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Keeping It Off the Wall
by Ed Donath

Keeping It Real
1/13/04

Athens, NY—For those motorsports commentators who strive to live by the motto Say what you mean/Mean what you say—an ever-dwindling precious few of my colleagues who cast potential repercussions from their written opinions to the winds—the emergence of a new Champ Car Company might present a serious challenge to the “keeping-it-realness” of our writing careers.

While the exact context in which my first written pledge never to support any co-existent-post-split racing format which does not include a legal agreement signed by both the inheritor of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a CART honcho is long forgotten, the very essence of my ongoing writings about this subject have always included the warning that this renegade scribe will immediately cease affiliation with any form of Champ Car racing that is based purely on capitulation; more specifically, kowtowing to the whimsy of the splitter of our beloved speed sport.

Well, it sure looks as though push could soon be coming to shove. Therefore, I’ve packed my ‘chute and am now fully prepared to jump out of the plane at a moment’s notice.

What precipitated the elevation of the Donath Terror Index? It was the reading of intelligence chatter in a recent Detroit Free Press story by Mike Brudenell in which the following statements were attributed to OWRS partner and spokesman du jour, Paul Gentilozzi:

“It may seem strange, but Tony [George] is a friend of mine…”
“…We've been talking, and that's always good…”
“…I think we share a vision for open-wheel racing…”

To clarify my long-standing position, let it be known that my intention, in the event that some sort of formal contract, agreement, merger, or partnership is forged in good faith [hah!] by the would-be Champ Car World Series’ owners and IMS/IRL’s proprietor, is to continue being interested in and writing about that racing series—at least until it proves to be an inferior product to what CART had devolved into prior to formal reunification.

Perhaps I would accept a press credential for a future Indy 500 if an editorial superior were to request my presence there. However, on principle, I would certainly never spend any of my own hard-earned cash—or even a benefactor’s—to purchase as much as a bottle of water once I got inside the Speedway gate. Furthermore, my personal boycott of events held at that venue shall continue for as long as the current management remains in control.

On the other hand, if Gentilozzi and his cohorts have believed from the outset that their privately held American open-wheel racing series will be enhanced by an ongoing-but-informal relationship with the IRL then, plain and simple—I’m out of here! Likewise, if the IRL should ever stand alone as the “top-echelon” American open-wheel racing series, my immediate disappearance is also a sure bet.

Frankly, the likes of Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi, Michael Andretti, and Uncle Joe Heitzler in the old CART have left me totally without tolerance for anyone in the new CART that would continue playing duplicitous games.

Therefore, my dear readers, if any sort of “worst case scenario” ever shapes up between my appearances at these cyber-spatial coordinates, please understand that I’ve left to walk the walk.

Of course, I’ll be wishing that things could have turned out differently, but I’m sure I can find other injustices to rant about…and I don’t plan on changing my e-mail address, so drop me a line ASAP, and I’ll put you on my mailing list.

Meanwhile, let’s continue to hope that the powers-that-be will be keeping it real.

Copyright © 2004 by Ed Donath and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

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