I’m posting a post-race column after every INDYCAR race, utilizing flag communication to make each of my points! So come back after every race for The Second Victory Lap here at CrimsonCast.
Green Flag – To the VS crew, for not jinxing the race by mentioning how there hasn’t been a full race without a yellow since…..whenever. Normally when you mention that, you are always about 3-4 laps away from a yellow. This time the crew didn’t mention it, and let the yellow happen organically. Well done!
Yellow Flag – To the entire 2011 INDYCAR schedule! ENOUGH WITH THE ROAD AND STREET COURSES!
This was a horribly boring race. When you have to mention to the viewers that there are only a few passing zones on a track, then it is a bad racing track.
I know there are many reasons why there aren’t as many ovals on the current schedule, but it should be the #1, 2 & 3 priorities of Randy Bernard, to get more ovals on the schedule, because I think the current schedule is really hurting INDYCAR. And having 2 races in Texas on the same night, isn’t the solution!
First example would be Danica Patrick. I think there are many reasons why she is leaving INDYCAR next year, and I don’t blame her. But during the VS telecast, she was asked if having so many road/street courses on the schedule was a factor in her decision to leave. I have had this thought run through my head a few times also. I don’t think it was the top reason she left, but I do think it factored in. And no matter your thoughts on Danica, she was the #1 mainstream star of this sport, and she is leaving, partly due to the schedule. (A schedule that didn’t used to be this way, I might add!)
Second example. While driving home from the Brickyard 400, in his post win interview Paul Menard was asked why he didn’t run Indycars with his father’s involvement at IMS. Paul said something to the effect that there isn’t a good feeder program for INDYCAR and he didn’t get experience on road/street courses. So now, we are losing a generation of American drivers! I’m not one who believes that all drivers have to be American. Most of my personal favorite drivers (TK, Will Power, James Hinchcliffe) are not American. But just check out the ratings of the Women’s World Cup games when the US was playing and don’t tell me it isn’t a factor with the average viewer.
I just find it ironic, that we were told in the mid-90’s that this split would give us more oval courses and more American drivers. Now almost 15 years later, I’m not sure why we went through all that pain? We have more road/street courses than ovals, and seem to be a series catering to the next breed of non-American drivers who learn on road/streets.
Finally, it just really irks me when I hear promos for the “Fastest Drivers in the WORLD!”, only to be followed by overhead shots of cars going 40 mph, and commentators talking about slow turns and braking zones. These things don’t go together!!
I don’t need a 100% oval schedule, but let’s mix it up a bit.
Checkered Flag – Congrats to Will Power, who kept this championship race alive for a few more weeks. Seems like Team Penske was tired of bad results. Wonder if there was a meeting with The Captain in the off-week, where he said some heads would be rolling, because they looked like a team on a mission for the first time in a long time.
Call me crazy, but I don’t think that Will Power is totally out of this championship race yet. The change of oval to road course in Japan was a huge break for him, and might save his shot at a championship. I think it’s possible that he wins the next 2 races and makes this tight going into Kentucky. He actually raced well there last year, before nerves seemed to get to him and he brushed the wall. If he goes in there with 3 straight wins and is really breathing down Dario’s neck, I think the pressure is on Dario not Will. But we shall see. Before we can get to Kentucky, it is just 2 more road/street courses. But I think you know my thoughts on that!