Being rather appalled that one racing organization would try to hurt
another racing organization, we decided to piece together a chronology
of the misdirections and misconceptions NASCAR and ISC is using to try and hurt
open wheel racing in Phoenix, and more specifically Champ Car.
It's clear from their actions that they are out to destroy any form of
racing that isn't what they think it should be, i.e. NASCAR style oval
Not only are the actions listed below an attack on Champ Car, it is
an attack on the IRL as well since many believe the current talks of a
merger will eventually lead to one unified Indy Car Series again.
If Tony George thinks that the France family and NASCAR are an ally, he
needs to think again. NASCAR is out to monopolize all racing in the
USA. Their actions speak for themselves.
They may pray to God before every race on Sunday but the other six days
of the week they use their influence and deep pockets to run roughshod over
all other USA racing series to get what they ultimately want - a NASCAR
The City of Phoenix wants to start an urban development project that
will include an Entertainment Center and new arena and they want to hold
a big festival race weekend to highlight the downtown redevelopment.
NASCAR and ISC are trying to stop Champ Car and are in turn are
defeating what the city is trying to accomplish. The monopoly
called NASCAR/ISC has now gone so far as to have
an attachment to a bill going through the state legislature to institute an
urban noise ordinance that would effectively ban racing from city
streets. They have hired another four lobbyists to rush it
If successful in Phoenix what's to stop NASCAR/ISC from introducing
similar bills against all Champ Car and IRL street races to have street
racing banned and ensure that they control all racing in the future?
List of misdirections and misconceptions by NASCAR/ISC in effort to stop Phoenix street race
1. May 22, 2006 – Phoenix International Raceway (PIR)/Manzanita Letter to Phoenix Mayor Gordon
a. Stated that the race will surely fail, as do nearly all
other street races. Fact: Champ Car has staged over 100
successful street races in the past 30 years.
b. Calls Champ Car minor league. Fact: No, Champ
Car is a professional race series. Its Atlantic series is minor
c. States that Champ Car cancelled a race with only two days
notice. Fact: That has never happened to a Champ Car street race
and it was ISC's Fontana that cancelled a Champ Car race within two days
of a race.
d. States that PIR representatives were kicked out of a
public meeting with city officials. Fact: We can't
e. Says that businesses and residents within the track will be
“stranded” for at least 5 days. Fact: The race is
proposed around arenas and their parking lots. Very few businesses
will be affected.
f. Insinuates that promoter is seeking tax dollars as
a subsidy. Fact: The promoter has gone on record that they are
not asking the city for any subsidies.
g. Says that Champ Car “often” runs races at
facilities such as PIR. Fact: Often is not accurate. Also, Champ
Car was forced out of PIR in the '90s, in order for ISC to make way for
h. Questions the safety of Champ Car street races and
insinuates that they are unsafe as compared to permanent facilities.
Fact: Champ Car has had very few injuries on street circuits and in fact
it has been NASCAR and the IRL that has many serious and fatal accidents
on their oval tracks.
2. May 23, 2006 – Phoenix Business Journal – Downtown Car Race
Proposal Draws Criticism.
a. PIR President Bryan Sperber states that “Whatever resources they put
into that are resources that are going to be directed away from
legitimate road improvements somewhere else in the community.” Fact:
Sperber has no proof of this and in fact it is his opinion, and nothing
b. Sperber states that Champ Car raced at PIR until
the mid-90’s when the “industry underwent changes.” Not a lie,
but this makes it sound like there was some sort of market force at
work. However, the reality is that PIR chose the IRL over Champ Car and
hasn’t drawn a decent crowd since.
3. May 24, 2006 – Arizona Republic – Green Flag Sought for Downtown
a. PIR president Bryan Sperber states, “This thing has been
developed under a cloak of darkness….Let's get out of this other hokey
street race and develop a strong relationship between NASCAR and
downtown.” Fact: Nothing “hokey” about 150,000 fans watching race
cars at 180mph on city streets, with Phoenix as a backdrop. As for “cloak
of darkness,” that is nothing but an insult to the businessmen putting
this project together, the community leaders who have been involved and
the City of Phoenix that has played this strictly by the rules. The City
of Phoenix was initially contacted by the promoters and City staff
informed the promoters that the initial work must be performed by the
promoters as City statute allows no more than eight hours of work on an
event without City Council approval. The promoters met with all impacted
downtown parties and received their support and subsequently, took that
information to the City which then determined it was appropriate to move
forward with the public process. The public process began with the
Council subcommittee meeting on May 24th where the City staff was
authorized to continue working on this project. There has been no
attempt to hide the plan.
4. May 25, 2006 – Arizona Republic - City to Examine Impact of a Car
a. Sperber states that the City shouldn’t be working with
this "rinky-dink race (but) with NASCAR, the premier brand in
motorsports." Fact: There is no way that NASCAR will award
Phoenix a third Cup race and PIR is not about to give up one of its two.
So to say the City should be working with NASCAR to bring a race
downtown, is simply a lie to try to discredit Champ Car.
5. May 25, 2006 – Pat McMahon Show (KTAR-AM Phoenix) – Interview w/
a. Said that the project is being fast-tracked without
proper government scrutiny. Fact: See 3a above.
b. Said it will have a negative impact on taxpayers, through
the havoc caused by construction and disruption. Fact:
Downtown street races bring millions of dollars more in revenue that
expenses to a local community.
c. Says he’s the expert, as he’s been in the business for 16
years. Fact: Sperber has never managed a street race and knows
absolutely nothing about the business.
d. Says the event surely will fail. Fact: Champ Car
has staged over 100 successful street races in the past 30 years.
e. Says the “Legacy of street racing around this country is
failure. They fail all over the United States and leave taxpayers
holding the bill” Fact: Champ Car has staged over 100
successful street races in the past 30 years.
f. Says street racing causes too much traffic congestion.
Fact: Races are run on weekends when downtown street traffic is
g. Says Long Beach model has never been replicated. Fact:
Can you say San Jose, Toronto, Vancouver, Monaco, Macau?
h. Says Long Beach is heavily subsidized by the City.
Fact: In fact the Grand Prix Association in Long Beach pays the
city each year.
i. Says street racing can’t make money. Fact:
All Sperber's Open Wheel and Grand-Am races have lost money on his oval
tracks that he has managed at Nazareth and Phoenix.
Copyright 1999-2012 AutoRacing1 is an
independent internet online publication and is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed
by the IRL., NASCAR, FIA, Sprint, or any other series sponsor.
This material may not be published, broadcast, or redistributed without