If justice remains an issue of any importance, then the focus of the sporting world this week should be squarely upon IndyCar’s brass in Iowa. Specifically, how they handle oval tracks starting Sunday and going forward. If Phoenix – and a years’ long slide away from ovals and towards curvy courses – are any indications, then we truly tremble for the future of our beloved egg shaped circuits.
Racing’s routinely riveting at this rural redoubt, like all ovals the series doesn’t ruin with regrettable rules and regulations, then promptly abandon. At Iowa, three wide, edge of your seat action with near constant passing’s the norm. It used to be even better as a night race which it was until 2016, both for the racing and the fans. The move to a daytime race represents yet another major Mark Miles era schedule regression. Unfortunately, so too does Road America, where even more unfortunately that so called race was recently extended into the foreseeable future.
Photo from foxsports.com
It’s imperative that Miles and other IndyCar scheduling geniuses do the same with Iowa, whose contract is also up, and pronto. IndyCar needs its few remaining oval tracks – Texas, Pocono and – gulp! – even Gateway. Until last year, when the nighttime race proved fairly entertaining, we’d have never advocated for a return to East St. Louis. But now it’s one of only four ovals left, outside of Indianapolis, in a seventeen race season. In other words, it’s suddenly imperative.
Almost as importantly, IndyCar also must urgently look to add other oval tracks to the schedule – or more precisely in most cases, add them back to it. Fontana and Michigan would be a good start, as historically IndyCar has shined at those large ovals. That’s opposed to New Hampshire as floated by someone, which wouldn’t. The fact that Will “sour grapes” Power hates the monster mile means it’s not all bad, however.
Image from indysportscrew.com
A speculative article discoursing upon which track might eventually replace Phoenix listed several road courses like Laguna Seca, for goodness sake. The only ovals even mentioned as possibilities were Richmond and New Hampshire. It’s a sad state of affairs when the series’ “leadership” can’t even manage to find tracks willing to work with it, much less keep its current partners satisfied.
If another road course replaces the most recently departed oval, further marginalizing an already nearly extinct form of open wheel racing, then it’ll be a grave injustice. Due to utter mismanagement, the series will be lost. Tragically, it’ll merely be f-ing F1 light or, what’s worse, CART the sequel.
Photo from caranddriver.com
That would be an unpardonable crime.