Don, the man behind Champwebdotnet on Twitter and a former consultant for Champ Car, joins us to talk about the Split. We’re looking at what happened and learning from past mistakes.
The first topic is, of course, the infamous White Paper (5:29) and what it really was all about. It’s a natural first topic. Dan Gurney never specifically called for a split, he called more for a union (or association if you don’t like the “u” word) to make sure the drivers and teams have representation. The word representation is a big theme throughout our discussions.
When trying to understand the split and how it all ended up we have a discussion about the Indy 500’s role including how CART viewed the race, and how letting Cart teams in the race wasn’t great for CART in the long run (26:10). Finally, a great discussion on the economic factors both in racing and nationally that ended it (41:43). Sure sometimes we get into the weeds, but this is a huge topic for anyone even remotely interested in racing. American Open Wheel was nearly irreparably harmed after the split and we’re just now seeing the series climb back out!
We decided to look ahead and use the lessons learned (a great preview starts at 15:40). How INDYCAR needs another engine manufacture and what that could bring (47:27). As the series is growing, we discuss great how to get and keep fans without using gimmicks (56:40). Don has some great ideas, and we’re all on board with creating a real and natural rivalry between drivers. We’ve had the campfire time, now it’s time for drivers to really step forward and try and beat each other.
Finally, maybe Firestone likes the idea of using different tires and compounds to really add drama to the races (1:20:27).
Thanks to Don for joining us! If you’re not following him on twitter Champwebdotnet – you’re missing out!!