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car39
car39 HalfDork
11/4/19 7:56 a.m.

According to the interweb, https://www.jayski.com/2019/11/04/indianapolis-motor-speedway-sold-to-penske-corporation/

 

He sort of did already own it, with all those poles and victories.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler PowerDork
11/4/19 7:58 a.m.

Huge news. I wonder what it means for the racing team. Will it be spun off to avoid the appearance of favoritism?

Indy-Guy
Indy-Guy PowerDork
11/4/19 8:06 a.m.

Link to IndyStar Article

 

Big news indeed!

 

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
11/4/19 8:07 a.m.

Indy is important to Roger Penske and no one else. He's already made it so no one cares what's going on there anymore, pretty soon it will be one big private box for him to sit and watch his own cars go around. A billionaires' version of a slot-car track in the basement. Its a shame because I used to love Memorial Day weekend, my Birthday and watching the Indy Car Race. I haven't seen it in years, and with cars this ugly, I don't have much interest in tuning back in.

 

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
11/4/19 8:12 a.m.

In reply to pinchvalve :

You really should tune back in. The racing is highly competitive, there are several young American drivers, and the cars look like this now:

 Image result for indycar 2019"Image result for indycar 2019"

Image result for indycar 2019"

 

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
11/4/19 8:14 a.m.
pinchvalve said:

 A billionaires' version of a slot-car track in the basement.

we should all be so fortunate.

spacecadet
spacecadet Dork
11/4/19 8:50 a.m.

I thought it was a fake news type post when i saw it earlier. Now it's being reported by the reputable sources and yeah.. WOW

Klayfish
Klayfish PowerDork
11/4/19 8:55 a.m.

In reply to pinchvalve :

I hope you didn't stop simply because of the aesthetic look of the car.  I'm not a huge Indy car fan myself, but I'll watch any good racing regardless of the physical appearance of the car. 

On the general topic, not sure what I think of this.  Guess we'll see how he handles it.  Will he force everyone else out so that it is his own personal slot car track or will he try to make it easier for new teams to enter?  NASCAR is owned by one family (please spare the bashing), but they don't own the cars on the track.  Will be very interesting to see how this shakes out.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler PowerDork
11/4/19 9:10 a.m.
Klayfish said: 

On the general topic, not sure what I think of this.  Guess we'll see how he handles it.  Will he force everyone else out so that it is his own personal slot car track or will he try to make it easier for new teams to enter?  NASCAR is owned by one family (please spare the bashing), but they don't own the cars on the track.  Will be very interesting to see how this shakes out.

I'm not worried about that at all. Roger is a businessman, and he knows that turning it into his personal playground would kill any commercial interest in it. I have faith that he has the best interests of the sport in mind.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
11/4/19 9:17 a.m.
Tom_Spangler said:
Klayfish said: 

On the general topic, not sure what I think of this.  Guess we'll see how he handles it.  Will he force everyone else out so that it is his own personal slot car track or will he try to make it easier for new teams to enter?  NASCAR is owned by one family (please spare the bashing), but they don't own the cars on the track.  Will be very interesting to see how this shakes out.

I'm not worried about that at all. Roger is a businessman, and he knows that turning it into his personal playground would kill any commercial interest in it. I have faith that he has the best interests of the sport in mind.

Exactly, as a team owner, yes, you would want your cars to win. As a business man, you want the product to thrive and making it so your own team wins would kill any aspect of a thriving business. It'd be like GRM entering their own car into the $201x challenge and crowning themselves the winners ever year. Who else would show up? 

Pinchvalve: The cars look great and the racing has been awesome the past few years, especially on the road courses. It's a much better product than NASCAR or F1 at the moment. Plus watching the young Rahal and Andretti whine about everything is entertaining. 

 

 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
11/4/19 9:22 a.m.
Tom_Spangler said:
Klayfish said: 

On the general topic, not sure what I think of this.  Guess we'll see how he handles it.  Will he force everyone else out so that it is his own personal slot car track or will he try to make it easier for new teams to enter?  NASCAR is owned by one family (please spare the bashing), but they don't own the cars on the track.  Will be very interesting to see how this shakes out.

I'm not worried about that at all. Roger is a businessman, and he knows that turning it into his personal playground would kill any commercial interest in it. I have faith that he has the best interests of the sport in mind.

Roger also knows that the big money is making the 500 a real spectacle- not just a saying.  With barely 33 cars trying to get in, the tension that really makes the month has gone away many years ago- and they have to fabricate interest in the Sunday prior to have the top 10 shoot out and the last in.  

Given the attendance history- there's far more historical potential in 2 weeks of qualifying than the road coarse race.  (I think- I've not actually looked into attendance for the road course race).  Since he owns the track, seems to me the best thing he could do is figure out a way to make the month of May 100% about the 500, add a second weekend sometime later in the year for the road course (maybe team up with another series to share the track for the weekend), and keep the Brickyard 400.

But the key is to figure out a way to get more cars and teams heading to the 500.  Which means a LOT more affordable cars for decent enough performance.  By that, I mean a very affordable car for 20 cars to fight it out for 21-33.  And perhaps one magical set up  to crack the top 10.

minivan_racer
minivan_racer UberDork
11/4/19 9:23 a.m.

Hopefully he will continue to allow SCCA and Champcar to play in his playground.  I remember a few years ago the only races were Indy and the Brickyard.  Now there are vintage racing events, champcar, scca runoffs, air racing, and a few others.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler PowerDork
11/4/19 10:24 a.m.
alfadriver said:

Roger also knows that the big money is making the 500 a real spectacle- not just a saying.  With barely 33 cars trying to get in, the tension that really makes the month has gone away many years ago- and they have to fabricate interest in the Sunday prior to have the top 10 shoot out and the last in.  

Tell that to Fernando Alonso!

gumby
gumby Reader
11/4/19 10:33 a.m.
minivan_racer said:

Hopefully he will continue to allow SCCA and Champcar to play in his playground.  I remember a few years ago the only races were Indy and the Brickyard.  Now there are vintage racing events, champcar, scca runoffs, air racing, and a few others.

Not much to add beyond this. It has been awesome to see the Speedway facility open up to more racing and automotive related events. BC39, HRPT, hell even Cars and Coffee!

I hope this trend does not get reversed.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler PowerDork
11/4/19 10:47 a.m.

Interesting notes from the press conference:

  • Tony George was the one who approached Roger about this sale at Laguna Seca a couple of months ago.
  • It sounds like this is the end of the Hulman company as a family-owned business. Tony is pretty emotional about it.
  • Roger will continue to own his team, but he will no longer be on the pit box calling races.
  • Roger mentioned the possibility of a 24-hour race and hinted at NASCAR double headers.
  • Mark Miles talking about how Roger's contacts and reach might help them get sponsors and another engine manufacturer.
Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
11/4/19 11:10 a.m.

OMG, LeMans style cars doing a 24 at Indy would be epic!! I'm super excited to see what Penske she's for Indy as a whole, too. It's already some of the best racing, if he can get at least 1 other manufacturer back...

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Reader
11/4/19 11:31 a.m.
Tom_Spangler said:
Klayfish said: 

On the general topic, not sure what I think of this.  Guess we'll see how he handles it.  Will he force everyone else out so that it is his own personal slot car track or will he try to make it easier for new teams to enter?  NASCAR is owned by one family (please spare the bashing), but they don't own the cars on the track.  Will be very interesting to see how this shakes out.

I'm not worried about that at all. Roger is a businessman, and he knows that turning it into his personal playground would kill any commercial interest in it. I have faith that he has the best interests of the sport in mind.

Penske already owns or has owned California Speedway, MIS, Nazareth, Rockingham. All tracks that Indy, CART and/or NASCAR have run.

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
11/4/19 11:53 a.m.
Javelin said:

OMG, LeMans style cars doing a 24 at Indy would be epic!! I'm super excited to see what Penske she's for Indy as a whole, too. It's already some of the best racing, if he can get at least 1 other manufacturer back...

They're doing an 8hr race next year. They've talked about longer races in the past, but haven't found the cash to install proper lighting. If The Captain can do it, that would be awesome!

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
11/4/19 12:06 p.m.

Tony George killed open wheel racing for me with the CART/IRL debacle. I haven't paid attention since.

It would be nice if Roger & family could bring us back to that wonderfully competitive era with a nice balance of oval and road courses, multiple manufacturers and great drivers.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
11/4/19 12:09 p.m.

In reply to pinchvalve :

Go to the 500 with a pocket full of cash.  Arrive Saturday and find a place to camp in your truck and walk around the outside of the track all evening.  Hang with the guys who haven't stopped drinking since the Kentucky Derby earlier in the month.  Random strangers like Everclear and Koolaid out of unmarked one gallon milk jugs.  Watch somebody sing the best rendition of Elton John's "Saturday Nights Alright for Fighting".  Eat a sausage sandwich with grilled onions.  Buy a cheap race t-shirt.   Crash for a few hours.  
 

The track opens early so get in and SEE EVERYTHING.  Watch the race and buy a bunch of souvenirs. Get to know the 100 people around you in the stands.  Fight the traffic home.  
 

Best 21 Memorial Day weekends of my life.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
11/4/19 12:19 p.m.

Roger bought Detroit Diesel a few decades ago, when they had a 120% warranty failure rate.  He fixed Detrot a n a fairly short period by making people do their jobs properly 

This is the best thing to happen to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a long time.

Now, when COTA goes broke, there will be a new/old home for the USGP, because Roger will do it right.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
11/4/19 12:27 p.m.
ddavidv said:

Tony George killed open wheel racing for me with the CART/IRL debacle. I haven't paid attention since.

It would be nice if Roger & family could bring us back to that wonderfully competitive era with a nice balance of oval and road courses, multiple manufacturers and great drivers.

What kind of more do you want in terms of tracks?

In 2019:

7 permanent road courses

5 temporary road courses

5 ovals.

That seems pretty darned balanced to me.  And I think they should head back to MIS for a oval.

Compare that with 1992, which I know many think was a great time- 

4 permanent road courses

6 temp road course

7 ovals.

1994 was almsot the same schedule.

A IIRC,there was Ilmore and Cosworth as engine choices, and Lola vs. Penske and Trusports back in '92.  Now we have Honda and Chevy.  But just one real chassis.

I agree on the chassis part, and it would be nice if they could tempt some of the engine makers who are not interested in F1, since the base ICE is very similar.  I'm not really sure how to realistically solve the chassis part.  AKA put the high tech and safety genie back in the bottle.

frenchyd
frenchyd UberDork
11/4/19 12:27 p.m.

In reply to car39 :

I too believe Roger will do things right. It's his nature and what makes him successful.  
 

On the other hand,  I remember when guys with greasy T shirts and grimy hands used to enter the race and stand a chance at winning.  
 

 

The loss of that connection will cost it fans like me. Fans who could see a way to race and even win.  

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
11/4/19 12:48 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Andy Granatelli drove his car from Chicago to Indy to race - it's in his "Mr. 500" book.  
 


 

Dave M
Dave M HalfDork
11/4/19 12:50 p.m.
ddavidv said:

Tony George killed open wheel racing for me with the CART/IRL debacle. I haven't paid attention since.

It would be nice if Roger & family could bring us back to that wonderfully competitive era with a nice balance of oval and road courses, multiple manufacturers and great drivers.

I only hope that this purchase leaves Tony George with a big loss. Indycar seems unlikely to ever recover.

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