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    Blood in the Water

    indycarlogo.jpgThe big racing news this week comes not from the NASCAR series, but from open wheel racing, where the Indy Racing League and the Champ Car World Series (formerly CART) have announced a unification plan that will merge the two organizations for the 2008 season. The merger ends the rocky split between the two sanctioning bodies and promises better competition for the hearts of racing fans. To use a racing analogy, NASCAR has been far out in the lead while the IRL and CART battled each other for 2nd place, but now that they are aligned they may be better suited to chase down the leader. Slipping attendance numbers indicate that NASCAR’s empire may be vulnerable, and back in the days of Johnny Rutherford , Rick Mears, and A.J. Foyt it’s hard to dispute the popularity of the sleek Indy cars over the NASCAR clunkers. The Frances have brought NASCAR a long way since those days, to the point where they’ve attracted huge TV contracts and lured away open wheel stars like Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, and most recently, Sam Hornish Jr. and Dario Franchetti. When you see NASCAR drivers going back to open wheel racing, you’ll know the tide is beginning to change.champcar_logo.gif



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