Monday, March 11, 2013

Winners and Losers: The Offseason

Here are the winners, losers, and the Cone of Shame "winner" from the Indycar offseason:

Winners

Tristan Vautier
The 2012 Firestone Indy Lights Champion landed himself a great ride. Get used to hearing the name Tristan Vautier, as he will open a lot of eyes this year, especially on the road courses.

EJ Viso
The Honey Badger has landed, and with a great team in Andretti Autosport. Ignorant people who only remember the bad incidents that he was in last year failed to see some great performances. Hate him all you want, but EJ is primed for a career year at Andretti Autosport.

Schmidt Peterson Racing
Can you say French Connection? The team ran Simon Pagenaud in 2012 full time as a "rookie" (Pagenaud is no rookie, don't be fooled, he is a world class driver) and will have another full time drive in 2013 with rookie driver Tristan Vautier as a teammate. Things will be a great year for this team.

AJ Allmendinger
AJ is back where he belongs, in an Indycar, as he has tested and signed a part time deal with Penske Racing. Best part of it all: the smile from ear to ear that is ever so present on his face.


Losers

Katherine Legge
Well, we all know what happened with Katherine Legge this offseason. Yes, she did not have a great season in 2012. And yes, people wouldn't care as much if her name was Kevin Legge. But either way, her termination from Dragon Racing was poorly planned and thought out.

Ryan Briscoe
Bless AJ Allmendinger, but man I got to feel for Ryan Briscoe, who did a great job at Penske for 5 years but did not get re-signed for the 2013 season. On one hand, I feel bad because he is a great talent. On the other hand, he did get offers from both Dragon (full time) and Rahal Letterman Racing (part time) but turned the, down for various reasons. Maybe he has something else in the works.

Edmonton Indy
Edmonton Indy lost their promoter last year and a new one was not picked up nor pursued by the city. Ipso facto, there will be no race in Edmonton in 2013. That kinda sucks because Edmonton is a great venue with many loyal fans.

Italian Indycar Race
Well damn. The Italian race, which was rumored during the offseason to take place sometime in September, was just a rumor. I would have happy dreams if Indycar raced at a world class track like Imola (San Marino). As they say in Italian, "merda bene".


Cone of Shame




Jay Penske

While sponsor poaching of drivers have been going on for a long time, one thing that hasn't happened is total disregard for a contract of a driver (Katherine Legge). The wrongful termination is what bugs me. I don't care what driver it is. I do feel as Katherine Legge did under-perform  but if you saw this coming, than you shouldn't have signed her to a two year deal. Maybe the sponsor (TrueCar) had a lot of say in this, but who knows at this point. Plus he made an enemy in Jenna Fryer. Trust me, that is not good. Jay Penske, you sir just got coned.

Let me know what you think.

-Matthew Hickey

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