Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

April 29, 2008

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 3:26 pm

I will not be caroling, but I WILL enthusiastically be making several trips to my Hoosier home for the activities associated with the Month of May in Indianapolis.  Any racing fan who has not made the trip really ought to.  Each weekend is different, and any part of the month of May is among the best values in all sports and entertainment options. 


One of the frequent criticisms of those stuck in the previous century is their perception about lack of bumping on ‘bump’ day.  Last year when the weather was great the first weekend, the new fastest 11-per-day rule really got a workout.  Pole day in particular was much more intense than usual.    Looks like at least 40 folks will try for the 33 slots this year, and that should also add some storylines to the legendary event.  


As usual, the physical plant has changed again with the reconfiguration near the oval turn one of the road course in preparation for the arrival of the motorcycles later this year.  Changes in recent years including the moving of ‘Carb Day’ to Friday have resulted in even more fan options. 


As the field is formed one of the interesting aspects will be to monitor the placement of the ‘transitioning’ drivers.  Some of them have shown some respectable raciness on ovals.  How they do on the big one will be compelling. 


The recent race at Kansas was pretty good, but the IRL set the bar on 1.5 mile ovals very high early on.  The close action that made them racy needs to return somehow.  Michigan and Fontana need to be back on the schedule. 


The red-headed bastard stepchild treatment of the Indy Racing franchise by ESPN continues unabated.  If anything, it is worse this year.  May has a tendency to snap some from Bristol out of their complacency but the lead-in to the Indianapolis 500 could not possibly have gotten more shoddy treatment.  If Danica had not won in Japan there might be a big problem.  Not all the blame resides with the television ‘partner.’  I will never understand why a points-paying race in Japan must be run before Indy.  It defies logic.  Honda pays lots of bills and there is a certain subservience demanded, but the combination of ESPN indifference and momentum-killing scheduling makes building excitement for May more difficult than it should be.  


Here’s my early pick for the winner:  Tomas Scheckter.  Gut feeling.  I could get behind it.  Second choice:  Vitor Miera.  Underdog. 


See you in May!


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