10/20/09

Newman-Wachs to Indycar?


Big news coming from Marshall Pruett regarding the future of Newman-Wachs Racing and one of their young american stars, the 2009 Atlantic Series Champion, John Edwards.

In Marshall's latest piece on SpeedTV.com, he more or less puts it out there that NWR will be headed to either the Indycar Series or GP2 in 2010, and his plans include watching John Edwards drive which ever car he enters.

This will most likely deal the final blow to the Atlantic series but will be a huge help for the Indycar Series. The Atlantic series will lose one of it's marquee teams and will add to the troubles that series is seeing right now while the Indycar Series could see the addition of a talented, accomplished, young American in a car no one had thought would be on the entry list in 2010.

Of course, all this depends on Eddie Wachs ability to find the funding, most likely from the Nuclear Energy sector, but in the article, he seems pretty sure he will pull it off, and Mr. Pruett also goes on to add to the article that it isn't beyond Wachs to pull money out of his own pockets to help fund the project.

Before we go any further, for those who don't follow American Open-Wheel talent, or the Atlantics series, this is not the John Edwards that ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008 (and subsequently was found to have cheated on his wife with some party worker).

No, this John Edwards was racing in the Atlantic series at 16 years old for Forsythe Championship Racing. He was racing in FIA sanctioned racing series in Europe at 14 years old. He has won the Star Mazda Championship in 2008, and followed it up by winning the Atlantic Championship in 2009. He is American. He is young. He is more of what the IRL needs.

Of course all this means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Until the 18 year old Edwards straps into a Dallara and does some testing we won't know if he can handle the higher horsepower cars or if he can adapt to the ovals like many before him have. But if he manages to pull it all together, and NWR latches on (at first, to learn) with a good and experienced ICS team, then we can expect big things from the young American.

And the addition of NWR to the IRL, even if at first they are partnered with an existing team would lead to the creation of a strong Indycar Series team down the road.

There's not much bad you can say about this news coming from Mr. Pruett and Mr. Wachs. Hopefully it comes through. The number of Americans in the IRL are dropping and he would help counter that, especially talented Americans.

10/15/09

Exciting is in the eye of the beholder

First of all, after my lack of posting for a while, I must apologize. I've been relatively busy and this blog was shoved to the back burner, and for that I'm sorry. I know there are a few people that regularily read this blog and hopefully it wasn't too much for you to have to do without for a while.

Next thing on my to do list is to congratulate Dario Franchitti on a strong run to the 2009 IRL Indycar Championship. Dario was consistently fast and made the fewest mistakes of all the championship contenders, and subsequently won the championship because of it. Of course, there was some luck sprinkled in there at times (ie: the finale at Homestead).

Many of the forums I've visited the last few days seem to have arguments regarding the excitement level of the finale. I've seen posters saying this race was on par with the '09 Richmond debacle while some posters talk about the race being one of the more exciting races of the year for various reasons.

First of all, I think that if you are one of the people upset that most of the field was one or two laps down by about midway through the race, maybe Nascab is better for you? I mean, Nascab is the series that throws debris cautions to keep a number of cars on the lead lap. They are the series that pushes pack racing down our throats (and I know, we had Chicagoland, but I don't think that pack racing was the planned).

At Homestead, we saw the three fastest cars on the track show in a class of their own. They were the best on saturday, and they deserved to be that far ahead of the rest of the field. Look at any of the Indianapolis 500's from 1980 to 1990. They had a large number of cars laps down at the finish, hell in 1984, Rick Mears put the rest of the field 2 laps down on his way to the victory.

Briscoe and Dixon battled for the lead most of the race, with the 2 points for the most laps led a very important factor in determining the championship winner. I'm not sure if you noticed how loose Briscoe was running, he was all over the track. Any lap he could had lost it, and thrown the championship away. But, I was on the edge of my bed (yea, I couldnt watch the race live, because I'm Canadian, and I lost the online feed with about 40 laps to go... But I did get to see the end of the race on tape delay) hoping Briscoe wouldn't lose the little bit of grip he had.

And watching the battle for the lead was fun to watch, any given lap for a while, Dixon or Briscoe would pull ahead. Drafting down both straights and pulling alongside in the corners side by side, with the cars dancing around underneath them. Then knowing Dario was there if anyone made a mistake.

Versus did an awesome job of showing the battle for the championship and playing it up very well. I know listening to the race later on that night I was still excited even though I knew who won the race already. They played up the fuel mileage on Dario's part vs. Briscoe and Dixon running full out very well. Seeing which strategy would end up on the top step of the podium and with the winner's trophy in hand was fun to see play out.

Dario was a deserving winner and definately deserved the championship, as did the other two candidates. But knowing Dario ended up with the title keeps a smile on my face and is a very good story heading into 2010.
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