Reasons to care about the IRL-Champ Car merger
Everyone who anticipates a boring weekend at Fontana might distract themselves with a little pondering of the long-awaited, long-overdue merger of the Indy Racing League and Champ Car , announced Friday.
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Since: Aug 07
#1 Mar 9, 2008
The more accurate milestone would be 1978, when Indy car team owners formed CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams). At that point, the die was cast for the decline of Indy car racing and the rise of NASCAR. Anybody remember what happened in the very next Daytona 500?
Such was the arrogance of CART team owners that, smart guys that they are, they couldn't see fit to put Jeff Gordon or Tony Stewart in one of their cars. I don't think it's a huge reach to suggest that Indy car racing and its signature event would have been much healthier had just these two guys been driving those cars instead of NASCAR sedans the past 10 or 15 years.
But not only would Gordon and Stewart have handsomely filled the gap left by the retirement of the likes of A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti and Rick Mears, they would have paved the way for other USAC drivers such as Kenny Irwin Jr., Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Mike Bliss, and others who instead followed them to NASCAR.
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