There are many things to look for during the upcoming IZOD IndyCar Series. Although there have been some changes to the series, the excitement and anticipation should be as high as ever before.
With Dario Franchitti winning the Championship last season, the focus will again be on the two strong teams, Target Chip Ganassi and Penske Racing. While Andretti Green Racing has some stars in their stable, the results just weren't there last year. Obviously the return of Danica Patrick will be the main headline, but there are other questions that await answer for AGR.
Will this be the year that Marco Andretti can live up to expectations? Has Tony Kanaan's bad luck finally run out? It seemed as if in every race last season where things were going well for AGR, there was always a bucket of bad luck waiting around the corner; or in this case, in the final laps.
This might be the year that someone out of the top three stables is finally able to establish themselves as a serious championship contender. Will Graham Rahal, Dan Wheldon, Justin Wilson, or Ryan Hunter-Reay be able to get to the top?
Another big headline will come towards the end of April, when the focus turns to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Indianapolis 500. It was announced less than two weeks ago that the schedule for the month of May will be shortened by one practice week. This will leave teams with less time to practice, but in the end will save precious dollars, which is very beneficial to the smaller teams.
I don't think this will have any negative effect on the racing that we will see on race day, and I still plan on attending the Speedway every day that the cars are on it. These are some of the best days leading up to the race, and that will remain the same.
Another obvious headline everyone will be talking about will be the record that Helio Castroneves will be chasing; his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory. Only three drivers have won the Indianapolis 500 four times; A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears, and Al Unser. Helio will look to join these three drivers this May.
The finish to the 2009 season was great, and having the Championship come down to the final race was something everyone wants to see again this year.
Yes, Christmas is just five days away; but I can't wait until March.