Thanksgiving is tomorrow and it’s a time when we all think back on our lives, and especially the last year and consider all of the people and things we are thankful for. The Frontstretch IndyCar staff decided to look back at the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season and do the same thing. So, here are the IndyCar things each of our writers are thankful for.
* I’m thankful for the fact that IndyCar will finally see the return of the Triple Crown in 2013. Indianapolis, Pocono, and Fontana give IndyCar three major races that will help keep the series in the news throughout the year.
* I’m thankful for the fact that IndyCar will finally see the return of the Triple Crown in 2013. Indianapolis, Pocono, and Fontana give IndyCar three major races that will help keep the series in the news throughout he year. * I’m thankful to finally have an American IndyCar champion once again in Ryan Hunter-Reay. …
Perhaps you didn’t notice. And really, it’s just a blip, one of those little things that can be easily overlooked or ignored. This little thing, however, might end up being something that helps this enterprise known as IndyCar gain a little more traction. So what is being referenced here? Well, for those of you with DirecTV, it’s the NBC Sports Network’s move from high-channel purgatory into the seemingly safe confines of the sports channel milieu.
Say what? To explain, NBC Sports Network moved from channel 603 to 220, placing it amongst the NFL, MLB, NHL, and Tennis networks, and not too far from the ESPN block. In the broadcasting world, this is akin to moving from downtrodden, in need of rehabilitation apartment to the lush confines of a McMansion. Even now, in the digital age, there is still a premium placed with sitting in a specific place on the proverbial dial. By relocating in the channel sphere, NBC Sports Network is like the Jeffersons – moving on up.
So (insert name of Randy Bernard’s replacement here), you’ve just been hired to be the new CEO of INDYCAR. First off, let me just congratulate you on getting the job! INDYCAR is one of the most popular and storied forms of motorsport on Earth, and there are millions of fans worldwide who follow this beautiful form of racing. But who am I kidding, I’m sure you already knew that. I mean, come on, surely the man who has been promoted to the position of INDYCAR’s head honcho would have a rich appreciation for both the sport, its fans, and its history, right? Right? Right. OK, good; now that we’ve gotten all of that general stuff out of the way, I should probably give you all the juicy details of the job with which you are being tasked. letter to the future CEO, showing him the path to continued success in Open-Wheel Wednesday.”
So after a terrific season of racing for the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012, with a mostly optimistic outlook for 2013 and even bigger possibilities for 2014, the powers that be at INDYCAR finally decided to do something about the persistent rumors concerning the security of CEO Randy Bernard’s job. The decision was the only thing marring a series that finally seemed to gain forward momentum and was slowly but surely winning back some lost fans. Did they finally step up Sunday and offer Bernard their unwavering support, showing strength in unity and their faith in his leadership, while making it clear to restless car owners and delusional family members that Bernard was their man, his plan was their plan, and anyone not on board could find the door? Nope. Instead, they got out their cannon, because they are far beyond just a simple gun, and blew the proverbial foot off of what is supposed to be the premier open-wheel racing series in America.
*Tony George resigned his position on the board of Hulman & Company last week. He was part of the effort to buy INDYCAR that had the rumor mills working overtime since May. Does his resignation end the takeover bid and the drama? Thoughts on what is really going on here.*
Huston: I’m thinking it actually increases the likelihood that he tries to put together a group to buy the series. I think it’s a move to get out from under the Hulman family dynamic.
Toni: I’d like to think what happened is they actually gave him the ultimatum leave or we will throw you off and allowed him to save face and that it will signify the end of the drama of the buyout / ouster of Randy Bernard. I’d like to think it was really an effort to rid the series of negative influences and get back to thinking about the business at hand.
_It was one year ago Tuesday, October 16, 2011, that the racing world lost Dan Wheldon. We still miss you, Lionheart, and take the opportunity to remember and honor all you did, not just for the sport, but for your family and friends. It just hasn’t been the same._
*Team Penske:* Looking at the results on paper, the people at Penske should be thrilled with their 2012 season. The three-driver team notched six wins and an additional six podium finishes, often looking like the class of the field. In fact, with four races to go, two of their drivers, Will Power and Helio Castroneves, were both viable title contenders. But once again the team could not close out the season. Castroneves watched his season go awry and Power faltered in Fontana and was relegated to finishing second for the championship for the third time. For an organization like Penske, not winning the Astor Cup is bittersweet in comparison to their results.
Andretti Autosport came into the 2012 season with heavy hearts and a whole lot to prove. Just days after signing the late Dan Wheldon to drive the #27 GoDaddy car for the 2012 season, Wheldon died tragically in the now infamous early-race accident in the 2011 season finale. Veteran driver Danica Patrick also left the team after 2011 to pursue a career in NASCAR. In place of Wheldon, AA signed promising sophomore driver James Hinchcliffe to pilot the #27, and he joined Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti to form a strong three car team that looked to avenge the demons of what was mostly a miserable 2011 season, both on and off the track. And for the most part, the team did just that.
_Now that the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season has come to an end, the Frontstretch IndyCar staff will be taking some time to review the year that was. Last week, we looked at those who finished “14th through 26th”:https://frontstretch.com/tmontgomery/41607/ in the season points standings. This week, we take a look at the top half of the running order, leading up to champion Ryan Hunter-Reay._