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MILLER: Best Of A Generation

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  • MILLER: Best Of A Generation

    When old-timers or curmudgeons (one in the same?) like me sit around and discuss the greatest Indy car drivers of all time it’s usually a debate about who is No. 1 but there’s never an argument about the candidates: A.J., Mario, Parnelli, Gurney, Rutherford and the Unsers.

    They were the most versatile and skilled in an era we will never see again and their careers were long and legendary when open wheel racing was lethal.

    Because they jumped back and forth between midgets, sprints, dirt cars, sports cars, Formula One, F5000 and Trans Am, it’s impossible (and wrong) to rank any of the modern day drivers in their class.

    Rick Mears, Michael Andretti, Bobby Rahal and Al Unser Jr. were the Bad Asses of the �80s and �90s, when Indy car stars still had grunt, a national following and a Q factor.

    Alex Zanardi and Juan Montoya were brilliant, just not around long enough, in the late �90s and Paul Tracy spent most of the past two decades thrilling us.

    Now the average Joe probably wouldn’t recognize Dario Franchitti on the street, let alone know how to spell or pronounce his last name.

    But a pretty strong argument can be made that the 37-year-old Scot belongs in the conversation when that “bestâ€‌ word is used.

    “Absolutely, he’s one of the best in my opinion,â€‌ said a three-time USAC, 1984 CART and 1978 Formula One champion who answers to the name Mario....

    http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/artic...-a-generation/
    http://thepurginglutheran.wordpress.com/


    http://thegatwickview.tumblr.com/


    http://thepurginglutheran.tumblr.com/

  • #2
    Think about it....he's won basically three titles IN A ROW for two different teams pre and post merger AND two 500s for those two teams. Could've won a CART title had not for a tie-breaker.

    That really ain't bad.

    Would've been better had there been one series all along with him, Seabass and Hornish going at it during this decade (2000-2010). I don't know if he's THE BEST but it's between those three.

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    • #3
      Sentence 3 above pretty much sums it up in my opinion.

      Then again, I don't think that anyone discussing today's best are comparing to the AJ's, Mario's, et al.
      ...---...

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      • #4
        I'm so sick of the mindset that fast close racing is "suicidal" ! I've watched all the oval races over the years and I do believe that the talent level has definately increased. These drivers are inches apart lap after lap. It shows just how talented these fine athletes really are.

        Oh, and its also very EXCITING !!!

        Speed, is exciting.

        Competition is exciting.

        Excitement is good! It brings people out to the tracks and gets people watching on tv.

        The mindset that anyone who likes exciting racing is a bloodthirsty gore monger has to stop.

        Think about this: when playing a video game is more compelling and exciting than watching a live IICS race, there is a serious problem. For IndyCar to survive, Randy is going to have to inject some high speed competition and excitement into this thing or we will lose the younger generation - and once they are gone, they will be gone for good. Us oldtimers will always come back each May - even if they continue to insult us with pathetic gimmicks like they did on Pole Day - but I dont care how many rock bands they bring out, the racing will continue to lose fans if this trend continues.

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        • #5
          He forgot to menion stock cars, on both ovals and road courses.

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          • #6
            nevermind
            Last edited by cheeseczar; 10-05-2010, 12:00 PM.
            ...---...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ace Sprocket View Post
              I've watched all the oval races over the years and I do believe that the talent level has definately increased.
              I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. I like NASCAR as well, so please don't take this as bashing. Whenever we watch Daytona or Talladega, we know that we'll see "the big one" at least once. A few of these IndyCar oval races over the past few years I have watched thinking, "man, they are going to wreck any minute, they can't keep up this pack running 2-3 wide while passing each other". To my surprise, they didn't wreck. They kept them clean and finished without caution. I have marveled at their ability to race so close while keeping their noses clean. This hasn't always been the case over the past 10 years, only the past 2-3 years.

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              • #8
                This is where it came from - " while learning to cope with the suicide circuit." I wasnt looking to hijack the thread but RM always tries to push his agenda whenever he writes about IndyCar.

                I thought it was interesting that RM didnt bother to give details about DF's failure in stock cars - a disipline that all of the "best" drivers mastered.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ace Sprocket View Post
                  I wasnt looking to hijack the thread

                  No worries, I edited my question to you.
                  ...---...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ace Sprocket View Post
                    This is where it came from - " while learning to cope with the suicide circuit." I wasnt looking to hijack the thread but RM always tries to push his agenda whenever he writes about IndyCar.

                    I thought it was interesting that RM didnt bother to give details about DF's failure in stock cars - a disipline that all of the "best" drivers mastered.

                    This is an old arguement with an old answer. Name 1 stock car driver who's done anything in open wheel. Bobby Allison started and did well but no victories other than that no one of note has done anything on the stock car side. IMHO Petty, Earnhardt are all some of the best drivers ever but have never proven anything in OW.
                    I'd rather have 10% of the world interested in the ICS than 50% of US that NASCAR currently has

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ace Sprocket View Post
                      I thought it was interesting that RM didnt bother to give details about DF's failure in stock cars - a disipline that all of the "best" drivers mastered.
                      What exactly does Dario's misadventure into NASCAR ahve to do with him being one of, if not the best, IndyCar drivers of his generation?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TimmyZ1 View Post
                        This is an old arguement with an old answer. Name 1 stock car driver who's done anything in open wheel. Bobby Allison started and did well but no victories other than that no one of note has done anything on the stock car side. IMHO Petty, Earnhardt are all some of the best drivers ever but have never proven anything in OW.
                        Tony Stewart. Like it or not, he's known as a stockcar driver. I'm sure Jeff Gordon, Casey Khane and others could have had success. Maybe we'll see a couple in Indy.
                        “Anything is possible if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
                        -unknown

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fleshwound_NPG View Post
                          Think about it....he's won basically three titles IN A ROW for two different teams pre and post merger AND two 500s for those two teams. Could've won a CART title had not for a tie-breaker.

                          That really ain't bad.

                          Would've been better had there been one series all along with him, Seabass and Hornish going at it during this decade (2000-2010). I don't know if he's THE BEST but it's between those three.


                          How do you figure that? Looking at the record book that's not possible to support such a claim.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by voice_of_reason View Post
                            How do you figure that? Looking at the record book that's not possible to support such a claim.
                            He's won the last three ICS championships he's competed in. The first, with AGR was pre-merge. The last two, with Ganassi werepost merger. (His NASCAR year was merger season). He won Indy with AGR pre-merger and Indy this year with Ganassi post merger.
                            It's really not a tough concept.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by stnkypete View Post
                              He's won the last three ICS championships he's competed in. The first, with AGR was pre-merge. The last two, with Ganassi werepost merger. (His NASCAR year was merger season). He won Indy with AGR pre-merger and Indy this year with Ganassi post merger.
                              It's really not a tough concept.

                              It is a tough concept when he was basicly not a driver in the series in 2008. You can only say a driver has "basicly" won three championships in a row when those three championship wins are in consecutive seasons. This is a typical example of revisionist history. It's sad people ***** about it when the series does it but it's okay when it fits a "concept" here.

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