Jump to content


Photo

10 greatest IRL drivers of the split (1996-2007)


  • Please log in to reply
70 replies to this topic

#51 9 Degrees 12 Min

9 Degrees 12 Min
  • Member

  • 121 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 30 April 2008 - 16:36

Originally posted by McGuire


Contrary to popular belief, JPM did not have the quickest car. Greg Ray was quicker early, but had a bad pit stop and then crashed trying to get back to the front. Late in the race Buddy Lazier repeatedly set fastest lap, finally setting fast lap on 198. But he had fallen back earlier, got bottled up in traffic and had to play catch-up.


Ray won the pole, so yes, he had the faster car, but got overtaken by Montoya on lap 26 or 27. Remember, this race was significantly rain delayed for hours but once it started, it ran almost two pit cycles before the first caution flew. Anyhow, Montoya passed Ray and then Ray pitted and that's when he crashed the first of two huge shunts that day and ended up 66th...I mean 33rd. Ray always had trouble at the 500 when he found the lead. Can't forget 2001 when more CART regulars appeared. Ray found P1 and then got stalked by Andretti in a furious sequence when the race had just gone past the official race lap of 101 and a downpour was threatening. Andretti closed up on his gearbox and forced Ray into a mistake that ended his day.

Advertisement

#52 Slyder

Slyder
  • Member

  • 5,453 posts
  • Joined: August 01

Posted 01 May 2008 - 02:54

Originally posted by Risil


IMO you can't blame them too much for that. The power of the the Speedway versus virtually the entire apparatus of the CART series had not at that point been tested - I don't think it's fair to blame the team owners for failing to account for just what level of sentimental value was attached to what was in 1996 essentially a nominal Indy 500. If the US 500 had been a success (which, on paper, it should've been; doubly so for the team owners who understandably believed it was their input that had made the Indycar series), the Indy 500 and hence the IRL and Tony George would've been crushed before his rebellion had gotten off the ground. Arguably it was the boycott that transformed the schism into an all-out split, which could've been avoided by sending the quickest 8 Champcars to clean up at a non-points event, but that would hardly have been the show of solidarity that may have been seen as necessary.

And ultimately the most that can be read from the debacle is that a) the drivers on the front row were idiots, and b) those in charge of CART, being the people that had made the unified series happen, excusably failed to take into account the importance of the Speedway, that simply by existing gave OW racing in the US more cultural traction than the combined efforts of the whole CART series. IMO that was what the team owners never understood, or could never understand, given their perspective from inside the sport.


When I saw this thread, my first instinct was :lol:, to be honest. Around 2003-4, what was CART simply became the IRL, as teams, drivers, to a lesser extent viewers switched en masse. CART's problems became IRL's problems, as they were the common problems of American open-wheel racing in general, and had been in evidence even before 1996. The Split was at most an accelerant. But we'll probably know more in the fullness of time.

And anyhow, I nominate Jim Guthrie, simply for being the only man who lived Tony George's mad, romantic dream. :drunk:


YOu know, the original idea was simply to separate the wheat from the chaff. People like to bash the IRL with good reason, but ultimately I didn't start this thread to create yet another CART/IRL pissing contest, I started it just to name some of the drivers that actually deserve some mention, not to glorify the scabs (did I even mention them at all? I never mentioned the Tooth Doctor, or Racin Gardner or Tyce Carlson or any of those idiots) or once again debate about the horseshit that went around the OW split.

that was NEVER my idea, all I wanted was to simply debate and recall some good moments however few, that the IRL had just as people were in the 10 best CART drivers thread.

But I guess people here didn't understand the noble concept from the beginning and scoffed on it. Way to go assholes. :rolleyes:

#53 mapguy

mapguy
  • New Member

  • 28 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 01 May 2008 - 04:15

Originally posted by Bob Riebe
AH, another poster who is a legend in his own mind.
Your rhetoric speaks much of your intelligence level.


Please tell me what Buddy Lazier did to deserve a CART ride. Long Beach 1991. PT put an old Dale Coyne Lola in the top 20 in qualification and hauled it up to 5th challenging Rick Mears for 4th. That's what got him the Penske test position. Buddy, in an old Lola, wanked it in the back in qualification and stayed there in the race.

#54 Risil

Risil
  • Member

  • 13,899 posts
  • Joined: February 07

Posted 01 May 2008 - 07:00

Originally posted by Slyder


But I guess people here didn't understand the noble concept from the beginning and scoffed on it. Way to go assholes. :rolleyes:


I think that's naive. The IRL was more a political tool than a racing series, and is inevitably going to be discussed as such.

#55 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 01 May 2008 - 11:06

Originally posted by Risil


I think that's naive. The IRL was more a political tool than a racing series, and is inevitably going to be discussed as such.


Well, I think that is naive. I saw a lot of great racing in the IRL. The trouble with this thread is that it was doomed to be flooded with the usual Haters and CARTweenies, and that is where the politics are introduced, hmm.

To me, their brief is based on the premise that at any point there were only 24 people in the world who were qualified to drive Indy cars, and that magically they all managed to land in CART. Racing does not work that way. For every driver who finds a ride, there are two or more equally qualified who do not get that break. That's how racing has always worked, always will work.

Note: Even in 2003 when much of the CART field switched to the IRL, suddenly their heroes all became wankers and they hailed the new crew as the true champions. It was all rubbish of course. And there are the "politics" in this discussion.

#56 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 01 May 2008 - 11:44

Originally posted by mapguy


Please tell me what Buddy Lazier did to deserve a CART ride. Long Beach 1991. PT put an old Dale Coyne Lola in the top 20 in qualification and hauled it up to 5th challenging Rick Mears for 4th. That's what got him the Penske test position. Buddy, in an old Lola, wanked it in the back in qualification and stayed there in the race.


By that standard you have disqualified nearly every driver in CART as well, along with Lazier.

Tracy was the talent of his generation, rivalled only by the two Gordons. Too bad he squandered much of that talent with his temper and poor judgement. It takes more than raw talent to drive a race car, and Tracy was beaten many times by drivers with considerably less native ability. Do these drivers belong in CART less than Tracy? I don't see how.

#57 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 01 May 2008 - 13:15

Originally posted by 9 Degrees 12 Min


Ray won the pole, so yes, he had the faster car, but got overtaken by Montoya on lap 26 or 27.


Then we agree.

#58 9 Degrees 12 Min

9 Degrees 12 Min
  • Member

  • 121 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 01 May 2008 - 16:23

Yes, we agree. Montoya in slower equipment and being a vastly superior racing driver than Greg Ray, passed him and never looked back until he drank the milk in victory lane.

#59 ColdHeart

ColdHeart
  • Member

  • 1,255 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 01 May 2008 - 16:57

Originally posted by McGuire


By that standard you have disqualified nearly every driver in CART as well, along with Lazier.

Tracy was the talent of his generation, rivalled only by the two Gordons. Too bad he squandered much of that talent with his temper and poor judgement. It takes more than raw talent to drive a race car, and Tracy was beaten many times by drivers with considerably less native ability.


I remember Tracy crashing at Phoenix with a 2 lap lead over the field. I remember him crashing on a restart at Fontana while leading with a handful of laps left. I remember him crashing into his teammate several times. Tracy is - or at least was - an incredible talent but no judgement. Which may explain why he is unemployed.

Advertisement

#60 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
  • Member

  • 1,671 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 01 May 2008 - 17:09

Originally posted by Risil


I think that's naive. The IRL was more a political tool than a racing series, and is inevitably going to be discussed as such.

CART was a political tool also, but that is not an excuse to trash drivers, any drivers.
If they are good enough to get a ride in a car, especially at Indy, they are more accomplished person in motor sports than any insulting twit trashing them on a forum.

Yes there is nasty misfortune and illogical good forutune that can make one wonder how one got there, or why one is not there, but unlike the insulting whining that goes on here, that is rare.
Bob

#61 Risil

Risil
  • Member

  • 13,899 posts
  • Joined: February 07

Posted 01 May 2008 - 17:23

Originally posted by Bob Riebe

CART was a political tool also, but that is not an excuse to trash drivers, any drivers.
If they are good enough to get a ride in a car, especially at Indy, they are more accomplished person in motor sports than any insulting twit trashing them on a forum.


Denigrating the IRL's purpose, organisation etc. is one thing, and their drivers quite another IMO. Arguably the drivers lost out more than most in the Split, not least in that many talented drivers, like Vasser, Moore and Zanardi, did not get the kind of running at Indianapolis I'm sure at least the first two would have craved. But the IRL's legitmacy as a racing series, mostly before 2002-3, must be called into question, and will mitigate the success, and perhaps even the reputation, of the series's top drivers. It's just inevitable, IMO. As is the amount of hate generated by the IRL, considering the demise of CART that it certainly hastened.

#62 Slyder

Slyder
  • Member

  • 5,453 posts
  • Joined: August 01

Posted 01 May 2008 - 17:51

Originally posted by ColdHeart


I remember Tracy crashing at Phoenix with a 2 lap lead over the field. I remember him crashing on a restart at Fontana while leading with a handful of laps left. I remember him crashing into his teammate several times. Tracy is - or at least was - an incredible talent but no judgement. Which may explain why he is unemployed.


So winning 30+ races and a Championship doesn't count? :rolleyes:

And just because he made some truly stupid mistakes, that's not the main reason why he's unemployed right now.

Great, Now I am contributing to the debate.. sheesh

#63 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
  • Member

  • 1,671 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 01 May 2008 - 18:48

Originally posted by Risil


Denigrating the IRL's purpose, organisation etc. is one thing, and their drivers quite another IMO. Arguably the drivers lost out more than most in the Split, not least in that many talented drivers, like Vasser, Moore and Zanardi, did not get the kind of running at Indianapolis I'm sure at least the first two would have craved. But the IRL's legitmacy as a racing series, mostly before 2002-3, must be called into question, and will mitigate the success, and perhaps even the reputation, of the series's top drivers. It's just inevitable, IMO. As is the amount of hate generated by the IRL, considering the demise of CART that it certainly hastened.

I totally disagree with you on one part; what happened to the IRL after the turn of the century, truly give some base to those who say Mr. George was not dealt a full deck.

It is one thing to have vision, it is bizzare to crap on your own vision, with no gain other than to hope the left-overs of CART fail.

#64 Risil

Risil
  • Member

  • 13,899 posts
  • Joined: February 07

Posted 01 May 2008 - 19:31

Originally posted by Bob Riebe

I totally disagree with you on one part; what happened to the IRL after the turn of the century, truly give some base to those who say Mr. George was not dealt a full deck.

It is one thing to have vision, it is bizzare to crap on your own vision, with no gain other than to hope the left-overs of CART fail.


I'm not sure it explains everything, but I think the best way to view the Split is entirely economically. George's dreams of an oval-centric, wholly-American series may or may not have been genuine, let's face it, they could've just been a ploy to get enough of the smaller teams on board (Foyt etc.) to avoid the IRL turning into British F3000, but basically his grievance was CART's undervaluation of the Indy 500.

As was eventually proven, Indy was by far the greatest draw in the whole open-wheel scene, but CART appeared to be heading in a more European direction, with a plethora of foreign drivers, street circuits, even races outside of North America. This expansion, I guess, could've been interpreted as an attempt to marginalise the Speedway and its troublesome influence, whereas Tony George certainly sought a more central role. Correctly reasoning that ultimately IMS's draw would contend with that of a bunch of no-name Europeans racing around the second division ovals, some identikit street circuits, and a bunch of road courses left over from various sports car series, TG took Indy out of the CART structure.

One gets the impression that George was essentially involved in an automotive hostage situation - the IRL was bizarrely underprepared for operation, and the first few seasons would have been laughable if they didn't result in so many serious injuries. When CART management refused to compromise in safeguarding Indy's place at the centre of its plans, George was really left with no choice but to press on with his ill-considered plans. With the NASCAR deal in place, he had the income stream to run the series indefinitely, whereas CART was left with the stars and cars, but arguably without a draw the American public could easily relate to. The division turned into a stalemate - this in turn forced the IRL to take itself seriously. When CART began to implode as a result of TG's pressures plus more than a few of their own making, the stars and cars jumped to the series that could offer them a secure long-term, and short-term TV exposure. Lo and behold, the series formed out of the realities of OW racing in the mid-'90s, had reincarnated itself by assembling itself in a strikingly similar order as before. The Pigs of the IRL had finally reconciled themselves with the Farmers they had driven out in 1996, and already it was impossible to say which was which. Tony George did not so much crap over his original vision, but simply had to abandon it in favour of running an actual race series.

That's my embryo of a theory, anyhow, I'd be most happy for McGuire and co. to shoot it down. I had been in the world not seven years when Buddy Lazier won his first (and so far only ;) ) Indy 500, which I guess must make me the first of the revisionists. :lol: Just so long as we can avoid all this vitriol that might've had a point to it about 10 years ago, I think there's a real point in discussing hows and wherefores and et ceteras of what recent events have confirmed as a very significant point in racing history. :)

[that was my apology for hijacking your thread, btw, Slyder :wave: ]

#65 potmotr

potmotr
  • Member

  • 9,999 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 01 May 2008 - 20:25

Scott Dixon for sure. Was dragged kicking and screaming into the IRL in 2003 having loved ChampCars in 2001 and 2002. Put this all behind him to win the 2003 series. And in 2008 remains one of the top drivers. Not bad for a ginger from South Auckland.

#66 stevewf1

stevewf1
  • Member

  • 3,259 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 02 May 2008 - 00:01

Originally posted by McGuire
Contrary to popular belief, JPM did not have the quickest car. Greg Ray was quicker early, but had a bad pit stop and then crashed trying to get back to the front. Late in the race Buddy Lazier repeatedly set fastest lap, finally setting fast lap on 198. But he had fallen back earlier, got bottled up in traffic and had to play catch-up.


Oh, please... quit making excuses.

#67 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 02 May 2008 - 01:17

Originally posted by stevewf1


Oh, please... quit making excuses.


I have no one I need to make excuses for. CGR smoked everybody that day. Montoya drove a great race, but it's not like he carried the car on his back. He had a great car all day and the team executed to perfection. Credit where it is due: to the entire CGR crew and management, not just Montoya.

This is not a race like '87 with Unser Sr, Johncock in '82, or even '91 when Mears adjusted his car back from a lap down. This was that rare thing at Indy: a perfectly executed 500 miles. My hat is off to the team responsible for pulling that off, of which Montoya was only one piece.

#68 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 02 May 2008 - 01:21

Originally posted by potmotr
Scott Dixon for sure. Was dragged kicking and screaming into the IRL in 2003 having loved ChampCars in 2001 and 2002. Put this all behind him to win the 2003 series. And in 2008 remains one of the top drivers. Not bad for a ginger from South Auckland.


He says he really enjoys the fast ovals too. He ought to, he's damn good at them. Could this be his year at Indy?

#69 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 02 May 2008 - 01:24

Originally posted by ColdHeart


I remember Tracy crashing at Phoenix with a 2 lap lead over the field. I remember him crashing on a restart at Fontana while leading with a handful of laps left. I remember him crashing into his teammate several times. Tracy is - or at least was - an incredible talent but no judgement. Which may explain why he is unemployed.


It would be a shame to see him without a ride at Indy this year.

#70 whitewaterMkII

whitewaterMkII
  • Member

  • 5,311 posts
  • Joined: November 05

Posted 02 May 2008 - 02:57

Originally posted by Risil


I'm not sure it explains everything..... recent events have confirmed as a very significant point in racing history. :)


Thanks Risil, a quality post.

#71 OfficeLinebacker

OfficeLinebacker
  • Member

  • 14,019 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 05 May 2008 - 14:17

I nominate TStew for first and declare a 9-way tie for 2nd.