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Official: Indycar FINALE at Fontana


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Poll: Just one more thing... (72 member(s) have cast votes)

Which one do you like?

  1. Will Power? (37 votes [51.39%])

    Percentage of vote: 51.39%

  2. Ryan Hunter-Reay? (35 votes [48.61%])

    Percentage of vote: 48.61%

What if they were anagrams?

  1. A Lowlier Wimp (32 votes [44.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.44%

  2. Re-heat Runny Ray (40 votes [55.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 55.56%

The ultimate winner?

  1. You, the viewer (14 votes [19.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 19.44%

  2. Our Sport (18 votes [25.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  3. Chip Ganassi bathing in buttermilk, cradling the Borg-Warner Trophy (19 votes [26.39%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.39%

  4. Dallara, as always (21 votes [29.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.17%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 Risil

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 23:16

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IZOD Indycar Series Round 15 of 15: the MAVTV 500

Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA
This is it. The end. When this thread's post count climbs towards the 200 mark, we'll know the championship outcome and presumably the winner of this inaugural IRL California 500. Incidentally, it's the first 500-mile (or 804km) race the series has ever run outside of Indianapolis. We didn't win the Split to see the Speedway's special status defiled in such a manner. It'll end in mayhem I tell you, mayhem.

Facts you need to know: now incorporating the track schedule
It's an oval. Ed Carpenter's probably kicking himself about being out of the title chase now.
Track length: 2 miles
Race Length: 250 laps/500 miles
Lap Record: Fast. Silly fast.
Previous Winner: Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda (waaaay back in 2005)

Advance warning: this is going to be an evil night for those of us in Euro land. Sky Sports 1's coverage starts at 1am. The other way of looking at it is that this is the most mainstream channel live Indycar racing has ever been near in the UK. On with the times. They're all local and Californiacentric.

Friday, 14th September
9.45-10.30: Indy Lights practice one
10.45-12.15: Indycar practice one
13.00-14.00: Indy Lights qualifying
14.15-15-45: Indycar qualifying
16.45-17.30: Indy Lights practice two
17.45-18.30: Indycar practice two

Saturday, 15th September
15.00: Indy Lights race (50 laps)
16.30: Indycar pre-race show begins, if you're an NBC Sports person
17.45: Alright youse goons, start your engines
17.50: Spectrum is green. Go go go.

Rumours concerning a Ryan Hunter-Reay/Will Power merger are wildly far from the truth
News of the ALMS/Grand-Am merger has pretty well dominated the space between Baltimore and Fontana. But if you can resist the temptation to strain your ears trying to overhear Chip Ganassi ordering a new fleet of Daytona Prototypes/looking up the phone number for the World's Ugliest Car Museum, there's a race on between two Chevy-mounted 31-year-olds who've been pretty super in 2012. Power's undoubtedly been the man to beat for most of this season, so it's strange that Ryan Hunter-Reay's racked up more wins. Including a colossal one last time out in Baltimore, courtesy of a cheeky move on another Penske driver on a late restart. If you tune your championship skulduggery receptors to a high enough frequency, you'll even hear word that the Captain wanted Briscoe to be jumped (illegally, of course) to the green flag. Unsubstantiated, and unsubstantiatable, rumour.

But it illustrates the point that RHR's not just facing off against Power, he'll have Briscoe and Castroneves as special opponents in the fight. And Power'll have Hinch, Marco and Saavedra to contend with, for that matter. And best not forget Honda, who pretty much handed Chevrolet's wastegates to them at Indy and Texas. It would nearly count as unexpected if the two title challengers were also battling for the race victory.

Strake, rattle and roll
All this race-speculation brings us nicely to what's likely going to be a main part of the story of the event: the track itself. Ever since June, when the Indycars showed up at Texas Motor Speedway and unexpectedly put on a motor race, series media have been shouting "Texas" with the tiredness and faint desperation of parents shouting "McDonalds" in the general direction of their no good kids. The Fontana-is-Texas meme has some sense behind it, though. They're both bumpy. They're both racing far into the night. And Indycar's technical man, Will Phillips (whose name we've heard as often as Beaux Barfield's -- take note Charlie Whiting, consider dividing yourself in two), is trying to tweak the Dallara's aero specs to reproduce the sort of not-quite-flat-out cornering they had at Texas. Tim Cindric's even gone as far as labelling Fontana "a handling race".

Series mandarins and drivers are now focusing on the DW12's underwing: tunnel strake on, or off? Marshall Pruett reports that Franchitti and Power want the lower-downforce (and more dirty filthy air), strake-off option. Hunter-Reay wants to see them kept on. It's a shame this is such a technical issue, because it has the makings of a good spurious CHAMPIONSHIP SKULDUGGERY storyline. We'll find out after the big test on Wednesday. One piece of technical reassurance news that has been reported though, is that a solution's been found for those worrying 90-degree cockpit-first roll-toward-the-wall wrecks that the DW12 seems to specialize in. Apparently the floor's mounts weren't collapsing like they should. Marshall Pruett, you're a hero.

Josef Newgarden tells it like it is
"I would say it's been a year of huge potential, but horrendous results." The only thing you missed was the broken finger, Joe. Reminds me a little of Dario's 1997 debut season, really. Hope Joe continues the parallel into Years Two and Three.

Title showdowns are boring. Tell me about 2013!
Oh, there's so much to talk about, although most of it's already been talked about. Simon Pagenaud was approached about filling the third Penske seat, but he can't get out of his Schmidt contract. He'll probably be joined there by Rubens Barrichello. The Captain's instead turns his beady, covetous eyes across the paddock to Michael Andretti's big caravan of love and nepotism, and beckons forth current nemesis Ryan Hunter-Reay. Curt Cavin rates the deal as likely. Odd man out Ryan Briscoe will, however, be given a good home. Possibly with Honda. E.J. Viso's taking his game of one-upmanship with Pastor Maldonado to dangerous new levels, and is considering starting his own Indycar team. Some events may become double headers (personal opinion: so long as they don't half the individual race lengths, and don't faff around with any sort of aggregate scoring, this idea's a goer). Indycar's looking to return to the New England market with a race in Rhode Island. At least they're original.
http://auto-racing.s...s-at-baltimore/
http://blogs.indysta...and-will-power/
http://www.racer.com...article/258424/
http://www.autosport...t.php/id/102455

Okay!
Do that thing you do when you write in the thread, below. Bonus points for posts related to CHAMPIONSHIP SKULDUGGERY.

Edited by Risil, 12 September 2012 - 21:04.


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#2 Andrew Hope

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 00:17

Anyone want to guess if this is the last race (bar occasional 500s) for any of the current drivers? A lot of them are getting pretty old, but then again, no one ever seems to just up and retire from IndyCar.

#3 Risil

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 00:36

I wonder whether we'll see Conway and Jakes back. They've been practically anonymous this year. If I were Bryan Herta I'd take a punt on a better finisher than Tags, although no one in Indycar provides exactly what he does.

Edited by Risil, 12 September 2012 - 00:37.


#4 Woody3says

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:49

Don't really care one way or the other, neither trip my trigger too much. Power is the better driver but damn whinny, and RHR wanted his yellow INDYCAR in his fishtank....yeesh!

To be fair to both contenders Dallara should put the strake ON Power's and take it OFF RHR's car. Put Viso in Briscoe's car and invite Maldonado to run the GoDaddy colors. Jaws has to run the race is a set of high heels to one up Hinch though.

I want to see a Chevy AND a Honda grenade, Marko and Dario work (let the whinning roll on!)

A Sato win would be icing in all seriousness. Hard week for the Rahal boys.

Edited by Woody3says, 12 September 2012 - 02:49.


#5 gm914

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:57

^ Hasn't GoDaddy crashed enough this week?

Go RHR, cuz I like yellow cars, and Verizon can S a D.
Nice OP

#6 Woody3says

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:12

What's more fun than a neon green car dashing to and fro devestating all in its path?!? After all, I'm just tryin to help Jaws out. Pretty soon he will need a second gig to cover his repair bill at Williams. Dont all the up and coming hot commodities slut themselves out to risqué Sports Illustrated spreads and GoDaddy commercials to prove their worth in motorsports?

#7 PayasYouRace

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 09:36

As far as I'm concerned a 500 mile race on a 2-mile D-shaped high banked oval is what Indycar is all about. I'll definitely be staying up for this one. I hope they've got cars set up properly. Another race like Texas would be brilliant.

#8 Deluxx

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 13:24

Looking forward to this.

Regardless who's in contention, I have a feeling we're going to see some quality racing.

Only wish I could be there live...


Dont all the up and coming hot commodities slut themselves out to risqué Sports Illustrated spreads and GoDaddy commercials to prove their worth in motorsports?


Cannot unsee Hinch posing for a GoDaddy calendar now... thanks >_>

Edited by Deluxx, 12 September 2012 - 13:25.


#9 Muppetmad

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 15:44

Thank God it's on Saturday - I would have had no way of watching it otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to stay up that late and go to college the next day if it were a Sunday, and then I'd have had to wait until Monday evening to watch it.

I'll still be taping this and watching it first thing Sunday morning though. I simply won't be able to enjoy it otherwise.

Edited by Muppetmad, 12 September 2012 - 15:46.


#10 Option1

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 15:45

Interesting that the adverts for GoDaddy now no longer feature either Hinch or PSP, but instead "Marlena who is banned from practicing yoga in 5 states..."

Neil

#11 Red17

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 15:53

Interesting that the adverts for GoDaddy now no longer feature either Hinch or PSP, but instead "Marlena who is banned from practicing yoga in 5 states..."

One hunts for holes on the track, the other is hunted and pigeonholed on the track, probably not a good idea to associate holes to a service provider.

I will be rooting for the Penske's even if i am still bitter about the captain dropping the NNS Challengers.

#12 teejay

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 15:56

Would like an Andretti win to reward the work Mikey and co has put into promoting and running events.

#13 Risil

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 16:02

One hunts for holes on the track, the other is hunted and pigeonholed on the track, probably not a good idea to associate holes to a service provider.


:D :up:

This is on-the-edge forumming, sir.

#14 Risil

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 16:45

Interesting that the adverts for GoDaddy now no longer feature either Hinch or PSP, but instead "Marlena who is banned from practicing yoga in 5 states..."


Sparkle Pony's still the first thing you see on GoDaddy's webpage, though. She even appears on Brit billboards, at least in London.

Edited by Risil, 12 September 2012 - 16:47.


#15 Option1

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 20:45

Sparkle Pony's still the first thing you see on GoDaddy's webpage, though. ...

Not here you don't. There's a small box for the latest Marlena (or Olga or other inside/outside) advert, but otherwise no personality headlining the page.

Neil

#16 chrisblades85

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 21:02

MUST STAY AWAKE.

#17 Risil

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:49

Wednesday's test is over with Dixon at the top of the timesheets. Followed by Andretti, Power, Briscoe and Newgarden. Hunter-Reay crashed, but his engine was due to be replaced anyway. He might miss those hours of running while his car was being repaired, but like at Iowa, Marco's own setup work should come in handy.

No word yet on how the Dallara's handling, but Ganassi director Mike Hull's pointed out that the day-to-night format in California, with an expected 25 degrees F drop in track temperature from green to chequered, will challenge drivers and engineers trying to find a consistent setup. Suggestions that RHR's main sponsor Sun Drop will make an offering to the great god Ra -- that he may grant the faithful a couple of extra hours of daylight -- have been rebuffed.

Edited by Risil, 13 September 2012 - 12:50.


#18 Victor_RO

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:54

Suggestions that RHR's main sponsor Sun Drop will make an offering to the great god Ra -- that he may grant the faithful a couple of extra hours of daylight -- have been rebuffed.


:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

This is why I love these threads. :cool:

#19 Disgrace

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:55

MUST STAY AWAKE.


This is the challenge. Then again, it wouldn't be too difficult avoiding the news on who won the title, as basically nobody cares about the series. Not enough diabetic drivers to sweeten the deal for broadcasters I reckon.

Edited by Disgrace, 13 September 2012 - 12:56.


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#20 biercemountain

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:57

I like Power but he's going to have to earn this Championship.

#21 biercemountain

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 13:00

Not enough diabetic drivers to sweeten the deal for broadcasters I reckon.


Ain't that the truth. I've never been a fan of the whole "human interest" angle that's so popular in Motorsports broadcasts these days.


#22 Red17

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 13:43

I had not realized there is a new trophy this year. But what's the deal with revamping 100 year old unused cups? Did some CART DNA actually survived the merger?

#23 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 13:44

This week in paint© for the last time in 2012.

Briscoe Izod
Castron-eves AAA Insurance (the blue and white jobby)
Servia Wix again

Everyone else the same. No fancy Target cars.

#24 Peat

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 14:08

Actually really looking forward to this one.

I plan on getting home and getting some beauty-sleep from 18:00-01:00 so i can fill myself up with coffee and absorb the whole race live. Can't wait.

#25 Andrew Hope

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 14:34

I can't wait, I am all about IndyCar. Should be quite a long race actually, just hoping for a good one. I don't particularly give a shit who wins.

#26 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 15:01

The big swing in temperature that will come from starting in daylight and ending at night should make it interesting. At the very least the guy who has the best car at the start isn't guaranteed to have that advantage at the end.

#27 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 15:12

Should be fun but it starts at almost 9pm Eastern? For a 500 mile race?

#28 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 15:22

:|


Correction on the paint front. Servia has a nutty, totally California paintjob.

Posted Image

Edited by Ross Stonefeld, 13 September 2012 - 15:27.


#29 Dolph

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 15:27

Does Bourdais have a car?

#30 Victor_RO

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 15:32

Does Bourdais have a car?


No, Legge is contracted for this race. The two-car effort at Sonoma was a one-off, so maybe next year.

#31 Risil

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 15:35

It's nutty that the fastest driver in the whole series doesn't have a full-time ride. Next year. Or I'm gonna get angry.

Then again, Power and RHR have both been there.

Edited by Risil, 13 September 2012 - 15:38.


#32 B Squared

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 15:40

Should be quite a long race actually, just hoping for a good one.


Not necessarily a long race time-wise; this is where the CART-sanctioned championship staged the fastest 500-mile race in history. Jimmy Vasser won at an average speed of 197.995 mph. Also the track hosted a 200-mph race just a year later, as Sam Hornish Jr. averaged 207.151 mph in winning a 400-mile race under Indy Racing League sanction. Hard to believe; a 400-mile race that ran in less than two hours.

#33 Woody3says

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 16:10

Rahal commented last night that the cars were a handful and that it would be an eventful night. I'm going to say lots of incidents at the start and right at the end.

#34 Jim Thurman

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 20:43

Should be fun but it starts at almost 9pm Eastern? For a 500 mile race?

Yep, PDT baby! :) An hour earlier and it will be even hotter in Fontana (not like 5PM to 6PM usually sees much of a drop in temp). Barring major or many incidents, I'd guess it would wrap up before 9PM PDT.

#35 Jim Thurman

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 20:44

:|

Correction on the paint front. Servia has a nutty, totally California paintjob.

Posted Image

Who's the sponsor?, or what's the reason behind the paintjob?

#36 B Squared

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 20:47

Who's the sponsor?, or what's the reason behind the paintjob?


It appears that Motegi Racing is the primary sponsor. Sorry that I can't help with the second part of your question, it looks to be multiples of their logo presented in a random fashion.

http://competition.motegiracing.com/

Edited by B Squared, 13 September 2012 - 20:49.


#37 olliek88

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 20:55

Huge news about Mike Conway:

“I’m truly sorry for putting the team and our sponsors in a difficult position, but this is the hardest decision I have ever made in my racing career. I've come to realize I’m not comfortable on the ovals and no longer wish to compete on them. I want to stress that I am not finished racing and to this end, I would love to continue with Foyt Racing, but that’s something we need to discuss in the future.”

Massive respect for the lad, that takes some balls.

#38 Prost1997T

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 20:56

Well, after two bad crashes at Indy and a mixed bag of a season this year, I'm not that surprised.

#39 gm914

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 20:56

Wow!

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#40 chrisblades85

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 21:01

This is the challenge. Then again, it wouldn't be too difficult avoiding the news on who won the title, as basically nobody cares about the series. Not enough diabetic drivers to sweeten the deal for broadcasters I reckon.



To be fair, the actual staying awake isn't normally a problem for me. It'll be the drinking during the day, as I'll be at football which may cause the problem!

#41 gm914

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 21:03

Maybe Conway heard the Bobby Isaac voice.

#42 Jim Thurman

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 21:04

It appears that Motegi Racing is the primary sponsor. Sorry that I can't help with the second part of your question, it looks to be multiples of their logo presented in a random fashion.

http://competition.motegiracing.com/

Thanks Brian, I noticed the Motegi Racing. It was more a rhetorical question for Ross. As such, I should have written:

Ross, Who's the sponsor?, or what's the reason behind the paintjob?

#43 Risil

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 21:10

Massive respect for the lad, that takes some balls.


Indeed. Sports car racing beckons. Still, the wheel keeps turning: Wade Cunningham's been signed up to replace him.

Edited by Risil, 13 September 2012 - 21:10.


#44 Prost1997T

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 21:59

Indeed. Sports car racing beckons. Still, the wheel keeps turning: Wade Cunningham's been signed up to replace him.


Let's hope he's learned from Vegas and doesn't make any sudden moves out on the track :)

Edited by Prost1997T, 13 September 2012 - 21:59.


#45 maximilian

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 22:14

For me, it's a real conundrum as to who to support to win the title. On one hand, there is Will Power, who (likeable or not) is pretty much clearly the best driver out there, and who has missed out twice in a row... I don't think he would deserve to miss out a third time. On the other hand, RHR is a real tear-jerk story if he wins, and FINALLY an American champion would undoubtedly be great for the series. So, I am just going to sit back and enjoy watching.

Btw, anybody else think that Scott Dixon was really the best this year, but just had an absolutely ghastly run of bad luck to keep him out of the title lead?

#46 Risil

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 22:16

Btw, anybody else think that Scott Dixon was really the best this year, but just had an absolutely ghastly run of bad luck to keep him out of the title lead?


Yeah, but that happens every year.

#47 Lemnpiper

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 22:34

For me, it's a real conundrum as to who to support to win the title. On one hand, there is Will Power, who (likeable or not) is pretty much clearly the best driver out there, and who has missed out twice in a row... I don't think he would deserve to miss out a third time. On the other hand, RHR is a real tear-jerk story if he wins, and FINALLY an American champion would undoubtedly be great for the series. So, I am just going to sit back and enjoy watching.

Btw, anybody else think that Scott Dixon was really the best this year, but just had an absolutely ghastly run of bad luck to keep him out of the title lead?



Same here , I feel Power deserves to win the championship , but to be honest RHR would also be a deserving champion if he wins.

Both of Chip's cars seemed to have issues all year ( excepting Dario at Indy ) to keep them out of the championship hunt. Equal drivers trying to be the top dog hurt both teams overall performances?

Strangely Conway did seem a bit preoccupied in the garage area at Baltimore , and combined with the quickness Foyt got Cunningham in the car , you'd almost suspect Conway stepping out was planned even before baltimore, which seemed to start off well for Mike but ended up with rather ordinary results.

Would love Sato or Barrichello winning the actual race to cap off what appears to me to be one of the better seasons since the mid 1990's.


Paul

#48 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 23:46

I think RHR has had bad luck more than Dixon.

#49 Pikachu Racing

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:38

Don't blame Conway. The massive crashes he suffered on ovals let him think things over more thoroughly. At least Wade Cunningham replaced him. I been waiting for years hoping he get a ride somehow. This could his last chance at ride in Indycar.

#50 Peat

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:13

Poor results mixed with big crashes, no wonder he had no confidence.

Still, call it courageous if you will, but he has effectively sealed his own demise in IndyCar. He says he wants to continue on the Road Courses, but his results this year have been mediocre at best. Who's gonna sponsor that?