After the smashing and crashing of the IRL's
"Spring Crash-a-thon" tour from Homestead to Nazareth, with brief stops at
Phoenix and Fontana before a total, of perhaps 40,000 actual paid
spectators, the IRL was looking forward to the three weeks of May at Indy.
This would be payback time for all the IRL bashers, like myself, who
lambasted the circuit for lack of spectators, questionable grids, and the
serious injuries to Buhl, Lazier and Salazar. Those were surely, either bad
luck or racing accidents. Just wait to the month of May and the ensuing PR
Bonanza known as the Indy 500.;
Guess what? It got worse! Two more broken backs, and yesterday another concussion.
The Motorsports Media, at least the ones who have not been "Co-Opted" by
Tony George and his faithful companion, Roger S. Penske. They have been deathly
silent about the injury toll at Indy. And we have yet to see the last
weekend of qualifying and bump day, notorious for "trimming out the car and
desperate banzai attempts to make the Indy 500 grid.
Let us pray for our drivers safety. There has
already been enough of a well-worn path from 4500 West 16th Street to 16Th
and Senate, the emergency entrance to Methodist Hospital. If traffic gets
any heavier, they'll need a mono-rail with direct service. Most doctors in
Indy would like to keep up their golf game and their stock portfolios in
May, but Terry Trammel, much to his chagrin, has been working overtime.
The IRL transmission sticks out the back of the cars and acts like a
battering ram, transmitting loads through the engine and into the
Photo Credit: Ron McQueeney/IMS
It is patently obvious that the current IRL
Chassis is "THE PROBLEM". The answer is not "SOFT WALLS"...But "SOFT CARS"
(see related article).
Infantry Tank Style rear transmissions just don't give way against rock
solid concrete walls. I think this lesson was taught in 3rd grade science
classes in grade school. Somehow that simple deduction has eluded the IRL
Chassis designers and the IRL brain trust.
Anyone on gasoline alley who has seen the
apprehension on the drivers faces can well appreciate the anxiety now
pervading the garage area. Yet, the IRL reaction has been stone silence.
It's business as usual, and anyone who does criticize them will be
ostracized and excluded.
I'll be happy to stand in that group and pray that no more drivers will be
injured this May in Indy because Tony George believed that Indy Car racing
was too expensive and you could cut the cost of chassis construction without
sacrificing safety. In my view there is no such thing as Budget Indy Car
Racing. It's nonsense, but it's become dangerous nonsense. The IRL's usual
Month of May Public relations coup has become a nightmare. who said "Nero
fiddled while Rome burned"?
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