Monday, April 07, 2008

Indycar - go to your room!

Imagine the scene: an angry teenager has a fight with his parents and storms out of the house with the obligatory "I HATE YOU!" The clock ticks by and the parents move on from anger and transition into the worried phase. They start calling around to the boy's friends' parents. Then they call local hospitals. Finally, as they get ready to call the police they hear the front door open. Furious but relieved, they send the boy to his room. Meanwhile they admit to themselves that the anger was temporary but the love they have for the child will always be there since all the want is the best for him.

January 23rd 2008 marked the 13th anniversary of the announcement of the IRL. It's officially a teen.

And Sunday's race at St. Petersburg was like having the teen come home. As mad as we all have been about the CART/IRL split, we're just relieved that we're back to how we were before. The talent level is suitably high, driver backgrounds diverse, sponsorship present (and growing), grids are full and on racetracks that go right as well as left, the former ChampCar teams will be competitive, making for interesting races.

Watching St. Petes was like a throwback to '95. I really enjoyed the race and in particular I loved seeing the ChampCar refugees take it to the IRL regulars. It was close racing with some great performances from a number of drivers. Various strategies unfolded, incidents shuffled the field, caution periods kept the pack together and the changing conditions provided the canvas upon which a very appealing picture was painted.

It only took 13 years for me to get excited again about US open wheel racing. Now go to your room Indycar! You're grounded! (and you look hungry - would you like a sandwich?)

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