Friday, January 27, 2012

IndyCar Notes And Review, Rolex 24 Weekend Edition

-First, how about the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend? I’m really looking forward to cheering for INDYCAR drivers such as Justin Wilson, James Hinchcliffe, Graham Rahal, Scott Dixon, and all the others. It’s a shame funding fell through for Tony Kanaan and EJ Viso, but INDYCAR (and their alumni) will be well-represented regardless. It’s a great sign that winter won’t last forever, and racing season is really just around the corner.

-I was a little surprised to hear some mild grousing about Dale Coyne’s announcement for his second driver pushed back a couple of weeks to February. Really? This is Dale Coyne Racing! They usually wait to announce their driver until cars are actually being pushed to the grid, or possibly even the third lap in. OK, so I’m exaggerating, but you get my point. February is downright early for DCR. In any case, it sounds like that seat might come down between James Jakes and one other driver.

With engineer Bill Pappas back in the fold and Honda powering their DW12s, Dale Coyne could be an interesting player in the season to come.

Here's hoping Wilson gets to finish what he started in '11.
(Courtesy IndyCar Media)
-Not only am I focused on silly season for the IZOD IndyCar Series time of year, but I’ve been following the silly season for Firestone Indy Lights as well. Right now, I would really like to see both Connor De Phillippi and Stefan Wilson find rides. De Phillippi is an excellent American prospect, and if he gets his chance in Lights this year, I’m excited to see what he can do. As for Stefan Wilson, last season left me with no doubts he can win the Lights championship if he gets anywhere close to a good level of support and funding. It’s been a privilege to watch him grow as a driver over the past couple of seasons, and I hope he gets a chance to contend—I want to see a proper championship fight again this year, and I think Wilson can deliver that. Best of luck to both those gentlemen—getting to watch them duel next year would be a great addition to Lights.

-Good news for the Month of May at Indy: The Celebration of Automobiles is expanding for this year. I'm no gearhead, but last year's show was simply amazing, and had countless examples of how an automobile could be a true art form. It's going to make the Opening Day at Indy even better, and that takes some doing.

-Here in Indianapolis, we’re getting ready for Super Bowl Week. I’m not brave/insane/masochistic enough to head downtown with the swarms of folks that will make it a crowd and parking nightmare, but hopefully there’s plenty of good coverage for the Indy 500 and INDYCAR as a whole. With each NFL team represented with its own IndyCar placed around the city, the proclivity of the media to do cultural interest stories on the hosting town the week of the Super Bowl, and the fact that Indianapolis is still best known for a certain race we have each May, there should be plenty of fun tie-ins all week long. I’m not really a pro football fan anymore, but there will be a lot of eyeballs on the city that headquarters INDYCAR. Let's hope they make the most of it.

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