More than ever, it seems that there is such a strong sentiment against a Penske or Ganassi car winning a race in the Verizon IndyCar Series, that some say it is turning people away from the series in general.
When the weather forecast for Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto made it apparent that the race would be another event affected by rain, I wondered what the Verizon IndyCar Series could do to catch a break. The race weekend at NOLA was all but a total washout, first day qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 never happened and both races at Detroit were greatly affected by rain. Add to that the fact that last year’s double-header at Toronto had to be run in one day due to heavy rains on Saturday.
The Verizon IndyCar Series heads north of the border to one of my favorite cities – Toronto. I sound like I’m a frequent visitor there. In all honesty, I’ve been there twice in my life – once in 1972 as a teenager, and then twenty years ago in 1995. So I would be less than genuine if I gave the impression that I’m a world traveler.
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.