Besides being considered the “Glory Days” of CART, the early to mid-nineties are recognized for something that may have contributed to the relative obscurity that the IndyCar Series is facing today. That is the star-vacuum that was created with the retirement of most of the big-named drivers that the American public had grown up with.
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With everything that went on last week with the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston and the aftermath of Dario Franchitti’s accident – I haven’t even had a chance to mention Tony Kanaan’s signing at Chip Ganassi Racing.
I am a guilty man. I have violated not one, but two rules of the blogging world. Our friend Pressdog has a steadfast rule that we should all follow; Never engage the crazies – it’s a no-win situation. The other violation was for a rule that may not even exist, but it is probably one of those unwritten laws of blogger ethics; Never expose the true identity of a commenter. On Monday, I did both.
As Sunday’s race from Reliant Park in Houston was winding down, I started formulating in my mind what I was going to write about. After all, I had seen the driver I am pulling for in the championship battle have a terrible weekend. Suddenly, my bad mood for Helio’s misfortunes seemed very trivial.
After a five-week hiatus, IndyCar racing is finally back – and not a bit too soon. The IndyCar Series heads to Reliant Park in Houston for the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. As I noted last week, I had lost interest and focus on the series – but there has been a ton of news lately that has sort of jolted me back into race mode. Maybe the biggest step in bringing me back around was the announcing of all the details earlier this week regarding next year’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis. I’ll have more thoughts on that next week.
For years, I have been moaning about the IndyCar coverage on ABC/ESPN. The object of most of my rants was usually lap-by-lap announcer Marty Reid. On Sunday, we learned that ESPN parted ways with Marty. Upon hearing the news, I posted on Twitter that it was the best IndyCar news I’ve heard all season.
Friday afternoon brought a flurry of news in the IndyCar world. There was the confirmation that IZOD would terminate their title sponsorship with the series. Then there were the reports and denials that Tony Kanaan had inked a deal with Chip Ganassi Racing. The one news item that caught me totally off-guard was the death of legendary Chief Mechanic George Bignotti.