Like most American kids that grew up in the 80's I watched the Indy 500 every year and became interested in motorsports thanks to that race, but I didn't really get hooked until I started watching Formula 1 racing in the late 90's. My favorite era were those years with the great Mika Hakkinen/Michael Schumacher battles. (I was a Mika Hakkinen fan) So my fondness for Formula 1 waned once Mika retired and Schumacher started winning everything, even at the expense of his teammate Rubens Barrichello. My interest in F1 has only been lukewarm since.

Then I turned to Champ Car racing here in the US for my motorsports fix. However that was quickly extinguished once Champ Car and Indy Car merged and we were stuck with Tony George and his many foibles. (It was entertaining to watch the Hulman/George drama I'll admit.) My interest has been less than lukewarm with Indy Car lately, even without Tony George at the helm.

Over time however, the excitement I once had for motorsports has slowly gone. Maybe it has to do with my age, I don't know. But I think I will pour my efforts into my Trooper and my interests in the outdoors to add excitement to my life.

Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it. I will still post racing news when I find something interesting or noteworthy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jimmie Johnson: IndyCar should quit oval racing

(si.com 10-17-11)

Five-time defending NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson called on IndyCar to stop racing on ovals in the wake of Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon's death.

Wheldon was killed in a 15-car accident in Sunday's season finale IndyCar race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a high banked, 1.5-mile oval.

"I wouldn't run them on ovals. There's just no need to," Johnson said Monday during a test session at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Those cars are fantastic for street circuits, for road courses. I hate, hate, hate that this tragedy took place. But hopefully they can learn from it and make those cars safer on ovals somehow.

"I don't know how they can really do it. Myself, I have a lot of friends that race in that series, and I'd just rather see them on street circuits and road courses. No more ovals."

Johnson was in his own frightening accident Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where his car hit headfirst into the wall. The back wheels briefly lifted off the track, but Johnson walked away and suffered only next-day soreness.

He's always wanted to race in the Indianapolis 500, but when his daughter was born last year, Johnson said he promised his wife he would not drive an IndyCar. The combination of the speeds and the car design - an IndyCar has an open cockpit and open wheels that can't withstand the bumping that occurs on ovals - has made him gun shy about racing cars that don't have a roof.

"Their average was 225? I've never been 225 mph in my life - and that's their average around an oval. They are brave men and women that drive those things," Johnson said. "There's very little crumple zone around the driver, it's an open cockpit and then you add open wheels - it's just creating situations to get the car off the ground at a high rate of speed. And you can't control the car when it's off the ground."

Johnson watched Sunday's race at home and said he was glued to his television, mouth wide open as he watched the replays of Wheldon's accident.

"Knowing Dan and his wife and two kids, and then I'm sitting there with my daughter running around in the backyard, I was torn up yesterday," Johnson said. "I mean, I know Dan, or knew Dan. We just stared at the TV for a long time yesterday with long faces. Just really sad."

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