Feb 17, 2023, Posted by: Maverick Leclair

Why did CART and IndyCar split up anyway?

When the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) and the IndyCar Series split up in 1996, it sent shockwaves through the racing world. But the separation wasn’t without reason. In this blog, we’ll unpack the reasons behind the split of CART and IndyCar, and take a historical look at the events that led to the divide.

In 1979, CART was formed as an independent racing organization, unaffiliated with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and the Indy 500. This move was largely seen as a way for teams to gain more control over their own racing destiny. CART began to grow in popularity throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, and began to become a major player in the racing world.

Meanwhile, the IMS and the Indy 500 had been struggling to keep up with the changing times. In 1994, the IMS was sold to the Hulman-George family, who decided to reform the IndyCar Series as a way to compete with CART. This move was seen as a direct attack on CART, as the IndyCar Series was created to challenge CART's dominance.

The two organizations began to compete for teams and sponsors, and tensions between the two sides reached a boiling point in 1996. In an effort to protect the Indy 500, the IMS decided to split from CART and create their own racing series. This move resulted in the split of CART and IndyCar, and is widely considered to be the catalyst for the decline of open-wheel racing in the United States.

While there are a variety of reasons why CART and IndyCar split, the most commonly cited reason is the rivalry between the two organizations. This rivalry was fueled by the competition for teams and sponsors, as well as the IMS’s desire to protect the Indy 500. The split of CART and IndyCar marked a major shift in the racing world, and is still felt today.

When CART and IndyCar split up in the mid-1990s, it sent shockwaves through the world of open-wheel racing. After decades of being intertwined, the two organizations went their separate ways, leaving fans and drivers alike to ponder why they had gone their separate ways.

In the years since the split, we have come to understand more about why the two split. The main contributing factor was that CART had become increasingly focused on international racing, while IndyCar was still primarily focused on the American market. This caused tension between the two, with CART wanting to be able to race on tracks around the world, while IndyCar wanted to maintain their presence in the United States.

The rivalry between the two organizations was further exacerbated by the fact that CART was the more successful of the two. CART drivers were consistently winning more races and championships, while IndyCar was struggling to remain competitive. This led to a power struggle between the two, with CART believing that they deserved more of the attention and resources.

The split between CART and IndyCar also led to a lot of uncertainty in the world of racing. Drivers, teams, and fans all had to adjust to the new reality, and some of the relationships between the two organizations remain strained to this day. However, the split also allowed for new opportunities and innovations, as each organization was now free to pursue its own path.

Overall, the split between CART and IndyCar was an unfortunate event for the world of open-wheel racing, but it has ultimately led to some positive changes. The two organizations are now more focused on their respective markets, and the rivalry between them has provided a level of competition that has been beneficial for the sport. No matter how you look at it, the split between CART and IndyCar has been an interesting chapter in the history of racing.


Maverick Leclair

Maverick Leclair

Hi, I'm Maverick Leclair, a sports enthusiast with a passion for motorsports. I've spent years honing my expertise in various sporting disciplines, but my true love lies in the adrenaline-pumping world of racing. As a writer, I enjoy sharing my insights and experiences with fellow fans of high-speed pursuits. From Formula 1 to MotoGP, I've got you covered with the latest news, analysis, and in-depth features. Join me as we explore the fascinating world of motorsports together.

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