Rejigger Race Control, IndyCar

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The series’ ever rotating fortune wheel of race stewards desperately needs spun again following Sunday’s debacle. For IndyCar, race control’s rapidly becoming an oxymoron. Apparently it resides in Pope Penske’s plush pocket.


The very definition of a steward is someone “appointed to supervise the arrangements or keep order at a race . . . ,” emphasis added.

IRR’s been hot on the steward story since February when this shadowy new lineup was announced. Rest assured, IRR’s harbored a healthy skepticism toward the latest reconfiguration of race control – like all things IndyCar – from the start. The series constantly jiggers with the stewards, and Jon “not for long” Beekhuis is but one example in a paddock full of former controllers.


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Reporting on race control’s latest iteration since February – and before – we boldly went where no other IndyCar outlet dared. IRR published photographic evidence of a clear cut case of cronyism during pre-season testing. Remember, this fraternizing photo was published months ago, long before the latest steward story broke. 


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Two time Indy 500 winner and Dutchman Arie Luyendyk, self described Italian “NASCAR driver” Max Papis and former Ford racing exec and current chief steward Dan Davis make up this three headed Thracian monster, apparently without a good eye between the trio. Long Beach proved that.


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On back in March, Chief Davis got all mystical on everyone. He spoke of fellow stewards Arie and Max’s almost superhuman ability of “observing and probably knowing what’s in the drivers’ minds . . . .” He honestly said that. Bet you didn’t know the new group was so clairvoyant, did you?


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From Rahal dragging his fuel hose ’round Fontana last season to Team Penske getting away with murder nearly every race to, well, Pagenaud getting away with nationally televised murder last race, there’s rarely – if ever – a penalty assessed. Enough’s enough already. How does Brian Barnhart still have a job after all these foul ups? Don’t get us started on the endless apologizing by drivers going on in the series lately.


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Heck, bring Beekhuis back. Try modern technology like Chip suggested. Have A.J. smack their heads together. Fire the NASCAR boys. Get rid of ol’ Arie. Make it five guys’ race control. Or a platoon of stewards. Consult some different gurus. Do something – anything. For as we’ve warned IndyCar before, complacency leads to metastasizing. And that ain’t good.


Take three folks off the street – or still more average, from Twitter – and they could do a better job maintaining order than this current bunch. That not only goes for race control, but also Mark Miles and his whole Martian gang. Oh, almost forgot. Chief Davis also spoke confidently of doing “the best possible job of officiating” this year. Yeah, right.

2009 IRL Toronto

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It’s obscene what fans, drivers and owners have had to endure under race control’s light lash lately – just ask Emma Dixon. That is, unless you’re in the Cap’n’s corner. Then, almost magically, everything’s a-okay.


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7 thoughts on “Rejigger Race Control, IndyCar

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