Michael Andretti all need to seriously step up their games.

1dc

Image from Indy Race Reviewer

Dale Coyne tops this ignominious list for good reason, as his rag-tag operation has been a perennial cellar dweller and laughing stock for decades now. In Coyne’s case the problem goes beyond mere poor performance though. Laboring under a shoe string budget and a constantly rotating lineup of drivers of dubious distinction, Coyne’s haphazard approach finally caught up to the Chicagoan’s pitiable team last season.

draconespindailymailcouk

Photos from dailymail.co.uk

Coyne’s pit crew paid a heavy price for his ineptitude with numerous pit lane accidents injuring no fewer than four crewmen. Considering this sordid spate of pit collisions Continue reading

Sixteen Predictions for the 2016 IndyCar Season

IRRfuture

Including the 100th Indy 500, Team Penske, Mad Will Power and more.

It’s been some time since our Predictions and Prognostications Department actually earned their lavish salaries and expense accounts, so it’s high time they did. After an up and down 2015 season they’ve dusted off the old crystal ball and are due for some duesies.

cropped-100_3163.jpg

The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 mile extravaganza will occur, despite the exceptionally inept Mark Miles‘ shoddy efforts. Overcoming the series’ serious lack of leadership, an American nevertheless will emerge to win the historic race – albeit in an Italian car.

Mark Miles Flying Circus

Speaking of cars, expect still more flipping at Indianapolis this year thanks to those flipping aero kits, and also due to the near octogenarian Mario Andretti being back behind the wheel of the two seater. Cleared for takeoff.  Continue reading

Helpful Advice If You’re Attending the 100th Indy 500

cropped-100_3163.jpg

Photo from Indy Race Reviewer

Get there early. By early, we mean the day before so you can join in our gate crashing of IMS and unauthorized all night, blowout pre-race party in the infield. Pack your two o’clock in the morning courage and live a little with IRR. Think about it, how can they stop thousands of us? We’ll put Cavin’s measly burger bash to shame and be the ones firing off the cannon at six a.m.

cannontelegraphcouk

Photo from telegraph.co.uk

Bring lots of beer and booze. We plan to, as our rule of thumb is to bring as much alcohol as you can possibly carry or haul into the Speedway, and then some. Remember they don’t sell spirits on the hallowed grounds, only delicious tenderloins.

100_3361

Photo from Indy Race Reviewer

Bring even more beer and booze. Often we like to start drinking early, Continue reading

Mark Miles’ Miserable Metaphor

milesmemory.jpg

Upon reading the piece in the Star, we simply couldn’t believe it. Had he really said  . . . THAT?!

Lost in the lead up to Christmas was a Mark Miles interview with the Indy Star’s Curt Cavin. The story both leads and wraps with Miles using the time worn and ill-considered metaphor “time flies” when asked about his three year anniversary as CEO of Hulman and Company, IMS and IndyCar.

cc1070thefancom

Photo from 1070thefan.com

Miles’ miserable metaphor typifies both his rule of IndyCar and his inability to communicate effectively. Of all times to reference flight, this year wasn’t the one. Of course cars aren’t supposed to fly, though the season was marred by flying aero kit pieces, flying cars at Indy and another flying piece of debris that sadly took Justin Wilson’s life. Miles started the interview off saying time flies – talk about inappropriate!

Mark Miles Flying Circus

Cavin’s article cited all those calamities and others, including the humiliating race cancellation in Brazil. Sound issues and traffic problems at IMS for the Rolling Stones concert last year were even aired, as Miles’ incompetence was on full parade. Good grief, they’ve only been holding Stones concerts successfully all over the world for half a century now.

mick&taylormagazinefoxnewscom.jpg

Photo from magazine.foxnews.com

On a more timely note, the CEO admitted that the aero kits introduced in 2015 were “not entirely positive.” Continue reading

If IndyCar Were ‘Star Wars’

darthpenske.png

If IndyCar were ‘Star Wars,’

Newgarden would play the new Skywalker –

With Penske as Darth Vader, Andretti as Leia,

And Montoya the Empire’s hawker.

jpmusatodaycom

Photo from usatoday.com

If IndyCar were ‘Star Wars,’

Graham Rahal‘d be a great Han Solo –

He’s tall and handsome, holds races for ransom,

With a Force that makes him shout “YOLO!”

1courtneyexaminercom

Photo from examiner.com

If IndyCar were ‘Star Wars,’

It’d be setting records, acclaimed as number one –

With throngs of fans, and clapping hands,

Instead of a collection of legacy sons.

marcoleia

Continue reading