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Bryan Herta, Gerry Forsythe, and the 2000 CART season

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  • Bryan Herta, Gerry Forsythe, and the 2000 CART season

    OK, so I was having a discussion on twitter about this so I figured I would bring this here for discussion as the experts of TF probably have more info than I do.

    What happened to Bryan Herta's full season ride with Forsythe for the 2000 season? I have found a bunch of articles on the subject online so here is what I know. In about January 2000, Forsythe announced that Herta would take over the Forsythe Championship Racing ride that Tony Kanaan had in 1999, it was to be a Swift-Honda package in conjunction with Frank Arciero. Arciero then backed out to do his own thing with Luis Garcia Jr. so Forsythe planned to run Herta with a team he fully owned. Herta tested the Swift but in March of 2000, just before the season opener at Homestead, Forsythe pulled the plug claiming that CART would not let him run a 3 car team, leaving Herta in the lurch. The "no 3 car teams" reasoning doesn't make much sense as Forsythe was allowed to run 3 cars (albeit with 2 separate entities) in 1999 and Green was allowed to run the Team Motorola car as a third car in 2001. Not to mention guys like Roger Penske and Derrick Walker running 3 cars in 1994.

    Was there something else that went on? Was Forsythe just making excuses not to run a Swift that was likely uncompetitive? Or did CART really block an extra car?

  • #2
    Originally posted by senorsoupe View Post
    OK, so I was having a discussion on twitter about this so I figured I would bring this here for discussion as the experts of TF probably have more info than I do.

    What happened to Bryan Herta's full season ride with Forsythe for the 2000 season? I have found a bunch of articles on the subject online so here is what I know. In about January 2000, Forsythe announced that Herta would take over the Forsythe Championship Racing ride that Tony Kanaan had in 1999, it was to be a Swift-Honda package in conjunction with Frank Arciero. Arciero then backed out to do his own thing with Luis Garcia Jr. so Forsythe planned to run Herta with a team he fully owned. Herta tested the Swift but in March of 2000, just before the season opener at Homestead, Forsythe pulled the plug claiming that CART would not let him run a 3 car team, leaving Herta in the lurch. The "no 3 car teams" reasoning doesn't make much sense as Forsythe was allowed to run 3 cars (albeit with 2 separate entities) in 1999 and Green was allowed to run the Team Motorola car as a third car in 2001. Not to mention guys like Roger Penske and Derrick Walker running 3 cars in 1994.

    Was there something else that went on? Was Forsythe just making excuses not to run a Swift that was likely uncompetitive? Or did CART really block an extra car?
    You are mixing up the Arcieros and you are confusing three cars with three franchises. Like any other owner, Forsythe was free to run three cars again full time in 2000 if he had the wherewithal (he didn't), but there was an express rule that said no owner could possess more than two franchises. The controlling franchise board denied Forsythe's application for a third franchise in 2000 based on that written regulation. Bryan Herta did drive a third car entered by FCR part time that year. In addition to their franchised cars, a number of owners ran non-franchised cars over the years following the establishment of CART's franchise system more than a decade earlier.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by editor View Post

      You are mixing up the Arcieros and you are confusing three cars with three franchises. Like any other owner, Forsythe was free to run three cars again full time in 2000 if he had the wherewithal (he didn't), but there was an express rule that said no owner could possess more than two franchises. The controlling franchise board denied Forsythe's application for a third franchise in 2000 based on that written regulation. Bryan Herta did drive a third car entered by FCR part time that year. In addition to their franchised cars, a number of owners ran non-franchised cars over the years following the establishment of CART's franchise system more than a decade earlier.

      So what happened to the franchises of the teams that moved to the IRL in 1996, they sell them? Only full-time CART teams I can think of off the top of my head that moved over were Foyt and Dick Simon although Simon didn't stick around long. Galles did after the 1996 year was over.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Privateer View Post


        So what happened to the franchises of the teams that moved to the IRL in 1996, they sell them? Only full-time CART teams I can think of off the top of my head that moved over were Foyt and Dick Simon although Simon didn't stick around long. Galles did after the 1996 year was over.
        CART announced a policy in 1995 that its teams were free to race in the IRL. Franchise owners who participated in IRL races would forfeit their seats on CART's board of directors.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Privateer View Post


          So what happened to the franchises of the teams that moved to the IRL in 1996, they sell them? Only full-time CART teams I can think of off the top of my head that moved over were Foyt and Dick Simon although Simon didn't stick around long. Galles did after the 1996 year was over.
          Gurney's rebooted Toyota team was reported to have been granted a CART franchise for 1996, as was Tasman, Green, and Patrick (the latter three I can only guess ran as non-franchise teams in 1995). Meaning there must have been a few that became available.

          Foyt fumed over the winter that they voted - as mentioned above - that CART franchise holders would lose their voting rights if they participated in the IRL. And he also claimed that they declared that all franchise teams were going to be required to race in all '96 CART races, and that the franchise would be revoked if they missed any of the races. Pretty much everyone decided it was going to be impossible to run a full IRL season and a full CART schedule due to date conflicts, etc. - short of having two complete separate teams, and who could afford that.

          In any case, it says Foyt's franchise was "revoked", however that came to be, and he did try to sue them...the suit was eventually tossed.
          Doctorindy.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Doctorindy View Post

            Gurney's rebooted Toyota team was reported to have been granted a CART franchise for 1996, as was Tasman, Green, and Patrick (the latter three I can only guess ran as non-franchise teams in 1995). Meaning there must have been a few that became available.

            Foyt fumed over the winter that they voted - as mentioned above - that CART franchise holders would lose their voting rights if they participated in the IRL. And he also claimed that they declared that all franchise teams were going to be required to race in all '96 CART races, and that the franchise would be revoked if they missed any of the races. Pretty much everyone decided it was going to be impossible to run a full IRL season and a full CART schedule due to date conflicts, etc. - short of having two complete separate teams, and who could afford that.

            In any case, it says Foyt's franchise was "revoked", however that came to be, and he did try to sue them...the suit was eventually tossed.
            Longstanding CART policy held that a car had to have competed in all of the races during the previous season in order to become eligible to be granted a franchise. If franchised, a car had to compete in all of that year's races. The briefly did not state that Dan Gurney was awarded a franchise. The cars fielded by Barry Green, Steve Horne and Pat Patrick during 1995 each met the requirement to be granted a franchise for the 1996 season. Owners were limited to two franchises. Franchise ownership came with a seat on CART's franchise board. Seats came with voting privileges on matters delegated to that board. The franchise board dealt with competition matters.

            Over the course of CART's history, aspects of its operations fell under the purview of various boards including its board of directors, franchise board and Delaware board.

            A.J. Foyt's antitrust action contained numerous allegations and named more entities than CART as defendants. Other defendants included Penske Racing, Newman-Haas Racing, Patrick Racing and Penske Motorsports. Foyt said he did not allege in sworn documents that his CART franchise was revoked, only that he was forced out of being a franchise holder by defendants' actions. Foyt said he voted against the Mills Memorandum because he thought the advisory letter sent to franchise holders about their fiduciary responsibilities was coercive and would leave them open to civil liability.

            Foyt alleged that CART's 1996 schedule was crafted deliberately to prevent him and others from competing full time in both CART and the IRL. He asserted that it was his intent to run full-time in both series until then.

            Foyt's suit delayed finalizing settlement of the CART-IRL trademark litigation. That settlement included provisions barring either sanctioning body from retaliating against an owner competing in both championships.
            Last edited by editor; Today, 04:39 PM.

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            • #7
              Was there a cap on the number of franchises? Seems to me I remember hearing on one of the broadcasts from 1987 or 1988 that there was a cap of 24 franchises, was that still in effect by 1996?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by senorsoupe View Post
                Was there a cap on the number of franchises? Seems to me I remember hearing on one of the broadcasts from 1987 or 1988 that there was a cap of 24 franchises, was that still in effect by 1996?
                There was no cap per se for many years, according to CART. There were times that more than 24 franchises were awarded. In 1995, CART's restated bylaws included an indication that the number of franchises had been limited to 24. Franchise holder is a bit of a misnomer. They were horizontal competitors operating under the protection of CART.
                Last edited by editor; Today, 04:09 PM.

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