St Pete Preview- thoughts before the green flag

It’s finally IndyCar season. I just streamed the second practice from St. Pete – so fun! I’m thrilled to watch racing again and am so excited to see how this season turns out. Here is what I want to share before the green flag waves.

In past years I’ve kept up more on social media and podcasts. This year I think I feel a bit overwhelmed by how many people there are offering opinions or even just facts. I found myself just glancing at a lot of it (with a few exceptions). Somehow even with all the information at my fingertips I missed who was driving for Juncos Racing. I was watching the second practice and for the life of me couldn’t figure out who almost hit the wall. It was Rene Binder- who? I had never heard of him. I pride myself on being a serious fan. How did I let this one get past me? Guess I’m going to have to do some research and figure out who this guy is. The St. Pete race is broadcast on ABC so it’s a safe bet that they won’t fill me in.

Speaking of ABC we should be getting news soon about who will have the broadcast rights in 2019 and possibly beyond. I seriously might cry if it’s not NBC. IndyCar is one of the few sports whose fan base and TV numbers are growing. Hopefully the powers that be realize that the numbers are growing in part because NBCSN does an amazing job covering and promoting races. ABC could care less with the exception on the Indianapolis 500. Even then ABC has poor coverage but they like bragging about their coverage of the 500 for so many years. For me there is no contest, NBC needs to be the TV provider. They do a far better job and that is how you grow the sport. Even the rich can only attend a limited number of races, for the rest of us it’s even less. IndyCar needs good TV coverage. NBCSN supplies that. They make every effort to show qualifying and practice. They offer specials on drivers and deliver a much better product that ABC. My fingers are crossed that NBC wins and IndyCar will be the real winner with the great coverage they supply.

I saw the spotter guide for the race. I am a diehard fan and with the exception of Rene Binder I know every driver in the field. That said I’m going to struggle greatly on Sunday. So many drivers have changed teams and new sponsors have been added. I hardly recognized any of the cars. I’m so excited to have Tony Kanaan in the ABC supply no 14 car but honestly even after Carlos Munoz was in it I still think of Takuma Sato in that car. We have multiple new teams so new numbers and new drivers, it’s going to be hard to keep track. Here is a list of those I recognize quickly-

  • Hinchcliffe
  • Power
  • Rahal (although Steak n Shake would be better)
  • Pagenaud
  • Rossi
  • Hunter-Reay
  • Chilton (new number but Gallagher is familiar)

Andretti (barely he also has a new number but has had Ruoff as a sponsor)

That leaves 16 cars that I will struggle to know who is driving. The Foyt cars will be recognizable but I just need to remember that they are driven by TK and Matheus Leist. We’ve seen Jack Harvey in the pink car before so that helps. Josef Newgarden is fairly recognizable but the Penske’s all blend together sometimes. The rest I might need to keep my spotters guide handy for. I can’t imagine how someone unfamiliar with IndyCar will keep track when I’m struggling. So thankful for new teams and new sponsors but it’s not helpful when you can’t keep track of the cars.

AJ Foyt Racing- I’ve said this before but hopefully saying it multiple times will make it true, I think this will be a great year for Foyt’s team. I’m so excited to have Tony Kanaan (my favorite driver) in my favorite car. Matheus Leist was fastest in the first practice and while that doesn’t mean too much it’s got to be an ego boost for him. I’m really hoping AJ’s team can make a turn around and start winning races. TK winning the 500 in the 14 car would be a dream. Love to see that this year but even better next year (2019) when I am at the race.

I am also hoping that this new aerokit is to Marco Andrettis liking. I’m a Marco fan and believe he is a good driver, I’m hoping this year is his year. I’m so sick of all the Marco haters.

I’m also excited about Danica’s return to the 500. She was Zach’s favorite and I hope she does well.

Okay let’s wind this up. What do I predict about this year?

  • Josef Newgarden will win the championship again.
  • AJ Foyt’s team will be more competitive and win a race.
  • Marco Andretti will win a race.

Ok maybe the last two are wishful thinking but…

  • Alexander Rossi will win the 500.
  • TV ratings will continue to rise
  • It will be a great season

I plan to attend the GP of Indy with my boys, we haven’t missed a race. I also plan to attend qualifying for the 500, Road America and Gateway. My cousin, Randy, and my friend, Kristen, both are wanting to join me for races this year again- that’s how you grow fans. It’s going to be a fun year! What do you think? Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments. Hope to to you at a race soon.

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2 thoughts on “St Pete Preview- thoughts before the green flag

  1. Amen sister!!! Great column; ok to say I completely agree on all points??!! ABC sucks, NBCSN and crew rocks. Only saving grace for ABC is adding Nicole for 500. I have so many favs to win 500, but Herta knows how to win the big one–hoping this is Marco’s year. Excited to meet up with you at the track!

    Liked by 1 person

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