Commentary by Robin Miller
INDIANAPOLIS (May 14, 1995)
CART is anything but a bunch of swell fellas who are out for the best interests of auto racing. They've been blind to reason, pencil-whipped by greedy lawyers and selfish beyond belief. A few of them actually hiss instead of talk.
"I was never taken seriously in those (CART) meetings, and this announcement may not be taken seriously . . . some may say he's blowing smoke again," said George, who resigned from the CART board in January. "But I guarantee you one thing is certain . . . the time for all the talking and positioning is over.
"It's obvious we are going in different directions."
"This is not going to be a blood bath. That's not our intention," said George. "I'm not trying to do anything on the spur of the moment so people don't have a chance to react. I'm not for causing any great hardship right now.
"We've got definite ideas of where we're going and, hopefully, they (CART) will work with us and participate."
George doesn't like what's happened.
"I think Indianapolis, and Indy-car racing, is missing some American flavor. I'm not opposed to foreign manufacturers and competitors, but it rubs me the wrong way that America's premier series has to look overseas for talent because they have a fat checkbook.
"Maybe I'm too idealistic that guys can still earn their way to Indy on their talent. Jeff Gordon went to NASCAR without any money, and you can't do that here anymore."
George wants his new series to be oval track-oriented.
"I lean toward oval tracks . . . because it makes sense in terms of more exciting races, easier television production and higher ratings. I don't mind some road courses and street races, and I wouldn't want to say they are totally out of the question."
Budgets for competitive, one-car Indy teams have risen to $6 million to $8 million, and the focus of George's series is to become more cost-effective.
"I'm concerned about the long-term health, because at the rate things are escalating, it's going to take $12 million to field a car capable of winning," he continued.
Chris Pook, who brought Formula One to the streets of Long Beach, Calif., in 1976 and then replaced F-1 with Indy cars in 1984, didn't sound alarmed.
"When we changed in 1984, the Indy 500 was one of the primary reasons and, without it, I'm not sure there is Indy-car racing," said Pook. "We want to hear more, but the Indy 500 is very important to us and, hopefully, we'll be included in his (George's) plans."