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Small Car Czar
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From autoweek.com

McRae to NASCAR? Rally champ could come Stateside


Britain's first world rally champion Colin McRae, who faces losing his drive in the World Rally championship after this year, will meet officials from NASCAR in North Carolina later this month to discuss a move to the series.

Currently commanding $7 million a year at Citroen, yet winless since the middle of last year, McRae could be left out in the cold if the French team decides to retain Carlos Sainz instead of the Scot. New regulations imposed by the FIA limit the number of seats open for 2004.

"I will pursue all avenues in rallying but I only want to drive for a top team. If I cannot do that I would look at other forms of motor sport," said McRae during last weekend's Rally Australia.

McRae has all but ruled out Formula One. He had a successful test in a Jordan in the late nineties and, while at Ford, had been touted for another test with its Stewart (now Jaguar) team.

"I think I would be quick enough but F1 would require a massive amount of commitment," he said. "What appeals more is GT racing like the ALMS series or NASCAR. Of course I'd like to do Winston Cup but I might have to start with something like the Busch series."

McRae's rally video game has already made him a cult name in the States. If McRae does make the move to NASCAR, he will be the first European world champion to attempt the largely domestic series. Former Ferrari F1 driver Patrick Tambay tested a stock car a few years ago but never raced.

McRae has oval racing experience. Last year he entered an ASCAR--the British version of NASCAR--race at Rockingham in Northamptonshire. His qualifying lap was the fastest lap ever set by a rookie at the track and in the race he was leading until a puncture dropped him to the midfield.

"It felt really natural. Once I got accustomed to the car I was right on the pace. It was the same with the Jordan F1 car," he said . "I think if you can drive a rally car on snow or ice and gravel then it's a good grounding for other racing. I want to be competitive in whatever I do. I still have the racing bug. I am not ready to retire."
 

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The signs are all there, first Toyota enters into Nascar via the truck circuit, now driver's without a southern accent, are we at women drivers yet?, I guess the next one, will be someone will slap a gay flag on the back of their car.

But seriously, how could someone want to go from WRC to NASCAR? If it was me and I wanted to leave WRC I would just retire.
 

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But seriously, how could someone want to go from WRC to NASCAR? If it was me and I wanted to leave WRC I would just retire.
I don't know......my attitude is "why not?".......it's a great sign of someone that just loves going fast no matter what the venue, and while I didn't have much of an interest in NASCAR, Colin getting a drive would definitely get me watching out of sheer curiosity.

Though I have long decided that he was never as quick as he thought he was, I like him more now because of this possibility.

Now bring on the gay drivers, kenyans, and ladies...... I think anything that shakes up the rebel-yelling yayhoos of the sport is a great thing
 

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I hope he chooses the GT cup over Nascar... nascar just seems so mainstream now, i couldn't stand having McRae on Fox.
 

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and beer. lots of beer.

I've found myself saying many times that colin's ego is crowding the ****pit. He used to be very agile, very quick, and lately it seems he's gotten extremely lazy and reckless. Some of the moves he pulls are simply bone-headed. Quite frankly, I think sometimes he's no better a driver than yuppies driving their SUV's and AWD Sport-Sedans around in the snow and mud thinking all wheel drive is a license to break the laws of physics.

I'd like to see just how well he can handle a 2-Ton, V8 powered RWD stock car though...
 

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hell ya let him. it will be the first time some one drifted around turn three at daytona
 

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I hope he chooses the GT cup over Nascar... nascar just seems so mainstream now, i couldn't stand having McRae on Fox.
Why would he do that?

Like it or not, NASCAR is the 800lbs. gorilla of motorsport. Lots and lots of money involved.
i suppose he could do it for my benefit alone... i know NASCAR is the 800lbs gorilla, but here's to hope?
 

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Awww.....

"I think I would be quick enough but F1 would require a massive amount of commitment,"
Aw, gee Colin. For several million $$ a year and the chance to crash F1 cars we'd really really hate for you to have to make a commitment.
 

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Re: Awww.....

I think what he means is:

"If I went to F1, it would mean I'd have to dedicate the rest of my life to it. I'd rather go do NASCAR for a year, have some fun, then come back to rallying."

Personally, it's like a trainwreck to me. If it happened, I'd hate it, but it's the only thing that would ever make me watch NASCAR. Just to see if he'd do well.

But if I were in his shoes, I would try to get a ride in SCCA Pro-Rally. He'd probably have to take a pay cut, but I'm sure any manufacturer would like to have him, he'd have fun, and it would keep his rally skills honed to return to WRC the next year.

I think McRae returning to Subaru in SCCA would be HUGE!
 

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Small Car Czar
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Re: Awww.....

There is NO WAY McRae would even consider a ride in SCCA Pro-Rally. It would be a step backward in a type of racing he already has conquered.

Top drivers at the end of their careers can go to another type of racing (Mansell to CART, Alesi to DTM, and now Salo to CART) and save face but would never go down a rung on the same ladder. Especially not for someone with the status and ego of McRae.

He has enough money to retire for the rest of his life (probably just from his video game series alone). He is a competitor so I'm sure he wants to drive in a competitive form of racing for as long as possible.

Look guys, it's silly season, he's probably just yanking everyone's chain to stir the pot to ensure that people will start making offers.
 

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Re: Awww.....

There isn't a pot left to stir since the WRC manufacter's can only enter two cars now. Almost every team with the exception of Hyundai and Skoda have signed their two drivers for next year. And Hyundai and Skoda are not the type of teams McRae would want to drive for.
 

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Re: Awww.....

Look guys, it's silly season, he's probably just yanking everyone's chain to stir the pot to ensure that people will start making offers.
And to focus the attention back on him...
 

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Re: Awww.....

There isn't a pot left to stir since the WRC manufacter's can only enter two cars now. Almost every team with the exception of Hyundai and Skoda have signed their two drivers for next year. And Hyundai and Skoda are not the type of teams McRae would want to drive for.
Hyundai, no...Skoda, maybe...
 

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Re: Awww.....

Maybe Ford will ditch Duval and take back McRae?

Anyway, I said "if I was" in his place, that's what I'd do. But I do agree, there's too much ego going on there.
 

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Re: Awww.....

no way is anyone going to give mcrae a ride in nascar other than a 3rd rate back of the pack busch team. Too much talent in other places. With the FIAs new two driver rule i doubt he will be in anything but an EVO if he's lucky. The only reason to go to nascar would be because its where all the money is, other than F1. Cart is dying, one wrong wall hit in the IRL and you cant walk the rest of your life, I dont even think minardi would take him and F1. Hes better trying to stay in WRC.
 

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After the IRL race at chicago this past weekend, would Colin want to tool around in a stock car for "valuable Nextel cup points" or would he rather prove he can drive a race car and go for open wheel cars. As Chip Ganassi said last year when talking about his 2 shops, Up here in Indy we build race cars, down at my shop in NC they make cars that race. He should prove how good he is instead of wasting all that talent in the taxi cabs.

Jason
 
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