Topic 1:IndyCar race control has said that they will not be issuing as many penalties this season and will allow drivers to handle racing issues. We saw this on display at Long Beach. What do you think of this approach and will it cause drivers to retaliate against each other?
TonyD: Let em have it! Drivers won’t retaliate much on the track, too pricey and too risky, but let some guys throw down in the pits. Worst thing to ever happen PR wise for Indy Car was stopping Danica as she walked down the pit lane. Let em duke it out!
Lauren: I think this has the potential to open a big can of worms. This will definitely build tension and plenty of competition, if too many situations get heated. This could add some entertainment value, but in the right way? We will see… There still will always need to be a governing body that actually governs, in my opinion.
Rick: I like putting these things in the hands of the drivers. And no I don’t think there will be a lot of retaliation going on. There may be some when things get heated and in the course of a race emotions may take control, but that may happen anyway. Let the drivers sort it out. It’s a part of the competition.
Tomas: Experienced, talented drivers should be able to sort out their own problems on and off the track. Unexperienced drivers should be penalized for their actions till they learn respect.
Nancy: I think that some of this is good but also think that Race Control plays favorites. They need controversy to keep people talking.
Topic 2: The IndyCar rookies have been very racy and impressive so far. Who do you think will be rookie of the year and how have they impressed you?
TonyD: Tough to tell after 2 races. I like the way Jack Hawksworth has been racing and I think he will be good on the ovals, as well as, he has experience at most ovals in the Lights Series. Hawksworth is my pick for Rookie Of The Year.
Lauren: He may be in the back of the pack for now, but I like Jack Hawksworth and the potential that he and Bryan Herta have together.
Rick: I have been impressed with Jack Hawksworth. I thought he might be over-matched making the jump as quickly as he did, but he has shown great progress. Some early rookie mistakes, but he has been aggressive at times and patient at times. He is showing me some good instincts. The proof will be in the results eventually.
Tomas: I don’t know.
Topic 3: Mike Conway for Ed Carpenter Racing is now second in the standings and Ed Carpenter will be driving the ovals for ECR. Does this team have a legitimate chance to win the championship?
TonyD: They have a legitimate shot to win the overall team championship no doubt. Ed will be great on most ovals, but seems to struggle a bit at Iowa however. Let’s see how Mike Conway handles the road courses, he is great on the streets, but could lose the championship at places like Barber and Mid Ohio.
Lauren: Tough question. I think so, if they take full advantage of Mike at the road/street events and likewise with Ed at the ovals. They can’t miss a beat, there is too much competition. Though, the challenge for consistency is the same for everyone.
Rick: I would like to think so. It would make for a fun summer. I really like the pairing. I will be pulling for them.
Tomas: No. I think Mike and Ed have done an amazing job so far and personally I would love to see them do it, but logically we are only 2 races in and there are too many good driver/team combinations for them to have a “legitimate” chance.
Nancy: Yes I think this was a brilliant move. Ed has had trouble on road courses and Mike Conway won’t drive ovals, it’s a great mix.
Topic 4:Twitter was blowing up when Will Power spun Simon Pagenaud and did not receive a penalty. This wasn’t the first time he avoided a penalty either. The conspiracy theorists said Will was not penalized because Verizon is his sponsor who is also IndyCar’s title sponsor. Buy or sell and why?
TonyD: Refer to your first question, they are letting drivers handle their business instead of costing drivers wins because of drive threw penalties.
Lauren:Get real. There is no chance this is the case. It would be more likely that he was not penalized because he drives for RP, than because of who his sponsor is. NOT that I’m conspiring anything, they simply didn’t make the call. This is far from the first OR the last time that they miss one.
Rick:It amazes me that we have these questions. The first question here was about letting the drivers sort it out for themselves. IndyCar says they are going to issue fewer penalties and this is the response. This sport has enough issues to deal with, do we really need to deal with conspiracy theories? Just so I understand the question, I am supposed to comment on whether a multimillion dollar company, that is spending millions of dollars, is conspiring with another million dollar industry to have its sponsored driver allowed to go un-penalized, perpetrating a massive fraud in front of hundreds of thousands spectators, competitors, and viewers, in order to get second place. I will answer this after I run down to the corner of “Walk, Don’t Walk” and find out what my space chums think first (to quote Lily Tomlin). No wait, I have to finish watching this weeks professional wrestling. I am neither buying or selling. I am ignoring.
Tomas:My conspiracy theory is that Americans prefer Australians over the French. Lets be honest, no one likes Jean Jirad from Talledega nights, plus it’s funny to see angry French persons speak in English.
Nancy: Will and RHR get a lot of passes. Conspiracy, no it just seems they can do no wrong in race control’s eyes. If Helio had done that he would have been penalized.
TonyD: Will Power wins, is Mike Conway a surprise pick anymore? I think a guy like Justin Wilson could be on the podium as well. Oriol Servia will run well and again out perform his teammate Graham Rahal.
Lauren: I say look out for Justin Wilson or likely Power.
Rick: Scott Dixon for the win, Justin Wilson as a sleeper.
Tomas: Mike Conway would be a surprise, although he has won. I still think he has not been on pace yet but with a good confidence booster for the team and him. Barber is a physical track that needs commitment and confidence so he might gain some speed. I would love to see Montoya get back in victory lane as it would be good for the Series. My honest opinion is Dixon will win. He is tough, quick and does not get effected by good or bad results from prior races.
Nancy: Mike Conway has a great chance of winning the surprise, two in a row for ECR.