Walker Walks: Mark Miles announced Derrick Walker’s resignation as IndyCar President of Competition Thursday, effective at season’s end. Walker’s brief two year tenure leaves yet another void in series leadership, using the term loosely. His biggest challenge was overseeing the introduction of the costly and controversial aero kits this season in an effort to differentiate the look of the cars.
Photo from motorsport.com
Walker’s Wake: It’s become a freakin’ turnstile at 16th & Georgetown and speculation about a replacement for Walker has already begun. Curt Cavin pointed to Ganassi honcho Mike Hull as a likely replacement, but we just don’t see it. Hull has the knowledge and experience, but he’s an extremely odd duck and like Walker would struggle as a face of the series with the press. Walker’s impending departure at the end of August also means we’ve a lame duck in charge of race control for the final three races, so don’t expect an immediate uptick in rational calls or a more even application of penalties. Sadly such inconsistency will be Walker’s legacy as competition chief.
Photo from chevrolet.com
Expected Engine Infractions: Several Honda teams, including Andretti Autosport, Schmidt Peterson Motorsport, Rahal Letterman Lanigan and Bryan Herta Autosport, changed out their engines early after Iowa. Failing to reach the requirement of twenty five hundred miles, Honda received another round of penalties increasing Chevy’s lead to an insurmountable three hundred and sixty eight points with three races to go. So much for competition in the aero kit era.
Photo from nbcsports.com
Brickwad 400: Kyle Busch became the latest to defame The Yard of Bricks after winning the minor league race preceding the Brickyard 400, doing burnouts right across the historic portion of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. NASCAR drivers have been asked repeatedly not to do donuts near the start/finish line, yet they persist in doing so. Reminds us of rude house guests who insist upon pissing on the bathroom floor. As with any poorly aimed guests, it’s yet another reason to dis-invite NASCAR from the hallowed grounds of Indy.
Photo from raceweekillustrated.com
Driver Updates: Takuma Sato will start his 100th IndyCar race assuming he makes the field this Sunday. The AJ Foyt driver has one win in his career coming at Long Beach in 2013. On a brighter note, James Hinchcliffe underwent his final surgery on Thursday Tweeting afterward, “Can’t wait to be strapping back in.” In the spirit of Mid Ohio’s campiness, we assume he’s referring to the cockpit and not something else.
Photo from flickr.com
Can’t See TV: In the midst of a successful stretch including three oval races with over half a million viewers on NBCSN – a first – IndyCar took a week off before trundling to Mid-Ohio, one of the worst tracks on the schedule. Making matters worse, because of a NASCAB conflict on NBCSN the IndyCar race will be televised live on CNBC – wedged in there between kitchen gadget infomercials before being re-aired later on NBCSN. And some thought the new rain tires and LED numbers on the cars would be the big news of the week.