Friday, December 16, 2011

INDYCAR Thoughts And Review, December 16 Edition

-The Las Vegas Crash findings were released yesterday. No real bombshells, though it is a chance for vultures from news organizations who normally don’t care about INDYCAR to get one more uneducated shot in. Ultimately, I thought it was handled well, with a good deal of transparency. As Randy Bernard put it, it was unfortunately a “perfect storm” of fatal circumstances. It was tough to listen to. I’ll just add that I appreciate the job folks did with the investigation—it couldn’t have been easy to relive those terrible moments again and again. As Pippa Mann said on Twitter yesterday, “we mourn, we learn, and then we must try to move forwards”. That’s pretty spot-on, even as I still get the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when discussing the crash. We miss you, Dan.

-Speaking of Dan Wheldon, the car named after him saw its first delivery to IndyCar teams yesterday! Even with some of the developmental issues the DW12 has had, it’s an exciting day, as teams at last can turn towards the task of assembling the car. I noticed AFS Racing was among the teams that took delivery of a chassis—you have to wonder what they’ve got going on right now. It’s been pretty quiet from that corner of the Series…

-Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing’s announcement of their new facility is pretty exciting in its own right, even as we wait on engine/sponsor news. It would seem to be a sign that SFHR is in this for the long haul. It’s also a nice boost for Speedway, Indiana—having new shops open around the Dallara building can really lend a nice aspect to their town’s renewal program.

It also sounds like the team is close to announcing a sponsor. Is it just me, or is it going to seem weird if the car isn’t the usual yellow and black scheme? Whatever gets them out on the track, I suppose!

SFHR: Digging For Their New Digs
(Courtesy IndyCar Media)

-Although we now have at least seen a glimpse of a preliminary 2012, schedule from IndyCar (edit: link appears to have been removed at this time), it's safe to say this isn't the finished product. I'm almost positive we won't end the season at Fontana, and I'm pretty sure Randy Bernard and his crew are still working to add one more oval. Bernard knows that’s a big deal.

-Did you miss Sage Karam’s big announcement this week? The Andretti Autosport driver will return with the team to try win a Star Mazda Championship next year. If his charge last year is any indication, he could pull it off. Now we just need some good news on Mazda Road to Indy prospects like Nick Andries, Nick Mancuso, and Connor De Phillippi. With the scholarships for the ladder series making upward mobility more of a reality for true talent, it’s a great time to follow these promising drivers.

-If anyone is looking for any last-minute Christmas ideas for me, getting some good news on 2012 deals for Martin Plowman, Tomas Scheckter, and Pippa Mann would be much appreciated. If it isn’t too much trouble, of course.

Have a great weekend as we move closer to the holidays, and we’ll be back on Monday for what promises to be a very busy week in INDYCAR!

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