During the latter days of Tony George?s regime, there was a comment that if the Indy Racing League is not profitable by 2012, there will not be a 2013 season. I wish to offer several examples of what such a future would mean for the Indianapolis 500.
Standalone event: The Indy 500 is a standalone event operating under a ?run what you brung? system. Someone will be killed by a poorly built car and the track will go bankrupt from the lawsuit.
NASCAR takeover one: NASCAR buys the IRL with the sole intention of shutting it down to eliminate a competing business. The Indy 500 becomes a Sprint Cup Series event and 33 stock cars will take off 3 wide into turn one with a loud man from Kentucky yelling, ?Boogity, boogity, boogity!?
NASCAR takeover two: NASCAR buys the IRL but allows it to operate semi-independently like the Grand American Road Racing Association. Aside from the rights to the name ?IndyCar?, I do not really know what NASCAR stands to gain.
FIA takeover one: The FIA takes over the Indy 500 and makes it a Formula One event. Of course this would require a series of temporary rule changes on F1?s part such as rolling starts, third cars, and in-race refueling. When I presented the notion to some F1 fans, they appeared skeptical at best.
FIA takeover two: The FIA takes over the Indy 500 and makes it a Formula Two or GP2 event. The slower cars would address the safety issues presented by an F1 event, but temporary rule changes are still necessary.
USAC takeover: USAC shuts down the IRL and the Indy 500 becomes a Gold Crown Series race.
HERF takeover: HERF takes over the Indy 500 and Peter M. De Lorenzo is hailed as a genius. I consider this scenario to be highly unlikely.
Well that covers every scenario that would keep the 500 afloat in a post apocalyptic word. Some of them are less terrifying than others, and some are more likely.
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