Start Your Engines: IndyCar Season Preview

3/20/13 in IndyCar   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - Start Your Engines: IndyCar Season PreviewDid the Bristol race meet your expectations for good, hard racing?

Eric: To my untrained eye, it looked like fine racing to me, although admittedly I didn't have my full attention on it. There was a mid race lull, but any long is going to have that. I've never really understood the complaints about the racing at Bristol.

Debi: At the risk of offending, well everyone, I enjoyed the race immensely.  I have said it before, and I'll say it again. I'm happy with the new car.

Jen: Yes, Bristol is always a good race.

Scott: I tried to follow the race as best I could on the drive down to Florida but I didn't get to see any of the action. From what i've read though, it seemed a lot of people really were happy with the action.  I was happy to see Kasey Kahne win, hated to see Matt Kenseth's day end on some bad luck and thought Kyle Busch showed a lot of moxy coming back from way deep in the field to finish 2nd.  Special shout outs to Jamie McMurray and Brian Vickers for top 10 finishes.

Once again, we had the inevitable feud coming out of Bristol, this time between Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano. What are your thoughts? Who was in the right, if anyone, or is it all just ridiculous?

Jen:
Bristol is a small track, stuff is going to happen. While I am not a fan of Hamlin's, the incident lit a fire under Logano and I got to see that spirited young man with so much promise a few short years ago. I love the old " I didn't mean to wreck him". Whether you meant to or not, it happened, an apology would of been nice.

DebiDenny Hamlin is an ass, in my opinion, of course.

Scott: Didn't see what happened so I can't comment on who was in the wrong.  I will say though any time there is a "feud" between two drivers, it's good for the sport. I imagine Hamlin will get his some day, hopefully a day I don't have him on my fantasy team.

Eric:
I consider most of these ridiculous, but to piggyback what you said, Scott, why are these feuds considered good for the sport? I hear all the time IndyCar needs more of these, but to me it just feels like a sideshow.

Scott: Anything that brings attention, good or bad, to the sport is "good" for racing.  Why?  Because whether we agree or not, those are the times where shows like Sportscenter, PTI and Around the Horn actually talk about racing.  Nascar and IndyCar certainly aren't going to encourage drivers to intentionally mix it up but I think behind close doors, they have to be smiling just a bit when something like Hamlin/Logano and even last year with Gordon/Bowyer become national stories.  Unfortunately, the sport needs to push these types of incidents in order to become more main stream.

The empty seats at what was once NASCAR's most iconic venue outside of Daytona were obvious. Why do you think this is, and does is portend issues with the sport as a whole?

Debi:
Kenny Wallace told us why it is.  The hotels in the area jack up their prices to a ridiculous amount - no basic hotel room should be worth $648.  It doesn't matter if the seats are only $20.

Jen: Hotels need to be regulated, it's just ridiculous.

Scott: I've got some friends who live in the Bristol area and they made the same type of comment Debi did.  If the area around the track is going to try and screw fans, they won't come.  As a whole, it can't be good for Nascar to see so many empty seats at any of their tracks.  Hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come.

Eric: Yeah, you all nailed it. The issue seems to be that there aren't a lot of hotels available, and with Bristol being in the middle of nowhere, no one is going to be in a hurry to build any more. Thus, we have low supply and high demand (even with a half-filled track), and as such, jacked up prices. Question for thought: Can Bristol still support 2 race weekends a year?

Do you have any other thoughts on the NASCAR weekend, or from any of the other racing that occurred this past weekend?

Jen:
The Nationwide race was outstanding, and as I mentioned before Pastrana finished 16th.

Scott: Keep an eye on Kyle Larson in the Nationwide Series.  He gave Kyle Busch all he could handle and more on Saturday in the Nationwide Race but came up just short in winning.  Hopefully some time this week I can watch a replay of the Sprint Cup race and see if the racing was as good as what the "experts" and fans said it was.

Eric:
F1 opened up in Australia in the overnight hours and Kimi Raikkonen and his Lotus team used strategy, and a quick car, to take the win. Lotus were able to figure out the tire strategy best in a race where the option supersoft tires were useless after just a few laps. Fernando Alonso was 2nd, followed by Sebastian Vettel, which is much better than the feared Vettel dominance. McLaren though, is in trouble. They weren't a factor all weekend and finished 9th and 11th.

Meanwhile, the 12 Hours of Sebring was also last week, the final 12 Hours under ALMS sanction. The Audis that dominate Le Mans came over and dominated here, winning easily by six laps. Of course, the LMP1 class will cease to exist next year here in America in the unified series, so it's the last time they can do that. Suddenly former IndyCar driver Ryan Briscoe was part of the LMP2 class winning team.
 
That concludes this week's edition of Start Your Engines. This upcoming weekend NASCAR heads to California, F1 is in Malaysia, and IndyCar gets things kicked off (I've been waiting a while for that one). With a busy weekend coming up, I'm sure they'll be lots to talk about next week.
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3/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32434 respect

Kyle Busch wins the Nationwide race with Hornish jr, Smith (Regan), Kliegerman, Dillon and Kyle Larson your top 6.
Pastrana finished 13th.

3/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32434 respect

Travis back in the top 10, maybe this is his breakthrough race!

3/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32434 respect

it seems the drivers are only having trouble with themselves today.

3/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32434 respect

another debris caution

3/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32434 respect

Vickers definitely out due to engine trouble.

3/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32434 respect

Busch back in the lead with Hornish right behind him.

3/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32434 respect

However long it might be, Pastrana made it to the top 10! I'm excited!

3/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32434 respect

Pastrana moved up to 12th.

3/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32434 respect

Vickers being pushed to garage, his day may be done and Harraka's engine blew

3/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32434 respect

Busch and Hornish playing tag for 1st and 2nd spot.

3/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32434 respect

Lap 54, Vickers to pit road for smoke in the car

3/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32434 respect

Pastrana is holding steady at 13th.

3/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32434 respect

Looks like the #79 driven by Paulie Harraka slid along the wall and then caught on fire. Caution is out again.

3/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32434 respect

Regan Smith brought out the first caution with a flat left front tire. This caused a lot of discussion since flat lefts are an anomaly, I had no idea.

3/23/13   |   JenX63   |   32434 respect

Nationwide race is underway. It's gorgeous in California.