I thought we’d finish off the year with some amazing predictions as far as what to expect in 2012 for INDYCAR. Of course, as an INDYCAR blogger AND TrackForum member in good standing, I am infallible, and therefore each of these predictions is 100% guaranteed to be right on the money (except for the ones that aren’t).
Are you ready for a glimpse behind the curtain into IndyCar, circa 2012?! Continue on, brave reader!
-Lotus sees their engine undergo its first on-track test. After the results simply blow away the Chevy and Honda results to date, Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi are observed grimly handing large suitcases of cash to two massive men wielding a baseball bat and tire iron.
-James Hinchcliffe is announced as the driver of the Andretti Autosport GoDaddy car, Justin Wilson is announced as the driver of the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing #22 car, Takuma Sato is announced as the driver of the first Rahal Letterman Lanigan car, and Darren Manning continues to be announced on the side of milk cartons.
-Randy Bernard introduces IndyCar’s new Chief Steward, saying he “found someone whose name is synonymous with racing”. A pained Robin Miller takes him aside afterwards to explain Slick Racin Gardner’s other qualifications for the position may be somewhat lacking.
-The City of Baltimore agrees to pay off the debt incurred from the Baltimore Grand Prix, but before they can, a fleet of Mayflower moving vans duck in under the cover of night and transport all race assets to an undisclosed location in Indy in preparation for the newly-announced Streets of Indianapolis race. At least one Baltimore official is heard to say in disbelief, “I can’t believe they did it to us again”.
-The mystery 16th race is announced for the 2012 schedule. However, Randy Bernard’s suggestion for a race around the world, ala the Jules Verne novel he read over the weekend, is eventually dismissed as too expensive.
-Delighting oval fans everywhere, the Milwaukee Mile is added as a last-minute race and the season finale. The series comes to terms with a new promoter, who plans on using a new, previously unused method called “advertising” to entice locals to come to the event.
-Conquest Racing announces the signing of Greenland’s own Skajard Skillensontortensson as their driver for 2012. “Coming off a series of stirring Top 20s in Formula Greenland in 2011, young Skillensontortensson is poised to deliver a dynamic—ah, who are we kidding anymore?” states Conquest’s press release.
-The Streets of St. Petersburg manages to avoid any sort of first-turn pile-up, only to have Marco Andretti’s car end up upside down yet again. Marco immediately lobbies for IndyCar to simply start the season on the second race of the year to give himself a fighting chance.
-Engine Manufacturer A will fail to win the first race of the year, leading to 17 different online columns and 122 letters to Robin Miller’s mailbag claiming Manufacturer B and C are in trouble/doomed to failure/total frauds.
-ABC announces they will be improving the lead-in programming to their IndyCar telecasts. True to their word, the Ahh Bra commercials are replaced by an impressive lineup of Sham-WOW, Slap Chop, and George Foreman Grill paid programming.
-IndyCar works on their youth outreach by reaching a deal to have the Streets of Long Beach Presented By Sesame Street. However, the event takes a financial hit when sponsors A and H pull out at the last moment.
-Chip Ganassi is briefly identified as a hate group by the United States government after another one of his mid-race interviews blaming “backmarkers” for slowing the leaders, world hunger, Palestinian unrest, and potentially the JFK assassination.
-Several IndyCar bloggers go on hiatus, citing exhaustion from producing multiple “Here’s Ho-Pin!” puns from Ho-Pin Tung’s presence in the series.
-Simona de Silvestro once again proves her “Iron Maiden” nickname by putting her car in the field despite 3 crashes, a freak tornado blowing half her crew into Hendricks Country, needing to defeat a clan of terrorist ninjas attempting to keep her from qualifying, and most frighteningly of all, the last-minute addition of Marty Roth as a teammate.
-During an episode of the Talk of Gasoline Alley, Donald Davidson briefly forgets the middle name of the cousin’s sister’s dog of the 2nd alternate driver for the 1926 Indy 500. Mortified, he immediately announces that he will begin training Dave From Marion and Jerry From Delphi as his eventual replacements.
-Katherine Legge narrowly wins the Indianapolis 500 over initial winner Pippa Mann, after Mann is penalized a lap in the official results for passing the pace car during the last caution. Frantic British tabloids work through the night to change their headlines from “A Mann’s World” to “A Legge Up”.
-Indy Lights driver Anders “The Viking” Krohn of Norway finds himself with an already nearly insurmountable lead in points due to his overwhelming skill in showing patience on the track, consistent finishes, and pillaging the homesteads of all who dare oppose him.
-The Belle Isle race in Detroit is briefly interrupted as Martin Plowman finds himself the victim of an attempted carjacking in the hairpin.
-During the streets of Toronto, EJ Viso joins the ranks of the great daredevils of all time when he ramps his car up a wall on two wheels, jumps between two buildings, ricochets off a flagpole, and flies 200 feet over the construction ramp before returning to the course, taking out Scott Dixon as he comes to a stop. When asked by the media where he got the idea for his stunt, he asks, “What stunt?”
-In a novel attempt to add more ovals to the schedule, four oval races are announced, to be held simultaneously, one on top of another. 2013’s Kentucky Indy 300, Indy Kentucky 300, Kentucky 300 of Indy, and the IndyCar Presents The Kentucky 300 will be the first simultaneous multi-event of its kind!
-Will Power takes a hit in the championship race after missing the Streets of Qingdao. He remarks regretfully afterwards he thought “slow boat to China” was simply an expression.
-Robin Miller begins to train to join Tony Kanaan and Vitor Meira as triathletes. His impressive regimen consists of at least three Grid Runs each day.
-TrackForum Mad Libs begin to sell in the IMS Gift Shop. They are non-sellers, despite the fact that (PERSON) ruined IndyCar in (YEAR) due to (VERB)ing the (NOUN) and allowing (NATIONALITY) to (VERB).
-Running 6th in the standings, Mike Conway has a brief health scare when his heartbeat skyrockets to 12 beats per minute. While being attacked by Africanized killer bees on A.J. Foyt’s ranch. During a hailstorm.
-Will Power confidently charges into the last two races 4,512 points ahead of Dario Franchitti. However, this lead is cut to the slimmest of margins after Franchitti wins Fontana and Power somehow manages to finish 213th in a 28-car field.
-It is discovered Dragon Racing actually joined the series somewhere around Indianapolis, but no one can seem to remember exactly when they showed up. “Did you invite them?” Randy Bernard asks Brian Barnhart. “I thought you did”, Barnhart replies.
-At the season finale in Milwaukee, Will Power wins his first championship after Franchitti becomes ill with food poisoning before the race. It is discovered Franchitti had been nibbling on a vegemite sandwich left by an anonymous well-wisher in his trailer before the race. The culprit is never found, and Power celebrates with the Vanderbilt Cup.
Have a wonderful New Year! The real 2012 should be a fun one for INDYCAR!