Tuesday, October 31, 2006

More Open Wheel Chatter

As always it was entertaining to hear Robin Miller’s Open Wheel ramblings as he co-hosted Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on SPEED a few weeks ago…

The ever “controversial” Miller seemed “ahead of the curve” as usual. During the always entertaining segment of: HELL YES or B.S.? Despain asked: Will Villeneuve race full time in NASCAR?” Miller: BS! There’s NO way that Jacques is going to run 36 races. Miller has also vehemently said that there’s NO way that “MAC” Montoya will last through August…
Jack Roush who was in talks with Villeneuve has since hired 20yr old “Young Gun” David Ragan to replace Mark Martin next season. Villeneuve will possibly land a limited Busch Series ride with Roush next year…

When Despain asked Miller what would it take to get Open Wheel racing back to prominence it we look past the contentious CART-IRL split and start with a clean sheet of paper? I found this an interesting question since I’ve once again been “bamboozled” with the latest round of Champ Car-IRL merger talks, which seem less and less likely as time passes…

Miller replied that it needed to be like the CART “Salad Days,” (Mid 1990’s) with Street circuits, Road courses and Ovals! Throw in 10 million to bring back the Triple Crown 500 miler’s: Indy, Michigan and Fontana. Plus the short 1.0 mile ovals Milwaukee and Phoenix… Preferably a 20/21 race schedule with 5 Ovals…

Miller pointed out how the lack of American drivers is detrimental to the sport. Miller noted that Ryan Hunter-Reay, a former CART two time race winner may be joining ex-Open Wheel winner Robby Gordon’s NASCAR operation?

Miller stated that although the IRL is trying with Danica, (Patrick) Sam Hornish and Marco Andretti. You’ll never win back fans with one lone American in Champ Cars… Also you’ve got to be “hooked-up” with the ALMS. People don’t give a SHIT about the Grand Am series; they care about the ALMS because they’re real sports cars…

Miller noted how INSANE it was to him that 2004 Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice is currently struggling to find employment next year in either Champ Cars or the IRL. And Miller just doesn’t think AJ almendinger will stick around in Champ Car too long either...

Miller quoted Dan Gurney’s discouraging comment: “Those days are Long Gone!” In regards to Open Wheel racing ever returning to its glory days of International acclaim…

For more Robin Miller rantings, see: Open Wheel Chatter

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