IndyCar Anarchy Keeps Series In Neutral
There are only so many ways you can shoot yourself in the foot. IndyCar seems to invent new ones all the time.
Last Sunday we were treated to one of the greatest Indianapolis 500 mile races in history. The new DW-12 provided plenty of passing through the field all day, and the race ended with one of those dramatic moments that will be talked about for years.
So you would expect that the big story heading into this weekend's race in Detroit would be the amazing Dario Franchitti's dramatic victory in the 500, one that put him back into title contention. You would think that the buzz being talked about would center on how Will Power would bounce back from another disappointment at the Speedway. You might expect that the story of the week would be the continued resurgence of Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing, who is once again a major player in IndyCar with Takuma Sato at the wheel. Instead, IndyCar fans get what they've sadly come to expect. Anarchy. Infighting. Factions.
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard took to Twitter this week to confirm the widely-circulated rumor that there are IndyCar owners looking to perform a palace coup and oust him from his job. At times, Twitter has a similar quality to the old grade-school trick, where you would tell one kid that some other kid said something bad about him at recess. But here, there are no carpet squares or juice boxes in jeopardy, only the future of the sport.
So now, instead of talk about an unbelievable Indianapolis 500, we have Twitter talk about who wants Randy Bernard out with fans calling out owners, and owners responding with riddles and sarcasm.
A poster at the well-known racing message board TrackForum summed it up by likening this whole mess to a game of “Clue.” Perhaps it's Professor Penske in the conservatory with the rope. Or it's Colonel Barnes in the billiard room with the lead pipe. It might be funny if it wasn't just sad. It doesn't need to be this way. As the t-shirt says, this is why we can't have nice things.
Randy Bernard has made some big mistakes in his tenure, there's no question of that. But he was also handed a box of broken eggs and told to make a delicious omelet out of it. Bernard has made some strides from a financial standpoint, and it would be virtually impossible to make an argument against the quality of racing we all saw last Sunday.
But instead of building momentum, IndyCar is stuck in neutral, as it has been for the past 16 years. There's only so many ways you can shoot yourself in the foot, soon, the loyal fans of the series aren't going to have any toes left.