Scheduled during “Holidays in the Sun” season when no one’s looking, it’s appropriate that Mid-Ohio again will be broadcast on a cable channel no one’s watching. In a phrase, the race is “Pretty Vacant.”
Since this post is cutting into our own precious vacation time, we’ll get right to our special punk rock prediction for this sorry excuse of a race. There will be nothing memorable, much less special, about Sunday’s parade ’round a sports car course in the middle of nowhere. There never is about Mid-Ohio – it’s a nihilist’s dream date. We’ve been watching it closely – requiring no small amount of both endurance and patience, we can tell you – for decades now. It makes us wonder at times like these, where’s a Sid Vicious to wreak havoc when you need him?
Pole winner will probably be Will “Problems” Power, although any Team Penske member could well do it. Truth is, pole matters little this weekend, as usual. Power started P1 last year and finished second behind Josef Newgarden. Pags did win from pole in ’16, but he’s the only driver to do so in the last six years. One has to go back to 2011 when Scott Dixon won from pole – another of his record five victories at Mid-Ohio. He also triumphed after starting dead last in 2014, beating the field into utter “Submission.”
First out of this event inspiring absolutely “No Feelings” would likely be no one, were awful Austrian Rene “wrecking ball” Binder not back in a car. The rookie ride buyer’s season has been, well, regrettable. As for the race, there weren’t any DNFs last year and 2015 saw only one in Takuma Sato, though both 2016 and 2014 saw three apiece, thanks largely to first lap pileups. Tony “time to call it quits” Kanaan was the lone car off course in 2013 while Ryan Hunter-Reay with the hyphen-here-to-stay was the only DNF in 2012. His was mechanical – and wasn’t pretty.
Photo from foxnews.com
The biggest surprise of the whole sham affair will be if the broadcast gets even a paltry .1 share. IndyCar’s been shunted to CNBC yet again – so much for better treatment from the series’ new lone broadcast partner. Makes one want to kick ’em in the head, doesn’t it?! It is understandable though, as viewership’s been dwindling at the decrepit facility for years now. Gee, wonder why?!? If Mark Miles and the out to lunch schedulers at 16th and Georgetown would provide a halfway decent race on one of many open, outstanding ovals instead of at a glorified backwoods alley, then that wouldn’t be the case.
Ah, but we digress while our beloved vacation time’s slipping rapidly away. Race winner will be Josef “Rotten” Newgarden, for a number of reasons. The championship almost always begins to tighten this time of year and if he hopes to repeat, Newkid certainly needs a result. He also rivals Dixie as recent road course master, as repeated trips to the Barber and other similar venues vividly illustrate. Also, see last year’s Mid-OH result. Contrary to many, we say Bullocks to another Dixon title.
Photo from dailymail.co.uk
Don’t fret over all the vacation talk – our ever popular race review will be available following the conclusion of Sunday’s festivities, just like it always is. For us, covering IndyCar – even at less than mediocre Mid-Ohio – IS a vacation.
Photo from 4thpostgroup.com