Wheldon stays, Viso does not

Posted by Iannucci | 10/28/2009 | , , , | 0 comments »
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Curt Cavin reports the unspectacular union of Dan Wheldon and Panther Racing that resulted in a total of 8 laps led in 2009...will continue. This is not unlike an unsatisfied married couple who both went out to separate bars, surveyed the options available, then went home to tell their spouses how much they love them. Wheldon is still a skilled driver, and Panther is still able to put a competitive car on the track (at least as competitive as anyone not in the Big Two) but I'm sure both would rather forget that 2009 ever happened. Well, except for that nice check they got for finishing 2nd at Indy.

Meanwhile, HVM Racing has issued a press release

With the checkered flag unfurled on the 2009 IndyCar Series season, HVM Racing is planning changes for the off-season to get the historically winning team back on track for 2010.

The team plans to return next season as a two-car operation after adding a second car mid-season in 2009 with the signing of Robert Doornbos. Doornbos is signed to return in 2010, and the team is now exploring options with their second entry after E.J. Viso's contract with the team expired.

Team principal and owner Keith Wiggins is already busy looking for the right talent that he feels is needed to get team performance back to past levels...
Which means if you have sufficient funding, you too might be "the right talent". And the return of Robert Doornbos practically begs the use of the term "meh", except that I don't say "meh". I just kind of shrug my shoulders, which of course you can't see. So OK, good for Bob, and now we're all moving along.

Meanwhile, I can't say that anyone can blames Viso for leaving. After an exciting rookie season where he made as many enemies as fans, Viso was featured in IndyCar fanclub ads as one of the more prominent drivers. "Spend a Day with Viso", they said. In reality most folks wouldn't wanted to have spent race days with Viso, as his '09 campaign was a dismal failure resulting in 18th place in the championship standings - last of any driver who competed in every race. You don't have to be a Venezuelan snake enthusiast to know that when you finish 12th or worse in all but one race it's time to look elsewhere.

Where that elsewhere will be is anyone's guess, but if there's any way he can be paired with his rumored punching bag Mario Moraes then I'd be willing to pitch in $20 to help fund that team.