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#1 Don Capps

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 16:44

Items of Interest

With the National Championship Trail originating in 1908 with its first events in 1909, its first chanpionship for drivers in 1916, the AAA Contest Board guided the National Championship until 1955.

In 1956, the US Auto Club picked up the National Championship.

Then in 1978 along came CART which ran its series for the 1979 season.

USAC also ran it series in 1979.

In 1980, the Championship racing League saw USAC and CART cooperate until USAC dropped out, CART running several events after USAC left.

In 1981, CART resumed its championship.

In 1980, USAC created the Gold Crown Championship which would run from Indy 1981 to -- and including Indy 1982.

The USAC Gold Crown Championship from 1983 onward to perhaps 1997 (??) was automatically given to the highest finishing Indy 500 driver -- or the one with any USAC standing?

1996, the Indy Racing League begins its championship.

2003, CART runs its last seasonal championship as the series folds.

2004, OWRS begins a championship based on the assets bought from CART.


Does this mean that now only the IRL can claim any sort of lineage back to 1909/1916; does the OWRS actually inherit the CART championship and lineage? Did CART actually ever have this lineage to begin with or did that lineage belong to the Gold Crown Series? Or ....


#2 indycarjunkie

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 18:04

I think the answer to your question would vary depending on who it was who answered it.

By my reckoning CART was the rebel series and therefore the IRL has a more direct linage to the original championship trail. Then again, I know I'm solidly in the minority in these (pro-road racing) parts so take my opinion with salt to taste.

#3 Disco Stu

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 18:06

OWRS certainly does claim the lineage of the championship, their claim is much more legitimate than any the IRL could make. After the series split in the late 70s, the USAC races outside of Indy either joined the CART series within the next couple years or faded away. The USAC Gold Crown was, for all intents and purposes, a single race. When the IRL was founded, it was built around that one separate race, with a few races elsewhere added in to create a series. Although it did wind up taking a number of tracks that had been in the CART series after a while, it was still built up from scratch separate from the original series. That's unlike the CART/USAC split, where the meat of the series went with CART, and therefore the easily traced back lineage as well. OWRS is essentially CART v2.0, so it makes sense to keep that lineage straight. AAA-USAC-CART-OWRS is an easily followed family tree, other than a bit of a fork in the late '70s/early '80s. IRL is a separate branch, almost another tree entirely, with Indy it's only link.

What's sad though, is that neither side seems to even care about the great history and lineage available to them. CART never made any attempt to acknowledge any history beyond 1979, and Indianapolis has always been about Indianapolis to the exclusion of anything else. It's too bad, there's a lot of exciting history out there, it just seems no one wants anything to do with it. :(

#4 fines

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 18:14

I'm a well known member of the minority who supported the IRL from the word go. I'm not at the height of things right now (never heard of OWRS :confused: ), but I always found it a bit contrived of CART to model as the lineage successor to AAA and USAC (yes they did, Stu - and very much so!). IRL brought back the spirit of USAC (the good & the bad! :lol: )

#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 20:27

Don - errmmm :blush: - do you mean 'Genealogy'? Or is this thread a cross between 'Good gen' and some kind of 'analogy'.... :confused:


#6 Don Capps

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 23:52

:blush: The "e" on my computer at work doesn't always connect or whatever and I don't always have the presence of mind to check......