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Blame Mark Miles and his sclerotic schedule for the long hiatus, not us. Also for the latest IndyCar humiliation with Boston flat out telling the series they don’t want a race in their city. That’s the second cancellation of a race by a city under Mark Miles’ miserable reign and at this rate we’ll be down to the Indy 500 and half a dozen Detroit double headers for a schedule next year. Oh, and we can’t forget the second rate race at IMS, the GP of Indy.
It’s a tabletop flat 2.4 mile road course with a flabbergasting fourteen turns. Both previous races on the IMS infield – which, let’s face it, was made for partying and not for an IndyCar race – featured fugly first lap pileups. What’s worse, the catastrophic carnage turned out to be the highlight of both. In 2014, Sebastien Saavedra – who’s thankfully now out of the series – stalled it on pole and was creamed from behind by Mad Russian Mikhail Aleshin. The massive amount of debris generated from this fiasco even struck Indy’s Mayor. Yet still the race won’t go away.
Photo from foxsports.com
The winner of that inaugural GP of Indy Frenchman Simon Pagenaud‘s quote, “Something’s on fire!” was the second most memorable item from last year’s IMS fundraiser and schedule filler. Mad Will Power‘s win only came due to his escaping the typically crash-filled start. That was his last victory and a wonderful year long drought has ensued for the unlikable Penske pilot. Yippie!
Photo from dailytelegraph.com.au
Speaking of slumps, Andretti Autosport struggled mightily last year, with downbeat descriptions from the team ranging from “frustrating” to “horrible” after the race. We agree. IndyCar enters the ABC portion of the television schedule at Indianapolis, which means the Andretti adjectives will apply to the coverage, as well. On a more positive note, it’ll be the first televised look at the multi-million dollar renovations of IMS, paid for by the taxpayers thank you very much.
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Gorgeous Graham Rahal had the run of the race last year, gaining an impressive fifteen spots to finish second in an event that helped him catch fire. He’s shown some flashes of brilliance so far in 2016, with his best finish of second coming at Barber. Son of ‘Stache is hoping to regain his form at IMS as the series gears up for the summer portion of the schedule. You know, bikini season.
Photo from examiner.com
CGR’s Charlie Kimball – who races with diabetes – also ran well, advancing nine positions and coming in fifth. With zero top fives on the season, he’s in need of another strong finish on the infield’s access roads. Unfortunately, Chip‘s patience often runs notoriously short with his American drivers. Just ask the ride-less Sage Karam.
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We say enough of these unwatchable road course races, already. Crowds will be minuscule again this year as tarps are already covering large portions of the stands. The Speedway shouldn’t ever look like a Jaguars game, for goodness’ sake. As Eddie Cheever quipped a year ago, once this infield parade at interstate speeds is concluded, “they’re in their Indy cars.” That’ll be for the 100th running of the Indy 500 folks, the most important race in history. Get on with it, already.