A Rock & A Hard Place

I'm torn as to how I feel about Mike Conway stepping out of his seat at Fontana. Wade Cunningham will take his place. Conway feels as if his oval skills aren't up to par and he doesn't feel at ease when he's out there. Conway was quoted as saying, "I've come to realize I'm not comfortable on the ovals and no longer wish to compete on them."

Now on one hand, Mike Conway should be allowed to do whatever he wants. Self preservation is a basic human instinct, and if he doesn't feel comfortable out there, then why shouldn't he have the option to sit out? And you have to give him credit for coming out and saying he doesn't feel up to speed on ovals.

Conway Indycar 2012 

Some stats for you: Mike Conway has been in Indycar since 2009. His average finish on ovals in his career is 18.4. That isn't all that great. After four years, little improvement has been shown. You add this with the fact that he has been in two massive accidents (Indy '10, Indy '12, the one in 2010 breaking his back causing him to miss the rest of the season) and the devastating accident at Las Vegas in 2011, his peace of mind is probably all but destroyed. He's had enough of the ovals, but can you blame him?

But I find it so incredibly hard to wrap my head around him just getting out of his seat. As a driver, you can't have that fear, because otherwise, you shouldn't be in a car, anywhere, period. I know it is easy for someone who doesn't race a car to say, but that's why I don't race cars for a living. A driver can't have any doubts. Conway did, and he steps out of the car.

Another thing that gets me is why Conway would want to stay in Indycar. There is obviously no chance of winning the championship if you skip all of the ovals. And I wouldn't be much of a fan of seeing a driver just going for the road course championship. Give the seat to a full time driver who would go for the championship like Wade Cunningham, AJ Allmendinger, Tristian Vautier, Tomas Scheckter, etc. I know of plenty of drivers who would kill for the chance to race at Fontana, and Wade Cunningham is one of those drivers. So in short, what would be the point of racing if you had no chance at winning the championship? Just for it to be a hobby?

I want to see Conway succeed, but his window to get an Indycar ride for next season might have just closed. I think going back to Europe or joining ALMS is the best bet for Conway.

Conway GP2 2007

I am by no way calling Mike Conway a weakling or a coward in this article. I would never even consider strapping myself into a car. Just to have the balls to get in means you get mad respect from me.

Conway was in between a rock and a hard place. He could have gone out and raced, having that fear in the back of his head and put himself and others in danger. Or he could step out of the ride and jeopardize his entire racing career. He chose the latter. Time to see what the future holds for him.

Please tweet at me ( @Indycar_MN ) your opinion because I'm on the fence about this issue and I could be persuaded either way. Let me know what you think.

-Matthew Hickey