Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Where are the Yanks?

Apparently yesterday Mr. Chrome Horn, nee Paul Tracy set off a firestorm upon twitter with his comments towards only four Yanks being on the grid, while he, Buddy Rice and Graham Rahal all sat at home, and he hoped we enjoyed it! while Curt Cavin has now reported that “The Son ‘O Stash” (Graham Rahal) is now throwing the N-CUP word around, claiming he’ll definitely not be at the season opening Brazil Indy Car race…

So why all of the massive grumblings over the potential loss of American Open Wheel Drivers in Indy Car? I mean this isn’t an exactly new phenomena, which I’ll hazard a guess is partially a result of something known as The Split!

But I applaud Stephanie’s take on the matter the best… As in why AREN’T Top 500 American Companies stepping up to the plate instead? Or is it simply related to the fact that there simply isn’t enough Bang for the Almighty buck in Open Wheel Racing? I mean after all RASSCAR’s on FOX, TNT and ESPN/ABC, with 1,497hrs coverage of DayToner on SPEED alone… Not to mention that every 6min a commercial break is run during the 14hr Preamble, with Drivers trained to profusely spew out their obligatory list of corporate donor’s every 69 seconds… So how can Indy Car currently compete?

Its time to revise our definition of ride-buying

And back in the late 1980’s – early 1990’s (Yeah, I know I’m dating myself here…) we had the last vestiges of the great Hatfield’s vs. McCoy’s, Err Unser vs. Andretti duel with ‘Lil Al racing against Mikey, not to mention names like Bobby Rahal, Rick Mears and Danny Sullivan…

And yet apparently History is repeating itself once again? As recall that one of Champ Car’s guiding lights was the rediscovered AJ Almendinger, whom after being let go from RuSport after failing to live-up to Carl Russo’s expectations, was snapped-up by Gerald Forsythe and subsequently went on a tear winning five races alongside PT at Forsythe Racing, even being labeled a future Championship contender. Yet Gerald Forsythe was unwilling to put-up the necessary Dinero to compete with the call of a Foreign backed Tin Top Team, as Almendinger, who some had nicknamed “Wall-Dinger” prior to his renaissance at Forsythe bolted for the lure of a 3yr, $9 million deal to race a Red Bull Toyota Camry in RASSCAR instead…

Now is this AJ’s fault? Or is it Gerald Forsythe’s fault for being too stingy? (Ask Tracy how those contract dealings went…) Or is it simply the harsh reality of a Racing Driver’s relatively short window of opportunity… While I’m certain there’s a reason that Mr. Forsythe is a Multi-millionaire and I’m not!

As I certainly DON’T have the answers, nor will I try to answer them… Although I find it absolutely pathetic that McDonald’s quickly pulled the plug upon funding NHLR after its Patriarch Paul Newman left the Building, instead wishing to ‘Wink-Wink, Nudge-Nudge, focus upon the Olympics… Of which I’ve taken to calling the COMMERCIALYPICS… Which in turn sees its own share of disparity between certain American athletes, as in the Ski Jumping members have to pay their own way, while Geoff Bodine stepped-up to the plate for the Bobsledders…

Do we need Graham Rahal to stay in Indy Car? HELL YES! And it seems absolutely PATHETIC that NO American Corporation is willing to jump behind him… Especially since Indy Car costs only a fraction of what it takes to run Down South, like in one-third the amount? Ok, at least 50% less…

But its also bothersome that John Edwards has decided to go race a Mazda RX8 in the Grand Am GT class instead, which I don’t know if that has anything to do with Edwards being politely told he’s not experienced enough to run with the ‘Big Boyz...

So, yeah it would be excellent to see Ed Carpenter, Rice, Rahal and even ‘Ol PT all with fulltime gigs in Indy Cars this year and beyond, but it AIN’T gonna happen, and as far as I know the Kuh-Nucks aren’t whimpering over only having one fulltime driver this year, eh?

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