IndyCar: Penske Keeps Winning and IndyCar May Take over Baltimore Race

James Williams@WordmandcAnalyst IIIMay 1, 2012

IndyCar may have to save the Baltimore Grand Prix
IndyCar may have to save the Baltimore Grand PrixRobert Laberge/Getty Images

Everyone is back from Brazil and the focus turns for the month of May to one race and one race only.

That of course is the Indianapolis 500 and all the teams are tweaking every little bit on their cars doing all they can to get the last little bit of horsepower out of their engines.

There will be plenty of time to focus on the Indy 500 but for now I have a couple of items in my notebook to offer for your consideration.

Item No.1 - The utter dominance through the first four races of the season by Team Penske. As everyone knows, they have accounted for every win this year in the IndyCar series including Will Power winning Sunday in Brazil, his third in a row.

Heading into the Indy 500, to say that they are the prohibitive favorites would be a gross understatement. That said it will be interesting to see how much the Andretti Auto Sport Team and Target Chip Ganassi Racing can close the gap on the boys from Penske.

There will be plenty of time to talk about the Indy 500, as everyone gets ready for qualifying on Saturday May 19th, weather permitting.

Item No. 2 - Can IndyCar save the Baltimore Grand Prix?

OK as we reported earlier this month the Baltimore Grand Prix, set for Labor Day weekend August 31st through September 2nd is on life support. In a front page story in today’s edition of The Baltimore Sun reported that  the race promoters Downforce Racing has yet to meet key benchmarks and according to the paper the IndyCar Series could take the race over.I strongly recommend that you read The Baltimore Sun accounts of the myriad of problems that presently threaten the future of the race.

At this point it looks like the future – at least the near term future – of the Baltimore Grand Prix will be up to how involved IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard wants to be in taking over the race. While the first Baltimore Gran Prix was a hit at the box office with nearly 140,000 tickets bought for the three day race weekend last Labor Day. It was however a business disaster causing the city to get rid of the original promoter and replace them with Downforce. As chronicled in this fine article in the Baltimore Business Journal.

So right now the future of the race will likely fall to the folks at IndyCar something that I am sure they neither wanted nor planned for but to save the race it will clearly take their intervention.