And the award goes to...

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An interesting look back at the 2013 IndyCar season.

Looking back over the 2013 IndyCar season, and I quickly realize it was one of the best to date.

I will never admit to this fully, but it seems that IndyCar is my favorite discipline of motorsports these days. There is something about the competition, the danger. I know a good handful of the players, and find myself shooting a couple rounds of it each year. It’s simply exciting.

2013 was no exception.

Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Covy Moore

Scott Dixon was crowned the champion for the season. While I walked along the outside of the track, shooting the cars tearing past me at 350 km/h, I simply hoped that “Dixie’s” engine would expire. I am the eternal lover of an underdog, and hoping in the back of my mind (because there is no clapping in the press box, right?) that Helio Castroneves can manage the win, and the title.

But, when the cars started to fall out of the race, and it looked like Dixon was going to be able to cruise to the crown, I started thinking about if, and why he deserved to win the championship.

Then it hit me.

The guy was penalized in Baltimore, only a handful of races before this finale for saying what is on every fan, driver, crew member, team owner and media members mind. IndyCar race control can’t get a grip on its decisions to penalize for just cause.

The guy was very outspoken after a restart incident with Will Power, when he had hoped the recovery team would bring his car back to the pits for repairs.

Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Covy Moore

At Infineon, he was penalized for hitting a Penske crew guy…in a move that frankly was blatent from the Power crew.

He did in fact overcome a lot of adversity, and one title every five years is certainly not something any fan can argue. (Cough, Vettel, cough.)

I really wish I could have been someone in charge of handing out awards, like the Academy, but because of my station within the motorsports news world, I think I will anyways.

2013 Fan Favorite Award: (At least this fan’s favorite)

And the award goes to… James Hinchcliffe. The guy is funny, talented behind the wheel, and the woman who accompanies him to each and every race is simply gorgeous. He won his first three races of his IndyCar career this year, and deserved each and every one of them. Sao Paulo’s last lap win was the highlight. Telling the television crew in Houston that he “had to pee” instead of freaking out about his standing start incident was his low light of the year.

James Hinchcliffe, Andretti Autosport Chevrolet and girlfriend, Kristen Dee
James Hinchcliffe, Andretti Autosport Chevrolet and girlfriend, Kristen Dee

Photo by: Rebecca McKay

If ‘Hinch can get his consistency together, he will be a title contender next season.

2013 Bozo, Bonehead, Stupid Move of the Year Award*:

This year, we are delighted to hand this prestigious award to Takuma Sato, for his “whoops” moment at Pocono.

Sato was coming into the pits for a green flag stop behind Ryan Hunter-Reay when it seemed he forgot which pedal was the brake. He smoked the back of the 1 car, sending Hunter-Reay into the wall, ending both their days and injuring the 2012 champions wrist in the process. Don’t get me wrong Taku…I think you are one of the best in the paddock, but this was a costly mistake.

Takuma Sato, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda
Takuma Sato, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda

Photo by: Rebecca McKay

  • This award was originally going to be handed to Beaux Barfield, for inconsistency. But the thought of having to do IndyCar PR events to pay off my penalty made me sick.

2013 Hard Charger Award:

For his incredible performances in Toronto, along with solid showings in a handful of other events, this award goes to Sebastian Bourdais. The guy is driving some of the worst equipment in the garage, yet found his way onto the podium, with an ere of ease in Toronto. Dropping the trophy wasn’t the highlight, but the presenter did hand him the base, when the trophy was certainly not attached. If he wants to piece it back together, he might have a lot of people to contact as cleanup was covered by fans and media.

Sébastien Bourdais, Dragon Racing Chevrolet celebrates
Sébastien Bourdais, Dragon Racing Chevrolet celebrates

Photo by: Covy Moore

Nobody charges harder than those drivers in slightly slower equipment, and to keep Andretti, Ganassi and Penske cars behind you in a Dragon Racing machine is a feat. Watch the closing laps of those races, and you will understand why Bourdais got the nod of the hard charger award. It sure is a shame that Jay Penske is putting his resources into this Formula E thing, and not working towards wins in IndyCar.

2013: Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

Simona de Silvestro. She was a close second for the hard charger award, but deserves this one none the less. She is running KV equipment, which is mediocre at best, yet found her way to the podium as well, the first in her IndyCar career. This girl has flown through the air at Indianapolis, on fire nonetheless, and is still a good best each race day to be gaining spots and looking for that top 3. Why supporting role? Because (without sounding too sexist) we still don’t have a powerhouse lady driver in the series.

Simona de Silvestro, HVM Racing Technology Chevrolet
Simona de Silvestro, HVM Racing Technology Chevrolet

Photo by: Covy Moore

Danica Patrick won a race, but a fuel mileage race with 24 other drivers who were suffering from jet lag. Just sayin’. I want to see Pippa Mann and de Silvestro contending for wins in the coming years. They are both talented, and with the promise shown by the Swiss driver this season, I think she could even contend for a title one day.

Unlike the Academy Awards, I will not bore you any more. Lets hand one more of these things out, then call it a day.

2013 Lifetime Acheivement Honoree:

Tony Kanaan. The guy has been around since dinosaurs….errr, Gil de Ferran raced, and has been a fan favorite since day one. This year however, he won the biggest prize in North American Open Wheel Racing. The Indy 500. He is leaving the team that put him in victory lane, for greener pastures. He has won a title, now a Borg Warner, but its almost like he has been reborn with his departure to run with Chip Ganassi’s outfit. I am stoked at the possibility of him returning to his winning ways, and hope he contends for a title.

Tony Kanaan, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
Tony Kanaan, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet

Photo by: Rebecca McKay

That’s it folks. My quasi-entertaining review of this season, to the style of the (stale) Academy Awards.

Next season has a lot to offer. Juan Pablo Montoya in a Penske machine. A powerhouse Ganassi team. Three core drivers at Andretti ready to make a chage (LOL Viso). And a whole host of other teams still making strides to become more competitive and more consistent than ever before. It should be a good’r. See you in St. Pete.

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About this article
Series INDYCAR
Article type Analysis
Tags academy awards, dixon, finale, hinchcliffe, indy 500, indycar, kanaan, season end