INDIANAPOLIS -- So here I am at the World's Largest Open-Air Griddle, aka the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Sunday the NASCAR boys will have at it in the Brickyard 400.
Good lord it's hot here today.
"How hot is it, Ben?"
Well, thanks for asking. It's so hot, you could fry an egg on the forehead of everyone who's been in involved in the IRL since its inception.
That's because I just sat in the Economaki Conference Room and heard someone ask Jacques Villeneuve -- the 1995 Indianapolis 500 champ and 1997 World Driving Champion is trying to qualify for the Brickyard this weekend -- why he didn't consider coming back to IndyCar after leaving Formula One.
"Well, after the split, which was '96, I think, it wasn't at the same level as Formula One anymore," Villeneuve said. "Where, before that, it was quite close. It was international and the perception was that high as well.
"After that, it split into two series and became two half-series. So, it felt like it would be a step back. It definitely was not at the level of ... NASCAR or Formula One, which are still the top two forms of racing in the world."