The Verizon IndyCar Series is back in business. Generally I dislike the principle of ‘doubleheaders’ as separate races, thinking it is a backdoor way to mask scheduling deficiencies. On the other hand when you have two events that turn out like night and day as was the case in Houston a strong case can be made for their validity.
Who might have imagined Dale Coyne’s second car winning and having a podium with three Colombians? Or that the podium would be swept on the dry day by two small teams? It was all very compelling. One race in the wet (and rapidly drying) and one in the heat everyone expected. We even got to hear the legendary A.J. Foyt take the Lord’s name in vain on national television. That sometimes happens when there is an Andretti involved.
The DW-12 continues demonstrating that it is a race car strong enough for even stupid mistakes. My complaints remain relatively minor, including a continuing general disdain for temporary circuits in parking lots. Many folks are nearly orgasmic over the announcing job of Steve Matchett. I am not quite that effusive but his energy and enthusiasm is a welcome addition. There are fingernails on chalkboard moments; e.g., when did the ‘pace car’ become a ‘safety car?’ I wonder how close we are to changing the name of the series to ‘Verizon Formula Indy’ since we seem to be back on the ‘rival-to-Formula 1’ kick. And Paul Tracy? Not as robotic as Scott Goodyear but just about equal on the monotone scale.
Meanwhile we are preparing for an actual big oval race. 500 miles. Pocono. Big deal, right? The track is within driving distance of the largest population concentration in the country near the top media market. How much advertising has been seen? None by me. That is a real shame. The crowd last year was good, and I would like to believe it would improve in year two. If no one knows about it, however, how can that happen? My group is going again this year, and there will be at least six of us. The recent transformation of that track originally built for Indy cars is nothing short of miraculous. It is a unique, well managed, fan friendly legacy track. It is an outstanding way to spend a holiday weekend, and we hope to see a lot of our friends there.