Indy 2014, a write off year

With the 2014 Indycar series schedule it’s easier to talk about what isn’t there than what is.

Baltimore is gone, so is Brazil.

No new double headers

No new venues

No new ovals.

No title sponsor announcement.

No international series announced.

It’s a pathetic, almost insulting, heap of failure that Indycar management is trying to shine up as a “Transition year.”  We all know it’s a write off while they hope some of their Hail Mary proposals will take off over the next 10 months. It’s kind of like someone took a bowel movement in my mouth.

May 26, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; A general view as IndyCar Series drivers race into turn one during the 2013 Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

So you want to radically alter your schedule? That’s fine. Your title sponsor is leaving? Totally understandable. But when professionals deal with things they have plans in place.

You want to shorten the American schedule and have an international championship in the fall? Great? Where is it? Where is the new title sponsor? Hell, where is the sponsor for the Indianapolis road course race?

All these good things you’re hinting about weren’t anywhere in the cheaply produced, two static camera, hour long special on NBCSports featuring cheaply made graphics and plenty of stock footage. Also, can we just talk about that prime time special for a second? You didn’t you do the series any favors by being boring and having a production budget of $250.

You’re whole job is to sell yourself to tracks, who want to make money off your product, and no one was interested. Not only was no one buying, you told at least one established partner to kiss off. Make no mistake the reason they’re talking about 2015 is because they want to distract you from how unimpressive 2014 is. This whole compact schedule relies on finding a title sponsor, being able to piece together an international season, and successful negotiations with a limited number of warm weather venues so that their entire season doesn’t take place over a five-month time frame where you take one entire month out to race twice at one venue. What happens if they can’t get the international schedule together? What happens if Circuit of the Americas, Phoenix International and Laguna Secca all fall through? Which they probably will. What if you get some really great venues like Michigan International Speedway, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, or the new F-1 track in New Jersey want to host an Indycar race, but only have availability in September? Are they really going to respond, “Yeah, no, you’re a great track, and we’d love to race there, but we are deathly afraid of the NFL, so no.”

This schedule announcement should have been accompanied by a new title sponsor, complete details on the international series, and the complete Firestone Indy Lights calendar. The fact that none of those things appear to be complete done does not bode well for the series.

The good parts of this schedule is very short. Pocono extends their race to 500 miles and Michael Andretti got a title sponsor signed for Milwaukee for the next two years. They appear to have left a hole for Sebastien Bourdais and others to run the 24 hours of Le Mans Those things are good, the rest of the schedule, not so much.


Seriously that was the best you could do? Is it too late to have Champ Car back?

Tags: 2014 Schedule IndyCar Series

  • Jacob Barlow

    Coming from a fan of NAOW racing, starting in the 60′s, this utter joke of a schedule has to be the lowest point for top tier openwheel racing…EVER!!
    Come on cINDY CARz, is this what Tony George’s ignorant temper tantrum in 1995 has spawned?
    God, where is Dan Gurney’s 1978 “White Paper” when we really need it, now more than ever.
    I absolutely abhor what IndyCar/CART/Champ Car has devolved too… This is now a sick joke brought to us by the Hoosier inbreds at 16th and Gtown!
    What a complete sack of crap!
    Can somebody please break out the D10 Cat and push the whole lot into a trash bin and hit the reset button?
    Is that too much to ask?
    Thanks for the great article!


  • Bryan Hall

    Sad but true. I still think the lack of innovation (in the name of saving money) is what has killed Indycar. Watching spec cars run around tracks (specially most street tracks) is not really that interesting.

    As many issues as I have with F1 management (tires, DRS) – at least they leave some wiggle room for different ideas in the rule book, even if it means that one head designer puts his cars into a different class year after year. No – give me back the days of – let’s try a turbine engine, let’s try a different style wing, etc… instead of – well, you can choose from two nearly identical engines and um… the paint scheme. OK, simplified a bit – but you get the point.


  • Jacob Barlow

    It’s not just a lack of innovation!
    It is a direct result of the war, caused by the Indy 500 centric place fans and FTG and his megalomaniacle approach to doing what he thinks is best for NAOW racing. This whole debacle can be placed directly at his feet and any of the HoosierDaddy place fan enablers that think the Speedway is larger than the good of the racing community.
    The CART model of a group of franchise holder/owners giving each one a vote and overseen by, originally, a well managed Board of Directors.
    You want innovation? We had no less than 6 chassis and 5 engines at the peak of CART in the mid to late 90′s. We had several strong and competitive and well financed teams, the best race tracks and incredible racing with truly world class driversWhat more could a race fan want?
    But Noooo, ol’ FTG just wasn’t happy with the fact that CART racing was bigger than his little squared circle in a corn field!
    Well just look how that all turned out, death of CART, the end of good competition and innovation and the eventual sell out by Kevin Kalkoven to ToeKnee and his illegitimate League of Crap!
    Now the IRSmell is shaking it’s death rattle after another near death experience in Houston and people wonder why the racing sucks balls!
    Wake up.. It’s done!