Friday, July 3, 2009

Watkins Glen Race Preview

The IndyCar Series enters its halfway point of the 2009 season with its first of three consecutive road/street course races. The IndyCar Series has had negative press over the past week and IndyCarGarage breaks down six observations going into the Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen.

1. News, News, News, for all the wrong reasons

The IndyCar Series has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the past week. Let’s start at the top. First, the fallout from the Richmond race has been horrendous. the IndyCar series had to respond directly to drivers complaining about the lack of passing and, of course the bombshell, Tony George resigned as the CEO of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s simple. This probably has been the worst week of news for the IndyCar series since 1996 when the Indy Racing League was announced. No other way around it, rumors throughout Indianapolis swirl about several things, but the bottom line is that the IndyCar Series needs SOME KIND of positive news out of its series. We could start with a series sponsor, or go to a higher car count, and maybe finish off with Danica announcing she is returning to open-wheel, but we don’t have any of those things. IndyCarGarage admits to everyone who follows this blog and website, this is a very tough time to be an IndyCar fan.

2. Car Count

21. That’s how many cars will be in the Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen this Sunday at 1 p.m. on A.B.C. The economy is tough for everyone involved in motorsports right now, but just a year after unification the IndyCar Series has seen the car count drop off a significant amount, with several high quality drivers still sitting on the sidelines looking for rides. IndyCarGarage has touched on this subject several times and throughout the discussions on this site, the questions remains… will we ever see above 28 cars on a race to race basis?

3. Penske/Ganassi domination = anyone else want to answer the door?

Throughout the first eight races of the 2009 season, the Penske/Ganassi domination has been in full effect. The top four cars in the points championship race are from the two dominate teams in the series. The IndyCar Series is still waiting for that third team to break through and win a race in the 2009 schedule. In 2008, 10 different drivers won a race in 18 races, so far in 2009, we have four drivers in eight races. Andretti Green Racing is close with Danica Patrick, Dan Wheldon and Panther Racing are a team to think about every weekend, and count in all the road course drivers from Champ Car. Let’s see a new driver win a race.

4. Paul Tracy = back in the saddle

Paul Tracy returns to the IndyCar Series for his third race of the 2009 season with KV Racing. Former IndyCar driver Jimmy Vasser will serve as race strategist and PT remains a threat to win. What this means for the IndyCar Series is that another proven driver is now involved with the series and should give them another name to talk about throughout the coverage of the race. Paul Tracy is a high possibility to replace Danica Patrick next year in the AGR stable if she would leave for Ganassi Racing, as rumored throughout the discussion boards. Paul Tracy winning a race on Sunday proves that he belongs full time in the IndyCar Series.

5. Changes to look forward to at Kentucky?

The IndyCar Series announced a number changes for the next upcoming race, which is at Kentucky Motor Speedway on August 1st at 8 p.m. Among the changes is 300 more added down force, which is designed to create more side by side racing and passing. The good news is that remains the lone positive out of the IndyCar Series in the last week. It remains to be seen what happens on August 1st at Kentucky, but if the future holds true, it should offer some more competitive racing. IndyCar Garage will be at the Kentucky race and will offer insight coverage to what the new changes bring to the series.

6. Vision racing where are you going?

With Tony George recent resignation as CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, more pressure should be on him to improve his middle of the road race team in Vision Race Team. Tony has a talented driver in Ed Carpenter, and is loaning another talented driver to A.J. Foyt Racing for the remainder of the season. Tony George needs to pick up his race team and put it in the top three to spice up the IndyCar Series. Watkins Glen provides his first opportunity

No comments: