As I mentioned last week, I attended a family reunion for relatives on my mother’s side of the family. At ninety-two and counting, she was the oldest living member and is the matriarch of the family. My mother led a very captivating talk on some of the history of our ancestors for the fifty-seven of us in attendance. To me, her talk on Saturday was the highlight of the weekend.
On Wednesday morning, we got confirmation of what so many of us had been speculating about for weeks – Josef Newgarden would be joining Team Penske for 2017, driving the No.2 car that had been driven by Juan Montoya for the past three seasons. Word has it that Montoya has been offered a one-off opportunity for Indianapolis with Team Penske, but he is looking elsewhere for full-time opportunities.
Although I’m the lesser of the two Indy Car fans in our household, I’m the one that is already getting restless after less than three weeks into the Indy Car off-season. My husband is engrossed in following the undefeated Tennessee Vols and hasn’t been talking about racing much…to me anyway. He religiously listens to “Trackside” every week and I can hear him pounding the keyboard every few nights like he is trying to kill it, but we haven’t talked much about racing since the season ended at Sonoma.
This past Friday morning, we learned that Bryan Herta has extended his association with Andretti Autosport for the 2017 season. That’s good news on several fronts. First of all, it keeps Bryan Herta involved on the ownership front. This is just my opinion, but Herta is a good guy and a good owner. I think the series is better off with Herta involved at some level. Second of all, it keeps another car on the grid. If Herta went away, there was no guarantee that Michael Andretti would fund four cars on his own.
Longtime readers of this site know what a traditionalist I am when it comes to the Indianapolis 500. Actually, with my disdain for change – I’m pretty much a traditionalist when it comes to just about everything. But you can multiply my appreciation for tradition many times when we’re talking about the Indianapolis 500.
Whenever anyone attempts to compile a “Greatest of All-Time” list (I refuse to use the GOAT acronym), it is begging to be scrutinized and questioned. I learned that early on in my blogging career. I’ve received nasty e-mails from family members of drivers I left off of some good lists, and an even nastier e-mail from the son of a driver who I included in my Top-Twenty worst Indianapolis 500 drivers of all time. To avoid Google alerts, I’ll not mention the driver’s name – but his car once landed on top of the defending CART champion during a yellow, if that tells you anything.
Let’s assume for a moment that the reports that came out last Tuesday are true and that Josef Newgarden is headed for Team Penske for 2017 and beyond. It will more than likely be at the expense of Juan Montoya, who had a sub-par season this past year for The Captain.