New Book Goes Inside Indy Car’s IRL-CART Split

Indianapolis, INIndy Split, an authoritative account of the big money battle that nearly destroyed the sport of Indy car racing, is coming in May from longtime motorsports reporter John Oreovicz and Octane Press. Oreovicz’s previous book, released in 2020, detailed the rise and fall of PacWest Racing.

Oreovicz began attending the Indianapolis 500 as a teenager in the late 1970s, allowing him to witness the sport’s growth as an avid fan before documenting its decline as a journalist.

“I started writing this book in 2017, but I’ve been doing the research for most of my life,” Oreovicz said. “Over the last 45 years, it was my privilege to attend or cover nearly 500 Indy car races. I wanted to tell this important story in an accurate, entertaining and, hopefully, reasonably objective way.”

With a foreword by RACER contributor and Motorsport Hall of Fame 2021 inductee Robin Miller, arguably Indy car racing’s most vocal advocate, Oreovicz details the political infighting within the industry that climaxed with a 12-year split from 1996 to 2007 between competing forms of Indy car racing.

“The 1996 IRL-CART split was a civil war and an ugly divorce, all wrapped into one,” Oreovicz said. “No matter how it started or who was responsible for prolonging it, the split took a toll on anyone who cared about Indy car racing. Friendships were strained. Historic venues and events were lost, key sponsors and manufacturers departed. NASCAR was the only real winner in the Indy car split.”

The split was finally resolved in 2008 through negotiations driven by legendary racer Mario Andretti and actor/racer Paul Newman. The long struggle for stability came in 2020 when Roger Penske acquired IMS and the IndyCar Series, securing a bright future for the Speedway, the Indy 500 and the sport.

We’ll have more on the book as the Month of May approaches – including excerpts — and will offer it on the Racer.com store.