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Outlaw Champ Car/Indy Car races


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#1 Disco Stu

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 16:43

This is sort of an offshoot to the No. 16 Indy Car thread. There's plenty of discussion about non-AAA sanctioned "outlaw" sprint and midget races, including IMCA and smaller organizations. What about non-AAA races for Champ Cars? I'd imagine there had to be something. Whatever events Ms. Smith's mother was in would be something, and I know about the Gold & Glory events for black drivers during the '20s and '30s. But was there anything else? Anyone know of any "outlaw" Champ Car races, or have an idea where to find out about them (books, etc.)? Thanks for any help.

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#2 petefenelon

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 17:20

Originally posted by Disco Stu
This is sort of an offshoot to the No. 16 Indy Car thread. There's plenty of discussion about non-AAA sanctioned "outlaw" sprint and midget races, including IMCA and smaller organizations. What about non-AAA races for Champ Cars? I'd imagine there had to be something. Whatever events Ms. Smith's mother was in would be something, and I know about the Gold & Glory events for black drivers during the '20s and '30s. But was there anything else? Anyone know of any "outlaw" Champ Car races, or have an idea where to find out about them (books, etc.)? Thanks for any help.



....arguably, almost the entire history of CART (and certainly its first couple of years) was "outlaw" -- or the whole history of IRL is.... depending on which view you take of the turbulent history of open-wheel racing in the US over the last 25 years or so. Half-;) half-:(

(Would the American Indycar Series for old Champcar chassis retrofitted with stockblocks count as such? -- before it positioned itself as a CART/IRL "feeder" anyway.....)

#3 KarlOakie Research

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 18:05

IMCA (International Motor Contest Association) was a direct result of the overbearing nature of the AAA Contest Board, many of the promoters at the fairground tracks finally having their fill of sanctions and the threats of sanctions by the Contest Board and finally forming their own organization in 1915, although many were already "outlaws" prior to that date. It just takes off from there with other similar organizations popping into and out of existence over the years, using hand-me-down Champ Cars in their features.

After some thought, the lineage of the National Championship established by the AAA Contest Board in the 1916 season and the National Championship Trail established in 1909 -- two very separate things until 1920 -- really seems to end in 1982 with Ziggy Snider wining the USAC Gold Crown. It is difficult to really consider the subsequent Gold Crown titles as much more than just an additonal token that went with winning the INternational Sweepstakes.

If this is the correct way to view things, then viewing the CART records as a separate entity makes sense. The only connection twix the CART and AAA/USAC championships was the short-lived period during 1980 when the Championship Racing League exsted before USAC broke it off. Does this mean that the IRL championship is a part of the AAA/USAC lineage? It is sorta how you view things....

Back in topic about Outlaw Champ Car racing, I once tried to record the alphabet soup of these organizations, but it gets so bewildering since champ cars, prints, what-have-yous all get so mixed up at times....

#4 Arthur Anderson

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Posted 12 December 2004 - 08:42

Karl,

In truth, USAC didn't stop sanctioning championship car events in 1982, as they were the sanctioning body at Indianapolis until the Indy Racing League took over sanctioning in the late 90's, and IRL recognizes all previous championship records I believe, as they fall into the AAA/USAC/IRL lineage. CART of course, did not, and I don't think that ChampCar does either. With CART, it seems that the "genisis" of Championship (or Indy Car) racing was 1979.

Art

#5 Allen Brown

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Posted 12 December 2004 - 10:18

Art, 'Karl'

This interests me as I'm working on the first Indycar pages to go onto OldRacingCars.com, covering the 1971-78 period, from the split of the National Championship into three divisions up to the birth of CART. Following the oval division of course; the road-racing division is one of those great if-onlys.

Where do you regard the history of the National Championship after that last USAC race of 1978? Which races should count as part of the same history and which should be in a different chapter headed 'CART'?

Allen

#6 TheStranger

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Posted 12 December 2004 - 22:35

Originally posted by Arthur Anderson
With CART, it seems that the "genisis" of Championship (or Indy Car) racing was 1979.

Art


I've read a few CART books, heard stuff from someone within Champcar (Eric Mauk at Vegas this year at the fan forum), and even older CART season guides which suggest otherwise - for instance, the 1994 Autoweek CART Guide makes sure to mention every champion in the pre-CART era plus the 1979 USAC title holder (AJ Foyt), and I think it was an officially endorsed guide.

This may have changed however.

Keep in mind that the Indy 500 DID count for CART points from 1979-1980 and 1983-1995, until 25/8 and the subsequent rule changes, and CART DID have to license the Indycar name (as well as PPG). Still makes it a pretty muddied discussion though...

Also, the way which Dan Gurney wrote the white paper seems to suggest they originally wanted CART to be more of a "constituency union" underneath the USAC umbrella, although as we all know it never turned out that way.

#7 FCYTravis

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Posted 12 December 2004 - 22:50

You're not wrong, Chris.

The 2003 Champ Car media guide considers the series a continuation of the original AAA Championship Trail lineage and contains all pertinent results and standings - including that of the rump 1979 USAC season.

#8 m.tanney

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Posted 12 December 2004 - 22:54

Originally posted by Arthur Anderson
In truth, USAC didn't stop sanctioning championship car events in 1982, as they were the sanctioning body at Indianapolis until the Indy Racing League took over sanctioning in the late 90's, and IRL recognizes all previous championship records I believe, as they fall into the AAA/USAC/IRL lineage. CART of course, did not, and I don't think that ChampCar does either. With CART, it seems that the "genisis" of Championship (or Indy Car) racing was 1979.
Art

  I've seen that claim on some of the racing forums. It's like an urban legend passed around by IRL supporters. But, like most urban legends, it isn't actually true. If you look back at CART record books from the late '80s through the mid '90s (the only ones I ever had), you will see that they had an extensive statistics section that listed all AAA, USAC and CART races and winners back to 1909. The historic records were, IIRC, a collaborative effort on the part of John Printz, Ken McMaken, Jim O'Keefe, Joe Freeman and Phil Harms. CART may have had its flaws, but it really should be commended on its attitude toward the history of the sport. I daresay that, for many on this forum, the first time we ever saw a list of national championship races and winners, it was in a CART yearbook. They handled the USAC vs. CART thing in a mature and sporting manner. All of the races from 1979 - both CART and USAC sanctioned - were listed, as were the later USAC races (Indy and Phoenix in '81, Indy in '82) that did not count toward the CART championship. Drivers' career totals included all of their victories, regardless of sanctioning body.
  CART, of course, no longer exists. Recently, CCWS added stats pages to its website. They only go back to 1979. I'm not sure what the IRL's policy is with regard to the years when CART was the primary sanctioning body for Indycar racing. It would seem ludicrous to claim that, for most of that period, there was only one national championship race per year (Indy) and that there is an unbroken line from the AAA to USAC to the IRL that does not include CART.

Mike

#9 TheStranger

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Posted 12 December 2004 - 23:17

Originally posted by m.tanney

I'm not sure what the IRL's policy is with regard to the years when CART was the primary sanctioning body for Indycar racing.


Paul Page has used CART stats in some broadcasts, from what I've heard...I didn't see it (someone who did could be more clear about this) but at the Michigan IRL race this year, I think the commentators talked about past MIS winners in the CART era...

I'm not sure though so don't take my word on that one.

#10 KarlOakie Research

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Posted 13 December 2004 - 02:57

To pick up on Art's comment, for a moment. When the Gold Crown Series was reduced to a single race, that sort of makes it a challenge to constitute a national championship trail out of a single event. Realistically, the national chmapionship trail petered out in 1982, although USAC provided the sanctioning for the IRL until it got fired after the Fort Worth fiasco. That the IRL recognizes all the previous records is nice, but that doesn't necessarily make it so. However, in today's world that is also most likely completely irrelevant and so they can do whatever they want, right or wrong, and that is that.

CART was very clever to play the history card in the early 1980s, something that helped its cause in many ways, large and small. I corresponded a bit with John Printz and Jim O'Keefe back then and it was a godsend in helping me sort some things out at the time. However, CART was always very cautious in how it presented its own record and used consistently used 1979 as its starting point while demonstrating that there was a heritage of championship racing which it was apart of. Very smart strategy and one that worked quite well in my opinion. Well, AJ got a bit peeved at times with their records, but what else is new?

The whole lineage business is a bit of a muddle since there really aren't any rules or strict guidance to go by, and the one I am most familiar with -- those of the US Army, really don't translate well in most cases, although I could use them to make several cases as to how the lineage might be worked out....