A few random thoughts:
I was a little peeved when Curt Cavin reported as a tag along to the NH announcement that Randy Bernard was on record as saying the number of races this season would remain at 17. If you have read this blog enough, then you know that I am a big proponent of the 24 race schedule as an ultimate goal for the series. Initially I chalked it up to Curt's eternally skeptical and conservative reporting tendencies. I now think 17 is the story for 2011.
Here's another couple tidbits to consider - when discussing the amount of money that Andretti Autosport needed to continue field RHR for the rest of the season, the number quoted was ~$400k per race (I think - exact amounts do not diminish the point). So instead of growth to 18 or 19 races we have 17. The number that has also been floating around is what the expected ticket price for a new 2012 car would be. $400k to $500k is the ball park bandied about.
I recently handed over the Outback to MrsJP and I am driving a 10 year old Mazda Protege returned back to me by a nephew who didn't enjoy driving stick as much as I do. Each month I drive it represents a car payment NOT made which allows me to save up for the Black Subaru WRX sti Hatch that is the current fancy of an impending midlife crisis. Sometimes you cut corners today to have something you really fancy tomorrow.
Yeah, yeah you will all shoot holes in this idea but here's one...What if in addition to competition for engine manufacturers we allowed competition for fuel providers? Allow teams to choose whether they want to run on Brazillian Sugar Cane Ethanol or US Corn Based ethanol. While neither by themselves would pay what Sugar Cane ethanol is paying the league now, perhaps individual team sponsorships from both combined would add up to a little more overall. The league could test the fuels provided race to race to make sure that no one was getting a little extra. Just a spec free, competition welcoming thought.
Three separate young, currently rideless Amercian drivers are optimistic about something. Perhaps these are unrelated instances of hopefulness, perhaps not. I wonder if a bittersweet "wow" moment could be on the horizon for the JP household.
I originally commented this on Dylan's Tripleleagueracing site, but I like the idea so much I'll put it on my site too! Once a race, with more than a fuel stint's worth of laps remaining, the league is allowed to throw a yellow for no other reason than to sweep up the marbles. No excuses are neccessary, TV cameramen don't need to do an exhaustive sweep of the track to find an otherwise innocent visor tear off or hotdog wrapper to point the finger at. All the league has to say is "hey, we're sweeping the marbles" no questions asked, but do try to avoid throwing the flag right before Danica goes a lap down. Marbles = Debris. Marbles reduce the number of racing lines, limit competition and invariably result in accidents, potentially with injuries (or burns) - kind of like debris, NO?
Absolutely great news about New Hampshire, have any doubts? Click HERE. Watch the telemetry shots in particular, very very educational on what's wrong with oval racing today and how the league could manage to hide Milka on 1.5'ers for the majority of here career w/o consequence. The story broke this weekend because apparently the announcement will be made formally when Dario takes the 10 TCGR car out for some exhibition hot laps before the Cup race on Sunday. Here's a suggestion for Chip. Take two cars, I am sure you can find someone else willing to hop into the other one, and up in his luxury suite Bruton will break out with a $20M smile.
Let the Connor Daly watch begin. He's now 18, graduated High School and is legal to drive an IndyLights Car. No doubt he has a stranglehold on the StarMazda championship this year, so why not run some lights races in order widen his 2011 options to include the IICS itself?
ehh it's getting late going to bed. Later.