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Indy 500 ... irrelevant?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by spnited, May 12, 2007.

  1. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    So I'm channel surfing and what do I stumble across on ESPN2 but pole qualifying for the Indy 500. I didn't even realize today was pole day at Indy.

    I remember when Indy qualifying was a major event in itself... 5-6 hours of coverage on ABC, 150,000-200,000 fans at the Speedway.
    Now... 2 hours on the deuce (poker on ESPN!) and virtually empty grandstands.

    So, did Tony George effectively kill off his own once-golden goose?
  2. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    He didn't kill it, but he injured it.

    The feud with CART in the mid-1990s came at the time NASCAR started to really take off. Poor timing.

    Don't get me wrong, IRL has good racing. It's just not as many people notice because of NASCAR.
  3. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    In America it ranks with horse racing, tennis and boxing as sports that were once great and automatic SI covers, but now have fallen well behind X Games, poker, IFC and NASCAR.

    It's just not that viewer friendly or SportsCenter friendly.
  4. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    NASCAR is more viewer friendly than Indy?

    Poker is exciting to watch ... like watching grass grow?

    IFC? You're kidding, right?

    X Games? Sure, if you're 16 years old.
  5. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    NASCAR has the personalities. Look the whole Junior-DEI soap opera. If Gordon, Junior, and Stewart were racing open wheel, Indy cars would be big again. But that's not where the money is.
  6. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I do not remember typing that I watched IFC, poker, NASCAR or the X Games. I was just stating how the veiwing audience is changing.
  7. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    In retrospect, Tony George's biggest blunder might have been being penny-wise and pound-foolish. He wanted to make Indy racing less cost-intensive so more teams could be competitive, a good idea in theory. But in doing so he guaranteed anyone who wanted to make a lot of money would go elsewhere. Tony Stewart, most notably, was reluctant to leave open-wheel, but it was hard for him to ignore the cash NASCAR offered.
  8. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Tony George wanted to make open-wheel racing less expensive for two reasons:
    1. To allow more young American drivers a chance to break into the ranks of Indy-style cars without massive sponsorship, thus preventing the Jeff Gordons of the world from fleeing when they can't break into a ride without $$$$;
    2 (and more importantly). So he could take over the whole damn thing hisself and be the next Big Bill France.

    Well, Big Bill France never saw NASCAR explode to the point where it is now, so even if the IRL is gangbusters in 40 years, Tony George won't reap any of the success.

    Instead, what happened was that the Dr. Jack Millers and Greg Rays of the world found themselves racing in a top-level open-wheel racing league, when they probably should've been driving Indy Lights, if that.

    Of course, Tony only has No. 2 to hold onto now. As Robin Miller pointed out years ago, the young drivers that the IRL was supposed to give opportunities to all have fled for NASCAR -- Stewart, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Casey Mears, for starters.

    So he's done whatever he's had to do to prevent from capitulating. He's allowed Honda and Toyota to overrun the series with money and wipe out the smaller competitors, which ended with Toyota pulling out and leaving the carnage for everyone else to clean up, and he allowed engine leases (which he was against when CART was doing it), and he allowed the big-dollar teams to come over from CART and crusher the Panther Racings of the world.

    Way much more involved than I'm making it, of course, but for the most part Tony George only has Tony George to blame for messing things up.
  9. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    In other words, Wicked, Tony George is a greedy fuck who wanted it all his way and has fucked things up royally.

    As a result, the greatest race in American hostory has been reduced to an afterthought and the cash cow that was the Indy 500 is becoming a losing proposition.
  10. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    CART wasn't perfect, and the idiots made several bad moves, tops among them leaving Pocono, a track where they could've cleaned up easily because of the Andretti connection. Makes total sense to abandon your two hook-ins (Pocono, Meadowlands) into the New York market, even if they weren't the most ideal racetracks.

    Who's to say that this same meltdown wouldn't have happened with CART at the controls?
  11. Sxysprtswrtr

    Sxysprtswrtr Active Member

    Further proof the Indy 500 is not the same as it once was: Rusty Wallace is in the booth - not that he isn't knowledgable, I mean a whole year of broadcasting races gives you some type of authoritarian purpose, I'm sure.

    I'll be anxious to see how the *new / though not really new since rain killed efforts past 2 years* qualifying system works.
  12. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    Nobody cares about NASCAR, especially those south of the MD. [/boots]
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