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Vegas and Scheckter: NOW It’s A Party

by
Zachary Houghton
| Sep 27, 2011

As if the season-ending IZOD INDYCAR World Championships didn’t have enough positive mojo going, Sarah Fisher came through with an announcement on Monday that Tomas Scheckter would be joining her team for that race. He'll be piloting the #57 Angie's List Special, teaming up with Ed Carpenter as the two try finish off the season in grand style.

Tomas Scheckter. Las Vegas.

Yeah, that seems about right.

There are a lot of words to describe Tomas Scheckter. Fans of his often use “aggressive”, “fearless”, or “thrilling”. His detractors have been known to use words like “reckless” (after the 2010 Indy 500, a wrecked Davey Hamilton even used the term “knucklehead”). One thing’s for sure, though: love him or loathe him, Tomas Scheckter will give fans plenty to discuss.

On track, Scheckter is brash, known for his passing on cold tires, taking the high line few others dare take, and generally giving fans plenty to cheer about. His passes at this year’s Indianapolis 500 had the crowd roaring. On the darker side of things, early in his career he was seen as somewhat wild and tough on equipment. After his incident with Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti at New Hampshire this summer, it wasn’t difficult to remember those rumors aren’t terribly far in the past, fair or not.

Off-track, Scheckter also continues to make waves, as he did earlier this year when involved in a “Twitter War” with fellow driver Graham Rahal, culminating in some relatively heated online discourse. He maintains an active presence online with fans, and never seems to hesitant to give his opinion on anything involving the IZOD IndyCar Series, racing in general, or well, anything, for that matter.

Since his last full-time ride with Vision Racing, “T-Scheck” has become a one-off and substitute specialist, with multiple races with teams such as Panther Racing, Conquest Racing, Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, Dale Coyne Racing―actually, over half the teams in the current paddock. He’s had his ups and downs, but the fact remains that perhaps only Tony Kanaan is in his league when it comes to unbelievable, heart-stopping passing on starts and restarts.

It might be frustrating to see such an electric driver in part-time status, but there’s a reason teams keep coming back to Tomas. Simply put, the man can drive. He takes risks on the track, which sometimes end well, and sometimes do not. Yet you never doubt he'll try it. For a driver that’s willing to gamble to get to the front, Las Vegas seems like a pretty natural fit. For the last race in the current Dallara, it just seems fitting that Tomas Scheckter be a part of the proceedings.

On October 16 in Las Vegas, we’ll see just what sort of cards Tomas Scheckter and Sarah Fisher Racing are holding. Whatever their hand is, it shouldn’t be a boring one.

Zachary Houghton runs www.indycaradvocate.com, which features regularly-updated INDYCAR, IZOD IndyCar Series, and Mazda Road to Indy interviews, commentary, and more. You can find him on Twitter (@indycaradvocate), or via email at mail.rpgblog@gmailcom

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