My thoughts on Indycar Silly Season- from the heart

So I recently read George Philips take on Silly Season on his blog- Oilpressure.wordpress.com. He discusses the three remaining dominoes as he calls them, which are Simon Pagenaud, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Briscoe. I will preface my blog by saying that George has a much better perspective and is writing based on facts and common sense. My thoughts are from my heart and mostly wishful thinking. George offers a realistic view of what might be happening this silly season and my prediction is probably not even close to accurate. I’m sure if you follow my blog you also follow George but just in case read his entry at Oilpressure.wordpress.com

So in my wishful thinking world this is how I would like silly season to go.

James Hinchcliffe stays with Andretti Autosport. He makes that team fun and is a good driver. Sure last year did not go as planned but he has real talent and his personality can’t be beat. He is a great asset to the Andretti team.

Simon Pagenaud stays with Sam Schmidt’s team. Okay that is just not from the heart. I feel this one makes some sense too. Simon has had two fantastic years with Sam. He has won multiple races and has finished well in the overall points. They have figured out what works. If Simon moves there is no guarantee that he has the same chemistry with a new team and he might have significant struggles. Sometimes you just don’t mess with a good thing. Ok on the heart side of course I want to see Simon stay with Sam. I love seeing Sam’s team win and if Pagenaud leaves chances of Schmidts team being in victory circle goes down. They have a winning combination and mixing that up could not go as well as planned. However, rumor is Simon could be going to Penske. Would that change my opinion? Well of course it has too but if I were Simon I would still think long and hard about a move. Plus at Penske, Simon would be low man on the totem pole and that is not the desired position.

So what about Ryan Briscoe? Let me start by saying I love Ryan. He is such a nice guy. I’d hate to see him without a ride. However, if you look back on the 2014 season you hardly even knew he had a ride and with Ganassi nonetheless. He did not have a great season, nor did he have a bad one. He just was there, part of the race but not part of the action. I would hate to see Ryan lose his ride but if I were Chip I would be putting Sage Karem in that seat. Sage is the up and comer that could be amazing. He is young and would be a vital part to drawing a younger crowd. The attention that Sage would draw would go far beyond what Ryan Briscoe can do. A team sure has to consider the marketability and personality of a driver. Pair that with his talent and it’s a winning combination. Or at least I believe it is.

So I’m hoping for Sage on Chip’s team. I’m also hoping that Briscoe finds a new ride. As much as I want Sage in Indycar, I would hate to see Briscoe out.

In my perfect world there is a place for all the drivers but of course that is not reality.

So I remain hopeful but the start of the season is still a ways off and a lot can happen.

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Season Finale– Already! How can that be?

Well as much as I couldn’t wait to see who would win the Indycar championship, I was not ready for the season to be over. Ending on Labor Day weekend posed its own problems. I had to convince my husband that we could not go out of town or have guests over. Fortunately, he dislikes crowds so it was easy to convince him that we should not camp on the holiday weekend. Then due to an afternoon obligation on Saturday I suggested we invite friends over on Sunday evening rather than Saturday. So I kept my schedule clear for the finale without drawing attention as to why I needed Saturday evening free. My husband is not always the most understanding when I am watching my beloved Indycar. He just doesn’t get it.

So with my evening to myself and wearing my Tony Kanaan shirt, I grabbed some snacks, a drink and settled in for a long night. I love a 500 mile race but would be happy with an earlier start time.

If you are reading this you know the outcome so rather than a play by play of the race I will share my thoughts on the main points.

Will Power finally won the championship.
Power was ahead by enough points that even with the double points for the race he would have had to screw things up pretty bad to lose again. He qualified horribly so he didn’t put himself in a good situation and we’ve seen him blow it before but he played it safe falling back at the start and worked his way up to a comfortable position and even led a bit. A mistake on his last pit stop greatly changed the handling of his car for the last stint but he was able to keep it together and finally won the championship. Honestly, it was well deserved. He has shown himself to be a super talented driver and while he might not always be a fan favorite he is always the one to beat. No one can say he got lucky winning this title. It was pure talent.

Helio Castroneves
Helio won the pole and that’s about all we can say for his weekend. His car just didn’t have what he needed to keep in up front and he needed a podium if he was going to have a chance at the championship. When the race was over he was typical Helio with a smile and all about being a team player. That is why we love Helio. At the end of the day Helio is a three time Indy 500 winner-he will always be a champion.

Simon Pagenaud
He needed a miracle to win the championship. Simon is a great driver but he was far enough down in points and with an oval race things weren’t lined up to help him with this win. The unfortunate part was he dropped to fifth in the championship points. Would have been nice to keep his third place position. Rumors are everywhere about where Simon will end up next year. I understand why a move to Penske, Ganassi or Andretti needs to be considered but staying where things work might be his best move ( or non move). Things have worked out well on the Sam Schmidt team. Sometimes staying where things work is the best thing.

Tony Kanaan
What can I say? I’ve been a TK fan for years. I wanted this win for him so bad. He is finally in a car we’ve seen in victory lane more times than we can count and yet not once with TK in it. Well that all changed in Fontana and I think next season will be so much better for the Target team. The hug with Tony and Dario was awesome. I love that friendship. Then when Tony kissed Lauren’s tummy- priceless! A win and a baby on the way. Fantastic! Can’t wait for next season.

So now with a long off season I am thankful for silly season, twitter and Trackside. Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee will keep me updated most weeks during the off season and I’m thankful for that. Checking in on twitter will also be a good way to get an Indycar fix. Both trackside and twitter will be how I keep up to date on silly season. Can’t wait to see who lands where and how it all plays out in 2015. I also have a couple blog ideas for the off season. Hope you check them out.