Humpy Wheeler is a colorful fellow. I spent my Thanksgiving holiday below the Mason Dixon Line in the heart of NASCAR country. Every day in the newspapers of the area there are stories of NASCAR, also known as ‘racing.’ There was a Ron Green column that appears to have originated in the Charlotte Observer but ran in a variety of papers in that part of the country.
Fresh off Jimmie Johnson’s record breaking performance the top story was not the 48 team, the 88 team, or any other legacy NASCAR team. It is Danica. Just the mere possibility of her sliding into a ‘stock’ car is enough to get the fellows down south to begin drooling. Many are condescending (‘she will fail as Dario and lots of others before her’), as if NASCAR is the most technically precise form of motorsports on earth.
Humpy, as usual, found a way to put it all into perspective. He compares driving ‘twitchy’ Indy Cars to flying fighter jets and landing them on aircraft carriers. He calls ‘stock’ cars bulldozers and basically says what she has to worry about the most is learning to stop them, because they can hurt you. It is probably not going to be possible for Danica to try the lower rungs quietly, but that is what she must do. I hope the money is good. Her current IndyCar team is no longer Andretti Green Racing. It has morphed into ‘Andretti Autosport.’ That may mean that since Michael is the big boss exclusively, deals with drivers may get done more efficiently. Silly Season seems destined to have a channel just for Danica.
It also appears IndyCar will begin the 2010 season in Brazil. Sao Paulo. On a godforsaken temporary circuit. The ex-cart refugee inmates now running the post-Anton IndyCar Series seem poised to fleece otherwise great constituents in the country of Brazil. Be still my beating heart.
This off season remains pretty busy. Oh, and speaking of bending over for other countries, fan favorite E.J. Viso may take his PDVSA sponsorship funding to Ganassi. That is the rumor anyway. That would be a most interesting pairing, and fun to watch.