Road America IndyCar Preview: This Replaced Milwaukee Why?!

RAindycarcom

Photo from indycar.com

No kidding – not yet, at least – 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal recently called Road America “THE best circuit in North America” and among the “top ten in the world.” Well, Mr. Mustache, pardon the hell out of us if we beg to differ.

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Photo from theapricity.com

Last year’s Wisconsin visit typified REM inducing road racing. This despite others’ – and admittedly even our own – efforts at optimism leading up to the event. The series hadn’t raced there in a decade and every track deserves a shot, it’s thought. Except NOLA. And Baltimore. And Boston. And Brasilia. And . . . but we digress. The series’ big return was an absolute laugher, with Sour Grapes Power running away from the field. Stop us – and road racing – if you’ve seen this before.

One problem was – and there were many – only one caution flag. As previously exposed on this site, IndyCar road racing needs a shot in the arm, nay – a salvation – before it bores fans to a tedious, road weary death. Squirrely tracks – especially a super long, scary circuit like RA – need LOTS of flags to make it even remotely interesting. Oh, and rain tires. And penalties. And grid girls.

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Photo from imgth.com

At least it’s a road course Scott Dixon didn’t run away with, like Mid-Ohio or Sonoma. But that’s about all we can say about RA. Sure, it’s fun to drive – so’s the PCH – but that doesn’t mean it makes good racing for the viewing fans. In fact it’s quite the opposite, like so many other similarly snakey tracks on the schedule.

Needs to retire soon (but obviously hasn’t even thought about it) Tony “Texas wrecker” Kanaan finished second last year somehow, while Graham Rahal trailed him, unhappy with the forty two year old’s tactics and very vocal about it, as usual. That’s Son of ‘Stache, if you’re keeping track.

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Photo from foxsports.com

IndyCar’s return to Elkhart Lake after an extended absence failed to live up to the hype, serving only to reinforce our long held views. Unless the series incorporates more ovals and fewer tracks that only drivers can enjoy, the future’s in some doubt. Remember, this race “replaced” Milwaukee on the schedule, the world’s oldest racetrack dating from 1903 and an entertaining little oval, to boot. We’d just like to know why.

Others talk reverently about a track first visited by the big cars in 1982, as if that’s special. Former winner Sebastien Bourdais is out for the season following his crash at Indy, while other previous podium toppers are retired, like Mario and Sullivan. Then there’s Power.

powerRAindycarcom

Photo from indycar.com

As for the answer to our question, this track replaced Milwaukee why?! Because mealy-mouthed Mark Miles says so, that’s why.

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