It is thumb twiddling time as IndyCar fans wait a month for any cars on the track. Will anyone notice when they do? Houston is coming up, and is another attempt to breathe life into a dead horse. The management must feel that as long as there is a sponsor, a permit and a cleared check the latest non-oval festival o’ speed is just dandy. Personally I can hardly wait for Fontana.
In the meantime there are other stories that will keep the series in press releases. The biggest (figuratively and literally) is Team Penske’s signing, sans any sponsor, to drive a third IndyCar for the team next season. Many perceive Montoya to be a villain. That may or may not be true, but his 2000 500 win came early prior to his adventures in Formula One and NASCAR. 38 is still young for most, but driving IndyCars at that age begins to approach Q-tips driving Buicks in Florida territory. It will be interesting to see if he has any of what he had the last time.
None of us have seen any sort of schedule for 2014 but many are predicting it will be smaller, contain multiple doubleheaders and will probably contain a road race at Indy in May, despite the karma risks and blatant trashing of tradition. Baltimore bailed. That is a shame because it is in a geographically underserved area. That region is an ideal location for a purpose built track (despite howling from Dover whenever the subject arises) and that might work a little better than inconveniencing thousands of Baltimore citizens for weeks at a time to throw a carnival no one, particularly businesses in the area, seem to believe is necessary.
In an effort to cultivate real schedule balance it would be nice to believe IndyCar is having active discussions with folks like Andy Hillenburg at Rockingham or the company that runs the oval track west of Memphis. Both have the new wall systems and both would be likely to succeed. That vision is probably not shared with the road racers bending Miles’ ears.
Is it October yet?