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Uncensored CΛRT Commentary
by Ed Donath

Random Observations

ATHENS, NY—While, on one hand, such moneymaking motorsports moguls as Bernie Ecclestone and Gerald Forsythe are included in CΛRT’s theoretical re-privatization mix, on the other hand it is still a fact that you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

Logical people simply must believe that if the Champ Car World Series is really the hot property that Grandpa Chris and Bear Stearns will portray it to be in their classified ad, then those racing industry financial genii who populated CΛRT during its heyday should want, more than anything, to be back in the fold reaping the benefits of being in charge when Championship Auto Racing Teams returns to private ownership.

Ironically, if there is a consortium that has the potential not only to raise the working capital needed to launch a new iteration of the Champ Car Company, but which also has the connections and carries the clout it will take to keep a new deal afloat, its roster would likely consist of names like Penske, Ganassi, Patrick, and Haas.

Regardless of our personal feelings about some of these characters, who would be savvier in matters of our beloved speed sport than its former co-owners? If this sounds far-fetched to you, please consider that there is a much greater chance of bringing the old “private money” crowd together again than of ever achieving most people’s ‘A’ Plan—reunification with the inheritor of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Unfortunately, however, there has never been a single privateer who is capable of providing either the impetus for or the creative talent necessary to attract the kind of audience that any new version of the Champ Car Company would require. Therefore, the chance of CΛRT re-inventing itself and surviving beyond 2004 is just about as good—or bad—whether it remains a publicly owned corporation or goes private.

# # #

"I feel damn good about it," Mario Andretti says about the potential of the Champ Car World Series. "There are a lot of things that are happening. I'm hearing good things about the series—a title sponsor, things like that. I'm still bullish about it, and I don't think I'm wrong."

Isn’t it refreshing to hear such positive sentiments from a CΛRT VIP? Mario should have just stopped right there and we would all be satisfied.

But noooooooooooooo! The Icon of Speed is never happy until he gets in a plug for the Speedway.

"I haven't given up the idea of bringing the two series together," Andretti added. "I might make enough noise that they'll start talking. Both series have assets, and we need to bring them together."

So now we know what Mario wants to do with his spare time after his separation from the CΛRT Board of Directors becomes final. Have fun trying to convince your son to come back, Mario. After that, you can work on your old pal AJ.

# # #

Then, there was this bit of nonsense from a guy who should not only know better but who should be far less concerned with other people’s media.

As a result of the ridiculous self-serving opinion espoused in the hyper-linked commentary, it is obvious that ubiquitous SPEED, RACER and journalist David Phillips would do well if he stuck purely to the straight journalism genre in which he truly excels.

In a piece entitled Equal Time Phillips suggests that, in the course of motorsports event TV coverage, on-air personalities should pay verbal homage to topically related print media articles and stories.

“Surely the newspapers, magazines, and Web sites that do so much to inform racing fans of the television coverage of their sport would benefit from some reciprocal free publicity,” Phillips opines.

The fact of the matter is that the print media do absolutely nothing—short of occasionally running revenue-producing ads paid for by promoters—to help stimulate people to watch or attend motorsports events. To imply that magazines and websites which run TV listings are “owed one” by broadcasters is pretentiously irrelevant.

TV listings, series’ event schedules, and the like are, at best, reader-interest features. At worst, they may be categorized as mere filler by most print media.

Copyright © 2003 by Ed Donath and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

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