With just three races remaining in the 2012 season, many IndyCar fans are already turning their attention to next year. Silly season speculation of driver changes, schedule changes, and increased horsepower is getting everyone hyped up. Who goes where, and what the schedule looks like in 2013 is all the buzz right now. Even before we get to all of that, remember that there are still four big-name drivers all within 28 points of this year’s Series Championship.
In regards to next year, it’s never too early to think about ways to boost the series. There are certain things that, if they happen, could push the series to new heights, and really help create more buzz around the country. These are the five best scenarios for doing that, in my opinion.
5. Increased Horsepower. It is no secret that the drivers and fans have been salivating for more horsepower since the season began. It was important for the series to not start with too much, and adjust it as needed for the future. The road and street courses could definitely use some extra horses, which would just add to the incredible racing we have already seen. Don’t feed me any B.S. about Push to Pass either, get rid of that gimmick already.
4. Rahal Reunion. Obviously Graham is disappointed in what has been a terrible season for him. He had the race won at Texas, before he clipped the wall with just a few laps remaining. That has been his season in a nutshell. While it is a Ganassi ride, there is still a major gap between the Target machines driven by Dixon and Franchitti. It is unlikely he is back in the 38 car next season, and his best option for winning races might actually be joining his father’s team.
3. Powerless Power. Believe it or not, I think the series could be better next season if Will Power actually fails to win the Championship this year. Before he won his first Championship this past year, LeBron James was always known as the best player in the NBA, though he hadn’t won a title. The biggest question at the beginning of every season was, is this the year LeBron finally wins it? The same could be said for Power. Despite his lack of success on the ovals, I think it is fair to say he is the best driver in the series. If he comes up just short this year (again) there will be a lot of buzz surrounding his name going into next season, wondering if this is finally the year he wins it.
2. Triple Crown. There has been so much talk about the schedule, even going back towards the end of May. The lack of ovals is a big concern for a lot of people, including myself. We have been drooling over the thought of Michigan, Pocono, Kentucky, and Chicagoland being put back on the schedule. With this year’s race in Fontana being extended to 500 miles, it is likely we could see the same for 2013. Now, add another 500 race at Michigan or Pocono, and the Triple Crown is restored, and (hopefully) the fans start showing up.
1. Hinchtown A Winner. It was great seeing Ryan Hunter-Reay win three races in a row. Hell, it was nice just to see someone other than Power, Franchitti, or Dixon win a race. Looking at the drivers starving for a win, the one that would do the most for the series would be James Hinchcliffe. He has already proven he is a marketer’s dream, and his personality is what every team wishes their driver had. Oh yea, he is also one hell of a race car driver. Canada may have exploded had he won either of the races there earlier this season, but it just didn’t work out. His performance over the course of the season speaks for itself, and there is no doubt he will get that first win, soon enough.