If you thought ABC’s coverage of the 500 was dreadful – missed restarts, “Scott Pigot,” that guber Smith, that other guber Goodyear – then prepare to be heartened. After a double dose of Disney’s dismal dimwits from Detroit this weekend, it’s Adios! ABC once and for all. Hip-hip, hooray!
Just imagine it – no more frustratingly confusing calls, no more fretting about whether Bestwick and crew are gonna ruin another race, no more qualifications slights, no more shoddy coverage of the greatest spectacle in racing – ever. Well, at least until NBC too grows complacent and lackadaisical.
The good news just keeps coming – that is, if such a thing can be written honestly about street racing in Detroit. The Hinch is back! That’s right, race fans – one of IndyCar’s most popular drivers is actually going to be racing Saturday and Sunday. As if (decades of) ABC’s abuse weren’t enough, the racing gods seemed to heap it on the pitiable fans with the Mayor’s recent DNQ at the Brickyard. Happily that’s all forgotten, as the uncanny Canuck definitely will be on track in his SPM Arrow machine since there’ll be no bumping. It’s not Indy, but it is just across the river from his native land. Hinch abides.
Another promising trend concerns the 500 winner, Mad Will Power. Watching his Oz freak-out in victory lane Sunday was hard to do, but happily it shouldn’t be an issue again this weekend. No winner of the greatest spectacle in racing has won the follow up race (Detroit or, in the good ol’ days, Texas) since Arie Luyendyk in 1997, topping off his 500 win with that memorable tussle with AJ in victory lane (it’s yet another key event the network could have covered better instead of shunting it to ESPN2). Interestingly, Dario won his third 500 in 2012 then came in second at Detroit, behind his teammate Dixon.
Photo from smackedforum.com
On a less happy note, Power has won the Detroit Grand Prix in both 2014 and 2016, taking one per year. Impressively, ragin’ Graham Rahal swept them both last year in a first, when of course ABC again mucked up the coverage. Bourdais has triumphed twice, while fellow Frenchman Pags, Dixon and even Tony “time to call it quits” Kanaan also have visited victory lane. The late Justin Wilson – 500 leader Stefan‘s brother – won there in 2008.
Clearly there’s more to be excited about this weekend than apprehensive of, which is exceedingly rare for us to write about a crummy course on a rat infested island. But seeing the Always Being Crass network exit stage left is just too sweet to simply let pass without marking the occasion. No more Bestwick, Cheever and Goodyear, and no more seeing IndyCar treated like an unwanted stepchild.
Photo from espnmediazone.com
Here’s to brighter days ahead folks, with IndyCar on a single network family who apparently wants to cover them. Sweeter still – the new era of competent coverage starts the following Saturday night at the big oval in Texas!