We've suspected this for many years and now it's official. The Indianapolis 500 is no longer a reasonable aspiration for most racing drivers, blogs Stephen Cox. Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) president Doug Boles was kind enough to talk with me briefly at the annual PRI trade show in Indy. I asked him what his plan was to increase the number of entries at the Indianapolis 500. His answer took me by surprise. “We grew up falling in love with the sport when you had that number of ent...Read More
1967-2016 CAMAROS: PACING THE INDY 500!
Nine pace cars trace the history of Camaro at the Brickyard, pacing the Indianapolis 500. Among the milestones surrounding the 100th running of the Indy 500 this weekend is Chevrolet’s legacy as supplier of the official pace car – an honor it has held more than any other manufacturer. A unique version of the new ‘17 Camaro SS 50th Anniversary Edition will lead the field on Sunday, May 29, driven by motorsports legend Roger Penske. It’s the 27th time since 1948 that a Chevrolet has served as t...Read More
ASSOCIATED PRESS’ PAUL NEWBURY: BAN INDYCAR FOREVER!
‘After the latest tragedy in Indycar... it's time to shut down this ridiculously dangerous form of racing,’ says Paul Newberry in the wake of the tragic death of Indycar driver Justin Wilson. In making his demand, Newberry is typical of the paternalistic, safety-at-gunpoint class of pundits who seem to have taken over the Land of the Formerly Free. Newberry's rant, which appeared on ABC News on August 28th, goes on to say, “It's time to end a sport that has destroyed too many lives.” Note th...Read More
TRAINING WHEELS: FORMULA ONE, INDYCAR & WRC!
Almost half of drivers on the current F1 grid have been coached in standard Vauxhall road cars. Rob Wilson is possibly one of the most important players in Formula One racing that you’ve never heard of. Based at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in South Leicestershire, UK, Rob is instrumental in carving split seconds from the lap times of at least 12 drivers on the current grid. His key training weapon is a standard Vauxhall Astra! As improbable as it seems, Rob’s Astra Sports Tourer –...Read More
E. J. VISO: NEW LIFE IN STADIUM TRUCKS!
Ex-Indycar racer keeps on truckin’, blogs Stephen Cox. A few years ago the late Mike Stephens, then owner of the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit in Oklahoma, helped me find a ride in an open-cockpit Toyota World Sports Racer. I had no experience in the type and missed the podium in consecutive races. A month later I switched to a sports car team and won the next event. After the race, Mike cruised by in his golf cart and shouted at me. “Hey, Stephen! Now I know what's been wrong with you late...Read More
INDYCAR: THE SERIES THAT SOLD ITS SOUL!
Stephen Cox is awaiting the day when Indycar dumps its failed experiment with spec cars. Then we won’t need gimmicks any more. I grew up in Indianapolis and I live for the Indy 500. I’ve worked on the TV crew during the month of May. I’ve watched Indycar my whole life. But I have no idea how the pole position will be determined today. The problem is not that the process is too complicated. I’m watching it on TV right now. The real problem is that I don’t care anymore. I don’t care anymore...Read More
WORLD RACING LEAGUE: PARITY ACHIEVED!
‘The WRL brings sanity back to motorsports,’ blogs Stephen Cox. I’ve not yet seen a World Racing League event. I’ve not driven in one, either. But I know a good idea when I see it, and the World Racing League is a good idea. The new WRL has re-discovered the guiding principle that gave us the golden age of road racing in the 1950s-1960s. They've figured out that you don't need a thousand rules to run a race series. You just don't. We live in the era of regulation. IMSA's United Sportscar r...Read More
INDYCAR: STILL A VIABLE CAREER GOAL?
Stephen Cox presents ten random opinions from racers who speak their minds. Looks like it all boils down to, Show Me The Money! “It's all about money nowadays. I don't think it matters about how much talent you've got. It seems like if you've got more money, you get the shot. People like Oriol Servia, he's out of a ride and a talented guy. You've got Alex Tagliani... me... people who could do it. It's really difficult to get funding.” - Katherine Legge, two-time Indy 500 s...Read More
INDYCAR RACING: NEW MARKETS, NEW THINKING!
‘More than 90% of American racecar drivers are oval track specialists,’ says racer-blogger Stephen Cox. A brief review of active racetracks indicates that in the United States, ovals outnumber road courses by a margin of a little more than nine to one. Of course, racetracks open and close frequently, car counts vary, and a few competitors race on both types of courses. But generally speaking, the numbers don’t lie. By an overwhelming margin of more than 90%, the average American race...Read More
IndyCar: WHERE HAVE ALL THE HEROS GONE?
‘The trouble with IndyCar is not that there's no one available to take Dario Franchitti's place. It’s that no one cares who takes Dario Franchitti's place,’ blogs Stephen Cox. ‘The series is fast running out of heroes and reinforcements aren't arriving quickly enough. This is bad business.’ Let's look at a few successful business models. When high school basketball star Damon Bailey began playing for Indiana University in 1990, be brought legions of fans with him. Everyone in the state kn...Read More