For those tired of snowmen, and snowballs, there is IZOD INDYCAR silly season.
Well I would be a total liar if I said how great it was watching the 24 Hours of Daytona. Not because it was a particularly bad race, more because of two factors; first I was in the City of Philadelphia where Comcast is the lone cable provider and you can only get SPEED on the more expensive HD Sports package, and second I was helping a friend move.(Upside; Comcast dominates the Mid-Atlantic, Baltimore, D.C. , and Philadelphia. So while NASCAR will have limited exposure in these markets, the IZOD INDYCAR Series will be on TV easily in these markets. Now if only the Series can race in Philadelphia’s turf, Pocono.)
I got to see pirated streams; about 40 minutes three hours in, and a half hour on Sunday afternoon. (I left with about 45 minutes to go when the 01 car went from P3 to P2. And sadly I had to read about the end on my friend’s iPhone when we went to dinner later.)
However thanks to the talented Pruett, the 01 car was again victorious. Making my predictions on the Open Paddock episode 73 podcast correct, Graham Rahal was a winner in his first race for Chip Ganassi. (I wonder if Graham will wear that Rolex on the wrist holding Frappachinos when Tomas Scheckter is looking.)
Also it seems that Graham is very lucky to have Scott Pruett as a co-driver; not only for being the most talented man named Pruett, but he was even nice enough not to pee in the seat during the race according to an interview that night on “Speed Freaks”. (Now that is a classy co-driver!)
Other dry seats being filled:
The first big news came Monday on the newly re-named “Inside Groove” at RaceFanRadio.com. Since I was busy moving someone; my Open Paddock team mate, and Sensei for all things Road to Indy Doug Patterson filled in for me. Jeremy Scott and Doug spoke to the Charles Barkley of INDYCAR, Paul Tracy.
According to PT he has signed a letter of intent at Conquest. He has two sponsors inked for 2011; Honda of Canada, and Motegi racing wheels continue to support PT. Tracy also says there is a third bigger sponsor almost done it seems. (PT on the Inside Groove)
As much as I love to break PT’s chops on Twitter, I really love the guy. (In a manly race fan way. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) The guy will either give fans a show on the track, or give the media a couple of great sound bytes. The difference between him and Charles Barkley is one man stands under six foot, and the other has been arrested. (I think we know who the latter is, not PT.) Other wise they both are very similar in being outspoken in their sports and often highly controversial. I really dig that myself, and normally that alone makes PT a show on his own.
Yet the news breaking about Coyne Racing makes this all the more spectacular. Seems PT’s “BFF” (note high levels of sarcasm) Mr. SeaBass is returning. Apparently the fastest fish on land is replacing the fastest pylon on Earth. (Milka Duno) Can you say “Let’s get ready to rumble”?
J.K. Vernay the dominant 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Champion, is now possibly also being looked at by Conquest. Talk about a turn around in talent if they can have J.K. and PT on the same team! I have not been shy on how I feel J.K. Vernay belongs in the top series now. The kid is highly talented, and while it is nice to make sure all the talented North Americans have rides, this kid belongs with the best racers on Earth!
Also found it interesting to see that Andretti Autosport has inked a deal to have Mike Conway for the 2011 season. Conway has been out of the driver’s seat since he tangled with now teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay at the end of the 2010 Indianapolis 500.
The musical chairs are filling up fast (and hopefully staying dry!), what is left quickly are few full time seats. There was a rumor HVM was talking to PT about being a teammate with Simona. Not sure if HVM will have a second team in 2011, but considering the cash Entergy is spending, don’t be surprised. Arguably with what is left; their best option would be Dan Wheldon, Simona needs a tutor for ovals, and he would be a fine choice.
KV Racing looks to still have a third and maybe fourth seat open still. Clearly Jimmy Vasser and PT had a nice public falling out on Twitter. (With a little help from Tommy Kendall) It seems unless Mario Moraes comes up with an insane amount of cash his days might be done there. Considering the cars he alone destroyed at KV, don’t hold your breath on the kid being there.
Penske has all three seats filled, and about fifty sponsors for them. But for those who felt Penske was stealing other team’s sponsors, well today they announced PPG will be on the liveries of two cars during the season. A company that goes back 32 years with Roger Penske. (Go figure a Pennsylvania company and Roger Penske. Remember when other than Indiana the Keystone State was a hotbed for Open Wheel racing on black top?)
The 24 hours of Daytona is the official bell class; school is back in session, while the first few periods are just Stock Car related after the 24, it is coming INDYCAR fans. Get your IZOD INDYCAR advent calendars ready! We are now just 50 days away from the drop of the green in St. Pete as of Thursday.
I know it’s hard to think of St. Pete when digging two feet of snow; but don’t worry winter will be over soon enough, and soon we will rejoice in the sound of Ethanol powered rockets racing in the streets. I just keep thinking about being there when it snows here, and I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
SUPER BOWL SUNDAY:
Before I give my Super Bowl picks, I would just like to note a local Football team is playing for a Championship this weekend. Not the Eagles, but the Philadelphia Passion of the Lingerie Football League. In a past life I even covered the LFL. I hope the Passion win big, and I hope we get a parade in Philly.
As for the BIG game Sunday, I am more focused on Pizza, Ribs, and lots of Cluck-U Chicken wings! But aside from destroying my digestive system, I hope Sunday will see a Packer win. Apparently Mr. Ryan Briscoe is a big cheese head. His wife and in-laws bleed green and yellow, so all three Penske drivers will be in attendance.
Realistically however, I say the Steelers win by less than 5 points.
Oh and as for the move between winter storms, we pulled it off. My friend is now in her nice cute new house. And we are still friends after what was a hard and stressful move! Go us!!!