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Indy Car Silly Season Thread


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#1 red stick

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 16:27

What's that?

 

The 2020 IndyCar season hasn't even started yet?  :confused:

 

Well, that doesn't mean contracts aren't ending, drivers aren't maneuvering for better rides, and pundits aren't looking to what is really not that distant a future.  Heck, even reporter, podcaster, and man-about-town Marshall Pruett has already fielded questions on his podcast about this very topic.

 

So, what do we know?  :wave:

 

What do we think we know?  :well:

 

And what are we willing to shamelessly speculate about, knowledge-be-damned?  :smoking:

 

1.  Will Power.  According to MP, those footsteps he hears are Scott McLaughlin's.  If the kid shows well, and Power doesn't regain his championship-challenging form, speculation has it that he may be gently guided to the door.

 

2.  James Hinchcliffe.  Cut too late to really search for a ride this year, Hinch has a new sponsor and plenty of time on his hands to pursue something better.

 

3.  Ryan Hunter-Reay.  While his contract ends at the end of the year, RHR has good relations with his sponsor and is thought to be on the verge of re-upping with Andretti.

 

4.  Tony Kanaan.  2020 is his farewell tour.  On a recent MP podcast he expressed an interest to continue in IndyCar, either Indy-only or picking selected races.

 

5.  Zach Veach.  His Gainbridge sponsorship has kept him afloat thus far, but reportedly only runs through 2020.  What about 2021?

 

6.  Simon Pagenaud.  The McLaren interest allegedly persists, due to his experience, talent for offering constructive feedback to the engineers, and friendship with Gil de Ferran.  If one of the kids falters at AMSP, might it make Simon an offer he could not refuse?

 

7.  Takuma Sato.  He'll be 44 when the 2021 season begins.  Will RLL start to look at the future?

 

8.  Marco Andretti.  Reportedly back at driving school.  Will another poor season send him to the car owner's box full-time in 2021?

 

9.  Dalton Kellett.  Foyt loves the $$$ he brings.  Will his performances justify keeping the funding coming?

 

10.  Sebastien Bourdais.  See Hinch, absent the new sponsor.  Or will that situation improve over the course of this year?

 

 

Stay tuned.  Time will tell.  Other sporting cliches . . .

 

Let the games begin!


Edited by red stick, 11 February 2020 - 17:19.


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#2 prommer

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 16:34

Nice!  And breaking rumors from COTA, according to Paul Tracy, Jimmie Johnson is in line to drive select road and street races for AMSP in 2021.  He thinks Long Beach, Indy GP, and Laguna.  But no Indy 500.



#3 F127

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 16:58


7.  Takuma Sato.  He'll be 44 when the 2021 season begins.  Will RLL start to look at the future?

Whilst he is still winning and Honda/Panasonic etc are still paying, I think he will be around until he wants to retire. Plus as a previous Indy 500 victor, the series will try and keep him as long as possible.

 

He is nowhere near as consistent as Rahal but faster on his day and more likely to win races in my opinion.



#4 red stick

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 17:58

Whilst he is still winning and Honda/Panasonic etc are still paying, I think he will be around until he wants to retire. Plus as a previous Indy 500 victor, the series will try and keep him as long as possible.

 

He is nowhere near as consistent as Rahal but faster on his day and more likely to win races in my opinion.

Sato falls more into the "shameless speculation" category than some others.  The better question at RLL may be whether 2021 will be the year of the long-rumored third full-time entry, and if so, who will be driving it.



#5 Risil

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 10:10

Sato's last three seasons have been his strongest three in Indycar. He's showed no signs of slowing down. Unlike many other runners he hasn't lost any speed or momentum following the change to the aero spec in 2018 either. The guy's not going to win a championship but he must be in a good place mentally and physically.



#6 red stick

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 11:32

In answering a podcast question about possible 2021 changes, Pruett was the one who raised Sato's status.  He left the answer hanging, so I don't know if it's based on age, contract status, general paddock gossip, or just being mischievous.

 

I throw it out there as something to keep an eye on this season.  



#7 HistoryFan

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 14:43

Jimmie Johnson to IndyCar would be great!

 

https://motorsports....ta-austin-test/



#8 maximilian

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 14:53

Sato is a God, and any decision to stop racing would be entirely his own only.  



#9 red stick

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 14:59

Sato is a God, and any decision to stop racing would be entirely his own only.  

Which may also be in the cards, at his age.*  Why, even you have succumbed to the youth movement, avatar-wise.   :smoking:  



#10 maximilian

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 17:01

Which may also be in the cards, at his age.*  Why, even you have succumbed to the youth movement, avatar-wise.   :smoking:  

 

Ah you know me, I always change it up.  When I found this GIF I just couldn't resist  :lol:

Great thing about IndyCar is, there's always something FUN happening that can be reflected in avatars, so stay tuned.  The next one shall come.  And Sato WILL return, you know it.  :lol:



#11 Frood

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 17:42

If Toh'nee is an ancient Sumerian deity, I wouldn't put it past Sato being a similarly ageless Shinto kami...

#12 H0R

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 19:38

I think much will depend if the McLaren/SPM team up will continue or even improve on SPM's role as the team biting the heels of Penske, Ganassi and Andretti. If they do and the drivers are worth their money I could see a third entry coming. I think an experienced driver is something the team lacks most. Otherwise I can fully imagine the Pagenaud rumours to come true as a replacement of one of the 2020 drivers.


Edited by H0R, 12 February 2020 - 19:38.


#13 djparky

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 19:47

JJ has previously said hed like to try Indy Car, but not on an oval

#14 Joseki

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 19:58

I think Pagenaud to SPAM would be an extra 3rd car. 3 car seems to be the minimum for top teams looking at the big three teams.



#15 Peat

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 07:47

McGlaughlin is testing at TMS tomorrow. More fan to the flames of a full-time 2021 seat.



#16 krapmeister

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 08:03

McGlaughlin is testing at TMS tomorrow. More fan to the flames of a full-time 2021 seat.


Gonna be very interesting to see how he goes - he's aced it so far but this will definitely be his toughest test.

#17 maximilian

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 15:45

Generally drivers who are really good at road racing have no trouble adjusting their skills to do well on ovals, as long as they don't get spooked.



#18 paulb

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 16:52

Superoptimistic post, but hey who knows, Sabre Cook back on the Road to Indy, https://twitter.com/...790058095534080



#19 HistoryFan

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Posted 19 February 2020 - 14:56

would be nice to see a woman again in IndyCar as it seems that we don't have any on the grid – not at the Indy 500 as well...



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#20 Joseki

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Posted 19 February 2020 - 22:02

Scott McLaughlin's Supercar boss confirmed he will move to full time racing in the US next year.

 

https://www.stuff.co...on-in-supercars

 

 

 

Considering the amount of testing is doing with IndyCar right now I'm pretty sure either Power or Pagenaud will lose the seat at the end of the year.


Edited by Joseki, 19 February 2020 - 22:02.


#21 Beri

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 05:29

With Pagenaud being younger than Power and with Pagenaud being more successful than Power in recent years, I'd bet on Power leaving.

#22 B Squared

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 10:18

They both have contracts with Penske until the end of 2021. 



#23 Victor_RO

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 10:34

They both have contracts with Penske until the end of 2021. 

 

"Overflow" moved to the IMSA team? Pagenaud is already doing the enduros in the Acura. Maybe moving Power in JPM's place there?



#24 red stick

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 12:21

If McLaughlin is running eight races for them this year, they're basically a four car team for nearly half the season.  With Penske's contract with Acura coming to a close at the end of this season, and no word yet on renewal or a next step in sports cars, maybe you bring some of that staff over and run four cars full time in IndyCar next year.



#25 maximilian

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 13:07

Either way Penske probably has plenty of resources to run a 4th car full-time, if they really want to.



#26 Victor_RO

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 13:49

If McLaughlin is running eight races for them this year, they're basically a four car team for nearly half the season.  With Penske's contract with Acura coming to a close at the end of this season, and no word yet on renewal or a next step in sports cars, maybe you bring some of that staff over and run four cars full time in IndyCar next year.

 

Just did a parallel calendar check, and after the Indy GP (where McLaughlin is already entered), there are exactly 7 Indycar races that do not clash with Supercars rounds: Detroit double-header, Road America, Toronto, Mid-Ohio, Gateway and Portland. So if it's 8 races, we pretty much know all of them already.

 

(Indy 500 quali clashes with a Supercars round)



#27 maximilian

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 14:23

Just did a parallel calendar check, and after the Indy GP (where McLaughlin is already entered), there are exactly 7 Indycar races that do not clash with Supercars rounds: Detroit double-header, Road America, Toronto, Mid-Ohio, Gateway and Portland. So if it's 8 races, we pretty much know all of them already.

 

(Indy 500 quali clashes with a Supercars round)

 

Right, that checks out.  Long Beach also doesn't have a conflict, but seems the most likely of the races he won't be at (since they mentioned the IndyGP being his debut).  I hope Penske is sending the private jet to take Scott from here to there almost every week!  :eek:



#28 red stick

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 14:43

Either way Penske probably has plenty of resources to run a 4th car full-time, if they really want to.

It's true--I was trying to square two things we think we know:  A)  Tim Cindric really likes McLaughlin, and B) Cindric really is not interested in running four cars again.  It appears A is winning out.



#29 HistoryFan

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 15:12

Pagenaud was already on the move before his Indy 500 win after a disappointing season in 2018.



#30 maximilian

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 15:23

Pagenaud was already on the move before his Indy 500 win after a disappointing season in 2018.

 

He may have been, but the win then changed everything - and hard to argue he should be shown the door, given that he finished runner-up in the championship, too.  Unless he WANTS to leave, which seems doubtful, McLaren rumors notwithstanding.



#31 paulb

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 15:34

Pagenaud may want to be a de facto number one driver for a team and thus leave Penske.



#32 maximilian

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 15:47

Has anybody ever voluntarily left Penske?  Honest question.

 

Dunno, by the time Pato and SQ are established at McLaren and might be kicking some serious butt overall, it may not be an automatic "here I am, your new Number 1 driver" situation at all.



#33 Henri Greuter

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 18:09

Has anybody ever voluntarily left Penske?  Honest question.

 

Dunno, by the time Pato and SQ are established at McLaren and might be kicking some serious butt overall, it may not be an automatic "here I am, your new Number 1 driver" situation at all.

Mario Andretti  when he changed from Penske to Patrick. He missed out on Indy in 1980 to concentrate on F1 with Alfa but then didn't return to Penske but went to Patrick instead.



#34 juicy sushi

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 18:13

I think the question is simply whether it'd be Power or Pagenaud who would be the odd man out.  Pagenaud probably has more demand for his services, but possibly also is the more valued asset.



#35 Joseki

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 22:33

I think Pagenaud will read the room and leave on his own terms now that he can for what is gonna be a pretty competitive seat.

 

Finishing his IndyCar career at De Ferran's team would be a great story.


Edited by Joseki, 20 February 2020 - 22:54.


#36 maximilian

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 22:54

I think Pagenaud will read the room and leave on its own terms now that he can for what is gonna be a pretty competitive seat.

 

Finishing his IndyCar career at De Ferran's team would be a great story.

 

I certainly like that better than finishing the way Montoya and Castroneves were forced chose to go, remaining in the Penske organization at all costs, even though they didn't want to call curtains on their IndyCar careers yet.  Wonder if any of them had second thoughts - at least Castroneves seems to be missing IndyCar terribly, and could have added a few more years with another team (as long as he's still competitive)...



#37 maximilian

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 16:05

I'm gonna say this again - DAMN YOU for closing the 2020 Silly Season thread.  :mad:  :mad: 

 

Look:

 

https://www.motorspo...apolis/4690640/

 

And yes, I am blatantly hijacking the 2021 Silly Season thread for 2020, as we all should. 



#38 PayasYouRace

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 16:08

Just use the normal season thread or maybe message us asking it to be reopened. Better than throwing a tantrum.



#39 maximilian

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 16:52

I been asking, but been ignored.  :p



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#40 prommer

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 03:23

I would like to mention at this point that just recently I went through my twitter follows and found that I was still subscribed to Fan Force United.  :rotfl:

 

/just make this the X Silly Season thread.



#41 PayasYouRace

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 08:50

That's actually a good idea. We don't need different threads for each season, so we can just have all our silly season discussions here.



#42 Beri

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 09:50

So we're gonna get a silly thread?

#43 Henri Greuter

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 10:28

I'm gonna say this again - DAMN YOU for closing the 2020 Silly Season thread.  :mad:  :mad:

 

Look:

 

https://www.motorspo...apolis/4690640/

 

And yes, I am blatantly hijacking the 2021 Silly Season thread for 2020, as we all should. 

 

Just use the normal season thread or maybe message us asking it to be reopened. Better than throwing a tantrum.

 

I been asking, but been ignored.  :p

 

I would like to mention at this point that just recently I went through my twitter follows and found that I was still subscribed to Fan Force United.  :rotfl:

 

/just make this the X Silly Season thread.

 

That's actually a good idea. We don't need different threads for each season, so we can just have all our silly season discussions here.

 

With in mind JP.s comment to sing the line "Don't go to Carlin Fernando" on a certain melody  (posted in one of the Indycar threads)

how about this:

 

 

 

You'd think that people would have had enough of silly seasons threads
I look around me and I see it isn't so
Some people want to fill the world with silly seasons threads
And what's wrong with that
I'd like to know
'Cause here we go again ......

 

 

(Thanks Paul McC for providing such wonderful inspiring pieces of art....)



#44 Joseki

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 10:30

Since this is now the general Silly Season thread here is the latest Indy 500 update

 

Penske - Pagenaudu

Penske - Power

Penske - Newgarden

Penske - Castroneves

Andretti - Rossi

Andretti - Herta

Andretti - RHR

Andretti - Andretti

Andretti - Veach

Andretti - Hinchcliffe

Ganassi - Dixon

Ganassi - Rosenqvist

Ganassi - Ericsson

ECR - VeeKay

ECR - Daly

ECR - Carpenter

SPAM - O'Ward

SPAM - Askew

SPAM - Alonso (not official yet)

RLL - Rahal

RLL - Sato

RLL - ???

Carlin - Chilton

Carlin - ???

Carlin - ??? (will the 3rd Carlin even exist this year?)

Foyt - Kanaan

Foty - Kellet

Foyt - Kimball

Coyne - Ferrucci

Coyne - Palou

MSR - Harvey

Dragon - ???

DRR - Karam

DRR - ???

Citrone - ???


Edited by Joseki, 22 February 2020 - 14:15.


#45 jonpollak

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 13:16

Pagenaudu.... ?
Sounds like he’s a Catalan..

Jp

#46 maximilian

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 13:59

I am at least partially appeased.



#47 red stick

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 14:16

Pagenaudu.... ?
Sounds like he’s a Catalan..
Jp

Or a Star Wars villain . . .

#48 PayasYouRace

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 15:07

Pagenaudu.... ?
Sounds like he’s a Catalan..

Jp

 

Or his name being said by a Japanese person.



#49 maximilian

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 15:55

My attempt at spreadsheeting it all.  Can anybody tell me how I can paste a table into this forum without it turning to mashed papaya?

 

Corrections/additions most welcome!

 

ERZDYO0XsAExT5P.jpg


Edited by maximilian, 22 February 2020 - 15:55.


#50 Joseki

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 16:17

Clauson Marshall is not gonna be back this year they confirmed.