Monday, September 10, 2007

IRL Drivers Move Up And Over To NASCAR

Dario Franchitti proved himself the best driver in the Indy Racing League yesterday after winning the series championship at the Chicagoland Speedway. Once upon a time that would have put him atop the racing industry with the open wheel win, but not anymore. If news reports are accurate, he will be heading on over to the NASCAR series next year, where he can earn far more money and develop a much larger fan base. Tony Stewart's career was propelled after he made the move from the IRL to NASCAR. Sam Hornish, Jr. is expected to do the same. So it's pretty much official. The IRL is a second-rate racing league, a big step below where open wheel racing stood in American racing under the leadership of the late Tony Hulman.


Anonymous said...

Face it. NASCAR not only gets one more money, but it seems to be a lot safer.

Anonymous said...

You're right, 7:10--it's infinitely safer.

Even if NASCAR propelled itself around IRL, thre's still lots of fans, lots of moeny and enormous worldwide prestige in IRL.

And, under Tony George, our city has added at least two races to the track's season, which bring in many fans and dollars.

The world isn't the same as it was under Eddie Rickenbacker and Tony Hulman. That may be good, or bad, but it's real.

Mr. George works hard to keep the IMS facility at the forefront of motorsports. Sometimes, he gambles and it flops. But he keeps trying, evidenced by the new cycle race recently announced.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it isn't fair to say the 500's Golden Age and that of Big Car Racing was under Tony Hulman and all has been downhill under Tony George.

Much has changed in the last 30 years. People have more entertainment choices, are exposed to many more TV alternatives, and racing has grown exponentially.

I give Tony G credit for staying in the game and investing heavily in the IMS' future.

For the time being, NASCAR is the big dog and if I were a 30+ race driver with a hot wife I would be looking for long term employment in cars with fenders.