Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Let's Get Rolling Here

With activity in the Indycar world picking up and the official start of the 2012 racing season with the 24 Hours of Daytona, I intend to pick up the pace here and start posting regularly. I promise. No, really, I mean it.

First off, Robin Miller's weekly fan-rant column went up last week, and was full of the usual whining and pining. BUT, he did hint at something interesting regarding my last post's subject. According to Mr. Miller, Milwaukee is sure to be back on the schedule next June, but with a surprise. The only open weekend in June happens to fall on Father's Day again, which is one of the reasons attendance was so poor in 2011. (I went because "going to an Indycar race" is a pretty good Father's Day gift.) HOWEVER, the race could be run Saturday night, or even on Saturday afternoon, and hopefully in conjunction with the USAC open-wheelers Indycar management supposedly wants to court. I say right on. If I have a concern, it's that such a plan would make for 3 oval night races in 3 weeks in June. It looks like there could be a hole in the schedule in September, which I'd be all for, too. The weather is still pretty nice then.

In other news, many teams have been testing at Sebring, including some in full-dress livery. Again, Speedtv.com has the photos. I can't see what the problem with the DW12's aesthetics is. This is a cool-looking car, especially in the Penske schemes. I like that it's incorporated all the little fins and splitters and winglets that are in vogue on modern LeMans sportscars. The 2003-2011 Dallara looks even more ungainly, awkward, and dated next to it.

Quick post for today, but I'll be back. Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 23, 2012

See! I'm Still here!

Wow, uh, yeah, I'm back... I know I promised to update more frequently, but that hasn't been happening. I'm very sorry, but things will change. It's been a tumultuous past few months. BUT, Wisconsin's typically frigid winter, well, hasn't been. There are some interesting irons in the fire here, and as I've been promising since this blog's very first post, some very exciting news is coming. I swear.

In the meantime, a lot has happened in the world of Indycar. Newman-Haas closed, Dragon re-opened, Milwaukee might be back on the schedule, the DW12 might not be a turd on the ovals after all, Lotus got some engines in cars, Oriol Servia and Sebastian Bourdais have jobs, Brian Barnhart doesn't, and so on. Oh, and it seems there might actually be too many entrants for the number of available engines. Is this a problem? Definitely. But I'm going to throw out there that I'd rather have more entrants than engines than the other way around.

I'll have plenty to say about all these events (and more) in the coming weeks, but for now I'll focus on one subject. It would be great if the rumors of Milwaukee's return to the schedule are true.
1. The 2012 schedule, at 15 races, is on the light side.
2. The 2012 schedule is light on oval races. Indy, Texas, Iowa, and Fontana. I'm not an oval purist, but the right oval tracks have a place on the schedule and are (allegedly) popular with the fans. Now, if only every fan who claimed to want more oval races would actually go to them, maybe we wouldn't have these problems.
3. Milwaukee produces great Indycar races. I attended twice, in 2009 and 2011. The series was at a low point in 2009, when drivers would actually apologize for boring events. Still, there was a real, live, actual, on-track pass for the lead at Milwaukee that year and it was interesting start to finish. The 2011 race was a great one, with close competition, leaders throwing it away, pit road insanity, incompetent officiating (oh, wait, that was every race in 2011), and the best, fastest driver showing the field how it's done.
4. It's in a large metropolitan area FULL of racing enthusiasts. It becomes a huge metro area when Chicago is factored in.
5. Summer in Wisconsin is a good time and place to spend an afternoon outdoors.
6. Beer. Brats. And Beer.
7. The history. This track is older than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The list of winners is about as storied, too, plus 50+ years of stock car races, too.
8. Finally, selfishly, it's close to home. I think it's actually a shorter drive to the Mile than to my workplace, which gives me another chance to share my impressions of a real, live Indycar race with you.

More coming soon, thanks for reading!