... maybe not so great for Danica Patrick.
It's about time. The divide lasted much too long. NASCAR has assumed the throne in America, while the former king has become nothing more than an afterthough aside from when Indianapolis rolls around.
It made absolutely no sense to have two series providing basically the same product. I just never understood why it took so long for CART/Champ Car to come to its senses. Twelve years this has gone on. Why? Too many egos it seems.
With the Indy 500 in its back pocket, the IRL always had the upper hand. I've always felt the IRL product was better as well. The oval concept with which it was born under worked well and led to some compelling racing, even if not a whole lot of people noticed.
Meanwhile, CART/Champ Car stuck with the street and road courses, which has much less appeal except to hardcore fans.
According to reports, the IRL will gobble up three races from the Champ Car schedule, but it will remain heavy on the ovals. Hopefully it stays that way as well.
According to reports, Champ Car teams expected to move to the IRL include Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, which won the past four Champ Car championships; PKV Racing; Forsythe Championship Racing; Conquest Racing; Derrick Walker Racing and Dale Coyne Racing.
It's for this reason I say it's not such a great day for Patrick. With a stronger and deeper field -- in addition to more road courses which aren't exactly her specialty -- winning just got a whole lot harder. However, if she does manage to win now, it will be a much great accomplishment, but I'm not so high on that feat happening like I once was.
Finally, though, there's hope for open-wheel racing in America again.
If the axiom that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, then open-wheel racing will be Paul Bunyan in no time.