Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The IndyCar Dream Team

Correct me if I’m wrong, fellow IndyCar fan: at some point you have dreamed about winning the lottery, giving a pointed farewell to your day job, and starting an IndyCar team with an awesome name and your favorite driver(s). For my part, I do this about three times a week, if not more. In my dreams, of course, my Little Team That Could wins the Indy 500 with some improbable driver, and putting the Humane Society or The Water Project on the side of my car fulfills any moral obligation in blowing $80 million on a race team.

Yes, even in my dreams, my IndyCar team runs out of money after about three years. My wife and I had this discussion after passing a Hoosier Lottery machine in the drugstore this past weekend:

Me: Boy, that’s tempting.

Her: What, the lotto?

Me: Yep. I could run an IndyCar team for about three years, I figure, given my level of ignorance, naiveté, and inability. Then we’d be on government cheese. But it’d be a glorious trip all the way to the bottom.

Her: And let me guess, all your drivers would be chosen on “heart”.

Me: YES.

Her: And “gutty grittiness”.

Me: I prefer “gritty guttiness”, but OH YES.

Her: And it would not end well.

Me: Not at all. And none of them would ever finish better than 30th in 500 qualifying, thanks to me. BUT WHAT A RIDE IT WOULD BE.

As I look around this offseason, there’s no shortage of interesting drivers to fill out my Powerball/Lotto-powered Dream Racing Team. Drivers not locked into a full-time team include Oriol Servia, JR Hildebrand, Simona de Silvestro, Conor Daly, Pippa Mann, and several others. That doesn’t even include dreams along the lines of “I bring back Bertrand Baguette from sports cars and Alex Lloyd from Yahoo! and they kick the crap out of the field”, or the soon-dismissed, throwback-style “Hey, what’s Racin Gardner doing these days?" query (Answer: Apparently nothing good, sadly).

So, with that in mind, assuming I win the lottery in the next few days, I think it’s important that I make a list of prospective drivers for this team, along with their pros and cons. Time is short, after all, especially if I’m going to win the lotto, take my lump cash sum, and jump in on the 2014 season. Which driver wins the comparison battle?

Zack's Dream Team Powerball Shortlist
January 2014 Edition

Oriol Servia
Pros: Veteran driver; knows what he’s doing, even if I don’t
Cons: Doomed to only race for my team for one year

JR Hildebrand
Pros: Super-cool, talented American driver; would talk car stuff with us when he isn’t driving, maybe
Cons: San Francisco Giants fan; might like Barry Bonds?

Simona de Silvestro
Pros: I heard one time she raced her car straight through Hell to rescue 46 trapped miners and a dog
Cons: “Iron Maiden” nickname—copyright infringement? (ask a lawyer)

Conor Daly
Pros: Claims Noblesville, Indiana as his home (huzzah!); young prospect
Cons: Fellow Noblesvillians Bryan Clauson and Judge Harry Sauce might get jealous

EJ Viso
Pros: Way shorter than me
Cons: Not sure if “Team Viso” is a package deal, or if it’s cheaper to go a la carte

Pippa Mann
Pros: Fan favorite; should be a breeze with the social media promotion stuff
Cons: Could probably definitely beat me up if I made her angry with my poor team ownership skills

Alex Lloyd
Pros: Gutty (!) driver; drove some marginal cars really, really fast
Cons: Writes for Yahoo!; would probably pen a snarky remembrance of my ownership tenure after the team dissolved

Michel Jourdain, Jr.
Pros: Has a sponsor deal ready to go with Mexican Office Depot
Cons: Conflict of interest (I already have a verbal commitment to Paraguayan Staples)

Stefan Wilson
Pros: Super-tall; would totally STOMP Roger Penske’s crew in basketball
Cons: Not sure he can dunk

Sage Karam
Pros: Also a varsity wrestler; could I pay him extra to piledrive my enemies?
Cons: Have heard rumors wrestling is fake??

Jack Hawksworth
Pros: Really good street/road racer
Cons: Name not awesomely British enough; change to "Sir Hugh Jacksworth Spitfire Wellington Hawkswell Cumberbatch IV"?

Herb Ardinger
Pros: Seems to have a stout 500 resume; three Top 10 finishes in six starts
Cons: Apparently last raced there in 1947 (Note: stop getting recommendations from Dave in Marion)

Peter Dempsey
Pros: Deserves a shot after years of Indy Lights Purgatory
Cons: He would get sick of me asking him to do this every single race, regardless of the track

Bertrand Baguette
Pros: It’s Bertrand Baguette.
Cons: ????

As you can see, there’s some tough decisions to be made to get this team up and running in time for St. Pete. It’s a good thing we're going to have plenty of gritty, gutty, heart.


  1. Great laugh to start the day! "Pros: It’s Bertrand Baguette." - Classic.

  2. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who has this dream every time Mega Millions or Powerball is at record levels.

  3. Ken @AbuelosdetreceJanuary 15, 2014 at 7:46 AM

    Eighty million huh? Guess I'll have to cut down my lottery winning dreams to only those that exceed the 80 mark... My most recent version of this dream was having an all girl team of Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann and Katt Legge.... but then the alarm goes off for work just before the Indy 500 qualifications...