The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

March 19, 2013

Ken de la Bastide: IndyCar kicks off season in Florida

The long-awaited start of the IZOD IndyCar Series season kicks off this weekend on the street course at St. Petersburg with 25 cars entered for the event.

Last year Helio Castroneves opened the season with a win in Florida, but the real question going into the season is can Will Power secure that first IndyCar title?

Power, a teammate of Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe on Team Penske, has been the runner-up for the championship the past three years. What has always been the Achilles heel for Power is the oval tracks the series runs on.

Last year he started from the pole at St. Petersburg so it will be crucial for him to start the season strong on the street course.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, driving for Andretti Autosport, is the defending series champion — having beat Power by three points in 2012.

There are many questions entering the season. Will JR Hildebrand, James Hinchcliffe, Simon Pagenaud, Charlie Kimball or Simona de Silverstro record that breakthrough win?

de Silvestro, after enduring a terrible 2012 season in a Lotus-powered car, has landed a ride with KV Racing Technology. It will be interesting to see if she can become more competitive now that she has landed a ride with a top team.

Can the American drivers — Graham Rahal, Kimball, Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter and Josef Newgarden — bring renewed interest in the open-wheel series after climbing up through the ranks of open-wheel racing in this country?

Nothing would be more welcome by series officials than for another American to emerge as a contender in 2013, joining Hunter-Reay.

Rahal is driving for his father, Bobby, as part of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing lineup with James Jakes as a teammate.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon will be looking for a third championship. He won the title in 2003 and 2008 so that five-year cycle is this year. His teammate, Dario Franchitti, the defending Indianapolis 500 winner, will be looking for a fifth championship.

IndyCar has provided some of the best racing in the country over the past few years, and it should continue in 2013. My only wish is that it would open the season on a true road course instead of a temporary street circuit.

St. Petersburg does provide good racing on the 1.8-mile course but, as with all street circuits, passing proves to be difficult.

The NBC Sports Network will show the race Sunday at noon, with the Firestone Indy Lights race preceding it at 11 a.m.

Text Only
Sports
  • Ken de la Bastide: Plenty of story lines for Brickyard Before the winner of this Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway gets the chance to kiss the bricks, media members will be complaining about the race.

    July 23, 2014

  • SPT - HB0722 - Luck Dungy art George Bremer: Five favorite memories of Colts camp I thought, as a kind of primer before Wednesday's main event, I'd celebrate the fifth straight summer of the Colts at AU by sharing my five favorite memories of training camp so far.

    July 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • SPT - HB0722 - Stuckey art Pacers face uphill battle after signing Stuckey Last week, the Indiana Pacers lost Lance Stephenson. On Monday, they replaced one of the NBA's best young players with shooting guard Rodney Stuckey.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marcum claims Late Model win Morristown driver Jeff Marcum has watched victories in the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models slip away this season, but that changed Saturday at Anderson Speedway.

    July 20, 2014

  • SPT-HB0720-HoosierParkart3.JPG Miller leads Champion Driver Series

    When the format was announced for Hoosier Park’s initial Champion Driver Series, it was thought that getting either the fifth or sixth pick in every race but never first or second might be a huge disadvantage. Lewayne Miller proved otherwise.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0720 - Mireles art Mireles looks toward future after all-star finale Surrounded by his friends and family near midfield under the lights of Friday night, Elwood’s Sammy Mireles did something he’s never done in his career. The state’s all-time leading rusher freely absorbed a hit.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0720 - Tennis Classic - JC 1 Hiatt repeats, Hammel wins first title at tennis classic There was a repeat winner and a first-time winner in the Men's A Singles and Women's A Singles championship matches on Saturday morning at the 34th annual Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 19, 2014 4 Photos

  • Hucks move on in A Doubles bracket Shawn Huck doesn't have an easy decision when it comes to picking partners for the 34th Annual Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 18, 2014

  • SPT - HB0718 - Tennis Classic logo Varsity mixed doubles champs crowned at Tennis Classic The scene slightly resembled a war zone and slightly a country club at Anderson University on Thursday afternoon. As Indianapolis Colts personnel started tearing down tennis court bleachers and parked what appeared to be nearly 100 golf carts in preparation for training camp starting on Thursday next week, one of the first titles was handed out in the Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Champion drivers ready for series opener Saturday at Hoosier Park Harness drivers were turned into handicappers on Thursday and their effectiveness in that role will be determined Saturday night.

    July 17, 2014

Latest Sports Photos


Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin

Latest Racing News