It has been reported that the rocker arm that failed causing James Hinchcliffe’s near fatal crash at Indy was manufactured in November 2011 and had 14,000 miles on it. In addition it was not even the current beefed-up iteration. Usually parts get upgraded by the manufacturer because there is a question about them. Did Dallara or IndyCar advise the teams of any concerns? From the manufacture date and the mileage (which I personally find incredible) it was the original part that was delivered with the original car 3+ seasons ago. I’m sure there are numerous “show cars” that have rocker arms with less mileage than this one. I cannot conceive of putting a driver in a car at a high speed oval with a single nut or bolt, much less a suspension part, with that kind of use and not meeting current spec. How many times has that part been stressed in 3 full seasons of racing. When was it last off the car? When was it last properly inspected? I don’t know how much it costs but probably not much more than a wrap and I’m sure that that car has been wrapped many times in the last 3 years. If a team’s budget is so small that it can’t afford replacement of basic suspension components it shouldn’t be competing at this level. If IndyCar is so dedicated to safety why aren’t they policing this more carefully.
Today IndyCar made its best attempt to date to emulate the 3 Stooges. Making up rules as you go along is not good management. Dumbing down qualifying is not good for fan relations. First and foremost experimenting with new, untested aero pieces at your flagship event is begging for disaster. Blind faith in wind tunnels and computer simulations is not foolproof and relying on it for the Indy 500 is just plain ignorance. Qualifying with new rules with 30 minutes of practice at the world’s greatest race diminishes the value and importance of the event. I’ve seen more interesting qualifying at Eldora Speedway and it only took 30 minutes. Today cost IndyCar tens of thousands of fans who couldn’t find the TV coverage and finally just gave up and went outside to enjoy the weather. I simply couldn’t stand the tension of the last row shootout. I used to say that IndyCar management was just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic but it’s too late for that – the ship is now at 90 degrees and sinking fast. Tell me, if you were a promoter or sponsor would you pay a sanctioning fee and advertising rights for an IndyCar race when they can’t even get the most important race right?
I don’t often agree with Robin Miller but he really nailed it today at racer.com.
Dateline: Avondale LA.
The IndyCar Series set a new North American record for fan expense per green flag lap. The detailed numbers are not in yet but it is clear that this event will surpass any previous North American racing event. The European record is still held by the 1984 Monaco GP; and the International by the 1991 Australian GP (as adjusted for inflation).
Last March I published a post here titled “Another Wake Up Call” about the National Speed Sport News Reader’s Poll on track popularity. Essentially, the point was that IMS had fallen to a new low of 6th in the poll. The 2015 Poll has been released and unfortunately I missed it, but thanks to Bob Gangwer at “Wing Side Up” I was reminded to check it out.
The results are in and IMS has fallen into a 7th Place tie with Williams Grove Speedway. It isn’t the highest ranked oval (Eldora being 1st); it’s not even the highest ranked paved oval (Oswego being 4th). At this rate it will be out of the top 10 in just a couple of years.
How accurate is this poll? It certainly doesn’t represent the casual fan who only attends one race every year when it comes to town like the circus. It obviously doesn’t represent the NASCAR fan since Daytona, nor any other Cup track is in the top 10. It DOES represent the most knowledgeable North American open wheel fans, the core IndyCar fans. It also represents the fans who could become the future IndyCar core fan base. The ownership and management of IMS and IndyCar are more concerned about promoting rock concerts than racing. Clearly they are STILL SNOOZIN’.
THE TOP 10
(TIE) Williams Grove
Lucas Oil Speedway (MO)
New Jersey Motorsport Park
Copywrite 2015 Photo Credit – Author
What did we learn Sunday at St. Petersburg:
– Penske has things figured out
– JPM will probably win the 500 and the championship unless Will Power gets a personal trainer
– Grahammy and Little Marco are still mid packers
– Dale Coyne didn’t get enough funding from his drivers
– I want the wing concession
– IndyCar will need to bring larger dumpsters to the street races
– many teams will be running wings constructed with duct tape at NOLA
– Andretti Autosport and Ganassi Racing are underfunded this year
– Team Penske may win every race this season
– the aero kits don’t mean squat
– Scott Goodyear’s favorite phrase is “as we call it”
-IndyCar venues will be paying larger insurance premiums for flying shrapnel
There is a free, yes free, copy of Racer Magazine 2015 IndyCar Special available at http://www.racermagazine-digital.com/racer/2015_indycar_special/m3/Document.action?lm=1427110704000