There, Now Don’t You Feel Better?

I don’t know about you, but I always feel better after the first Indycar race of the season. 

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg has really grown on me as the season opener. The first Indycar race is always an indicator (especially here in Northern Indiana) of the impending warmer days and excitement to come.

Even just seeing the race logo is a warming and welcome sight after surviving another ‘character-building’ season of a Great Lakes winter.  

Several years ago, written in my now-defunct personal all-purpose blog, I noted how much I enjoy this time of year, not only for the budding and greening of my environment, but also with a great run following the sports that I enjoy most – Indycar season opener, the NCAA basketball tourney, more Indycar, The Masters, The Kentucky Derby, and the Month of May all together is really a great way to emerge from the hibernation I’ve been in most of the winter months (especially when I’m also quite busy with my kids who are competitive swimmers and their season runs from September through March).

At any rate, I found this latest version of Indycars racing at St. Pete was quite satisfying.

Like a sort of homecoming – seeking comfort in experiencing a range of emotions from seeing all of the things that you’ve come to rely upon every year:
– ABC performing up to their typical levels (with Bestwick well-exceeding that standard despite being under the weather).
– A-bumpity-tip-tap we go through turns 1, 2, and 3 of lap one.
– Somebody suffers a cut tire on lap one.
– A solemn nod to Dan Wheldon.
– Somebody makes Turn 4 into a confetti-shower of carbon fiber.
– Marco unsuccessfully divebombs someone into turn one and ruins his own day.
– Penske dominates the first race weekend.
– Fans watching on TV are reminded how many damned ads they’ll be seeing even in side-by-side mode.
– Some drivers take umbrage with other drivers because of something on track.
– Ultimately drivers and fans all getting their race-legs under them for the season.

In a typical year, I’d have made predictions for the season by now. This year, I don’t feel the need to prognosticate. I’m just going to sit back and see how it all unfolds. Last year gave us a great deal of (mostly) on-track drama. Too much on the injurious side however, so here’s to hoping for a much safer 2016 season that gives us the racing action and drama that we all crave.

Oh alright, fine. I’ll make one prediction with a big qualifying statement – Indycar, provided that management stays unobtrusive for all of the right reasons, will enjoy another year of solid growth and the racing gods will see to it that the 100th Indy 500 will give us something rather spectacular and remind us again why we endure the hardships of this sport.

(c) 2016 Indycar

OK Phoenix, you’re next. I couldn’t be happier about you hosting Indycars again.

Let’s see what you’ve got…

St. Pete Expectations (a self-mantra)

Beaux Barfield has outlined his competition expectations to the teams and drivers.

Even a nobody/megalomaniac like me has been bold enough to suggest a lap one, turn one melee will cause people (who only have just turned their eyes back since October) to have many reasons to question the validity of the sport’s claim of having the ‘best, fastest, and most versatile drivers’ and lose interest quickly. 

I think it’s not out-of-line to suggest that Indycar can ill afford a bad first ‘re-impression’ since Las Vegas BUT, verily I say unto thee… 

…it is going to be what it is going to be. 

The die-hard fans of this sport will be legs, arms, and fingers-crossed in hopes we get though those first few laps until Marty Reid and ABC take a moment to step away to the side-by-side for the first time in 2012. 

I, too, will be one of those pretzel-people (and it’s gonna make holding my Fuzzy’s Push-to-Pass beverage in my Pressdog ™ official Drink ye Bastards glass fairly difficult), BUT the simple fact remains that no matter how much I want a magnificent first race of the season and how important that momentum (DyB) can be for the upcoming races, and how much it would mean to a sport rising from the dead, things are gonna happen and no matter of wailing and gnashing of teeth will help. Certainly don’t ruin your beautiful flat screen TV by throwing something at it.

So, dear fans, you can do your level best to support this sport and ‘activate’ the sponsors and go to races and buy the gear and even go out of your way to introduce others to this sport that we hold so dearly, yet the events that unfold on Sunday (to re-use an oft-dropped phrase by Dr. Phil) “…AIN’T ABOUT YOU”!

The action will be whatever it will be and we’re going to watch it unfold just like everybody else. It may be a classic race. It may be a stinker of a snoozefest. It may be unlike anything we hoped or feared it may be.

It is going to be what it is going to be, so sit comfortably, breathe deeply, relax, have a tasty beverage, and just let it be.

That will have to do.