April 3, 2012
Lotus dragging IndyCar down
By DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Just when the IZOD IndyCar Series looked as if it was headed in the right direction this season with a pair of great races at St. Petersburg and Barber Motorsports Park, the engine woes at Lotus threaten to pull it all down.
On Wednesday all of the IndyCar teams were to be represented for testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for next month’s big race.
But on Monday Lotus admitted it didn’t have enough engines to supply their five teams — BHA Barracuda, Dragon Racing, Dreyer&Reinbold and HVM Racing — at the test.
It leaves those teams behind a giant eight ball.
At St. Petersburg Roger Penske — a Chevrolet team owner — said if Lotus failed Chevrolet and Honda would have to step into the breech to get motors for those five teams for the Indianapolis 500.
Lotus boss Claudio Berro promised that would not happen, but now that promise appears to be broken.
IndyCar boss Randy Bernard said that everyone needs to give Lotus some time. However with the latest bad news, the time for Lotus to step up may be over.
Drivers like Canada’s Alex Tagliani and his BHA Barracuda team deserve better, as do the rest of the Lotus teams.
KAHNE STILL LOOKING FOR BREAKOUT RACE
It was supposed to be the year that Kasey Kahne fulfilled the promise he showed in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing on lesser teams over his first seven seasons.
Always among the most popular drivers — especially among NASCAR’s female fans — Kahne has shown flashes of brilliance, enough that the powerhouse Hendrick organization held a job for him in their No. 5 Chevrolet for a whole season.
Well, although 2012 is only six races old, Kahne has yet to log a Top 10 finish.
He does have a pair of poles he couldn’t translate into wins.
“I’m upset that we haven’t run great this year, but we’re great on Friday and Saturday,” Kahne said.
He needs to start getting “great” on Sundays.
REUTIMANN IN WRONG PLACE AT WRONG TIME
All David Reutimann was trying to do on Sunday at the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway was be a good team player.
But all he got in thanks was a lot of grief.
Reutimann’s No. 10 Tom Baldwin Racing Chevrolet broke a front tie-rod in the final 10 laps of the race and was limping around the half-mile oval before finally coming to a stop bringing out a yellow flag with three laps to go.
Both Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, who were 1-2 at the time, thought that Reutimann should have gone to pit road immediately after the car broke and avoid the caution.
But Reutimann was caught between a rock and hard place because he was trying desperately to keep the No. 10 Chevrolet in the Top 35 in points to retain its automatic qualifying spot for the next race at Texas.
“Number one, I just hate that I was involved in anything that changed the complexion of the race so I’ve got to apologize to the guys that it affected,” he said. “It broke a tie-rod or something like that. I was just trying to limp around there. We needed to finish the next couple of laps to try to stay in the top 35.”
Team owner Baldwin agreed that Reutimann did everything he could under the circumstances.
“He didn’t have a choice (to stop),” Baldwin said. “There’s nothing we could have done.”