Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dropping Back into a Promising Season...

It makes me happy on that rare occasion that I am correct in an assessment. About a month and a half ago when I logged off for a while I boldly predicted the following:

“I see a season coming with a slight tick up on car counts, some promising new faces and races at So Paolo and St Pete that will be better than expected. No fuel knob, more juice in the P2P and long straightaways that will provide more passing action than we are used to. Regardless, the season will be underway, ethanol fumes will be in the air and all will be right with the world. Until then, happy blogging...”

Happy to oblige…

As for the next couple weeks…Not so bullish on the action (non contact related) at either of the next stops, but if you are worried about the show on tv; buy a ticket, bring a cooler and enjoy the party. Because before you know it, May is going to be outstanding.

But with my first post back in a while, it's time to get freaky long winded Marshal Pruett Style...

Announcing the JPIndyCar Season Schedule

Last year I took in Indy, Milwaukee, Mid Ohio and Kentucky in person, currently I have enough sponsorship to post another 4 race schedule. I kick the season off in style at the Long Beach Grand Prix, then off to Indy. Losing Milwaukee had me in a scramble but we plugged the gap with Iowa where MrsJP and myself will be crashing the couch in Pressdog’s family room.

No Mid Ohio this year, we will be on vaca in Yellowstone hoping that all this recent seismic activity doesn’t trigger an explosion of the massive supervolcano underneath the Yellowstone Caldera. That would extinguish life on earth and sort of suck.

We will definitely be at Kentucky hoping the new hosts their improve the hospitality from a year ago. If we don’t trash any equipment along the way, we may be able to squeeze in Chicagoland, but that may set me back another musical with MrsJP (Long Beach cost exactly two tickets to Phantom in Vegas).

Planning to be at any of these races?? Keep an eye peeled for me, I’ll be the one wearing the button that says “Respect Me I’m a Blogger” MrsJP will have a button that says “Pick Flick”

Already starting to think about the 2011 schedule, in the next month or two JP rolls the airdometer again at Delta and can again start thinking about strange and exotic lands – specifically race tracks hewn from the Ardennes forest…

The Road to Indy Rant

Of course I cannot let my first post back go without mentioning His Greatness, Mr JR Hildebrand. As you might suspect I am a little more than peeved that JR is not in a car right now. Hopefully someone at the league will finally take notice from JR, Alex Lloyd and Jay Howard’s situations and realize that winning the FIL title in October means absolutely nothing if most lobbying for budgets the following year goes on during the summer before. It’s like being a new college hoops coach trying to convince a junior he has never talked to before that the player should attend his school, not the one that has been recruiting him since he was an eight grader.

Some sort of financial incentive has to come with the FIL title to bridge the gap between when a lights driver wins the title and when he can begin to effectively leverage that achievement with sponsors. The simplest way to me seems like it would be selling a badged engine sponsorship for the FIL series and using the proceeds to help out FIL champions for up to two years post title…Until then it looks like I will have to take matters into my own hands and no I am not talking about stalking Marco and his knees with a lead pipe...Despite my extensive statistical training and understanding of the principle of expected value … I noticed that Powerball is up to $125 M, got any lucky numbers I should pick JR??? I got the livery all planned out... (Can you imagine the Swift 33 rocking this imagery???)

Some Thoughts on this, that, the other thing and bold wreckless prognostication

News came today that the Fisher/Rahal motor romance will continue onto Long Beach. I am now taking wagers on whether or a third loaner car from RLR shows up in the SFR garage during the month of May. After that, will we see Sarah again this year? Late last week Graham issued one of those “I got really bad news today but can’t tell you what it is” tweets. He may already have enough money raised to buy out the rest of the twisty season with SFR, but not enough to do much at NHL. The question then becomes does Sarah step out of her seat for the ovals sans Indy? Lots of complicated things could be in play here – including plans for next year, sponsor expectations and something I’m not sure I should talk about. I expect more news in the weeks to come.

Speaking of female drivers moving on after Indy…Could Indy or shortly thereafter be Danica’s swan song?? If you told me that after Iowa, there would be an announcement that Ms. Patrick’s contract with Andretti Autosport had been bought out so that she could pick up where she left off in fenderland, it would not surprise me a bit…

I would be a little more than disappointed that a young American Named Hildebrand, Edwards or Summerton is not in the BSA car, except for that fact that I can’t think of another young man so overdue for a crack at the big cars than Alex Lloyd. Nice pick, Dale.

Speaking of John Edwards – am I just paranoid or does it bother anyone else that the defending Atlantics Champ is racing a front engine car, sporting fenders in a series owned by ISC??

As for Jonathan Summerton, If I were him I would be thinking of the future, specifically 2011 and what happens if after spending 2010 wearing a yellow driver’s suit “Stache Jr” dawns a red one in 2011…

I would love to be a fly on the wall at the Iconic meetings. Compromise and strategic thinking seems to be in the air, Roger Penske has spoken. SO what would you think if the League expanded engine options in 2011 (excuse me but is that a Lotus sticker on the side of that Cosworth engine?) (equivalency regulated by the Delta Wing fuel drip system), accompanied by the gradual expansion to 28 FT equivalent cars racing 20 – 22 dates a season with multiple new chassis (ie the Swift #33 and a couple other homely pretenders) rolled out in 2013? Not saying this is exactly what will happen but I think something pragmatic and hopefully well thought out is on the way.

The Podium at So Paulo was one short of JP’s Mount Rushmore of favorite current Drivers (if only JRH had been around…), but as good as all of those stories felt, I have a vague feeling and hope that there will be an even bigger stunner and attention getter in one of the next two races…

Looking for that Marco Andretti Hot Wheels diecast that somehow eluded you during the 2009 season? Check out your nearest Indinapolis Meijer stores. Seems as if they are stuck with hundreds of them. The batch at my store has made its way from the toy Aisle, to a Toy End Cap, to the automotive section and now onto some ambiguous endcap near the crafts aisle…

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