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And Another Thing


Road kill

I wouldn't want to be in Randy Bernard's shoes right now.

First there's the whole bonus-money fiasco in Las Vegas that cost the series one of its leading lights in Dan Wheldon .... then Danica Patrick, whom the series unwisely made its face, bails for NASCAR .... and now the Detroit Grand Prix gets red-flagged for two hours and then shut down 30 laps short of the scheduled 90 because part of the course was crumbling.

This was supposed to be a triumphant moment for the series, returning to one of its signature sites on Belle Isle. You would have thought, however, that they might have repaved the course since the last time they were there -- or at the very least identified the trouble spots and repaired them before sending the IndyCar jockeys out there.

But, nooo. Halfway through the race, parts of the patched part of the course started falling apart like a Minnesota highway in February. And suddenly the Detroit Grand Prix turned into the Right Lane Closed Ahead Grand Prix.

Now, the same thing happened at Daytona a couple of years ago, and for equally avoidable reasons (i.e., no one had bothered to repave the place for 30 years). But that was Daytona, and that was NASCAR. The sport's poobahs hadn't coaxed one of its stars to run on a crowded track unsuited to its purpose just six months before.

So here's a fresh headache for a sport that needed no more -- and the fact it came on the heels of one of the more entertaining (and most-watched) Indianapolis 500s in years helped not at all.

The entire sport's turned into one of those dog-slow Lotuses, suddenly. It can't get out of its own way.

Ben Smith's blog.