The IMS Garage Sale
I’m not normally reactionary. I’ll tell a few jokes, make a few oddball connections, and generally cheerlead for the IZOD IndyCar Series. You don’t come here for news or in-depth commentary. Basically, I just try to be entertaining. But occasionally I have a laser-like flash of insight; I suddenly see the future with uncanny clarity. And I absolutely hate that this insight, this clarity, was inspired by Robin Miller.
On the Sunday, August 19 edition of Speed TV’s Wind Tunnel, a sport coat wearing Robin Miller was co-hosting and gave voice to the rumor that a few series owners were planning/conspiring to purchase the IndyCar series from IMS. If anyone actually read this blog, I might take credit for starting the rumor that IndyCar was for sale. Just scroll down to last week’s post, “IndyCar’s Endless Summer,” and read the “God Only Knows” section. Sure, I suggested that NASCAR would be the deep pockets that would step up and take this slightly used series off IMS’s hands, but this sounds like a variation on a theme. The big question is whether IMS would really sell the series.
Let’s make a list of the pros and cons, shall we?
Reasons for IMS to sell the IndyCar Series
- The series is a giant sucking chest wound. The patient is alive, but on life support.
- The “family” at IMS probably doesn’t like to see their inheritances spent on a series that only gives them headaches. Keep the kids happy.
- No owners, engine manufacturers, chassis fabricators, series sponsors, series TV contracts, or series CEO’s will be a major concern again. Ever.
- It doesn’t matter who runs the series. The Indy 500 will always be a bucket list event and make money. Always.
- IMS becomes the good guy again. They don’t have to hire, fire, or defend a series boss. Got a bitch? Tell the guys in charge of the series. We’re just the promoters.
- IMS has positioned itself as a summer-long palace of racing. They make money on every event. Guaranteed.
- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is iconic. The IZOD IndyCar Series is not. Trade on the big name.
- The IZOD IndyCar Series is a used car that needs new tires and is leaking oil. That pesky “Check Engine ” light is on, too. Some sucker will want to buy it, though. I assume IMS will make them a whale of a deal, probably “30 Days Same as Cash.”
Reasons for IMS to keep the IndyCar Series
- Tony George still wants to be like the Frances.
- Power and authority never go out of style.
- If you are one of the 1%, you can throw money away.
- I will gladly post others if you think of them.
I really tried to find solid reasons for IMS to keep ownership of the series. I just can’t come up with any. IMS selling IndyCar makes incredible sense in this economy. The only suitors out there are NASCAR, who would marginalize the series, or the current car owners, who would take it down the same trail they traveled before. Someone can come in and look like a white knight rescuing the damsel in distress. The new owners just need to remember that beauty is only skin deep. Ugly goes all the way to the bone. Anyone want to buy a used series? I think IMS is in the market.