View Full Version : TippyGomez interviews Billy Boat

01-05-03, 05:59 PM
As many racefans know, Tony George created his version of the American Dream in 1996 with the formation of the "Indy Racing League." At the time it was established, openwheel racing was split down its very core. The objective statement laid down by the brain trust at 16th and Georgetown Road promised a level playing field. A throw back harking to Franklin Roosevelt's "forgotten man" ideology. Thousands of American Racefans were going to be able to cheer for their local hero's. Oval track racing was to be restored to its high pedigree, and evil entities such as engine manufactures favoring teams, no limit spending by the racing baron's, were to fade into an unpleasant memory.

Using the "Indy Racing League" mission statement as a forum. We sent crack reporter Tippy Gomez to Arizona to interview the hard charging USAC oval star, Billy Boat. Our readers have expressed an interest in just how far the "vision" has matured, and how the formation of the League has helped those who needed it most.

TG - Billy, tell our readers a little about the upcoming IRL season. We are hearing rumors that you are having trouble securing financing.

BB - Well Tippy, it's not like we have not been trying. We had a couple of big sponsors lined up. Some NancyBoy CART outfit came in and stole it away! The potential sponsor told us that the CART team has a hospitality operation that was second to none! They had a custom bus, and a full compliment of arrangements, get this, they even have a chef! Now there is no way I can compete with this. Everybody knows that Tony has rules in place to ensure a level playing field.

TG - Level playing field, for hospitality?

BB - Yes, that's correct. Tony signed a rule saying everybody had to use Jonathan Birds catering service. This way, We get American's cooking American food for American's. I went down past the Penske hospitality area last season, and they were eating shrimp stuffed avocado, arugula and parmesan salad. Heck, they even had chicken breast stuffed with crab meat! Have you ever heard of such nonsense? Hello! could you please get your fish out of my chicken?

TG - So Billy, what does your hospitality area consist of?

BB - Tippy, We got the finest Manwich recipe ever conceived. Its a throw back from the Mom Unser era! We sometimes have seafood, if we have not crashed the car too bad that weekend.

TG - Crashed the car? what has that got to do with serving seafood?

BB - Well, were a low buck operation. Sometimes the toaster oven is busy repairing smaller carbon fiber parts. Those suckers work great at preheating the material, and when its freed up, We can bake some fish sticks!

TG - Fishsticks and Manwich, I see....

BB - Oh, let me tell you Tippy, it gets expensive. You have to have drinks to keep up with the big boys. For the better part of last season, We just threw out a new garden hose and nozzle for every race. We took on some major expense getting the new sprayers for every race. Its a really good set up, and makes up for the lack of air conditioning. When you get hot and tired from watching the American gunslingers going at it hammer and tongs, you can come into the hospitality area, get a drink, and cool off with a good spraying. Sponsors love it.

TG - Speaking of sponsors, and ultimately fans, how has your small hero efforts been received by the media?

BB - Well, it's kind of hard to say. For quite sometime we have been knocking at the door of success. We have sat on the bubble the past two years in a row at Indy. Lots of fans really like to pull for the underdog, its a mytique thing. Fan's of the IRL just love little guys. Im a modern day Mickey Rooney, just like in the "Big Wheel". Were pitching the car as the "Hoodu Wagon" in effort to recruit some of that old Hollywood money.

TG - So fans remember that episode the most? Almost getting bumped?

BB - Well, its kind of hard to tell. My AJ eating icecream quip got some guffaw's out of the bluehair set. There are some other area's that need some attention. I think that if Tony could just put a few new rules in place, and enforce the old ones, that guys like Me would actually have a chance.

TG - What new rules would you like to see in place?

BB - Merchandise is a big one. For the first four years, it was illegal to even sell souvenirs at an IRL race. Then we all banded together and rented a couple of U-Hauls, I think it was in 1997. It cost us a fortune to buy all those little colored stickers to keep track of who sold what. I had my wife and kids running it for me, Tony Stewart's Mom ran the other one. just family, you know? Just a few iron on transfers and some cheapie T-Shirts, no big deal.

TG - So what's changed now?

BB - Well, these CART guys come in here with their Semi's full of silk-screened golf shirts. Hell, I cant afford a golf shirt, I don't even own a golf shirt! How am I supposed to buy 28 dozen golf shirts and get them monogrammed. Haul all that stuff to the track, hire help to sell it, keep track of the money and report it to the IRS without getting screwed? I mean, come on Tippy.... Im having trouble finding someone to get us a good motor program! Racing is supposed to be about racing, not T-shirt sales. See, these CART teams have really changed the lay of the land so to speak. We had us a nice little series. Tony and Pep Boys, ER Northern Lights, ER, well forget I said that. Anyway, they were growing a nice fan base. Now I see it all going down hill. I cant find a sponsor, Menard's has some Chilean Hot Wheel Champion driving for them, Greg Ray is out of work. The whole thing just sucks.

TG - Well Billy, We at the Shelbyville Gazette wish you the best of luck, Keep your chin up.

BB - Yeah Tippy, its looking like Im the Donnie Beechler of the 2003 season


01-05-03, 06:48 PM
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Good job, Tippy!!!

01-05-03, 07:13 PM
Thank you, Tippy, for your fine reporting.

You make John Kernan look like a hack. :)

01-05-03, 08:36 PM
Wunderbar, Tippy. Olé!

Warms this grass-roots racing fan's heart to know that there a still a few racing "journalists" out there who still follow their moral compasses'. Samual Clemmins would be proud! :)

01-06-03, 08:32 AM
Good job Tippy.

01-07-03, 05:18 AM
:rofl: somebody help me up!!:rofl: