Friday, February 22, 2008

Breaking news!

Mom and Dad really do love each other!

See, if you just hope things will work out fine.

After a lengthy separation, CART and IRL are getting back together again.

This is announced on the IRL site, but not on the CART site.

Does that mean they're banging each other, but they're not "together"?

One upon a time North America had an open-wheel racing series that people actually watched.

Once upon a time you had to kill someone to get tickets to the Indianapolis 500.

Once upon a time NASCAR was not the premier racing series in North America. (Okay, once upon a time NASCAR was not the premier racing series in North America outside of the American South.).

Back in the day (See how hip I am? Fine, at least my mom says I'm cool. [No, she doesn't]) Formula One champions came to race in North America.

The rat bastard, home wrecker Tony George who's claim to fame, or relevance was he owned the Indianapolis (the race track, not the city) decided cars should only turn left and proper race car drivers are American.

So, in 1995, he started his own racing league, the Indy Racing League, where cars only turned left and all the competitors were American.

And he only had three races.

So it should have been no big deal. Like when Mom and Dad came to Canada and opened a corner store, you didn't hear Safeway shudder and fall to its knees in fear of the competition? Did you?

Except that Tony "The rat bastard, home wrecker" George owned Indianapolis (the race track, not the city). He made a rule that effectively handicapped anyone racing at Indy who didn't race in his series otherwise.

Who cares! I hear you say. (Or is that just the voices again?)

Indianapolis has a venerated history (the race track, not the city), it is the place where only one Andretti has won, once; the qualifying took the entire month of May; Jim Nabors sang "Back Home Again in Indiana" during the pre-race ceremony; they served milk to the victor (Emerson Fittipaldi refused to drink it, but, damn it, they tried to serve it to him!); even pace cars are specially built for this one event! (As you were reading the preceding paragraph, your voice should have been getting hysterically higher. If you didn't, read it again. I'll wait here.)

Lastly, you know a race is special if the the cars that ran in it were called The [Insert your sponsor's name here] Special!! (By this point your face should be red from the strain of all the exclaiming. If not, I'll wait here while you read it again.)

In the time since divorce home wrecking break up dissolution, open-wheel racing has suffered in North America. No one has to die anymore for you to get a ticket to Indy.

Bitter people, who don't forgive easily (like, me?) refused to watch it.

That should have been the end of it, shouldn't it?

But no!

Indianapolis was so important teams left CART to compete in IRL so the sponsor could have their car seen in the Indianapolis 500.

And then CART couldn't figure out how to manage its way out of a wet paper bag.

There was the fiasco at Texas Motor Speedway in 2001 where drivers were blacking out during qualifying due to unexpected g-forces. Rather than finding a way to slow the cars for the one event (Ever heard of limiting boost, or insisting of a high-drag aero set up?) they post-poned it. Texas Motor Speedway sued and CART never went back.

Then there was Surfers Paradise.

With a name like that, what could go wrong? It's even in Australia! Who doesn't love Australia with their cute little Kuala bears?

In 2002, rather than post-poning the race, in the pouring rain, they went green and had a nine car pile-up on the first lap.

See what I mean about managing their way out of a wet paper bag?

Now Mom has put on a few pounds and she has some wrinkles, and Dad has had a heart attack and can't chase all the girls anymore so they're getting back together again.

I give it six months.

Via Autoblog
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