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The Paddock Pulse: Jan. 9 Weekend Edition

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Normally, the off-season is slow enough to only require one edition of Paddock Pulse per week, but the New Year has apparently served to inspire our fellow bloggers and writers out there. So read on, dear readers, as we deliver bonus coverage of the Information Superspeedway!

  • Bringing IndyCar to the Masses, Part IV [Drive Hard, Turn Left]
    How can the IRL elevate the IZOD IndyCar Series in the eyes of the masses? More speed, says Drive Hard, Turn Left. It's a fair rumination on whether increased speeds would bring more eyes to the sport; but tellingly, the article doesn't address whether the "lay person" would notice a hike of 10mph or so to current IndyCar speeds. Still, an interesting read.

  • Road to Indy: A rebuttal [Planet-IRL]
    IRL Manager of Business Development for the Firestone Indy Lights Series Tony George, Jr. wrote a lengthy response to Planet-IRL's column about how the "Road to Indy" program isn't a straight enough path from the grassroots to the IndyCar Series. It's worth a read in its entirety because summarizing doesn't do it - or the fact that he took the time to respond personally to a blogger - justice.

  • Industry insight: Vendor partner-based sponsorships explained [Racer.com]
    RACER Magazine's George Tamayo explores the complicated dynamics of making a modern racing sponsorship work for all the parties involved. Take some Dramamine because your head will be spinning about a quarter of the way through.

  • Sarah Fisher Wants to Give Ellen DeGeneres a Really Really FAST Tour of IMS [pressdog.com]
    Our favorite journalistic canine is rabid about racing causes. This latest is not necessarily charitable (except to the IndyCar Series) but it's interesting nonetheless - Sarah Fisher is trying to get pop culture icon Ellen DeGeneres to attend the Indy 500 and take a ride in the IndyCar two-seater as part of Fisher's work on an upcoming motivational book.

  • Q&A With Arie Luyendyk Jr. [16th And Georgetown]
    Catch up with the son of Indy legend Arie Luyendyk and Firestone Indy Lights vet Arie Luyendyk Jr., and find out about his new clothing line called Anti-Celeb. Arie Jr.'s racing career may not have hit superstar status yet but any line of clothing aimed to counter the influence of Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag is a home run in my book.

  • Which Driver Will Become “That Guy”? [Oilpressure]
    "That guy" - the racer every other driver fears when seen in their mirrors. Does the IRL have one right now? George at Oilpressure isn't quite sure and neither am I. Though I really question whether Sam Hornish was ever "that guy" for the IRL, this is still a thought-provoking blog about who might step into the personality vacuum the IndyCar Series suffers from.

  • Driver of the Decade [My Name is IRL]
    Jeff Iannucci makes a welcome return to blogging with his own choice of "Driver of the Decade," and it's hard to argue with his choice (as usual). We missed you, Jeff.

  • IndyCar Vows to be "Way More Interesting than ARCA" in 2010 [pressdog.com]
    How could we ignore another Instant Classic fake press release from the ever-popular Bill "pressdog" Zahren? Answer: we can't.