Blog Entry

A great day for open-wheel racing ...

Posted on: February 22, 2008 6:45 pm

... maybe not so great for Danica Patrick.

At long last, the IRL and Champ Car have ended one of the most ridiculous feuds in history.

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.


Category: Auto Racing

Since: Mar 17, 2007
Posted on: March 17, 2008 11:48 pm

A great day for open-wheel racing ...

I agree with the parts about it being a great day, taking too long to happen, IRL having the upper hand with having Indy as a race, and hopefully what you say about open-wheel racing getting back to the bigtime will come true also.  But I guess I'm a dinosaur and a bit hardcore, in that I like the road courses.  Ovals-schmovals.  Kinda boring.  Give me turns, hairpins, esses, corkscrews, the whole gamut of conditions, just like you find on the ... road.

But then, I like rallies, Figure-8, sports cars (IMSA!  Watkins Glen!  SCCA!), dirt track (used to watch the action at Fonda, NY with my brothers, Dad and uncles) ... none of which makes a blip on the US radar of televised entertainment.  Oooohhh, NASCAR: feh!

As far as Danica Patrick goes: I'd say just treat her like any other driver.  Some feel she got a dream-ticket ride with a top team mighty quick in comparison to other talented drivers who lacked certain of her essential qualities.  She's certainly got skillz, but so do about 50 others.  One suspected a degree of "let's push this as a way to rejuvenate the excitement", which possibly segued into pushing for pushings' sake.

Well, back to my cave and fire-making; there's mastodon hides to skin ...

Since: Dec 9, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2008 10:49 pm

A great day for open-wheel racing ...

I too am glad this rift is over.  The one good thing about the begining of IRL was the first wave of drivers they had.  There was a big influx of sports car drivers taking a stab at open wheel and some even did very well Case in point Scott Sharp.  he is most likely on the end of his open wheel carrer, but it has been a good one.

As for Danica,  she needed to get a win befor the merge.  She is going to have avery tough time now, even with the team she is on.

I would still like to see the major portion of races on the ovals, and predominantly in the US.  I just don't see any need to go to Japan or Austrailia.  Stick to North America.


Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2008 6:58 pm

A great day for open-wheel racing ...

I can see a 26 to 28 race schedule in a couple of years with about a 50/50 oval to road course mix.  You are going to have fans of open wheels basically leave open wheel racing if they don't include more road courses.  Even though I agree Road Courses are by far more boring as there is very little passing, their are those that believe it is the core of racing.  What will be even more interesting to watch is will this series start to be the feeder series to NASCAR as we are seeing numerous drivers leave the open wheels rank for NASCAR.

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