Thursday, September 21, 2006

Open wheel Chatter

As usual, the lion’s share of Robin Miller’s rant on The Speed Report focused upon the IRL and its over-hyped “silly season” scuttlebutt… Miller focused upon “tries hombres” searching for rides, Dario Franchitti, Buddy Rice & Scott Sharp. Miller noted that Franchitti is the unknown piece of the puzzle in regards to which series he’ll return to? You know, the rock star with the Hollywood wife. Rice is a past Indy winner who can’t find a ride and Sharp is the inaugural IRL champion who’ll probably go quietly into the sunset as an owner-driver... Miller speculated that he was 99% sure that Franchitti would not fill in for the steadily improving Cristano da Matta at RuSPORT for the final 3 Cham p Car races.

RuSPORT has also announced that Franchitti will not drive for them, electing instead to host a driver shootout to fill the vacant seat. It’s anticipated that Ryan Briscoe, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Frank Montangy will be the drivers battling to drive da Matta’s car for the final 2 races of the season.

Miller noted the official debut of Danica Patrick’s new 3-year sponsorship deal with Motorola for $21 million dollars. Miller said that if Michael Andretti can make winners out of son Marco, Patrick and dark horse 4th Andretti Green Racing driver AJ Foyt IV, then people will have to pay attention to the IRL…

In the never-ending Champ Car driver roulette, Mario Dominguez has now joined his third team for the season. Dominguez leaves Dale Coyne to drive for Rocketsports fir the final 3 races of the season.

Graham Rahal made his Champ Car test debut behind the wheel of a Newman/Haas Lola at Sebring alongside the new 2007 DP01 Champ Car chassis’s completion if 3 weeks testing with Roberto Moreno behind the wheel.

For more Robin Miller rantings, see: Miller Time