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Has the IRL helped or hurt racing?

Updated: June 25, 2002, 1:10 PM ET
By Jack Arute | ESPN.com

Since the Indy Racing League began in 1996, there has been criticism regarding the resulting division of the Indy Car discipline. What if the IRL was never founded? What would the sport look like today?

Buddy Lazier, Greg Ray, Sam Hornish Jr. and Scott Sharp likely would not have won the CART FedEx Championship the way they did the IRL title. It's also a safe bet that none would have ever made it to the top rung of open wheel racing.

Lazier toiled at the back of CART's pack. Despite ...

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