What Loss of Newman/Haas Means to the Sport of IndyCar

Eric SmithCorrespondent IIIDecember 1, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 21:  Oriol Servia, driver of the #2 Telemundo Newman/Haas Racing Dallara Honda, is congratulated by crew members after qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 21, 2011 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

With the announcement today that Newman/Haas Racing has left the sport, it definitely shocked the motorsports world.

Newman/Haas Racing has been around since 1983, had a great season last year with Spaniard Oriol Servia finishing fourth in the season standings and had Sunoco rookie of the year James Hinchcliffe.

The organization won eight championships, had 107 victories and 109 poles all in Champ Car and CART. Mario Andretti won the championship in 1984, Michael Andretti in 1991, Nigel Mansell in 1993, Cristiano da Matta in 2002 and Sebastien Bourdais from 2004 to 2007.

This organization has been a force for all of these years, but due to the lack of funding they will not be able to move forward.

James Hinchcliffe brought on a sponsor in Sprott and Servia had Telemundo, but the rest of the cars were left blank last season and didn't have much backing.

This also has a huge impact on where both drivers will land next year. Both are on opposite ends of the spectrum in their careers. Servia is a veteran with not many years left, but capable of winning and running well now, and Hinchcliffe is a rising talent and can be a long-term driver for many years to come.

They join Vitor Meira, Justin Wilson and Tomas Schecketer just to name a few in the highly-talented free-agent pool for 2012.

Panther has said they want to expand to two teams, as has Foyt.

I honestly see Hinchcliffe joining Andretti Autosport for that No. 7 Chevrolet ride. That's a great relationship for everyone involved.

Servia could land in Dreyer and Reinbold or Panther.

Either way this is truly a great loss for the series with losing such a classy team.