Tuesday, April 1, 2008

IndyCar season preview-part V

Taking it team-by-team (must be read and hummed aloud to the cadence of the Micheal McDonald hit of the similar name).

Ridebuyer is happy to present the following team-by-team look into the 2008 IRL IndyCar season. Feel free to print the subsequent posts and compile your own personal Ridebuyer media guide. (Seriously, if anyone does this, DUI yourself into the nearest pond. Immediately.)

Ed. note: Ridebuyer is the first to admit it may not be fair to finish a "season preview," after the season has started. After seeing a race we could, theoretically, be more in tuned with what will transpire this season. We have seen the drivers, cars and teams in action and can adjust our "preview" accordingly. Some may cry shenanigans, some may call this a cop out. Fortunately, I am not one of those people. So, if you are, go to hell. Plus, the only thing to come from Saturday's opener was a reaffirmation that the two teams listed below are good. Very good.

In this post, the heavyweights: Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing:

What to Know:

This team is the clear favorite to win the championship and the Indy 500. The team's two drivers (Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon) might be the two best oval racers of this era, the team is well funded, and sports some of brightest guys in the paddock. The man largely responsible for the team's success in IndyCars is Mike Hull. His title is long and ambiguous (Team Managing Director), but under his eye the team has won four CART titles, an IRL championship and the Indy 500. For some reason, you really don't see the breadth of Hull's knowledge during his obligatory 30-second Q&A with Brienne Pedigo. Ganassi racing is a machine and no paragraph preview needs to point this out.


This team is the boss. To illustrate their boss-ness, here is a Rick Ross video.

Oh, and Dixon is going to win the title.

Team Penske:

What to know:

Penske's personnel, equipment, funding and other intangibles are just as sterling (if not more so) than the Ganassi-bunch. A new driver is in the mix for this season (Ryan Briscoe teams with Helio Castroneves), but the departure of Sam Hornish will not impact the team as much as some predict. Briscoe has IndyCar experience and is a flat-out stud in a sportscars. Both drivers will be in contention for wins every week. As for the Penske team, they are the pretty damn bright also. Need some proof? Read The Unfair Advantage and keep in mind Mark Donahue was Penske's driver when the book was scribed.


Wins? You bet. Indy 500? Wouldn't bet against it. (Maybe even Briscoe.) Championship? Well, we just said Dixon was going away with that honor, so I guess not.

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