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Champ Car-IndyCar merger beefed up car numbers, series credibility

Year 1 in the open-wheel unification went about as well as can be expected. Car counts were up. So were fan attendance and TV ratings. And the racing was pretty good, too. The true test, however, will come in 2009, writes John Oreovicz.

Updated: October 16, 2008, 5:55 PM ET
By John Oreovicz | Special to ESPN.com

It has been nearly eight months since Indy Racing League founder Tony George and Champ Car World Series leader Kevin Kalkhoven smiled, shook hands and announced the end of the war for control of American open-wheel formula car racing.

Champ Car ran one more race for contractual reasons and then quietly disappeared, leaving half its teams to join the former rival IndyCar Series. Despite lucrative financial incentives from George, a few remaining teams could not -- or would ...

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