Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Michael Andretti buys Ryan Hunter-Reay a ride from A.J Foyt

Michael Andretti
This is just plain weird. We'd say that something like this wouldn't be legal in most Sports, but this is Indy Car racing and they quite honestly do bizarre things sometimes.

Apparently, coming off a disappointing qualifying week for the Indy 500, a couple of "Big Name" car owners pulled off a swap. Ryan Hunter-Reay, a driver for Michael Andretti, who didn't qualify for the race when he was bumped on the final qualifying run by teammate Marco Andretti, will still get to race.

The reason...his team owner, Michael Andretti, bought him a spot driving a car for A.J Foyt's team, bumping the driver of that car, Bruno Junqueria from that ride.

This, needless to say, isn't going over really well in, well, nobody likes the smell of it.

Bob Kravitz of IndyStar.com says this sets "A Dangerous Precedent", read about it RIGHT HERE

And Kravitz is right. Really, what is the point of qualifying if you can just buy a ride? That's pretty much what happened here.

The fact that Andretti's cars were horrible in qualifying, that's their own fault. There should be no allowance for anyone trying to buy a ride.

It's things like this that took the fun out of the Indy 500, many years ago. When we were young, it was a great specatcle on Memorial Day weekend. Must watch TV on Sunday's. Now, it's gone. Done. The rest of the racing world passed it by 20-years ago.

Sure, a large part of that was the incompetence and over-sized ego of Tony George who split the Indy Car series in two with some ridiculous rules, chasing some of the best drivers away from the series, but it was also some really odd decisions within the series itself.

This was supposed to be the 1st year of reconciliation at the 500, when all the best drivers would be there. And most of them are. But it really takes some of the seriousness or legitimacy out of it when you hear about stories like this. The series should be ridiculed over this and for me, I really haven't watched or considered this a big event in many, many years.

The TV story from WISH-TV in Indianapolis, where the race is still considered a big deal:

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