Late last week, IMS officials confirmed what had been suspected for the past few weeks – MotoGP will not be returning to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2016. Not being a fan of motorcycle racing, this didn’t really affect me one way or the other; but I had heard unofficially that the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix was a money losing proposition for IMS.
Honda has made it clear that they would like to be able to make substantial changes to their aero kit before they sign another long-term commitment to the Verizon IndyCar Series. Before I get into my questions, let me get it out that I am a big fan of Honda. I appreciate them sticking with the series as the sole engine provider from 2006 through 2011. Except for a three-year period when I got a deceivingly great deal on a Nissan, I’ve always had at least one Honda in my garage since 1981. I’ve owned my current Honda since 2012.
Lost in all of the tragic circumstances of August 23-24, was that the Verizon IndyCar Series held what appeared to be a successful race. Some may consider successful a poor choice of words given that there was a fatality in the race; but had that not happened, I think there would have been quite the buzz about Pocono.
After Tony Kanaan won the 2013 Indianapolis 500, the story of that silly season was questioning where he would end up. Kanaan ended up signing with Chip Ganassi, partly so that he could drive alongside his good friend Dario Franchitti. Of course, Franchitti was injured late that season and forced to retire, preventing the two former Andretti teammates from repeating their association at Ganassi.
Before I sat down to write my race re-cap Sunday night, I did my usual scan through social media just to see what little tidbits were out there. In doing so, I came across what appeared to be a well thought-out nugget explaining that had there been no double-points awarded this season – Scott Dixon would have still won the championship. It sounded good, so I went with it. Besides; if it’s on the internet, it’s got too be true…right? Come to find out, the information was incorrect. Juan Montoya would have won by four points.
After one of the toughest weeks I can remember in the Verizon IndyCar Series, it was fitting that the championship finished the way it did. I’ll go ahead and get my gloating out of the way. Over three weeks ago, when we did our most recent One Take Only with Paul Dalbey as a guest – we gave our picks for the championship. Paul picked Juan Montoya to win the championship, John picked Graham Rahal and I chose Scott Dixon. My logic was that Rahal would fade, Montoya and Power had not been on the podium since May and Scott Dixon would do what he always does – drive cleanly, stay up front and let the others make the mistakes. That’s exactly how it played out.
Hearts will be heavy as the Verizon IndyCar Series heads west to Sonoma for the season finale. Drivers, teams and fans won’t have near the enthusiasm for the battle for the championship as they normally would. But by today’s first practice, the heartbreak will be temporarily set aside in order to focus on the business at hand.