Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Doom, gloom, the off season and motor oil

The landscape of open-wheel racing in this country has been quiet for little more than one month… Yes, I know the Champ Car World Series season is technically still going, but for Christ sakes, after an eight-week siesta followed by another layoff, added to the fact that the championship is wrapped-up, who really cares? No, the long off-season is staring us right in the face.
What will follow is a period of time where -for Champ Car fans-, no news is good news, and -for Indy Car Series fans-, all news is boring as shit.
Reports of the ultimate demise of CC are both premature and exaggerated. However, until the flag drops at the season opener folks will hopelessly question if the series will answer the bell in 08. Attempting to figure car counts for the season opener is futile. Trying to piece together a schedule before its release is useless (on a side note, there will be silly gaps between races and a god-awful attempt at an event in Asia…Which will fail. It’s where the smart money lies). Teams will fold, new teams may emerge, established drivers will look towards other series, and ride-buyers will reach for their wallets and polish their new Arai lids. It happens. Every season since the great open-wheel schism it has happened. There is no use getting wrapped up in it now, just months of winter for us all to stew in the juices of doom, gloom and uncertainty. Silence is golden; don’t even mention Kevin K’s court dates… Christ is it snowing out?

On the flip side of things, folks in the marketing department at the IRL have fired up their typewriters and released this gem.

Jesus. First, I am Indy, now the official lube of Indy Car? We have months of getting this sort of information. The car count will likely be similar to what it was this past season (maybe a CC team or IPS team moving up due to new funds allocations), drivers may swap rides here or there, but that’s about it. Nothing earth shattering, nothing too unexpected (although Robin Miller is starting a Dunno to F1 rumor, stay tuned on that one), nothing even remotely interesting. To get through this lull, I’m armed with a pile of back-issue Racers, many extra blankets, some non-descript booze, and the knowledge that gray skies and slop are much closer than sunshine and cars on the track. At least the NBA started last night. Oh god, that is a truly horrific statement.

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