Tuesday, December 14, 2010

[Indy Car] Ganassi, the new Penske

With the 2011 season quickly approaching and the silly season starting to solidify I think its important that we take a second and look back at the 2009 and 2010 season and the struggle between the two great forces of the sport. Where they came from, where they are at today and how they are looking going into the 2011 season.

In 2009 we saw a brilliant battle for the championship between Ryan Brisco and Scott Dixon which a beautiful steal from Dario at the end in a brilliant show down. However both championships where the Penske's teams to lose, and lose they did.

As I watched Will slide up into the wall at Miami in 2010 I could not help but think of Brisco tapping the wall in Japan in 2009 exiting the pits one year prior. This pit stop was a amazing break for the team, sneaking in right before a yellow that would have allowed them a great margin and a very likely podium or victory even that day solidifying their chance at the championship.

Will Power made his contact with the wall on lap 137 of 200 that would eventually put him out of the race. His massive lead coming into the last three oval races had been slowly erased by a fueling error and then a very costly DNF. All Dario had to do new was finish 10th or better, which he did at 8th.

Twice Penske has thrown away the season to a simple mistake that his main rivals where there to capitalize on. We all know the Captain (Roger) to focused and disciplined, so how do you let your drivers make two season deciding mistakes that cost you the title?

Chip Ganassi has shown amazing prowess in the last two years, working with Dario in 2009 knowing the possible out come of the race up front between Scott Dixon and Ryan Brisco allowing him to save enough fuel to steal the championship from the two fast front runners, led by Penske's Ryan Brisco. In 2010 we saw a beautiful deception as Ganassi gambled on doing a double stint on tiers that put them ahead panicked team Penske who failed to fuel their car costing them a lot more then just a win.

Dario lead a majority of the race in Miami in 2010 which put pressure on Will, but Dario would not be up at the front in the end. Due to some off rotation pit stops a large portion of the field would be out ahead of Dario who would eventually finish 8th. Will would only have had to finish 11th or better if he could have held in there.

In 2009 if Brisco had gone on to win in Japan all he would of had to do is place in Miami to become the 2009 champion. Even if he had not won he still would have likely had a lead going into the last race.

Two years, two very costly and unnecessary mistakes. Very un-Penske like. While Ganassi took two titles that looked like a long shot and did so with cunning and amazing strategy. Currently Target Chip Ganassi Racing is looking a lot more like the Penske racing I watched growing up back in the day then the Penske racing of 2009 or 2010.

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