Good Bye Tony George, You Will Not Be Missed
So let me get this straight.
In the early 90's, CART was huge. It had mega crowds at every race, great TV ratings and lots of exposure. The series had become so popular that even Bernie Ecclestone started getting worried, especially when his world champion, Nigel Mansell, came over. There was also a large array of engine and chassis manufacturers which is what racing is all about.
But then came Tony George. His family gave him the keys to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and also gave him an open checkbook.
George tried to give his opinions to the CART owners, but they weren't listening. George wanted to be a part owner of CART, but they told him it wasn't for sale.
So what does he do? He takes out his checkbook and selfishly takes away the Indianapolis 500 from CART, possibly THE biggest race in the world, and takes it to his new series called the IRL. In doing this, he spent millions and millions of wasted dollars over the next couple of years, just to keep his new series afloat. It is estimated that he spent $50 million a year!
Why did he do this? He wanted power, he wanted things done his way.
CART tried to get the Indy 500 back and call it truce, but George wasn't having any of it, so both series continued on. As both series continued on, they kept losing attendance ratings and TV ratings, while NASCAR was laughing as they're series just kept getting bigger and bigger.
Over time, CART went bankrupt and found itself some new owners who now called it Champcar. The war kept on until 2008, when finally a unification happened! But it was too late, too much damage had been done, because of one irresponsible man given too much power.
Tony George had won the war, he finally had full power of American open wheel racing.
But for how long would it last? Why just a bit over a year after unification, the IMS board (which is owned by Tony George's own family by the way) ousted Tony from president and CEO of the IRL. Then half a year later, he resigns from the IMS board. Then, only about one week later, he shuts down his team, Vision Racing.
The man created the split to have full power. Think about this for a second. His major intention on creating the split, was to have full power. And only about a year and a half after finally getting it, HE'S NOTHING BUT A SPECTATOR!!!!
Now we are stuck with a series that is virtually unknown to the general public. The attendance and some of the races are just flat out embarrassing. The TV ratings are so low that sponsors laugh when a team asks them for support. Well, it doesn't help when your races are on a sports network that is invisible on most channel guides in America. Team owners are crying for change and cost cuts, but we have an idiot like Brian Barnhart running the show, and he's not doing anything about it. Let's not forget that we've been watching the same old, ugly Dallaras for quite some time. We have one engine manufacturer, one chassis manufacturer, and one tire manufacturer. It's become a spec series, and that sucks! Indy used to be about innovation and creativity, but that is all out the window now!
So once again, thanks Tony George! Thanks for ruining the sport we love! I'm obviously infuriated.
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