Exclusive INDYCAR Nation News

Darkside of Racing Business

by
Kyle Lavigne
| May 24, 2011

 

“The Fastest 33” is a trademark of the Indianapolis 500. No matter what team you’re on and what your point standing is, if you’re not quick enough to make the field, you don’t race. It has been a longstanding tradition, and even the impetus for the occasional field larger than 33 (see the 1997 race).

Bobby Rahal came face-to-face with this reality in 1993, and nearly suffered a similar fate one year later. In 1995, Team Penske famously missed the show after trying to run three separate chassis to put Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi in the show on Bump Day.

Go or go home: it’s a simple theory. However, beneath that looms a darker, but necessary, side of the game: business. As sponsors began investing millions of dollars in advertising and marketing, auto racing, like every other sport, has become more of a business entity. Additionally, the teams themselves are businesses, with each owner free to run it as he or she chooses.

Such elements as “ride buyers” have propped in the wake of such an environment. Though unpopular and met with disdain, the reality is some teams need them to stay in business.

On Monday night, we were once again reminded how “busy-like” racing is. Ryan Hunter-Reay, after being bumped from the qualifying field on Sunday, will take Bruno Junqueira’s place in the starting lineup. The American will take over the No. 41 entry for A.J. Foyt’s team, for which Hunter-Reay raced in 2009.

There are several parties worthy of sympathy in this case, not the least of which are A.J. Foyt and Bruno Junqueira. Foyt’s team has worked enormously hard to improve the performance of the No. 41 car, which wasn’t a contender to even qualify for last year’s race. Their work showed, and they were able to solidly put both cars in this year’s field.

For Junqueira, it is the second time in three years he has been in fastest 33 only to be pulled out of the car after qualifying so that another driver (with more sponsors) can race. It is sad to see a car/driver partnership that worked together to improve so much pulled apart because of money.

Also, though many will make him the focal point of their ire, Hunter-Reay, who seems very respectful and went out of his way to express sympathy for Junqueira, is also likely somewhat embarrassed about being in the field this way.

Reactions have been as expected: negative. The purist in everyone wants to see the fastest drivers on race day, without business interfering. However, that is not always the case.

Junqueira has been in this position before. In 2009, as a teammate to Alex Tagliani at Conquest Racing, Junqueira qualified for the race while Tagliani was unable to make one final run to bump his way back into the field. But, with Tagliani his main driver that year, Conquest owner Eric Bachelart pulled Junqueira out of the seat and put Tagliani in. Tagliani finished 11th that year to claim Rookie of the Year honors.

Perhaps the most famous case of driver swapping came in 1992, when Mike Groff made the cut on the final of qualifying for Walker Racing while the team’s full-time driver, Scott Goodyear, was not able to put himself in. Derek Walker made the switch, putting Goodyear in Groff’s car. Goodyear went on fall just short of victory, losing out to Al Unser Jr. by a few feet at the end.

This is not the first time that post-qualifying driver swaps have happened and it won’t be the last. Indy is too big of a deal for teams not try that last ditch effort to put their driver (and sponsors) in the show, even if it means “buying” a spot in the field.

Not many are going to like it and they are justified in feeling so. It is part of the ugly under-belly of the sporting world today; like it or not, “pure sports” rarely exist anywhere. With millions of corporate dollars invested in the various leagues, the sanctioning bodies must cater their sponsors and bring value to their investment. This is why we often see changes to the competition rules in sports; the changes are made to make the game (or race in this case) more exciting…which also reads more sponsor-friendly.

Auto racing is no different. There are sponsors to please and dollars to be made. That’s just business. Unfortunately, it isn’t always pretty.

55 Comments

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  3. 3 Lotta 24 Oct
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  4. 4 Vmansden 28 May

    Getting bumped from the field is a NORMAL part of the game at Indianapolis. Racing of any type, is inherently expensive, and everyone involved in a racing operation.....Car Owner, Driver, and Sponsors alike assume all the risks involved, and must accept their failures at ALL cost. Being bumped from the field is a part of those risks when campaigning a car at Indy. Simply put..."You go fast....or go HOME". This sacred code of pure sport, performance, excellence, and integrity is part of what makes The Indianapolis 500 "THE Greatest Spectacle In Racing". The Race itself demands it. It is the duty of everyone in a racing operation to honor, respect, and observe this code of principles that this race was founded on, which includes honoring and protecting the drivers that put the car into the show.....regardless of what it may cost. Even if it means certain bankruptcy.  Out of honor and respect of these principles that Owners, Drivers, and Sponsors must accept whatever consequences fate may hand down.....Regardless of whether all or part of a Racing Operation views racing as a sport, a hobby, or a business.

  5. 5 Vmansden 28 May

    Getting bumped from the field is a NORMAL part of the game at Indianapolis. Racing of any type, is inherently expensive, and everyone involved in a racing operation.....Car Owner, Driver, and Sponsors alike assume all the risks involved, and must accept their failures at ALL cost. Being bumped from the field is a part of those risks when campaigning a car at Indy. Simply put..."You go fast....or go HOME". This sacred code of pure sport, performance, excellence, and integrity is part of what makes The Indianapolis 500 "THE Greatest Spectacle In Racing". The Race itself demands it. It is the duty of everyone in a racing operation to honor, respect, and observe this code of principles that this race was founded on, which includes honoring and protecting the drivers that put the car into the show.....regardless of what it may cost. Even if it means certain bankruptcy.  Out of honor and respect of these principles that Owners, Drivers, and Sponsors must accept whatever consequences fate may hand down.....Regardless of whether all or part of a Racing Operation views racing as a sport, a hobby, or a business.

  6. 6 wrh 27 May
    aj made a buisness decison.
  7. 7 Vmansden 27 May

    Response Afterthought....

    If Andretti was so concerned about meeting the obligations to his sponsors (including RHR's), He and his team of engineers would've never come to the year's most important race so pathetically ill-prepared!

    There were 40 or 41 cars that showed up at the Speedway....all have Dallara Chassis'....all have Honda Engines....all on Firestone Tires.

    They were consistently between 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 mph slower than those running up front. Sam Schmidt's Car are managing to go fast...Rahal/Letterman's Team managed to go fast....and God Bless Sarah Fisher, along with Driver Ed Carpenter...a one car operation that found a way to go fast....why? Because they did their homework and came prepared..it's that simple.

    It could have been one of several factors....Engine/Drivetrain Set-up....Chassis/Suspension Set-up....Tire Pressure and/or Stagger.....or Aero-Package Set-up. Whatever it was....they should have caught it....they didn't, and they MISSED!

    Andretti is in this position because he, his crew, and his engineers deserve to be, so there's no sense in shedding a single tear for them.  I'd save them for Bruno.  He deserves to be in the race and isn't.

  8. 8 Vmansden 27 May

    Response Afterthought....

    If Andretti was so concerned about meeting the obligations to his sponsors (including RHR's), He and his team of engineers would've never come to the year's most important race so pathetically ill-prepared!

    There were 40 or 41 cars that showed up at the Speedway....all have Dallara Chassis'....all have Honda Engines....all on Firestone Tires.

    They were consistently between 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 mph slower than those running up front. Sam Schmidt's Car are managing to go fast...Rahal/Letterman's Team managed to go fast....and God Bless Sarah Fisher, along with Driver Ed Carpenter...a one car operation that found a way to go fast....why? Because they did their homework and came prepared..it's that simple.

    It could have been one of several factors....Engine/Drivetrain Set-up....Chassis/Suspension Set-up....Tire Pressure and/or Stagger.....or Aero-Package Set-up. Whatever it was....they should have caught it....they didn't, and they MISSED!

    Andretti is in this position because he, his crew, and his engineers deserve to be, so there's no sense in shedding a single tear for them.  I'd save them for Bruno.  He deserves to be in the race and isn't.

  9. 9 Vmansden 27 May

    Written in Response to "Benjamin",

    If RHR was such an honorable man, he would have done the honorable thing...

    Simply stand up straight and tall and say..."Thanks, but no thanks."

    There's something deeper about the Indianapolis 500 than all this corporate crap...so thank you in advance not to go there.

    The Bottom Line is this...HE DID NOT QUALIFY! ....PERIOD.

    At The Indianapolis 500.....you EARN your way into the field...you must EARN the right to take the Green Flag on Race Day. This standard of excellence, performance and integrity is a part of the fabric of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing".

    In the case of Andretti and RHR they simply didn't get the job done!  They need
     to collectively respect this code, and so should you, and stop kissing RHR's booty!

  10. 10 benjamin 26 May
     I finally read a comment from Kevin that makes sense..the world is run by money, like it or not vmansden....Ryan is a gentleman and an honorable man, I am sure he will do the best he can on race day..he also has feelings for the driver he will be replacing,booing some one is juvenile,  enjoy the race and stop all of this negative behavior. One more thing. If it is in the rules so it is perfectly OK to do it. I have no problem understanding that 
  11. 11 Vmansden 26 May

    I can see it now.....Micheal Andretti, AJ Foyt, and Ryan Hunter-Reay will be booed without mercy, and without end.

    It's like a head-on train wreck waiting to happen. You can SMELL the tension...even now (and it's not even Sunday).

    I can see RHR making the walk from Gasoline Alley..."GET OUTTA HERE!"....another one will yell..."WE HATE YOU!"....and from another...."YOU DON'T DESERVE TO BE HERE" .....others will say...."I HOPE YOU NEVER COMPLETE A SINGLE LAP!" (Foyt would adore him for that one).

    Got news for Ryan...it probably won't end at Indy. People that follow this sport will never forget this BIG BLACK EYE that these three have collectively given to The Indianapolis 500.......EVER.

  12. 12 Neil Hanson 26 May
    Okay, one more thing.  Let's be clear that the best driver in the world cannot qualify a slow car.  To think the Bruno is faster the Ryan is a joke and far from the truth.  So if all you want is the fastest driver then I would say this helped.  Still sad though.
  13. 13 Neil Hanson 26 May
    Okay, one more thing.  Let's be clear that the best driver in the world cannot qualify a slow car.  To think the Bruno is faster the Ryan is a joke and far from the truth.  So if all you want is the fastest driver then I would say this helped.  Still sad though.
  14. 14 Neil Hanson 26 May
    Okay, one more thing.  Let's be clear that the best driver in the world cannot qualify a slow car.  To think the Bruno is faster the Ryan is a joke and far from the truth.  So if all you want is the fastest driver then I would say this helped.  Still sad though.
  15. 15 Neil Hanson 26 May
    I am still recovering from Marco making the feild.  If he had not made it and bought his way back in I would have been truely upset!
  16. 16 Lisa 26 May

    I feel like this a darned-if-you-do darned-if-you-don't situation.  I'd bet my life savings that if RHR chose *not* to race, there would be people criticizing and saying that a real racer wouldn't let business hoopla keep him off the track.  People would be saying a real racer races no matter what.

    Guy can't win either way.  He chose to do what his boss and various entities told him to, and now that's a done deal hopefully he feels he made the right decision.

  17. 17 Ray 26 May

    Sorry, Ryan does deserve to be booed from the stands.  I'm sure he is a good guy.  Deep down he knows he doesn't deserve to be out there with the other 32 drivers.  It must be hard for him to deal with, but I imagine the pile of cash he gets to drive for [insert sponsors name here]* will ease his pain.  Unfortunately, this will have no effect on Bruno's pain.

    * - I will not mention his sponsor's names because they did not pay me and they will get enough unearned attention this week.

  18. 18 Todd 26 May
    Easy fix...change the rule to state that you are qualify the driver and not the car...My .02 cents..Todd
  19. 19 Benjamin 26 May
    I am a friend of Ryan Hunter-Reay and I know him to the point that I can say that this is not his decision. He loves to drive and has a big love for the sport and he is also a gentleman. If he is racing it is because he is forced to do it. I can feel his pain to know that he is to blame for what it is happening. Ryan we love you and my support is 100%. Sorry to hear that he will be boo from the stands, he doesn't deserve that. Best of luck to every one and I just want to add that like in every sports, big corporations doesn't care about the soul of sports, just money. In another way to see this, remember it was a rain day and he did not get his final chance to qualify.
  20. 20 JUAN 25 May

    Only the fastest drivers in the world should race in the indy 500.no exeptions.

    this only makes bump day LOOK LIKE a case of a staged act..

  21. 21 herta123 25 May
    Ray Harroun is rolling over in his grave! Shame!
  22. 22 herta123 25 May
    Ray Harroun is rolling over in his grave.
  23. 23 Jon 25 May
    I know that it's already been said, but I need to vent.  Why did I waste my weekend watching qualifying.  Will never happen again.  Shame on everyone involved.
  24. 24 Indy_Andy 25 May

    RHR is now the ALT as well as the 33rd driver. 3 laps into CARB day practice, back the 41 car into the wall. Pull out the Andretti Green car, the ALT car that is, and he is now in the show full blown!  Problem solved!

    I.A.

  25. 25 PJ 25 May
    This talk of "don't blame RHR" is ridiculous. Yes, maybe he was not behind the whole deal but he is a grown man and to claim he has no control of the situation is absurd.  He could do the honorable thing and say "thanks but no thanks" let Bruno drive, it's the honorable and fair thing to do!  But I guess in his mind saying he feels sorry for Bruno is enough.  I think the fans will let him know on Sunday that it isn't!!. that is, if the network is honest enough to broadcast the reception he gets or talk about it.
  26. 26 Max 25 May
    The series does not need negative attention likes this. The only people that approve of this are RHR fan boys and even most of them don't like. It's shows no sportsmanship whatsoever, not that Michael Andretti has ever showed any, it brings such a negative cloud down on what should be a very special day in Racing. If Randy Bernard who has done a pretty good job with listening to fans so far would see that we don't like this type of thing to happen and he should have the rules changed. This is something the series didn't need they have tried so hard over the last year to improve the series and now this. It's a down right embarrassment and apparently Michael can't do math because RHR is 23rd in points and Conway is 4th, apparently he doesn't deserve a seat. I hope they get booed thunderously when his name is announced and then everyone cheers when the car gets taken out on lap 1.
  27. 27 Robert 25 May
    I'm going to look at this RHR situation in another way that has not seem to have been mentioned yet, and that this whole deal is a good thing because indy car is finally getting a lot of attention because of it. Like people always say, negative attention is a lot better than no attention at all. This is what this series needs. ATTENTION.  I know there is going to be a lot of people that don't agree, but I think this is great, just look at all the passion going on here.  Can't wait for Sunday. Indy Car Racing is coming back strong people.
  28. 28 REI 25 May
    I feel bad for driver who is as talented as Bruno for being left out of his rightfully earned spot in the 500.  It shows more than ever that Indy Car is more about the money than the talent. I believe Andretti and Foyt are to blame for this injustice and RHR was just along for the ride.  This doesn't mean that Ryan should not be embarrassed got get into the 41 car. I believe  it was put best when someone said that this is a black eye Indy Car and all of Andretti Motorsports sponsors. I also agree that Bruno should be driving the 41 car with Sundrop and DHL on it if they felt that exposure was needed in the 500.
  29. 29 Vmansden 24 May

    To Andretti and Foyt, Thanks so much ........for giving The Indianapolis 500, The IZOD Indy Car Series, and The Racing Community as a whole A BIG BLACK EYE.. I will not support Ryan Hunter-Reay...nor will I support any of the sponsors that he represents.

    I urge others to post similar notices...especially those who purchased tickets and will be attending "The 500"

  30. 30 Vmansden 24 May

    To Andretti and Foyt, Thanks so much ........for giving The Indianapolis 500, The IZOD Indy Car Series, and The Racing Community as a whole A BIG BLACK EYE.. I will not support Ryan Hunter-Reay...nor will I support any of the sponsors that he represents.

    I urge others to post similar notices...especially those who purchased tickets and will be attending "The 500"

  31. 31 JR 24 May
    This is a BAD thing...I LOVE indycar, but this is not right.  I try to understand why, and I do from the financial aspect...but you really "cheapen" the sport by doing this.  Indy was never intended for a person to be able to "BUY" his way into the field.  I say be honest to the drivers of the last 100 years and do it the way they did it...go fast or watch from the stands on Sunday.  Andretti has no integrity....no sense of the sport...he should have just cried in his beer and been man enough to shake it off and come back next year.   This SUX...
  32. 32 G 24 May
    Neither Dario, who did not finish his qualification run nor RHR who is letting Mikie pimp for him should be in the field. Even if it has been done before they should have the class to say no thanks.  I've lost my respect for both of them. 
  33. 33 G 24 May
    Neither Dario, who did not finish his qualification run nor RHR who is letting Mikie pimp for him should be in the field. Even if it has been done before they should have the class to say no thanks.  I've lost my respect for both of them. 
  34. 34 G 24 May
    Neither Dario, who did not finish his qualification run nor RHR who is letting Mikie pimp for him should be in the field. Even if it has been done before they should have the class to say no thanks.  I've lost my respect for both of them. 
  35. 35 BARRY 24 May
    A driver should be bumped on the merits of speed or time, not money.IRL says it's within the rules,but that doesn't make it right.It's a shame; they had a great oppurtunity to show to other people a higher standard than those of their counterparts.
  36. 36 Vmansden 24 May

    Getting bumped from the field is part of the game at Indianapolis.. It doesn't take a rocket-scientist to realize this pertinent decision made by Andretti and Foyt is bad for Indy Cars as a whole. Michael Andretti and RHR should follow the example of Roger Penske in 1995, where his cars and others that he leased failed to qualify. He didn't try to buy a ride for "Emmo" or "Little Al" after "the gun" went off, and the field was set. Penske simply cut his losses, and took it like a man (as did his drivers). As someone who follows the sport, I've never really liked Penske, but the more I think about it now, the more he's gained my respect. Penske believes as I...and so many others do, that at The Indianapolis 500, you must EARN your spot in the field...you must EARN the right to take The Green Flag on Race Day....NOT BUY IT. It is this code of integrity that you cannot put a price-tag on....EVER. This is INDY.....Go fast..or go HOME!!!...PERIOD.

  37. 37 Vmansden 24 May

    Getting bumped from the field is part of the game at Indianapolis.. It doesn't take a rocket-scientist to realize this pertinent decision made by Andretti and Foyt is bad for Indy Cars as a whole. Michael Andretti and RHR should follow the example of Roger Penske in 1995, where his cars and others that he leased failed to qualify. He didn't try to buy a ride for "Emmo" or "Little Al" after "the gun" went off, and the field was set. Penske simply cut his losses, and took it like a man (as did his drivers). As someone who follows the sport, I've never really liked Penske, but the more I think about it now, the more he's gained my respect. Penske believes as I...and so many others do, that at The Indianapolis 500, you must EARN your spot in the field...you must EARN the right to take The Green Flag on Race Day....NOT BUY IT. It is this code of integrity that you cannot put a price-tag on....EVER. This is INDY.....Go fast..or go HOME!!!...PERIOD.

  38. 38 induni1 24 May
    Simply put I have spent my last dollar on qualifications.  What a shame to ruin the great show, excitement and drama over the weekend.  Now we will all know it means nothing
  39. 39 Jim 24 May
    Its one thing to have a driver switch within the same team and quite another to allow a ride (or car if you prefer) to be bought after its qualified. I understand it's "just business" but it's bad form....this is NASCAR type crap and should not be allowed in IndyCar.

    All of that awesome tension and thrill of Bump Day has now been turned into a worthless joke. Next year when VERSUS wants to pump up the tension for their broadcast they'll need to add the caveat "unless someone else buys their way in!"

    Let's just forego the whole qualifying thing for 2012. Car owners can just draw starting numbers from a hat. Draw lower than 34 and you're in! Anyone drawing above 33 will then be featured in a televised auction a la Barrett Jackson, with mega dollar teams/sponsors bidding for starting spots. Pay the bill and your driver is in! Donald Trump and the guys from "Pawn Stars" can host.

    That's about as legitimate as what happened this year. Just when it was looking like Indy was set to make a nice comeback they screw it up...again.
  40. 40 kootnik 24 May
    What a crock, after the split and reunification of the series. Indycar has proven it still has a long way to go to get back to where it was before the open wheel split. There was a great quote on twitter yesterday. "next year Barrett Jackson will be at qualifying to auction off starting positions, no need to drive anymore"
  41. 41 rbracer 24 May
    If it's about the sponser then slap the sponser on Foyt's car and be done with it. To pull the driver after he qualified and replace him with a driver who got bumped is BS.  If a driver is injured that is one thing, but Bruno qualified on day 1.  I don't see a picture of the car or owner on the trophy.  What a setback for Indycar.  Enuff with this feeling sorry for RHR, we all make choices and he can choose to not race.  Sponsers come and go so don't look for my support for DHL or Sun Drop.  PT didn't qualify with Geico last year, now they are with TK for a full season.  Sponsers just want their name out there like a hooker walking the street.  Where can I get my new T-Shirt "Do the right thing!".
  42. 42 rbracer 24 May
    If it's about the sponser then slap the sponser on Foyt's car and be done with it. To pull the driver after he qualified and replace him with a driver who got bumped is BS.  If a driver is injured that is one thing, but Bruno qualified on day 1.  I don't see a picture of the car or owner on the trophy.  What a setback for Indycar.  Enuff with this feeling sorry for RHR, we all make choices and he can choose to not race.  Sponsers come and go so don't look for my support for DHL or Sun Drop.  PT didn't qualify with Geico last year, now they are with TK for a full season.  Sponsers just want their name out there like a hooker walking the street.  Where can I get my new T-Shirt "Do the right thing!".
  43. 43 elizabeth 24 May
    What we all forget, myself included is that it is the chassis that gets quailfied not the driver.  Yeah it sucks but they are correctly keeping the same chassis in the field.
  44. 44 rbracer 24 May
    If it's about the sponser then slap the sponser on Foyt's car and be done with it. To pull the driver after he qualified and replace him with a driver who got bumped is BS.  If a driver is injured that is one thing, but Bruno qualified on day 1.  I don't see a picture of the car or owner on the trophy.  What a setback for Indycar.  Enuff with this feeling sorry for RHR, we all make choices and he can choose to not race.  Sponsers come and go so don't look for my support for DHL or Sun Drop.  PT didn't qualify with Geico last year, now they are with TK for a full season.  Sponsers just want their name out there like a hooker walking the street.  Where can I get my new T-Shirt "Do the right thing!".
  45. 45 Kevin M 24 May

    Well those in the know would like to tell us that we all need to calm down, be quiet and realize that we "don't get it" about racing's business side. Somehow not being happy about this means we're naive and uninformed to the realities.

    Sorry to bust their bubble, but most of us aren't dumb to this going on through the years. It doesn't mean we have to like it.

  46. 46 Johnson 24 May
    Bottom line is Bruno got screwed!  He put the car in the show and he should be behind the wheel for the INDY 500.  He is a class act and always very freindly in the garage area.  Foyt is always complaining about the Andretti's and here they are teamed up together. BAD for everyone!
  47. 47 Mark Engelke 24 May
    When will the hemmoraging stop.  Open wheel racing has suffered the biggest set back ever.  The split was never this bad.  Tony George never commited a crime this huge.  To hell with Foyt and Andretti.  DHL and Sundrop,  you have lost more than you will ever know!  Pull out now and save some dignity.
  48. 48 IndyFan64 24 May

    The real downside here is for RHR.  He simply should not be in this position - and through no fault of his own.  He's a heck of a good driver and one of the nicest people in the garage to the fans.  In business terms it was quite simple - DHL and SunDrop paid Andretti Autosports to put Ryan's car in the field.  And just like last year - a few of the team's cars were modestly slow and a few were horrendously slow. Ryan was in one of the latter.   Andretti Autosports paid their team manager to ensure that this situation did not occur. (Now he's gone - just business.)  After the devastating embarrassment to Michael, RHR and the sponsors following the failure of the team on Sunday - the obligations of business took over.  Foyt did the right thing for his team.  Andretti did the right thing for his driver and his team.  Hunter-Reay is a paid professional.  He is paid to sit in whatever car he is told and give it his all - slow car, fast car, #28, #41 it doesn't matter.  I personally hope he goes out and wins it all.  If all was right in the world - he would have had a fast car to begin with (regrettably qualifying on a fast oval is an engineering exercise - not a driving exercise.)  Now that he has a fast car, it will be great to see what this talented American driver can do racing for an American racing legend.  Should have been this way all along.  

  49. 49 TrimGod 24 May
    First off, Woody, why is indycar entitled to DHL? Secondly, even if it has happened before, this is a crock. Just goes to show that it all comes down to thee almighty dollar. I really feel bad for Bruno!
  50. 50 Smitty 24 May
    This is awful news. Andretti can't qualify his cars, so he buys his driver a ride. I guess Bump Day really doesn't matter after all, because if you have the money you can buy your way in. This sucks, and I hope Andretti Autosport crashes in lap one, except John...he earned his ride.
  51. 51 Woody 24 May

    DHL is one of the largest companies sponsoring a car at Indy.  Michael's obvious anguish on Sunday afternoon wasn't just the embarrassment of not having fast enough cars - it was not delivering for a MAJOR sponsor.  Michael (and IndyCar?) needed to provide DHL a platform in the race.

    The 41 car had no major sponsor at all.  "And there you have it."

    QUESTION - I have read two stories with two different versions of who owns the 41 now - this story says RHR is now racing for Foyt.  The local news says Michael bought the 41 and thus it will be an Andretti Autosport car on Sunday.  Anyone know for sure?

  52. 52 Ray 24 May

    Ryan Hunter-Reay = Lucky Dog

    This is a joke.  I will be booing Ryan from my seat in the NorthWest Vista.

    I will not be supporting his sponsors.

  53. 53 Mellen 24 May
    Even though I am a fan of Ryan Hunter-Reay, this is not good business. Ryan did not make the field. He should not be on the track this Sunday. Maybe he will do the right thing and have a sudden case of "the flu" hit him on Saturday.
  54. 54 pjcollects 24 May
    I would hope the league would not approve this. 
  55. 55 lumberjack 24 May

    Indycar should have a policy that a team has to generously compensate a driver they pull from a car that driver qualifies (with the standard morals clause exceptions).

    DHL should take REALLY GOOD care of Junky.

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