Getting Back Into Race Mode

Almost four months have passed since the Verizon IndyCar Series has turned a wheel in competition. In that time, the Cubs won the World Series, College Football has played their entire season and will wrap up their post-season on Monday night. The NFL has now completed its season and their playoffs get underway this weekend. Although I have not watched a single minute, the NBA has played almost half of its season and the NHL is in high gear also.

While I’ll be paying close attention to the NFL playoffs over the next month, the flipping of the calendar into the New Year usually means one thing – it’s time to get back into race mode.

I’ve been following all the moves of the silly season, and I’m still wondering what the future holds for KVSH Racing, but I’ll admit to paying more attention to football than racing for the past few months.

With the end of the Titans and Vols football seasons, and the hubbub of Christmas behind us – I’m now ready to focus all of my attention to racing. It is usually in January that it dawns on me how much I’ve missed on-track action.

While many of us will be covered in snow at some point this month, there will be live action to keep us warm. Starting next week will be the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Inside the River Spirit Expo Center at Tulsa’s Expo Square, will be a quarter-mile clay oval that will host four days of racing action from January 10-14. If you can’t make it to Tulsa, you can catch the last two nights on MAVTV. If you want to see every minute, you can pay to watch online at

Sometime in mid-January, there will be NASCAR testing for the Daytona 500.

Then at the end of the month will be one of my favorite IndyCar offseason events – the Rolex24 from Daytona. Why is it one of my favorites? For one thing, there are usually several IndyCar drivers in the lineup. This year’s lineup already includes Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe, Sage Karam, Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Don’t be surprised if more IndyCar drivers are added to the lineup in the next couple of weeks.

Another reason to watch is that this race will take place on the one weekend of the year when hardly anything is going on. It will be between the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl, so there is no football that weekend. I’ve never been to Daytona for any event, but I understand that it can get pretty chilly in central Florida in January. However, it usually looks warmer than whatever we’re experiencing in Tennessee and a lot better than what Indianapolis has weather-wise in late January. All in all, I consider the weekend of the Rolex24 to be the true opener of the racing season.

I am not a multi-tasker. I tend to only be able to really focus on one thing at a time. It’s good that the IndyCar season hardly overlaps with football season, because I usually have a hard time focusing on both. Now that football is down to the NFL playoffs and racing is starting to crank up in earnest, I can feel my interest in football waning while it is quickly building for racing.

And do you want to hear something that will really warm you up? The green flag for the first IndyCar practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will fly nine weeks from today. That information alone, should tell you that it is time to get back into race mode. I know that I have already started.

George Phillips

6 Responses to “Getting Back Into Race Mode”

  1. billytheskink Says:

    One thing not mentioned that always get me back into racing mode at this time of year is the start of the Supercross season, which begins Saturday night in Anaheim. My dad was an avid dirt bike rider/racer once upon a time and Supercross races were the first motorsports events I ever attended. As a kid, I rooted for the Kawasaki riders because green is favorite color.

    I will definitely be making the effort to watch the Chili Bowl main events again this year. I expect a battle between Keith Kunz’s stars (Tanner Thorson, Kyle Larson, Rico Abreu, Christopher Bell, Spencer Bayston) and the team that Clauson-Marshall racing has assembled (Donny Schatz, Shane Golobic, Jason Johnson), but plenty of other guys should be fast as well. What a cool event it has become.

  2. I won’t go to the Roar Before the 24, but I’ll go to the 24 Hours again.

  3. TK was announced to be racing at the Rolex race a few weeks ago too.

  4. Bob Butler Says:

    I love “The Roar” as it’s only $15 to get in and you have garage and paddock access Too rainy and cold to attend this year!

  5. Thanks for mentioning next weekend’s

  6. Oops. Hate doing this on my phone. Love the Chili Bowl, which is the highlight of January.

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