Are the Mayans to blame for turbo wars?
The Mayans have been on my mind lately. The mythology that has sprung up about their calendar truly provides food for thought.  Why exactly did the Mayan calendar end in 2012? Did modern pop culture simply add meaning that wasn’t there? What the heck does this have to do with IndyCar? Allow me to explain.
After deep and difficult research of the available texts and maybe a little spin through the internet, I have arrived at the possible reasons the Mayan calendar ends in December, 2012:
- That’s the date the aliens arrive. Have you ever noticed how the carving on King Pakal’s sarcophagus looks like a space ship?  Chariots of the Gods, indeed.
- The great calendar writer, whoever it was, fell down one of those damn pyramids. Experts are sometimes difficult to replace.
- The great calendar writer finished the cycle that ends in 2012 and said, “Well, that’s it. Let’s go get a beer.” Isn’t it possible that the job was over? He was probably working on contract. Many writers are freelance, you know.
- The Mayans got their asses kicked by drought, disease, or the Spanish and were a little too busy to update the calendar. Missed deadlines happen.
What do the Mayans have to do with the IndyCar turbo problem? I think we can find some connections. Here we sit in 2012 trying to figure out what happened two thousand years ago. It seems the Mayans wrote a calendar, but did not take any notes as they did it so future generations would be able to know exactly what was happening at the time. Didn’t those guys have a scribe or something? In today’s IndyCar version, Tony Cotman is our modern Mayan calendar guy. He was so wrapped up in turbo talk that he managed to lose the notes of what seems to be a very important meeting. According to Honda, when the engine manufacturers were meeting in 2010 to determine the rules, an agreement was reached among the builders that would allow a Borg-Warner turbo that was underperforming to be upgraded. Honda had it in their notes. Apparently, Chevrolet was not taking notes or chose not to write this down. Chevrolet (read: Roger Penske) was dumfounded when Honda asked to upgrade their turbo to be more competitive. That conversation NEVER took place. If it did, it would be in the rules. And it was NOT in the rules. What could have happened?
Tony the Mayan lost his notes. Or something. We are still waiting for a clear explanation. In any case, some people might say it’s amateur hour once again at 16th and Georgetown. I don’t blame Roger the Conqueror for insisting that Honda follow the written rules. I would, however, find it distasteful if the turbo fix was discussed and agreed upon and Chevrolet is pulling the “it never happened” card. Then again, what would IndyCar be without backstabbing, bitching, and gamesmanship? It has always been part of racing’s DNA.
Even with Chevrolet’s continued protest, it looks like Honda will be allowed their turbo upgrade. If that happens, Honda and the fans are winners. If Chevrolet gets its way, then the opinions of Sarah Fisher and A.J. Foyt ring true. After the shunt at Long Beach, @SarahFisher tweeted, “Politics. Love it.” And Robin Miller quoted A.J. on Speed.com saying it best when commenting on the turbo issue, “This ain’t about racin’ this is about politics.’’ Here’s my prediction: If Chevrolet gets its way on the protest, then the IndyCar world we have been seeing emerge begins to unravel. And if that happens, then I am canceling my 2012 New Year’s Eve plans because the myth of the Mayan calendar may just be fact.
1. An overview of the Mayan calendar and the modern corruption of the meaning. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_phenomenon
2. Proof? Here it is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%27inich_Janaab%27_Pakal