And the Winner takes it by a Nose! Somebody give me a cheeseburger…
Yessiree Bog, Bob’s Your Uncle Mateys! As I’m just trying to finish off my languishing IndyCar Golden Tailpipe Award selections and Hence, these final choices were just quickly Jotted upon after my initial selections below.
2021 IndyCar Champion: Alex Palou, Spain
2021 Indianapolis 500: Helio Castroneves, Brazil
2021 Rookie Of the Year: Scott McLaughlin, New Zealand
1. Driver of The Year
Winner: Alex Palou
This one, like the season Championship itself was tough for Mwah. As Y’all may be Painfully aware of, Pato O’Ward’s my Numero Uno IndyCar Driver! Whilst Alex Palou Quickly vaulted Himself into P2 of my current Favourite IndyCar Drivers, with Rinus VeeKay on the third step of my virtual podium, but I digress…
Thus I was torn between who I wanted to win Thar Debutante IndyCar Crown, especially since what initially drew me to Alex was his Charisma. And when I listen to him speak, I Hear a young Alex Zanardi in my Head!
As Palou’s Super Friendly and Calm, and I Don’t think I’ve Heard Him ever say a Nasty word towards Anybody, or ever Throw Anybody Underneath Ye Proverbial Bus! And He certainly Doesn’t exude Romain Grosjean’s past Hot Headedness!
Not to mention He’s a Damn Fine Driver, and impressively took Full Advantage of his situation, going from 16th Overall as a rookie at Dale Coyne and Company to IndyCar Champion, No less Ahead of some Chip Ganassi Racing Teammate named Scott Dixon, Aye Karumba!
Alex finished tied for Most wins of the season with three, and even when he fell behind in the Points standings to No fault of his own, He calmly reeled off finishes of first, Second and Fourth during the West coast’s Final three race swing to clinch his maiden IndyCar championship…
Josef Newgarden, Pato O’Ward, Marcus Ericsson…
2. Biggest Disappointment of The Year
Does this really even need considering or explanation? As Sadly, it was the year of losing some of our Sports Greatest’s! With the Deaths of ‘Ol R’, aka Robin Miller, Ye Curmudgeon ‘O Indy Cars, Bob Jenkins, who both lost their lives to Cancer. Along with Uncle bobby’ and Big Al’, aka Bobby and Al Unser! As that’s a pretty Big Quartet of IndyCar “He-men” to have All succumbed in the very same year…
And then just after I’d finished typing the majority of this, I learned of Kevin Smiley Face Kalkhoven’s Death at the Age of 77 on January 4th. Although cannot say I was ever a Fan of Messer Kalkhoven’s, especially how they ran Champ Car into the Ground, but what do I know? As I’m Glad to learn after the fact, that he was involved in the Hole in The Wall Camps…
3. Race of The Year
Oval Track Winner: Texas Motor Speedway Race-2
Naturally, everybody else would say that this year’s Indianapolis 500 was Thee bomb! With Some Dancin’ Fool named Hulio’ winning his storied fourth Indy 500. But since I have never been a Fan of Helio Castroneves, and Never, ever wanted this to occur, I’m choosing a different Oval race instead. As obviously it’s another biased choice, since it was where Pato O’Ward scored his Debutante IndyCar win on what you could say is his Home-track? Having grown up in San Antonio, Texas. Not to mention the win coming just some four days prior to his 22nd Birthday…
Gateway and Indianapolis
Twisties' Track Winner: Belle Isle Race-2
This is another “Biased” selection, But; This was the race of the year that “Electrified” Mwah the Most! Although it’s slightly faded from thou Memorex, I was absolutely amazed over how Patricio O’Ward went from P5, or was it Sixth/ To Overtaking Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden on worn Flinstone rubber to capture his second W’ of the season. As a Dejected Newgarden said afterwards of his Runner-up finish, what are you gonna do? Pato’s coming and He wasn’t gonna be Denied!
Cannot really think of any other than probably Road America, as how can you ever “Vote” against Road America, Eh?
4. Most Improved Team of the Year
Winner: Meyer Shank Racing
While I’d like to give this to somebody else. Begrudgingly I’ll give it to Mike Shank and “His” boyz’, since although I Don’t think Jack Harvey really had that great of a year, albeit “Getting A little Help from His Friends!” With some very Questionable Strategy Calls. And whilst apparently I’m one of the few who wasn’t happy for Hulio’s Breakthrough Forth Indianapolis 500 victory, Urgh! Nonetheless Castroneves gave MSR it’s very first IndyCar victory in the most Dramatic Fashion possible…
5. Most Disappointing Team of the Year
Winner: Andretti Autosport
Although ultimately Colton Big Shot! Herta tied Alex Palou for Most Wins of the season with three apiece, Herta was the only driver in Mikey A’s stable to win races, as I really expected at least for Alexander rossi to finally break out of his two-plus year Slump.
Obviously Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe season’s were “Busts,” especially thou Mayor’s, as it’s not really surprising that both are gone from Andretti now, not to mention the arrival of one new Engineer and another stepping up as Rookie Devlin DeFrancesco’s. As it’ll be interesting to see how new Andretti Autosport recruit Romain Grosjean and his Engineer Olivier Boisson push the rest of the Andretti Drivers this coming season…