And thus, I’m still trying to figure out which day to work the weekly United Open Wheel Word Butcherer’s Association (UOWWBA) question into the No Fenders weekly rotation as well as playing Ketsup with the previous items, as Joel asks the tough questions – And I try to answer.
Pop goes the Driver
If Ryan Hunter-Reay or Justin Wilson were offered a full-time seat at the newly rumored Pacific Coast Motorsports/Rubicon racing team, should they take the ride or hold out and hope for a ride with Rahal, N/H/L, or Penske?
In this uncertain time of sponsorship dollars, I’d think it would be prudent to grab any potential ride that is a reasonable offer as the chances of another Penske seat becoming available is now certainly no longer an option, as well as it appears that Newman Haas Lanigan will potentially take either The Hamburgular (Bourdais) or Bad Bobby D (Doornbos) who would appear to be in the driver’s seat since he’s actually got dinero to spend!
And although Ryan “The Dude” Hunter-Reay would most likely wish to return to Rahal Lettermen Racing, I’d think it was most paramount for him to land an Indy Car ride, thus taking whatever decent opportunities are available.
Hell, why couldn’t Justin Wilson wind-up at RHR instead? Although I’m still a bit perplexed why KV Racing Technology isn’t giving the British “Big Unit” a glance? As Paul Tracy is the rumoured target.
Then again how come Servia’s name isn’t being mentioned and is it really possible that Tony George won’t scrounge into his pockets and field a second car for “Quattro” (AJ Foyt IV) on his own team? Or perhaps dump Quattro in favour of Justin? Yet it seems that Team 3G is being completely left out of the equation, since they’ve been rumoured to be putting together a two car effort? Not to mention the open seat at HVM Racing... And then there’s always Dale Coyne Racing, which could potentially see the unlikely tag team of “Whiney-bags” and Mr. Chrome Horn with sponsorship from Monster... Now all we’d need is some sort of Monster Truck tie-in, eh?
Aw, its just like the Good ‘Ol Dazes of As the Chump Car Vurld Series Turns!
Tastes Great vs. Less Filling?
Is the prominence of foreign drivers in the league hurting the IRL?
Obviously, that Is the short answer to this somewhat loaded question. Thus without getting into any great dissertations on Foreign vs. Home Grown talent, suffice it to say, this is simply a fact of life. If Y’all will recall; ‘lil Napoleon set up his liddle racing sandbox to be made up primarily of American drivers racing around in circles... Hmm? ‘Dat sounds a bit like somme-thung called RASSCAR! Although the IRL has had a steady stream of foreign (paying) drivers since its inception; Hell, I bet Y’all don’t even recall that it had Nissan engines to begin with, eh?
And like its predecessor CART, there have always been foreign drivers and there ALWAYS WILL BE! As long as mega amounts of dinero are required to compete in the higher echelons of motor racing, as I wonder how many of you were fans of BLOODY NIGE, EMMO, Alex Zanardi, JPM, etc.
No, to me the question isn’t the nationality of drivers, it’s the total lack of attention from our mainstream corporate entities who’ve all been smitten to plunk down millions upon the perceived “Good ‘Ol Boyzs” turnin’ left in Roundy-round, which due to Tony George’s arrogance, sucked the lifeblood out of Open Wheel Racing!
Ironically the split is 50-50 on top name drivers currently seeking rides in the IRL (excluding Paul Tracy) with AJ Foyt IV, Ryan Hunter Reay, Oriel Servia and Justin Wilson all wandering around the garages of Gasoline Alley... And that’s not including Jay Howard, Alex Lloyd or Tomas “Rock-em, Sock-em” Scheckter... With no word on Milka Duno or Townsend Bell’s return to Dreyer & Reinbold this season, thus putting the score of currently unemployed drivers at 7-3 Foreigners vs. Americano’s...
Well, Ok, looks like the tide has shifted a bit once again with D & R’s announcement of hiring Britain’s Mike Conway, which would seem to leave Buddy Rice out in the cold, but it now appears that the N/H/L seat may be up for grabs again with rumours claiming that The Hamburgular will retain his ride at Scuderia Toro Rosso... and the Pacific Coast Motorsports gig may not include Mario “Boom-Boom” Dominguez?
And after all... Weren’t we all Foreigners to begin with?
So, two down – One to go, as I’m now partially up to date, along with taking suggestions for which day I should post “My Take” on the weekly UOWWBA question. So as Derrick Daly would say; “Hold onto your Holly-hocks!”