Was That the Last Brickyard?

Discussion in 'Sports' started by swaimj, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. swaimj

    swaimj
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    The NASCAR race at Indy on Sunday was an unmitigated disaster. It was an embarrasment to the sport. It cannot happen again next year. There is no way NASCAR can run a race like that again. What is the solution? Change the car? That will not happen. Bring a harder tire? Then the racing will be terrible because the cars will have no grip. Pave the track? I do nto think Tony George will repave the track. I think it is to his advantage to leave NASCAR in a position in which they cannot return to Indy. I think Tony George is through with NASCAR. While the Indy car series was split, he was in danger of having the Indy 500 become insignificant. He needed NASCAR at Indy to keep the track relevant. Now that the Indy car split has been healed, I think he sees an opening to reclaim his track as the home of the exclusive Indianapolis 500 and begin to rebuild the prestige of open wheel racing in the US. Providing a venue for NASCAR doesn't help his goal with Indy cars any more, so I think NASCAR is out at Indianapolis. IMHO
     
  2. Rubato 1

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    Where will they go instead?
     
  3. Bob Alkire

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    Give Darlington back it's 2nd. race, would make me happy. However I don't think they are leaving at this point in time.
     
  4. ccrobinson

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    David Poole said yesterday that when Jeff Burton ran over the bird, the bird instantly went to a better place than everybody who had to stay and watch the race. :laugh:

    I do think that the time where quality of racing determined where Nascar went has long since passed.

    The only thing that matters is whether money is made. At Indy, Nascar makes money, Tony George makes money, the teams make money (well, considering the tire bill the big teams may have been the only ones who did), and TV makes money. Until such time that going to Indy becomes unprofitable, it will remain on the schedule.

    There's many places Nascar could go instead of Indy. They could go to Kentucky Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, or they could work the schedule around to go to Las Vegas a 2nd time, or even bring back the Southern 500. There's no shortage of places for Nascar to go.

    I agree with Bob. Despite Sunday's "race", I agree with Bob that Indy's not going to be removed from the schedule any time soon.
     
  5. swaimj

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    See this quote from Indy's Tony George as posted on MSNBC today:

    Track chairman Tony George was adamant in an interview with The Indianapolis Star that the surface was not a factor in Sunday’s debacle.
    “The problem is solely (NASCAR’s), and by that I mean it’s theirs to figure out,” George told The Star. “It’s not going to come with anything we do to the track. Figuring it out will only come with getting the car and tire combination right, and that requires actually spending the time and effort to do something about it.
    “The track won’t change next year, so if they want to come back, they better figure it out because I don’t think the fans want to come back and see that.”
     
  6. TomVols

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    Indy still needs NASCAR far more than NASCAR needs Indy. No way they'll not find a way to run here. NASCAR has to shoulder a greater deal of the blame. They have taken away any competition from among the tire makers, so they're stuck with a product that's inferior. Drivers have been complaining about the tires at many tracks. A reunited open wheel circuit still has a fraction of the fan base of the NASCAR circuit, so if INDY wants to commit suicide, go ahead and run the Good Ole boys off.

    I say again: NASCAR has to get some competition back by having more than one tire mfg.
     
  7. ccrobinson

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    I completely disagree. Tire wars are a bad thing for any auto racing sport.

    In 2005, Michelin and Bridgestone had a tire war in F1. At the U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis, the Michelin tires were unsafe and the cars that ran Michelin tires didn't race, which led to the ridiculous "race" consisting of the 6 cars running Bridgestone. I don't even want to think about what could have happened if the cars with Michelin tires had raced.

    In 1994, Goodyear and Hoosier had a tire war in Nascar. At Michigan in August, Ernie Irvan lost the right front and wrecked during practice. The wreck nearly killed him. He did recover to race again, but he was never the same and I don't think he should have been allowed to race again. He had depth perception problems in one eye and raced with a patch over that eye. At Talladega in 1996, Ernie caused the wreck where Dale Earnhardt broke his sternum and collarbone. You'll never convince me that there wasn't a direct connection between Ernie's depth perception problem and that particular wreck.

    In 1988, Goodyear and Hoosier had their first tire war in Nascar. At Pocono, Bobby Allison had a tire going down on the pace lap, but couldn't get into the pits. He tried to nurse the car around, but the tire went down and he spun in the tunnel turn and got hit in the drivers side door area. The wreck nearly killed him and he was in therapy for months due to head injuries. I don't believe Bobby ever recovered some of the memories he lost due to that injury.

    These are the kinds of things that happen because of tire wars. It would be a terrible mistake for Nascar to allow a tire war again.
     
  8. swaimj

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    I agree CC. I'm all for open markets, competition, etc, but tires have to be a constant in the sport. Tires of the same quality and the same safety have to be available to everyone who competes. History shows that when tire companies compete in a series, safety suffers and drivers get killed.
     
  9. TomVols

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    Just for clarification: I'm not saying I believe we should have 3 or 4 tire mfg per season. But I do believe 2 would be acceptable. At bare minimum we should re-open the contract in order to prevent complacency in engineering. Like that's never caused an accident. Goodyear is not getting the job done. The COT may share some of the blame, but NASCAR for its contracts and its safety lip-service/testing practices need some of the blame. More on that later.

    BTW, I could point to similar incidents AFTER Nascar's monarchial stance on tires. Ask Montoya and Kenseth how safe their tires were Sunday.

    The 05 F1 race in Indy makes my point. People were clamoring about the lack of safety, but loyalists didn't want to irk their sponsors by going with a tire of their choice. So we ended up with a go-cart field because, like this year's Brickyard, a tire mfg couldn't cut the mustard.

    Tony Stewart (Can't believe I'm quoting him favorably) has predicted what was coming and NASCAR fined him for it. One of the crew chiefs told Dave Hooker's radio show that he quietly begged NASCAR to allow for a better tire compound for quite a while but was shouted down, saying that Goodyear was NASCAR's tire.

    Why not run the same engines? Same _____________? The same arguments against opening up the tire contract has been used regarding engine mfg.

    I'd rather see 30 mini sprints and 9 hour races than deaths on the tracks. But we aren't going to eliminate the latter just because one company has a monopoly on the tires.

    NASCAR should've allowed more testing. That they and Goodfear..I mean, Goodyear :) had all this time to plan for this track and test and come up with a product that could've killed someone is inexcusable. Safety? NASCAR cares about safety? Like heck. As DW, Larry McReynolds, and a host of others have said: NASCAR needs to be willing to open up its purse strings to a more competitive, adequate tire..and a safer tire...before they lose their fan-base at best (and it is sliding) or lose more drivers at worst - and I mean lose in the Dale Sr kind of way.
     
    #9 TomVols, Jul 31, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2008
  10. ccrobinson

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    in 1988 and 1994, Nascar did have just 2 tire manufacturers, Goodyear and Hoosier. Having more than 1 tire manufacturer is just asking for trouble.

    The '05 F1 Indy race not only doesn't prove your point, it does the exact opposite. If there had been only 1 tire manufacturer that year, there would have been no reason to push the envelope for a faster tire, thus all the tires would have been fine and there would have been a real race. Just like Goodyear this time, Michelin deserved most of the blame for that fiasco.

    I have no problem with this. Goodyear needs to take a hard look at their testing process and make it better.

    I'm not saying that Goodyear is great and wonderful and I'm not arguing that they should never be replaced. What I'm saying is that having 2 manufacturers in the series is a bad idea. We've seen what happens when there's a tire war and it's not pretty.

    Again, I'm not saying that Goodyear is the end-all, be-all of the tire world. I'm just saying that a tire war is not the solution.

    Ok, you've lost me now. Over the past decade or so, here's a small list of things that have been mandated in the name of safety. Roof flaps. HANS device. COT. Soft walls. I'm happy to criticize Nascar when they deserve it, but your charge that they don't care about safety is totally unfounded.
     
  11. swaimj

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    In my view, the tires are not a part of the car which can be adjusted. Adjust shocks, engines, springs, etc. Those are parts of the car. The tires however are a part of the track itself. Teams don't get to choose their own track to run each week and they don't get to reconfigure the track to their liking. They run the track that is on the schedule. They have no choice on the tires either. This is the way it must be, IMHO.
     
  12. TomVols

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    And if that one tire had been Michelin? Do you really believe that Michelin's faulty product was because of competition from Bridgestone? That's just not even in the same zip code as sensible, with all due respect friend.

    And you and I agree 100% that Goodyear is to blame. However, I'm not saying NASCAR is guiltless. I agree that NASCAR has done things to make the cars safer (which is the real reason cars are safer, not the tire monarchy). And I believe NASCAR wants a safer car. However, NASCAR is woefully reactive and not proactive as other series are. NASCAR cares about safety - AFTER a precipitous accident. We had to lose Dale to get Hans all around NASCAR. It took major accidents to bring about softer walls, lighting changes, and COT. And COT could be a source of the blame right now, since some assert that NASCAR didn't fully take into account the engineering of COT and its effect on the tires.

    Tire pressure is adjustable. Camber, stagger, etc., is adjustable. But you can only do so much with the hand your dealt. And NASCAR is dealing faulty cards. It's time for NASCAR to be proactive for once......
    ...oops...too late.
     
  13. ccrobinson

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    In 1988, Goodyear had a faulty tire at Pocono that led to the very bad Bobby Allison wreck. In 1994, Goodyear had a faulty tire at Michigan that led to Ernie Irvan's wreck. Are you seriously going to tell me that the tire war that year had nothing to do with these wrecks?

    Ignore the evidence against tire wars if you want. I'm confident that Nascar isn't doing the same.

    First, Nascar doesn't build the tires. Goodyear does. It's incumbent on them to build a tire that can handle what the car is doing.

    Second, I agree that Nascar didn't react properly after Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin died. But Earnhardt's death was the driving force behind the HANS device, soft walls and the COT. I don't know what you mean by lighting changes.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Nascar takes a hard look at their deal with Goodyear, but having a 2nd tire manufacturer in the sport is a bad idea.
     
  14. swaimj

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    Goodyear and Nascar give guidelines for all of these if not outright regulations that teams must stay within for safety's sake. CC is correct about the tragic accidents that took place when there was competition for tires. That experience was what led NASCAR to sign Goodyear as the exclusive tire provider and a single tire provider is the right way for NASCAR to stay.
     
  15. TomVols

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    It may have. Or it may not have. People assume that this was to blame for the issues. Let's assume that the tire issues were tire issues alone. Then why would that issue have been mysteriously vanquished if there had not been a competing tire? No competing tire exists now, and look at the issues that are going on. There is more than one explanation for why Goodyear made faulty tires in 88 and 94. Why is Hoosier to blame for Goodyear's poor production efforts? Why did those incidents happen only those two years when there were more years involved with competing tire mfgs? Why do incidents still occur after Goodyear has the field to itself?

    If it's raining outside and I slip and fall, did the rain cause my fall? Maybe. Depends. Was I wearing shoes? Was it dark? Was I carrying anything? Was I drunk? Was I sick? Was I trying on my wife's high heels? :) Just because an explanation is possible doesn't mean it is a certainty. It is popular to believe that the Hoosier/Goodyear dual supplier role was the culprit. However, some great racing minds also know that there are other factors. I just think "Tire wars = accidents" is a possible explanation, not a Biblical truism that is far too readily accepted.

    I'm fully aware that NASCAR doesn't build the tires. But NASCAR mandated the COT, which places more stress on the tires. This is universally accepted. NASCAR does bear the honus of working with its tire supplier to make sure it has a good product on the race track, and that includes tires. Maybe NASCAR engineers have provided Goodyear with all the info needed for Goodyear to make a good tire for all tracks involved, and Goodyear has failed. Or maybe Nascar has not done its fair share. You and I do not know. Only the engineers involved know for sure. I used to know some at both, but no longer.

    Look at the NFL and how it worked with its helmet mfgs after the concussion and neck/spinal injury rash in the late 90s. They worked with their helmet mfg, and colleges began to work with the helmet mfgs (multiple ones). They are all coming together to make a better product. Why can't NASCAR do the same? Why can't NASCAR do what MLB is doing with its bat mfgs re: maple/ash?

    The problem is NASCAR uses the word you use: "REACT". They are not proactive enough. This is their biggest bane. Again, this is universally echoed. Michael Waltrip was pilloried by the NASCAR aristocracy for being the first and loudest critic of NASCAR's proactivity failure re: HANS before AND after Dale's death. He was dead right, and he was not alone both times. Yet NASCAR did what NASCAR does. For multiple seasons we've been hearing about how the Goodyear tires are getting worse, and how COT could negatively impact the tire wear. And NASCAR has done nothing that we know of. BTW, The lighting issue is in regard to the myriad complaints NASCAR had about track lighting for night races at super speedways as they added more night races to the schedule. Fortunately, no one died and precipitated the changes that were made, but there were accidents involved where drivers, crews, and owners blamed lighting angles, etc.

    NASCAR should definitely take a look at their deal with Goodyear. However, the fact that something bad (and I know there are relative degrees) has to happen before NASCAR acts is going to be the downfall of that sport. I am not convinced that having multiple tire mfgs will result in Utopia, but I have not drunk the "competition will end civilization" Kool Aid either. And as Winston Churchill used to say, "I have nothing else to say about this that is either relevant or true." :)
     
    #15 TomVols, Aug 2, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2008
  16. ccrobinson

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    Is there some other causality that those of us who've followed Nascar racing for years have missed? When the major variable that changed was the tires, isn't it a logical conclusion to draw that the tire war resulted in those incidents?

    Having more than 1 manufacturer isn't going to fix anything.

    Let's hear it.

    Please show me one statement where I, or swaim, blamed Hoosier for Goodyear's problems.

    What other year(s) did we see more than 1 tire manufacturer in Nascar?

    Those incidents happened because Hoosier was producing a good tire and dominated more than 1 race. In order for Goodyear to keep up, they made their tires softer. Softer tires are more susceptible to blowouts, which is what happened with both Bobby Allison and Ernie Irvan. BTW, I also forgot about Neil Bonnett, who died during practice before the 1994 Daytona 500. His car had Hoosier tires and it's commonly believed that his car had a blowout that caused his fatal wreck.

    Because these are 3500 lb. racecars going very fast, which puts a lot of stress on the tire. I guarantee you that another manufacturer, be it Hoosier, Bridgestone, Michelin, etc., would have tires fail like Goodyear has.

    Who are these great racing minds? Please explain how what happened to Bobby, Ernie and Neil had nothing to do with the tire wars.

    It happened in 2 different years. In 2 of the 3 years of tire wars, we saw serious wrecks that ended the careers of Bobby and Ernie and ended Neil's life.

    I'm not debating this point and I don't see what it has to do with the tire war debate.

    You're the first person I've heard say there were problems with the lighting of tracks.

    Kool Aid? That's what I'm drinking? You're suggesting that I know that 2 tire manufacturers is the right thing to do, but I'm ignoring it just because I can? Ridiculous.
     
  17. TomVols

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    CCROB, I consider you a buddy around here, so I hope I'm misreading the stridence in your posts.

    I've followed it for years, too. So what? And you're arguing that NASCAR dropped the tire wars, thus the causative factor must be the tire wars is not very logical. If water is leaking from the bottom of a glass and I place a lid on the top of the glass, does that mean the water will stop leaking because I made the change of a lid? Action is not always corrective. It may be, it may not be. Many changes in NASCAR have occured over the years. Roof flaps, gear ratioing, spoilers...the list is endless. NASCAR makes many, many changes every year. Some make the headlines and some don't. But any auto engineer will tell you that no matter how insignificant to you and me, it's significant in handling, grip, downforce, etc. I'll grant that prima facie evidence causes people to believe tire competition is a cause of poor safety. But we no longer have the competition and I submit that tire safety is no longer there, either. My major thesis from all of this is that the "tire wars" may have been the problem for what happened in the two years you mentioned or it may not have been. God only knows.

    If the mfgs are poor, agreed. If one emerges as better, I disagree. Two good ones are better than one poor one. One better one is preferable to two poor ones. Good always beats preferable in my book. It's not the quantity but quality I'm looking for.
    You blame the accidents on tire competition. Goodyear's only tire competition was Hoosier. I was just asking a simple question: prove the theory that the competition was causative in the mfgs producing an inferior product when the converse holds philosophically, economically, and practically true.

    You took exception to my making this statement:
    And there is. Could it be that one of the mfgs made bad tires, if the tires were solely to blame? If so, why did the competition between Hoosier and Goodyear precipitate this? This is the question no one seems to be willing to answer in the "tire war caused everything wrong with the universe" camp.

    Again with the "it must have been the rain" thing :laugh:

    One, I thought I mentioned Neil (a couple of theories were bandied about). Two, you inadvertently make my point. Drivers who used both tires had accidents. Unless you have just one mfg, you cannot blame one mfg. Competition does not by default breed a lack of quality. The opposite is true in markets. Three, the teams who chose to use the softer tires made that risky choice. No one put a gun to their heads. They were free to not choose them just as NASCAR was free to disallow it and just as the mfg was free not to make them in the first place. Fourth, if the Hoosiers caused Neil's wreck (monstrous "if"), then why did the competition with Goodyear cause this? Did Hoosier make an inferior product, and if so, why on God's earth would competition do this? Complacency could, which would show why NASCAR should examine its policy NOW (on this I think we agree).

    I can offer evidence but I cannot prove that the tire wars were not the culprit. I am merely saying the competition was not a de facto cause, as you and Swaim seem to argue. Flip the question around. Prove how just because you have more than one tire mfg means these accidents were virtually inescapable or caused by the competition. No theorizing - proof.
    It's more likley if they have a monopoly. This goes to my point. But, it's not a given. Tires will fail from time to time. They're not perfect. There is no way to ensure it. Having a tire war will not keep it out. Not having a tire war will not eliminate accidents/failure. Again, I keep repeating this thesis.
    Too busy reading about the tire wars? :laugh: Kidding, friend. Charlotte & Daytona were criticized. I can't remember the exact complainers. One seemed to be more unanimous. I forget which. It's been a while.

    Re: NASCAR'S lack of proactivity: I believe this is the cause of many of NASCAR's problems. If NASCAR ensured it's 1 or 4 or 98 tire mfgs put quality tires on its cars, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Again, this is a plank of my thesis. NASCAR should be proactive and not reactive when it comes to safety, marketing, etc.

    You don't like KoolAid? Why not? :laugh: No, I'm not suggesting that and you know better. I'm just saying that the popular, pc, company line belief may be right or it may not be. I have agreed that 2 mfgs is not Utopia. I'm just saying that you and Swaim are incorrect that more than 1 = Hades of necessity.

    I'm starting to feel like I'm trying to ask Andy to prove that the Metrodome causes the Twins to win 50 more games every year than they should have so I'll sum up:

    - Tire wars could've caused the problems you mentioned, or other factors could have played a role. It's not open and shut. Never has been, never will be.
    - Tire competition does not in and of itself precipitate poor quality and safety (this is our widest chasm).
    - Competition does not typically produce an inferior product but complacency does.
    - More than 1 mfg is neither automatically a blessing or a curse.
    - Good tires are good tires regardless of the mfg.
    - Tire competition or no, accidents are going to happen because humans are driving human creations.
    - Goodyear and/or NASCAR let us down at Indy. Both share some blame.
    - NASCAR should take a look at its tire mfg policy.
    - NASCAR should stop being reactive and start being proactive in all areas.
    - Brad Daugherty stinks and Andy's wrong about the Metrodome :laugh:
     
  18. ccrobinson

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    The only thing I took exception to is the comment about the Kool Aid. Other than that, all we have here are 2 differing opinions. I think a tire war is a very bad idea and you don't. The debate is really as simple as that.

    I've done the same and say that the tire wars led to the wrecks.

    I don't see what other conclusion I should have been drawing, but, if that wasn't your intent, then this is a non-issue.

    Now that's something we can all get behind. :thumbs:
     
  19. TomVols

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    That was all meant in fun. I'm really harmless :)
    Well, I'm not saying it's the best idea. I'm just saying I don't think having competition is heresy or will cause NASCAR to implode.
    Well, no, not quite incontrovertible proof. :) I believe that, if the tires caused the wrecks, it's poor manufacturing. I do not believe that poor mfg is the default result of competition. We obviously disagree.
    Nah..my only intent is to disagree with your opinion that is in fact, an opinion. You seem to be frustrated that I don't accept it as gospel fact. I simply accept it as an opinion that may very well have a great deal of creedence, but it is still a possible theory nonetheless.

    I do hope NASCAR does take steps to improve its tire safety and quality so that we don't see repeats of its failures in the past in this area. I know you agree here. I think the best move to help driver safety is to muzzle Brad Daugherty. I still believe they think a UNC guy must be on TV since NASCAR runs in the Spring. I keep waiting for Jay Bilas or Christian Laettener to take the dais at Watkins Glen so they can have a point-counter point :laugh:
     
  20. swaimj

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    I agree with you in almost every area that competition improves quality. But with tires, the history of the competition between Goodyear and Hoosier is that the manufacturers stepped over the bounds of safety to get speed. CC has given the evidence for this. If you don't believe it, ask the drivers who were driving at that time. I think Elliot, Waltrip, Petty, Bodine (well, he might not agree, but he's an idiot), would all tell you at the drop of a hat that the situation was dangerous and not to the benefit of the sport.
     

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