The Champ Car veterans who contested the series' last ever event at Long Beach have paid tribute to the category, even though they are now looking to the future and hoping to line up IndyCar drives.
Mario Dominguez, who raced in Champ Car from 2002, finished third at Long Beach and was overwhelmed by the backing he got at the event.
"I had so much support, it was incredible," said the 32-year-old Mexican. "It's almost as if I was racing in Mexico. So that was great and I was happy to give all the fans that were screaming my name a good result.
"I was just happy to be there and I feel honoured to be on the last Champ Car podium ever. It had been my dream to race in Champ Car and I started in 2002. It's a very sad moment right now that this was the last Champ Car race in history. This is where I made my name, where I made my career, and this is what gave me what I have, but I think it's the best thing for open-wheel racing.
"The future is very bright and even though I'm very sad that Champ Car has ended. I'm happy because the fans are going to be the winners when they watch one IndyCar race with all the stars, the great teams, and the great names out there in one race. I hope to be part of that as well, the future starts right now for me."
Fellow Champ Car veteran Paul Tracy joined Dominguez in bidding farewell to the series after yesterday's race at Long Beach.
"I had my first race here with Dale Coyne in 1991," said Tracy. "It was my first win in 1993, and I don't know how I'm going to feel after all this. I guess this could be my last race here as an open-wheel driver. This isn't really how I want my career to end.
"But it was a great event, there were big crowds in the paddock, big crowds in the stands even for qualifying, it was like the mid-90s again. There was tremendous fan support, and a lot of well-wishes for me, which feels nice."
Former Champ Car co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven, who runs IndyCar team KV Racing with Jimmy Vasser, added: "This has been a great, great weekend and Long Beach is a great, original street race event - it's a crown jewel in every sense.
"It's with mixed emotions that we look forward, but I honestly believe that this is only the start. What we've done is in the best interest of the fans and the sport, and we have a lot of work to do now.
"We have to publicise the great young drivers like Graham (Rahal), Will (Power), and Danica (Patrick). These are new names to a lot of the motor racing fraternity but they're names that are going to be around for a long time, and they're names that will help build the credibility of the sport."
Power, who won the final Champ Car event yesterday and lies fifth in the IndyCar standings, also paid homage to the series in which he made his name.
"Ever since I joined Champ Car my career has been good," he said. "I was given a great opportunity by (Team Australia boss) Craig Gore and I took it and ran with it.
"I love Champ Car racing and it's great to win here in Long Beach for the last race. It's really pretty special to be honest."
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