Friday, January 20, 2012

IndyCar Thoughts And Review, Wintry Mix Edition

-The news from the Sebring tests has been really encouraging, hasn’t it? We’ve got an overall positive impression of progress on the new DW12, it sounds like the oval speed concerns are clearing up, and it sounds as if Lotus turned plenty of laps with few, if any, unpleasant surprises. Of course, there’s still more testing to be done, and everyone’s anxious to see how the car performs during the Month of May, but right now, a lot of folks should be feeling much better about how things stand. Perhaps my biggest remaining question is how will Lotus do with engine supply if the car count goes much higher?

-I have to admit, I am really liking the look of the DW12 right now—especially the Lotus testing livery. It’s grown on me. I suspect some folks will never come around to liking it, others will tolerate it, and some will find it’s more than they’d hoped for once some talented folks get to designing some good-looking sponsor schemes on there. To each their own, of course.

-From all accounts, the crowd at the Walgreens opening featuring Sarah Fisher and her team was great, especially considering the snow. What can you say—is there any team owner more loved in the Series than Sarah? I’m not sure if SFHR will land Walgreens as a sponsor or not, but if not, it won’t be for lack of trying.

If you couldn’t make it out there yesterday or are out of the area, why not consider dropping Walgreens a line about how much you’d appreciate them sponsoring one of the truly good stories this Series has to offer? You never know what could be the straw to break the camel’s back (or open its checkbook, I suppose).

-I received a couple of nice emails from folks on the Pete Henderson “History of the 500” article yesterday. Apologies that comments were apparently disabled—that should be fixed now. One reader brought up Ira Vail, whom he said was at Indy in 1916, and would possibly tie Henderson as the first Canadian Indy 500 driver. Actually, Vail meant to contest the 1916 Indianapolis race, but his entry was filed too late, and he would have to wait until after World War I to make his debut at Indy. That's not to take anything away from Vail, however--he was an accomplished driver in his own right.
Vail (f) in 1919, the 2nd Canadian driver to make the Indy field.
(Courtesy Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

There’s something really enjoyable about jumping into the history of the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar racing. There have been over 700 drivers to take the green flag at Indy, and each of them has their own story. It’s remarkable that we have the resources and capabilities in this day and age where so much of history can be researched, recovered, and shared.

-There comes a point in the silly season where you realize, fully realize, not all your favorite drivers will get a ride for the upcoming season. Seats are becoming sparse, and as thankful as I am that Oriol Servia, Sebastien Bourdais, James Hinchcliffe, and so many other talented drivers are locked in for next year, waiting on news on some others is rough business. I can only imagine what it’s like from the drivers’ point of view! Still, we’re looking at a good 29-30 entries right now. There were years where half of that looked possible at times. I’ve been largely impressed with the hires this year; “deserve” is a loaded word, but this field is going to be stacked with veteran and young talent alike.

-The Andretti Autosport sponsor summit was held yesterday in Miami. Last year’s summit produced some great partnership announcements with DHL and Sun Drop. We already know we’ll see Marco Andretti in an RC Cola car, James Hinchcliffe in a GoDaddy car, and it sounds like Hunter-Reay will have some mix of DHL, Sun Drop, and possibly another larger-size sponsor this year. I wouldn’t be hugely disappointed by the announcement of some awesome new sponsor and livery for someone, though. It’ll be interesting to see what they can work with a potential fourth car, and if they can find enough resources and the right driver to really make it work.

-Finally, we have to bid adieu for now to Anders Krohn when it comes to open wheel racing. Krohn will contest the Rolex 24 with Yellow Dragon Motorsports, and made it clear his looking to move his future to sports cars. It’s not what I (or probably any of the readers here) had hoped for after Monday’s interview with Anders, but I’m happy he’ll get to run at Daytona, and wish him the best going forward. We’ll see what the future holds for The Viking!

Have a great weekend, and if you happen to have time, send a note to an IndyCar sponsor or two!


  1. Agreed about the look of the car growing on me. Done with people that want to complain. I used to be a OW purist, but now just want the series to survive and then flourish. The fenders behind rear wheels would likely have angered me in the past, now I just wish they had been installed one race earlier.

  2. Yeah, I can't get too worked up about the rear end of the car. I just want it to work as intended.