What Didn't Chicagoland Have?

Well, last night I got to watch the Chicagoland Izod Indycar Series race from start to finish, and was I ever lucky I had an empty schedule for it. For the first time in a while, I did not have to work, play, drive, sleep, or anything of that nature that would make me miss part or all of a race.

I am not one to really enjoy the "foot to the floor" ovals as I feel they don't really take a whole lot of talent to drive, but one thing I will say is that they take balls (you girls have them too Sarah, Simona, Ana, Danica, and even Milka). That racing was definitely some of the closest we've seen all season, and I'd venture some of the closest of the last 3 or so years at Chicagoland. The number of cars on track was great to see and provided alot of excitement for the fans. A crowded track makes for a good oval race, and hopefully the people in charge will drop these silly regulations that only allow "x" amount of cars on tracks. Instead of simply changing them when more cars show up, just demolish the regulations instead, and avoid tracks that are short on pit stalls.

Chicagoland had the drama and storylines to go with the close competition. Will Power's lack of fuel (DOH!) and the point race tightening was definitely the main storyline of the final 20 laps or so, but what about Sarah Fisher running up front and getting Dollar General some good air time? How about seeing Marco Andretti smile for once after running a strong 3rd place finish after 200 good laps of racing? How about finding out Will Power can actually run ovals? Or what of KV Racing knocking 2/3 of their own team out of the race in the pits? Graham Rahal running top ten all day in his first 1.5 mile track since last season? Dan Wheldon putting the National Guard car on display in second place?

If you did not catch the race last night, you missed probably one of the most exciting races this season, and Kentucky seems to look about the same as 26 cars are looking to take the grid there.

I guess the only thing Chicagoland didn't have last night was, well, fans...


Anonymous said...

I really get tired of the street fans who say stuff like you said. "I am not really one who enjoys a foot to the floor oval as I feel they don't really take a lot of talent to drive". Really. Have you ever tried it? I actually did try it. I drove an Indy car this summer at Chicagoland through the Mario Andretti racing school. It was a thrill of a life time. But beyond that, let me tell you words cannot describe the experience. I was driving 170.27 mph. As speed goes for Indycars, I know that's pretty slow. But for your average driver, let me tell you it was fast. I actually did get to pass another car on the track, which later on I found out he was doing 150 mph. I cannot imagine what it is like to race at 220 mph, in a pack of 20 or more cars, wheel to wheel, and not want to lift.

You and people like you can run your mouth about talent, but put your money where your mouth is. Go buy yourself a ride. Drive one of those cars and come back and tell us it takes no talent to race an Indycar on an oval. It's time to man up. Get your ass in a seat.

Matt Chamois said...

Fair enough, I see your point anonymous poster. However, when you get to the level that the Indycar drivers are at, they will even admit that keeping the car on track is not difficult when the car is glued to the track.

Sure, avoiding other cars is still difficult, and I won't argue with that, but sitting there and telling me gluing your foot to the floor and driving around in circles is hard when you are an elite IZOD Indycar Series driver? Not gonna happen.

These guys all agree they need more horse power so that they actually need to drive the car. I'm not the only one saying this.

I appreciate that you, as an a fan had the chance and experience of the Mario Andretti Racing School, and I'm sure it was a hell of a ride. However, the talent difference between you and Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves et al is much different.

Look at the difference in speeds between Milka Duno on short ovals in comparison to the leader, and then look at her speeds compared to the leader at Chicagoland.

Hell, she outqualified drivers last year on cookie cutter, foot to the floor tracks. I think that proves my point.

Anonymous said...

Matt, I have never heard one driver say it was not difficult to keep the car on the track. But that's not what I was even talking about. I'm talking about from a fans point of view. At least from mine, ovals are much better than any road course out there. If road/street racing was so great, don't you think F-1 would be huge in this country? Don't you think maybe Cart would still be around? There is a reason F-1 is not big. And a reason Cart is gone. Cart had bad leadership + road racing. That = failure. F-1 is just flat out boring road racing. Enough said.

As for needing more horse power, I agree. And change is on the way. I'm not sure they are going to have more horse power, but if I'm not mistaken, they are bringing back the turbo charger. Correct me if i'm wrong on that.

I know my talent level and the level of the pro drivers are not on the same level. I pretty much stated that in my original post. I never tried to say I was as good as any of them. I'm sure I'm not even as good as Milka. (ouch that hurts to say that) AS far as Milka outqualifying other drivers last year. She may have done better on a few track...not many. But the bottom line is when it counts. They don't award checker flags for qualifying. She sucks on any track, and has no business being out there. I really feel she is more of a danger out there than anything.

I have seen nascab fans as well as road/street fans turn into Indycar fans at oval races. For my dollar, I want Indycar on ovals. I love the speed and I love the excitement. It's a shame we have idiots incharge of this series.

Matt Chamois said...

Fair enough, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and their right to express it. Obviously our opinions differ, and that is understandable.

Please do not get me wrong, I do not want to see the Izod Indycar Series leave every single oval, and return to a CCWS type of schedule with 15 to 20 road courses. I appreciate the history of Indycar's on ovals, and even do appreciate the odd "foot to the floor" oval for their excitement levels they provide from the wheel to wheel action. However, I just get sick of too many of them. We had Kentucky, Chicago, Texas, Kansas, and Homestead. Luckily, in my opinion, a couple of them are gone for 2011.

I have no problems with the IICS turning left, but I do appreciate when the drivers have to do the work to get around the track, and the drivers agree with me. They want to go back to "drivers" tracks like Milwaukee and Pheonix, places they need to break, or atleast back off the throttle when they enter the turn. I watch the races to see the drivers race, not the engineers.

I will agree with you, F1 is boring, asides from the technology.

As for the statement that part of the reason CART failed was road racing? That is not a fair argument, and in my opinion a false statement. In fact, I could point to the fact that at it's highest point, they had more road courses then ovals.

The reason CART failed was bad management, plain and simple, as well as the creation of the IRL giving teams, drivers, engine manufacturers, and sponsors options to where to spend their money. Once CART management started screwing people over, it made peoples decisions easy, they could simply take their toys elsewhere to IMS and the IRL.

I enjoy seeing the Michigans and maybe even Texas' or Chicago's once or twice a year, but not 5 or 6 times a year, just as you do not appreciate seeing the twisties for half the schedule.

Anonymous said...

Matt, you made a good post and some good points. We will have to agree to disagree on our likes and dislikes on the tracks. I don't mind if this series wants to have road/street racing for you fans. But I don't like being screwed out of my ovals just to put your form of racing out there. I used to go to Michigan every year. I went there when Cart was there, and when they went away and the IRL took it over, I went there. It was a great track for these cars. After Michigan was gone, we started going to Chicagoland. Always had a great time and got to see great racing. Now it's off the schedule as well. In my opinion, these cars need to be on ovals that are no smaller than 11/2 miles. California,Vegas,Michigan,Chicagoland,Poc.Atlanta,Lowes. Those tracks need to be on the schedule as much as your road courses. Wouldn't it be nice to see some of our off weekends filled with races. Wouldn't it be nice to compete with nascab? I know there are issues with the owners of the tracks, but lets start putting the fans thoughts into play. If it was not for the fans, none of these guys would have a job. And that includes the track owners.

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