Merry Christmas to All!

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Most fans lament the offseason, but this one has been one for the ages. Since the checkered flag fell at Laguna Seca in September, three IndyCar regulars – including a four-time champion and another, one of the most popular drivers in the series – have lost their rides and none of them show signs of being in a car on the grid at St. Petersburg in less than three months.

Marcus Ericsson and Pato O’Ward have new homes for 2020 and Oliver Askew has gotten the break of a lifetime for a true rookie. Conor Daly has gotten about as good of a part-time ride that you can get, but there are still seats to be filled at Coyne, Foyt and Carlin.

But the biggest story of this offseason or any offseason has to be the purchase of the NTT IndyCar Series, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IMS Productions by none other than Roger Penske. Any fears that IMS would end up in the hands of a corporate conglomerate were swept away by this move.

Needless to say, it’s been a very busy and exciting offseason. But it’s that time of year again, when most of the racing world is taking its annual Christmas break. Therefore, I will do the same.

Spanish driver Alex Palou was confirmed for the full season in a Dale Coyne car yesterday. I’m assuming he knows that the bulk of their talented engineering staff has left the team. Other than that bit of underwhelming news, I doubt that there will be any further driver announcements to comment on throughout the holidays, so I am going to close the lid of my keyboard for a couple of weeks and take a short break. This will be my last post of the year here, but I will return with batteries fully recharged on Monday January 6, 2020.

I toyed with the idea of starting back on Fri Jan 3, but then the bowl schedule was announced and my Tennessee Vols will be playing in the Gator Bowl on the evening of Thur Jan 2, and I knew I didn’t want to be pounding out a post that night, so I settled on a Jan 6 return.

Many of you will be interested to know what I am giving my wife Susan for Christmas. As some of you know, we were married in May of 2012 and went on a nice week-long honeymoon at Indian Rocks Beach, just south of Clearwater, Florida. In the seven and a half years since then, she has done a good job of letting everyone know that every vacation we have been on has involved going to a race track. While that sounds like a perfect vacation to me, it’s not her idea of paradise. Now don’t get me wrong – Susan has grown to love racing, but she would also like to do something else that doesn’t involve breathing ethanol fumes.

So just before Thanksgiving, I told her what her Christmas present was going to be – a Caribbean Cruise in February. Since she gets motion sickness and has never been on a cruise, we are experimenting with a short one at first (four nights), but I let her pick out the cruise line, the ship and the destination. We will be going to Cozumel on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas over President’s day weekend (also over Valentine’s Day). A side benefit of that ship that I was not aware of is that within the cruise industry – it is known as The Indy.

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So for all of you who think I am a self-centered bloke, who thoughtlessly drags my good-sport of a wife from one race track to another – take that!

In all seriousness, we will both be ready for relaxing in some warm sunshine in February. It will be here sooner than you think. We leave only fifty-five days from today (Dec 20).

And with another year of blogging under my belt, I am ready to relax over the holidays and take off a couple of weeks from this site. When I start back in January of 2020, I will have posted across three decades on this site (I started in May of 2009). That’s hard to believe.

Susan and I both want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year. Thanks to each of you who continue to come here three times a week to read my ramblings.

I will close out the year as I usually do, with the Christmas card that Susan created a few years ago. You know me. I like traditions and this photo has become a tradition. I will see you on January 6th.

George and Susan Phillips

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11 Responses to “Merry Christmas to All!”

  1. Brandon Wright Says:

    Thanks for another great year of IndyCar banter and news. Have a Merry Christmas all.

  2. Merry Christmas, George and Susan. Enjoy the cruise and the rest of your time off. Thanks for another year of great writing.

  3. David D Gardner Says:

    Merry Christmas to both of you. We have been to Cozumel twice. Nice island. We have flown in and stayed for a week. The Port is just like any other port. Shops etc… If your cruise line offers you a side trip when you are stopped. Look for Chankanaab Park. About a twenty minute cab ride. Yes the cabs are safe. it will give you something to do at the beach and a little bit more Mexico that the City. Enjoy. Meclazine or over the counter dramamine non drowsy will eliminate the motion sickness or a patch. The old fashioned fishing method of drinking beer can lead to other side effects.

  4. Carburetor Says:

    Happy holidays to you and Susan! Most of all–thank you for your commitment to your blog–an integral part of my weekly routine for 9+ years now!

  5. billytheskink Says:

    A very Merry Christmastime to George, Susan, and all the folks who comment on here too.

    Thanks to you all for making Indycar ever more fun to follow. See you in 2020.

  6. Thank you for another year of blogging.

  7. Have a merry Christmas and enjoy your time off from blogging. I have made two round trips across the Atlantic on ocean liners to I have two tips about sailing. Being on deck, or at least at a window, where one can see the horizon, can help to minimize sea sickness.
    Also, if a movie is showing on the ship, and you decide to watch it, be sure it doesn’t include scenes on water.

  8. Thanks to both George and Susan for their insights on IndyCar. Have a Happy Holiday and look forward to another year of racing. Peace

  9. A cruise! Brilliant choice, George. I hope have an excellent holiday in the sun. Thanks to you both for making the racing season even more interesting. Merry Christmas!

  10. The very Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of Holidays to all in the Oilpressure Universe. Here’s to a great 2020.

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