July 26, 1995
We are announcing today that a grass roots Indy Car fan movement has resulted in the formation of "Fans United to Save Indy" - FUTSI. Our organization is concerned about the direction of the Indianapolis 500, after it was pulled out of the CART Indy Car schedule, by IMS track president and owner, Tony George. In 1996, the Indianapolis 500 will be a part of the newly forming IRL - Indy Racing League. The IRL was formed after conflicts between CART, the sanctioning body of the Indy Car series, and George could not be resolved.
One of the major changes, that has been made by George, in the qualification rules for the Indy, will result in 25 spots of the 33 grid field being reserved for those who race in one or more of the other four IRL events. Only eight spots will be open for those who don't. In our opinion, this is contrary to what racing is all about. It should be that the 33 fastest cars make the field and, judging from the feedback that is coming from many of the major Indy Car teams, this will not be the case. We believe this will seriously diminish the quality of racing at the 500. Indy Car fans from all over the country, that we have communicated with, are up in arms about this and other recent developments. We are hoping to make more of the fans aware of what is going on and to make the major players know how the fans feel - especially the sponsors. And, hopefully, some fan pressure may be able to save the Indianapolis 500, as we know it. Sports are for the fans, after all.
The Indianapolis 500 is not just a race it is The Race and if the fastest cars will not be running in it then it will be something else, something less.
Those interested in showing their support, making donations, or joining the organization, can write to FUTSI at 473 East 60th Place, Merrillville, IN 46410 or e mail at FUTSI@aol.com.
Paulla Weinberg Indy Car fan and co-founder of FUTSI