Monday, March 26, 2012

Indycar: St. Petersburg Review

Random thoughts while wondering how Lotus engineers are sleeping tonight...

  1. Fan sentiment for the late Dan Wheldon runs deep. Real deep. 
  2. Sorry, but the rear wheel pods must go. Remember those go-karts they had at amusement parks when you were a kid... the ones with the steel, wraparound skirts to prevent them from flipping? That's what the DW12 looks like. Insert childhood bumper car flashback here. 
  3. A shocking lack of crashes at St. Pete. It's almost like E. J. Viso and Marco Andretti weren't even there. 
  4. Almost as shocking as ABC not carrying 20 minutes of Danica Patrick coverage. Even though she wasn't in the race. But that never stopped them before. 
  5. Feel terrible for Katherine Legge, whose car gave out early in the show. She deserves better. Makes you wonder. Is accepting a ride with a second-tier engine program really better than sitting at home? On the other hand, she out-qualified teammate Sebastian Bourdais, whose luck was equally lousy. Who knows. Maybe Woody Allen was right. 80% of success is just showing up. You can't win if you don't race, and Katherine is racing. 
  6. James Hinchcliffe is the real deal. Watch him carefully this year. He has stepped into Danica Patrick's ride with nearly the same crew, staff and equipment. If Hinch consistently outperforms Danica's results from her last year in Indycar, her detractors will be proven right. 
  7. Takuma Sato is going to win an Indycar race one day. Maybe sooner that we think. 
  8. Okay, okay. I can't give E. J. and Marco a hard time. Viso knocked down a Top Ten and Andretti managed to not get hit by Helio Castroneves this year. 
  9. Three of Lotus' five entries failed to finish the race. The other two (Alex Tagliani and Oriol Servia) finished 15th and 16th, respectively, one lap down. They toiled long and hard to carry their engines to the finish line. With guys like Tag, Servia and Bourdais driving for them, don't give up on Lotus. These boys have been around for a while and aren't likely to throw up their hands in defeat. I'm all for them. C'mon, guys. We're pulling for you.  
  10. Rubens Barrichello said he had fun. I hope the comment was genuine. The only thing worse than not having him in the series to begin with would be for him to look back on his 17th place finish and realize, "Hey... somebody remind me why I'm here. I really don't need this." 
  11. Tough day for Dario Franchitti. Will be interesting to see if he loses as graciously and professionally as he wins. Something tells me he will. 
  12. Hurry back, Pippa. 
  13. Josef Newgarden is the real deal, too. His smiling demeanor nicely complements Sarah Fisher's enthusiasm and extraordinary popularity. This combination is as good as advertised. And did I mention Josef can drive? 
  14. You can see this coming a mile away. Chevy engines scored four of the top five positions at St. Pete. Penske Racing has more series wins, titles and Indy 500 wins than any team in history. Penske and Chevy are racing together. Gonna be a long year for everybody else. 
  15. Ovals are the answer. Now, what was the question? 
  16. Can't wait for the 500. The stakes get higher. The price of a mistake goes up. The world will be watching. You can't fake 100 years of auto racing history. Indy is still Indy. 
Blogging LIVE from Kansas City's Mecum Auto Auction, Thurs-Sat this week. If you're in town, please stop by and say "Hi." Would love to meet you. If not, watch for us LIVE on Velocity all weekend.

See you there!

Stephen Cox
#21 Packs Racing/Boschett/McGunegill Engines Chevy
Co-host, Mecum Auto Auctions on Velocity

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of any other party.  

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