ESPN's John Oreovicz has a possible explanation for Dan Wheldon's Total Domination of the field at Homestead: monkeying with the downforce. He explains using some revealing quotes from TCGR engineer Andy Brown.
A year ago, Brown revealed his secret for success at Homestead, and it sounds as if the Indy Racing League's move to increase the rear wing angle -- adding downforce -- for 2007 played right into the Ganassi engineering chief's hands.Anyone else think it's awfully unusual that an engineer would be speaking so candidly about this? Maybe I've got my tinfoil hat on, but it seems this matter-of-fact discussion serves only to mask some other
"The history of the IRL has always been dictated by the way the rules put a lot of downforce in the cars," he said. "That's what makes for such great racing. The minimum downforce that the IRL specifies is more than enough to get around the track, but at Homestead, that wasn't the case. The old track in particular was very flat with not much banking and whilst the minimum downforce levels were great for qualifying, we always felt there was no way you could race like that.
"People would kind of put their hands on their mouths and laugh at us when they saw our wing angles and our wickers, but tires got hot, the track gets hot and we just sort of drove away from everybody."
Then again, maybe Wheldon is just that good and is inclined to bust out a can of whoop-ass in Miami once a year. Oh well.
Totally off the subject, but...as you may or may not know my oldest son (referred to as P2) is inexplicably a stock car fan. Actually P2 is a fan of Home Depot and Lowe's, and they both have shiny stock cars on display every Sunday. Anyhow, P2 also loves Target so in an effort to properly align his racing preferences I bopped on over to the TCGR store and ordered some $5 kids shirts featuring Target IndyCars.
Today I recieved the order - it was all good - and it had a catalog and some hero cards for Wheldon and Dixon. On the Wheldon card it says his nicknames are "D-Dub" and "Thunda".
Thunda. Thunda? I can't even say that with a straight face.
OK, sorry for taking the extra time with the personal story. Maybe someday I'll expound upon other paternal challenges like how P2 always asks "Who's the 3 car?" (and no, he's not talking about Helio Castroneves.)