The Indy Car Wars

The 30-Year Fight for Control of American Open-Wheel Racing


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About the Book

The world of Champ Car auto racing was changing in the 1970s. As cars became more sophisticated, the cost of supporting a team had skyrocketed, making things difficult for team owners. In an effort to increase purses paid by racing promoters and win lucrative television contracts, a group of owners formed Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) in 1978. Soon after, CART split from its sanctioning body, the United States Auto Club (USAC). Though Champ Cars ran on numerous tracks, the Indianapolis 500 was the payday that supported most teams through the season. From the beginning, CART had most of the successful teams and popular drivers, and they focused on driving a wedge between the track owners and the USAC. Over the next 30 years, the tension between CART and USAC ebbed and flowed until all parties realized that reunification was needed for the sake of the sport. This book details the fight over control of Champ Car racing before reunification in 2008.

About the Author(s)

A native of Indianapolis, Sigur E. Whitaker, is the great-great-niece of James Allison, one of the founders of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A retired banker, she lives in Norfolk, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Sigur E. Whitaker

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: 15 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9832-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1980-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Prologue 3
1. CART Is Born 9
2. CART Goes Racing 16
3. An Attempt at Reconciliation 29
4. The ­Short-Lived Championship Racing League 36
5. The Truce 45
6. A New Era Begins 54
7. Armageddon 67
8. A New Normal 81
9. CART Implodes 94
10. Phoenix Rising? 113
11. Reunification 125
12. Putting ­Open-Wheel Racing Together 138
13. Turmoil at the Brickyard 144
14. A New Start 149
15. Riding the Bucking Bull 155
Epilogue 171
Chapter Notes 183
Bibliography 203
Index 219

Book Reviews & Awards

“an incredibly detailed, well told and riveting story…entertaining and never told before stories…incredible story of how open wheel racing mad NASCARs ascendency easier. A must read”—Victory Lane.