Biggest racing stories of 2011
The release of IndyCar's accident report last week asserted that Wheldon's death occurred because of a confluence of interlocked but unrelated factors that led to him striking a catch fence pole with his head. IndyCar absolved every individual factor in the crash while focusing on what it claimed was unforeseen "limitless" speed and maneuverability around the Las Vegas track, even though drivers had warned of such before the season. Most notably, Marco Andretti observed, "From the looks of it, the circuit should be easily wide open, which is going to create a big pack. It's going to be fun for the fans. I like those races, but it'll be dangerous." Categorizing the factors that led to Wheldon's death as a sad, unavoidable occurrence, therefore, would be a tragedy.
It will be interesting to see if Patrick blends into a universe of current NASCAR stars or stakes her own identity. Her on-track results have been validating enough, with a top-five and three top-10s in 12 Nationwide races in 2011, and a fourth-place finish in the Nationwide Series at Las Vegas where she became the highest-finishing female in a NASCAR top-three series. Her expected bid to start in the Daytona 500 is likely to consume Speed Weeks.
"We've got a maximum of two races in America and when you consider the country is as big as Europe and we've got several races in Europe, it's difficult," he told the network. "If we had a lot more races there and a lot more television it would be OK. It's a bit like the rest of America in that they want to see a profit before they start something and it's not easy to do that."