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Volume 24 No. 160
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     In a survey of 254 Indy car racing "enthusiasts" conducted
during the week of January 15, RI-based Performance Research
found that 47% "generally agreed" with the position of CART's
IndyCar (which will hold its own race opposite the Indy 500
instead of giving in to IRL's new qualifying rules), 27% agreed
with the IRL's Tony George, and 26% were undecided.  However,
nearly 3 out of 5 (58%) said they will watch the IRL-backed Indy
500 "regardless of what happens."  The researchers add that the
dispute could lower overall interest in the sport.  While racing
fans said they expect to gain interest in Winston Cup (48%) and
NASCAR's SuperTrucks series (46%), only 26% said they expect to
gain interest in Indy car racing.  In fact, 30% expect to lose
interest in Indy car.  Sponsor loyalty could also suffer.  When
posed with two products of the same price, 39% of Indy racing
fans said the would "almost always" or "frequently" choose a
sponsor's product or service over one that was not.  However,
that figure is down over 29 points over a similar '94 study
(Performance Research).