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.
Archive for September, 2014
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.
You always hate to see someone’s credibility destroyed. Unfortunately, that is what happened this past weekend when longtime commenter to this, David Zehr, lowered himself to an all-time low. In a moment of weakness, he allowed himself to sit down for an episode of One Take Only – the video-blog of this site that is uncut and unrehearsed. We just sit down, start the camera rolling and start talking.
The last time I tackled this subject a little over a year ago, I ended up being labeled a racist because I used the word “thug” to describe Aaron Hernandez; who is not African-American, incidentally. I will try to choose my words more carefully so as to avoid the dreaded R-word. I do my best to stay away from politics on this site and social media. I don’t view this as a political rant, nor am I a racist in any sense of the word. More than a year later, it still stings that that word was applied to me. Instead, this is a commentary on today’s sports and how IndyCar drivers have managed to stay above the fray. There – that’s my disclaimer.
Over the weekend, I set my DVR to record what was billed as an historic moment – the debut of the Formula E Championship. In case you have been living under a rock and don’t know what I’m talking about, Formula E is a new form of open-wheel racing that utilizes cars that are purely electric. Their inaugural season debuted in Beijing over the weekend. I’ve never been good at figuring out the International Date Line; but in the Central Time Zone, the race took place at 2:00am Saturday morning – hence the setting of the DVR.
Last Thursday, we got word that there is yet another shakeup at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Three of the top-rate engineers that had joined the team recently are leaving. Bill Pappas and John Dick were recruited away from Dale Coyne Racing after last season, while Mitch Davis is leaving after joining the team amidst much fanfare mid-season of 2013 after parting ways with Chip Ganassi Racing.