Word-Butchering Talent Scouts

I’ve kindly been asked to join a co-operative of bloggers known as the United Open Wheel Word Butchers Association, which has been set up to cross-promote a selection of racing blogs to like-minded people.
After you’ve read this post take yourself over to the UOWWBA site and check out some of my colleagues’ blogs in the sidebar there, you might find some you’ve never seen before. I’d never seen Pit Out before and I’ve gone on to bookmark it (I also added it and Planet-IRL and Motorsports Ramblings to my sidebar). Pit Out is close to what this blog would be like if I could find the time / effort to update it as often.

Part of being with the UOWWBA is to answer a weekly question, in order to get our own individual take on any given burning issue. This week’s question is this:

“You have just been appointed to be the new “talent scout” for the IRL. Your first mission is to bring 5 drivers to the series. These can be former drivers from Indycar or from any other series. Which 5 would you pick and why?”

So here are my picks in no particular order:

1. Paul Tracy.
This might only be for the one season because let’s face it, even if Champ Car had continued Paul would be getting close to the end of his open-wheel career by now. His career should end the way it seems to have ended. He should go out fighting, that’s the Paul Tracy Way. I miss watching him race. I wish we could see him adapt to what he once called ‘those crapwagons’. When ‘unification’ was announced he was one of the first drivers I wanted to watch mix it among the IRL crowd, alongside Wilson, Servia and Power. He needs to be back. Just for one season. He just DOES dammit.

2. A J Allmendinger.
I don’t know much about this guy, but what I do know is that once he stepped up from a midfield team to Forsythe he completely killed the opposition. Then walked away. He shouldn’t be trolling around in back-of-the-field N-word teams. Even if Toyota plus Red Bull shouldn’t be back-of-the-field teams. Just like Toyota and Red Bull in F1, in fact.

3. Sam Hornish Jr.
Because he was getting better at road courses, wasn’t he? In any case we need drivers who are stronger on ovals than on road courses, as much as we need drivers who are stronger on road courses than on ovals. And we need flag-bearers from the ‘old’ IRL just as much we need those from the ‘old’ CART. Hornish is the best of that bunch. And the same applies to Hornish as it does to Allmendinger, vis a vis being in NASCAR.

4. Justin Wilson.
It looks like Justin is out of a ride so I’ll include him here, because he damn well shouldn’t be out of a ride. I hope N/H/L get some more funding and are able to run a second car with him in it. I’m sure he must be ‘first call’ in that instance. Look at his progress on road courses this year. He was one of the few to take it to Bourdais regularly in Champ Car. He dragged a half-assed Minardi around the F1 tracks to positions it should never have been, that car being the only one at the time without power steering.

5a. Robert Doornbos.
It looks like he may have signed for HVM, I’m not sure if that’s an announcement or just a rumour I’ve seen on websites. In any case he’s wasting his time in Superleague Formula. His sporadic F1 appearances showed potential, which he went on to prove in Champ Car before the series collapsed from under him. He was supposed to go into 2008 as a serious title contender against Wilson and Power. In reality he spent the year scratching around making a living in SF, A1GP and GT racing. He needs to be back in a top line open wheel car. I think he’d love ovals.

In case he’s signed already, an alternative no.5:
5b. Alex Lloyd.
He’s British, I’m British, and he’s a proven winner in that he’s the 2007 Indy Lights champ. The Indy Lights champ should always get at least few races in the main series during the following year or two. I know running the Indy 500 itself is a big deal, and if the winner of Lights always wins a prize drive at the 500 then that’s fantastic – but I don’t think they do. He needs a run with somebody who can give him a fair shot even if it is only half a season. Maybe he can run the road courses for Fisher (or a second car?).

For the last twelve months the automatic entry to this list was Dario Franchitti. Thankfully he’s back already!

Thanks again to Kohl for the invite to join the OWWBA.

To everyone else, I promise I *will* get the first of my Top Tens posted next weekend! I’ll probably start with the IndyCar one.

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