Ready to wave green flag on racing season with round-the-clock action


Practice begins next week for the Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance sports-car race. Best of luck to current Verizon IndyCar Series drivers James Hinchcliffe, Spencer Pigot, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Sebastien Bourdais, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal.

The event is a great kickoff to all seasons in motorsports and also features Indy car stars of the past and future. I hope everyone's good on caffeine.

Give the kid a chance: Speaking of Pigot, I was happy to see him land a road- and street-course ride with Ed Carpenter Racing for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Pigot impressed me in his rookie campaign. I recall, in his first race, watching him run with some of the cagier veterans of the series and cleanly holding his own from one lap to the next. Maybe this is the year he'll talk me into following his beloved game of soccer. Maybe.

MLK Day has special meaning in Indy: Yesterday was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day. As a native of Indianapolis, I always felt Indianapolis had a special connection to the legacy of Dr. King. On the night of his assassination in 1968, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was scheduled to give a campaign speech in Indianapolis.

Kennedy carried through on his schedule, but did so by announcing King's passing to the crowd while speaking of and requesting a civil response parallel to the message of the fallen reverend. Indianapolis was one of the few major cities to not see violent unrest that night and a Memorial to both men now sits at 1702 North Broadway St., site of the speech. It's worth a stop during your next visit to the Circle City.

Is there a Steel Curtain in the crystal ball? I correctly picked all four NFL divisional playoff winners on my afternoon radio show last week (think blind squirrel/nut), which means I'll probably be wrong in both of my conference championship picks. I said in November that I thought Pittsburgh would win the AFC. So, despite the challenge of winning in New England, I guess I've got to stick by that.

Aaron Rodgers is out of this world right now, but his play for Green Bay has caused people to overlook another red-hot QB with an underappreciated offense. I'll take Matt Ryan and the “Dirty Birds” (Atlanta Falcons) to fly to Houston for Super Bowl LI.

All wrapped up in hit-and-run: I got in a hit-and-run accident Friday night. Nothing major; more like a fender bender-and-run. That said, my bumper is destroyed. I guess it's like an Indy car. The energy dispersal made the damage look worse than the impact. So I'm temporarily that guy with bungee cords and duct tape everywhere on my car.

My one question: a hit-and-run culprit, according to insurance, is assumed as an insured driver and, thus, it’s deductible time for me. All good, but is that not an illogical conclusion to assume someone who leaves the scene of an accident is insured?

Here’s Johnny, not Jerry: The channel where I used to watch “Seinfeld” has now put “Classic Johnny Carson” in the time slot. I've been watching it a lot lately. Seems humor was a bit more innocent 30-40 years ago, but the social commentary and political "concerns" are virtually verbatim as today.

I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same. And Ed McMahon (Carson’s announcer) never did show up at my door with that clearinghouse sweepstakes check.

From the fans