Monday, December 4, 2023

INDYCAR 101: Revisionist History Explainer

As when is an Open Wheel Racing driver an IndyCar driver?


Recently Ye Oldest IndyCar blogger Geo. Phillips wrote another interesting story about Graham Rahal’s career on His Oilpressure Blog. For which the only part of the story I took exception to, was it’s claiming that Graham Rahal had won as an IndyCar rookie on His very first entry at St Pete in 2008.


For which I asked George how could it be Graham’s first ever IndyCar race? Since Rahal had run 15 Champ Car races the previous year for Newman Haas Racing as le Hamburgular’, nee Sealmeister B’, aka Sebastien Bourdais’s teammate in those resplendent looking Panoz DP01 racecars.


Even though Rahal’s first IndyCar W’ officially was his 16th premiere Open Wheel Racing event, which I revisited when scribblin’ my No fenders two part prose upon IndyCar First time winners.


George told me this was during the Randy “the CandyMann” Bernard era, albeit the CandyMann moniker is my own, and not George’s, but I digress…


George pointed out that upon reunification, IndyCar wasn’t combining All of Open wheel Racing’s statistics, primarily Champ Car World Series statistics from it’s four seasons, i.e.; 2004-07.


The topic flared up for Mwah again when reading Eric Smith’s story about the Top 5 IndyCar Rookies over the Past 20yrs, which Y’all can read below.


As the part that caught my Attenzione and tripped my No. 4 wire. And No! It wasn’t about Queen Danica ranking number five, Ack!


No, instead it was the bit about Simon Pagenaud being an Honourable mention.


As Pagenaud was classified as a rookie in 2012 driving for Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports. Which Eric notes is somewhat Cornfuzing since Symone’, nee Pageantry’, aka Monsieur Pagenaud, a la Graham had also contested the entire 2007 Champ Car 15 race calendar, so how could He be a rookie?


As can Y’all name the third and final ’07 Champ Car driver on this year’s IndyCar Grid? As He was Pagenaud’s teammate and won two Champ Car races, i.e.; Las Vegas and Toronto. Plus five Poles that year!


Yet Eric notes that Pagenaud was technically classified as an IndyCar rookie since the ’07 champ Car World Series (CCWS) calendar didn’t include any Oval races…


As this seems a really farcical reason to Mwah! And what did ‘Ol Winston Churchill say? Something to the effect of How History will be Kind to the victors, Eh?


As I try these days refraining from bringing up the Split, especially since it was a total waste of a dozen years of infighting! But this cavilier approach to the History Books is quite gauling for me, and instead keeps the Split alive whilst whitewashing the Facts!


Oh Yeah, did you figure out who Pagenaud’s teammate was? As I’ll give Y’all an obvious Hint. They both drove for Derrick Walker’s Team Australia outfit! And sometimes is called the Toowoomba Tornado! Or better known as DJ willyP’, aka Will Power.


Yuhs know the 2014 & 2022 IndyCar Champion and All-time career Pole winner! Who I guess also didn’t win His first IndyCar race until the ’08 Long Beach Grand Prix, driving for KV Racing Technology, eh?


Although this is Uber’ funny to Mwah, since that race is Historically denoted as Race 3B of the 2008 IndyCar Series calendar. And was the final Champ Car race ever run. Oh Never Mind!