The year is quickly coming to a close. The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season is now further away from us than the 2017 season, which is a good thing. This past season gave us a new champion in Simon Pagenaud, but it also showed that the old wily drivers still have plenty of fight left in them.
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Surely you didn’t think you would get through the end of the year without one more version of One Take Only. For those that don’t know, this is the occasional videoblog of Oilpressure.com. My good friend, John McLallen, and I will occasionally sit down in front of a video camera, hit the record button and just start talking about the Verizon IndyCar Series. The whole idea is that it is unplanned, unrehearsed and unedited. We do it all in one take – hence the name.
My memories of being in the garage area at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1995 are vivid. It was the last day of qualifying. The old-timers were bristling because only fourteen American drivers had made the field. Altogether, there were thirty-three drivers from eleven different countries. The pro-American faction was distraught, while those that preferred a more international flair were ecstatic.
If you are like me, you enjoy listening to Donald Davidson on The Talk of Gasoline Alley every weeknight in May, as Donald tells stories of the days of yesteryear from the Indianapolis 500. If you’ve listened to him very long, you know how much Donald loves talking about the less heralded drivers that never got as much publicity over the years as some of the bigger names did.
The so-called silly season has all but wound down now. It is now to the point that only part-time rides are left and even some of them are being filled. There is still the seat for the non-oval races for the No.20 car, which is occupied by Ed Carpenter on the ovals. Then there is the future KVSH, which is the mystery for 2017. Other than that, the lineup for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg seems pretty well set.
On Tuesday of this week, we got news that Oriol Servia would be returning to the Indianapolis 500 with the team that gave him three previous runs in the Indianapolis 500 – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. As a fan, I could not be happier with that news.
We finally learned Friday that one of the worst kept secrets of the IndyCar offseason had become official. Takuma Sato will drive the car vacated earlier by Carlos Muñoz at Andretti Autosport. It had been reported two or three weeks ago by credible sources, but then we were told that it was not official. As Curt Cavin said last week on Trackside – it’s not a done deal until it’s a done deal.