Wednesday, July 22, 2015

IndyCar Strips Drivers Of First Amendment Rights

Check out the new "Detrimental Competitor Conduct" rule the IndyCar series just put in place because Hulman & Company's Mark Miles isn't pleased with some critical comments some drivers have made of the racing series as of late:
Competitors must be respectful, professional, fair and courteous to others. At all times, Competitors must not, attempt to, or engage in conduct or statements that in the judgment of INDYCAR: 
a) Threatens or denigrates any Official, fellow Competitor or the INDYCAR brand;
b) Calls into question the integrity or legitimacy of the Rules or their application, construction or interpretation; 
c) Denigrates the IndyCar Series racing schedule or Event(s); 
d) Threatens or denigrates any INDYCAR business relationship, including those with sponsors or broadcasters; 
e) Otherwise threatens the integrity, reputation or public confidence of the sport, INDYCAR, or IndyCar Series.
The Indianapolis Star's Curt Cavin uncharacteristically criticizes the racing series, saying "it all looks silly." The rule does not specify the punishment that can be meted out for violation of the rule, "leaving more questions than answers" Cavin adds.

UPDATE: Cavin and Bob Kravitz reverse roles. Kravitz likes the new rule.
Some people look at IndyCar’s new rules against overt public criticism and call it a gag order. 
I call it overdue . .  . 


Pete Boggs said...

This reads more fool than rule- stupid! This level of insecurity is unbecoming & unprofessional; more damaging or toxic to the series' reputation than legitimate or illegitimate criticism; which can be countered if need be, on a case by case basis.

So... like our government, Indy Car is just one new rule or regulation away from "greatness?" "Rules" are synonymous with restriction; the stacking of which is incompatible with market growth or interest.

Sir Hailstone said...

I believe it was Conrad Bruener while on 1070 The Fan said yesterday that "This is what happens when you put a politician (Doug Boles) and a marketing (Mark Miles) in charge of Indycar"

NASCAR on the other hand uses the ubiquitous "actions detrimental to racing" rule to take action as the wind blows

Anonymous said...

Typically Indiana.

Indiana believes in corporate need over private rights.

The IRL has never been a legitimate series, from when they couldn't count laps when Arie won in Texas to when they outright stole the Indy 500 from Paul Tracy.

It's a joke series at a joke track.

America had real racing for a while when CART was running things.

Sir Hailstone said...

"America had real racing for a while when CART was running things"

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! You mean that Australian race in 2002 that ran all but 2 laps behind the safety car? (Yes - just like 2015 in NOLA but worse) Or how about that San Jose, CA race where someone in Champ Car (CART) approved of race cars going over a commuter rail line and launched the cars into the air on every lap?

Wall Street bagmen should never be in charge of a racing series and Champ Car had that, and whose brilliant idea was it to make a racing series a public company anyway?

Now Indycar/IRL has made lots of mistakes since 1996 but Champ Car aka CART really screwed the pooch multiple times.

Eric Morris said...

Gary, I agree with your analysis and opinion most of the time, but your headline writer is conflating government action (1st Amendment) with the right of a private organization to do whatever it wishes. Though since they are tax subsidy suckers maybe Constitution (or as you point out, if any of it is left) should apply!

Anonymous said...

Much ado about nothing - or what happens when you propose to tell your drivers to "play nice kids" and send it to Legal first...

Anonymous said...

Are they allowed to talk about and criticize the unethical dealings & Mark Miles' connection to Vision Fleet?

Olderfan said...

Indycar/IRL has only made one mistake ( although it's been a continuous one since 1995: that IMS could actually successfully run A SERIES as opposed to just the one event a year at IMS.

The IRL has never been successful, unless you consider running at a loss and needing subsidies/welfare to stay alive. And let's not discuss the nonexistent ratings and notice outside of Indianapolis.

The biggest mistake CART made was underestimating how much Tony George was willing to spend to damage the sport just to get control.

How's that working out?

Anonymous said...

It's real simple: the IRL/Indycar has always been a second-rate series that destroyed the credibility of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy 500 in Tony George's petty war with the World-Class series CART.

All because real racers come from foreign countries and road courses, and real racers didn't want to give control of a real series to redneck egomaniac Tony George.

The IRL currently runs the ugliest open wheel cars ever made. What a disaster.

Sir Hailstone said...

"The IRL has never been successful, unless you consider running at a loss and needing subsidies/welfare to stay alive. And let's not discuss the nonexistent ratings and notice outside of Indianapolis."

Neither Champ Car nor the IRL were commercially successful during the split. Champ Car's public financial disclosures made that obvious. The positive for Champ Car was a small amount of international success - mainly following non-US CC drivers that would end up in Formula One. But that small international success was just that - small.

IRL had a consistent TV package on one network (ABC/ESPN) which came about as a "if you want to show the 500, you need to show all the races" of course NASCAR would always preempt anything Indycar on the head-to-head (remember Texas around 2008 or so? Pre-empted for NASCAR coverage). Rain delays of course led to non-television coverage for a few IRL events. IRL had a merry-go-round of presenting series sponsors - Pep Boys, some internet dot-com-bomb, Izod, and now Verizon. Keep in mind also TG had to put his own cars and his stepson as field filler, and the no-name drivers (Buzz who?) that was the IRL field.

ChampCar at first also had ESPN as a TV partner which faded out after 2001. The old Speedvision IMO provided the best series coverage in 2002-2003 that's about the point where the wheels started coming off CC - Roger Penske packed up and moved to IRL at then sponsor Marlboro's request, after the Australia debacle Michael Andretti took his act across town to the IRL, and by then Chip Ganassi moved his team to IRL full time. CC lost their presenting sponsor FedEx, Fox acquired Speedvision and subsequently booted out ChampCar to make room for more NASCAR coverage, CC as a result had to buy TV time through Viacom. A couple races were on CBS, most were on Spike. Sebastian Bourdais won nearly every race because there was little competition left in the series before its bankruptcy and merger into Indycar.

Both series also suffered from manufacturers that either got tired of the bickering (Toyota, Nissan/Infiniti) or had their own financial problems (GM - Oldsmobile branded then Chevrolet).

Pete Boggs said...

It's a world full of people who mostly don't take risks & while I don't agree with many of his decisions (read also "share the risk")- TG is an exception.

TG is somehow the missing ingredient; to what seems to be the future of this sport. I could be wrong (!!!), but I'm also a fan of the sport...

Sir Hailstone said...

"The IRL currently runs the ugliest open wheel cars ever made. What a disaster."

Did you not see the DP07's which was to be ChampCar's 2007 race car before it went bankrupt?

"All because real racers come from foreign countries and road courses"

AJ Foyt, Johnny Rutherford, Al Unser (Sr), Rick Mears .... shall I continue? Keep drinking your Michael Schumacher kool-aid.