Former IndyCar heroes wilt in NASCAR

Switching from Indy Cars to heavier NASCAR Sprint Cup stock cars proved hard for overrated Sam Hornish Jr. The 2006 Indianapolis 500 and three-time IndyCar Series champion crashed and crashed and crashed. In fact he was involved in 20 accidents and spins in 34 starts this season, tops among drivers according to USA TODAY newspaper database research. Hornish declined to be interviewed by USA Today for the story.

The new NASCAR Car of Tomorrow proved difficult for another IRL hero, Tony Stewart. Stewart, always strong in NASCAR, this year was totally overshadowed by his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota teammate Kyle Busch who won more races than any other driver this year in Cup and in the Nationwide Series while Stewart was hardly a factor.

They were not alone. Other open wheel drivers looked like monkeys in NASCAR this past year too, including former CART Champion and Indy 500 winner Juan Montoya who was saddled with the slow Ganassi Racing Dodges, IndyCar hero and Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti who lost his Ganassi Dodge ride after showing very poorly, former Champ Car driver AJ Allmendinger who had to be sat out by his Red Bull Toyota team because of poor performance (although he did improve once he came back), and former CART and Indy 500 Champion, and former F1 driver Jacques Villeneuve (who thinks very highly of himself but in fact is mediocre at best) could not cut it in NASCAR either.

Were these "IndyCar heroes" set up to fail to make NASCAR drivers look superior so they can lay claim to the "greatest drivers in the world" title or are these drivers in fact inferior? Regardless of what really went on, because of their failure, the stigma of IndyCar Racing drivers has taken a real hit, something the sport of open wheel racing in America, already overshadowed by NASCAR, certainly didn't need.

In fact NASCAR drivers would fail miserably in open wheel cars, but you won't see any top NASCAR drivers making the trek the other way. You can bet if NASCAR got wind of that happening, that driver would find themselves in a good NASCAR ride immediately. The "elite" status of a NASCAR driver will be protected at all costs. The now defunct IROC series, using cars that were really a NASCAR stock car in disguise, was another perfect vehicle to make open wheel drivers look inferior. It worked to perfection and helped cement NASCAR's claim to the best drivers in the world.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :