The hard reality is finally sinking in UPDATE A reader adds, Dear AR1.com, Don’t forget that much of the 1.5 mile oval pack racing created by Barnhart and T. George wasn’t just to created to emulate NASCAR, it was just as much a marketing ploy to attract the casual sports fan as well.
Does everyone remember how the IRL constantly touted their close finishes? They would send out PR stuff all the time comparing how much closer their finishes were compared to those in ChampCar, F1, and NASCAR. They would push it like crazy to try and attract the casual fan to this “exciting” form of racing that always yielded such close finishes. Keeping track and promoting their top 5 closest finishes was never left out of any IRL broadcast.
Yet, it never took off for them b/c real racing fans would watch it once and immediately realize it was due to contrived racing made from low horsepower, high downforce, no talent required, “IndyCar’s” (commonly known as Crapwagons to the rest of the racing community). This wasn’t racing.
It isn’t racing when it is so easy to keep your right foot flat to the floor all the way around the track that any average (or lesser) driver can do it with ease. In my opinion, that is why, despite having all the financial support pouring into it, the IRL was a failure with the fans.
It is a simple formula. Give us something we can be proud of! I will still always remember Ron Dennis saying when F1 came to Indy in 2000 for the first US GP when trying to describe the performance of a modern F1 car to the American media, “I’m sorry to say, but our cars (F1) don’t quite have the horsepower and ultimate speed of your CART series over here.” That made me proud…very proud. That made me proud to be a CART fan. It’s the same thing when ChampCar came out with their new car (Panoz DP01) in their last season and went out (and did) beat the F1 lap record set at Laguna Seca. That made me proud to be a ChampCar fan. That is what this new IndyCar series needs again.
Yet, I don’t think anything is going to change any time soon. I certainly never saw anything to be proud about with the old car (Crapwagon). Looking forward, while it is a step in the right direction (turbos [a must for a street/road/oval series, duh], lighter weight) I don’t see any reason to feel proud about the new car (Crapwagon 1.5) either except that it will be named in Wheldon’s honor. D. Hughes, Atlanta, GA11/02/11 This Speedtv.com article on the 1995 CART season and the type of oval tracks CART IndyCar raced on, hits the proverbial nail on the head, and a drum we here at AR1.com have been beating since the formation of the IRL. Seems people are realizing that the ovals CART raced on were proper ovals for IndyCars, not the 1.5-mile high banked ovals built for NASCAR that the IRL gravitated to.
IndyCar is also copying CART's turbo engine formula, added road and street circuits, and is eyeing races elsewhere in the world. Next they will add the standing starts that CART/ChampCar used with great success.
It seems CART had it right up and through 1995, but Tony George and his IRL minions decided they had a better idea and, and in 1996 came in, split the sport, nearly destroyed it, tried to copy NASCAR racing, and the rest as they say, is history. A sad history.
And they still let Tony George (and Brian Barnhart) in the paddock after the damage he has done? There is no justice in this world.