George Steinbrenner IV, the grandson of the late longtime owner of the New York Yankees and a person I didn’t know existed until this morning, is 22 and now co-owns an IndyCar team. He thinks, perhaps quixotically, that the youths might someday be interested in IndyCar.
This is all via a New Yorker Talk of the Town piece. I have no idea why any subject agrees to do these things, since they all function as self-owns, but Steinbrenner IV and his two drivers, Colton Herta and Patricio O’Ward, all spoke to The New Yorker while out in Manhattan recently.
As the youngest drivers and the youngest owner on the circuit, the three men reflected on the challenges of promoting motor sports to their peers. “When my dad was young, everybody couldn’t wait to get their driver’s license,” Herta said. “Now it’s, like, people don’t even want to drive anymore.” He added, “If you want young people to come, you need to do stuff young people like. Throw a rave on Saturday nights, or something like that.”
“It’s not quite a rave, but at the Indianapolis 500 every year they have something called the Snake Pit,” Steinbrenner said.
“It’s like a little E.D.M. festival in the middle of the track,” O’Ward said.
Yes, E.D.M. at races will definitely do the trick. It’s worth noting that the youths are into cars just not in the form that their parents were. Check out Radwood, or Formula Drift, or LeMons, or rallying, and you’ll find plenty of youths. Anyway, I’m thankful for this piece for this quote, which could not be more Steinbrennerian.
“All the figures that I idolized as a kid, starting with my grandfather, were on the sports-business or sports-ownership side,” [Steinbrenner IV] continued. “And, especially when I started going to IndyCar races, the owners were the ones I looked up to more so than the drivers. So that was a big part of why I chose ownership.”
There are, it seems, humans that exist in this world that idolize racecar team owners, of all people. George Steinbrenner IV is 22! Twenty-two. His father, Hank Steinbrenner, is co-chairman of the Yankees because he inherited the team, and his grandfather and namesake, George Steinbrenner II, also inherited a vast fortune.
So I suppose it’s not all that surprising that his heroes in life are management.