Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wheldon & KV

I’m working on another Q&A for the website with a certain driver, but in the meantime, I wanted to talk about the idea of Dan Wheldon moving to KV Racing Technology. I’m piggybacking on the topic, since the much-esteemed Oilpressure worked on it Monday.

It’s no secret that Wheldon’s options for the 2011 aren’t exactly looking rosy right now; Panther is going with Hildebrand, and there’s nothing more than a weak suggestion at this point he could end up in a 4th Andretti car. There’s been the thought he could end up driving trucks, which I feel would be a loss for the league. Temperament and all (and perhaps because of it), Dan Wheldon is an asset to this series. He promotes his sponsors in an effective, seemingly natural/effortless way that’s akin to an art form. As an USAF veteran, I truly appreciate the amount of work he did in representing our Armed Forces through the National Guard sponsorship. He may not be an American, but neither were a good percentage of our Revolutionary War heroes, many of whom were born in France, the HRE, Poland, or—yes--England. (That said, I think Hildebrand's going to be a great representative. But I digress).

So, let’s talk about KVRT, specifically that lovely Lotus Green car that Takuma Sato won last year. Aesthetically and historically, is it so wrong to want an Englishman in the Lotus colors (or “colours”)? Wheldon in those colors just seems right. This is a man who appreciates Indianapolis, who’s been a top competitor there year after year, and a definable personality. He’d be a fitting heir to the Lotus tradition, in every sense I can think of.

Sato sounds set to come back for 2011, but let’s be honest: Dan Wheldon would be an upgrade over any of the drivers they have on board right now. Of the three, I believe EJ Viso has the most potential, but if there’s a team that has ever needed the stabilizing influence of a proven, veteran IndyCar driver, it’s KV.

Any occasion to show a pic of this car. See note at bottom!

If a sense of rightness were the only thing that came into play in racing, Dan Wheldon would be on the KVRT roster in those Lotus colors. But often times, that sense is about the only thing that doesn’t come into play.

I’m no insider. I don’t know if Dan Wheldon will go to KV in 2011. But I could appreciate the situation if he did.

Thanks to Curtis and his 2009 Indy 500 Shutterfly site for letting me use his awesome Wheldon photo instead of my blocky one!

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