The split is history

Posted by Iannucci | 4/20/2008 | 19 comments »
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We shall never watch another Champ Car race again, which depending on your point of view is either a good or a bad thing. Either way, it's done now that the Grand Prix of Long Beach has concluded.

It's all IndyCar series now, and after four races we have four different winners - only one of whom had previously won in the ICS. Congratulations Mr Power, and thank you for giving a reason to post this.

UPDATE: This post was originally made after the race was over but before your humble host had actually finished watching the telecast. As the comments below indicate, it was extremely rude of ESPN to be interviewing Danica at the conclusion of the final CCWS event. Hello - a race and series ending over here!

Meanwhile as Mrs Hospenthal was giving the first of about a billion interviews this week Ricky Bobby was doing donuts with his competitors trying to get around him. Alex Tagliani nearly got taken out. Of course, no mention was made because the Danica lovefest was set to 11.

Way to fire up the Champ Car Fanatics, Worldwide Leader. Ugh!


  1. Anonymous // April 20, 2008 4:53 PM  

    Am I the only person who was totally offended when the illustrious Marty Reid and Scott Goodyear chose to spend the last laps of the last Champ Car race chatting with Ms. Patrick, rather than working the race they were paid to call? They did break away from their chit-chat to call the last lap. It was a bittersweet race, and I don't think I'm the only one who's viewing was not enhanced by the infusion and intrustion of Danicamania once again.

  2. Anonymous // April 20, 2008 4:59 PM  

    i'm a huge danica fan...and i was offended by the ESPN broadcast. she should have been on in the beginning or the middle of the race and she should just be heard and not seen (to not interrupt the picture)like rahal was at motegi.

    as a indcar fan, i apologize for that event. it was embarrassing.

  3. faniqeric // April 20, 2008 5:31 PM  

    Yeah, the timing was horrible, even though by the end it was quite obvious Power would win barring air strike (TM Pressdog). I imagine the CCF people were none too happy.

  4. Bash // April 20, 2008 8:02 PM  

    IMS Radio got it right. It was part of their pre-race show, but not the main feature, and while mentioned a time or two after that, their focus was the race at hand. Pros, and they beat ABC at everything. Race after race.

  5. Anonymous // April 20, 2008 8:17 PM  

    I was offended as well. I think they knew they would barely have time in Victory Lane, and no time after to talk to Her Highness, so they let her talk. Then, she wouldn't shut up.

  6. mmack // April 20, 2008 8:25 PM  

    I have to say that I agree with the other posters here and state that the end of the Long Beach GP was not the time nor place for Danica!, Marty, and Scott to have a little coffee klatch about her win at Motegi. There was actual racing going on back in positions 3-4-5, with the cars literally nose to tail at one point. They missed calling some important passes because of that.

  7. Tabernerus // April 20, 2008 8:28 PM  

    Well, it was weird, but there were a variety of points where the telecast was disjointed, or otherwise off. I blame a team that wasn't used to calling Champ Car races. Part of the way you fill up a race is introducing the viewers to some mid-pack drivers. for example, Nelson Philippe is a young driver who has won at the CC level. Maybe a guy some fans might be interested in. Also a guy looking for a job. And running near the top 10. Nah, no need to introduce us to him. The Danica thing was another example of the broadcast team just not really quite getting that there were people watching that actually cared about Champ Car. I'm an IndyCar guy, but anyone who remembers Zanardi in the corkscrew or Papis running out of gas at Michigan has to admit there have been some big moments in Champ Car. It would have been nice to see some of that get mentioned. Of course, if you watched a Champ Car race last season, this broadcast was par for the course.

    I will say, the timed race might have thrown them a bit. If you're used to a lap counter telling you when the end is near, it can be tough to grasp that 4:00 means there are only a couple of laps left. But still, Jan Beekhuis was in town for the ALMS race. Couldn't they have had him in as the third guy, since he knows what he's talking about? And were there rules changes regarding the tires? Goodyear seemed to suggest that teams had complete option of what times to use. Were they still required to use a set of each?

    Ah, well. Now we can move forward.

    Sorry, Champ Car fans. you deserved a better-called finale.

  8. SS Minnow // April 20, 2008 9:09 PM  

    Just finished watching and agree that was horrible. The Danica thing- that's a given. Poorly timed, etc. I was a bit pissed about (and not sure if it happened just in my market- Charlotte) when they were looking back through some cool/historic moments at LB and cut to commercial in mid sentence. I can only hope as Indy Car begins to gain momentum that ESPN can put together a better broadcast. Seriously, it's deplorable. Give me Paul Page in a heartbeat. At least he could could make the call on a paint drying competition seem exciting. OK, dead horse beaten. Congrats to Will.

  9. Anonymous // April 20, 2008 10:32 PM  

    Tabernerus said :

    "Sorry, Champ Car fans. you deserved a better-called finale."

    No, they didn't . 80% of Champ Car share the views of those in the Champ Car Fanatic forum.

    Those CCF could dispear for all I care, those bitter hack continue spread the hate and its disgusting.

  10. agn727 // April 21, 2008 4:26 AM  

    While I agree that the last few laps of the last ever CART event shouldn't have been devoted to Danica, I'm pretty sure I heard her say she had just gotten off the plane from Japan.

    It was a sorry situation that they didn't bother to call the race at that point (although it was a foregone conclusion who would win). Or, at the least, reflect on the glory years that the old series and drivers had given us. But the truth is, it was a major coup having the first interview with Danica since stepping on American soil.

    And it really was in the best interest of the league as a whole. I have no doubt that both the IRL and the TV network would have preferred to interview her either before the race started or from laps 5-10. But it would appear that that wasn't an option. That being said, she is the big story they want to attach themselves to going forward. Not the death knell of a league they pray we forget about ASAP.

  11. pressdog // April 21, 2008 4:38 AM  

    You ain't seen nothing yet on the Tributes to Danica front. ABC/IndyCar has been waiting for this for 50 races, so the flogging it to death will commence in earnest now. The Indy 500 now will become Danicafest.

  12. SandWedge // April 21, 2008 7:44 AM  

    no kidding on danicafest just beginning... just imagine if she podiums in Kansas, theres a pretty good chance she'd be the points leader... I think the media would just implode...

    however on that note... keep in mind Cheever is in the booth for the 500 so hopefully will tone Marty down some...

  13. Tabernerus // April 21, 2008 8:05 AM  

    Three things:

    1.) To the anonymous that bashed the Champ Car fans, that's fine. So you're not a fan of Rick Mears, the Unser family, the Andretti family, Emo, PT, and all the other CART stars. That's cool. But painting a fanbase in such broad strokes is silly. That's no better then the trolls at CCF.

    2.) That really was the end of it. Wow. Broadcast quality aside, from now on everyone gets to work together to build a successful racing series. That really really was it. Hee hee.

    3.) Not sure anyone noticed amidst the craziness of Graham and Danica winning, but Jonathan Summerton won the first A1GP race for the US, and then showed well at Long Beach in the Atlantics race. Jonathan Bomarito, another talented young American driver, also showed well at Long Beach. Good to see. Let's hope Kalkhoven steers them toward IndyCar.

  14. Carrie // April 21, 2008 8:53 AM  

    I'm surprised anyone was shocked by the last few laps being spent on Danica. You'd think people would have it figured out by now that the ICS and their broadcasters believe all anyone cares about is Danica.

    It's really going to suck for them when they look back five years from now, when Danica is nowhere to be seen in the series, and see all the opportunities they missed to build up the series instead of just building up one driver.

    Anyways... back to the LGBP, was anyone a little taken aback by Helio's comments about how the team told him to pull over for Danica without telling him she was racing for position?

  15. SS Minnow // April 21, 2008 9:20 AM  

    i picked up on that as well and have been searching for info on the comment without any luck. I was speaking to one of my buds about the Motegi win and jokingly said that she got "the call". This was before I got back to watch the DVRed LB race and caught Helio's comments. Ed pits, Helio moves over, hmmmm? I honestly don't think it was scripted but I'm sure there are a few that do. Besides, why do it in Japan?

    One sidebar: Will her AGR teammates shave her head as they discussed last year??

    Anyways, looking forward to the ONE series for years to come.

  16. redd carr // April 21, 2008 10:57 AM  

    bad form for espn, no doubt. but as for the civil war between irlfans and champfans, man--just let it go.

    the new irl will continue to grow and, in that growth, adapt good ideas born from champ.

    and right now, open wheel fans should be happy with all the publicity--even if it's danicamania.

    in the long run, it's good for everyone.

  17. Dale Nixon // April 22, 2008 4:45 AM  

    Besides, why do it in Japan?

    Why not? There was no Race Control broadcast and most of the regular series beat reporters aren't sent to it was the last time there won't be 20-something cars out there.

  18. Anonymous // April 22, 2008 10:49 PM  

    ", adapt good ideas born from champ."

    lol George W. Bush has more good ideas than Champ Car.

    the IRL fans that were fans of the IRL 7 years, ago have always been better people than the bitter, disgusting, jerks that are at CCF. and yes CCF shares the attitude of 80% of the people that were fans of the defunct Champ Car/CART.

    The IRL needs good fans, oes with character , ones that have been loyal not ones that want to change the IRL into Champ Car.


    I'm a fan of the Unsers and Andrettis but NOT paul tracy and Rick Mears.

  19. Anonymous // April 25, 2008 11:35 PM  

    to carrie-

    I think most of the people were just disappointed that they forgot about the racing. The fact that the Long Beach as a whole seemed like an afterthought was a bit tough to swallow. I did like that they showed some moments from past Long Beach races but a little more extensive history of Champ Car would have been neat.

    You are right that the league has to be much more judicious in its marketing of her and that's speaking as a fan of hers. Promote ALL of the world class talent, great racing, and a diverse schedule. Promote new innovations. Promote your care for the fans. Those sorts of things will outlast a single driver.