Man, I Hope He's Right

Posted by Iannucci | 9/06/2006 | 0 comments »
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Maybe the frothy panic experienced at that thought of Boulder Sam driving in NASCAR was totally unnecessary. Damian Dottore of the OC Register explains.

Hornish, who drives a Roger Penske-owned Honda-powered Dallara in the IRL, expressed a particular interest in driving in the Busch Series that are held on road courses. There were two on the schedule this year. One was in Mexico City and the other in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

IndyCar Series officials limit teams to five days of testing, so Hornish said he would like to use NASCAR as a way to give him an edge over his IRL rivals.
If this is just Sam’s way of improving his road course skills instead of simply dipping his toe in the NASCAR water, then this should actually be considered a good thing. When Sam signed with Penske, he expressed concern at the long season as a reason he didn’t want to go to NASCAR. It would be comforting for IRL fans to know if he still feels that way.

Sam is already one highest paid drivers – if not the highest paid – in the league, so maybe this is less about money and more about preparing for competition on more road courses in the face of a possible merger. Then again, he could be just keeping his options open. Maybe it's a little of both, but if Dottore is correct then this isn’t the completely bad news it appeared to be earlier.