Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Winners and Losers: 2013-2014 Offseason

Here are your winners, losers, and Cone of Shame winner following the 2013-2014 Indycar Offseason:

Winners

Sebastien Bourdais
Holy hell, Sebastien Bourdais actually has a good ride. Take note of that people, this hasn't happened since his return to Indycar in 2011. Bourdais came back to Indycar after an unsuccesful stint in Formula 1 in 2008 and 2009. His two teams he's driven for up until now have been Dale Coyne Racing and Dragon Racing. Now KV Racing isn't a glamerous ride, but it sure as hell is better than the other two. The car he's in won the Indianapolis 500 last year with Tony Kanaan behind the wheel. The car has winning form, but can Bourdais win anything this season?


Ryan Briscoe
Ryan Briscoe is reunited with Chip Ganassi Racing in the 2014 season. Briscoe, who drove for Ganassi as a rookie in 2005, will take over the fourth car at Ganassi racing full-time next season. The Aussie did not race full-time last season after being let go from Team Penske after 2012. He drove for Ganaasi at the 2013 Indianapolis 500 and a mix of races for Panther Racing. Look for a strong run from Briscoe this season.


Ed Carpenter Racing
Ed Carpenter did what I didn't think he had the courage to do: Step away from the road courses. I've been saying that he should do this for a while now. Carpenter will handle his car on all of the ovals, and the team has brought onboard Mike Conway to race on all of the road courses. Talk about a match made in heaven: One of the best on the ovals teamed with one of the best on the road courses. This team will be a great one in 2014.


Carlos Munoz
Carlos Munoz gets his shot after having a having an impressive Indy Lights season culminated with some standout performances in Indycar. His standout moment was his Indianapolis 500 run by far. I honestly remember the day when I heard that Carlos Munoz would be racing in Indiainpolis for Michael Andretti. I thought, "Seriously? What a joke." I really love looking like an ass sometimes, and this is definitely one of those times. Carlos qualified P2 and amazingly finished P2 in an unbelievable display of talent. Now Munoz will be driving full-time in 2014 for Andretti Autosport. Cannot wait to watch him!



Losers

Dario Franchitti
It's not that Dario Franchitti retired. I mean, that was inevitable. All good things must come to an end. It's that he did not get to go out the his own way. Dario's injuries that he sustained in a crash at Houston forced him to exit his seat which now belongs to Tony Kanaan. Fortunately for everyone in the Indycar community, A) Dario has and still continues to recover well B) He isn't leaving the Indycar paddock, meaning we will still see him around! What an amazing career he had, and we all wish Dario many more happy years for him to come.


Tristan Vautier
One and done. Kicked to the curb. Bye-bye, see you later Tristan Vautier. I personally am not very happy about it either. Vautier, the 2011 Pro Mazda Champion and 2012 Firestone Indy Lights Champion moved up to Indycar full-time with Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports in 2013. He shined early at St. Petersburg and Barber, but had an underwhelming remainder of the season. I figured that he and the team would regroup and come back stronger in 2014, but Tristan was given the ax in favor of Russian Mikhail Aleshin. Such a shame for a great talent. Vautier has no Indycar plans for 2014 as of now.


EJ Viso
Viso's Indycar looks to be in serious doubt for the foreseeable future. The veteran of Indycar since 2008 moved ti Andretti Autosport in 2013, with some success. He finished lowest in points out of the four Andretti Autosport drivers, but he was by no means off pace. Political drama back home and an investigation into his sponsorship funding left his racing career in limbo. He was since been replaced by Carlos Munoz at Andretti Autosport. The future is cloudy for Viso.


Sage Karam
I don't think anything should be given; it should be earned. Having said that, Sage Karam should not have had any problems getting a full-time ride this season. A paid ride should have stepped up to get him. The one that stands out to me is the #14 AJ Foyt Enterprises car. That car has been filled by Takuma Sato in 2014. Karam, the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights Champion, is clean cut, young, American driver who shows a great balance of on track aggression and slow playing tactical skills. Getting a ride should not have been an issue. Karam will start the season from the sidelines, which is a damn shame.


Cone of Shame



John Barnes
I have all of the respect in the world for the people who make up Panther Racing. They are a classy group of people, and I mean not to disrespect them when I say I have a very strong distaste for Panther Racing. Why? Because their owner John Barnes is probably the biggest dick in the Indycar paddock. His latest wrongdoing was trying to strong arm National Guard and the American Government. Papers were released that said Barnes asked NG for $17 million to sponsor the #4 car. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! An Indycar needs an estimated $6 million to run a full season ($7 without Leaders Circle money). Rahal Letterman got the rights to NG by asking for $12 million between paying for crew, equipment, driver's salary, and the advertising that comes with NG. What did John Barnes need the extra $5 million for?! And after that didn't work, he has the audacity to sue Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Indycar?! For what, beating his dumbass proposal?! I had tweeted this already: What's the point of running an Indycar team if you can't fatten your wallet in the process? Gosh I couldn't think of one reason... Maybe for the love of the damn sport and racing!! What an absolute cock. I hope new ownership comes along at Panther Racing soon...


The end is near! Let's go St. Pete!

-Matthew Hickey

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