I know the first part of the title got everyone really excited and the last part brought great disappointment. However, I’m not going anywhere. I just wanted to get in one last column this month. Some news and thanks for a great year.
Carlin finally announced that they will be a full time 2 car team in 2018 with drivers Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton. They will use Chevy engines. Honda already said they were full for the regular season. This is essentially Ganassi’s B team from last year. I hope both drivers have better years on a team where they will get full attention. Carlin is the Roger Penske of European junior formula racing. I look for them to be contenders in a couple of years. Both drivers will bring their sponsors from last year.
With Carlin on the grid there will be four new teams running Indycar next year, two full time and two part time. This is a welcome influx of new owners. There might be a couple more joining in the next few years. Steinbrenner Racing, currently running Colton Herta in Indy Lights, will move up to Indycar at some point, possibly as soon as 2019. I think Herta’s Indy Lights results may determine when that happens.
There could potentially be 24 cars starting at St. Pete to begin the season.
First, many thanks to those of you who read this column. It is a pleasure to write and I am glad to be able to share my thoughts with you.
I would like to give special thanks to two of my fellow bloggers:
George Phillips of Oilpressure for his encouragement and support during the two years I have been writing. If you are not reading his blog, start this week.
Patti Nolen of ikissedthebricks I appreciate her feedback, and we have had some really good racing discussions. Patti writes great stories of her personal track experiences. Check out her blog.
I want to give special thanks to those who read the column for the first time this year. You have helped the blog grow beyond anything I expected when I began in May, 2016.
Finally, but not least, my fellow class members of the Creative Writing class at the Life Enrichment Center in Tampa. This blog started because of the help and encouragement I received early in 2016. Two of my columns last year began as pieces I wrote for class. It has been a life changing experience.
I will return in January with more goings on in Indycar and a look ahead to the Rolex24. Indycar fans should be interested in IMSA next year with Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya driving full time for Penske and many other Indycar drivers making part time appearances in the series.
Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year. Mike