I suppose if you wanted to succintly sum up the 2012 INDYCAR experience for the fan, it might simply read "a dream season on the track, and more instability and confusion off-track". We got to see a tremendous championship battle, surprise winners, and a car that defied all the critics in terms of racing in 2012. We also had to deal with uncertainty, bickering, and losing some quality folks in the INDYCAR organization.
Still, I find myself encouraged in regards to 2013. There's nothing quite like a new calendar for turning the page, is there? I look ahead, and I see 365 days on which the future has yet to be written. Everyone starts with a clean slate, so to speak. Andretti, Ganassi, Penske, Dragon, Fisher Hartman, and the rest--we get to see what each has up their sleeve in turn.
2013 won't be perfect, we know that. There will be days that make us scratch our head, and probably a half-dozen mini-crises between now and Indianapolis. But there will also be some tremendous racing, great surprises, and twists and turns that none could have foreseen. For me, I can't wait to see if Ryan Hunter-Reay can defend his championship, if Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe can find the winner's circle, if Simona de Silvestro can have a comeback season, if Sebastien Bourdais will finally blow everyone away, if Alex Tagliani and Bryan Herta can keep pushing that team to the next level, and if fan faves such as Alex Lloyd and Pippa Mann get to make an appearance once more. And of course, I want to see if Takuma Sato can make that Lap 200 stick.
We're passionate for INDYCAR, and that makes every season a rollercoaster. We feel every bump and nudge along the way all too keenly. But it also makes the high points essentially euphoric for us, as well. I hope that in this New Year God grants me an appreciation for my blessings, the presence of mind to enjoy them, and a sense of perspective when things don't go as planned. Come to think of it, that's not just limited to INDYCAR, either.
2012 is in the books. May 2013 be an even better year. I'm looking forward to it, and another great year with my fellow fans and friends.