AR1 has been very succinct on the history of CART , Champ Car, and now Indy Car. CART was a powerhouse series with huge corporate dollars, great venues, massive crowds, great TV on ABC and ESPN, and was holding it's own against the NASCAR cartel.
When I walked in the paddock for my first ever CART race as a member of the Indy Car safety team at Homestead, I was in awe of the cars, drivers, teams, hospitalities, crowds, etc. It was electric and amazing.
That was 1996, the inaugural race at Homestead, and the new facility was beautiful as well. The future could not have looked brighter or more exciting except for the dark clouds looming on the horizon at Indy and the split/ defection by Tony George and his minions at Indy.
CART had a great formula , ovals, roads, and street courses, from Miami to Motegi. The crowds were amazing every where we raced. The IRL had a new plan, oval racing, Indy as center piece, emphasis on American only drivers, and no more ride buying foreigners.
Flash forward to present: Indy Car redux……The Indy Car cartel is still being run by the same people that killed the sport and are now trying to resuscitate it. The CART model is alive and well with CART Champ CAR teams and drivers dominating the series.
Where are all of the founding fathers and teams of the IRL? If CART's own teams and leaders had not sold out and defected to the IRL , where would IndyCar be today?
Now Randy Bernard is going back to the well to try and recapture the magic that CART once had. You only have a small window of opportunity in the sports entertainment environment and CART had it and IRL killed it. This is not bull riding with a niche audience, but a major motorsports program competing now against a mass of global sports choices for sponsors and sports fans.
To top that , you still have a rival in NASCAR who would love to see IndyCar tank again, just like they helped with in the CART/ Champ Car demise.
Randy reminds you of the guy walking around with his fly open and everyone is afraid to tell him, or they just find it entertaining watching him walk around with it hanging out.
Somebody had better warn Randy. Time will tell and history will be the judge. Bill Kinsey