No time to waste for IRL!

I may have under estimated how much trouble the IRL is in with its boring racing in my last post.  The race at Richmond last Saturday night could be used as an alternative for Ambien!

It was follow-the-leader, no passing, and once again, four cars on the lead lap at the end.  With the contract up to race at Richmond International Raceway, this wasn’t the kind of event that the IRL needed if it wanted to keep its date there.

There are at least two problems at work here.

One is that the technical specs for the IRL have been locked in for several years now and teams have taken the box they are in just about as far as they can.  That means the cars are pretty much even, at least those with the “Big 3” of the IRL, Penske, Ganassi, and Andretti-Green.

The rest of the field is out there just trying to somehow get into the top five each week.

Yes, occasionally there will be an exciting race on a road or street course, but that’s because of the nature of the racing.  It isn’t happening on ovals at all.

The second problem is what always is a problem in racing, money.  The haves (the Big 3) have it, the rest do not.

If you are barely surviving, you don’t have money to spend on engineering to come up with a better piece for the car.  That’s why you see so many cars not on the lead lap.

My solution is to open up the competition.  Let’s go back to the old days of Indy type racing where they established the specs and said, okay, go build whatever you like to fit those specs.  Same for the engine manufacturer.  Tires, I’m happy with one supplier because of safety concerns.

There is one man that the IRL should listen to that might have some answers to this snooze fest racing.  That’s Tony Cotman.

If  you don’t know who Tony is, he was crew chief and team manager back in the glory days of  Team Kool Green Racing and then with Andretti-Green Racing.  He later moved into race control with Champ Car before exiting and is now working with the IRL.

Tony knows racing inside and out.  He’s level-headed and listens to ideas from those that also understand the sport.

Will the IRL allow Tony to help save them?  I doubt it.

The IRL is full of power crazy people (and some that are just crazy) that protect their turf without any concern for hurting or helping the organization. Doing the right thing is the last item on their list.  Protecting their power and ego outweighs anything else.

It hurts me deeply that Indy type racing has fallen to this level.  I’m an open-wheel guy, but this isn’t the racing I want to see, and from the look in the stands and the almost non-existent TV ratings, neither does anyone else!

When did racing become a snoozefest?

I think I’ve found a cure for insomnia.  Watch either a Nascar Sprint Cup Series or and Indy Racing League race.

Nascar use to be know for side-by-side racing and lots of passing.  Now, with the birth of the COT, it’s more of a follow-the-leader parade.

Yes, there are some passes for the lead on the racing surface, but many are during pit stop sequences.  Is that why you paid $100 for a ticket or invested 4 hours in front of the TV to watch? 

Occasionally, such as at Michigan, an exciting finish makes many forget they were bored to death for a couple of hours.  Just because two cars that were leading on the final lap run out of fuel does not a classic finish race make.

Nascar is trying to come up with answers as attendance and TV ratings dwindle. The solution is right in front of them, listen to the teams input on how to make the COT racier.

Thankfully, it seems Nascar is listening and considering changes after their recent Town Hall meetings with their constituency.  Seems is the operative word.  I’m not holding my breath.

The Indy Racing League built its reputation on 200 MPH side-by-side racing on ovals.  Now, no one passes and the real racing that gets fans on their feet and coming back every year totals about 5 minutes a race.

Texas Motor Speedway use to be unbelievable in its passing.  A couple of weeks ago it was follow-the-leader and the win came thanks to a final pit stop.  Iowa Speedway over the weekend had only four cars on the lead lap at the end and no one close to winner Dario Franchitti.

Here again, the IRL says they will make some “changes.”  I say, show me!

Until both series wake up and make their product worthy of a fans time and money, I suggest going to your local short track.  You might not be watching Dale Earnhardt, Jr, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Helio Castroneves, Danica Patrick, and Dario Franchitti, but you will have a great time, see exciting racing, spend less money and be home early on a Friday or Saturday night.

Then again, if you want to get in nice nap, the Nascar Sprint Cup Series and the IRL may be just the ticket for you!