IndyCar has come out with one of the most eye-catching aero packages in the history of motorsports. The front wing is rippled with foils that look like a stack of perfectly-crafted Pringles. But here's the thing about the Verizon IndyCar Series: It has become one of the most compelling motorsports in the world. The drivers like Graham Rahal, Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay are cut-throat and charismatic, and the cars well-matched—basically rockets on wheels.
"We’ve basically changed up everything that attaches to the tub," says Graham Rahal, driver of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing #15 Honda, which is sponsored by Maxim and Steak 'n Shake. "The look of the car is pretty extreme, and there's a lot for me to learn about it. But that's a good thing. For so many years things stayed stale. Now, the economy is back, the money is back and we're switching it up."
The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will kick off the 2015 season this weekend. It is a fast, rough, rugged, narrow complex of 14 turns and a front straight that bombs down a patched-up concrete runway. For the viewer, the race is as white-knuckled as it gets: drivers dive into turns wheel-on-wheel, bouncing over tarmac patches, and emerge in mixed order. IndyCar has that quality that most motorsports (especially Formula One) are so lacking in this modern era: Unpredictability.
One thing we can predict? Rahal will be stopping by Steak 'n Shake near the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in early August. Another fan? Team principal David Letterman, who says, “I’ve been eating them since I was 11," Letterman says. "Finally, free Steakburgers.”