The CART-IRL split

By Times Staff
Published April 1, 2005

THE INSTIGATOR: Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George sought more control over the sport and announced in March 1994 the formation of the Indy Racing League, reserving most of the spots in the Indianapolis 500 for his American-based series. He said his goals were to lower costs and develop more appeal for American-based sponsors and fans.

THE REACTION: The team owners who controlled CART objected, announcing a boycott of the 1996 Indianapolis 500. CART held the U.S. 500 on the same day to compete with Indy.

THE AFTERMATH: While fans have migrated toward NASCAR, open-wheel racing has struggled, particularly for sponsors and television ratings. Neither side has been willing to compromise enough to reconcile. CART went bankrupt in 2003 and was replaced by the Champ Car World Series.