the against all odds possibility that this some how turns around in the next few days.
(no I’m not sharing a crack pipe, stranger things have happened, and I’m just putting something else out there)
It’s now painfully obvious that merger talks were/are happening. It apparently hinges on Honda moving a race date. (I do believe that is just one of the smoke/mirrors aspects of this move)
It’s also painfully obvious that for whatever reason (and trust me, from what I’ve heard over the last year the man has many legitimate reasons) Kevin Kalkhoven has had enough and that there is trouble in paradise between the owners/amigos/horsemen/rich guys with big toys, big egos and bigger bank accounts, whatever you wish to call them, despite their media spun show of solidarity last year.
So… what happens next?
Honda says go for it, moves the date, provides the engines and seed money for the absorbed CC teams, we spend the summer ignoring crapwagons and wondering how it all went so horribly wrong. War is over.
Jerry Forsythe steps up in the 11th hour, buys out KK, (OWRS) and thereby the other two “owners” (CCWS,LLC), and becomes Champ Car’s Tony George, the sole owner and decision maker. Game on.
Scenario A, while definitely not palatable, kick starts the healing and eventual re-birth of AOW. No guarantees that it will survive past 2008 however…
Scenario B, while heroic and fantastical, puts Champ Car at the back of the grid, with a busted front wing and a tire going down. It will take a Tracy like drive to win this race. The fans will cheer and rally and decry “we will not go down without a fight!!” As in scenario A, there are no guarantees that it will survive past 2008…
Teams and drivers will be wary, as will event venues, promoters and those ever elusive sponsors. How can any of them be convinced that this is not going to happen again? It’s like the precarious balancing act people do after discovering their significant other was cheating on them, yet they are trying to work it out.
Mistrust, fake smiles, stilted conversations, lots of bravado… however, the wound never heals. You either stick it out always looking over your shoulder, or you move on.
If, IF, Champ Car’s execution gets a stay from the governor this week, what do we have?
6 Signed drivers, 9 teams* (this is assuming Walker hasn’t jumped, Bachelart stays, and PKV becomes Vasser Racer racing cause the P is gone and it’s highly unlikely the K is gonna stick around) 14 confirmed races, (11 of which now are likely run by now very pissed off & suspicious promoters who spent the latter part of the week watching their hard work circle the drain), no title sponsor, a handful of legit team sponsors, a shitty TV package, no Marketing/Media/PR team to spin this thing, an exasperated mainstream & motorsport media (who were used as a pawn & made to be the bad guys, which will only endear them to play nice in the future… NOT) and a battle weary fanbase who may or may not at this point be interested in still playing in our sandbox.
Either way this all shakes out, there will be a lot of questions, likely not very many answers that aren’t canned PR speak, and a possibly insurmountable new mountain to climb.