Time To Call It Quits, Tony Kanaan

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In the span of four years, IndyCar’s oldest driver has gone from winning the 500 to whining and making excuses. We say nuts to that – out with the old and in with the new. Tony, it’s time to consider retiring from the sport.

Approaching forty three and showing it, TK hasn’t won a race in almost three years. His best years are clearly behind him as Texas perilously reminded everyone –  except the good ship Chip and company. We’ve been quietly advocating Tony’s retirement for some time, but now we’re about to raise a racket.

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It isn’t as though the Brazilian’s tearing up the competition, either. He’s only won twice since 2010 and a mere four times in the last decade. That’s approaching Marco bad. His last win came on August 30, 2014 in the season finale at Fontana, of all places – more on that later. The other win came at Indy in 2013, interestingly on the heels of another two plus year drought.

Originating our outcry are the wrecks he caused at Texas, involving multiple cars and thankfully no injuries. The first crash got Alexander Rossi, while the second victimized James Hinchcliffe and his SPM teammate Mikhail Aleshin, among others. Kanaan has since called it “an honest mistake.” That makes us wonder, which one?

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Chip Ganassi blabbed and blamed Continue reading

Texas IndyCar Predictions and Prognostications: Typical Texas

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IndyCar oval track racing – the highest, fastest and most breathtaking form of motorsport – returns to that shrine of speed Texas Motor Speedway for a twenty ninth time Saturday night. Some have been looking forward to this since the end of last August, when a twice rain delayed race started in June concluded with another record close finish in which Graham Rahal edged James Hinchcliffe by a nose.

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Our special prediction for the Rainguard 600 will make race fans very happy, indeed. Despite concerns about the reconfiguration of turns 1 and 2 since last visit, there will be plenty of three wide, 220 mile per hour plus, edge of your seat racing. In other words, it’ll be typical Texas.

Pole winner was Carlos “OK” Munoz for AA last year and Will Power for Penske the two years prior. Neither of them won from P1, though both are worth keeping an eye on. The last winner from pole at Texas was Ryan Briscoe in 2010, so like most ovals starting position isn’t crucial. In that spirit we’ll go with the Cap’n’s curmudgeonly Power for yet another pole, making it three already for the season.

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Since Jack Hawksworth’s no longer in the series, first out will be Dale Coyne’s latest seat filler for the weekend, Frenchman Tristan Vautier. Unlike his counterpart countrymen in IndyCar, Vautier routinely raises the wreck total – just ask Graham Rahal. We feel for his pit crewmen and hope they’re current on their insurance.  Continue reading

Dual in Detroit Predictions & Prognostications: Double Indignity

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After the glory that was the 100th Indianapolis 500, IndyCar’s schedule imposes upon race fans the double indignity of Detroit. Twice. Thank you, Mark Miles. On the desperately needed upside – and in the midst of widespread Post Indy Stress Disorder, or PISD – after Detroit comes more oval track awesomeness under the lights at Texas. Yeehaw!

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As for the double header on Belle Isle, it’s embarrassing for a number of reasons. A Randy Bernard brainchild, double headers were once an innovative way to stretch the series’ skinny schedule. These throwbacks included double dippers at Texas Motor Speedway – huzzah! – as well as the parking lots of Houston – boo! Now we’re down merely to Detroit’s Belle Isle. Yawn.

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The rat infested island sits in the Detroit River, which falls under the administration of the Water & Sewerage Department. The river’s where Flint residents used to get their water, back when their only worry was drinking treated human waste. 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

IndyCar Texas Predictions & Prognostications: Probation Edition

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Texas Motor Speedway routinely provides some of the most intense, fast and exciting racing on the IndyCar calendar. Thank you Eddie Gossage. And thank you IndyCar for not screwing it up. Its thrills and spills guarantee fans and viewers an action packed night of fun, year in and year out with few exceptions. We at IRR are absolutely delighted to behold another night race on the big, high banked, high speed oval and confidently predict that it won’t disappoint.

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That is unless the series meddles too much with the rules – again. The surprise of the weekend will be if IndyCar’s last minute fiddling with aero kits and ass pods and allowing teams little testing in the haphazard process – see spectacular practice crashes from Indianapolis – doesn’t foul up the racing again this year. Those are really the only races that ever disappoint at Texas, when the series tries to make the racing “more safe” – read as buzz killing – and end up turning Denton’s diamond into dino dung.

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Like IndyCar in general when at its best, the enticement of TMS is the passing, the close side by side or “pack” racing AND its inherent dangers. Continue reading