"Dario is not a fan of Chicagoland. Questioners
after qualifying asked Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon how Chicagoland ranked among their favorite tracks. Dario said it wasn't high on his list, although he did give it credit for entertaining fans. I think Dixon felt about the same."
- High tech cars
- Road and street courses
- Financing not contingent on spectator support or market demand for the product
Franchitti and Dixon are talented racing drivers who have been rejected in the marketplace. If they and other top IndyCar drivers and teams were attracting fans in droves, then the Committee of Public Safety would advise IRL management to keep them happy. But that is not the case.
Would the IndyCar racing product become less competitive if Franchitti and Dixon were replaced by Paul Tracy and Buddy Rice? Casey Mears and A.J. Allmendinger? A.J. Foyt IV and Al Unser III?
TV ratings were better and attendance was similar when Greg Ray and Scott Sharp were the stars. The product was therefore more competitive in the marketplace despite the presence of CART, an entrenched and well capitalized direct competitor that no longer exists.
Franchitti and Dixon are talented but not valuable. NASCAR (sans-culottes!) has demonstrated where U.S. customer demand for motorsports can be found. The locations include lots of tracks that Franchitti and Dixon probably don't like. Ironically, they also include two road courses, so long as domestic oval racers are doing the driving.