Out of Step, With the IRL!

The man only known by the moniker of MyNameIsIRL steps up and makes a compelling argument as to why the IRL and Champ Car shouldn't merge. He posits that a merger would tilt the series in favor of Cosworth (which Champ Car maven Kevin Kalkhoven controls), that Champ Car fans won't watch oval races anyway, (which is likely true, besides the Indy 500), and that Americans prefer watching three-wide oval action.

We're not so sure about that. Open-wheel racing was the deal in America for years. Stock-car racing was what you watched when Indy wasn't on TV. And that's back when stock-car racing was actually cool. It's where the top-flight heroes of American motor racing competed. Sure, guys like Andretti and Gurney would run F1 on a bit more than a lark, and Europeans like Colin Chapman would send a Jim Clark over to change the game. But honestly, the only breakout hero we really see in a faceless mass of American open-wheel drivers is Marco Andretti. Danica scores the attention, and she was a smart marketing move for AGR. But Marco seems to have a bit of his granda' in him. And Mario was a guy who knew how to build a brand, speak his mind, make the ladies swoon, kick Burt Reynolds' ass in a street fight and drive the living snot out of pretty much anything with a steering wheel.

Then again, we don't know if all of this pontificating really matters. The mass-sponsorship and driver-grooming classes of top-level motorsport have sucked the life out of almost all of it. Even the lengendarily tell-it-like-it-is-in-too-many-words John Force has been reduced to a televised buffoon. So what if Champ Car and the Indy Racing League merge? It might help them take on NASCAR in terms of TV deals and sponsorship dollars, but it won't bring back the "Let's just try this, motherfucker!" spirit that ran though motorsport from its lowest rungs to the top levels.

Still, we like the road races. More Sears Point and Laguna Seca, less Talladega and Daytona. We won't say that effectively turning left at 200 mph doesn't require some driving skill that most don't have, but we'd rather watch people turn both directions at around 120. That said, we can totally get behind half-mile oval and dirt-track action. There should be at least one Cup race run on dirt as an homage to the sport's roots. If you want some Jalopnik love, France family, get that in the hopper, stat. It's a way better idea than the "Chase for the Jehosephat" or whatever you guys call that new-fangled points thingy you've got going. Maybe the mandate should just be for everyone to give up the corporate teat and let the asses that fill the seats pay your way. And that? Well, that'll happen right about the time Rush Limbaugh starts a Bikini Kill cover band.

Indy Star Begs for Series Merger [MyNameIsIRL]

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