Balaclava Image Deep Throttle Logo
Auto Racing History Image
HOME THOUGHTS ESSAYS RANKINGS HISTORY
About Us
Russell's Ramblings
Photos
F1 Schedule
Master Schedule
Debunking Myths
News Links
Shopping
Ed Donath Archive
Guestbook
In Association with Amazon.com

Uncensored CART Commentary
by Ed Donath

Sons and Grandsons
7/25/02

"I sat back and watched Dad, and I think he really missed that he's not directly involved with racing after he's out of the seat," said Michael Andretti at the recent press conference where he officially announced his intention to become part owner of the outfit that currently employs him — Team Green.

"I started thinking, ‘You know, I just don't want to stay involved but I want to be actively involved with the sport.’ So, a couple of years ago already, I started thinking when I am retired, I'd really like to stay involved in ownership. So that's where the thought process started. As Barry [Green] said, we started talking the end of last year; I brought it up to him. It started as a casual conversation and it turned into this…"

Of course, the this that Andretti’s casual conversation turned into — whether Mikey meant for it to pan out this way or not — will be a nearly year-long period of speculation that will revolve not so much around how Andretti the Younger will spend his retirement years, but whether CART will go bust as a result of a surge to power, glory and popularity of the rival Indy Racing League.

Such an ascendancy of the IRL would certainly be credited, for the most part, to the migration of such open-wheel racing notables as Michael Andretti, Roger Penske and his team of former CART superstars and the dreaded two-headed Japanese monster, Hon-Toy. The latter easily devoured its would-be nemesis Infinissan telepathically without even flexing a muscle.

So, will Andretti really be jumping ship…other than to run himself and/or another driver at Indy?

"My heart is with CART. I love CART. I love the series. I love the format. But the question is: ‘Is it too late?’ I cannot answer that. I don't have a crystal ball."

Nor do any of us peons on the sidelines have crystal balls, Mikey. Nonetheless, most of us — especially if we ever found ourselves in the unlikely and enviable position of not really needing the money — would opt to do precisely what we profess to love.

Unfortunately, no one resembles that “do what thou professeth to love” remark any better than the guy responsible for this whole mess — the inheritor of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The grandson has made a cottage industry, if not a career, out of doing it his way in the name of love for open-wheel racing with the copious amounts of cash he noticed lying around the house one morning.

That is not to say that Michael Andretti was also born with a silver spoon around his neck. He has literally risked life and limb 299 times in our beloved speed sport in order to follow — admirably — in the footsteps of dear old Dad. All the more reason for Michael to now do whatever is possible for as long as possible to help perpetuate what will ultimately be not only his birthright but his and Mario’s legacy.

“I think CART at the moment is in a very important time,” Michael opined. “It's a critical time right now and the jury's out on whether it's going to be positive or negative. I think we have to wait and see. I think Pook has been working on a lot of very positive things. Now we have to wait and see how they play out.”

CART President/CEO Christopher R. Pook responds: “Michael and the Andretti family have been an integral part of Champ Car racing history, and we intend to do everything that we can to aid Michael in his new venture. We value Michael's presence in the CART FedEx Championship Series as well as that of Team KOOL Green and we hope that we can continue what has been a very strong relationship."

It sounds like Grandpa will be pulling out all the stops to convince the Andrettis and Greens to stick around and grow older with him. But so will the infamous grandson on the other side of town. No one needs a crystal ball to accurately predict that part of the saga.

Copyright © 2002 by Ed Donath and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

Ed Donath Archive

 
Site Index | Search | Contacts | Ad Rates |


Copyright © 1999-2017 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
The names, logos, and taglines identifying Deep Throttle are proprietary marks of Deep Throttle. All other trademarks and service marks are property of their respective owners. Deep Throttle is an independent electronic publication and is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any series, team, driver, or sponsor. Privacy Policy.