Monday, July 20, 2015

Now Over Halfway Done, Not so New IndyCar Season seems the Same as the Old one...

Soon to be IndyCar Champion Juan Pablo Montoya's Hero Card from the 2014 Sonoma IndyCar race. (The Tomaso Collection)
Having attempted "Dialing-in" this year's grid prior to St Pete with my IndyCar Grid report; Click Here Did we really learn anything from the season's first race? Other than we'd Thankfully finally gone racing again!

Which were my sentiments 'Wayback in late March, prior to the season opening race at St Petersburg, Florida, as it looked like the "bowtie" was getting ready to Kick Arse and Take Names, as Honda came out with the woeful reply that they'd focused their Aerokit efforts solely on winning the prestigious Indy 500; Hmm?  How'd that work out for Yuhs Hondre?

Thus, here's a final-final quick look at the Full season runners and who's led the parade at St Pete and beyond. Having begun my Chevy "Camp" thoughts prior to St Pete...

CHEVROLET (12-cars)
Carpenter Fisher Hartman Racing, (2) KVSH Racing, (2) Target Chip Ganassi Racing (4) and Team Penske. (4)

Team Penske (3 Wins)
As I've lamented before, the Bowtie Brigade seemingly has the stronger Driver line-up, especially 'El Capitano's four Musketeer's, as I'll be interested to see how 'Pageantry, aka Simon Pagenaud gels at Penske, and how he stacks up against his arch nemesis Will Power, while I'd definitely think 'HULIO's getting nervous (along with Montoya) over how much longer Roger keeps 'em?

Yet, by my very unofficial Mid-season counting, i.e.; Detroit's Belle Isle Double Header, Team Penske seems to be in the proverbial Catbyrd' seat, having dominated the Wins and Poles categories, although it's been enjoyable having seven different winners atop the podium in the first eight races...

Yet Montoya's public persona is one who doesn't care and does things his own way, certainly his collecting of his second Borg Warner trophy has made life good for him,  after giving Roger his record setting 16th Indy 500 victory this May.

While the Ageless Columbian, who turns the B-I-G' 4-Oh this September, joining IndyCar 40-somethings 'HULIO and 'TK  was the butt of everybody's jokes at the Indianapolis Victory Banquet - which fortunately I  got to watch at Carpets Manor before heading home from Indiana...

Juan Pablo Montoya
What a HELL of an upgrade! When I won the first time I got an Oldsmobile Aurora!

Not to mention his wife receiving a brand new Bentley courtesy of Roger Penske, who promised his drivers to give their significant others said vehicle in exchange for another win at Indianapolis!
Townsend Bell
When I was five in Kindergarten I had a Juan Pablo Montoya lunch box!

Simon Pagenaud
How do you make Montoya mad? Call him Ron.

How do you make him happy? Bring him some Taco Bell food! Actually ANY food...

What's the difference between Montoya 2000 and Montoya 2015? The Bra size!

Charlie Kimball
I don't want to remind how old Juan is, but when he won at Indy in 2000 I  was a Freshman in High School and didn't have a Driver's license!

Montoya has  led the points standings ever since St Pete along with two-wins so far and could once again have the last laugh! As surely he enjoyed some small amount of satisfaction of defeating his former Boss Ganassi at Mother Speedway, no less, right?

As for the other three members of Penske's Four Musketeers, reigning IndyCar champion Will Power has been second best, claiming the only other 'W for Roger thru Belle Isle, along with coming Oh, So close to winning at Indianapolis! As Power looks poised to go Back-to-Back in championships.

And Y'all know my disdain for 'HULIO, so really can't say mucho 'bout the Dancin' Brazilian who made his 300th start at the Indy GP and had four podiums thru Toronto.

16 Rounds: 5 Road Courses, 4 Street Circuits* and 6 Ovals.
(Detroit's Belle Isle is Double Header weekend)

1) March 29: St Pete, FL; Juan Pablo Montoya, Penske (Chevrolet)
2nd: Will Power, Penske/Chevrolet; 3rd: Tony Kanaan, Ganassi/Chevrolet.
2) April 12: New Orleans, LA; James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson (Honda)
2nd: Helio Castroneves; Penske/Chevrolet; 3rd: James Jakes, Schmidt Peterson/Honda.
3) April 19: Long Beach, CA; Scott Dixon, Ganassi (Chevrolet)
2nd: Helio Castroneves; Penske/Chevrolet; 3rd: Juan Pablo Montoya, Penske/Chevrolet.
4) April 26: Birmingham, AL; Joseph Newgarden, CFH Racing (Chevrolet)
2nd: Graham Rahal, RLLR/Honda; 3rd: Scott Dixon, Ganassi/Chevrolet.
5) May 9: Indy GP; Will Power, Penske (Chevrolet)
2nd: Graham Rahal, RLLR/Honda; 3rd: Juan Pablo Montoya, Penske/Chevrolet.
6) May 24: 99th Indy 500#; Juan Pablo Montoya, Penske (Chevrolet)
2nd: Will Power, Penske/Chevrolet; 3rd: Charlie Kimball, Ganassi/Chevrolet.
7) May 30: Belle Isle, MI, Carlos Munoz, Andretti (Honda)
2nd: Marco Andretti, Andretti/Honda; 3rd: Simon Pagenaud, Penske/Chevrolet.
8) May 31: Belle Isle, MI; Sebastian Bourdais, KVSH (Chevrolet)
2nd: Takuma Sato, AJ Foyt/Honda; 3rd: Graham Rahal, RLLR/Honda.
9) June 6: Dallas, TX
10) June 14: Toronto, ON, Canada
11) June 27: Fontana, CA
12) July 12: Milwaukee, WI
13) July 18: Des Moines, IA
14) Aug 2: Mid-Ohio, OH
15) Aug 23: Pocono, PA
16) Aug 30: Sonoma, CA#