This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. The Press Telegram today published the results of their poll of readers that showed 85% want Champ Car to stay in Long Beach, 10% want the IRL, 5% a sports car series and 0% another series (numbers are rounded to whole percentage point). 04/06/05
We are hearing that the Long Beach Press Telegram did a poll that will be released this week that shows 85% of its readers want Champ Car to stay in Long Beach, vs. 15% for the IRL. Like we said, Dover and Toyota would be taking a huge risk if they switch the race to an IRL race. The Champ Car fans that have been going to Long Beach since 1985 are adamant about Long Beach staying a Champ Car event. While Champ Car goes about its business of running races and signing new venues (i.e. ignoring the IRL and not trying to take anything from them), the IRL does everything it can to undermine Champ Car and take everything and anything they can. In fact almost the entire paddock and many of the IRL events were formerly with CART/Champ Car.
Many outraged Champ Car fans have written to say the IRL are a bunch of low-lifes for leeching off Champ Car instead of going out and starting their own events. Understandably they are quite emotional when it comes to Long Beach as they feel it is their crown jewel event. Their hate for Tony George and everyone who backstabbed Champ Car while following the Japanese yen over to the IRL and claim that hate will deepen if the IRL takes Long Beach. St. Pete was a success on the back of CART. Even the concrete crash walls and fencing were left behind by CART free of charge.