A combination of a wicked pissah of a cold, Tony George's resignation and the fallout thereof, and a tornado in Phoenix (?!) conspired to delay this week's Paddock Pulse, so apologies for the delay. Let's get right into it!
- Obviously, the hottest topic in IndyCar right now is Tony George stepping down from all of the Hulman-George companies to focus on keeping Vision Racing afloat. You can read a couple of musings on the topic from Drive Hard, Turn Left and Is It May Yet? You can also read about Jeff Belskus looking to delegate some of his IndyCar workload (as well as see him refer to himself in the third person) over at the Indy Star.
Miller's Mailbag, 1.21 [SPEEDtv.com]
It's another week and another mess o'letters for Robin Miller. Predictably, it's a lot of standard stuff about Tony George resigning, how Brian Barnhart is the new IndyCar antichrist, and how USAC was the end-all be-all of human existence. Makes you wish the season were getting started a bit sooner.
HPD Improves Refuling Safety [SPEEDtv.com]
Good news: Honda will incorporate a refueling lockout device on IZOD IndyCar Series cars in 2010 in an effort to further reduce the possibility of fuel spills and fire during pit stops. Essentially, this will help keep drivers from screeching out of the pits with the probe still attached. This way, drivers can be told that they're "on fire" metaphorically instead of literally.
The Störtebeker-Ganassi Scale Will Be Our Guide [Silent Pagoda]
Six words: The Störtebeker-Ganassi Scale of Badassery. That should be more than enough to get you to read the latest wonderful bit of weirdness from Roy Hobbson over at the Silent Pagoda (who, unfortunately, we have left off previous Paddock Pulses - an oversight we will not repeat).
Off-Track Injuries Through The Years [Oilpressure]
Here's an entertaining feature from George Phillips over at Oilpressure - a recounting of some of the owies incurred by racers that haven't involved catchfences or flying carbon fiber. For my money, it's hard to top Jimmie Johnson injuring himself trying to surf a golf cart but the nice thing about racers is that they are always trying to one-up each other.
The Oval/Road/Street Debate - A Different Take [Drive Hard, Turn Left]
Lately, there has been some debate over whether the IZOD IndyCar Series needs to return to the all-oval schedule that the Indy Racing League featured upon its inception. On the heels of Planet-IRL and Oilpressure debating the topic comes Drive Hard, Turn Left, advocating balance to the IndyCar schedule.
Chip Ganassi says the survival of the racing industry is not a given [ESPN]
John Oreovicz summarizes Chip Ganassi's excellent speech at the annual AARWBA All-America Team Banquet last weekend. Ganassi, the voice of reason? Apparently so. Chip sounded off on the need for innovation in racing, and I happen to agree with him - and not just because he's advocating the new "Delta Wing" car. (Speaking of which, George Phillips at Oilpressure took the opportunity to sound off on Project Delta Wing himself.)
That's it for now. A special shoutout to friends of the blog and Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammates Pippa Mann and Philip Major who are waiting out the freakish rain- and windstorms that have battered the Phoenix area over the past week in the hopes of doing some testing at Firebird International Raceway. Stay safe!