On July 25, 2012, Randy Bernard presided over a top-secret meeting of the first-ever IndyCar Fan Congress. The minutes of that meeting were never meant for public consumption, but at great cost, we have procured the only known copy of the proceedings. They are presented below, unedited, in their entirety.
CHAIR: (gavel) I now call this session of the inaugural IndyCar Fan Congress to order. First off, just let me say how pleased I am to see all the disparate groups comprising IndyCar fandom in one room. Now, then, before we get started--er, yes, the Chair recognizes the delegate from the Schedulist Party?
SCHEDULIST: Mr. Chairman, the Schedulist Party would like to formally demand that before this meeting starts, we add the following 37 races to the IndyCar schedule--Phoenix, Road America, Rockingham, Trenton, Le Mans, Talladega, Pocono, Nashville, Gateway, Pikes Peak, Lucas Oil Raceway, Anderson, the IMS road course--
CHAIRMAN: (gavel) The Chair wishes to remind the delegates of the Schedulist Party that all scheduling concerns will be addressed at the proper time. Now, as I was saying--
DELEGATE: Mr. Chairman, the TV Rating Party would like to complain about the ratings from the last 27 events. How are we supposed to enjoy anything when clearly our passion for this hobby isn't validated by the tastes of the rest of America? We demand an instant increase of ratings of at least 2.0, or you must IMMEDIATELY terminate your dealings with ABC, NBC Sports, and for good measure, the IMS Radio Network.
CHAIRMAN: I see. (long pause) Well, first off, we'd better have our roll call. Please indicate you are present when I call your name. Crisis-A-Day Party?
C-A-D PARTY: Clearly, Mr. Chairman, there are SERIOUS QUESTIONS to be answered over why IMS continues to use French's Mustard, when clearly the ONLY RATIONAL CHOICE is Plochman's Mustard in the little yellow barrel. We indignantly await your response, and possibly the end of IndyCar or the world itself.
CHAIRMAN: Angry Retiree Party?
ANGRY RETIREE: Hold on, I'm writing my 102nd letter this year to Robin Miller's Mailbag. "And, in closing, I will never, ever, ever, EVER watch a race again. I mean it. Honest. I'm and totally and irrevocably done with IndyCar".
Sorry about that, Mr. Chairman. Let's wrap this up--I need to buy my tickets to Mid-Ohio and then catch the Early Bird Special at Denny's.
CHAIRMAN: Schedulist Party?
SCHEDULIST: --Nürburgring, Cannonball Run, Jungle Park, the orange Hot Wheels track I got for my 8th birthday--
CHAIRMAN: Overly Optimistic Press Release Party?
OOPRP DELEGATE: Mr. Chairman, I am proud to announce our driver, in only the 635th race of their young open wheel career, scored a career-best 25th last weekend! This is their best finish since qualifying at a white-hot P24 back in the Formula Ecuador Series season opener back in 2003. Clearly, they'll be contending once more for the win next weekend!
CHAIRMAN: Creepily Obsessive Fan Party?
COFP DELEGATE: Clearly, my driver is going to win, and win soon. My driver will DOMINATE all in the way, and probably win a Nobel Prize while doing it. We are totally buddies, you know. True friends, as I believe I may have mentioned. The 44 tweets I make each day about my driver are a big part of their inspiration. My driver has finished P37 or slightly better in the last two races. Funny, my driver never wrote back when I sent that lock of my hair, and neither did Chip Ganassi when I took that photo outside his house and demanded anonymously he fund my driver's career. DOMINATE, I tell you.
SCHEDULIST: --Nazareth, Watkins Glen, Eldora, Gas City, Las Vegas, Vancouver--
CHAIRMAN: Scenester Party?
SCENESTER: Oh my gosh, James Jakes was totally at my house last night. OK, well, he wasn't at my house, but we did eat dinner together, since we're so close. OK, so we weren't at dinner together, but we were in the same restaurant. OK, so it wasn't the same restaurant, but there was a guy that looked sort of like him behind me in line at the Wendy's drive-through. I'm exactly not sure how he's doing on track this year, but I do love dropping that name!
CHAIRMAN: Illogical Solution Party?
ILLOGICAL SOLUTION PARTY: Hey, sometimes fuel strategy gambles don't work for some of the teams. Ergo, we need to get rid of pit stops entirely. Also, the cars should run on Flubber.
CHAIRMAN: Roger Penske Party? Ah, there you are, Mr. Penske.
ROGER PENSKE: I've built and sold three automotive empires and a Brazilian airliner since we started this meeting. My musk is that of ruthless excellence, and several remote South Pacific tribes revere me as a war god.
CHAIRMAN: Understood. Team Owner Party?
TEAM OWNERS: Hey, we've been thinking, and although we know we agreed to it earlier, this Congress probably isn't a really good idea. I know we're just mentioning it to you, but it's cool. We already called Marshall Pruett and Curt Cavin to do an article.
CHAIRMAN: (audible sigh)
TEAM OWNERS: Also, you guys said last night's dinner bill would only be, and I quote, "twenty bucks or so". I just got a charge on my Visa for $173.21.
CHAIRMAN: ...er....ok, we'll come back to that. Hyper-Loyalist Party?
HYPER-LOYALIST: HEY, HATERS. ALL IS WELL, AND I WILL KNIFE-FIGHT THE FIRST MAN TO SUGGEST INDYCAR IS NOT THE GREATEST THING SINCE THE GOOD LORD CREATED GASTON CHEVROLET.
CHAIRMAN: Bring Back Danica Party?
BBDP: (sniffles) You'll all be sorry!
CHAIRMAN: Doom Party?
DOOM PARTY: If only you fools had listened to my gravely important points and simply changed the cars, engines, drivers, rules, schedule, TV plan, CEO, and series name for this year, we'd be fine. Instead, this is it. It's all over. Goodbye, American open wheel racing. The final nail in the coffin. It was nice knowing you. Sayonara. All over but the crying, now. The fat lady has sung. Any minute now. Won't be surprised if they pull the plug this afternoon. Shoulda listened. Doomed. Doomed. Doooooomed.
CHAIRMAN: Lotus Party?
DELEGATE: They'll be here in a few. They were about three miles back when I was walking in.
CHAIRMAN: Very well. Now then, I've asked our official historian, Mr. Donald Davidson, to rule on whether or not this qualifies as a quorum so that we may conduct official business. Mr. Davidson?
DONALD DAVIDSON: Well, I'm very glad you asked that question. I suppose I'd have to go back to 1937, when Herb Ardinger entered a car called the Quorum Standard Special, which actually didn't have anything to do with politics, but was a maker of automotive belts out of Trafalgar, Indiana, who had earlier been involved in one of Lou Moore's cars. Now, the car didn't get up to speed, so Herb actually found another ride, and also finished 6th a year later, which was his best finish at Indy, and was widely attributed to his marriage of Miss Louisa Elcott of Chalmers, Indiana, who had eleven toes and was a keen backgammon player. Now, I have to thank you, because Herb's certainly one of my favorites, and we haven't been able to talk about him in some time--oh, and I just remembered, Herb was known for his love of veal cutlets, and often would tease Cliff Bergere, who preferred salmon before a race, which is why the two of them once in Springfield were surprised to find a--
INTRUDER: This Congress is now under the control of the Ovalista Front. We demand the following: that Tony George be returned to a seat of power, that all fans attending any street course be sent to re-education camps immediately, and that Racin Gardner be given an automatic ride for any IRL event. Further, we--
2ND INTRUDER: Ovalista swine! The ChampCar Junta will bury you! Any Georgist lackey can turn left. True power resides investing the proletariat with paddock passes to Laguna Seca. We demand an instant return to--
SCHEDULIST: --Surfer's Paradise, Circuit Zolder, San Jose--
CHAIR: (heavily gavels) Listen, everyone! We have a lot to get through here, but we can't do that if you all don't stop interrupting. Now then, as I was saying--yes, what is it? The Chair recognizes the NASCAR Ambassador's, um, favored status and permission to speak.
NASCAR Ambassador: So I'm sorta new here, but you know what would be really awesome? Green-White-Checkered finishes, the Lucky Dog, and all of you bowing to this golden idol I made of Brian France gently caressing Darrel Waltrip.
At this point, the minutes cut off, with the transcript afterwards marked only by indecipherable fragments obscured by bloodstains, several bullet holes, and a hastily scrawled message stating "PLEASE LORD DON'T LET IT END LIKE THIS".