I’m working on my season preview for next week (which, given the extreme silliness of this Silly Season, has proven difficult, as I’m not able to nail down the team rosters yet in some cases), so nothing big today. I did, however, want to make a brief comment on the field size for this year’s IZOD IndyCar season.
A few years ago, this series was scrapping for 17, 18 drivers. Now, we are on track to have approximately 26 cars line up at the Streets of St. Petersburg. Now, a couple of those 26 are likely backmarkers, but there are far more drivers capable of winning or giving it a good fight out there. There’s also going to be a healthy rookie class, a competitive American contingent, multiple returning champions, and a brand-new team making their debut in the field.
Of course, there are drivers we all want to see still very much in limbo; we’re waiting to see what situations materialize at Coyne, Conquest, the rest of the season for AFS, and potentially others. But even if only 1 or 2 of the veterans now on the sideline make it into this series, we’re still looking at the deepest, most talented field we’ve seen in several years.
No one is suggesting things are optimal in IndyCar; like many of us personally in a rough economy, the series has a long fight ahead of it. But progress is not a neat thing; it’s sloppy and uneven. We’ve got ourselves a race season officially starting next week, and IndyCar is on the way up.