Monday, March 07, 2005

IRL Fails to Impress

I couldn’t help tuning in to the IRL Homestead event yesterday after I found out that Scheckter had won the pole. It’s not that I have any particular fondness for Scheckter and definitely not for the IRL but my interest was how the Chevrolet, assisted by Cosworth, engine would do in the race.

It certainly seemed to me that the Chevrolet was up to the challenge especially in the early stages of the race. Of course it’s hard to tell exactly what all of the team strategies are without first hand knowledge so the early domination by the Panther driver may have been as a result of more conservative fuel strategies by the other teams. As the race developed it became clear that Scheckter had the power to dominate. It appeared that the Panther team pit stops were costing track position as each time they pitted he came out down in position from where he entered. Of course it was the final yellow that cost Scheckter any chance of showing what the Chevy was made of as the melee on the restart took him and several others out.

That final yellow thrown by race control for a very minor grass fire along the pit roadway was, in my opinion, unnecessary. The yellow flag syndrome just seems to get worse. At some point racing may need to be renamed for color of it’s caution flag.

The other draw to the race had nothing to do with the action on the track but the television coverage offered up by ESPN. The idea of having a small box in one part of the screen and another larger box in another part of the screen running a commercial so we didn’t miss out on the action during commercials was a bust. On my 27 inch screen the action box, which in this race was only showing the parade of yellow flag action, was too small to keep my interest. I can’t imagine a sponsor ever signing up for that again.

Over all the show was unimpressive, oh and what about the close racing......forget it, you mean yellow flag induced close racing!


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