It’s not been a quiet off season for the Izod Indycar series and a number of smaller stories have broke in a couple of days. Let me get you up to date.
- Conquest Racing is looking at returning to the Indycar series full time in 2013. Eric Bachelart has a DW12 chassis and is short an engine deal. His team has typically been a good option for drivers who can’t get the funds together higher up on the grid. The list of drivers who have driven for Conquest Racing includes a mix of ride buyers who have never been heard from again like Francesco Dracone , journeymen drivers like Alex Tagliani who needed to keep their careers going and talented drivers who haven’t managed to catch on like Bertrand Baguette.
- Mark Miles was announced as the CEO of Hulman & Co., which owns the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Clabber Girl. Miles has a background in event promotion and seems like a good, safe choice.
- Jeff Belskus was given the CEO position of the Izod Indycar Series. Belskus was Tony George’s college roommate, has worked for the family for years. I get the feeling that he’s a status quo sorta guy. I don’t think Belskus is going to make big changes, or offer a lot of out of the box ideas. He had a front row seat to what caused former CEO Randy Bernard’s “Mutual decision” to leave, so I would expect him to drive a more conservative, more down the middle course. I’m not excited about this hire, but it’s not the worst call either. “Meh,” would accurately describe my feelings about the hire.
- Quicken Loans has signed on as a presenting sponsor for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. Quicken is a new sponsor to the sport and it’s always good to see new companies join Indycar. In a related note event organizer Roger Penske finished up a $1 million repaving project at Bell Isle and Will Power thinks it will be more racy
- Tony Kannan and Rubens Barrichello tried their hand at Brazilian stock car racing over the break and didn’t like it much.
- KV Racing teammates Tony Kannan and Simona de Silvestro tested potential aero changes to the superspeedway package. Apparently the changes were more cosmetic in nature and didn’t make a big difference to the handling.
- The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg was in the running for a double header this season but lost out to Toronto, Bell Isle and Houston. Honestly, I like the concept of double headers and St. Pete provides some of the best racing of the year, but I think you can have too much of a good thing.