But USAC wasn't doing for its constituents what Bill and Bernie did, which was grow the sport and make more money. In some ways, some of those constituents helped assure that, by resisting change. Many of those were self-funding competitors not as dependent on popularly-generated revenue.
NASCAR was able to overcome resistance with popular growth and money, including series-level sponsorship of up to $30 million per year, for 30 years, courtesy RJR, who had to put their old TV money someplace
CART was able to do what neither USAC nor the IRL could do, and that was grow the series events outside of Indy - just not fast enough to keep form losing hegemony to NASCAR and F1.
Last edited by Turn13; 03-17-2012 at 02:50 PM.
"Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone, is life"
~ Sanskrit poem attributed to Kalidasa, "Salutation to the Dawn"
It wasn't the fanbase that called for a split, but to say "we" played absolutely no role in it seems wrong to me. Of course, those of us who never fully picked a side DID look on in horror.
BTW: I agree w/ Z28, though I wouldn't exclude a Miller from the film, ditto Bruce Martin. They just shouldn't be the focus.
"Many people always ask me why I sign off 'Until we meet again.' Because goodbye is so final.
Goodbye, Dan Wheldon."
Marty Reid, Oct. 16, 2011
There's no owners, or anyone for that matter, who are going to come along and save OW racing from the Hulmans like the last time in 1979.
Whether directed by his family or through his own stupidity, Tony George completely miscalculated his abilities to take control of OW racing from CART. He grossly miscalculated the value of the series CART had built in the 80's and into the early 90's. He actually F***ed up the Indy 500, something that seemed impossible to do. He and his family have managed to compromise a few of the wonderful traditions that make Indy, Indy, all in the name of control. The Hulman run OW racing series called ICS is now further away from oval centricity than it ever was when CART was running the show. It's now a series surviving in a manner similar to the 2004 - 2007 iteration of CART called CCWS run by KK and GF, a series that failed miserably.
It's a revolving door of races that come and go off the schedule as often as the wind changes direction, revolving door drivers and sponsors and a complete lack of continuity. There is little if anything for a fan to hold onto. The very basis of the series appears to be OW race cars that run a schedule of street races (festivals) and then show up in May at Indy for an oval race.
Pointless and futility indeed. A smart man would've realized what CART had built and either bought the thing from them or cooperated in a mutually beneficial way with them to make OW racing even bigger than it was circa early 90's. Mr. George chose futility.
I put the Over/under on any one changing their opinion here at zero
Faster than a bullet from a gun
He is faster than everyone
Quicker than the blinking of an eye
Like a flash you could miss him going by
No one knows quite how he does it but it's true they say
He's the master of going faster. -George Harrison
"It takes a special level of incompetance to make a schedule this terrible. America is possibly the greatest country in the world overall for tracks. To make a bad schedule in America takes effort. A special kind of effort. A kind of effort that only IndyCar could come up with."
Well for starters, stay the hell away from trackforum, or else you'll discovery the current version of Indycar sucks because....
No American short track racers
No dirt tracks
No front engine cars
Too many ridebuyers
Not enough ovals
Too many street races
Too many foreigners
TV ratings suck
Those were the first 10 that come to my mind, but I could click on every thread in this forum and find more.... I just hope that future generations of fans will find a way to enjoy Indycar without the political BS of the last 33 years coming back to take a big steaming pile of poo on everything.
Myself, I prefer the world's fastest, most exciting and competitive oval racing, which is what I find in IndyCar. The connection to the greater (and world-wide) history and context of the whole sport via The Indianapolis 500 is a huge bonus as well.
I think I will dirve 10 hours to Indiana in late May anyhow
All the results of a long split where the overall sport hobbled along in survival mode vs constructively in a growth mode.Too many ridebuyers
Not enough ovals
Too many street races
Too many foreigners
TV ratings suck
I think you're hearing from the very last of the very disenfranchised, former IRL supporters. I'm not sure they're ready to fully embrace the idea that the formation of the IRL was never about the kind of racing they wanted to see but only about the Hulman family having control of the series that ran at Indy. If you go by that premise, Indy car racing can turn into whatever it has to in order to survive and not cost the Hulmans a lot of money at the same time.Those were the first 10 that come to my mind, but I could click on every thread in this forum and find more.... I just hope that future generations of fans will find a way to enjoy Indycar without the political BS of the last 33 years coming back to take a big steaming pile of poo on everything.
What the stats actually show is that, with the exception of spec cars, all of those things were increasing in IndyCar/CART, even as it grew in attendance and ratings and sponsorships by some 3 to 5% per year. The reason being that NASCAR and F1 had grown much larger and were growing much faster, especially in popularly-generated revenue (TV ratings and attendance) compared to the B2B and civic subsidies in CART.Originally Posted by Indyknut
In many ways, even the spec racers were a direct result of that sustained deficiency, as ChampCar determined when it was their turn to try and make the numbers work, and wound up with the DP01 and a raft of Cosworths.
Even before 1996, there was a slow split going on, of popularity moving increasingly towards other series, even as IndyCar maintained appearances. Opinions vary, of course, but it's not that hard to look at the IRL as a misdirected attempt to recapture that popular appeal, as much or more than it was a "powergrab". And for a while, at least, it did inflate the overall number of fans through the gates and on the tube watching one or the other "IndyCar"-based series, though it went down every year and hurt the Indy 500 itself, which it was supposed to protect, more than ever.
The lesson we can all take from this is that when we split, we lose, and when we find ways to work it out and merge / stay together, we at least stop losing as badly Let's try to do more of what brings us together, and avoid saying / doing things that keep us apart.
For the kids of the next generation
It's simple: trying to be a wannabe is the path to failure.
Americans like Formula One ... they don't much care for a second-rate imitation.
Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi may think they're going to "discover" the next Senna, but it's not bloody likely. Yet, it seems their life goal. Senna was great because he was Senna, not because he was Brazilian.
I don't much like it myself, but "reality TV" has taken over and it's also quite clear American race fans prefer "reality racing," i.e. all the godawfull stuff that happens in NASCAR to the tea and crumpits party that Indycar suicidally seems to want to be. Even I prefer the rough/tumble guys like Stewart, Gordon, Kahne, Earnhardt, etc., to the spoiled rich kids Indycar seems to prefer as drivers. It is 100% certain that being foreign does NOT make one a better driver for American racing and it is 200% certain American race fans could care less about that sort of driver.
Indeed, it is pretty simple. We'll tell our kids how Penske and Ganassi killed Indycar racing and it will be the true story. Tony George will be the hero of the story despite the fact he didn't succeed--it is a tragedy, after all.
OTOH, I agree with you that the trends were starting to mitigate against us pre-'96. I'd simply argue that almost nothing could have outright reversed that and thus, splitting at that very moment was the worst thing to do. A unified sport would still have lost altitude; it just wouldn't have crashed, IMHO.
Yeah, but of course the gambit was presumably that all the teams would join, given the "incentive" of 25/8OTOH, I agree with you that the trends were starting to mitigate against us pre-'96. I'd simply argue that almost nothing could have outright reversed that and thus, splitting at that very moment was the worst thing to do. A unified sport would still have lost altitude; it just wouldn't have crashed, IMHO.
And most of them did, too, eventually.
Not sure how a slower, fendered/roofed series could possibly be more exciting on the same tracks. I'm not sure how they could be on any track. Provided one finds speed exciting, and, presumably, have the concept of open wheels down as a superlative. Worldwide, I think, a lot more fans would agree with that. As if that mattered
No, I'm pretty sure that's just you and PP....and, since IC runs mostly a street / road course schedule, NASCAR generally runs faster races.
The reason for the following is many things, but almost certainly not because the series is faster and open wheeled.As a result, there's little fan following in person or on television.
As for "competitive", perhaps you like "most people" are also confused about what that term means, as well. "Competitive" didn't mean "anyone can win" until NASCAR redefined it. But, then, they're really not exactly masters of the language, are they? In most of the world's endeavors.
"Competitive" usually means it is more difficult to compete, that it's harder, that outcomes are less random and more determined by effort and excellence - not by lucky dogs, gettin' caught up, or losin' a dancin' partner.
IndyCar is more competitive because it is harder to compete against the top dogs - even though everyone gets the same engine and chassis. Some of that competitive edge is due to, yes, extra engineering and custom machining, but then again a lot of it is due to qualities that don't cost anything but attention to detail, discipline down the line, and a firm belief that effort equals results.
As for the design, roofs and fenders may be a differentiator, but only two of the wheels are open now, and they have bumpers, to boot. Strange.
As to the lack of popularity, it's certainly not because people aren't aware of them. They are very clearly known to the public via the highest profile automobile race in the world. So that's no excuse. But, for some reason, the sporting public has rejected the series in greater and greater numbers, even as they're fully cognizant of the "product". No sense denying the obvious.
There's a lot of reasons for the decline in popularity. Some of it is indeed the product, IMO, as I have detailed
Some of it is marketing. Some of it is because when IndyCar had bumps in the road NASCAR and F1 zoomed ahead.
None of them are permanent or ultimately debilitating. IndyCar still has much to recommend it, including its superlatives in speed, diversity, and tradition. Maybe that's why its popularity is noticeably increasing.
In addition, much of what it does need in product as well as marketing can only be improved with an increase in personal, positive endorsements first, such that any antagonists who only nitpick and antagonize are indeed much more part of the problem than they are the solution.
The general public is no more "fully cognizant" of the product than they are aware of how much the Kentucky Derby winner weighs or how many shuttle missions we had or what percentage of the Federal budget goes to foreign aid.
If you have any ideas or specifics for improvement, it would be interesting to hear them. At least as often as we hear your generalized, non-specific and chronic detractions, racefan .