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Why 1996 Co-Champions?

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  • Why 1996 Co-Champions?

    I never really thought about it until now, but why were Buzz Calkins and Scott Sharp co-champions in 1996 when Buzz has 1 win and Scott and none? Why didn't they do a countback on wins like most other championships have done since and I assume before?
    To do something well is so worthwhile that to die trying to do it better cannot be foolhardy. - Bruce McLaren

    Josef Newgarden 2 James Hinchcliffe 5 Conor Daly ?
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  • #2
    Because the rules didn't have a tiebreaker.
    It's a Hoosier thing, you wouldn't understand...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by BuddyCarSeries View Post
      I never really thought about it until now, but why were Buzz Calkins and Scott Sharp co-champions in 1996 when Buzz has 1 win and Scott and none? Why didn't they do a countback on wins like most other championships have done since and I assume before?
      The series was poorly run.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by midtown View Post
        Because the rules didn't have a tiebreaker.
        Blame USAC for that. USAC came up with a pretty dumb points system, where the spread between finishes were very low.
        First got 35, Second got 33, Third got 32, and so on like that. Dropping a position from third on out, lost you a single point.

        Combine this with a three race schedule. And USAC not having a tiebreaker rule......

        IRL was already fairly strained with USAC because of this, even before the consecutive USAC brain farts in 1997.

        USAC's sudden incompetence remains one of the split stories that really is baffling. Even though it really didn't have anything to do with the split.
        Silly Season scorecard and Where are the Indy 500 winning cars! http://inrd.gotdns.com/indystuff/

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Zeroninety View Post

          The series was poorly run.
          USAC came up with these things.. IRL didn't fully take over until 1998
          Silly Season scorecard and Where are the Indy 500 winning cars! http://inrd.gotdns.com/indystuff/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by PaddockMoose View Post
            USAC's sudden incompetence remains one of the split stories that really is baffling. Even though it really didn't have anything to do with the split.
            USAC's incompetence was in no way sudden, and had everything to do with The Split. It was USAC's incompetence that led to the formation of CART. The biggest surprise is that IMS kept them around as long as they did.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Zeroninety View Post

              The series was poorly run.
              True. But in so many ways it's even worse today. Television ratings were quite a bit higher in 1996 than today. And nationally people still tuned in the 500. The last two 500s have seen historic record low viewership.

              As bad as it was run in the middle 1990s the series has a long way to go to match the popularity of the racing back then. Penske has his work cut out for him.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by indyrjc View Post

                True. But in so many ways it's even worse today. Television ratings were quite a bit higher in 1996 than today. And nationally people still tuned in the 500. The last two 500s have seen historic record low viewership.

                As bad as it was run in the middle 1990s the series has a long way to go to match the popularity of the racing back then. Penske has his work cut out for him.
                I just hope Roger is around long enough to see his dream come full circle. I'm not sure the rest of the family has his passion.

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                • #9
                  How about the fact that an A.J. Foyt entry was involved ?????

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                  • #10
                    It was stupefying oversight, as even in the 1980s, CART had established an elementary tiebreaker (that was applied for all positions)....most 1st's, then most 2nd's, most 3rd's, and so on. Had that been applied, Buzz Calkins would have been the champion, since he actually had a win.

                    Don't forget too that the full-time IRL participants were scored on a weighed points table. You had a multiplier that was ("points for this race multiplied by the number of races you've participated in"). It was ostensibly to make sure a full-time IRL teams won that first title and likewise would take the first several positions in the final points standings...and not somehow a one-off that raced Indy only. I think they said also it was to entice teams to run all three and not just Indy only. But I think really it was more the former than the latter, as well as make sure IRL teams had the most points going into Indy and thus clinched to top 25 locked-in spots.


                    So in essence, if you ran all three 1996 season races (WDW, Phoenix, Indy), you got single points at WDW, double points at Phoenix, and triple points at Indy. Even with that somewhat complicated matrix, there was still a tie. However, IIRC, had they didn't use the multiple, a tie would have still prevailed.


                    Now, had they done a more conventional schedule and points for 1996....not done the silly split calendar season and not done the multiplier...the 1996 season would have been five races (WDW, Phoenix, Indy, Loudon, Vegas) with straight points...to the best that I can calculate...Calkins (144), Guerrero (139), Sharp (136), Hearn (133), Buhl (120).
                    Doctorindy.com

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                    • #11
                      I have a tough time calling a 3 race season a championship.
                      "If your car was a dog, then you had to figure it out and test your own limits. And we didn't go to a wind tunnel – we did it in the first turn at Indianapolis."

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                      • #12
                        That next season was equally as stupid. It was intended to have the season end at Indy. This quickly went out the window, so the last two 1996 races were lopped in with the 1997 season.

                        This ended up with several drivers who were leading at the end of the 96 season, not even having freaking rides in 97.
                        Silly Season scorecard and Where are the Indy 500 winning cars! http://inrd.gotdns.com/indystuff/

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Grizzlor View Post
                          I have a tough time calling a 3 race season a championship.
                          It was worse, USAC was still crowning Gold Crown champions up until 95. By then, the only race was Indy.

                          84 was the worst of these "seasons" 2 races. And no one but George Snider who ran the Duqouin dirt race managed to qualify for the follwing Indy race.
                          Silly Season scorecard and Where are the Indy 500 winning cars! http://inrd.gotdns.com/indystuff/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PaddockMoose View Post

                            It was worse, USAC was still crowning Gold Crown champions up until 95. By then, the only race was Indy.

                            84 was the worst of these "seasons" 2 races. And no one but George Snider who ran the Duqouin dirt race managed to qualify for the follwing Indy race.
                            Yeah I don't count any of those. 81-82 was just as comical. The last USAC title was 1979, albeit inferior to CART's. It was short (7 races) but only the Indy 500 crossed over to CART.

                            96-97 was ridiculous because you had a massive rules shift to NA and new cars "midseason." Calkins outscored everyone in the old CART equipment 144 to Groff and Guerrero 139. Tony Stewart still outscored everyone in just the eight 1997 races. So technically if you retconned 96/97, you'd have Buzz and Tony as champions, and Scott is the odd man out.
                            "If your car was a dog, then you had to figure it out and test your own limits. And we didn't go to a wind tunnel – we did it in the first turn at Indianapolis."

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                            • #15
                              It never occurred to the folks in charge that a 3-race season might lead to a tie and that there should be a tiebreaker documented in the rules.

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