Saturday, October 11, 2008

The correct course of action...?

For being the off-season, and with only the Surfer's Paradise pre/post-season exhibition coming up you'd think there wouldn't be much news but we've got Rafael Matos signing on to be Luczo Dragon Racing's first full time driver. A good choice by LDR, picking a guy that has won the championship in 4 of the last 6 years in whatver series he was in, clearly he's got talent.

Helio is of course making headlines, but I'll wait for that to develop more before I delve into it. What are to come of Tomas Schecket and Darren Manning and Paul Tracy, who knows, what of Surfer's Paradise's future? no one knows yet, what of that Turks and Caicos pre-season agreement we all saw a while back that never showed up again, anywhere? who knows... but we all most assuredly know this:

To whatever degree or reason given behind closed doors, it looks as if Marty Roth's days as an IndyCar driver are over, and he is closing his team down in anger.

First off, I want to say I will miss Marty the driver. I am certainly of the belief that a person can do whatever they please with their own money, and I can honestly say I am all for a person, and jealous of any person able to, chase a dream that I too share. For this reason I've never felt any ill will towards Marty for being on the track; he had to qualify for each race, and he passed physicals and met whatever demands asked of him these past years.

But for whatever reason, he is no longer meeting the standards required, and that is something he is hardly the first to ever have happen to him; however unlike the many others he is not taking it in stride whatsoever.

My thoughts towards Marty couldn't be more different when we talk about his selfishness, most notably visible in seeing the 2008 operations of Roth Racing. In 2007 we heard the news of the formation of Roth Racing, a new full-time two-car team; one car for Marty, and one to give past Indy Lights champion, Jay Howard, his much deserved oppourtunity in the ICS. RR hired a LOT of the right people and bought all the right equipment to start up a formidable team, it looked as if Marty was immersing himself into what he seemingly loved, motorsports.

It seems, however, that all along Roth Racing was formed solely to be a bargaining chip to hold over the IRL's head along with giving a facade to all of it being a formation of a new team. He's threatened to pull the team if he couldn't race, but worse, he argued with and ran off multiple crew members and throughly screwed Jay Howard out of the oppourtunity he deserved.

Normally I wouldn't be so sure about this except the news now that he has laid off all but 3 workers at Roth racing in anger/retalliation of a decision by the IRL to not renew his racing liscense. This isn't some conspiracy against Marty, just check the history. Of his career 21 starts he's only been running at the finish 10 times, of those 10, he has never finished on the lead lap or even close; and in most cases, dropped like a rock once each race started and in numerous occasions crashed all on his own, and brought out over 10 yellow/red flags at road courses.

I've personally witnessed this exact scenairo myself in my career in the IMPBA; many racers went to lower engine power and speed as they got older or just stopped when they could admit to themselves they didn't have the reflexes required anymore, these guys didn't leave the IMPBA, they became race directors and pit men for other racers, why? because they loved racing.

Again, as a driver, I do not fault Marty... but it seems that all this time its never been about a love for racing, its been about self-love for Marty Roth, and in all honesty that's just fine.

As a race fan however I will say good riddance, because I love racing, and anyone who actually loves racing does whatever they can in whatever capacity for it, even if their driving career is not there; just ask Chip Ganassi, Patrick Dempsy, Larry Foyt, Jason Priestly, Bobby Rahal, Michael Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Robbie Buhl, and the list goes on and on and on...

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