Reader questions IRL's integrity UPDATE Another reader adds, Dear AR1, It is encouraging to see readers writing in once again expressing their opinions regarding the state of open wheel racing. During the split , everybody had an opinion regarding who was right and who was in the tank.
Your most recent email regarding the state of open wheel racing was absolutely spot on! I began my career with CART in 1996, the year of the split.
CART was incredible and I clearly remember my first race at Homestead on the brand new 1.5 mile oval. I was overwhelmed walking through the paddock and seeing many of my open wheel heroes and legends. The paddock was packed with teams and transporters. The hospitality area was unrivaled by any other form of racing with the exception of F1.
The crowds were packing the tracks and the whole atmosphere was electric. We had incredible sponsors and teams. The racing was the absolute best in the world. We ran on ovals, roads, and streets on 5 different continents. NASCAR was envious.
How far we have come and have fallen....
What a sad state we are in. CART had it exactly right and their model for developing open wheel racing was right between the pipes. CART made one giant mistake: they underestimated the power of INDY and its allure to the core teams and owners of CART.
Imagine if all of the CART owners would have refused to sell their old cars, parts, and engines to the IRL. What if the owners had leveraged their influence on tire manufacturers and other sponsors not to supply anything to the IRL.
What if CART showed up at INDY in 1996 to race and forced the Speedway's hand?
What if CART sued and requested an injunction blocking the Speedway’s ban on CART teams?
From 1996 till CART dissolved and was replaced by Champ Car, open wheel racing was awesome. Champ Car was beginning to emerge , especially with the new chassis and the great racing talent. Once again, Champ Car underestimated the power of INDY. It's all about INDY and will always be about INDY. The Penskes, Ganassis, and Andrettis make it so. They now dominate open wheel racing and nobody else will really have a true chance.
Where are all of the critics now??? Brazil, China, Japan, etc...AJ, we are listening and the silence is deafening.
Unfortunately a lot of people have just left open wheel racing. I love open wheel CART/Champ Car but have given up on the series and its leaders that destroyed the sport. A lot more friends are watching golf than INDY CAR. Congratulations to INDY. Never forget, it's always about INDY. Feel the Speed, Bill Kinsey06/23/09 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Turbos, Brazil, China, Toronto, Edmonton, street races, push-to-pass 50/50 road courses and ovals, IndyCar has become 100% what CART used to be. This despite the fact that Anton George said he had to start the IRL because CART was wrong. Well by destroying CART he took IndyCar racing from being ahead of NASCAR commercially, and from huge Indy 500 TV ratings, to now hardly a pimple on NASCAR's posterior.
Basically Anton lied to all of us. His real motives all along were about greed and power, and in turn he decimated the sport. To now turn back the clock to the early 1990s and have his minions tell us that everything CART was about is now good and the right thing to do is an insult to my intelligence and to my integrity....of which the IRL apparently has none. And where are Tim Cindric and Roger Penske now? Recall their preposterous statements that IndyCar had no business racing outside the USA because their sponsors were American, or American subsidiaries. CART/Champ Car, and I recall AutoRacing1.com saying back then it was "A global Economy Stupid." Now all of a sudden IndyCar's minions must think Japan, Brazil, China, and Canada are part of the USA. The late great Tony Hulman must be doing backflips in his grave in disgust. Mordichai Rosen, LA, California