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Dale Coyne Racing
Ricardo González
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Fernandez Racing
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Shinji Nakano

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Mario Dominguez

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Tony Kanaan

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Christian Fittipaldi

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Scott Dixon

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Townsend Bell

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Alexandre Tagliani
Patrick Carpentier

Sigma Autosports
Max Papis
???

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Bruno Junqueira
Kenny Brack

Team Kool Green
Paul Tracy
Dario Franchitti

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Michael Andretti

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Tora Takagi

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Latest News and Commentary

Response to Bud Shaw article
by Ray Jaber
July 15, 2002

A reader speaks out against the Bud Shaw article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer yesterday.


Dear Mr. Shaw
I just read your article entitled "With Fewer stars and cars, CART is headed in the wrong direction" published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.  First I question your intentions while writing such an article.  Who's intentions is you article exactly serving, certainly not the Cleveland public (who have been attending this race), nor the city of Cleveland itself (who has shown that it supports CART and benefits from this race) nor the fans of CART (who think its the best form of racing in America). So what exactly is it Mr.. Shaw that you're trying to say?

Comments such as the "roar of a mouse" suggest to me that you have no knowledge of open wheel racing, beside what you have been reading in the papers from Tony George or NASCAR supporters.  I bet the paper forces you to go to these races, if you even attend that is. I have attended the Cleveland race a few times and this race is as exiting and fun as any I have been to.

In your article you chose to focus on the negatives that surround CART and I will answer them in details to follow.  But u seem to forget that every racing series in America has problems and that includes IRL and F1.

You bring up the fact that CART's field is at 18c ars, while failing to mention that CART has received over 25 entries for next year including some from the IRL. Then you mention how it's losing its stars and that is true but you have to remember that F1 is the premier racing series in the world, and if the NBA players can get paid more playing oversees they will.  Therefore, why pick on CART drivers for taking a better payday and not focus on everyone else. the MLS is the same way, they lose their stars to Europe why not mention that.

You mention "IRL still competes in front of rows of empty seats at some of its stops, it has enjoyed a healthier six-year run than the circuit that was selling itself as "all the stars, all the cars" when the split occurred."  This is a funny dilemma -  you claim that the IRL, which is competing in front of empty stands, is fairing better that CART which has already surpassed a Million Fans in attendance before it reached the Cleveland G.P.  In 8 races they reached a million, while the IRL is still trying to reach 3/4 of that even with the Indy 500. Even our National pastime has attendance problem, and CART has outdrawn 14 Major league baseball teams by the all-star break. Your beloved Indians barely reached a million fans by the all star break.

Now I do agree with you in that CART used to be arrogant and ran itself to the ground, but I recommend you focus on what Chris Pook has done with CART since taking over as CEO and I am sure you will be more impressed.

In regards to IRL's TV package, you are right they did get a good package but CART has to keep its own customers (racing fans) before they reach out to others and all racing fans watch Speed Channel. By the way, have you watched a race on Speed Channel and compared that to the coverage of ESPN and ABC?

In conclusion, CART losing its stars is nothing new, that has been happening for the longest time, did you forget that Micheal Andretti was lost to F1 in the prime of open wheel racing in America.  In fact I recall everyone was pulling for him to succeed in F1.

I as a CART fan root constantly for Montoya because he is CART homegrown. Don't forget we got to see Juan make his mistakes and watched him grow into a champion that is representing CART well in F1.  But you do fail to mention CART also steals from F1 with drivers such as Junqueira, Franchitti, Papis and so on. Did Japanese fans stop going to baseball games in Japan when they lost Ichiro to MLB? Heck no, in fact that makes the fans happy that their stars are appreciated. CART fans feel the same about its drivers since going to F1 is a lot like Ichiro and Shinjo coming to the U.S.

You must stop comparing CART with NASCAR, they are two totally different series' and they race different circuits.  In CART reflexes and talent are required constantly while in NASCAR its the same lazy-racing motion of turning left, not to say that Nascar drivers aren't talented (they are), but its easier for a CART driver to go to F1, IRL, and NASCAR to drive then it is for the others to come to CART. And that spells out CART's uniqueness and high level of racing in the most diverse racing in the world.

Sincerely,
Ray Jaber

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