The Other Side Poll - 2009 I500 Starters

I posted the question to my loyal yet vote lacking readers. Thanks to those of you who voted. I'd like to try and get some more votes to make these a little more interesting.

How Many Cars Will Attempt To Qualify For The 2009 Indy

Those of you that voted, many of you voted for either 36 or 38 cars to visit on qualifying day. Obviously this poll has as much importance as a tit on a nun, but it is still interesting to see what you guys are thinking. It's odd because 2008 saw 37 cars attempt to run in the only 500 on the schedule. So maybe you are following the post-bimergification trend and going with that number, or your simply pulling a number out of your rear end, but either way, this number sounds about right.

There will be about 23 or 24 cars on the starting grid in 2009 for the average ICS race, with 26 last year the norm. So we could probably say there will be one or two less cars attempt to qualify. Makes sense, but we could also see some more one-car entries with the larger interest post-merger. It's really a gamble on guessing the exact number.

Anyways, I'll guarentee we see more then 33 cars attempt to qualify which is what matters.

Anyways, the question for this week (if you care) is as follows.

Who will be the top non-Big 3 team in 2009?

Hopefully you guys throw up your opinions in the comments section as well as on the actual poll.

One KVRT Car, Until 500 Anyways

Well, according to the article on Indycar.com it sounds like KVRT is starting the year with one car.

"He's still young and learning a lot, but we were impressed with him last year,"
said Vasser, who is hopeful that he and co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven will assemble to funding to add a second car to the grid starting with the 93rd Indianapolis 500. "When you can be on par with or quicker than Bruno Junqueira on a road course, that's saying something. And he was really getting racy on the last few ovals and he's still on a steep learning curve. He's doing a great job."

So I guess we can count on one car from them for sure for the first three races, and hope that they get either PT or Servia (or another ride buyer) into the second car from Indy on. Maybe they are hoping their second car wins the 500 so they can use that money to run 2 cars the rest of the year?

I am still in awe of how Kalkhoven can run only one car when he is a friggen billionaire. I guess he and Tony could team up and run a team, then we'd have two rich guys run a car each, and they would still never win.


I Just Watched Driven...

Over the christmas break, while I was shopping for my girlfriend, I saw Driven on sale for 4 dollars. I had never seen it, and I had heard bad things, but I figured it was an important film to watch for an AOWR fan.

I was wrong. It's just not good at all. It's horrible actually.

Everything from the terrible politics of a race team to the horrific crash scenes on tracks. And any CART fan from back in the day, and even some common viewers could tell that one race would feature scenes from multiple different tracks. There were patches of grass at the Toronto Molson Indy, seriously. I even noticed while they were racing around the German ROAD COURSE, that they were on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. If your wondering why I threw Road Course in caps, it is because Germany was an oval (unfortunately, the oval where Alex Zanardi had his accident).

Anyways, don't waste your time with this masterpiece of shit. It's terrible. Even Sly admitted this was a waste of his time. And I wish I could attribute some of CART's downfall to this movie, actually if you really wanted to, you probably can. I mean, it would had turned me off AOWR if I had seen it.

Anyways, a side note, this movie cost $72 million US to make, and grossed $36 million US. Maybe that is where CART's money went (just kidding, it was an independant film, and CART actually made money off it).

You'd think after spending $72 Million they'd probably have some better graphics, but the terrible crash scenes actually look like Playstation 1 images from the old CART game.

Anyways, don't waste your time, and go out and get Grand Prix if you are in need of a racing fix. Hell, too bad someone can't do a film like that these days about the IRL.


HVM Preparing Their Excuses Early This Year

It seems like HVM has found some associate sponsorship for Ernesto Viso's car the 2009 sponsorship. Looking at the picture on the IRL homepage that goes along with the Lucky 13? article, it seems they have Nestle and some other company I can't figure out along for the ride for 2009. That is good news for a smaller team. Hopefully some of that sponsorship can help turn RHR nosing around for a ride into RHR nosing around for wins in a second HVM car. There is some history between HVM and RHR as iZod boy ran for HVM (then known as Herdez Competition) in Champ Car in 2004, winning at Milwaukee.

In other news, in an attempt to think up excuses for Viso's accidents as a result of his aggessive driving style, HVM and EJ in particular have come up with an ingenious idea, let's change the car number to 13! EJ discusses his decision at Indycar.com.

And in a news release next week, HVM will announce their associations with Werner Ladder Company and the American Mirror Company. All pre-race interviews will be conducted under a ladder, and to prove how not supersticious Ernesto is, he will break a minimum of 1 mirror each qualifying day.

And at the end of the year, when things go poorly, Keith Wiggins and EJ can blame it all on the bad luck they've had due to their various associations and sponsorships, and they will switch to lucky number 07 for the 2010 schedule.

Homestead and Versus

Well, day one of the Homestead Open Test for the ICS teams is in the books. The usual contenders were up front, with a few surprises. The test was led by Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe, and Dario Franchitti. Now the surprises start. Mario Moraes pulled a rabbit out of his ass and grabbed 4th overall for the day, followed by Power in his new ride, Andretti, and a good day from Robert Doornbos in the "Bobby D" sponsored car. Briscoe (setting up Power's car), Kanaan and Rahal round out the top 10. Stanton Barrett brought up the back end.

Seemed like Goodyear tire test as more then a few tires went flat, but I don't believe any incidents occured. All the ICS cars remained intact (there was atleast one crash from the FIL guys) which is good news since some of the teams don't need the crash damage this early.

NHL Racing put alot of miles on their cars today between Rahal, Doornbos, and "test driver" Milka Duno. Each car had more then 130 laps. Not sure if you have heard yet, but Milka at NHL is now the worst kept secret in the IRL, actually all of motorsports. Milka told the media to expect something next week.

After the testing was completed, on the sole camera set up at the test, you could see a group of cars led by Ed Carpenter circling the track at half or 3/4 speed. Carpenter was followed by the Versus liveried car of AJ Foyt IV. Don't get your hopes up for a Versus sponsored car at Vision (I'll talk about that in a paragraph or so), as this group circling the track was for a Versus promotional shoot. A chase car could be seen following the cars filming.

It seemed like a pretty positive day for the ICS teams, and today will see atleast one new car on track as Dan Wheldon makes his first appearance at the test with Panther after a National Guard promotion (I wonder what the soldiers thought of Dan and his pretty shoes) on tuesday. I still can't see how they can carry a foreign driver in a US National Guard sponsored car.

Anyways, back to the Versus car. If they really wanted to try and gain some viewership, Versus should sponsor AJ Foyt IV for 5 races, specifially Indy, Milwaukee, Iowa, Watkins Glen and Toronto. Why these 5 races? These are the 5 ABC races that will most likely get a larger viewing audience then any Versus race. On top of that, they don't need to advertise to people who are already watching a race on their own channel. Sure, it would stir up a bit of controversy, but it would boost the car counts up a little bit and you know that Vision is going to run atleast 2 cars in the I500, so why not make one of them a Versus car?


Shamrock Racing Announces It Two Drivers for the 2009 Season

Thank you very much for being here everyone on such short notice. This announcement came together quickly once this sponsorship deal was put agreed upon. In this tough economic time, we are happy to have Happy Go Lucky Shamrocks on our sidepods for the 2009 season in time to compete with the top teams in the IRL.
Now I'd like to introduce to you our newly formed lineup. Both drivers will be driving our new Honda powered Dallaras.

Please welcome Justin Wilson and Ryan Hunter-Reay to the Shamrock Racing.

Obviously by now, you know this is a fake press release. RHR and JDub would love to see a Shamrock Racing become a reality so they could have a ride in '09. If I had found a sponsor to go racing it would had been done by now. Actually, that might be a story for another time, when I was in discussions to start up a new Champ Car team with a strong backer (now that I think of it, I will probably go take a look to see if I have the paint scheme renderings on the computer downstairs still). Anyways, back to the topic at hand.

This entry is in response to the UOWWB Question of the Week. If you aren't aware of the question, it asks which 2 unemployed IRL drivers would you employ for your raceteam. Since Paul Tracy wasn't included in the list, I chose Justin Wilson and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Personally, I feel these are two of the most talented drivers without a ride in '09, with maybe only Servia competing for that second spot with RHR. I think between RHR and JW, they would cover both the strengths of the Oval and the Streets and Road Courses of the IRL. RHR would be the team leader on ovals, while Wilson would take control on the twisties.

I also think that both these men are the easiest to sell to sponsors as drivers. RHR is a pure-bred American with a good attitude. He probably brings a little bit of money with him from iZod as well. Justin sold shares of himself to try and get into F1, and after that, CCWS. I'm not sure how many of you got to know him last year, but he has an awesome personality to match his driving skills.

And I think the main reason I'd choose these guys, asides from their talent, is they are some of the hardest workers in AOWR, and they should not be out of a ride in the first place. It's unfortunate the way things went down, but someone has to throw them a rope. Both these guys have been kicked while they were down, and it seems this will happen again if no one steps up and helps them out.

I think these two gentlemen would give Shamrock Racing a fighting chance at podiums and the odd win with their diverse skills on Ovals and right hand turns. They have the skill, the drive, and the speed to drive with the best of them, and they'll put butts in the seats for the IRL.


Well any of you that read the title, and decided to still click on the link to this site probably would love to know what the title says. I just bablefished it to get what I was looking for.

One More Car in Japan

Roger Yasukawa has been confirmed to run for D&R in Japan on the Indycar.com site. I guess this bumps up the car count for the Japanese race which is good, for those of us up at midnight to watch the race. I have no issues with Roger and wish him well. This seems to be a yearly thing, putting Roger in a car for atleast Japan, and the I500 too.

I guess he has been working on this for a while now, and says he is still working on Indy.

Since the results from last year was not what I was hoping for nor doesn't
show my ability as a driver...I really wanted to go back with a competitive team
this year and I am sooOO happy that I am back with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
who I drove for in 05 and 07. The team has strengthen the engineering staff over
the winter and I think they will be pretty strong at Motegi since they have some
good data from last year with the new engineer that is on board. I really want
to thank Dennis Reinbold on being able to give me this opportunity and he is
like my father in Indianapolis. - Roger Yasukawa

Well good for Roger and D&R. I wouldn't call them a competitive team, unless your hoping for a top 24 result, but I guess you have to keep the people paying your bills happy. Daddy will be happy to hear the high praise for his one-off son.

Hopefully this estranged father-son combo can re-unite for the I500 before meeting up again in Japan. It would be nice to see Roger run a couple of races in the US on top of the Brickyard and Japan.


Test, Test, Test

IRL testing is getting underway today as the FIL rookies take to the track. FIL and ICS are hitting the track tomorrow, and on wednesday the ICS cars will be the only ones out there.

It's about time isn't it? Wow, it's been about 5 months of sitting around on a computer following rumors and stories just to get a taste. I'm happy we are finally going to see some cars on track... Oh, thats right, they aren't showing any of the testing this year on the website. That's cool. I mean, it would be a good way to give the fans a little bit of something extra. All they would need is 2 or 3 cameras. It doesn't have to be the best coverage. But whatever, it's all good. AOWR is kicking back into gear and racing is just around the corner.

The best news is that we are at 22 cars at the moment. The test entry list is out and it seems that we have all the usual suspects we expected to have. DCR has two cars, as can be expected from him. KVRT, HVM, D&R, Conquest, AJF, Curb/Aga/3G, VISION, Luczo, and Panther are all one car teams at the moment. Obviously we expected most of these to be one car teams, but I threw Vision in caps because I am not happy they are a one car team, but that's for another entry. Anyways, I guess there is still the possibility of KVRT, HVM, D&R, Conquest, and Vision (I guess throw in Panther, but they have been silent lately) adding a second car. And we have to remember that Tomas Scheckter still has to land somewhere, and chances are it will be a current 1 car team, so we can probably add one more full time car somewhere for sure. And who knows what Rubicon will do.

So I'm thinkin' we are at a minimum of 23 full-time cars for '09, probably with a maximum of 25 full time cars. Throw in SFR at certain tracks and we might see 26 once or twice (asides from Indy). I'd be happy with that, and you should be too. Especially if it's HVM and KVRT that add RHR and PT, that would make my day. Unfortunately, I think Servia is screwed for '09 asides from Indy.

Anyways, tomorrow will give us a good idea of where we'll be driver/team pairing-wise for the '09 season, as it's assumed DCR will announce Justin Wilson and a second driver, which would be a record for Dale Coyne for soonest driver announcements. Also, it should confirm Milka Duno in the 3rd NHL car for '09.

Anyways, I can't wait. I'm going to find the T&S for the FIL testing today. I believe they should be on track now, so it will give me something to do while I sit through class miserably.


Someone Grew A Set

Has anyone else noticed the Indycar.com has gotten a little frisky in the last couple of weeks? Maybe it's just me, but it seems like they've gone from posting puff pieces to taking shots at various different organizations and people, as well as controlling the usual IRL news. Hell, during the season they'd post the results and the odd puff piece in between events to keep the readers informed. Now they are posting IRL driver and team news and ficticious emails and jokes.

Let me back track for a minute here.

Just Sign Here

Tale of the Tape

Where's the Tat

Maybe they have been posting this risky stuff for a while, but I have just caught it. Maybe Dave Lewandowski (I do enjoy most of his articles by the way) at Indycar.com is getting a little bored waiting for the season to start like the rest of us and is just having a little fun.

But taking shots at Gay-Rod, Mad Max, and Katie Couric (can't come up with anything good for her, I'm dissapointed) should be left to the IRL bloggers around the internet, because we don't have to seem professional in our writing. It's not our job, we actually sometimes enjoy being unprofessional in our online opinions. But the IRL should be going out of it's way to stay professional in practice and appearance, and taking shots at big name celebrities doesn't do that.

I can understand they are trying to cash in on the hot news items via google searches and such, which is a good idea. But when visitors are led to the specific page regarding the previously named celebrities, the odds of the IRL and ICS looking like a organization worth putting sometime into enjoying are slim.

On top of that, we shouldn't be making enemies with celebrities and powers superior to us. We should be playing nice with the FIA until we grow a bit more, not piss them off. We could be biting off more then we can chew. We are lucky the FIA doesn't want to waste their time with us at the moment or Max and Bernie could probably go out of their way to make our lives hell.

Anyways, just a quick little observation of the IRL website. I like the odd laugh on there, but this is a little bit too much.


News coming today from various different outlets confirmed Robert Doornbos has signed with NHL Racing for 2009, thus ending the worst kept secret since Area 51.

To go along with Bobby D landing his spot, the IRL released the entry list for first ICS test for 2009, and NHL has entered 3 cars (Rahal, Doornbos, TBA). I guess this will confirm whether Milka Duno will be running in that third car, or if NHL has a trick up their sleeve. I'm also waiting to see if the cars will be decked out in CITGO colors and who will get to drive the McDonald's entry.


Forget Obama, Danica is in Canada!

Air Force 1 flew into Canada earlier today dropping President Obama off to speak to Prime Minister Harper today. Crowds gathered around the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Ontario of fans hoping to get a glimpse of who my mother calls, "The First President with some rhythm".

But in Toronto, crowds were gathering and gasping at the Canadian International Autoshow. The appearance of Danica Patrick to promote the Honda Indy Toronto stunned the crowds in attendance, possibly even stealing one or two people from the usually heavily populated Nascar Pavilion. She posed for photos in front of a current Dallara in Honda Indy Toronto colors, which actually looked decent, and signed autographs for members of the crowd.

Danica also put some time aside for Canada's top sports talk show host Michael Landsberg of "Off The Record". Landsberg asked her about various things from USF1 to the much talked about tattoo. She does manage to sneak some good sexual innuendo into the conversation though, I'll let you guys check it out for yourselves.

I think some of Danica's sponsors might be upset with her appearance. She had some difficulty naming off sponsors (as usual). But all in all, it's a good little piece and some good promotion for the Honda Indy Toronto, and it's nice to see AOWR represented at the Canadian International Autoshow.

And for those of you looking for more information on the Honda Indy Toronto booth at the Canadian International Autoshow, or just the Autoshow in general, IRL blogger Meesh is attending and I'm sure her blog (So... Here's What I'm Thinking) and her website, which is a good read by the way (OpenWheelWorld.net) will have some news on it.

I'm Still Alive...

Sorry about the lack of a posting the last week or so. Between school, hockey, lacrosse, and my rigorous gym schedule, I've been feeling the pinch. I'll be throwing something up in the next few hours.

In the meantime, take a few minutes to check around the other bloggers articles. There is some good reading to be had at many of the other IRL bloggers listed on the sidebar.


You Call That A TV Schedule?

If you hop on the IRL website, you will see one of the featured articles is the Canadian TV schedule. If I was the IRL, I would be embarrassed to tell Canadians that they have to stay up until 3:30am Monday April 6th to watch the opening race, let alone advertise it on their website like it's a victory for the series.

Now, obviously I'm biased since I live in Canada. I'm sure this story will appeal to Canadians more then any other nationality, but hopefully some of you will still feel our pain.

Us Canadians have been plagued by mediocre coverage of AOWR on TV for a few years now. I understand that CCWS had a bad TV schedule for a few years in the US, and the IRL had a good deal with ESPN going for the last little bit, but we have consistently been given the boot when it comes to television. Either TSN would show the races pieced together to save time or we would have to watch on SPEED, if you got it, and then in CCWS' last year, we watched on The Score, which was maybe the most consistent. However, in Canada, CCWS coverage was never good, and even IRL had tough times on TSN.

Now, with the new TV deal in the States, you would think they would put some more work into Canadian TV as well. Nope, plain and simple. Give it to TSN (thanks ESPN International) and let them air it on tape delay and most likely start the races late due to other events. Or even throw it on TSN2 which Rogers Cable customers (ie: me) don't even get because TSN is too cheap to sell it to them.

So in 2009, instead of being able to watch the races in real time, I'll be stuck watching St. Petes, Long Beach, Kentucky, Motegi, and Homestead at 3:30am and four other races after 11:30pm. These times are all EST by the way.

If I was the IRL, I would be doing my best to hide the fact that Canadians are getting screwed, not advertising it on my homepage. Hell, this TV schedule does as much for Canadians as Mariah Carey does for comedy.

I'm not sure what the TV deals are like in various other countries, but outside of the US and Canada, let me know what time you get the races and how good the quality is.


Kudos to Robin Miller

You know, Robin Miller catches a lot of crap from American Open Wheel Racing fans. I know just about every CCWS fan didn't think he was any good for AOWR, and most IRL don't fancy him either. People come to think that anything posted by Robin Miller is trash and just ignore it, or tear it apart. Hell, go to any motorsports forum after a new RM article is posted on the Speedtv.com page. People are tearing it apart and there are few believers of what he says whether it is positive or negative.

Personally I like Robin Millers work. He has been around the sport much longer then I have been and knows more then most of us do. I read his mailbag every week and enjoy doing so, and usually get angered when he is late with his weekly posting. I wish there was some way to add his work to my sidebar under IRL blogs, but either way, it's safe to say I enjoy his writing and reporting.

But this little posting isn't all about giving Robin Miller a pat on the head for a good day of work. It's more then that.

Some of you just look at the articles, which is all good. But when you stop to think about it, every single time there is a new story on the SpeedTV.com website written by Robin Miller, people talk. Whether they talk positively or negatively about the article, they talk. Even us bloggers usually follow his lead and give our opinions on his recent subject.

Lets stop for a second, and imagine a world where there was no Robin Miller. Asides from Curt Cavin (who also does a wonderful daily Q&A), there aren't a whole lot of people reporting on the IRL or AOWR in general. What would us fans have to talk about in the off-season? Or what about the month of May during Qualifying? How about those AGR team meetings? Would Speed ever even mention AOWR if RM wasn't a guest on Speed Report or Wind Tunnel?

What I'm trying to say is, Robin Miller helps keep the IRL on the map over the off-season. And whether his stories are factual reports, false reports, or simply rumors, people talk about his work over the off-season no matter the situation, and that can only be a good thing. With the lack of IRL promotion in the off-season, we need someone who cares about AOWR to help keep it on the map for us die-hards in the off-season (and for that matter, throughout the season). And we all know that the IRL usually only puts out fluff pieces, whereas atleast RM takes some shots and gives us something to get passionate about.

Let's face it, the off-season minus RM would be much less barable then it already is. I'm happy we have him reporting on the IRL for us, and I hope whether you enjoy his work or not, you all do too.


New Equipment Thoughts

After hearing that there are still 5 (or 3) major car companies still considering joining, or atleast attending the meetings, some things that were said really got me going.

First of all, with or without an economic downturn, we need to get a new equipment package out in 2011. That was the target set up by the ICS and it needs to be attained. Personally, I'm tired of watching speed boats circle IMS, and one of the main things when I decided to follow CCWS drivers and teams over to the ICS was that they had announced they would be introducing a new equipment package in 2010. Well, when bi-mergification occured, they pushed it back to 2011, which was understandable, otherwise you get CCWS teams using cars for two years, then buying a new chassis. So, I could handle that one, but now pushing it back to 2012 would be hurtful to the league. I think we need the new car and new engine package to turn a corner with fans and sponsorship.

And this whole economic mess we are in should not deter the ICS. First of all, all signs point to the economy rebounding late 2009 which gives us plenty of time to get back on track. Second of all, the new engine package and chassis package (along with a new rules package hopefully put together by Tony Cotman) will lower the costs in their series to a point where buying the chassis and running a full season in 2011 (or 2012 as it appears will happen) should actually cost less then running a full season now-a-days.

Ganassi says that it is about $10 Million per car to be up front consistently. So lets say a mid-pack is $6-$7 Million and a third tier operation is about $4-$6 Million. I think NHL Racing was winning the 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 Champ Car World Series Drivers Titles with an approximate $6-$7 Million budget (no source on that, just something I remember reading). The goal of the ICS, especially with the new chassis package unfortunately being spec (this is a story for another day) should be to dramatically lower costs. One thing all the team owners will agree upon from CCWS and the IRL is that the CCWS budgets were lower, and that is one of the things that should be brought into the ICS.

People keep saying that the IRL is such good "bang-for-your-marketing-buck" with these inflated budgets, imagine if the budget were slashed by 30-40%? Add to that better racing and multiple engine suppliers, and you've got yourself people chomping at the bit to enter the series as team owners. Forget about ever having to worry about filling 33 at Indy.

The IRL is simply procrastinating on this one in my opinion. Sure the engine summits are a good idea, but they are taking so long to finalize which is pushing the date of new engine/chassis packages being unveiled. The car package is one area the ICS needs improvement in, so they need to get on it, and they need to dramatically lower operating costs for the teams involved, and that is why this new car is so important.


Bwak Bwak Bwhat?

Well, if all goes according to plan, seems its basically official for Newman/Haas/Lanigan. After racking up two wins in 2008, they will return with cars for Graham Rahal and Robert Doornbos. Seems like a formidable duo for 2009 and it will add to the IRL rookie race too as I am sure they will classify Doornbos as a rookie due to his lack of oval experience.

For those of you IRL fans that don't really know who Robert Doornbos is, he was a multiple race winner in '07 with Minardi USA in Champ Car (basically now HVM). Earlier rumors had him going to HVM to run a second car, but obviously if this holds true (which I feel confident in saying now) he will not be running beside the ICS resident bad boy Ernesto Viso. He had some memorable runs in 2007 and was definately one of the top 5 drivers. He infused the field with some much needed charisma which made the few viewers of the races love him. He even managed to upset Seabass at Mont-Tremblant, look for video below.

Anyways, as a CCWS crossover fan, I'm quite happy to get another one of our drivers into the series even though it could mean losing Justin Wilson. But I'd rather see NHL run 2 cars. Either way it seemed like J-Dub was on the outside looking in, atleast for the NHL seat.

But, listen to this, I was in class today, and some joker in the crowd looked over and saw me surfing on the IRL site and said to me...

"Did you hear Milka Duno was going to be running with NHL in 2009? They are
going to run three cars, Boobies kid, Robert Doorknobs, and Ms. Grand-Am

I just laughed at him and told him to smoke the hippy hay after class and I continued on with my studies...............



your not serious are you? are you shitting me?

Duno really is running with NHL? She has another sponsor willing to pay out big bucks?

Wow... well, I feel stupid...

Well, I guess we can take it as a positive that NHL will be running 3 cars this year. I wonder if she will be running 08 (02 + 06)? But I mean, it's Newman-Haas-Lanigan, that team is quite possibly one of the more storied teams in AOWR. Driving a NH(L) car is an honour and the list of drivers who drove their cars is splendid.

  • Alan Jones
  • Mario Andretti
  • Teo Fabi
  • Paul Tracy
  • Nigel Mansell
  • Roberto Moreno
  • Micheal Andretti
  • Christian Fittipaldi
  • Christiano da Matta
  • Oriol Servia
  • Bruno Junqueira
  • Sebastien Bourdais
  • Graham Rahal
  • Justin Wilson
  • Robert Doornbos
  • uh... Milka Duno?

Well, I guess she can be the first women to lay claim to driving for NHL. And hell, she led more laps last year then Quattro, Power, Carpenter, Bernoldi, Moraes, and Ms. GoDaddy.com. And any feuds between Danica and Milka will have a little more emphasis if Milka is in a competitive ride I guess. Uhm, and maybe D&R can fill her seat with someone more talented? I heard Marty Roth is available.

But in all seriousness, I guess there must be some positives. Maybe Milka was in the same situation Katherine Legge was in with Dale Coyne in CCWS. Legge was always plagued with the sub-par equipment while Bruno would get the top car leaving Legge to run laps down and encounter many mechanical failures. Maybe getting out of a sub-par team like D&R and into a top tier team like NHL will get force her to put up results, as she doesn't have that crutch to lean on when she does poorly.

And you can only assume that if she is still a backmarker with NHL that she will atleast be a little bit more competitive on ovals atleast. Instead of being 7 laps down in a D&R car, she might simply be on the tail end of the lead lap or simply one lap down in an NHL car.

We are also guarenteed 2 more cars with Duno and Doornbos all but confirmed at NHL. And depending on how much moolah Duno is bringing, it might had made the Doornbos deal possible using some carry over cash from Duno to fund part of RD's ride. Let's face it, it seems that either with this new sponsor she is supposed to have lined up to pump money into her system, or with CITGO, Milka Duno was going to be on the 2009 IRL grid whether you like it or not. If Duno at NHL means adding 2 cars instead of Duno at D&R adding 1 car, I'm all for it.

Now, Robert Doornbos and Graham Rahal will still both be very competitive with NHL, but with Milka Duno as the team leader (due to age of course, and perhaps IRL experience), will they be able to hold everything together. There will be towels flying all over the shop in Lincolnshire, and the engineers will know the wrath of a womens scorn. Perhaps it will be a benefit as GR and RD are probably too easy on those engineers anyways.

Now the question shifts to D&R, and whether they manage to wrangle together another car as it seems they were counting on Duno for one of their cars.

"I don't know what we'll end up as, one or two cars, and we're also working on
some single-race deals like Indy and a couple other tracks." Dennis

Hopefully they can pull together something for Townsend Bell, as I'd love to see him as a full time guy, and it would bump the car count up. Atleast this ride buyer has talent.


Ugh... How Much Longer?

Well, it has been a terribly long time since the season ended, and it feels like an eternity before the season starts up again at St. Pete in April. Over the offseason, we've gotten good news and bad news and no news. Unfortunately this is going to last for a few more weeks before we hit the streets again.

But as much as I want to get going again, I feel that it is imperative that fans don't get lured into wanting to run a schedule comparable to the N-word. On some of the forums I visit, specifically the Talkback forum at Indycar.com, it seems like some people want Indycar to run longer seasons and more races. And while that is good and all, and people are simply stating their opinions, I feel that I should throw my opinion into the mix.

I've felt for a long time that the Indycar season is a couple of races too short. think there are too many great tracks left off the schedule in the series. There are tracks like Cleveland, Road America, New Hampshire, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Montreal), and Portland on the sidelines.

But running a schedule that compares to Nazicars 92 races in 40 weekends is pure insanity. It would drive up operating costs for the teams, fans would lose interest over the course of the season (the same problem that is beginning to occur down south), and it would just be too damn long.

Fans also seem to think that we need our schedule to compete with theirs simply because they start earlier and end later thus they steal a bunch of our spotlight. Well, right now if we want to compete with them, we have some serious problems, and I doubt we would win this one. They are still much stronger then us unfortunately and would squash us if we went out of our way to compete head to head with them.

I believe in the long run, we should be running 22 races from the second week of March until the end of October. This gives us a slightly longer season but still gives us some breaks in between races, thus giving us that compact feel without tiring the teams and the fans out. It also keeps us from competing too long with the NFL.

Here is my ideal 22 track schedule including a couple of courses that just won't leave the schedule. No dates as I'm nowhere smart enough to piece this together, and obviously don't know the tendencies of each specific track.

Current Tracks
St. Pete - S
Long Beach - S
Milwaukee Mile - O
Texas Motor Speedway - O
Watkins Glen - R
Toronto - S
Inidianapolis - O
Edmonton - A
Kentucky - O
Mid-Ohio - R
Chicagoland - O
Motegi - O

Proposed Additions
New Hampshire - O
Cleveland - A
Michigan - O
Pheonix - O
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve - R
Portland - R
Laguna Seca - R
Road America - R
Las Vegas - O
Mexico City - R

Well there you have it, my 22 race schedule for the Indycar Series. However, I don't want this implemented asap. Let's give it four or five years until we get growing a bit and then we can piece this together.

Hell, without trying, I even pleased all you folks who think it should be 50/50 (Oval/Twisties), which I disagree with, but that is for another discussion.

If anyone has some issues with my proposed 22 tracks, let me know how you feel in the comments section.
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