Here’s a couple of quick thoughts on the INDYCAR news of the last few days:
-I really hope having the China race in August helps avoid any sort of momentum killing at the end of the year, which seemed to be a big drawback of the Motegi race. Speaking of China, you have to think this heightens the odds we see Ho-Pin Tung for at least one race.
-3.78 miles is a pretty long street course! Let’s hope it’s a good one, and INDYCAR cleans up on the deal. If we’re going all the way to China, you have think it’s financially well worth their while.
-Moving onto Mike Conway, it sounds like his plans are still quite up in the air. If he doesn’t manage a way to land back at Andretti, part of me wonders if he’s a possibility to head back to Dreyer & Reinbold in their second car. Too many DNFs, but we know he can win, too.
-While Andretti tested James Davison and Gustavo Yacaman, you still have to wonder about Josef Newgarden. Depending on where Justin Wilson goes, I really could see him in at Andretti. I know Sam Schmidt holds the option on him, but Michael Andretti likes his American drivers, and Newgarden could be a star in the next few years. Maybe he jets off to Europe, maybe he finds a quality drive in IndyCar. However it ends up, someone is getting a very good, younger driver for their team. By the way, if you missed the RACER article on Josef, don't!
-Pippa Mann might have been injured in the season finale, but don’t tell that to her fighting spirit. Anyone following her on Twitter lately has been shown a feisty driver ready to get back to driving as soon as possible. I think she’s a heck of an ambassador for the series, and I really hope there’s a spot for her in 2012 to get back out there. You never know how things will go, but she seems optimistic at the least about her ’12 chances.
-Speaking of 2012, will someone PLEASE hire Tomas Scheckter full-time? I really hope this is the year he gets back to being full-time. Every driver is hopeful in the offseason, but I’d like to think some of the hints we’ve heard here and there mean good things for him. It’s great to have big personalities in the Series, and no one could argue TScheck is the definition of that, whether you like him or not. In any case, Tomas is waiting on Justin Wilson to make up his mind, just like the rest of us.
-Finally, a huge, huge, HUGE thank you to our servicemen and women serving around the world on this Veterans Day. Words fail, but make it home safe, come to Indy, and a pork tenderloin is on me.
Have a great weekend, and join us next week, where we’ll be digging into some good stuff!