Apparently, the divide within the Verizon IndyCar Series is much deeper than I thought. Either that or my definition of a good race has veered from that of most IndyCar fans of today. Last week, I was slammed for being negative in my description of the races at Belle Isle and double-headers in general.
We are in what I call the roller-coaster portion of the schedule. In a two-week period, the Verizon IndyCar Series has gone from my favorite race track on the schedule, to my least favorite (Belle Isle) and then to a track that is either my second or third favorite venue – Texas Motor Speedway. For those wondering which track might be tied with Texas for my second favorite track – it’s Iowa Speedway.
When dissecting open-wheel racing’s fall from grace in the eye of the American public over the past quarter-century, many cite the retirement of so many of the sports stars and legends in a very short period. I don’t know that I necessarily agree with the assessment that the disappearance of so many drivers from the sport spelled doom and gloom; but it certainly didn’t help.
The good news is that yesterday’s Race Two in the Dual at Detroit finally produced some suspense for the fans that sat through a wet weekend at Belle Isle and in front of their television sets. The bad news is that there were two races at Belle Isle in what should have been known as the Gruel at Detroit.
Today is always one of the most depressing days of the year. It’s even worse this year, because the calendar shifts next year. That means we have to wait an extra week for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 next May 29th. After four straight weekends up here and being so wrapped up into yesterday’s race all month – it’s all over. Even worse, we have to re-enter the real world with day jobs and such.
The last fifteen laps of the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 provided as good of racing as I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen a lot of racing in my lifetime. The Top Four at that point consisted of Scott Dixon, Will Power, Charlie Kimball and Juan Montoya. The four of them jockeyed for position and you really had no idea who was going to win. I was assuming Kimball would be content to finish fourth, but he raced his teammate and earned a strong third place finish.