for your iPhone
for your iPad
IndyCar

IndyCar Links

2015 Schedule

2014 IndyCar Rules

2014 Indy Lights Rules

2014 Pro Mazda Rules

2014 USF2000 Rules

2014 Drug Policy

2014 Teams

2014 Scanner Freq

Race Car Comparison

Lap Time Comparison

History CART/IRL Split


2014 Standings
After Fontana
Final Driver Standings

Rank Driver Points
1 Will Power 671
2 Helio Castroneves 609
3 Scott Dixon 604
4 Juan Pablo Montoya 586
5 Simon Pagenaud 565
6 Ryan Hunter-Reay 563
7 Tony Kanaan 544
8 Carlos Munoz 483
9 Marco Andretti 463
10 Sebastien Bourdais 461
11 Ryan Briscoe 461
12 James Hinchcliffe 456
13 Josef Newgarden 406
14 Charlie Kimball 402
15 Justin Wilson 395
16 Mikhail Aleshin 372
17 Jack Hawksworth 366
18 Takuma Sato 350
19 Graham Rahal 345
20 Carlos Huertas 314
21 Sebastian Saavedra 291
22 Ed Carpenter 262
23 Mike Conway 252
24 Oriol Servia 88
25 Kurt Busch 80
26 J.R. Hildebrand 66
27 Sage Karam 57
28 Luca Filippi 46
29 James Davison 34
30 Jacques Villeneuve 29
31 Alex Tagliani 28
32 Townsend Bell 22
33 Pippa Mann 21
34 Martin Plowman 18
35 Buddy Lazier 11
36 Franck Montagny 8
INDYCAR: What's Next?

by Stephen Cox
Monday, December 17, 2012

Advertisement

Justin Wilson at Texas
For weeks I’ve been listening to every media pundit and armchair racer debate what IndyCar should do next. Their TV ratings are in the tank, they just fired a semi-popular CEO without cause, they literally can’t give away tickets to a short oval race and they’re hemorrhaging cash at an appalling rate.

Everyone is offering an idea. The ideas vary, of course, but they all have one thing in common: everybody wants IndyCar to “do” something.

But when things are going haywire, sometimes it’s best to stop, back up, and try to see the big picture.

Instead of perpetually asking what IndyCar should “do” to fix this or that, perhaps we should question the wisdom of the series doing anything at all. Truth be told, every act that American open wheel racing has committed in the last 15 years has only taken us from bad to worse.

Maybe “doing something” isn’t the answer. Perhaps it is the problem. Let's look at a few other recent “do something” moves.

The rule allowing “push to pass” buttons hasn’t really allowed anyone to pass. The rule allowing three engine manufacturers has given us only two engine manufacturers, each selling overpriced V6’s that require a turbocharger to make a puny 600 horsepower and blow up after only 1,800 miles.

The rule forcing everyone to use Firestone “red” tires has had little effect. The series tinkered with the turbo boost rules before and after the Indy 500 trying to artificially manufacture the “right” speeds. They instituted a ridiculous Formula One-like “105% rule” at Indy that essentially gave us a 31-car race instead of 33.

All of this stems from the mistaken belief that the IndyCar series is a master rather than a servant.

Adding more rules clearly isn’t the answer. For crying out loud, the IndyCar rules package feels more like a phone book. If God Almighty could run an entire nation with ten rules, why does IndyCar need 198 pages of them to manage a few dozen cars?

If adding rules were the answer, there would never have been a problem. We’ve already got rules, rules about our rules, rules on how to interpret our rules, and rules on who can make more rules. 

So here’s what I believe IndyCar should do: nothing.

In fact, it’s time to go in reverse.

Cut the rulebook to one page. Cars must be no longer than eighteen feet and no wider than twelve. Tires must be no wider than 10 inches. No more than 300 square inches of wing may be on the car. Any surface on the car that is not parallel with or perpendicular to the ground is a wing regardless of size or location.

There. All done.

Got an old USAC champ car? Sure, bring it out. Never know, you might make the race. An old Infiniti-powered G-Force, or maybe a Rolex prototype? No problem. Take the wings off, mount 10-inch tires and let’s go racing.

At least one hundred car and driver combinations would show up to make qualifying attempts for the 2013 Indianapolis 500. Guaranteed. I would be one of them. The garage area would be overflowing with Indy 500 hopefuls. You know… like it used to be... when an IndyCar was a car that raced at Indy, not a series.

IndyCar should simply stop telling people what to do. Adding more rules isn’t the answer. It’s the problem. Forcing people to buy engines, tubs and tires from a single source hasn’t controlled costs, it hasn’t expanded the field and it hasn’t produced a new golden age for open wheel racing. On the contrary, IndyCar can barely muster 33 cars for its own 500.

Glorified spec racing has had a decade to do something other than fail. It’s time to relegate it to the dustbin of racing history and liberate the most over-regulated sport on the planet.

What should IndyCar do? Nothing. Just tear up the rulebook and get out of the way.

Stephen Cox

Feedback can be sent to feedback@autoracing1.com

Go to our forums to discuss this article