(Unless it's Dallara. Or IndyCar does it to themselves.)
Marshall Pruett touched on it in this article on SpeedTV.com, but I'm not sure he entirely tapped into what appears to be going on within the IZOD IndyCar Series. With Dallara's announcement that if chosen to build the 2012 IndyCar chassis, they will build in Speedway, I believe they have either put the IndyCar Series into a corner, or have had the wheels greased in advance of an announcement.
In any case, it doesn't look good from a public perception.Look at it this way: just yesterday, the IndyCar Series put out a list of qualifications and standards for the 2012 chassis. Later in the day, and into today, multiple pictures of the Dallara chassis hit the Internet, in advance of the Delta Wing debut next Wednesday.
And now, with Dallara's announcement that they are willing to build the chassis of 2012 practically next door to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, can Brian Barnhardt (and the rest of the IndyCar Series) really turn down Dallara? Especially as they already have a business relationship? And as the town of Speedway continues with their redevelopment project - something IMS is publicly backing (as they should)?
From a perception standpoint (especially in Indianapolis), there is no way the IndyCar Series can save face by denying Dallara's proposal - unless Delta Wing, Lola or Swift moved to the Indianapolis area to build.
Now, I do think that Dallara building in Speedway is great for the economy of Indianapolis (and Indiana in general); I just don't like how the IndyCar Series appears to be going about the process of trying to choose a chassis manufacturer in public while seemingly already having the decision made behind the scenes.
Again, I know that the IndyCar Series (and chassis manufacturers) would prefer to have one manufacturer for the entire series. But if Barnhardt wants to come out of this process with a chance of looking good, he will have to consider the possibility of multiple chassis.
Because from a perception standpoint now, he looks to be killing the Delta Wing (and Lola and Swift) before they can even attempt to get off the ground. And I think all IndyCar fans would like is a fair trial for the multiple manufacturers, even if Dallara proves to be the best choice at the end of the process.