IndyCar News Week in Review: Election Edition

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Millions of mostly legal voters turned out across the U.S. on Tuesday, exercising their sacred right to have a say in the nation’s direction. They decisively chose Trump, and in so doing made pollsters, pundits and pantywaists everywhere look beyond foolish. Meanwhile, IndyCar’s silly season continued unabated, with business as usual in the IndyCar paddock.

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Daly Employment Report: In at least their third wise selection of the last couple weeks, A.J. Foyt Racing elected to fill the second ABC Supply seat with Hoosier Conor Daly. Barring deportation, the underdog American will be paired with Colombian Carlos “OK” Munoz in what should be a definite improvement over the past several years. Seems to be a nationwide trend.

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Coyne’s Second Choice: Dale Coyne Racing opted for Continue reading

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How IndyCar Is Like Trump: A Study In Showmanship

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IndyCar and The Donald share a number of things in common. They’re showy, worth billions of dollars, carrying momentum into 2016 and seeking the pinnacle of American success.

“How can they compare a racing series to a celebrity presidential candidate?” you’re probably asking yourself. The answer is with a great deal of alcohol and cabin fever while on a snowy getaway to the mountains. So, we’re chalking it up to the thin, wispy air and the booze having an unhinging effect upon the brain. Yeah, that’s it. But (half) seriously, you may be surprised at just how similar the two are.

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Undeniably, IndyCar and The Donald are both big proponents of fence building – and, crucially, making other people pay for it. Trump’s will be on the border with Mexico while IndyCar’s resides at IMS, a billion-plus dollar corporation currently refurbishing the Speedway with Indiana taxpayer dollars. It’s all in preparation for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in the latter instance, and due to 50 years of mass immigration in the former. People are lining up to pay for the construction of one wall, as ticket sales for the race are moving briskly. At the other wall, too, all sorts of people are lining up, though they’re not exactly paying customers – or waiting until Memorial Day to pay a visit.

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The two share another fundamental element in common and that’s dependence upon television ratings. Without television, both Trump and IndyCar would effectively cease to exist. Then pray tell, whatever would Marco do for a living? And Trump’s sons? Continue reading

IndyCar News Week in Review: Finally Edition

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With the season still a month away, some tidbits – testing, staffing and the like – against a background of finality.

IndyCar Rising From The Ashes in Phoenix: The exhilarating sound of IndyCar engines roaring to life finally returned to PIR this week with pre season testing by ECR‘s Ed Carpenter and Josef Newgarden. Penske’s four ponies also ran. Afterward, Will “Sour Gapes” Power mumbled something about “history,” as if. No fan of oval tracks, the “wot are we doing?” wanker who hates Fontana has never even raced in the desert. He certainly doesn’t know anything about history. When’s The Cap’n finally gonna get rid of this malcontented marsupial once and for all?

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Miles of Madness: Unsettlingly, we noticed that on the schedule, publicity pieces and raceway website it’s being referred to as the “Phoenix Grand Prix.” This is odd for an oval race and certainly could be confusing for fans. Hopefully Mark “Meandering” Miles isn’t trying to turn the race into another regrettable road course event. IRR wants to know, when is Miles’ final performance review and where can we comment?

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Foyt Choo-Choo Chooses New Engineers: Among a plethora of engineering changes at AJ Foyt Racing, Dan Hobbs has arrived from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to work with regressing Englishman Jack Hawksworth. Apparently Mr. Hobbs has been too busy to update LinkedIn to reflect his recent career changes. 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

IndyCar’s Irrepressibly Cool List

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IndyCar’s irrepressibly cool list features impressive impresarios from the pinnacle of motor racing, including personalities, WAGS, tracks and other incredibly cool characteristics of the series.

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Graham Rahal’s fast wife. The newlywed drag racer is among the fastest people on the planet, not to mention she’s downright hot. Having a WAG of Courtney’s caliber in the series is priceless. There’s no denying Mr. Rahal married above his station, which isn’t easy for a legacy IndyCar driver. Just ask Michael Andretti with his many exes.

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Helio’s Twitter handle, @h3lio: It’s clever, brief and to the point – even including his car number – and makes the perfect social media moniker. Too bad most of his Tweets aren’t nearly as interesting as his ID.

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Sage Karam’s fearlessness: Continue reading

Some IndyCar Owners Need To Seriously Step It Up, Part 1

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Dale Coyne, the legendary A.J. Foyt and Michael Andretti all draw admonishment.

Having made our views methanol clear on the dire direction in which Mark Miles is taking the series – think “Willow Creek” scary – there’s another area of glaring weakness in IndyCar. This too is an issue of leadership, or more precisely a distinct lack thereof. Several owners – one of whom happens to be a legend, while another’s a near legend – need to radically up their teams’ performance both for themselves and for the sake of the sport. It pains us to have to write it, but amateur hour is long over and has no place in big league racing. For the good of IndyCar – think of the 100th Indy 500! – Dale Coyne, A.J. Foyt and Michael Andretti all need to seriously step up their games.

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Dale Coyne tops this ignominious list for good reason, as his rag-tag operation has been a perennial cellar dweller and laughing stock for decades now. In Coyne’s case the problem goes beyond mere poor performance though. Laboring under a shoe string budget and a constantly rotating lineup of drivers of dubious distinction, Coyne’s haphazard approach finally caught up to the Chicagoan’s pitiable team last season.

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Coyne’s pit crew paid a heavy price for his ineptitude with numerous pit lane accidents injuring no fewer than four crewmen. Considering this sordid spate of pit collisions Continue reading

IndyCar Off Season Update No. 1

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Every part of the paddock observed the Thanksgiving holiday, from chilly Circle City to diesel-y Charlotte, North Carolina to home of the ol’ ornery legend Waller, Texas. During the long, shopping and violence filled weekend (perhaps Black Friday should be renamed N@$C@R Friday?) and since there have been Continue reading

IRR Started a Hashtag – Now Use It

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Prior to its creation, the “Ride for Sage” concept spawned from a heart rendering piece in our latest “IndyCar  News Week in Review: Turkey Day Edition.” As if the poor kid hadn’t been through enough already this year, mere days before the start of the holiday season the Ganassi team cruelly announced that Karam’s IndyCar ride for next year is in jeopardy. One of the most exciting drivers to come along in some time now may not even be in the series next year. Great.

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So before our MNF viewing party last night, on a lark we tweeted to Sage in the hopes of lifting his spirits and perhaps our own, as well. “Whadya think of this hashtag, @SageKaram? #RideForSage We’d love your comment.”

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Not surprisingly, the tech savvy twenty year old almost instantly replied, Continue reading

IndyCar News Week in Review: Turkey Day Edition

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Introducing IndyCar’s Turkey Power: It’s best plucked, washed and Jay Fryed.

UPDATE: IndyCar finally heeded IRR’s advice and significantly altered its aero kits after nearly a year. Changes include tethers, flaps, a domed undercarriage and a Rahal at Fontana change to new engine control units for pits stops. Read all about our long time take on the kits here and here.

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Needs More Sage: Distressing news emerged from the Ganassi camp over the weekend which had nothing to do with dressing. Mike Hull said a fourth car for next year is iffy due to a lack of funding, which means Sage “Wild Man” Karam could well be out of a ride, at least with Butterball Chip. That’s disappointing, as the irascible rookie had a solid albeit partial season – Ed Carpenter, Graham Rahal and race control’s opinions notwithstanding. The probationary Pennsylvanian scored a couple of top five and top ten finishes, including a thrilling race to third at Iowa (of all places) for his first ever podium result. This PLUS impressively managing to piss off half the field, all within a mere twelve races. We say to hell with shirts, how about A RIDE for Sage?

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Courtney’s Gone a Courtin’: As previously reported rather wistfully by IRR, the talented and gorgeous Courtney Force Continue reading

Under-Reported IndyCar Rules Changes for 2016: ‘Miles of Cars’

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Honda teams will not only benefit from certain aero kit rules changes for 2016, but also from mandatory sensitivity training and re-education. This is in order to avoid coming across as poor, ungracious winners to the few thousand fans worldwide who may bother to tune in and notice.

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Chevy teams will not be allowed to refer to “Honda,” “aero kits,” “unfair,” “fu@%in’ Aussie” or “wanker b@$tard” during any media engagements, either on television, radio or the jihad-web. This is especially so for a certain fu@%in’ Aussie wanker b@$tard’s three Penske teammates.

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Mad Russian Mikhail Aleshin’s urine, hair and blood  Continue reading