Monday, June 1, 2020

INDYCAR: 2020 Season Set to Begin in Earnest, Again...

As Here we G-O! Uhm, What's that 'Ol Saying 'bout Thee Wheels Go Round 'N Round, especially on an Oval...

Obviously I Hope for the very Best for Indy Cars this Saturday Nite' at (TMS) Texas Motor Speedway, and that we have a Safe 'N Entertaining race to give us IndyCar Fans some momentum towards Kick Starting the Stilted 2020 season. But what's that 'Ol Saying 'bout Cautions Breed Cautions, especially on Ovals, Eh?

Upon the announcement of this being the NTT IndyCar Series Season Opener nearly a month ago, somewheres' I read that IndyCar was anticipating 25 entries, which made me ponder who they were?

Team Entries
A.J. Foyt Enterprises: 2, Andretti Autosport: 4*, Andretti Herta Autosport: 1, Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport: 1, Arrow McLaren SP: 2, Carlin: 2, Chip Ganassi Racing: 3, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan: 1, Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh: 1,
Ed Carpenter Racing: 2, Meyer Shank Racing: 1, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: 2  and Team Penske: 3. TOTAL = 25

* = James Hinchcliffe running three races this season for Andretti Autosport, i.e.; TMS Indy GP & Indy 500.

But  I' had No Clue who'd be filling Carlin's No. 31 entry when TMS was confirmed as the season opener, And still don't know who'll get Thee Nod this Saturday.

Since the original plan calls for Conor Daly driving the No. 59 for Max Chilton on All Ovals except for Indianapolis. And would Carlin be willing to throw prosective Rookie IndyCar Driver Felipe Nasr into the Deep end on an Oval?

As the Brazilian ex-formula 1 Pilote would not only be making his IndyCar Debut, but on a High Bank Oval No less! And that's before we even get into the potential Travel Ban issues...

As Racer's Marshall Pruett notes in his article above, the IndyCar Drivers facing the largest Travel Hurdles are those International Drivers currently at Home being Rookie's Alex Palou in Spain and Rinus VeeKay in Holland, along with some of Carlin's Staff.

And whilst I'd Arse-sume Nasr's currently at Home in Brazil, Ci? Pruett notes that both Swedes' Marcus ericsson and Felix rosenqvist along with Japan's Takuma Sato All stayed Stateside following the St Pete cancellation. And Thee Mayor 'O Hinchtown', aka James Hinchcliffe now resides in Indianapolis Me Thinks.

As now comes word that the latest U.S. Travel Restrictions do Not include Racing Drivers or their Affiliated Crew Members/Team Personnel, still being Deemed Not Essential since Thar Not Gory Stick 'n Ball athletes...

While Marshall alludes to the fact that Conor Daly could likely Fill-in if VeeKay's unable to race at Texas for (ECR) Ed Carpenter Racing, which would imply that Carlin would need to find two Drivers, Hmm?

And while Carlin seems to be the Biggest Wildcard on Drivers of the IndyCar Leaders Circle Mandatory Full Season participants, which comprises the entire Texas Grid; along with adapting the Dale Coyne Amalgamations Gong Show scheme, A la multiple drivers, albeit Sadly, A.J. Foyt Enterprises has also succumbed to this practice this season due to lack of Sponsorship funding with its No. 14 Three Card Driver Monty...

Yet I'm more interested in whether or not another relative Newcomer IndyCar Team will be able to answer Thee Bell this season in what's intended to be Thar Sophomore campaign. As I'm a Fan of the Plucky Elton Julian and his Minnowesqe DragonSpeed concern who presumably are now focusing upon the Indy 500 as their next IndyCar race, while Thar intended six race season is presumably in shambles.

While I'm also intrigued by V-8 Supercars Star and reigning Bad Arse Kiwi' Scott McLaughlin, who was initially set to make his IndyCar Debut at this May's Indy GP in a fourth Team Penske entry, which naturally now his IndyCar Debut is currently on Hold. As I'll hazard guessing he'll make his maiden appearance at St Pete's Season Finale since Portland seam's Iffy for now.

Although I know it's of small consolation to him, a tiny silver lining in beginning at Texas means that TK' Follow-your-Schnoz! Kanaan's Consecutive Starts streak is extended at least one more race to an incomparable 318 Starts!

As 'Ol Narly Pinball', aka Charlie Kimball will be Foyt's only Fulltime season driver in its #4 entry. Whilst  we All know of NBC Sports Darling Colton Herta's move to Mikey A's IndyCar armada, which swells to seven cars during periods of this year's events; Aye Karumba!

With Meyer Shank Racing and Jack Bloody Nige! Harvey contesting Thar first Full Season this year now as an Andretti Affiliate, who they take up their Honda Technical Alliance with.

And Don't forget that we'll also see the mandatory introduction of the Aeroscreen, which somehow I doubt IndyCar wished to have it make its series Debut on an Oval, El Correctomundo?

As I also noted the Over-the-Wall Pit-crew member Addition in my previous No Fenders eclectic original season preview... 

Whilst lastly, I'm somewhat Cornfuzed over just how many Rookies will truly be contesting this year's IndyCar season? Since some in Ye blogosphere' and elsewhere are proclaiming that Pato O'Ward is one once again, Huh? Since I've always unofficially tallied Rookies, albeit focusing upon my first love of Formula 1 being for any Driver having contested more than three races. Hence I find the following information suspect...

Although O'Ward  will indeed be making his Oval Debut after having failed to Qualify for last year's Indy 500, we know that he competed in nine races last year for Carlin; Rounds 2-8, 10, beginning at Barber Motorsports Park thru Road America, ironically with the exception of (TMS( Texas last year since Charlie Kimball was contesting multiple events for Carlin aboard it's No. 23 entry.

But we know that O'Wards SPAM' team-mate, nee Arrow McLaren SP No. 7 will be occupied by Oliver Askew, the reigning Indy Light Champion. While the #55 Dale Coyne with Team Goh cockpit will host Alex Palou, and the #21 ECR entry will find Rinus VeeKay at its controls as the series three Full Season Rookies.

Meanwhile, Oh KanaDuh's Dalton Kellett anxiously awaits making his IndyCar Debut in the storied #14 entry presumably at the Indy GP, Eh? Although only a Part-time campaign since Kanaan is the No. 14's lead chauffer, with the caveat of making his Indy 500 Debut in a third SuperTex' (A.J. Foyt) entry.

Otherwise the Grid's fairly Status Quo, with the exception of The Great Santini, nee Santino Ferrucci who made waves during the i Racing Season Finale at virtual Mother Speedway now becoming the lead driver at Dale Coyne's Alphabet soup Brigade with Top Jimmy', nee Jimmy Vasser and James sully' Sullivan in the #18 formerly occupied by le Hamburgular', nee Sebastain Bourdais, who's trying to resurrect his IndyCar career with a part-time Gig at A.J. Foyt, also in the No. 14 later this season.

While Marcus Ericsson moves to Chip Ganassi Racing in the Sweetest Ride on Ye Grid, in the third CGR #8 entry sponsored by Huski chocolate, Ya-Sure-Yuh-Betcha!

As the race will now be shown this Saturday Night, June 6th on what Ye Eldest IndyCar blogger Denotes as Big NBC.

Yet be Aware that IndyCar will be running a Single Day event on multiple Platforms, i.e.;  a solitary practice session that morning, only available on NBC Sports Gold Bricks Paywall Pass! Followed by Qualie' on NBC Sports (NBCSN) and then a Shortened Distance Race reportedly beginning at 5PM Pacific on NBC. But as Always, Check your local listings for All Television Air times and let's G-O Racing!