A Rare Racing Post: As you may have read, Tony George stepped down today as CEO of all the Hulman-George businesses (ever hear of Clabber Girl Baking Powder?), including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. George will shift his focus to his IndyCar team, Vision Racing.
Taking over his responsibilities is the team of Curt Brighton and Jeffrey Belskus. For starters, this now means we’ll have have to ask “Which Curt?” now that Flirty Curty Cavin (nod to pressdog for the nickname) isn’t the only one you’ll be hearing about/from on a regular basis. But serious questions loom – what does this mean for IMS and especially the Indy Racing League? And how are fans, the media and bloggers reacting to the news? Here’s a roundup:
- First, a preemptive blog post from George at Oilpressure.
- Then, the news from Racer.com.
- Meesh cautions that this isn’t the time for the Anti-IRL brigade to dance for joy.
- Jeff at MyNameIsIRL.com shares his concern for the stability of the sport and the great unknown that it faces at this inopportune time.
- The aforementioned Cavin has reaction from team principals about the change at the top.
- pressdog shouts vindication for his (and Meesh’s) favorite, Robin Miller, and links to Robin’s story from late May that states he was right about this from the beginning and we’d see how long it took to prove that. Robin also gets into the family feud (between George and his sisters) that is driving today’s events.
- Over at Is It May Yet?, there are more props for Miller and the asking of the million-dollar question many of us have – what are The Sisters George’s intentions?
- Meanwhile, Cavin was delivering the mail double-time today, tweeting that “it’s raining news” and giving us much-anticipated details about the league’s softening of oval aero restrictions, starting with the race at Kentucky August 1st. Hopefully we can take down those “No Passing Zone” signs and pave over the double yellow lines that have appeared at almost all of our oval races this season.
Personally, I am a bit saddened that we’ll be spending the speedway’s Centennial Era pondering the fate of the league and of the 500 itself. We should all hope that the potential new deal with Apex Brasil comes to fruition – the deal is believed to bring the series closer to profitability, which may buy the new management team a little extra time from the Sisters George and their demands. But who can say what the long term might hold? And will this uncertainty affect the involvement of new manufacturers and the timing of the new spec, which many are hoping will breathe new life into the sport in on many levels? We live in interesting times…