Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Notes: Top 10s, Sophomores, Sprints...

Just a couple of quick hits before the weekend is upon us:

-Much has been made of Charlie Kimball’s improvement this year, and he has looked much more comfortable on track, especially since Indianapolis. He’s improved his average finish, which was an 18.5 last year, to a 14.6. But while we’re discussing sophomore improvement, let’s not forget James Jakes. Last year at this point, Jakes had a 20.1 average finish (and missed the Indy 500). This year, he’s at a 15.8 average finish. That might not seem like an earth-shattering stat, but he’s set to eclipse his total points from last year sometime in the next two races, and is only a single point out of the Top 20 (which could be very important in terms of 2013 TEAM funds).

(For those of you wondering, Ryan Hunter-Reay’s average finish in 2011 was 13.1. This year, as I referenced in Wednesday’s article, it’s an 8.1).

-We’re now down to the following full-time drivers without a Top 10 result on the year: Simona de Silvestro (best finish: P13) and Josef Newgarden (best finish: P11). Lotus vs. The Small Team Rookie. My question is simply this: which of the two gets a Top 10 first?

-The big scuttlebutt online yesterday was the possibility of GP2 team Scuderia Coloni coming over to IndyCar in 2013. While it’s been a while since we’ve had a Euro-based team in the Series, it’s still an interesting idea. Of course, as with so many of these rumors, it’ll be great fun when Silly Season starts, but I’ll believe it when I see them on the track. I’m also curious to find out just what the deal with their hasty exit from GP2 was…

-For those of you around the Midwest, don’t forget Indiana Sprint Week starts tonight! Seven races in nine nights should give everyone all the racing they can handle! I’ll be trying to get out to the track, but with my Edmonton trip coming up next Friday, I need to watch my time accordingly.

-If you haven’t made your way over to INDYCAR Nation this week, I conducted an interview with Belardi Auto Racing’s Roman Lagudi, who’s currently P3 in the USF2000 standings. Check it out—he’s fighting some stiff competition this year on that rung of the Mazda Road to Indy.

-Finally, if you missed it, here are two articles I’d highly recommend. The first is over at Racer, where Tony DiZinno touches on a topic near and dear to my heart: ensuring IndyCar doesn’t put all its eggs in one basket when it comes to driver promotion. The second is a piece on EJ Viso over at the Washington Post, talking about his work to change his reputation and on-track results. It would be tough not to pull for him to do so.

Have a great weekend, and we’ll meet back on Monday.

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