Fans speak out on Junquiera’s lost ride

IndyCar commentary — By on May 23, 2011 10:15 pm
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Paul and I don’t broach every topic relating to the IZOD IndyCar Series on these pages. If something comes up that’s been reported in multiple outlets and all we have to add is “that’s great” or “that sucks,” we tend to let it slide.

But today’s news that Michael Andretti has bought Bruno Junquiera’s legitimately acquired seat in the coming Indianapolis 500 from AJ Foyt to field his own driver who missed the show is too heinous to let pass without acknowledgement.

Neither of us has anything to add on this topic that hasn’t already been said by many fans. Instead, we’ve opted to use this space to give those fans a more collected voice. Please feel free to contribute your part to the discussion using the comments section below.

*****

Michael’s mulligan mars majesty of Indy’s image
- Tony Johns, PopOffValve.com

“Wow, Bruno Junquiera bumped out of the Indy 500 a day after bump day. Try explaining that to a young race fan…”
- @Schrementi

“When I hear about drivers getting bumped for other drivers, it makes me question the integrity of the sport. I thought Indycar was different…”
- @XtinaV

“The Indy 500, the greatest spectacle in underhanded moves of corruption and greed… sad.”
- @obriano

“I won’t be buying one drop of Sun Drop, using DHL, or buying a scrap of Scamdretti-Foyt Racing merchandise.”
- @groundedeffects

“The ‘Fastest Drivers in the World’ slogan from INDYCAR and Randy Bernard just took a BIG hit! This is what fans have to endure…”
- @jerrycruz1077

“Whoa, people buy their way into INDYCAR races? Suddenly, I’m not quite as interested.”
- @jwilliams083

“Does an owner who sells a ride deserve to drive the pace car?”
- @JPIndycar

“Looks like I’m gonna need to buy a new INDYCAR shirt to replace my Andretti Autosport one. I’m still an Andretti Autosport fan, but I just can’t bring myself to sport the gear at the Indy 500.”
- @marcosgurl26

“The damage to INDYCAR’s credibility is worse than leaving one sponsor (SunDrop) out of the race. It hurts future sponsorship deals.”
- @jmcc09

“I have never respected silver spoon boy Michael Andretti and this cinches it. I also hope AJ is prepared for boos when driving the pace car.”
- @elgordo99

“I am strongly in favor of starting the new century by linking the car AND the driver on qualifying.”
- @pressdog

“Thought this Indy 500 would be most memorable for the centennial. Nope. It’s the year I lost my last nugget of respect for AJ.”
- @MsTitsMcGee

“Man, at this rate it’s looking like Sarah Fisher Racing should have qualified the #57 and then put it on eBay. Could have funded 2012 right there!”
- @FTHurley

“The ‘best drivers in the world’ in ‘the most important race in history’ … where you can buy your way in. Embarrassing.”
- @Neffry_Aawg

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“Here’s the issue I, as a fan, have with Bruno Junqueira getting booted from his ride in place of Ryan Hunter-Reay.  I sat and watched ALL of qualifying this weekend live.  Every single run that was made, I watched on TV.  I saw the look in Danica’s eyes when the rain began to fall and the thought that she might miss the race hit hard.  I saw the anguish on Marco’s face about whether to run or not and the determination to make the show when he went back out.  I saw the look of disappointment in RHR’s eyes, heard it in his voice, when he didn’t make the show.  All of those moments are dramatic, tense, and exactly what the Series needed to draw in fans.  It’s all I talked about this morning at work.

And now, I find out it was all artificial.  RHR didn’t make it?  Buy a seat.  I have no doubt if Marco didn’t make it, or Danica, they’d just buy another seat or two.

The drama is gone.  Does it cheapen this year’s race?  A little; not much.  The qualified car will still run as always.  The drivers don’t make Indy — Indy makes the drivers.

Does it cheapen bump day next year?  ABSOLUTELY.  Because it’s meaningless until the checkbooks close.”
- @kraegar, via email

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“For me, it comes down to fairness and integrity. Rules can for the most part legislate fairness, but they cannot legislate integrity. Die-hard fans trust in the integrity of the players, and today’s events make it clear that for two of what were the most respected racing families at Indianapolis, integrity is a secondary consideration.

Am I angry? Maybe that’s too strong a term, but it’s more than sadness or disappointment. I can’t be sold on manufactured drama if it can be undone so easily the next day with a wad of cash.”
- @sejarzo, via email

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“It sort of cancels out all of the drama and excitement of Bump Day if it can just be undone with money, doesn’t it?”
- @99forever

“What really grinds my gears is that Michael thinks that he and his team’s presence are now more important than the race itself.”
- @Fieldof33

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