Indy Hump Day Report: Life after the Indy 500, and the Texas two step

Most of us in America are sweating heavily from the weather. (Well most are weather related). Although the weather is not as hot as the INDYCAR Series was at the last round. The 2011 Indy 500 was by far the most exciting in years. The race finish was the most exciting since 1995, with a Pole & Bump Day that were arguably the most exciting in closer to three decades.

When the checkered flag fell at the Indy 500 no one was talking about; Ryan Hunter-Reay in the 41 car, no one was talking about Ganassi or Penske (winning at least), no one was talking about the horrific coverage on ABC. (That was a popular topic on Twitter until the last few laps).

Fans were talking about the movie like ending; Rookie has the unlikely front running position on his way to a win, crashes trying to avoid a slow car, former driver of crashed team’s car goes past his old ride to win his second 500 in a total upset.

I love that Wheldon won, it has to be great karma for him. After filing a legal case over Panther letting him go, he beats them at the 500. (Where he finished several times on the podium for Panther with no wins.) Will we start to hear about the “curse of Panther” next May? Can anyone not see that Panther has this issue with actually winning the 500 of late?

As for media coverage post 500, that was rather weak. Granted yours truly took off to plant my food for late summer and fall (with an injured hand, making typing no fun). However where was the race winner the Monday and Tuesday after the 500? Was he on Good Morning America, The View or Live with Regis & Kelly? (All ABC produced shows that have NASCAR’s “Chase Drivers” on every year).

Maybe the biggest curveball was this year was the first time I can remember maybe ever David Letterman did not return with a new show the Tuesday after the 500. Often Dave would take the week before off, and Memorial Day off to return Tuesday. So maybe the series needs to consider more than just Dave for the winners PR tour.

Also back to how little ABC cares once the race is over, all the more reason to find a new home for the Indy 500. Birdies keep chirping that NBC will only start showing races if they get the 500. While this year’s race got a 4.2 overnight while NASCAR only had a 4.0. What good is a 4.2 if then the rest of the summer you may never rise above a .029 on Versus? You think NBC will quickly ignore the series if they then have the other races to show? I suspect Dan Wheldon would have been on Today, and Leno. (Although no loss not appearing on that jerks show).


Before I wrap my rant on INDYCAR TV, can I just make one complaint about INDYCAR Open Wheel Weekly? Could Versus try a better time than 4PM ET? Some people do work for a living. Many not home till after 5 PM ET. I recall in my teen years RPM2Night was on 7PM ET weekdays. Any night it had a sports conflict it was never on before 5PM. Just a thought.

Fantasy Racing:

Well this week is really hard to give advice, and not just because I bombed my 500 picks. This week both races count as one round of the fantasy race. I am not even totally sure how the scoring will be done. The next biggest problem is, what about crashes in race one? What effect could this have on race two? Will all teams have a ‘T’ entry ready to go on track on short call?

So your best bets are to use the more well funded drivers this round. Here are five I would recommend using.

Safe picks:

Helio- he always does well here, and we know Penske can be ready for any race one mishaps.

Dixon- again he runs well on the 1.5 mile lefties, and Chip also can be ready for a race one mishap.

Briscoe- he is better on ovals than Will Power, and need I keep repeating possible race one crashes?

Danica- even though she basically never ran ovals until the INDYCAR Series, she runs then better than road & street courses. Go Daddy money means her team will be able to deal with a race one mishap.

Sleeper pick:

Vitor Meira- now that is not a team as well funded as a “Red Car”, however, we know A.J. got a ton of cash recently and has a spare oval car. Just ask Bruno. Also, no doubt Mr. Foyt wants a good showing at home. Be ready for a surprise day for the 14.



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