Monday, December 20, 2010

That Was Then, This is Now

One of the biggest off-season announcements
has Rahal and Kimball joining Ganassi
Photo: Ron McQueeney,
Had you asked me two months ago what my interest was in the 2011 IndyCar season, I would have said, let’s dump it and go right to ’12, when we’ll have the new chassis and engines to create fresh interest—but that was then, this is now.

Since that time, the mother of all off-seasons has broken loose and buried us in an avalanche of awesomeness that has 2011 shaping up to be one epic IndyCar funtacular.

Here’s a random—and, I’m sure, woefully incomplete—list of the storylines we’ll have to follow in the coming months:
  • Car count: I’ve seen 24 to 28 quoted for non-Indy events, with who knows how many vying to appear in the big show.
  • Indianapolis 500 Centennial: A virtual cornucopia of things planned. Check out Kevin Lee’s semi-comprehensive list here.
  • IMS speed record: Sir Randall “wants it gone.” Even if, practically speaking, there’s no chance to break it, if Randy just trots out there and says “have at it,” that will attract stellar pub.
  • Yanks: You asked for ‘em, you got ‘em… six full time, plus Ed part time—I believe.
  • Sponsor changes/additions:
o   IZOD and Meijer from Andretti to Penske
o   Shell/Pennzoil to Penske
o   NTB Tires goes full time at Ganassi
o   Novo Nordisk to Ganassi
o   “New” sponsor for RHR TBA
o   Brazilian sponsors for Kanaan?
  • Driver changes/additions:
o   Graham & Charlie Kimball in new cars at Ganassi
o   Wheldon out, or back to Andretti?
o   TK at de Ferran
o   Matos out?
o   JR in at Panther
o   A second season for Simona? Does the wrecking crew get the ax at KV? Yada, yada, yada…

Whew… Alright. This is supposed to be an interactive forum, right? What did I miss? BRING IT, peeps.