Tony Kanaan’s message to NASCAR and IndyCar followers is one which must be heard as each seasons are at a standstill due the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic introduced the 2020 NASCAR Cup Sequence season to an surprising stoppage with simply 4 of the 36 races on the schedule having been run, and it introduced the 2020 IndyCar season to a halt earlier than it might even get began.
Each collection have launched iRacing sim racing collection in order that their drivers are nonetheless capable of compete in opposition to each other doing what a lot of them have described because the “subsequent closest factor” to real-life racing.
NASCAR launched the eNASCAR iRacing Professional Invitational Sequence two weekends in the past whereas IndyCar launched the IndyCar iRacing Problem this previous weekend.
One key headline from this previous weekend was the truth that seven-time Cup Sequence champion Jimmie Johnson, who had been planning to check an IndyCar for the primary time with Arrow McLaren SP this upcoming Monday, April 6 earlier than these plans have been canceled as a result of the pandemic, competed within the IndyCar race at digital Watkins Glen Worldwide.
In response to that, 2004 IndyCar champion Tony Kanaan acknowledged the he was going to ask himself to see if he might compete in one of many eNASCAR iRacing Professional Invitational Sequence races. He adopted that up by stating that “it’s not us and them. It’s the motorsports world.” His remark, in fact, references the divide between the NASCAR and IndyCar fanbases.
IndyCar launched a brand new schedule in response to the numerous postponements and cancellations attributable to the pandemic, and among the many modifications on this schedule was the postponement of the race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway highway course. This race was moved to Saturday, July four.
NASCAR had already been scheduled to be at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 5. Now all that discuss 2022 being the earliest doable season for a NASCAR/IndyCar doubleheader is out the window. Assuming that there are not any extra schedule modifications, Independence Day weekend 2020 is about to function that doubleheader.
This has Kanaan much more targeted on bringing the 2 fanbases, which have a historical past of animosity and friction towards each other, collectively, particularly within the midst of one of many darkest occasions the world has skilled.
Here’s what Kanaan needed to say throughout an interview with Kevin Harvick and Matt Yocum on SiriusXM’s NASCAR Channel yesterday afternoon.
“It’s time to ship that message. If we don’t come out of this case as higher folks, globally, in each means, form or type…it’s simply being sort to folks. Hopefully, we’ll be sending the correct messages, doing radio exhibits collectively, doing stay on Instagram collectively, doing races collectively.
“I used to be bugging Jimmie Johnson to say, ‘Can I be a visitor in NASCAR on iRacing?’ I feel the misperception [sic], and possibly a little bit our fault as properly, is that folks don’t know the way (IndyCar and NASCAR drivers) respect every and the way we expect one another’s jobs are so cool.”
He additional mentioned the misperception about NASCAR and IndyCar drivers.
“We all the time revered one another and thought one another’s jobs have been cool. That tweet was for our followers who say, ‘These automobiles are too quick. These automobiles are too gradual.’ It’s time for us to cease. It’s a racing household.
“For individuals who don’t perceive about racing, any race automobile is cool. Doesn’t matter if it’s a go-kart, a dash automobile, a Cup automobile, it doesn’t matter. … The state of affairs, we’re in, we’re all equal. It doesn’t matter how a lot cash you’ve got. We’re all in the identical boat now. We will’t do what we love. It simply clicked. I mentioned it’s time to ship that message. Hopefully this would be the finish for ‘you guys and us’ for the followers. For drivers, I don’t suppose we ever considered it that means.”
In the course of the interview, Harvick agreed with Kanaan that the difficulty is just not the concept that the drivers themselves don’t get alongside, however the truth that there’s a “separate stigma” so far as the followers are involved.
However it is a good alternative for that to alter, which might be the final word silver lining to an in any other case darkish time. When racing does finally return, followers are going to be hungry for it, and it is a message that must be reiterated till that occurs.
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This isn’t something like an offseason, the place the break in motion is deliberate forward of time and the top is predetermined. That is an unprecedented stoppage in motion attributable to a world disaster that has saved the drivers and automobiles from the monitor and the followers from having the ability to spectate for an indefinite period of time. So far as when it can finish, we seemingly received’t know till it does.
As Tony Kanaan acknowledged, now’s the time to unify the NASCAR and IndyCar fanbases. The iRacing collection ought to definitely play a task in that with no actual racing to look at, and the deliberate doubleheader at Indianapolis Motor Speedway has an opportunity to make an enormous distinction when racing does truly return and followers are extra enthusiastic about it than they’ve ever been earlier than.