Friday brought the confirmation of what many people had been speculating about – that the Grand Prix of Baltimore will not run in 2014. Actually, the official story from the Baltimore Business Journal says it is cancelled for 2015 as well. The City of Baltimore, the promoter and the IndyCar Series could not come up with a suitable date for the next two years.
Last Friday, we learned that Scott Dixon had been fined $30,000 and placed on probation through December 31, for comments made during the Grand Prix of Baltimore. Dixon called Director of Race Control, Beaux Barfield an idiot and that he should be fired for his handling of several calls this season.
Normally, I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to what comes out of NPR. Let’s just say that I don’t fit into their demographics or target audience. But I came across an article from NPR last week that got my attention. It was about the upcoming generation of millennials and their disdain for the automobile. The article focused on how this affected the auto industry, but I got to thinking how it would translate into the future of motorsports.
This past Friday, the rumor mill exploded when Robin Miller broke the story that Tony Kanaan has a standing offer from Joe Gibbs Racing to go drive in NASCAR for a living. The deal is supposedly a three-year deal with a guaranteed salary. He would drive in the Nationwide Series for a year before moving up to Sprint Cup in 2015. He would have to bring no money and no sponsorship – just his helmet and personality.
Actually, the title of this post is a little misleading. From what I understand, the powers-that-be at Panther Racing (mainly John Barnes) have already made their decision as to who will drive the No. 4 National Guard car for 2014. They just haven’t told us who it is.
For all of those that were foaming at the mouth every time AJ Allmendinger climbed into an IndyCar, their dreams of poaching a NASACAR driver are over. Curiously enough, the driver that was banished from NASCAR and Roger Penske’s Sprint Cup team has signed with JTG Daugherty Racing to drive their No. 47 Sprint Cup entry. Hmmm…
The weekend started fairly typically for the Grand Prix of Baltimore. There was the usual complaining of the chicane on the main straightaway and a few dramatic still pictures of airborne cars from the practice, but there was no real indication that yesterday’s race would be anything different from the previous two races in Baltimore. Those two races were competitive and entertaining. Yesterday’s race was nothing short of controlled chaos.