An Unbrave Newgarden World

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The recent move to Penske was not an especially brave one by the up and coming Tennessean.

It’s hard to blame a guy like Newkid for going with a super team, even a villainous one like the Cap’n’s. But we’re willing to try.

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Cavin’s typical puff piece on Josef jumping ship to Penske was humorous, with several coats of everything’s wonderful, great for everyone, blah blah blah. But is it really? As you may well imagine dear reader, we have a different take. One that stands in stark contrast to all that.

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In an IRR interview exclusive, long time Newgarden fans – from Tennessee, no less – expressed dismay upon hearing the news. Continue reading

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Toronto Preview: Canadian Token

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Part concrete, part asphalt and completely lined with walls, the streets of Toronto often resemble a Canuck concrete car crusher when IndyCar rolls into town. They’ll do so for the thirty second time Sunday in Canada’s token race of the year.

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We’ve raised alarms about our northern neighbor’s dwindling presence in IndyCar before; like the sport in general, the Canadian situation has shown little improvement. There’s been talk of a new race way out west in Calgary’s oil patch, but who knows? The schedule’s been so chaotic lately it makes nights out in U.S. cities look tranquil by comparison.

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Toronto used to be a double header like Belle Isle, but mercifully they discontinued the practice last year. Consider the move a token of Canadian IndyCar esteem. Continue reading

Ed Carpenter Needs To Finish A Race

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IndyCar’s only owner/driver, Hulman-George family member Ed Carpenter needs to finish a race – much less win one – along with accomplishing a number of other important items.

As fans of Ed – he’s an underdog, American, and actually defends IndyCar instead of rudely ripping or apologizing for the racing – it pains us to write this. However, IndyCar fans do just love to bitch. One for one so far this year with his crash at Phoenix – after a whopping four DNFs in only six oval starts in 2015 – Eddie needs to refocus on his driving before climbing back into the car. As you may have guessed, he managed precisely no top fives on the season either, coming off an impressive three in 2014. Also troubling, Carpenter’s crashed out of the last two Indy 500s.

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Obviously he’s the outfit’s owner, but come on. He hasn’t won a race since Texas in 2014, which was only the third victory of his career. That’s in a hundred and sixty career starts, spread out over fourteen seasons. Put another way, if he keeps it up Ed’s record will approach Marco bad.  And that’d be a shame.

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Carpenter committed a cardinal sin Continue reading

IndyCar News Week In Review: Money, Money Edition

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Money, money makes the racing world go ’round. As usual, for many teams there isn’t nearly enough of it.

Andretti Swallows Herta, Spits Chaves Out: In yet another case of contraction for IndyCar teams following the CFH Racing divorce, Andretti Autosport’s absorbed Bryan Herta Autosport, subtracting another team from the grid – not to mention an Autosport. Herta’s tiny, underfunded one car effort will now comprise AA’s fourth car, with former F1 driver American Alexander Rossi as the driver. Rookie of the Year Gabby “Pat” Chaves was unceremoniously dumped despite Herta’s earlier intimations that he’d be back. Obviously the price wasn’t right.

 

Money, Money: Funding was reportedly the issue at BHA, as was the case with CFHR reverting back to Ed Carpenter Racing this year. For a switch, instead of Michael it’s Herta who makes us ask, “what’s Bryan thinking” in casting his lot with the troubled Andrettis? Perhaps he’s planning a driving comeback and wants to takeover Marco’s seat, given the money and the fact that Marco’s not been using it effectively.

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Phillips Out, Pappas In: In a further shakeup at 16th & Georgetown, longtime engineer Bill Pappas is taking over as VP of Competition, Race Engineering for IndyCar. Continue reading

IndyCar News Week in Review: Media Day Matters? Edition

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Little in the way of actual news emerged from media day 2016.

Sage Replacement: On Monday it was announced that former F1 driver and Indy Lights winner Max Chilton will drive Chip Ganassi’s number 8 car this season, as apparently the issue with Sage “Wildman” Karam wasn’t really funding at all. The 24 year old Englishman was introduced at media day on Tuesday, admitting after the announcement that he hadn’t even met his teammates yet. But he does know Dario Franchitti, who was instrumental in getting Maxie the ride. Looks like Chip’s people had some intros to make at IMS Tuesday, as Ganassi Tweeted he was home sick with the flu. Perhaps his illness was some Karam karma.

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The CFH Racing Marriage Didn’t Last: In still more pre-media day news, Carpenter Fisher Hartman Racing dissolved after only one season, as both Sarah Fisher and Wink Hartman are out at Ed Carpenter Racing. IRR questioned the all American ownership trio’s fortitude over a year ago when they announced the joint venture, as it always seemed forced. Apparently Sarah’s leaving IndyCar to run an indoor go cart track while Hartman’s fortune has been decimated due to Saudi overproduction, resulting in $30 a barrel oil. Rising star Josef “Just Gimme Some Stability” Newgarden will contest all sixteen races for the new/old Ed Carpenter Racing and his car, like Ed’s, will feature the gorgeous green Fuzzy’s Vodka livery. That’s a definite upgrade over the old crude oil black look, though both Sarah and Wink will be missed. On the upside, what’s not to love about more booze sponsored IndyCars?!

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Ed Carpenter(‘s Not) Racing: According to rumors that again sprang up prior to media day, Continue reading

Sixteen Predictions for the 2016 IndyCar Season

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Including the 100th Indy 500, Team Penske, Mad Will Power and more.

It’s been some time since our Predictions and Prognostications Department actually earned their lavish salaries and expense accounts, so it’s high time they did. After an up and down 2015 season they’ve dusted off the old crystal ball and are due for some duesies.

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The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 mile extravaganza will occur, despite the exceptionally inept Mark Miles‘ shoddy efforts. Overcoming the series’ serious lack of leadership, an American nevertheless will emerge to win the historic race – albeit in an Italian car.

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Speaking of cars, expect still more flipping at Indianapolis this year thanks to those flipping aero kits, and also due to the near octogenarian Mario Andretti being back behind the wheel of the two seater. Cleared for takeoff.  Continue reading

Top Fifteen IndyCar Stories of 2015

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The Force Be With You – Rahal rebounded for an excellent season, winning twice and finishing fourth in points. He then proceeded to wed the gorgeous and talented Courtney Force, making major motoring and matrimonial momentum going into 2016. Penske/Ganassi Empire be warned.

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Loss of Williams – No, it’s not an F1 story. SPM cut Englishman James Jakes loose after a lackluster season, which means tragically that his stunningly beautiful girlfriend Megan Williams will no longer enhance the viewing experience with her Venus-like presence. The series needs more serious WAGS like Meg and to feature them prominently, as the NFL does with its cheerleaders.

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Karam Craps Out – Despite our best efforts, fearless young Pennsylvanian Sage Karam is out of the series having lost his ride with villainous Chip the Hutt. Sage had a decent year all things considered, and IndyCar is poorer, older and less American because of his leaving. Continue reading

IndyCar News Week in Review: Sleazy Season Edition

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Update: The gorgeous, talented and racy Courtney Force is still planning to marry IndyCar pilot Graham Rahal on November 21st, dammit.

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Jay Frye Sizzles: New IndyCar competition president Jay Frye is settling into his new office at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. While IRR couldn’t confirm the fact that Frye has been complaining loudly of “old man stink” after his predecessor Derrick Walker moved out, we couldn’t disconfirm it, either.

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Munoz Isn’t Moving: Cunning Colombian Carlos Munoz Continue reading