Barber IndyCar Predictions and Prognostications: Haircut Edition


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The annual series trip to Alabama always feels like it did when you were a kid going to get a haircut. It’s discomfiting. There’s a million things you’d rather do. Such a waste of time and energy. Something unpleasant that one must endure every so often. Aww, MO-M!

But go to Barber Motorsports Park IndyCar does, therefore like those hairs stuck to your collar after a shearing, our rug like coverage follows.


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Let’s get NBCSN‘s “beautiful” and “gorgeous” description of Barber prediction out of the way first, and it has nothing to do with hairdos. Repeating this ad nauseam is the last refuge of broadcasting politeness, something they say when the track’s nice looking but the racing sucks. Which, if the race is like every other one held there except Josef Newgarden’s first win last year, it’ll make a trip to get a haircut look downright fun.


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Our special prediction this week is both troubling and general in nature. In essence, the re-splintering of IndyCar has begun. We’re hearing steady rumblings of discontent from owners and drivers alike. Of course they all  want to go in different directions, from more horse power to less downforce to reverting back to the pre aero kit DW12s. IndyCar disunity’s starting to look a lot like that of the nation at large.


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We’ve been through such an open wheel-wide bad haircut before with the split, IndyCar’s version of a civil war, and it wasn’t pretty. With a continuing and utter lack of series leadership as we’ve long argued, IndyCar’s aimlessly adrift in a shark infested waters, with the owners feeling mutinous. It’s getting so bad that reports have the few owners with any hair left starting to grow pirate ponytails.

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First out of the race could well be no one again, especially at the rate they’re going this season. Three races in and there’ve been only five DNFs in total. Remarkably there were none at the Beach, while Kimball’s St. Pete mishap came on the penultimate lap, otherwise there’d have been only a couple at each of the first two races. That’s an impressive, shiny mane of careful driving and reliability. And as the drivers insist upon reminding us, it’s also pretty boring.


Our prediction for biggest surprise of the race is just how bad Andretti Autosport‘s rookie Alex Rossi continues to be. He’s giving Stefano Coletti a run for his lira. The f-ing F1 invader‘s been slow – Marco slow – with the exception of the opener, where he beat the boss’ son – an eleven year veteran – by three positions in his first ever race. Some yardstick. At least Max Chilton’s improving of late, gaining five spots after qualifying poorly at Long Beach. Now, let’s talk about that look.


For pole position, our ‘hold our nose’ pick is Penske. Doesn’t matter which one, really. It worked in that joke of a session at Long Beach and it’s the obvious call again at Barber. Also, we’re predicting for The Cap’n’s crew precisely zero haircuts from race control the entire weekend – and beyond. Not after what “Needle nose” Pagenaud got away with in blatantly cutting off the blend line.


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The race winner – since sadly it’s shaping up as one of those years – will be Dixie, especially after the prolonged public screwing he received last week. The “ice man” has finished P1 & P2 (with a Paul Tracy asterisk) the last two races and already appears to be on late season form. With an ice queen like Emma ruling the motor home, he’d best keep up his winning ways. Or else she may well grab him by the short hairs.


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