SBJ/June 3 - 9, 2002/Opinion

Get your act together — and race series, too

Both CART and the IRL have to pull their heads out of the sand ["Battered CART shifts its hopes to new strategy," May 20-26].

The sad truth is that they are still hurting each other's series by directly competing against each other. At the end of the day, they are both open-wheel racing. If they could see past their differences and bury the hatchet, then together they could build the premier racing series in the world.

Both CART and the IRL have proven themselves to be much more competitive and exciting to watch than the other open-wheel series (read Formula One). CART has proven last year that Europe likes the product. I think the reason for this is that Europeans want to see racing again, and they also enjoy being able to get close to the drivers in the paddock.

This is what makes American open-wheel racing unique, the fact that it is fan friendly. Formula One has become an event where a group of guys get together on Sunday and drive really fast around a road course, but they don't race! Heck, they even pull over to the side of the track to let King Schuey win!

If both CART and the IRL could see past their differences and remerge the series, then I think open-wheel racing could begin to solidify the fan base and sponsor base that have been eroding since the split. Both series could learn something from NASCAR in that fans understand it, and there is only one series.

Jim Peterson
Farmington Hills, Mich.

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