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What is The Captain up to?UPDATE We are upgrading this rumor to 'strong' today. AR1.com did a little research on the Leaders Circle program and found that it is the ENTRY that qualifies for the subsidy. Once the ENTRY has qualified a team can ‘sell’ that ENTRY to anyone. Penske ran with three cars (ENTRIES) last year and each of those entries qualified for the 2013 Leaders Circle membership (subsidy).
Penske is a very astute businessman. If he does not want to run a third car he can simply draft up a contractual agreement for a third party to ‘use’ his entry. The name of the entry is allowed to be changed so it is not necessarily a ‘Verizon’ or ‘Penske’ name that would have to appear it. It could easily be ‘XYZ Company’ and be fielded by Dragon as we speculated below.
So not only is the $50k registration a good value, it locks in over a million dollars of entitlements to that ENTRY. Penske can sell that ENTRY to a third party for whatever the market will bear, but we'll sure he would sell it to his son for less than he would sell it to another team. Mark C. reporting for AR1.com
What trick does The Captain have up his sleeve this time?
01/14/13 Roger Penske applied for a third Leaders Circle IndyCar entry for 2013. Twitter, the chat rooms, blogs, etc., are ripe with speculation as to who The Captain's third driver will be.
We at AR1.com will qualify this by saying, The Captain has long been a puzzle to us, and we're well aware that he is a self-made billionaire, and we are, well, not. However, we're going to venture a guess and say The Captain is not angling for a third Team Penske entry. He's not going to go run James Jakes or EJ Viso, for example.
Rather, Penske may be doing this on behalf of his son Jay Penske. Remember, Jay has Katherine Legge under contract, although she is yet to be confirmed. We imagine Kat's budget is based on that Leaders Circle money coming in. She's in limbo and Jay's in limbo until that happens. Of course, they got a rough break with the Lotus last year, which basically ended hope of the Leaders Circle.
Anyway, we're guessing Bourdais' ride may be rebranded into a Dragon/Team Penske entry, a satellite of sorts for Penske. Jay then gets the Leaders Circle cash he needs to run Kat. Next season, Penske spins off the satellite and gives it back to Jay. Pure speculation, but knowing how cleaver The Captain is, don't bet against us. Brian Carroccio, AutoRacing1.com, IndyCar columnist
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