This was prompted by THIS THREAD. It occurred to me that a '13 or '14 schedule MIGHT include Phoenix, Rd. America, Michigan and Fontana. Hmmm, let's first look at the '95 CART schedule:
Miami (streets), Surfers, Phoenix, LB, Nazareth, Indy, Milwaukee, Belle Isle, Portland, RA, Toronto, Cleveland, MIS, Mid-Ohio, Loudon, Vancouver and Laguna.
For fun, let's swap out Vancouver for Edmonton and Laguna for Sears Point.
By 1997, CART had added Homestead (replacing, market-wise, the street race), Rio, Gateway and Fontana, losing Indy, Phoenix and Loudon. In '98, Houston streets were added. Homestead, Rio and Gateway are gone.
Now, let's take a look at the '98 IRL schedule: None, but Indianapolis and (for now) Texas, remain. A few yrs. later, the series would add Richmond and Iowa. Only Iowa and Texas remain, with the POSSIBILITY of Richmond and Phoenix (a shared CART/IRL venue) returning.
Other discussed venues include Surfers and The Glen. I think the 1.5s are done after this yr.
Further consider that we now have turbo engines and it really raises the cliched question: What was 1996-2007 about, again? Have we not, through 2 warring series, ended up in a very smilar place to the one series (CART) in 1995?
How futile was this whole exercise? How pointless was it? Most of all, how do we explain this period (and explain it we must) to new and future fans? Why did we fight just to end up where we were, minus ratings and fans? In 1996-7, it all seemed so clear. Alternate visions, different cars, engines, etc. 15 yrs. later, that clarity is gone. Or maybe it really is clear: It really was a battle about nothing.
I hope someone, maybe multiple someones from ALL SIDES, writes an account of this or makes an ESPN Film on it. Those that led both sides and, with them, the fans, down this abyss need to be held to account IMHO. And maybe, we all could benefit from such a review, such a film. If it doesn't provide more understanding, it would certainly provide closure. Do we need that? Ask that question and his answer will be a resounding YES.
For it created two tribes out of one; two tribes that thought they were different but, other than the fringes, really weren't. To some extent, we are now one, but the old, hilariously pointless fissures lie just below the surface. Again, Randy has pointed to this multiple times. To an outsider like it must seem mad; even to us who followed it, it now seems perplexing.
I hate feeling this way just as a new season starts. I really am psyched about it and I would point out that those freaking out over only having 16 races this year ought to look at '95: CART had 17. But when I think about the long road still ahead and when I think about where we could be, I get angry. Angry at those who turned an interesting, if flawed, product into this. To accomplish nothing. Is there any other response but anger?