Friday, February 25, 2022

INDYCAR: The 2022 Season Commences at St Pete

Let’s Light this Candle! Vroom-Vroom showtime boys ‘N Girls, rock ‘N roll!


What better way to Rev U-P IndyCar Fans then with the first Practice Sessions, or is it Session? After another Gory 154 Days  Offseason, eh? STEE-RIKE!


Nope, Yuhs Won’t be able to See ‘em take to Saint Petersburg’s Airfield temporary street course either Friday’s Practice or Saturday’s qualifying live unless you’ve signed up for the newly re-imagined NBC Sports Gold Bricks Paywall, Err NBC Sports Streaming’s Peacock service, Cock A Doo little dudu!


As it’s a royal Pain in Thy Keister having to wait until 13-days “Out” before I can start rummaging round my NFB Newsline for The Blind’s telephone service’s Zap2It’ TV Guide to try Deducing if Thars Any chance of Qualie’ being shown Tape Delayed on either USA Network or CNBC? C’mon IndyCar and Comcast, you can Bleepin’ do it!


But it’s actually great knowing that I Don’t have to spend All day Saturday in a virtual Bubble waiting impatiently for the 9:30PM Pacific Canned replay of IndyCar Qualifying Interrupted by 43 Freakin’ commercial Break during it’s 90mins Airing! As it’s Another Day I can Delete from my Motorsports Activities…


you can watch the Race Sunday morning, February 27th on BIG NBC as Geo Phillips like saying, also fondly known by it’s acronym Nothing But commercials! But as always, check your local listings for TV Times!


Rookies Abound…

#11 Tatiana Calderon: A.J. Foyt Racing; #14 Kyle Kirkwood: A.J. foyt Enterprises; #18 David Malukas: Dale coyne Racing with HDM Motorsports; #29 Devlin DeFrancesco: Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport; #30 christian Lundgaard: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and #77 Callum Ilott: Juncos Hollinger Racing.


So it’s probably just Mwah, but I find this year’s Rookie IndyCar Crop far more fascinating than last year’s Overly Ballyhooed Rookie Class, with the exception of Romain Grosjean, who Definitely Wasn’t a rookie in any sense besides joining the IndyCar Circus!


I tend to recall that Racer’s Marshall Pruett picked Christian Lundgaard to be Rookie Of the Year (ROY) last year, based on his team’s “Equipment.” As I struggle with this choice, especially since the young Dane’s only run one IndyCar race, and as far as I know, has Never been on an Oval.


If we’re going solely equipment-wise, then you’d have to think Devlin DeFrancesco would be the Frontrunner, although I’m most definitely Not Sold on the young KuhNuck’, especially due to his tepid Indy Lights campaign.


Callum Ilott’s also Arse-sumedly not been on an Oval before, and as much as I want him and his team to succeed, they seem to be vying with Dale Coyne and Company for Minnowesqe status and have yet to prove they can put a car Ontrack that finishes the entire race respectively. Not to mention Thar the Only single Car team on the Grid this season.


Have already written that David Malukas is my Dark Horse pick for ROY’, as I just really like this “Kid’s” Demeanour. Yeah, I know Not to get Hooked just by one single Marshall Pruett Podcast, but He also gave Kirkwood a spirited fight for the Indy Lights title last year, and perhaps DCR can continue it’s magic of last year’s Grosjean campaign?


Lastly, how times have changed, Eh? With ‘Ol SuperTex’, nee A.J. foyt Not only running a pair of rookies, but with one being a Girl to Boot! But Don’t get me wrong, as I think Tatiana Calderon will Open some Eyes this season, albeit She’s hampered by running only the Street and Road Corses as the only partial season rookie.


Meanwhile, I’ve been a Huge Fan of Kirkwood’s ever since learning his name Wayback in his F3 Americas Days, and He’s simply blitzed every rung on the Road to Indy ladder with multiple Championships. As Kyle’s only knock is running for foyt, who’ve become legendous’ for Perennially  running in the Back Half of the Grid, Ack!


What to look for?

Naturally Questions Abound, as this is the Shiny, Happy New Car Smell time ‘O year, when Hope springs eternal  towards Grandeur of Championship quests…


Beginning with the low Hanging Fruit, obviously you can Never count out Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden or Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon to figure into the title fight. Whilst many will be wonderin’ how Alex Palou Defends his unexpected IndyCar crown from last season.


And I’d like to believe that Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward, Hmm? Have I mentioned lately He’s my Numero Uno IndyCar Driver? Will once again be part of the Championship discussion. Not to mention, Arse-sumedly Colton Herta will do likewise for Andretti Autosport, while I’d like to see his teammate Alexander Rossi do so also, but not sure if that will happen?


As will this be Rossi’s final season at Mikey a’s squad? Since I know Marshall Pruett already proclaimed last December that Kyle Kirkwood would be One and Done at Foyt before returning to Andretti, presumably taking Rossi’s vacated seat? As Rossi’s in a contract year and will definitely be looking to improve His Stock and finally return to the Winners circle.


But which Andretti driver will stand Atop the Podium first, Newby’ Romain Grosjean or Rossi?


As I’m sure we could go Case by Case for every IndyCar team and Thar Drivers roster, but that would run pages long by my lack of scribblin’ short stories here on No Fenders!


As the verdict’s still out upon many, i.e.; Meyer shank Racing’s reboot with Hulio’ (Helio Castroneves) and Simon Pagenaud, which I think is setting itself up for a Disappointing season? Since I definitely think Hulio’ will Fade, but not sure how Pagenaud will do? Although Obviously He’ll wish to prove leaving Penske wasn’t a Bad idea!


Not to mention Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s three Car Monty. Or Ed Carpenter Racing’s “refresh” Etcetera Etcetera Etcetera!


As who’ll get off to a Quick Start? Since you’d have to think St Pete favours Defending Race Winner Colton Big Shot! Herta, who’s on quite the Winnning Streak right now! Not to mention a very impressive maiden Race Of Champions (ROC) outing on Snow & Ice with Jimmie Johnson Ya Sure Yuh Betcha!


 Or will it be another of our countless Contendas’, i.e.; Penske, Ganassi or other Andretti Boyz’ starting off with a Win? And did we really learn anything from the Final Sebring tune Up Test? We’ll soon know…