Saturday, April 11, 2009

Three’s company

Whale, by now perhaps you know that Firestone Indy Lights Rookie Junior Strous Captured a very rare double header “clean sweep” pair of victories during the season opening rounds at St Petersburg, Florida last weekend... Driving for one of the little, under funded teams of the sport... Running under the guidance of Paul Diatlovich’s PDM Racing organization which runs the operational portion of the racing program for Jon Lewis and Rick Nelan’s ASR/Nelan Winner’s Circle Group Racing Team, as apparently the Winners Circle Group Firestone Indy Lights team is an offshoot of last season’s American Spirit Racing Team, which campaigned easy on the eyes Swiss FIL Rookie Cyndie Alleman under the direction of Diatlovich, who served as the team’s Crew Chief.

All I seem to recall about Junior Strous, is his most entertaining interview last year upon the Speed Freaks after having run down some would –be crooks trying to rob his parents Shell gasoline station back home in the Netherlands... Hence the Shell V-Power sponsorship on his No. 18 I’m guessing?

Junior Strous – Hey You, STOP!

Yet the ex-Atlantic racer from the Netherlands has just joined the rarified company of past Indy Lights Champions Alex Lloyd and “Rafa” (Rafael) Matos as the only three drivers to win double header race weekends at St. Pete in the series, which isn’t too shabby of a way to begin your season, eh?

And listening to a very humble Paul Diatlovich on Autosport Radio this past Tuesday, it was nice to hear a little bit more of what Arie Luyendyk Jr. had mentioned during the Versus race rebroadcast Monday afternoon, that the teams Chief Race Engineer was none other than his father’s Indy 500 winning engineer Tim Wardrop... Who as the abnormally sedate Mike “Yippee Kye Aae” King noted; knew a thing or two about going fast at the Speedway...

Thus I was momentarily stunned to hear Diatlovich divulge to Donald Kay that Mr. Wardrop, who even Darren “Danger Mouse” Manning warmly greeted as “Doctor Who” while I was hanging’ out in Speedway, Indiana had been severely sick last year and almost didn’t make it... Hmm? Dare I speculate on this, Nah... Ain’t my biz’ eh?

Doctor Who

So, its seemingly good news all around for Mr. Diatlovich and his merry tight knit group of hard core racers at PDM Racing, as although it’s a long ways to go until the end of the season with perennial powerhouses Sam Schmidt Motorsports and AFS Racing/ Andretti Green Racing most certainly to be heard from in the races to come... Yet, you just gotta root a little for Winners Circle Group/PDM Racing, especially when Mr. Diatlovich states that their dream plan is to graduate into the “Big Carzs” ranks next year with Junior Strous as the team’s pilot of choice...