Whether compressing the calendar is a good thing remains to be seen. What it does do is avoid long gaps between races (as was the case around Sonoma this year for example).
As for Kirby’s article, the usual negativity. He does make some valid points (Houston, the oval crowds vs Nascar, the low car counts in Lights this year) but I don’t agree with the conclusions he draws. For a start, several track owners (from Road America, Laguna Seca, etc) have openly been in negotiations for the 2015 season. As for officiating…it isn’t perfect, but clearly Kirby has forgotten how bad some calls were with Brian Barnhart in race control. He also ignores that the technical regulations are gradually being opened up (this ranges from the front and rear wings to virtually the entire chassis minus the safety cell over the next 3-4 years). Perhaps he thinks there is a bottomless pit of money to have 4 different chassis right now, but I wouldn’t like to see a repeat of CART’s demise. Being locked into the NBCSN contract until 2018 is obviously less than ideal, but it generates vital revenue for the series. The contraversial GP of Indianapolis has a slot on ABC, along with 7 other races (including Pocono and of course the Indy 500).
Moving forward to Indy Lights, there is reason to believe Dan Andersen is doing a good job. For a start, he is securing agreements to reduce costs and modernise the cars used. The Mazda Road to Indy and Skip Barber scholarships for racechampionship winners are moving forward talented American and Canadian racers as well as those from overseas (examples: Matthew Brabham, Jack Hawksworth, Scott Hargrove). If the Atlantic series Kirby laments the loss of was so good, why did it have only 9 full time cars in 2009? Why did the scholarship winner Raphael Matos decide go to Indy Lights instead of CCWS in late 2007?
The UK and European Formula Ford (2011) and UK Formula Renault (2012) champion Scott Malvern decided he wants to race in Pro Mazda next year because winning in Europe does not guarantee moving up into the next category (unlike the MRTI). Sam Bird, as I posted here, is potentially a GP2 champion expressing interest in the series. If Indycar is as dead as Gordon Kirby makes out, none of this would be happening.