Phoenix IndyCar Preview: Reclaiming The Desert

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Photo from foxsports.com

As IndyCar returns to Phoenix for the first time in over a decade, fast paced surprises await race fans in the springtime desert.

Phoenix International Raceway’s been the sole haunt of those nattering NASCAR nabobs since the speedy set split after last racing there in 2005. IndyCar’s kiss off saw Sam Hornish, Jr. win for the second time at Phoenix, beating Tony Kanaan who’d won the previous two. Helio‘s also won at PIR for the Cap’n – once – in 2002. In all of IndyCar, TK and Helio are the only two still in the field old enough to ever have run in the desert. Question is, can these two codgers reclaim their former glory?

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The first IndyCar race occurred at the brand spankin’ new PIR way back in 1964. Not surprisingly, it was won by the bigger than life A.J. Foyt in a Watson/Offy. Phoenix was favorable for the never dry Foyt, as he went on to win three more times during his long career. He’s joined by other multiple winners and legends of the sport including Lloyd Ruby, Mario Andretti, Al Unser and perhaps the best named racer of all time, Gordon Johncock. Here’s to reclaiming IndyCar history in Arizona.

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Photo from autoracingmemories.com

PIR is an oval – albeit a dog legged, relatively flat one – so we’re loyally, though levelly enthusiastic. At least Miles and company haven’t eliminated all of ’em yet. Continue reading

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Our Ideal IndyCar Schedule

2016 Ideal Schedule

There’s still no IndyCar schedule for 2016, but when it is finally announced (assuming it is) rest assured we’ll have a rip-snortin’ reaction. A big league series should strive for consistency in scheduling with annual racing dates and locales – none of this fly by night, here one year and gone the next BS. The lineup should also contain twenty-plus races and obviously be announced before late October.

Barring that, IRR offers up our ideal slate of races with the added bonus of a brief description of each. Readers will notice a heavy dose of good ol’ fashioned oval tracks and a corresponding dearth of road courses, as it should be. Of course this would require some balls from IndyCar “leadership” and above all else the firing of series boss/mouthpiece Mark Miles. Ah, if only it were so.

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Fontana: The track offers breath-taking open wheel racing and is a must for the schedule. Why not open the season with a thrilling five hundred miler before it gets too hot for those trendy, fair weather fans in California? The Dude abides.

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Image from thefix.com

Long Beach: It’s a street circuit with some tradition, so unlike many others it survived the cut. The Beach is vastly superior to Sonoma, which doesn’t make our list. Sorry winos, but we prefer beer – and good racing.

Phoenix: Obviously PIR Continue reading

IndyCar News Week In Review: Ishtar Edition

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Photo from Getty Images

500 Field Fillers: Andretti Autosport got sportier for the month of May. Easter wishes came true for both big Brit Justin Wilson and Swiss Miss Simona de Silvestro who’ll drive for AA in the Indy 500, bringing the team’s total to five cars for the five hundred mile extravaganza. No announcement was made regarding the replacement of Marco in the car as of yet, though due to his dismal record of one win per decade we expect one at any time. On the bright side, at least Kurt Busch won’t be driving one of Michael’s rides this year.

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Photo from flickr.com

The Aged at the Ancient: Like an old married couple, together for over fifty years and still going is the world’s greatest rock and roll band The Rolling Stones who’ll play at the Brickyard in July. At 106 years old, the Speedway’s a bit senior to Mick and the boys who now are in their seventh decade of existence. Having seen both, at this point in their respective careers we recommend IMS over IBS and the Stones.

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Photo from Indy Race Reviewer

ABCs of Ovals: AJ Foyt Racing’s longtime sponsor ABC Supply Co. will sponsor the 500 mile IndyCar race at Pocono August 23. Continue reading

Qualifications: Instant Reaction

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Photo from foxsports.com.au

IndyCar’s first ever qualifying session using aero kits occurred yesterday, though few noticed. Fans were forced to watch a dodgy web stream if they cared to see it. As predicted, Mad Will Power won the pole with a new track record and his Penske team mates took the other top three spots. Chevrolet was dominant, sweeping eight of the top ten quickest times. Unfortunately aero kits are bringing greater disparity between teams and Team Penske will continue to benefit from it this season.

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Photo from indystar.com

Marco Andretti was out-qualified by a his new part time team mate who was out of the car all last year Simona De Silvestro. Even further back, Graham Rahal‘s starting 15th. It appears there are no legacies in IndyCar, at least not lately. Continue reading