The Twelfth Row- Three Quick Notes

Just a few notes about the past few days in Indycar.

IMS at last got the pace car driver right. I cringe every year when a celebrity is named to drive the pace car. A professional driver should lead the field to the green. If the track had a celebrity passenger, I’d be fine with that. Sarah Fisher is the best choice. I hope they make her the permanent pace car driver for the 500.

I love the look of the pace car.

The Never Ending Silly Season

News this week that Alexander Rossi’s 2023 plans are settled come a week after Pato O’Ward’s new contract extension came to light. Will we know every driver’s 2023 plans by Mid Ohio? What fun is that?

Rossi at Barber

I would like to just enjoy the year as it unfolds with the championship, surprise pole and race winners, and jus the fun of an Indycar season. In season future driver placement is not enjoyable. Can we wait until September?

The talk is reaching the same level of annoyance I feel during early December college basketball games when the “experts” start to talk about tournament seeding.

Carvana Trouble

Last night Carvana laid off 1,200 employees. Does this move put Jimmie Johnson’s funding in jeopardy? I hope not, but the news is troubling.

Johnson at IMS rookie test last fall

Carvana has had great sponsor activation with great television spots featuring Johnson and displays at the races. I would hate to see them leave Indycar.

This is a developing story. I hope the 48 car can finish the season.

Carvana Unveils Livery for Jimmie Johnson’s Car

Photo from @Carvana

Today is turning out to be a big day for cars numbered 48. Earlier Tony Kanaan announced his full time ride in the Brazilian Stock car series. Now, Kanaan’s other 48, the Chip Ganassi racing Indycar, revealed its new livery for the 2021 season. This is actually the livery for Jimmie Johnson, who will drive the car on the road and street courses.

It’s a nice livery, although it looks like a derivative of AMSP’s cars. In some light the trim looks orange. I think it is really a yellow. It might take a race to get used to the distinction between Johnson. O’Ward, and Rosenqvist. The blue deflector in front of the rear wheel should help fans to distinguish this car from the AMSP cars.

The car debuts at the NTT Indycar Series opener March 18 at Barber Motorsports Park.