Much has been written about the Power of Danica. I don’t know how to predict the full effect of Danica on the longevity of the IRL but it is painfully obvious to me that the IRL is living on Danica mania and will continue to do so for some time. Will it be enough to finally bury Champ Car? Nobody knows for sure. There are some signs that might be pointing to that.
As for Danica’s staying power only time will tell, I think she has to win and win consistently much like Shirley Muldowney did in Drag Racing to have a lasting effect. But even if she only wins once or twice the effects could be devastating. Both series are extremely fragile and it wouldn’t take much to end either one. I’ve watched her race and in my opinion she is a very opportunistic driver. She is very smooth and doesn’t tear up equipment. She is usually around at the end and this means that one day she will come in first, not because she won but because the others lost. If this is indeed the way her career unfolds then the impact in the IRL will be short lived.
Pen$ke’s purchase of Ilmor shows that he believes in the future of the IRL and plans to become an engine supplier. Pen$ke’s ahead of the curve actions could never have been more obvious. Although it’s less obvious how the Porsche deal will play into the grand scheme I wouldn’t be surprised to see the effects show up at the IRL somehow.
With the latest news of lagging ticket sales at San Jose and Portland the health of CCWS is uncertain. We can’t know for sure if the problem is getting better or getting worse, only time will tell. If the globalization of CCWS doesn’t pay the expected dividends will there be enough time to come home and rebuild. CCWS is putting it’s eggs in the street racing basket and if that doesn’t pay off then the end could be at hand.
As I have said many times one of these businesses will outlast the other and right now the IRL may have the upper hand.