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The Paddock Pulse: 2012 Car-Pocalypse Edition

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Paddock Pulse Splash
Paddock Pulse Splash

There's nothing like a little change to make an IndyCar fan run screaming in terror and the IndyCar press start pointing at the sky like Chicken Little. Poor Randy Bernard. You'd think he had had enough bull working with the PBR (HAH! THAT'S RIGHT, MOFOS, I TOTALLY BUSTED OUT ANOTHER PBR PUN!!!).

Anyway, it's no use trying to link to anything else besides 2012 IndyCar announcement stuff from the IndyCar blogosphere today because... well, there isn't anything else, really. Hell, TrackForum is still rebuilding from the glowing radioactive remains left behind in the aftermath of the hologram-erific Droid X infomercial model unveiling glorified PowerPoint presentation and seminar. So yeah, there was a little bit of reaction.

Links and abbreviated snark after the jump...

Our first batch of links comes from ESPN, which largely express how underwhelmed they were about the announcement - after all, it certainly didn't live up to their own extensive and wholly unnecessary LeBron James reacharound. Tell you what, though - they certainly went all out in their headline-writing.

...and then there was the split-decision from SPEED:

...followed by the blog-gasm from everyone else:

Final Thoughts

Look, at first I was like, "DALLARA??? *gunshot*" But then I realized that given the number of conflicting agendas, the special interests at war with each other throughout the IndyCar world, and the necessity of pleasing the few remaining people left in this world who are bothering to still invest in IndyCar racing... well, I realized that ICONIC did one hell of a terrific job.

You can be underwhelmed that the new IndyCar isn't going to be a butt-ugly abortion on wheels with Star Wars technology like Formula 1. You can laugh at the ridiculous Survivor-style "voting" during the presentation and make fun of Randy Bernard's weird speech patterns and inflections. You can bitch, moan, whine, complain, and generally run for the fallout shelters now that the world is ending (again). It's a free country.

But ICONIC, with their engine and chassis recommendations, give Honda and Dallara their plums while opening the door for other companies to come in and play as well. With the chassis in particular, it takes everything about the Delta Wing proposal that was any good and incorporates it... then gets rid of the whole "penis on wheels" thing that everyone hated.

The fact that so far only one company - Lotus - has expressed active interest in building aero kits does not mean in the slightest that no other companies are going to come on board. Same goes for the motors - sure, Audi decided to act all huffy and say that since IndyCar wasn't going to build motors to their specs, they won't be bothered with the series... but that isn't a trend, people.

The worst-case scenario is that we start 2012 with 33 Dallara/Hondas. Which is what we have now - except that the 2012 Dallara/Hondas will be brand spanking new instead of rolling with nearly decade-old tech. Anything beyond that is pure gravy. Expecting miracles in as short a timeframe as we have - less than a year and a half - is just ridiculous. Just as ridiculous as saying that the ICONIC decision was a cop-out and that a better idea would have been to give exclusivity to Swift or Lola.

Oh, and while I'm venting - there's hope for the first time in years that Speedway and Indianapolis will get a revitalization that they sorely need. That may mean nothing to people outside of the city or state, but strengthening the core of the sport this way is critical for the growth of the series.

My bottom line is that the ICONIC decisions are based on hope and optimism. They made the best decisions they could within the limits of their capabilities. Who knows - when Dallara's contract to build the "Safety Cell" runs out in 2015 the series might be strong enough to incorporate more revolution than evolution. At least we're not going to be in for more of the same.