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Old 21 Feb 2003, 02:37 (Ref:513049)   #1
Jay
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Atlantic driver Rocky Moran Jr. tells it like it is...

Here's a very good article written by 2002 Toyota Atlantic driver Rocky Moran Jr. He sums up quite well why Cart's rookies do not all have the best backgrounds of the available drivers and also sheds light on why there aren't more American drivers in the series this year.

http://www.racingpress.com/publish/rocky020603.shtml

I agree with everything he says, except, I don't think it's necessary for the series to have a ton of American drivers (obviously Rocky would benefit from this), but having say 3 or 4 would be a good number so that the "homers" have someone to chear for and get excited about. But, he sums up the problem of pay vs payed drivers very well. He also makes a good point (one which many people can't seem to understand), that the teams with pay drivers would likely not be racing at all if it wasn't for the money their driver was bringing.
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Old 21 Feb 2003, 02:38 (Ref:513050)   #2
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One other thing that is very sad about that article is it appears Rocky will be without a ride in any series in 2003, which would be a shame.
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Old 21 Feb 2003, 03:08 (Ref:513061)   #3
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Snrub should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridSnrub should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
He's got some good points. One thing I don't get - why did Dixon get a subsidized ride last year, only to leave at the end of the season on the same traitor team, while other people who would have done more for the series did not? He's right that the series needs more american drivers. In a time where CART is trying to recruit new fans, they need to get the casual fan interested. Look at the media coverage of the subway disaster in South Korea. Americans want american news.
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Old 21 Feb 2003, 06:28 (Ref:513163)   #4
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Yep, I can't say I disagree with any of you. CART is truly an international series, (note that everyone commenting on this thread is Canadian) but since half the series is run in the US they need the fan base in the US and need American drivers to do that. 4 or 5 would do it. We've got to be careful it doesn't end up like NASCAR though.....

Last edited by Omega99; 21 Feb 2003 at 06:29.
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Old 21 Feb 2003, 15:53 (Ref:513522)   #5
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That article is an excellent read, esp. as Moran was to have had an ongoing column, and now is found on the outside..truly a shame, as he has tremendous potential.

Sadly, unless you have sponsor cash, open wheel is an uphill battle.

The other thing that is overlooked in a driver's sponsor hunt is the fact that AMERICAN sponsor dollars are diluted by having so many choices as to where to spend them. Do we sponsor a team? A driver? put our name on a stadium? Sponsor a bicycle race? Sponsor a football bowl game?

Thats the sad truth people. American drivers are partially hurt by the sponsors not being able to see the value and in what open wheel has to offer.

Unfortunately, the tendency of the coporate sponsor, esp for 'consumer goods' companies is to go where the people (i.e. fan exposures) are. With the economy turning around, even WCup teams are having troubles, however, there was a sponsored 43 car field for the Daytona snoozer. :mad
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Old 21 Feb 2003, 16:14 (Ref:513529)   #6
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Liz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridLiz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Mr. Moran strikes a very bitter tone in this article, which perhaps is understandable given his deep sincere desire to race and the immense frustration of trying to raise Big Bucks in a limited market. It's essentially the same cry I hear from those who want to go to Harvard, Yale, Princeton and MIT, or other private universities with a lot of prestige, and come from modest backgrounds. Not to mention the families with 4 kids who can't afford to buy homes in today's market.

Essentially, being poor but ambitious sucks big time.

If I were speaking to Mr. Moran face to face, though, I'd advise him to drop the whole hypothesis that there is a cartel of wealthy Mexicans and Brazilians out there paying their compatriots to drive; as many Mexicans and Brazilians will tell you, the difference is not chauvanism and xenophobia, but rather that in their countries racing is considered a legitimate and desirable profession, and in the USA it's considered a hobby, most especially a hobby for rich peoples' kids. And you can't expect some corporation to finance your hobby, can you?

And I'd really like to see this whole thing about "pay drivers" being ipso facto inferior go away too. Nigel Mansell and Niki Lauda were two of the most famous pay drivers in their day; neither one of them turned out to be seat-fillers taking a deserving ride away from a poor kid without money or connections. Besides which I doubt very much if Mr. Moran, should he suddenly be handed a big fat cheque from Michael Anthony and told to spend it anywhere he wanted to but not to tell where he got it from, would hesitate for a moment to buy himself a drive and defend his purchase (quite rightly) as a reasonable thing to do.

The sad fact of life, Rocky, is that you can't have everything you want, it would be nice if someone would give you everything you wanted but usually they won't, and even if you never get everything you want, you still have a lot more than most people have. As you no doubt know, the majority of us of every age and financial condition that crowd the grandstands and line the streets to see you race would change places with you in a heartbeat, even if we never got to race more than once in our lives. You are one fast, talented, very lucky guy. Millions of guys your age are in the Persian Gulf right now, for one thing, and even more are asking people "You want fries with that?" Think about it.

Good luck, Mr. Moran. And I hope you get another drive soon.
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Old 21 Feb 2003, 16:26 (Ref:513540)   #7
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Liz, spot on.
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