I tried to come up with a better, more professional title to this post than “…well, crap.”, but let’s be honest. Nothing else really works for a day like today unless I allow myself to decend into a explitive-laced tirade about the two major bombs that were dropped today. Let’s get this morning’s news out first…
“It is with profound regret & heavy hearts that we share the following update with you all. Despite the team’s best efforts, Vision Racing will be suspending all racing operations. We have an amazing group of people here that appreciate all the support you have given the team.” –Vision Racing’s current Facebook status
I know… great journalistic professionalism, getting a news item from a Facebook status right? Well, its just one of those days. Deal with it. Vision Racing’s cessation of operations means that for the first time in twenty years, Tony George will have no involvement in IndyCar racing. Some will celebrate this fact and others will mourn it, but regardless it marks the end of an era and the tragic end of one of the most fan-friendly racing teams on the grid. Vision Racing did more than any other team to reach out via Facebook, Twitter, and in any other way they could to fans of the sport. The series is much poorer with their absence, and they will be missed greatly this coming season.
The second bombshell that dropped today was in Robin Miller’s mailbag stating that Hideki Mutoh may be the ONLY car to run for Newman/Haas/Lanigan in 2010. At one time, the team was hinting at having a three-car effort with Graham Rahal, Hideki Mutoh, and Alex Lloyd.
no images were foundApparently, Lloyd’s deal with HER has fallen through or is insufficient for a full ride, and sponsorship through McDonalds has evaporated. With no other sponsors lining up to take up the slack, we may be looking at a 2010 season that doesn’t include one of the best young American drivers and the driver who absolutely dominated the Firestone Indy Lights season in 2007. It’s true that things could change between now and the season opener in Brazil, but keep in mind, the race is only six weeks away, which means funding has to be shored up at LEAST within four weeks. Really, though, its getting to the point of already being too late. The story of the IndyCar series in the last few seasons seems to be one step forward, two steps back. Bringing IZOD on as the title sponsor was a great step forward, but losing Vision Racing, Graham Rahal, and Alex Lloyd are enormous steps backward. Someone in the series give me some good news, please!