|Jay Frye locks in the 2018 IndyCar title for Team Penske|
Roger Penske has far more money than any other team owner in IndyCar and he spends it to gain an unfair advantage. No one else can buy the shocks that his team uses to dominate the series.
Teams spend anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000 total on shocks per car a year. Multiple that by 22 cars and you are looking at millions of dollars spent and it does not even add a single new customer/fan in the grandstands or on TV.
In other words it's the latest example of how IndyCar wastes money that does not grow the sport.
Ohlins brand and Penske Racing Shocks are found on most cars, but the customer Penske shocks are not the same as used on Team Penske's car; those are custom, and exclusive to its drivers. Well of course.
Would Josef Newgarden be 2017 IndyCar champion without the special Penske shocks? Taking nothing away from Newgarden, he did beat his excellent teammates, but probably not.
As one of the only components on the Dallara DW12 chassis that is not spec, teams continue to invest huge sums of money in damper technology through lightweight materials and trick internal components that lower lap times significantly.
"We had a year-end team manager meeting a few weeks ago, gave them some pre-meeting homework to complete and compiled it all for the meeting, and in it, we went through 50 topics," Frye told RACER. "We asked for their input, and from that homework, we looked at a lot of things coming out of the current season and next season, and one of the items was that there will be no changes to the dampers in 2018."
So Team Penske shocks will once again win the 2018 IndyCar championship. It should be noted that IndyCar President of Race Operations is Brian Barnhart, a former Team Penske employee.
If IndyCar had a proper TV package that delivered a million viewers per race or more, the IndyCar paddock would have a lot more sponsors and teams could afford to piss away money on custom shocks and other components, like F1 does. But because IndyCar cannot deliver a TV partner that can do that, teams are cash poor and wasting millions on shocks simply is not wise. IndyCars must be as 'spec' and low cost as possible until IndyCar can deliver a proper TV partner that puts 100% of the races on network TV and delivers 1 million+ viewers each and every race.