Thursday, March 5, 2009

Indy Countdown Continues with Versus

61 days until the Speedway opens and Versus hits the air this weekend with the opening salvo of its Indy Racing League coverage with a special focusing on Danica and her impact on the IRL. Lots of folks have been bashing the IRL for it's television package for the 2009 season but I say wait and see. It will be hard to top Speed TV's wall to wall Cup coverage but then that's the IRL battle in a nutshell, isn't it?

I'd be happy with any extra coverage Versus provides, especially if the start of every race is shown, uninterrupted or delayed by golf or some other garbage the bigger networks always seem to think is more important. Staying past the checkers for interviews will also be a nice change, as what the IRL really needs in my opinion is for people to see their people. Cup drivers have become so damn politically correct these days, I know what they are going to say before they even open their mouths - "... the crew and the guys in the shop are really working hard and the Bazooka Joe COT just needs a little more work blah blah blah..."

Let's see some pushing and shoving in pit lane, and an ill-advised adjective now and then from the IRL brigade and let some emotion in. For crying out loud, these folks risk their lives at over 200 mph inches apart every race so who can blame them for being fired up when they get out of the car after someone has given them a hip check into the fence and out of a race?

* * * * *
Say it ain't so Helio! The tax evasion lawsuit continues to draw coverage of Helio which must be driving him crazy. With apologies to Shoeless Joe Jackson of Black Sox infamy, I can't help but think of that phrase whenever Helio is mentioned lately. Other than Danica, he is arguably the biggest reason the IRL has gotten national media attention outside of the racing world the last couple of years with his "Dancing With The Stars" win. I never once watched the show but I followed the media reports as he advanced since I knew every soundbite or drop of ink would benefit Indycar racing. In the last interview I saw with him, he talked about being in an element where he was not in control and it was clearly bothering him. He seemed pressed to flash his usual effusive smile and I can imagine he is seeing his career circle the drain in fear that the charges could hold up. For a two-time Indy 500 winner, it just doesn't seem right. On the other hand, the defense that his lawyers are putting forth, that he didn't really have any managing control over the company that got the funds for his driving, seems kind of flimsy. It's hard to fathom this could be his downfall, especially when you see the crap that others have pulled and seemingly gotten away with. I'd rather have an alleged tax evader racing me than an admitted heroin user.

But I'm not in charge. I'm just a Hoosier with an opinion. More to follow you can bet. See y'all!

No comments: