As hard as it is to believe, the designated “Spring Training” for the Verizon IndyCar Series will take place in just a little more than two weeks at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Alabama. As I write this, there is more snow falling in Nashville. Last week, our city was paralyzed by snow and ice. This week has seen temperatures dip into the teens almost every night. As odd as it seems, Birmingham has had a worse go of it this week than Nashville.
Archive for February, 2015
Last week, I wrote about James Jakes being named to the second car at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Although I presented facts along with my own opinion regarding the racing prowess of James Jakes, I really considered it more of commentary on the practice of ride-buying.
The Kurt Busch saga has been going on for some time now. In case you’ve lived under a rock, the NASCAR driver has been involved in a legal controversy since he allegedly strangled his girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, and slammed her head into the wall of his motor coach at Dover International Speedway on September 26. Driscoll reportedly didn’t report the incident to Dover police until early November.
This past Monday morning, we got word that the second seat at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports had been filled. Several drivers tested for the ride at Sebring and NOLA Motorsports Park. Who was the winner of the SPM Sweepstakes? That illustrious driver, James Jakes.
Yesterday was IndyCar Media Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The timing was great for me. I live in the south where snow removal equipment is kept to a minimum number. As a result, the few times a decade that we get a significant accumulation of snow and ice – the city is paralyzed. Yesterday was one of those days, as I got an e-mail early yesterday morning saying that our offices were closed. It worked for me – that freed me up to watch the entire media event streamed onto my television through Apple TV, while I laid in bed. God, I love technology.
Over the years, I’ve been accused more than once of being unkind to Graham Rahal. His supporters claim that it’s people like me that have put way too much pressure on the young driver that won the first time he ever sat in an IndyCar at the age of nineteen. No offense to his supporters, but anyone accomplishing that feat would have pressure on them – no matter the age. There’s nowhere to go but down at that point.
During this time of year, it’s easy to get all caught up in the negativity that surrounds the sport of open-wheel racing. The long offseason just got longer. The sanctioning body continues to make fans scratch their collective heads with decisions and indecisions that cause one to wonder who’s minding the store. And drivers like Conor Daly continue to sit on the sidelines, while drivers that many of us have barely heard of seem to be the front-runners for the few remaining seats. Then there is a winter that seems to drag on at a slow pace. It’s not near as cold as last winter, but warm weather sure seems a long way away.