Green. White. Checkered.
Three words which, among a vast majority of Indycar fandom, produce stomach convulsions so violent, you’d think RC and SunDrop just issued an ipecac flavor.
The thought of the Indycar higher-ups even considering this type of conjured, made-for-dopes, end to a top level racing series event is horrific enough, but as so often is the case, I wondered what it would be like to reverse my thought process and embrace this newfangled thinking. Maybe I too could come up with some alternate types of Indycar finishes of worth. Surely the racing gods are aware the earthbound, mortal NASCAR fans cannot fathom or appreciate the fates of a race-ending yellow. What effect would an Indianapolis 507.5 International Sweepstakes have on our sometimes-combined/sometimes not/demi-official Indycar records book?
I came up with no less than three crazy ideas only a Granatelli could love…
Yellow. Red. Green. Checkered. (aka Qindao Fire Drill)
With 2 laps to go of all Indycar races, we throw the yellow as soon as the leader hits the Start/Finish line. Under control of the pace car before the first turn, we bring the field around the course and into their respective pit boxes, where the red flag is displayed. All cars stop, drivers unbuckle, exit the car, run around the car, get back into the car as quickly as possible. As soon as a driver is re-buckled, the crew re-fires the car and out of the pits to a green flag lap for the end of the race. Any incident on the said green lap which may cause a yellow flag to be thrown again, will result in the same process until we get a full green flag final lap. The winner is showered in victory lane with confetti thrown by the famous Rip Taylor. Only with such reverence are lasting traditions born.
Firestone Spin to Win
All races run to fit a scheduled TV window less 20 minutes when all cars return to their pits and the Firestone tire flip stage from Texas 2011 is highlighted on victory lane. Firehawk rapid-fire launches t-shirts into the crowd. IZOD Cameron approaches the stage and randomly selects from a group of wheel guns which are numbered and assigned to a correspondingly numbered wheel. She moves to the Firestone wheel wall and uses the guns on its matching wheel/lug nut. The TV audience, no doubt breath bated, watches as Cameron uses the gun and slowly removes the wheel which reveals a lap number on the wheel hub. The leader of the revealed lap number is your race winner. Made for TV! Wait’ll Marty and Scott hear about this! They’ll positively be slightly elevated above placid with excitement.
Pros – Firestone amortizes the cost of that wacky tire wall and more Cameron!
Cons – I don’t really care to examine this side of the argument because.. CAMERON!
The Brady Bunch
Leave it to Mike Brady to come up with such an equitable and efficient solution. He was an architect after all. Race is run in typical manner until the penultimate lap when a competition yellow is thrown and all cars not on the lead lap must pit, television coverage ceases immediately. Abridged from the season 5, episode 20 storyline of The Brady Bunch, the remaining cars follow the pace car from pit out. Orange cones with an egg on top for each of the remaining cars are set up across the start/finish line. To complete the final lap, the cars all come to a cone and stop as closely as possible without touching the cone or breaking the egg. Closest measured nose to their orange cone is the winner. THE Orange Cone of Twitter fame will have exclusive rights to the tweet the finish to the world and Florence Henderson will serenade the victor with Queen’s ‘We are the Champions’.
Ridiculous? Perhaps. I contend they are ALL better than a green-white-checkered.
Leave your mark on the future of Indycar by commenting and vote now for your favorite! Suggest a great idea of your own! I promise to take all of these options directly to Indycar headquarters and deliver them directly to the hand of one Randall Bernard myself, for he is THAT accessible*.