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October 31, 2012

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FTHurley

Nice post. Coming pretty staunchly from the "it's just business" camp, I've never been a rabid anti-TG fan. Part of that may be that I left for college in 1997, and drifted away from racing until about 2004 or 2005. It's easy not to hate when you're not paying close attention. Part of it though is that if you're being honest and dispassionate, you can see all the reasons the Split happened, and can see valid arguments on both sides. Just like WWI, had either side blinked just once, the whole mess would have been avoided or at least mitigated. And so I can't really vilify Tony George like some will. And given that, I can't really say he was being crazy or petty here. It's clear now that the Board doesn't really have a firm plan, even one they're not telling us. They just seem confused and unable to focus. The fact that they're bringing in BCG is a big clue. I agree that the best thing Tony could have done was go public with his plan. Sure, some people would never have bothered to listen, but many would have.

As for NASCAR, Ryan makes a good case. I've been saying for a while that IndyCar joining the NASCAR family wouldn't be the disaster the NASCAR-haters think it would be. Right away, it gets easier to put together a schedule of tracks IndyCar fans want on the schedule - both ovals and road courses. Yes, there are downsides, but man, right now, can any IndyCar fan honestly say it isn't a more organized and effective option than the current plan (whatever it is)?

billytheskink

First, kudos to Jenna Fryer for finding and reporting on George's proposal to buy the series.

I do not think, though, that knowing this information will make much of a difference to many fans, even those who aren't rabidly anti-TG. The Indycar fanbase, generally, doesn't trust George to do what is right for the sport, and after a decade plus of his poor leadership this lack of trust is quite understandable. His constant silence, fairly or not, only makes him appear even less trustworthy.

George may not have any intentions of running Indycar again, the bid for the series seems to say as much. But when he is the leader of and far-and-away the most notable name associated with an attempt to buy the series, I can't blame any fan who doesn't trust his stated intentions.

FTHurley

Important detail to remember when considering what will and will not drive fans away: there aren't really enough fans right now to worry about that. So if Tony George did buy the series and that drive off half the existing fans (and I think that's generous; most wouldn't actually stop watching), does losing half the already-unsustainably-small fanbase really matter? In order to survive and maybe thrive, IndyCar needs to attract so many new fans that constantly tiptoeing around what might - MIGHT - piss off the current fans just isn't a productive use of their time.

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