Ground(ed) Effects

Indycar and general autosport opinion


People may be surprised to learn that my blog is written totally off-the-cuff and with no preconceived idea until I get behind the keyboard in earnest. I’ve always done this intentionally to produce something immediate and genuine. Some posts are half-baked, others fully. Today’s post is no different so only you will judge it’s bakededness.

I’m going to just come out and say it: I’ve been enjoying this season of Indycar more than I have in many seasons prior.

The conversations surrounding it, even between previously aligned die-hard fans have become increasingly less comfortable, mostly highlighting more of our very personal preferences and illuminating our differences. It’s beginning to remind me of the various levels of discomfort people have in talking about religion or politics or sex.


In professional sports I appreciate intrigue, variety, uncertainty, and urgency, but also a well-ordered game and consistency in fair play. Not easy to find but is why I have a few beloved favorite sports to the exclusion of many.


Aside from the near-panic that Indycar exhibited in Indy after the practice issues with the Chevy cars snap-oversteering at their limits, becoming airborne, pitching/rolling, and leading to a decision to modify both Honda and Chevy kits in the interest of pragmatic conservation of risk (and, in my opinion, unfairly penalizing Honda), I’ve enjoyed the original concept and subsequent drama and differentiation that has resulted from the aerokits. 

With little drama on the power front, the motors have been prescribed to produce very similar overall power, just slightly different power bands and torque points, but in relation to the differences in aerokits, essentially so similar to not be noticeable.


This season has also added drama off the track for fans (and owners), seemingly producing a significant divide in opinion on the worth of aerokits in relation to the on-track product that we haven’t seen in many years. In the case of some newer fans, they’ve never seen this type of racing atmosphere at all. Love them or hate them, the differences are quite pointed. 

It appears that for people with a marked interest in Indycar racing, you appreciate very specific things: the markers of the distant past – open specs and ingenuity; recent past – single-spec racing (one larger, tightly-bunched packs with minuscule differentiation in performance and aesthetics); or you like more of the current racing – varied-but-similar-spec (multiple, smaller packs with more differentiation in performance and aesthetics).

There is also a longstanding gulf between oval-only fans and those that appreciate some twisties. Sounds like we’ve got ourselves enough traits to make a Punnet Square (hurray for high school Biology lessons paying off again)! Let’s examine what kind of Indycar fan you are..


I’ll admit I’m squarely OI dominant with RI as a recessive trait.

Where do you fall in this? 

Are you and your racing mates compatible?  In some cases, I see how those with opposite results might seem suddenly so foreign to us.

If you have offspring, what will your kids most like?

Insert your tongue-in-cheek, take a little time to be totally honest with yourself, regardless of the environment of the sport today, and think about what you most like, what you moderately like, what you are averse to, and why. 

At risk of making some readers even more uncomfortable, I’ll walk out on a limb even further and suggest that what kind of Indycar fan you are based on this punnet square also correlates to the type of love-maker you are. Do you prefer more “strategy” and “set-up” or rather the lowest-cost, lowest-risk route to “victory lane”?  Is high-speed or accel/decel your game? Perhaps a stretch, but without question more research would be needed to examine that hypothesis further.

Regardless, the key to using this tool is understanding yourself, then employing your time to finding joy in what you like. Indycar fandom or otherwise.





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