As we approached the beginning of the Verizon IndyCar Series season last week, some of you may have missed what I consider a major development and a reason to celebrate. For the past couple of years, many have bemoaned the fact that the number of IndyCar bloggers has dwindled to the point that you are left with me and a handful of others to satisfy your thirst for something away from the conventional media outlets.
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To use an old saying – the more things change, the more they stay the same. Such was the case with the Verizon IndyCar Series season-opening race at yesterday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
With the start of another season comes another episode of One Take Only. For the uninitiated, One Take Only is the videoblog of Oilpressure.com. The name comes from the fact that it is uncut, unrehearsed and unedited. We do one take. What you see is what we got.
One of the most popular drivers among fans for Team Penske, may also be sitting on the hottest seat. I’m not talking about Helio Castroneves, who is one of the most popular drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series; nor am I referring to former champions Will Power or Juan Montoya. I’m talking about team newcomer Simon Pagenaud.
After the “Test in the West” or “Prix View” or whatever they called the open test at Phoenix International Raceway last weekend, it seemed that some things never change – Team Penske set the pace and Honda was lagging behind Chevy. That’s pretty much the way things shook out after two days of “Spring Training” last year at Barber Motorsports Park. The only difference was, Honda teams left this year feeling concerned, while last year – they left Birmingham embarrassed.
There seems to be a wide range of opinions regarding the (once again) restructuring of Race Control for the upcoming Verizon IndyCar Series season. Some think that IndyCar should have one chief steward calling all the shots, the way that CART entrusted Wally Dallenbach to do things for twenty-two seasons (1979-2000). In their defense, that worked quite well. Dallenbach was a former driver, had the respect of everyone in the paddock and had a history of making quick and mostly fair calls.