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Ranking Available Drivers & Seats ....

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  • Ranking Available Drivers & Seats ....

    All the buzz about Wheldon is going to die soon when an official annoucement is made, so let's get a Top Ten rundown of who is available and where they're rumored to be heading. Here is my short list.... and don't burn me here, friends, as I haven't the time to do this list properly.

    Drivers:
    1. Dan Wheldon (TCGR, Williams F1)
    2. Vitor Meira (Rahal, Panther, TCGR)
    3. Tomas Scheckter (Panther, AGR, Vision)
    4. Patrick Carpentier (Cheever, AGR, Champ)
    5. Buddy Lazier (Panther, ?)
    6. Darren Manning (Champ Car, ?)
    7. Tomas Enge (Panther, Cheever, Champ Car)
    8. Alex Barron (?)
    9. Felipe Giaffone (Foyt)
    10. P.J. Chesson (Vision, Panther)

    Seats:
    1. 26 car - AGR (Scheckter, Marco)
    2. 4 car - Panther (Scheckter, Meira)
    3. 10 car - TCGR (Wheldon)
    4. 33 car - TCGR (will it be there?)
    5. 17 car - Rahal (Vitor)
    6. 2 car - Panther (Meira, Enge, Chesson)
    7. 51 & 83 car - Cheever
    8. 14 car - Foyt


    *I'm being pretty rough on Alex, I know. He's still one of my favorites, just tough to judge after a few years in sub-par equipment.

    *After Wheldon, I'm thinking the best drivers you're looking at are Scheckter, Meira and Carpentier - all three could win races in proper equipment. I'm guessing that one of these three guys lands in the vacant 26 car at AGR.

    -I believe losing Scheckter would hurt the LEAGUE the most - seeing that he's been coined as "Mr. Excitement" by both Robin and Oreo. Love him or hate him, the series would not be the same with out Tomas. I predict a landing at AGR, with Panther kicking themselves if they let another good one get away.
    -Meira is equally talented and easier on equipment. He is yet to win a race, a reason for concern, but has missed out on a couple victories by a combined 12-inches. One of the sport's true good guys. A Scheckter-Meira team at Panther would be interesting, but unlikely. I'm guessing he makes it work at Rahal and returns. After the season he had, Bobby looks like a fool if he lets Vitor get away.
    -Carpentier is a potential star that hasn't been given a fair shot in the IRL quite yet. He could be the darkhorse to land in the open 26 seat. I fear if he gets no AGR consideration he'll be back in Champ Car, as I don't see motivation for anybody to run with Cheever - and Pat nearly walked mid-season.

    *I think we could see Manning or Enge back in the series, both have shown flashes and both have made mistakes. I believe, given the time, Enge has the better upside of the two. Manning wins the personality battle by two miles, but it was publicized by Cavin that Darren wasn't the same since his major hit at Indy. Enge bounced off the wall a few times and came back stronger, and I hear the folks he works with LOVE him.

    *Not sure what Briscoe showed us last year aside from what we already knew - that's he's darn good on the road courses. Two things we know now is that he is subject to brain fade and lucky to be alive. On ovals he looked like an Aussie Mark Taylor. He could be Ganassi's guy if he does select Champ Car events next year.

    *Chesson only made the list because he's been linked to a few rides. The RockStar Energy Drink sponsorship seems like a match made in heaven, but Panther's got better options. The book is still out on if this guy can drive. The Pro Series has produced nothing whatsoever for the IndyCar Series in regards to drivers, no reason to think that's going to change with this wild man. Jeff Simmons might be the Pro Series lone hope for an IRL star.... but nobody wants to give this guy a shot.

    *Buddy Lazier proved he can still drive the wheels off a racecar, and gives the IRL a big dose of what it lacks - gritty, talented veteran American drivers that only care about winning. He will be driving for somebody at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2006, but he deserves a ride in 13 other races next season. It should also be written into the IRL rulebook that Kara Lazier must attend every race and be given significant TV time - that woman is as kind as she is beautiful. Those that think Danica is hot need to get a dose of what a real woman looks like. All kidding aside, it's a crime that Buddy Lazier is not a staple of this league.

    *The two sure-fire race winners are the 26 and 4 cars - every racecar driver that wants to run in the IRL will be blowing up Andretti Green Racing's & Panther's telephones for a chance at those seats. The 26 being a dream come true for any driver. It should be interesting to see how those play out.

    apologies for who & what I've left out... I'm sure there are a few.
    please discuss.
    "Race at Indy? Or not race at Indy? It's not that complicated"
    -Eddie Cheever

  • #2
    Unfortunately, Foyt Racing a place where careers go to die!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Scheckter had competitive equipment this year, and still only managed one victory and a handful of solid runs. I have to say, that other than Wheldon, Carpentier has to be at the top of the list. To do what he did this year with horrible equipment is truly amazing. Plus, the guy doesn't crash, which should be a huge factor in the eyes of team owners. I'd love to see PC in the #26 car.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by bret_pollack
        Unfortunately, Foyt Racing a place where careers go to die!!!

        but ya know....a guy like Felipe Giaffone, and a new line of Honda engines might be all Foty needs to get back on track. Giaffone is a proven reace winner, and a very solid driver that can produce big numbers for you if you let him.
        In loving memory of three of the best!

        -Scott Brayton
        -Tony Renna
        -Dan Wheldon

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        • #5
          AJ has always thought very highly of Buddy Lazier. If AJ agrees to get an engineer full time, maybe Buddy would do it.
          Third Gen Indy Fan

          Comment


          • #6
            I personally would love to see Cheever get good funding and run 2 cars.. Buddy Lazier, and Thomas Enge. That would be a dang fine team IMHO.

            Buddy has skills at running the cars right to the edge.

            Enge seems to me to have the most raw talent of any of the rookies this year.
            "If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed." - Mark Twain

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Racer 6379
              Scheckter had competitive equipment this year, and still only managed one victory and a handful of solid runs.
              The same can be said for Vitor, Sharp, Matsura, Herta (?), Danica, Rice...there are more...AGR just dominated, and Penske was almost always there as well. If a team passes on Tomas for Enge or Jacque, they haven't been watching very closely.

              Dizz Fan
              "There's no doubt he (Herta) spun on purpose," said Dan Wheldon, …one of the Andretti Green Racing mechanics confessed he was "ashamed" that his team resorted to those tactics.

              "It's not my fault" ~ Danica

              Comment


              • #8
                My guesses here

                - Wheldon does go to F1, and hopefully Nico Rosberg will suck, which will vault Dan into the race seat. One can hope, anyway.
                - Schekter goes to the #26 car. Tomas + AGR car means a driver who can outrun ANYBODY.
                - Schekter's #4 will go to Carpentier, who has done well in Cheever's scrapwagon equipment.
                - Vitor will go to Panther to take Enge's seat, while Enge (and his money) go to Cheever, and keep him afloat.
                - Ganassi will choose to do most of the CCWS schedule with Briscoe behind the wheel, with Lazier in the #33 IRL car. Manning goes to CCWS, possibly for PKV there.
                - Cheever will put Lazier in the #51, Enge in the #83.
                "You couldn't find a car you liked in Germany?

                No......I couldn't find a speed limit I liked in America."

                Proud Fan of the IZOD Indycar World Series

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Brantoc
                  I personally would love to see Cheever get good funding and run 2 cars.. Buddy Lazier, and Thomas Enge. That would be a dang fine team IMHO.

                  Buddy has skills at running the cars right to the edge.

                  Enge seems to me to have the most raw talent of any of the rookies this year.
                  Cheever had good funding, Red Bull, and did run two cars. We all saw how that turned out.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BigDaddy
                    Cheever had good funding, Red Bull, and did run two cars. We all saw how that turned out.
                    Stuck two years with Chevy boatanchors.
                    Then getting second rate Toyota engines for a year.

                    Thats not really fair. Then again, thats life.

                    Still this year Cheever had a good turn around. Barron got a couple good finnishes, and the team tward the end (guess it's always tward the end) did well, with very few mistakes.

                    you may critisize me, but if the IRL was as even on engines as CC, Barron would have more than a token few wins in the IRL, and Cheever's team would have quite a number.
                    "If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed." - Mark Twain

                    Comment

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