By 2016 will IndyCar no longer be Ovalating?

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Nazareth Speedway above^

Is Tony George at home laughing his ass off? We are in jeopardy of losing oval’s in our new age of IndyCar. I know I am not the only one who see’s the writing on the wall! How many of you can see, and are hearing what is coming down the pike for IndyCar? Do you really think these articles IndyCar have been printing lately, and the bitching about no one showing up to oval’s is just for their own peace of mind? Its preparing you for whats ahead. I will go out on a limb and say it now. By 2016 we could all be in for a very rude awakening when we have only the Indy 500 on our IndyCar oval schedule.

As of now this is how the 2015 IndyCar season looks. (Brasil, Dubai Possibly) St. Pete, Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach GP, GP of Indianapolis. That is our first 6 races of the 2015 season starting off on road, or street courses, before our first oval at the Indy 500. Now if you are just an oval fan, and you know who you are. The first 6 races of the season are a no-show for you, both at the track, and on TV.

After Indy we go back to a street course, and then off to an oval and a night race in Texas (This may be a keeper) then somewhere in here possibly the addition of the Baltimore GP? Then Pocono (Which if I was a gambling man is going to go bye, bye) Then we have the Milwaukee mile, and Fontana.

In 2012 Fontana’s crowd was anemic at best. In 2013 I saw a real jump in the crowd, and I honestly said to myself ” Paul in a few more years we could sell this place out”! So what does IndyCar, and the Auto Club Speedway do? Shoot itself in the foot, and tell us they worry about competing with the NFL, College football, and NASCAR! Yes, that’s right IndyCar, let’s have the championship race on Labor day weekend in 115 degree heat, on a holiday weekend when everyone in So-Cal is either out-of-town, or at the beach, or some other hole with water in it. And lets not forget that, most families here have sold their souls to the devil to go on their last vacation before school starts. And have used up their 401k to buy school cloths, and supplies for the kids!

To be quite honest the person who bought Fontana away from Roger Penske, just figures any extra revenue this track can bring in with the IndyCar banner is gravy. Otherwise the rest of the year. The track is just a big, hot, D-shaped track baking in the sun all year-long! This is quite possibly the only reason the Auto Club Speedway stays on our schedule again in 2015. Personally I feel IndyCar wants in some ways Fontana to fail, so they can just finish the season off on a road, or street course. Hmm…. maybe the Indianapolis GP course? No that couldn’t be? That was built for the people of Indiana, and to bring more people to the track in the month of May! Say it isn’t so IMS?

So let’s be realistic. The start of 2015 starts off with six road, or street courses. A 1/4 of our seasons races will consist of oval races. When IndyCar announced 2 new manufactures coming into the league by 2016, and aero-packages coming about in 2015. Hardly a word has been spoken about what Dallara, and IndyCar would be doing to the new DW-12 in an oval configuration. All I have heard is the IMS, and IndyCar want to break the track record for qualifying at the 2016 100th running of the Indianapolis 500!

Come on we aren’t that stupid are we? IndyCar is waiting to see what tracks (Yes even road, and street courses) We will have left after the end of the 2015 season. And they are really seeing if it financially viable for IndyCar to keep oval’s on our schedule at all by 2016. None of us feel the benefits of sleeping with Dallara, but IndyCar has made strange bedfellows. Dallara is in it for the long haul. Hell they moved to Indiana, and built their facility there. Now do you think for one moment that IndyCar wants to piss Dallara off, or another aero-package designer for that matter. Do you think for a moment Indycar wants to say “Yeah Dallara make us some new oval aero-packages for our teams”! And then come back to them, and say “Oh by the way were only going to run the 500 every year, and that’s it”! We should have had those new aero-packages by now. IndyCar is stalling, and its all up to us, to either fill the stands at races, or have no one else to blame, when ovals go the way of the Dodo bird!

IndyCar’s Plans:

And I quote IndyCar: “As part of its long-range focus on innovation, INDYCAR announced last June that aero-kits would be introduced in 2015 and include separate specifications for super speedways and road/street courses and short ovals. Beginning with 2016, additional engine manufacturers and/or third-party vendors will be eligible to be an INDYCAR-approved supplier. Correspondingly, Chevrolet and Honda will be able to upgrade their aero-kits, which will be approved through homogenization.”

Below is what is planned for the near future of IndyCar:

• 2014 – Engine upgrades as part of the current homologation process; downforce adjustments to enhance racing, overtaking as well as safety at various racetrack configurations, as needed.

• 2015 – Aero configuration components introduced for the full IZOD IndyCar Series season in conjunction with enhancements to the underbody.

• 2016 – Opportunity for tire development, if needed with Firestone, as well as engine power enhancements as required.

• 2017 – Possible aero configuration kits and engine upgrades. Potential for areas on car to be opened for team development.

• 2018 – Competition enhancements made based on performance of 2017 package.

• 2019 – Review of current body and engine specification for potential upgrades and/or changes.

• 2020 – Competition enhancements made based on performance of 2019 package.

• 2021 – Possible aero-configuration upgrade.

“Our long-term competition strategy is designed to build on the foundation of our current package with progressive and methodical enhancements in conjunction with our manufacturers, teams and drivers,” Walker added. “Always with an eye toward safety, our timeline will build on our already exciting product and create opportunities for us to move the performance barrier forward.”

In conclusion: Some of you will agree, some of you will think I am off my rocker. Hey that’s ok! We can all have the right to say, and think what we want in America! Having said that. Maybe we are looking at our league in the wrong way. Maybe IndyCar needs to have a World Cup soccer mentality? Maybe we shouldn’t be so enthused about a Canadian, a Brazilian, a Colombian, coming into our American series, and waiving their country of origins flag on the podium! Yes! Maybe that’s it? Maybe we need to take some pride in being what was in the beginning an American race series, that use to say ” We are the best drivers in the world, you got something to say about it? Well Bring It!” I have no problem you coming to the races waiving the Japanese flag, or Brazilian, or Colombian flag or whatever! Maybe what we need in IndyCar is some national pride? Maybe what we need is American flags waiving in the stands, and our drivers doing donuts, with the flag in hand after a hard-fought battle! This has nothing to do with racism, this has everything to do with making this an us, against them IndyCar battle weekend, and week out! Hey Juan you’re in Pocono, in the United States. You make your money of American sponsor’s, you live here, yet do you pay our taxes? I don’t know? What I do know is when you win, out comes that Colombian flag, and I see your Columbia flag waivers in the crowd, in where? America baby! Hey James Hinchcliffe! I know you can’t wait to race in your country of origin Canada! And that’s ok! But its an American team you race for, and an American owner that pays you, and its a damn great sponsor her in America that helps make it possible for you to race at all. So know that when you pull that Canadian flag out, you may here some boo’s next time! No that some of us fan’s would appreciate you be proud you live in Indianapolis, and can bring your girl from Australia with you everywhere you go! Oh does what I’m writing piss some of you off? Good! That’s what I want to hear! Maybe this is what is missing? I don’t hate you because you come from somewhere else, anymore that I hate the fans that root for you. But maybe, Just maybe. We need this in our series? It’s a thought. Now let me hear your’s, because truthfully, I am running out of idea’s friends!

For all of you talking about bringing back Pac-Racing I am all for it! This follow the leader crap is just useless. I mean when I say I would rather watch the Long Beach GP, over Pocono, you know my mind has changed about road course racing. Vegas was, and should have been an amazing venue for us. As bad luck would have it, we lost DW. But we also lost Greg Moore at Fontana, and we didn’t stop that race, and leave with our tails between our legs never to race there again! That is part of racing, and these drivers who make racing their life’s ambition know the risk.Say what you want about Marco Andretti. But how many have the stones, to get up in the marbles, and go five wide? Say what you want about Will Power, but you know what? he wants to win, and he does what it takes, regardless of the consequences. (Although not the smartest moves at times) Mario Andretti once said this ” If everyone in the world could do what I do in a car. I would pack it up, move back to Italy, and plant potatoes in my garden” Follow the leader racing is for NASCAR, not IndyCar, and if that means we need to bring back some good ol pack racing, then I say man-up, or get out of the IndyCar Series!

This is just my humble opinion, now let me hear your’s!

Tony Tellez

5 Comments

  1. Wow, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve been saying for years that the series needs more prominent Americans at the front every week. Hunter-Reay can’t be the only one. Marco and Graham have been huge disappointments. Marco is only competitive on ovals, Graham can’t seem to get out of his own way sometimes. If it ever gets to the point where they have the INDY 500 and only road/street courses, many more of us fans will be gone. I don’t mind road courses, but I despise the temporary street circuits (lack of passing usually, no run off….mistake = concrete wall = out of the race. Unfortunately, the only way INDYCAR gets attendance is to put the races in downtown areas. We’re in trouble. If you don’t think so, look at the INDY Lights series.

    • Thank you- And I agree with all you said. I know we are in trouble, and for some reason IndyCar just doesn’t get it. The reality is the young people are our future. And how does a young child get to our races? By having parents bring them. Hmm..that means more people in seats at every venue. makes sense to me! Paul

  2. This is a great article, but it is foolish to compare Dan Wheldon’s accident to that of Greg Moore. Moore’s was a solo car accident exacerbated by grass in the infield, while Wheldon was one of 15 cars wrecked in that incident, which also left Power, Pippa Mann and JR Hildebrand with injuries of different magnitudes.

    But you’re right, and as morbid as it may be to suggest it, pack racing wasn’t always a bad thing. Having 34 cars on that particular grid was the catalyst for the accident.

    • Thank you Matt- I was there for both crashes unfortunately 2 days I will never forget. I have just always felt the show must go on when it has to do with professionals. I do remember them trying to keep the news from the drivers during the Greg Moore crash, but it didn’t work. How the drivers went on is beyond me, but it is all part of racing. You are probably correct about Vegas. Because now when I reflect back on that day, that track, and the small crowd at hand. The whole day just didn’t seem right. And in a few laps my gut feeling,was made into reality. I believe the Vegas race could have go on, but honestly RB let everything get way out of hand,and it was an easy decision for teams, and drivers, to just quit that day. No one really wanted to be there, and I believe in more ways than one, fueled RB’s demise in the series!

  3. Im from indiana originally and used to love to go to michigan nashville kentucky speedways..still go to milwalukee…and miss PIR….viarity is the spice of Life….

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