7 days until IndyCars go racin’…

So I’ve been thinking about the new teams and drivers merging into the IndyCar Series from ChampCar and wondering how they will find things on IRL turf. A few of the newbies who’ve tested have commented that their new ride, the Dallara/Honda combo, is down on both horsepower and grip. One sounded a bit frustrated with the reduction of power at his command.

Many of the new drivers have little to no experience racing on ovals, and I have to wonder how long they’ll be doing their best Milka “the moving chicane” Duno impressions. It just follows that when I think of Milka, I think of probation and that led me to wonder what the newcomers will think of IndyCar’s punitive measures. Not having followed ChampCar closely, I still seem to remember one possible penalty was the removal of some or all of a ChampCar driver’s “Push to Pass” allotment. (Without the few seconds of extra turbo boost provided by “Push to Pass,” ChampCar racing apparently had even more bouts of “lockstep” than our own beloved league.) I’m amused at the thought that the former ChampCar drivers will find our punishments as down on power as the cars are. Probation? Especially when it’s IndyCar policy not to publish details? 10 lashes with a feather would hurt worse. Yeah, okay, thanks to such esteemed blogs as My Name is IRL and Pressdog, we eventually learned the whole field was placed on probation about 3/4 of the way into the season. (shhhhhhhh…don’t tell… but Brian Barnhart channeled the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, faced with so many unruly children that everyone got a swat…just to be safe.) Some drivers could well have been on the much dreaded “quadruple-secret probation” by the end of the season. But we don’t know for sure…

Wonder if the whole field will be put on notice for Homestead? Wonder if the newbies snicker behind driving gloves at the lack of teeth (figuratively. literally?) here in “Down Home Land?” Whatever their thoughts, I hope they eventually come to enjoy their stay. I know I will.

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