I have a folder on my desktop, it has the icon of a bucket, and in it I toss “sheets of paper” (rtf files) with story ideas, and random thoughts, and clips, and quotes, and rants, and links… I reach into said bucket when I need an idea or when I have some free time to do a little writing, or as was the case recently, when I’m spring cleaning my computer and discover all of the great stories I didn’t write last year… *sigh*
So in the interest of not merely tossing everything in the trash again in a couple of months, I’ve decided to just tip out the bucket and do a “catch” all post,
In the last couple of weeks I’ve started quite a few entries, but stopped for one reason or another. I couldn’t write a cohesive thought; the moment passed; I felt like the only dissenting voice; just as I was putting the finishing touches on an entry someone else posted the exact same thing to the extent that mine was now plagiarism…(Ross!!)
anyway, lets work through some of these
This kids is a lose lose situation.
Is it fair? no.
Does it happen all the time in racing? yes.
Does it make it right? no. But it is what it is.
Clearly there is way more to the story behind the scenes than what any of us know. A decision this huge, with so many ramifications doesn’t happen overnight on a whim.
Will we ever get the complete, unbiased version of it? Probably not.
It’s either going to be an ugly public spectacle of of he said/she said/they said litigation, which doesn’t accomplish anything positive for anyone involved, or more likely it’s going to be private, quiet, gag-ordered settlement with Katherine getting a big cheque, and skulking off into the shadows.
Either way, I don’t think we see Katherine in a car this season, if ever again.
Firstly, no Team/Sponsor wants that kind of drama attached to them, rightly or wrongly. In addition, and I’ll likely take some flack for this, Kat really hasn’t really proven herself in the car. This is strictly my opinion, but I think she did herself a huge disservice wasting a year hanging out on pitlane schmoozing for a ride. She should have done a year in lights. It would have given her a season to acclimate to open wheel again, become familiar with the circuits, and actually “show” owners/engineers what she is capable of, perhaps opening more doors. Especially now that she’s in the situation she finds herself in.
Many out there have chosen sides, flinging all sorts of angry vitriol towards Dragon Racing. Fair enough. As an organization they are a shit show. An epic fail on all accounts last year, if not for the Seabass who rose above the bullshit and showed sparks of brilliance.
Now I’m the first to admit it’s way more fun to have a “villain”, someone to root against on race weekend. (believe me, I have a few in my arsenal) After all, when it’s all hearts and flowers and kumbaya, it’s fucking boring. I can’t say I think too highly of Jay Penske, but I certainly am not going to fault either Sebasti(e)(a)n for taking the seat and running with it. Sure we can all stand on our pulpits and preach principles, but principles don’t pay the rent, feed the kids, or fuel the dream. Period.
Now… Full disclosure, I was the first to shake my head in disgust when Saavedra quit the BHA lights team in Kentucky a couple of years ago. I was standing right there when he voiced his opinion over the loud speaker. I was gobsmacked. Now I know this wasn’t solely his decision per say, but nonetheless, he went along with it, and it was ugly. I was equally gobsmacked when he lined up a ride shortly after, stating that I wouldn’t have touched him with a 10ft pole. That said, I have gotten to know him a little over the last couple of years. He is a hard working, humble young man. He had a not so great season in the big leagues, and had the humility to take a step back down the ladder so as to stay in the public eye, and work on his race craft. Because of that he is now being rewarded with a fulltime ride alongside a 4 time champion. I may be in the minority, but I am looking forward to seeing what this pairing can accomplish, no matter how it came to be.
ok… who’s next…
Everyone keeps talking about what a “big deal” it is that AJ Allmendinger is testing in IndyCar. The NASCAR crowd keeps quizzing us Open Wheelers about it, as if we should be falling all over ourselves that he is gracing us with his presence.
Really? is it really that big a deal?
Would we even be talking about it if he hadn’t completely jacked his NASCAR career in 2012? NO. He’d be preparing for the Danicatona 500 and being ignored along with the rest of the good ol’ boys this week.
Sorry, but just I don’t get the hype.
Sure, the kid was quick and likely on the path to a championship when he BAILED on Forsythe and Open Wheel after his people did the “show me the money!” dance and lead him to the NASCAR garages. oh, and that was six years, a mediocre NASCAR career, a failed drug test, and a rehab program ago! Does anyone really expect him to hop in the car and become some phenom? Seriously? Give your head a shake.
If Rubens Barricello barely moved the needle, then AJ ain’t the Messiah you’re seeking.
Further to that, and my bottomline: I would rather see Ryan Briscoe in a seat before AJ
Next… (this will be the last one tonight… I promise )
It is January and there is a campaign/marketing push for the Indy 500. (ok… so now it’s Feb, but the time stamp on this was Jan 28th, and I should have posted it, but I felt a little like Grumpy Cat for shitting all over the idea, so I shelved it, but then Ross posted his tome on the subject this week, which made me laugh cause it was virtually identical, and I love him for that! And then I realized I need to stop second guessing my thoughts and just throw them out there no matter how Grumpy Cat the sentiment, cause really, isn’t that what y’all expect from me?… )(but I digress…)
Once again, as per usual, this campaign perpetuates the mythic focus on a singular race, rather than the season as a whole.
There are FOUR events before the Indy 500, and ELEVEN post Indy 500. But you would never know it most of the time. Even over the winter there were several team campaigns plugging their off season efforts to prepare for Indy rather than the season. What is WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?!
Maybe it’s because I spent a good portion of my adult “fandom” on the CART/ChampCar side of the fence, so Indy was a non-issue/entity for me, in fact, it was verboten, so I find it frustrating as hell as someone who covers, promotes, and tries to attend the entire season as a whole. One would think it would have to be equally frustrating to the other events on the schedule, along with their associate sponsors. It seems there is more importance on who hoists the trophy of a singular race on the circuit, rather than who hoists the big trophy at the end of the season.
There were 10+ current drivers racing at Rolex 24 in Daytona. Was there any mention of or tie in with the season opener, which coincidentally is also taking place IN FLORIDA barely 2 months from then? Nope. But you know what I did see? A group photo of them holding “Indy 500 or Bust” signs… *sigh*
Yes, I get it, it’s all about the history, blah, blah, blah. But you know what? It already has an audience. I’d venture a guess that 80% of the attendees/viewers of that race are lifelong place fans. They will migrate back year after year, with very little goading. For most, their entire season is that one weekend in May. So why oh WHY do the powers that be waste precious time and resources “selling” something that doesn’t need to be sold? Why, in fact, aren’t we selling those folks on the great season that leads into and out of the Month of May?!
Yes, it’s (the 500) been around for a century, but sadly it will likely be around long after IndyCar has gone belly up because of their stagnant and myopic all the eggs in one basket viewpoint that it is “all about Indy” everything else be damned. Being the oldest, or biggest, or most “pomp and circumstancey” race does not necessarily equate to it being the best. There are many events out there that are better for a multitude of reasons. Again, just my opinion based on my own experience attending many, many races over the years (including several 500′s)
How about “Fontana or bust”? Or, how about mapping out the “Race to the Championship” with X’s on the map outlining each stop on the way, including the 500? Play it up like the Amazing Race with Road Blocks and challenges. Or, how about “Road to Rookie of the Year”? (er… strike that… that is pretty much an express train for Tristan, and he’s riding in first class all by his lonesome) How about just doing something DIFFERENT?!
Why was it Dario Franchitti and the Borg Warner at the Detroit Autoshow?
Why wasn’t it the new AMERICAN Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won with a CHEVY engine, standing alongside the Astor Cup ?!
Does anyone think outside of the safety of the big boring cardboard box anymore? Anyone?? Bueller??
ok… there are still a few slips of paper in my bucket but I’m tapped out for now…
OH, on a happy side note, 4 weeks from right now, I will be sitting at the bar of my hotel in St. Petes (one of those 4 races before the 500 ) with some of my racing BFF’s toasting the start of the 2013 season!! woot woot! Can’t wait!!