IndyCar All Access Roundtable is back! After a mere month off, we are back to the business that we do best. And we’ve made some changes to the panel. We’ve dropped Matt Hickey and Tony Tellez after a situation, but we do retain Matt Bauer, John Hetrick, Jerry Cruz and myself. John Oreovicz will not be in this roundtable due to other commitments.
Q: Thoughts on Milwaukee
JC: The racing in general was great. I don’t like spread-out-racing on ovals but the tire-management strategies are interesting. The crowd was bigger than last year (probably 70% full based on infield fans) and the positive atmosphere was evident even at the TV broadcast. Great job by Andretti Sports Marketing team.
JH: I thought it was a good race. Not a great race but it had a lot of storylines throughout the race that kept it interesting. I think Ryan Hunter-Reay is entering the prime of his career and will win a lot more races in the years to come. He is a fantastic driver on road/streets and ovals and I feel that he will be a contender in each race the rest of the way out and very well could catch Will Power. It is too bad that rain pushed the finish of the race to ESPNews. Just terrible luck for Indycar and Michael Andretti. ABC is such a poor partner and really doesn’t seem to care about growing the sport. It is very good news that Milwaukee will continue to be on the schedule next year. Just hope for better weather.
MB: Loved the aero changes for the race, making the cars harder to drive just increased the excitement level & made the race more competitive. Wins should be earned not just someone getting lucky at the end of the race. Scott Dixon getting hosed was unacceptable but nice to see race control own up to the mistake & move on & improve.
KM: I thought that the race was excellent. I can speak about the attendance because I was there, the attendance was great and overall structure of the event was great. Definitely want to go there next year!
Q: What track should replace the China race, please explain your reasoning?
JC: I really don’t have any preference as long as it is fast and entertaining. No parades, no spread-out racing. I think there is a BIG chance that BOTH Michigan International Speedway AND Road America get the nod. Both fit well on the current schedule and would be a great introduction for next year’s schedule.
JH: I would really like to see Pocono replace China. It is such a historic track for open wheel racing. I have heard many stories of my uncle and grandfather going to Pocono to the races in the 70′s. I would just love to see how these new cars would do around the track. Saying that I think it will be on the 2013 schedule and Road America will replace China this year. Which is a fine choice as well.
MB: I think the only viable choice for a China replacement is Road America. Indycar needs to be at RA it’s the best road course in America & coupled with ALMS would make a great event. Indycar doesn’t have the time or resources to put on & promote a proper event.
KM: I believe that Road America is the only choice. Randy wanted them this year but he got screwed over by Terry Angstadt. Road America is an excellent track and I don’t see why we won’t go up there.
Q: Do you like the heat race format for Iowa qualifying? Will it work? Why or why not.
JC: I’m all for the entertainment element of the series. INDYCAR is a sport and therefore a business to entertain people. If this is what will make fans put their butts on the seats at the track and eyeballs on the TV…GO FOR IT!!!
JH: I love the idea but I don’t think it will work. The only way the heat races work is if the drivers go for it. I really hope these races are exciting but I doubt that the drivers take many risks. Too bad Tomas Schecter isn’t around this year. He would be very exciting to watch in these races!
MB: Single car qualifying at any track other than Indianapolis is pretty dull so I’m open to the idea but it does seem like a practice session & what happens if the drivers don take it seriously or there are crashes?
KM: I like the idea but I think they should do it the way NASCAR does it for the Daytona 500. It would be way easier, it might work.
Q: Winner for the Iowa Corn Indy 250?
JC:Wow, this season has gone from predictable (Will Power) to unpredictable (Justin Wilson)…and all the intrigue on winners has been on the oval-side of the season. I will go with James Hinchcliffe to make 3 surprises in a row!!! He is more than capable and he should win at least 1 race this season.
JH: I am going to go with Kanaan. He ran well ther last year and probably had a chance to win if it wasn’t for Marco making sure he didn’t get passed him. I feel like he has had a good car this year but just hasn’t gotten over the hump. I think he gets it done under the lights at Iowa.
MB: Scott Dixon for the win. I think after crashing at Texas after dominating the race & after struggling in qualifying & being the victim of a bad call last week he will be on a mission.
KM: I’m going to go with Marco Andretti, yes he has struggled this year but this is a great time to turn around his season and make a run to the top ten in points. Plus it helps to be a defending race winner. Marco’s average finish at Iowa is: 6.6.
Who’s your winner this weekend?
Poll question of the week: Which track should replace China on the schedule?