Photo from stock.adobe.com
The cash cow that is the IndyCar GP originated with one of Tony George’s more hair-brained schemes, which feels kinda like invoking one of John Wayne Gacy’s nastier nights.
During the darkest days of the split, George and Formula 1 Boss Billionaire Bernie Ecclestone appropriately pioneered running ass-backward through the Brickyard’s infield in 2000. This f-ing terrific idea lasted exactly eight races – and that’s if you count 2005 when, due to a Michelin tire fiasco, only six cars bothered to race. Michael Schumacher won it five times and would have won a sixth had he not let his teammate Rubens Barrichello triumph in 2002. Sounds like a worthy addition to the world’s greatest racetrack, doesn’t it?
Photo from maxf1.net
During its thankfully brief life, the U.S. Grand Prix played in front of fractionally full “crowds” in the grandstands at the cost of tens of millions of dollars in demolition and new construction at the nearly century old facility. The infield was completely reconfigured for the grand prix, negatively affecting stands, viewing mounds and sight lines for fans of the historic Indy 500. That’s not to mention George’s even stupider idea of bringing NASCAR to the hallowed grounds of IMS, but that’s for another article.
Fast forward seven years to 2014 when the Indy GP assumed the former f-ing F-1 race, but only after more alterations to the Speedway. For IndyCar, it’s a non-entity of an event with a non-title, holding absolutely no entertainment value. Come to think of it, it’s a lot like the old F-1 race in many respects. There should be more than six cars rolling off on Saturday, at least. So, why does the series continue to hold the IndyCar GP? It makes additional use of the radically reconfigured Speedway, which of course brings in revenue, and crucially pads an already paper thin seventeen race schedule.
Photo from indystar.com
The four Indy Grands Prix have featured two f-ing first lap pileups and also two f-ing dominant wins by a f-ing Frenchman. Ominously, they even wounded the Mayor at the inaugural race. Throw in f-ing Will Power’s runaway win last year and you start to see why we view the whole affair as one giant f-up. Rather than build interest in the central event at IMS as it was supposed to do, instead the GP tends to detract from it. It’s such a different race from the 500 that there’s utterly no carryover, and the GP’s merely an anticlimactic afterthought every May.
So while you’re watching those funnily named European and South American drivers racing at interstate speeds through the infield at IMS, remember it’s Tony George and Bernie Ecclestone you can thank for it. While billionaire Bernie’s now mercifully out of the picture, Chairman George and family will still gladly take your money for what should be viewed as one colossal f-up.
Photo from swinbrook.net