So it appears we've been wrong all along about the IRL. Apparently it doesn't stand for "Indy Racing League" after all.
It stands for "I'd Rather Leave."
Remember, oh, just a year ago, when young Graham Rahal was being put forth (mea culpa: by me as well as others) as one of the fresh homegrown faces that would rescue open-wheel racing in America from irrelevance?
Not so fast.
A year later, Rahal is without a ride after leaving Newman/Haas/Lanigan when his primary sponsor, McDonald's, yanked its support to invest in the Olympics. He's now looking for work in, hey, what a surprise, NASCAR.
Even worse for the IRL, he's not alone. Among other familiar names currently out of work are Mario Moraes and Milka Duno. And of those drivers who have sponsorship deals, almost all of them are foreign. If the season were to begin today, only four Americans would be on the grid.
To true racing fans, this is relatively inconsequential. But to a sport trying to win over the average American racing fan, it's calamitous.