Why buy a ride in IndyCar when you can get paid to drive in USCR? Open-wheel veteran Alex Tagliani's heart is with the IZOD IndyCar Series but that ship may have finally sailed.
Tagliani has been competing in Grand-Am since his departure from Barracuda Racing in early August and the sport's relatively short off-season could mean that he remains in sports cars next season, with the newly merged United Sports Car Championship.
Should that be the case, the suddenly 39-year-old has made peace with the outcome.
"The IndyCar possibilities for next year are with the usual suspects," he told RACER Magazine early this week. "Those rides are out there for anyone to grab for people who have the money to bring. What became very interesting for me, once I started doing sports car racing, is that a lot of doors opened up. I had three, four calls come in right away and more over the past couple of weeks to do sports cars and I'm really liking that.
"There's a good effort going on there in the [USCR], and you know how it is in IndyCar."
He referenced the financial situation in IndyCar that sees cash and how much a driver can bring as a preference to talent. Defending Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan is also still seeking for a place to race next year and may depart for NASCAR, sports cars or Brazilian Stock Cars.
It's expensive to fund a full IndyCar campaign and the Series doesn't have the viability to attract a wide array of partners with deep pockets.
"Drivers today need to find money to race -- a lot of money -- and you have to be a driver, a sponsor hunter, out trying to promote yourself to find more money and all of these things just to keep yourself in IndyCar," Tagliani said. "That's what the last few years have been like for me, and I'll be really honest when I say that what happened with [Barracuda Racing], in terms of my career, was probably a blessing in disguise."
This is the cancer that is killing IndyCar from the inside. And why do drivers have to bring money? Because TV ratings on NBC Sports Network are so low teams can't convince sponsors to put their name on the side of their car.
"As that door closed, a whole bunch of them have opened up for me and that wouldn't have been the case if I was still running [in IndyCar] today."