Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Thoughts upon a Few of IndyCar’s recent moves

Although Motor Racing Never Sleeps!


Yeah, it’s old news here upon No Fenders as typical. With everyone knowing that IndyCar has chosen FOX to be its new Television partner beginning in 2025, on a multi-year contract. Presumably running until the end of 2027.


Being blind, have I mentioned that to Y’all lately? I typically don’t “watch”, Err listen to many NASCAR races on TV. Usually just the Day-Toner’ 500, which I missed this year due to recovering from Open Heart surgery and my parents didn’t want to watch the race with me…


What little I do recall of FOX NASCAR races are that indeed, they tend to put good ‘Ol NBC; “Nothing but Commercials” to Shame! Along with Mike Joy constantly pontificating over everything NASCAR invented or did first…


What I’m more curious about, and maybe it’s in the fine print somewhere? But will FOX be airing All of the IndyCar races in year’s two-three of this contract still on Network TV?


Since everyone’s touting how this is a “Win” for IndyCar and it’s Team Owners commercially. But I haven’t read anything about the second and third years of this deal and what it pertains? Since if my cable Bill keeps increasing by $31 a month per year, then I’m definitely gonna need to Cut the Chord! Even though I still have zero clue over how a Blind person does Streaming?


And ever since Sugar Ray Tracy left the Broadcast Booth, I’ve been listening to every IndyCar race via IndyCar Radio instead. Since they paint a Mucho Better picture of what’s happening ON-track vs. television!


Thus, the FOX Broadcast crew isn’t of great importance to Mwah, other than obviously they get talented and knowledgeable people to work behind the microphones. As Allen Bestwick, Brian till or Adam Alexander would be great lead announcers.


What I’m truly disappointed about this new arrangement is once again, the shortening of an already too short IndyCar season. As ending on August 31st is a travesty! And yes, I know the reason why, which is Poppycock! Especially since the final few races could migrate to FS1or Gasp, FS2, Oh Never Mind!


As IndyCar and Penske Entertainment have nobody but themselves to Blame for marginalizing the series into a Niche Sport! As I Don’t wanna hear any Bellyaching when their ultra compressed scheduled gets disrupted by Mother Nature…


I also know others in Ye blogosphere have pointed out how that tiresome, nauseating 869lb Gorilla known as the NFL’s season only last six months. And Ditto other major league sports?


But what’s not mentioned in this sentence is that these Stick ‘n Ball Sports have other activity going on year round! Like the vaunted three day Draft, Free Agency, Rookie Camp, OTA’s and who knows what else to keep them constantly in the Spotlight, ergo News cycle.


Which one cannot say that at All about IndyCar, unless you wish to include All of the self inflicted wounds of negative publicity over the Stupendous six months Offseason? Hence IndyCar is out of the public eye for at least a minimum of a Half year. And dare I say it? Truly only once a year during Memorial Day weekend! And how did IndyCar manage to race until October for All of those years in the past?


Although the new TV Deal appears to be a Boom for Indy NXT, which perhaps will help to increase it’s field of competing drivers and teams?


Meanwhile, we also know that this weekend at Mid-Ohio, we’ll finally “See” the debut of IndyCar’s gong Hybrid, even if they’re actually utilizing and ERS, nee Energy Recovery system. Which houses the array of “miniture” super capacitors and the rest of the necessary components inside the engine’s Bellhousing.


Much has been made over how many years behind this Hybrid arrival is, for which I do have to say I’m impressed that IndyCar, Chevrolet and Honda can make it work!


Since unlike the IMSA GTP racecars, which have oodles of space for large battery systems. Or Formula 1 chassis designed to accommodate battery “packs”, IndyCar is Handicapped by having to package this new ERS hardware into its existing Dallara DW12 design. Which is no fault of Dallara’s, since this chassis is twelve years old!


As the main problem is that IndyCar and some of it’s team owners have resisted the implementation of a brand new IndyCar chassis, that could be designed to accommodate such new technology. Which now is possibly the springboard for a new chassis in 2027?


Thus, I’m dually impressed that a solution could be found at all to interface not only with the existing Dallara DW12 chassis. But also the twelve year old 2.2-litre twin turbo V-6 racing engines…


The question is how will this new hybridization effect the outcome of the remaining nine races? Especially with six being on Ovals. And who will figure out their advantages first?


As it seems extremely Odd to me to be introducing such a major equipment change in the middle of a racing season.


Yeah, I get it, that supposedly Heads were gonna Roll! If the hybrid ERS package didn’t see competition this season. For which I can only hope that the delay to mid-season won’t see a litany of wholesale retirements due to reliability issues!


Even though I know countless miles of testing has been done both on and off track, and even an almost full field test was held at Milwaukee recently. There’s still nothing like the relevance of race competition!


While another variable will be Firestone’s tyres, for which All new compounds have been made in advance of going Hybrid. As I’m not saying that Firestone’s tyre’s will be bad. They’re just one more variable for teams to have to sort thru.


And speaking of testing, how can I not wonder if Penske and Ganassi have a decided advantage as the primary “test” teams for their respective engine partners? Although I know that Arrow McLaren, Ed Carpenter Racing and I think Rahal Letterman Lanigan and may be Andretti Global have also taken turns? It just All seems very convoluted to Mwah!


And notice how I didn’t say nothin’ about Team Penske, P2P and illegal software utilized for Hybrid testing…