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AutoYes_Clown
USA Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Oct 2012
4133 posts

IndyCar 2021 Season Thread
It's Indy Month so might as well get this going. Still dealing with COVID year, but lots of young talent and cross series drivers. Not many true rookies.

I'll start with a good video to get up to speed, especially for F1 followers:
IndyCar EXPLAINED! video link
Romain Grosjean explains IndyCar vs F1 video link
Dallara Chassis walkthrough video link

1 April 18 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by AmFirst Road Course Barber Motorsports Park Birmingham, Alabama WINNER = Alex Palou
2 April 25 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Street Course Streets of St. Petersburg St. Petersburg, Florida WINNER = Colton Herta
3 May 1 Genesys 300 Oval Course Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas WINNER = Scott Dixon
4 May 2 XPEL 375 Oval Course Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas WINNER = Pato O'ward
5 May 15 GMR Grand Prix Road Course Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course Speedway, Indiana
6 May 30 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Oval Course Indianapolis Motor Speedway
7 June 12 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Street Course Belle Isle Street Circuit Detroit, Michigan
8 June 13 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Street Course Belle Isle Street Circuit Detroit, Michigan
9 June 20 REV Group Grand Prix at Road America Road Course Road America Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
10 July 4 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Road Course Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Lexington, Ohio
11 July 11 Honda Indy Toronto Street Course Exhibition Place Toronto, Ontario
12 August 8 Big Machine Music City Grand Prix Street Course Nashville Street Circuit Nashville, Tennessee
13 August 14 TBA Road Course Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course Speedway, Indiana
14 August 21 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Oval Course World Wide Technology Raceway Madison, Illinois
15 September 12 Grand Prix of Portland Road Course Portland International Raceway Portland, Oregon
16 September 19 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey Road Course WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Monterey, California
17 September 26 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Street Course Streets of Long Beach Long Beach, California


CobraCommander83
Clemson Fan
Member since Feb 2017
5937 posts

re: IndyCar 2021 Season Thread
Fun series to follow with a great group of young drivers.


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TouchedTheAxeIn82
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Cal Fan actually (cool UAB dragon!)
Member since Nov 2012
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re: IndyCar 2021 Season Thread
Scott Dixon is still King (the Lewis Hamilton of IndyCar ).

Josef Newgarden is/was the heir to the king and has two season championships (but no Indy 500 wins yet).

Alexander Rossi is the angry wanna-be king who has been struggling for consistent results for over a year now.

Colton Herta and Pato O'Ward are the hot new upstarts who look like future champions. However, Mario Andretti is trying to get Herta into F1, and O'Ward just earned himself an F1 test with McLaren in Abu Dhabi at the end of the F1 season. One or both may not be around for very long.

Scott McLaughlin is a rookie and a little older than Herta and O'Ward, and has three V8 Supercar championships. He is looking real good for Penske and will definitely stick around in IndyCar.

Alex Palou is a young revelation for Ganassi and should be in the mix too.

Romain Grosjean is just the latest of a string of unsuccessful F1 drivers to move over to IndyCar, but he seems way more popular than the average F1 washout, so I think he's increasing IndyCar interest internationally. He looks decent so far, but he is not running ovals this year.

Jimmie Johnson is a seven-time NASCAR champion who is also a rookie and is also not doing ovals this year. While there was a lot of hoopla over his coming to IndyCar, he looks out of his depth on road courses. If he doesn't improve, will he last the year?

Any other stories?


This post was edited on 5/3 at 7:46 pm


AutoYes_Clown
USA Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Oct 2012
4133 posts

re: IndyCar 2021 Season Thread
quote:

TouchedTheAxeIn82


TYFYS, I was thinking of writing about some of the names, but I didnt want to put my spin in the OP. I agree with everything you wrote about each.

I will add, Herta and O'Ward have a head on their shoulders like no drivers Ive seen in a long time in any series. The way they handle incidents, criticism and success is amazing.

One let down that is usually competitive is Rookie of the Year. McLaughlin will win ROY by default as the only rookies eligible are McLaughlin, Jimmy and Grosjean. However the later two are not competing in Oval races.


tccdc
Virginia Tech Fan
Washington, DC
Member since Sep 2007
2702 posts

re: IndyCar 2021 Season Thread
A lot of people forget Romain was/is much more popular than HAAS. And from a social media, he has been doing great stuff for his fans.

Is there a good read on the teams...like who should I like?

My father in laws neighbor is a huge Sato fan and his collection is amazing. Last year had to get some stuff from Japan for him.




CobraCommander83
Clemson Fan
Member since Feb 2017
5937 posts

re: IndyCar 2021 Season Thread
It would nice if Indy could pick up a third engine manufacturer sometime in the near future. The only two options right now are Chevy and Honda. I heard the costs of starting/running an Indy team is fairly cheap compared to other big racing series. I think that could open the door for more outsiders to take interest in Indy. McLaren joining has helped that somewhat but had to choose to use either a Honda or Chevy engine.


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TouchedTheAxeIn82
UAB Fan
Cal Fan actually (cool UAB dragon!)
Member since Nov 2012
2573 posts
 Online 

re: IndyCar 2021 Season Thread
quote:

Is there a good read on the teams...like who should I like?

The cool thing about IndyCar is that you can root for an underdog team and they still have a chance to win. For example, AJ Foyt is a low-budget team, but they have Sebastian Bourdais, and he can definitely win a race or two. Romain Grosjean races for Dale Coyne, a team that "hires" pay drivers by necessity. With Grosjean they have a chance to win a race. Maybe a lot of European and F1 fans root for McLaren because of the F1 association. They did the smart thing and partnered with a very solid existing team, Schmidt-Peterson Motorsport (SPM), which makes them instantly competitive, and with O'Ward, they will be competitive at every race.

I tend to root for individual drivers. I like Sato and Graham Rahal, so I do root for the Rahal team. I just looked at the list of drivers, and was surprised to count 13 nationalities!

America - Carpenter, Daly, Fittipaldi*, Herta, Hunter-Reay, Johnson, Newgarden, Rahal, Rossi
Australia - Power
Brazil - Castroneves, Kanaan
Canada - Hinchcliffe, Kellett
France - Bourdais, Pagenaud, Grosjean
Japan - Sato
Mexico - O'Ward
Netherlands - VeeKay
New Zealand - Dixon, McLaughlin
Spain - Palou
Sweden - Rosenqvist, Ericsson
UAE - Jones**
UK - Chilton, Harvey

*Pietro Fittipaldi is an American, but he has both the US and Brazilian flag on his helmet. I don't know which flag he officially races under.

**Ed Jones is a British guy born in Dubai.


quote:

My father in laws neighbor is a huge Sato fan and his collection is amazing. Last year had to get some stuff from Japan for him.

A lot of fans like Sato because he is aggressive, and people like to see action. But Sato has a bad reputation for crashing into people, which is well-earned. However, he has improved tremendously the last two or three years, and has been very solid this year. But the biggest change is that he is now an Indy 500 master. In the last four races he has won twice (for two different teams) and finished a strong P3.


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AutoYes_Clown
USA Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Oct 2012
4133 posts

re: IndyCar 2021 Season Thread
quote:

Is there a good read on the teams...like who should I like?


2021 Teams & Sponsors LINK

You will find that IndyCar teams and drivers, for the most part, are neighborly and cordial compared to F1 & NASCAR. This is especially true in recent times. There's actually been several articles over the recent years that a lack of villains, bad guys, and characters has hurt or at least held IndyCar back. Too many nice guys, family men, and corporate businessmen. I tend to agree.

I think the clear out front abrasive personalities in IndyCar are Alexander Rossi and Jack Harvey. I feel Rossi nearing his boiling point and I expect fireworks soon.

Your big 3 teams of recent past are Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport. Arguably Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Arrow McClaren SP are outside looking in at the big 3.

quote:

It would nice if Indy could pick up a third engine manufacturer sometime in the near future.


You threw the softball up, so I'll swing at it. The budget cuts in F1 made Ferrari consider coming to IndyCar during 2020, but since, Ferrari has confirmed it is holding off. This may actually have more to do that IndyCar moving to hybrid power units in 2022+.

quote:

but had to choose to use either a Honda or Chevy engine


I know it sounds like a bad thing, but the current generation of Honda and Chevy engines in IndyCar have been some of the most reliable, stable, consistent, and cross manufacturer equal racing engines of all time. I think a 3rd manufacturer would have a very difficult time maintaining the success the other two have shared for almost 10 years.

Fun factoid: One of most dominant IndyCar engine manufacturers was Oldsmobile, even after GM announced their closure.



quote:

Graham Rahal


Something I've always liked about Graham is that he has not rode his father's coat tails. The complete opposite of some in F1 *cough Stroll cough Mazepin*. His father (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) made Graham prove himself before signing his son to his own team. For several years Graham raced against his father's team.


sms151t
SMU Fan
Polos, Porsches, Ponies..PROBATION
Member since Aug 2009
123749 posts
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re: IndyCar 2021 Season Thread
What car is Helio driving? I thought he was still in IMSA?

Penske is running how many for Indy? They could easily qualify 6 if they wanted...
Power
Newgarden
Pagenaud
McLaughlin
Helio
Montoya


VABuckeye
Ohio State Fan
Oak Hill, VA
Member since Dec 2007
29314 posts

re: IndyCar 2021 Season Thread
quote:

Something I've always liked about Graham is that he has not rode his father's coat tails.


He's also a huge Buckeye fan which puts him near the top of my list.


sms151t
SMU Fan
Polos, Porsches, Ponies..PROBATION
Member since Aug 2009
123749 posts
 Online 

re: IndyCar 2021 Season Thread
I am good with Rahal for one reason, He is a Rahal-Letterman guy. I despise any Andretti team member, they all have become whiners like Michael.

Ganassi Racing was the Evil Empire until I understood how damn great of a run they have had since since Zanardi


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sms151t
SMU Fan
Polos, Porsches, Ponies..PROBATION
Member since Aug 2009
123749 posts
 Online 

re: IndyCar 2021 Season Thread
quote:

Fittipaldi*


Isn't he the grandson of Emmo?


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TouchedTheAxeIn82
UAB Fan
Cal Fan actually (cool UAB dragon!)
Member since Nov 2012
2573 posts
 Online 

re: IndyCar 2021 Season Thread
quote:

What car is Helio driving? I thought he was still in IMSA?

Helio is signed for six races with Meyer Shank Racing, including the Indy 500. Penske might have run him for just the Indy 500, but he wanted to do more races.


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tccdc
Virginia Tech Fan
Washington, DC
Member since Sep 2007
2702 posts

re: IndyCar 2021 Season Thread
quote:

The cool thing about IndyCar is that you can root for an underdog team and they still have a chance to win. For example, AJ Foyt is a low-budget team, but they have Sebastian Bourdais, and he can definitely win a race or two. Romain Grosjean races for Dale Coyne, a team that "hires" pay drivers by necessity. With Grosjean they have a chance to win a race. Maybe a lot of European and F1 fans root for McLaren because of the F1 association. They did the smart thing and partnered with a very solid existing team, Schmidt-Peterson Motorsport (SPM), which makes them instantly competitive, and with O'Ward, they will be competitive at every race.


Thank you...I tend to root for the underdogs....midfield in F1...

I know this much ...poor Bourdais these past couple races...


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