Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

December 14, 2009

A Danica-Free Blog

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:06 pm

We could easily discuss Danica again. After all, anyone even remotely related to NASCAR does so nearly every minute of every day. But why not talk about something more substantive?

There is an interesting rumor that has Exiled Anton joining forces with classy Indy Champion Gil DeFerran to get a new team with two cars onto the grid for 2010. That would be great news. Trackside Online reported last week that Jonathan Byrd II also has plans to do what his father did and run a team in the IZOD IndyCar Series. The beauty of the plan is the way it incorporates charitable giving into sponsorship; specifically a venture on behalf of Habitat for Humanity in which a house is built the week before the IndyCar race in a specific city (that would potentially be problematic in, say, Motegi). Essentially the builds would be a part of the television show ‘Ev’ryman Victory’ and exposure opportunities would be natural extensions for participating sponsors. This is a GREAT plan, and my hat is off to JB II and the folks working to make it happen.

Have you ever wonder what happened to early IRL driver Steve Knapp, the Formula 2000 champion in 1996 who was the third-place finisher and Rookie of the Year at the 1998 Indianapolis 500? Turns out he built himself a very successful business called Elite Engines up in Wisconsin. Dan Anderson, who now runs Formula 2000 (that sports a way too busy champcar-like official name ‘Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda’) announced that Knapp’s company will prepare all the Mazda MZR engines for the championship class in that series. It is a 170 horsepower 4-banger.

A bigger story is the growing number of rungs on the IndyCar ladder, something badly needed for years. The end of the cart/champcar boycott was good, but a cohesive ladder is vital going forward. There are now four rungs:

Formula 2000 (they will use Cooper Tires)

Star Mazda (they will use Goodyears)

Firestone Indy Lights

IZOD IndyCar Series

The only wish those of us interested in the actual heritage of Indy Cars is that ovals will have more of a place than a percentage less than or equal to road races and godforsaken temporary circuit abominations. That does not look as promising as it should.

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3 Comments »

  1. I look forward to seeing how this all works together.
    (I like the road and street racing where there is plenty of passing…not where much faster cars have to wait for the passing zone………….) Maybe God loves street racing and we oval fans are forsaken.

    Comment by tim nothhelfer — December 14, 2009 @ 1:09 pm | Reply

  2. The issue for Star Mazda/F2000 is they cannot run the bigger ovals, it would be ridiculous for an open wheel car, or really any car with only 150 horsepower to try that. So, as I’ve said before, I’d lean to having them run on .5, .75, and 1 mile ovals for 50% of the races, with road/street coursees the other half.

    Comment by dylanpt24 — December 15, 2009 @ 2:41 am | Reply

  3. There should be more ovals though, so road course drivers can learn the ovals before hitting the Indycar Series.

    Comment by dylanpt24 — December 15, 2009 @ 2:41 am | Reply


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