Welcome to The GomerpediA Wiki
The idea for a Wiki web site dedicated to American openwheel racing, specifically the split between the sanctioning bodies and fans of CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) and the IRL (Indy Racing League) was created by the members of an irreverent racing discussion forum/web site called SmackForum, which later became SmackedForum.
SmackForum was founded by a long time American Openwheel Racing fan who wanted a forum for racing fans that were aware of the total mess that was being made of a beloved sport they followed. The mess was due to a fight over control of the sport which became known in racing circles as The Split.
SmackForum wanted a discussion forum that featured no-holds barred non-fan-boy style discussions. American openwheel racing fans had spent many of the “split” years (20 years as of May 2016) talking about the issues that would face Indy-style car racing once the Hulman-George family made their decision to take control of the sport they felt they had created and deserved to control. There had been many racing forums over those 20 years. Some tried to favor one side or the other, some fans wanting to be a part of both sides and some fans disgusted with the whole racing scene and willing to attack anyone and everything. Of course many forums tried to control it all by heavy handed forum management to the point of manipulating fan posts and ejecting members that didn’t toe a party line.
The Smacked style of discussion and viewpoint to the “split” between racing series and their fan bases led to the idea to create a history repository that captured all the issues created by The Split…good and bad. Of course that meant an irreverent telling of that history.
It is true the sport was created from the Indianapolis 500 auto race, but by the mid-70s some of the racers involved in the sport saw the potential of the sport and how with proper implementation and marketing the sport could be much stronger. That was all captured in a mission statement written by the popular racer and team owner Dan Gurney. That mission paper was called The White Paper and it was the start of a change in the race sanctioning and marketing that moved the sport to new venues in front of new fans. Over the years the sport moved forward under the direction of CART the organization that grew from the white paper mission. CART was an acronym for Championship Auto Racing Teams.
Of course that didn't sit well with the Hulman-George family, but they were not at that time in the position to challenge the move and in truth it really did not hurt their bottom line. Some would argue it may have helped their bottom line and made their race even more prominent in a now strengthened and more popular sport over all.
Then the day came in 1995 when the Hulman-George family decided to make the move to start a competing series based on protecting the rights of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and their big annual race the Indianapolis 500. That began the split and everything that came with it. GomerpediA hopes to capture the whole messy thing as well as a bunch of fans can with the time they have. There is much to cover, sadly some already passing into foggy memory and already being deleted from the internet.
And why is it called “Gomer”pediA. Well, that is part of the irreverence created on fan forums. It is known to race fans that Jim Nabors was the long-time singer of “Back Home in Indiana” which usually kicked off the Indy 500 proceedings. Jim played the character of “Gomer Pyle” on the old TV show “The Andy Griffith Show” later to be spun off into his own show “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” So, as a way to poke fun at the IRL fans they became known as gomers. What better name to give to an fun Wiki history site?
Building the GomerpediA Wiki - Future Entries
We are just getting this project launched as of The Month of May 2016 - In Honor of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. It has only some basics and a sample of the direction we hope to take it. Enjoy it and hopefully you will use it as a reference in any argument about the history of the wars between fans, sanctioning bodies, friends and family of American Openwheel Racing.
Want to contribute?
GomerpediA is always looking for contributors. Registration is controlled for reason of content control and sticking with the theme and nature of the Wiki. If interested contact the GomerpediA administration. Send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to use the Wiki
We have created an Index of the current pages. The Wiki isn't all conclusive of the entire history of racing so using the search engine as one would with a larger WikiPedia isn't the best way to go. Therefore a good starting point is the Index of Pages which you can access just below.
For fun...hit the random page generator and see what pops up! Sometimes it might go back to a page you already have seen and maybe not display another new one for a couple of tries. That is the nature of how it works...blame the software!