Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Silly Season Rumors - Edition 1

The IndyCar Series has been off for a week , as they will pick back up their schedule July 26th in Edmonton, for their third straight street/road course. To fill in for the normal race previews and race reactions, IndyCarGarage will debut their first annual Silly Season Rumors. To clarify, all of the Silly Season Rumors posted on this blog and talked about on this website by IndyCarGarage are purely speculation and offer no official word on the drivers or teams. IndyCarGarage does have a few sources around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and those insights and possible situations are explained in Silly Season Rumors Edition one.

Rumor # 1 – It all starts with the GoDaddy.com girl and Danica Patrick’s decision could dictate who goes where

Door # 1 – If Danica takes door # 1, which at this point seems to be the most logical, it would lead to a new full time IndyCar Series ride with Chip Ganassi and the Target team. Sources around Danica and Ganassi point to the Target customer audience, which is over 60% female as a huge selling point for expanding to three cars. Danica would be a huge sell for Ganassi and also would offer her the best chance to win every weekend and ultimately the Indy 500 which she said is one of her top goals. Chances of Danica taking door #1 – 60%

Door # 2 – If Danica takes door # 2, which at this point seems to be a huge flirtation, it would lead to a fulltime Nationwide/Sprint Cup Ride with one of the top NASCAR Teams. Stewart-Haas seems logical, JR Motor sports with a cross-over sponsorship with GoDaddy.com, and any other NASCAR team ready to pony up big bucks for the best equipment, which is what Danica is saying would do it. Most of Danica’s top advisors are suggesting a full time IndyCar ride, but Danica has made it no secret that she has an interest in NASCAR. Chances of Danica taking door #2 – 30%

Door # 3 – If Danica takes door # 3, it would mean she would be resigning with Andretti-Green Racing, the team which she joined three years ago after two seasons with Rahal-Letterman Racing. Andretti-Green Racing has been struggling mightily this season and all signs point to their four car team being cut in half, or possibly a reduction to three teams. There seems to be too much going within AGR at the present time for Danica to be able to accomplish her goals such as Indy and a point’s championship. Chances of Danica taking door #3 – 10%.

Rumor # 2 – Marco Andretti and his future

Marco Andretti exploded onto the IndyCar series in the 2006 Indy 500 with a runner-up finish to Sam Hornish Jr. Andretti’s career in the IndyCar series since the 2006 Indy 500 has been a roller-coaster ride. Andretti’s suffered through his sophomore season with a series of wrecks and DNF’s. Andretti bounced back in 2008 with a third place finish at Indy, and some better finishes. 2009 has been less than spectacular for Marco as the AGR team has struggled throughout the year. It’s hard to picture Marco driving for anyone else other than his father, Michael, but don’t rule out something crazy to happen. Marco’s name has been rumored as a possible driver for the new US Formula 1 team in 2010. Marco has also been rumored to possibly be starting his own race team, with funding through his grandfather, Mario Andretti. Marco’s contract is up at the end of the year and it’s hard to picture where he might land, then again it would shock no one if he was back at AGR driving for them in a two car team.

Rumor # 3 – Scott Dixon & De Ferran Motor Sports

Scott Dixon’s future could depend on what Danica Patrick decides to do. Dixon has been quoted earlier as saying that he isn’t interested in running a three car team with Ganassi, and Danica as the third driver. Dixon has experienced major success with Ganassi, so it’s hard to picture him leaving the top team in the sport in the prime of his career. De Ferran Motor Sports has been rumored to fielding a full time team in 2010, and Dixon has been rumored to be a possible candidate as their driver. Similar to Marco, no one would be shocked if Dixon is back at Ganassi next year, but don’t count on it as a sure thing.

Rumor # 4 – Paul Tracy wants to run a full 2010 season

The Thrilla, has given us some exciting moments in 2009 and wants to continue that trend into a full-time gig for 2010. Tracy has done and said all the right things this season that would lead one to think that he is a logical candidate to grab a full-time ride next year, but don’t count it as a sure thing. Tracy has stated that he would like to remain at KV Racing with Jimmy Vasser, where he has run most of his 2009 races, three to date. It remains to be seen if KV Racing is interested in running two full cars for the 2010, they currently field Mario Maroes as their primary driver and have spotted Tracy for Indy and two, soon to be three, road courses. Wherever Tracy winds up for next year, he would be good for the series full time as they continue to try recapture fans, remember, he was a Champ Car stud prior to the merger

Look for More Silly Season Rumors to come in September on IndyCarGarage.com

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