This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Rumors of NASCAR taking over IndyCar’s spot in the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend were greatly exaggerated. Word came late in the week that former ChampCar Series owner Gerald Forsythe would take over the race and keep it committed to IndyCar.

At one time Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven were 50-50 partners but when Kalkhoven died two years ago his part was put up for sale by his estate. This week Forsythe took over Kalkhoven’s piece.
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It would be heart breaking for me to see NASCAR taking over in Long Beach. For that matter, NASCAR’s failures at bringing the region to Fontana indicates they don’t understand the market there.

I’ll say this: the people at NASCAR know who they are and know their business. Fontana, though, is an example of audience frustration at times. The novelty of the L.A. Coliseum with urban entertainment is one thing.

But IndyCars at Long Beach are almost as important as flowers in spring to Southern Californians. Those headlines this week so disappointed me.

The money and time IndyCar spent trying to sell itself to America’s one percenters would have been better spent solidifying its most important weekend of the calendar.

I sure hope IndyCar doesn’t believe it can sell itself as Formula One lite.

If that series implodes because it believes one percenters are the answer to all its problems then maybe we’ve misunderstood the Penske brand all along.