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DATE News (chronologically)
02/29/08
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Cold War ends, but Indy Car only heats up
Step 1 is complete, and the long overdue open-wheel unification is over.

Tony George and Kevin Kalkhoven should be commended for finally ending the madness that nearly killed American Indy Car racing. "It was last fall on the anniversary of my grandfather's death that I was thinking to myself it really had been 30 years ago since the sport of open-wheel racing had been truly unified," George recalled. "Last month when the calendar turned over to 2008, I was wondering if it was possible this could ever happen.

"Lo and behold, I got a phone call that just made me feel really warm. I felt like this was going perhaps going to be the best year of my 48 to have a chance to do something that's very important to me and very close to me, and that is to help bring about the unification of open-wheel racing."

The phone call came from Kalkhoven, and despite several failed attempts to mend fences, this time it actually worked out.

But as both sides admitted in Wednesday's news conference to officially announce the creation of a single open-wheel series, the heavy lifting is about to begin.

"I've said many times that unification itself isn't some sort of magic bullet to be able to get us forward," Kalkhoven said. "It's going to take an awful lot of hard work, and that has already begun."

Let's hope so.

This season will be a hodgepodge to say the least, with three former Champ Car events -- Long Beach, Edmonton and Australia -- wedged into the existing IRL schedule.

The Champ Car teams planning to make the switch, which could be as many as nine operations and up to 12 drivers, will have to change engine and chassis packages pretty much on the fly. And the league, which promised free Dallara chassis and Honda engines to those teams, will need to scramble to find available and competitive equipment. More at CBS Sports

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