Originally posted by ensign14
I submit that the US open wheel racing is solely rooted at Indy. From a spectator perspective. It is all about Indy and nothing else has ever mattered.
Looking at it from the top down, sure. But from the bottom up this country's racing roots are on the ovals. Not the road courses. With a very few exceptions, there was no road racing in the USA until after WWII and the great postwar sports car boom. So any affinity we have for road racing is mainly with sports cars; there is no long-standing tradition for formula-car road racing here as there is for the GP in Europe.
In the Great Golden Age of American road racing we had the Can-Am and the Trans-Am. Cars with fenders. F5000 was great racing but you couldn't pay people here to watch it. Finally SCCA came up with the brilliant idea of putting faux-sports racing bodies on F5000 cars..you will recall that fiasco bumped and heaved along until CART was born. Some of those teams served as the very nucleus of CART, Haas and Newman for example. There was both the beauty and flaw of it: a shotgun marriage of two disparate cultures. Let's sell open-wheel road racing with the Indy 500, the world's greatest oval race, as its centerpiece and marquee attraction.