The last 2 weeks have been an absolute drought when it comes to IndyCar information. The only thing we have had to talk about was the press release that the IRL accidentally leaked on their website and quickly took down claiming that Brazilians hacked their website. (Look for a Rio announcement on Friday by the way. That cat is well and truly out of the bag.)
But today Panther put an end to that by announcing that Dan Wheldon has been signed for the 2010 season. This also ended speculation that Dan was looking to take his services elsewhere next year, as he and the team were reportedly unhappy with each other midway through the season.
However, Curt Cavin cast doubt on a Wheldon/Panther divorce, stating he had no clue where else Dan could go that would be a step up from Panther since he had already been everywhere else. I guess a seat at KVRT or NHLR would be a step up from Panther, but there is no guarantee of that.
The official press release on Panther’s website states that they will announce sponsor details in the coming weeks. I look for National Guard to return to the team for 2010 as there have been no unhappy words about this relationship. Further, I would doubt Panther would be in a position to announce a full season effort yet if it was with a new sponsor.
Here at the Paddock, we can’t help but speculate that Dan Wheldon’s sparkling white teeth helped land this deal. Dan has made great strides in his attempts to ‘naturalize’ here in the states, and his teeth are part of that facade.