It seems like every year we get to this point in the year where the first race is just a few days away, everyone else is doing it and I succumb to the peer pressure…So Here Goes.
Scott Dixon will win the Series Championship. Last year I declared 2012 to be the year of RHR and despite just stopping short of predicting a championship for Ryan, things played out much as I had anticipated. Looking forward to 2013, this just has to be the year the random occurrences of bad luck stop finding Scott Dixon. His driving stints at the Rolex 24 this year were nothing short of breathtaking, including hacking 4 laps off a six lap deficit during a double stint early on Sunday morning. Dixie is the best driver across all four disciplines in IndyCar and 2013 will reward that.
JR Hildebrand will be the 500 champion. Yeah I whiffed on this pick last year but there’s reason for optimism this year. Last year with the DW12 new on the scene, 500 stalwarts Panther Racing seemed lost. Throughout the month I expected them to get things sorted and snap back to the form they had shown for the past several years at Indy. Form never came. Panther started to find speed at Texas two weeks later, but a breakthrough was not seen until late in the season at Fontana where it seemed JR had the field covered in the early laps until grip left the tires and JR brushed the turn 4 wall. Last season’s gains along with the addition of Timo Belli to the engineering staff should bring Panther back into contention on the four big ovals, including the biggest of them all.
2013 will see FOUR first time winners. The future is now for the greatest infusion of young talent IndyCar has seen in quite a while. Sophomore Jinxes are over, Lotus has gone away and the French will rise like the baddest assed mother F-ing Soufflé ever. EVER. JR, Hinch, Pagenaud, DeSilvestro, Newgarten and Vautier are your suspects and 4 of them will break through and for a series that needs new heroes, it can’t come soon enough.
Neither can the racing itself, But first you will have to endure part 2 of this Preview which will appear either Wednesday or Thursday.
If I feel like it.