It's that most magical time of the year.
No, not Christmas.
August officially marks the start of the silly season, that time of year when racing seats can be had for a much smaller bag of sponsorship dollars, and drivers that were seemingly happy with their teams a week ago no longer have cars to drive.
Robert Doornbos, aka Bobby D, has seemingly run out of money and thus his prized seat at Newman-Haas-Lanigan Racing. Doornbos leads Rafa Matos in the Rookie of the Year standings, inexplicably qualifying for "rookie" status despite years in Formula 1, A1GP and CCWS, despite his best finish being ninth place (I'm not going to go off on that tangent again, although I am also on the record as stating that RHR should not have been RoY even if the alternative was giving it to Milka).
"We had the option to leave the team after 12 races which I made use of. I want to stay in IndyCar Series and I will announce my future plans very soon. I like to thank the team and especially Mike Lanigan and Carl Haas. I wish them a bright future."
Notice how he didn't mention teammate Graham Rahal, who apparently didn't share many McDonald's apple pies nor setup notes with the Flying Dutchman.
Doornbos is tipped by Robin Miller to join EJ Viso at HVM; although I'm not sure how possible that is if the Bobster is indeed out of euros. The fate of the N/H/L seat is also unclear, with former shoe Sebastian Bourdais hitting the open market after his release from Scuderia Toro Rosso; although the return of the SeaBass would not be a cheap fix for the gang; he'd demand to be paid. Like say, Mike Conway.
LATE EDIT: The word on the street as of Monday evening is that Oriol Servia will be in the other N/H/L car at Mid-Ohio, proving once again that the CCWS was the ultimate recycling program.
Also in the full-blown silly mode are Conquest Racing, who split from Alex Tagliani in favor of Nelson Phillipe and old friend Kosuke Matsuura for Motegi.
Finally, Gary Watkins at Autoweek lifts the lid on the silliest thing of all - three new Acura teams in the IRL next year. The much rumored deFerran Motorsports switch appears on, and Gil will apparently be joined by Connecticut-based Highcroft Patron Racing and Scott Sharp (who could end up with a native Connecticut teammate in free agent Jeff Simmons), as well as Adrian Fernandez's squad I've been told by a reliable source that contrary to many reports, F1 refugee Takuma Sato will not be in the IRL unless as a last resort; Sato's people apparently are looking for a placement in one of the new F1 teams.
The defection of Acura does not bode well for the ALMS, which has been teetering with low car counts as it stands now, and increasingly vocal criticism from team owners about the payouts.
Stay tuned for more silliness, after all it's only August 4.