The month of May is full of traditions. Some of them are obvious; like the release of the balloons, the bricks and drinking milk. Others may be a little more personal; sort of like wearing the same shirt every Race Day or having a rib eye sandwich from a stand under the north end of the Tower Terrace at 7:00 am. By the way, both of those are mine.
The dominos are continuing to fall in place for next year’s Verizon IndyCar Series. Yesterday, James Hinchcliffe announced he will be driving for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, taking the seat occupied this last season by Simon Pagenaud.
First of all, I’d like to thank all the well-wishers that have passed along your concerns about Luckey, my ailing thirteen year-old lab. Through this site, e-mails, Facebook, Twitter and even texts; several people sent many heartfelt thoughts.
Forgive me, but there is no post here today or Friday. I’ve had a situation arise that has required practically all of my attention and has zapped my desire to write for the past day or two. If you’re a dog-lover, you’ll probably understand. If you’re not, you probably think I’m being ridiculous.
Somewhat hidden in the announcement that Tony Stewart would not face charges from the Grand Jury in the death of Kevin Ward, was a disturbing nugget of news that has curiously flown a little bit under the radar – at least from the mainstream media. That is the fact that Ward was racing with traces of marijuana in his system – at levels considered to be enough to impair judgment.
By comparison, this has not been much of a silly season. After Josef Newgarden chose to stay with his side of the newly merged CFH Racing and Ryan Hunter-Reay re-signed with Andretti Autosport, there weren’t many top drivers left in play. All of the drivers at Team Penske are set to return, and the two Target cars will be the same as this year. Aside from Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti will return to his father’s team, along with Carlos Muñoz.
As this discussion continues to evolve, it may become a polarizing issue among IndyCar fans – that is the topic of one day having canopies covering the driver’s cockpit. It was even discussed at length on Trackside last night. Traditionally, the driver’s cockpit on any car that has run in the Indianapolis 500 has always been open and uncovered. The one exception that I can think of, was the Sumar Special in 1955, driven by Jimmy Daywalt.