Will Champ Car teams run Indy 500?

A reader asks, Dear AutoRacing1.com, In this Indy Star article, Curt Cavin speculates that some Champ Car teams could compete in the 2007 Indy 500 because Champ Car left the first weekend of qualifying and the race weekend open in their 2007 schedule. Do you think any will? Deb Jones, Chicago

Dear Deb, We do not expect any Champ Car teams to race in next year's Indy 500. All the Champ Car teams must invest in all new cars for 2007, a significant financial undertaking. That coupled with the China race falling between qualifying and the race make it nearly impossible for them to also run Indy and have any hope of winning, which takes a large financial and time commitment.

Tony George will have to pay to fill the 33-car field again next year, and he could either choose to pay backmarker IRL teams that come out of the woodwork every May, or he could pay Champ Car teams to fill the field. Either way he has to pay, and our guess is that he would prefer to pay the backmarker IRL teams to show up, like he does every year….unless a merger is really in the making. Mark C.

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