Is Texas Toast?

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As many of you know, I’m a big IndyCar fan and I rarely say anything negative about the sport I love.  IndyCar had a lot of momentum going into the 2015 season, even after the long offseason.  The best racing in motorsports was adding the intrigue of aero-kits, the first step away from spec racing.  Even with the last minute cancellation of the Brazil race, everyone was psyched.  Honda and Chevy had completely different aero designs and fans were filling up social media on which aero-kit looked better and which might have the upper hand.  Fans found out very quickly that Chevy was taking Honda to school and if it wasn’t for the weather, Honda wouldn’t have a single win.

IndyCar has some serious issues that need to be resolved.  The Texas race has been a snoozefest since the DW12 arrived due to eliminating all pack racing.  The Series has tried different aero configurations but even Eddie Gossage said that the Series better make changes for this year’s race.  Eddie was not happy with how boring the 2014 race was, so the series made some more adjustments for the 2015 race.  Before the green flag waved, the Honda crisis is picking up steam.  Articles have been written on IndyCar implementing Rule 9.3 which would allow Honda to make modifications to their aero-kit.  Honda teams are fuming and have expressed concern about losing sponsors, since they are not competitive.

This brought us to Saturday night’s race.  Needless to say, it was another snoozefest with only 5 cars on the lead lap, and of the cars running, 13 of them were more than 1 lap down.  Dixon won the race by over 7 seconds!  Marco Andretti and Carlos Munoz completed the race with one less pit stop than everyone else but Munoz was still 1 lap down and Marco barely finished on the lead lap.  This was not racing in my opinion.  If a team’s engineer did not get the setup right, a driver was just trying to keep from putting the car in the wall and along for the ride last night.  They had absolutely no shot at winning.

Texas was known for great IndyCar racing.  Some of these races were pack racing in the early IRL days but some were not.  This race, commentary in spanish, from 2000 looked more like the last two Indy 500’s

This came to typify Texas.  After last night’s race, Eddie Gossage can’t be happy.  It begs the question, is Texas Toast?  I had a good discussion with Matt Hickey (Indycar_MN) after the race.  Him and I agree and I enjoyed his blunt assessment.

and this one

I was totally bored with the race.  I listened to the radio broadcast, instead of television, and Davey Hamilton hit the nail on the head. Davey said the fans will decide if this is the type of race they want to see at Texas because the Series is about entertaining the fans. If the fans aren’t entertained by what they saw, they will not attend the race or watch it on television. I’ll be the first to say that I will not be watching next year’s race. Eddie may not want the race back next year, we will have to wait and see. I asked this question on twitter after the race; How can the Indy 500 be so intense/exciting, no pack racing, and Texas be a sprawled out tire degredation fest? I’d like to hear your thoughts on the Texas race. @davidindycar @Open_Wheels

Tony Tellez

3 Comments

  1. 1.5 mile tri/quad highbank ovals always produce boring races no mater what series but particularly with Indy Cars. Pack racing isn’t worth the risk to the drivers and the fans.

    • Bill, I don’t understand why we can’t have the same type of race like the Indy 500. The cars are single file but can catch up to the car in front of them, draft and sling shot by. I don’t like the current package at Texas and find it extremely boring. It’s an engineering race and the vast majority guessed wrong so those drivers just tried to keep it off the wall and survive. Get rid of the tires falling off too.

      • It’s the banking and the transitions, tire wear is also a factor. If it sticks in the banking it won’t work in the transitions. MilwUkee works because it’s consistent (flat). Michigan would wor for the same reason but the speeds would be too high (no transitions). I’ve never seen Cal Speedway. These cars rely almost entirely on aero, mechanical grip is essentially ignored. This could all be solved with higher staight speeds and slower corner speeds. there is nothing like having to decide where to lift and brake on an oval too make good racing.

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