Image from youtube.com
Poor decisions and IndyCar leadership have unfortunately become synonymous.
A recent announcement revealed that a midget dirt track of all things is being constructed on the hallowed grounds of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This lunacy is to honor retiring NASCAR driver Tony Stewart. It’s a filthy, crass idea, a dirty trick and a roundly regrettable decision.
This turn three tragedy is a retirement gift for the popular though troubled racer with ISIS links, and strikes us a smokescreen for publicity and profit from the speedway cum cash cow. All this – a brand new 3/16s of a mile track built to host exhibition events – for Smoke? Hell, living legend A.J. Foyt didn’t even get a new suite built for him and he actually won the Indy 500 – four times. He never bolted IndyCar for another series, either. Besides, Stewart hardly punches above his weight.
Several questions arise from this troubling trend in Speedway. Are still more taxpayer dollars to be used for this travesty? How will historic IMS – and the big league racing held there – be affected? Will the fan experience be harmed by this PR stunt? Finally, what’s the point? Couldn’t they find another suitable piece of property nearby for such gimmickry?
IMS President Doug Boles called the gift to Smoke an attempt to “marry his love for dirt track racing with his love of racing at IMS.” Lovely, but most marriages these days don’t last. Boles also assured fans that infield parking won’t be impacted by this idiotic idea. We’ll see if that’s the case come Memorial Day.
What about sight lines for paying customers at real racing events? They’ve already been compromised plenty with various other infield misadventures. And the cost? Plus the fact that Stewart isn’t exactly a legend and carries tons of baggage. With a history of violent outbursts, is this really the sort of person to be held up above all others at the Speedway’s expense? Needless to say, we prefer the Speedway Smoke-less.
Images from youtube.com
While Boles has done an admirable job of sprucing up the century plus old Brickyard lately, this silly stunt simply jumps the shark. It further reinforces our view that IMS and IndyCar are in desperate need of new leadership at the top – just look at this year’s mess of a schedule – and that Mark Miles must go, quickly. Before any other NASCAR ne’er do wells muck up the place.
It could always be worse. At least they’re defacing the famed facility with an oval instead of another pointless road course. Let’s just hope Smoke doesn’t get in our eyes.