Can Toronto and Edmonton recover or is Canada now NASCAR country The creation of the IRL and the split of the sport of IndyCar Racing took it from the heyday of CART to what it is today, a mere shadow of its former self. Last year the Toronto race ran as an IRL race for the first time and the attendance was about 1/10th of what it was in CART's heyday. The split also gave NASCAR a foothold in Canada and they are now converting what were once IndyCar fans into stock car fans in record numbers.
The split took IndyCar racing to such lows no one is certain if it can ever recover, but the IRL is starting to make some smart moves now that Tony George (the man who singlehandedly destroyed the sport) is out of the picture and Randy Bernard has taken over.
The Honda Indy Toronto is Sunday while the Edmonton race goes July 25.
"This race has built a lot of heritage over the years," said Kim Green, chief executive of Green Savoree Racing Promotions, the company which owns the Honda Indy Toronto. "It is no doubt the largest IndyCar race outside of the Indy 500 [Editor's Note: Take off your rose colored glasses Kim, under CART it was the 2nd biggest race, last year it was nearly dead last in size. The attendance was so bad it was embarrassing.] And our aim here ... is to rebuild it to what I call its heyday."
"We've still got some [giant] steps to get back to re-grow the event," Green said. "We set ourselves a goal of five years to build the event back to what I would call a sellout and, potentially, a situation where we haven't got any more room for grandstands or suites.
"Until we get through the race event and look back after the Sunday night, I won't really know how successful," Green said. "But all the indications are that everybody's very aware of what's going on here. We've had a great response from the public."
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