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Open Wheel Wednesday

IndyCar Round Table: Drama Behind The Scenes And 2013

IndyCar Round Table: Drama Behind The Scenes And 2013

*Tony George resigned his position on the board of Hulman & Company last week. He was part of the effort to buy INDYCAR that had the rumor mills working overtime since May. Does his resignation end the takeover bid and the drama? Thoughts on what is really going on here.* Huston: I'm thinking it actually increases the likelihood that he tries to put together a group to buy the series. I think it's a move to get out from under the Hulman family dynamic. Toni: I'd like to think what happened is they actually gave him the ultimatum leave or we will throw you off and allowed him to save face and that it will signify the end of the drama of the buyout / ouster of Randy Bernard. I'd like to think it was really an effort to rid the series of negative influences and get back to thinking about the business at hand. Read More »

IndyCar Year in Review: Teams, Part 2

IndyCar Year in Review: Teams, Part 2

_It was one year ago Tuesday, October 16, 2011, that the racing world lost Dan Wheldon. We still miss you, Lionheart, and take the opportunity to remember and honor all you did, not just for the sport, but for your family and friends. It just hasn't been the same._ *Team Penske:* Looking at the results on paper, the people at Penske should be thrilled with their 2012 season. The three-driver team notched six wins and an additional six podium finishes, often looking like the class of the field. In fact, with four races to go, two of their drivers, Will Power and Helio Castroneves, were both viable title contenders. But once again the team could not close out the season. Castroneves watched his season go awry and Power faltered in Fontana and was relegated to finishing second for the championship for the third time. For an organization like Penske, not winning the Astor Cup is bittersweet in comparison to their results. Read More »

IndyCar 2012 Season Review: Teams Part I

IndyCar 2012 Season Review: Teams Part I

*Andretti Autosport* Andretti Autosport came into the 2012 season with heavy hearts and a whole lot to prove. Just days after signing the late Dan Wheldon to drive the #27 GoDaddy car for the 2012 season, Wheldon died tragically in the now infamous early-race accident in the 2011 season finale. Veteran driver Danica Patrick also left the team after 2011 to pursue a career in NASCAR. In place of Wheldon, AA signed promising sophomore driver James Hinchcliffe to pilot the #27, and he joined Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti to form a strong three car team that looked to avenge the demons of what was mostly a miserable 2011 season, both on and off the track. And for the most part, the team did just that. Read More »

IndyCar Year In Review: Drivers 1st Through 13th

IndyCar Year In Review: Drivers 1st Through 13th

_Now that the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season has come to an end, the Frontstretch IndyCar staff will be taking some time to review the year that was. Last week, we looked at those who finished "14th through 26th":http://www.frontstretch.com/tmontgomery/41607/ in the season points standings. This week, we take a look at the top half of the running order, leading up to champion Ryan Hunter-Reay._ Read More »

IndyCar Year in Review: Drivers 14th Through 26th

IndyCar Year in Review: Drivers 14th Through 26th

_Now that the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season has come to an end, the Frontstretch IndyCar staff will be taking some time to review the year that was. We start tonight with part one of our driver reviews, looking at those who finished 14th through 26th in the season points standings._ *26. Katherine Legge* – Legge started the year driving for Lotus Dragon Racing and finished it driving the Dragon Racing Chevrolet powered entry, which should speak volumes. Read More »

IndyCar Round Table: Season Finales, American Champions, and Doubleheaders

IndyCar Round Table: Season Finales, American Champions, and Doubleheaders

*Give your thoughts on the MAVTV 500 overall. Did it live up to the hype?* Toni: I think it definitely lived up to the hype. I thought the race was great on its own and the championship had all the drama you could want. I particularly loved seeing so many different drivers running well. Huston: I really don't have anything positive to offer. For being a championship race, I thought it fell flat. Matt: I thought it was a pretty good race. Did it live up to the hype? I'm not so sure. Having Power wreck out that early in the event kind of killed some of the drama, and the race itself was "good not great" in my opinion. I felt that they kind of missed a bit on the aero package. Read More »

Recent Events Remind Fans of the Risks of Racing

Recent Events Remind Fans of the Risks of Racing

Last week, former Champ car driver Alex Zanardi won two gold medals in handbiking events at the Paralympic Games 2012 in London. His impressive victories (in one race, Zanardi bested the second place finisher by 27 seconds), served as a personal statement of his love of competition and his ability to overcome his terrible accident from 2001 in which he lost both of his legs. His story is an amazing one, showcasing the proverbial indomitable spirit of man and the testament to overcome serious problems. But it is, at the same time, a reminder of the inherent dangers in racing. Read More »

A Tale of Two Title Contenders: The Winding Road to the Championship

A Tale of Two Title Contenders: The Winding Road to the Championship

Seventeen points. That is how many points separate IZOD IndyCar Series points leader Will Power and second place driver Ryan Hunter-Reay. Seventeen points. It always amazes me that we can go 14 weeks into a racing season (much longer than that if NASCAR is your thing) and still have two drivers so close at the top. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been good at math. Who knows. But the point is, we have a hell of a title fight on our hands this year, and for the first time in a long time, I really am undecided as to which driver is truly the favorite to take the title. Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay have been leaps and bounds ahead of the competition all season long. These two guys deserve to be where they are. And they couldn’t have got to where they are now more differently. Read More »

It’s a Real Shame When Drama Overshadows The Racing

It’s a Real Shame When Drama Overshadows The Racing

We should be talking about the great racing we’ve seen this season. We should be talking about the championship and whether Will Power will finally bring it home or whether one of the other three drivers still in contention can mount a comeback. We should be talking about keeping the momentum going and having an even better 2013. Instead, the story that just refuses to die this summer is the alleged effort of some unhappy team owners to put together funding to buy INDYCAR and oust current CEO Randy Bernard. Read More »

IndyCar Round Table: Momentum Killers, Track Changes, and Silly Season

IndyCar Round Table: Momentum Killers, Track Changes, and Silly Season

*With the cancellation of the China race this past weekend, consensus is still that trying to throw together a replacement was a bad idea, but it left the IZOD IndyCar Series with no presence at all for essentially three weeks in the prime of racing season. What does this do to the momentum of the series and how can they get folks back and interested for the run to the championship?* Huston: Prime of racing season? I didn't know there was such a thing. Toni: I think there is. You can maybe get away to a gradual start of the season, and Indy traditionally only has the one race in May, but when it's summer and you are gearing up for a championship battle, it seems like a huge momentum killer to me. I have to confess to me it feels like the IndyCar Series has been out of sight forever, maybe because everyone else has been in full swing. Read More »