Ok… so since yesterday was a little… unexpected… I decided to hold off on everything else until today. Basically to allow my brain time to quiet down a bit.
so… the weekend.
My sweet Patreek (Carpentier) qualified on the second row for the Sprint Cup race on Saturday night! Wow! Funny story. I was out on Friday night so I missed the qualifying. (movies, “Ironman” go see it! Trust me!) When I checked the race line up, I scrolled down from mid-list instinctively to find him. LOL. I got to the bottom and thought, “where the hell is he?” It never occurred to me to look higher than 15! The sad part is that when I got home from the baseball game on Saturday (well rounded sports fan me) I poured myself an adult beverage, got comfortable in my chair and watched him drop like a fucking stone through the field. Poor guy. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t expecting that. (I really don’t get the appeal of the short tracks btw) What I wasn’t expecting was to watch him be a sitting duck in a target practice on track. Good lord! Talk about having your bell rung a few times. He walked away uninjured (thank you COT) but I’m sure he has stock in Tylenol.
I must say, I find it odd that he is in the Sprint series as opposed to the Nationwide. All of his results have been in the latter. Seems to me that would have been a more logical choice for him.
Oh and for the good Ol boys who reeled in horror at the thought of Patreek running naked… It was one of the highlights that season in Champ Car! (he did it twice as a matter of fact!) Great publicity. Fun for the fans! Vote for PC!!
A1GP Season Finale:
So technically, in theory, they went into the weekend with the title up for grabs.
In reality, Jani would have had to have had an astronomically horrible outing in both races, and New Zealand would have had to pull off two wins in order to shake things up. Mathematically it was possible… but… come on. That said, it was really great racing yet again. (I wish they made a N.American stop) I hope someday to watch a race in something larger than a 4″x 4″ box… gah.
We (my racing ya ya’s) have decided that we are going to Brand’s Hatch for the finale next year. Race Camp 09 – Across the Pond edition! (yes I know I know I’ll miss the earth shattering excitement of Rookie Orientation… :bangsheadondesk: … more on that later)
Team Canada managed to retain their 9th place finish in the Championship. (highest ever) Robbie Wickens had a stellar season, but unfortunately was unable to compete in the finale as his Formula Renault season has started. Instead of throwing rookie Daniel Morad (who has been with the team for the majority of the season as their “shake down” guy) into the driver’s seat for the weekend (which would have been the logical choice… or at least my choice) they recalled James Hinchcliffe who hasn’t driven the car for months. (????) Despite his best efforts to get up to speed, Hinch had a horrible weekend, capped off by a penalty filled feature race. (???) Probably an outing my pal James would like to put behind him and just forget.
Ok… so ya, not exactly the most exciting 10hrs of track time coverage I’ve been privy to. Listen IMS peeps. You’ve got 10hrs of captive audience airtime. You’ve got a field full of rookies. Use that time to do a little google/wiki research and chat up the dearth of new drivers to the fanbase. That way come the actual race, we all know who everyone is, and you’re not interrupting the on-track action for fluff pieces and fun facts. Everybody wins!
As for the actual orientation itself. Pretty uneventful, other than Camara becoming acquainted with the safer barrier. (doesn’t he have the most if not most recent experience on ovals? and this track in particular?) 11 of the 13 drivers completed all 4 phases of the program. The two Mario’s have one more phase to complete at some point this week I would imagine.
Top time of the rookies was 223 (Lloyd) followed by a handful in the 222 range. It will be interesting to see what the veterans have in store today and how the rookies improve over the next couple of days leading to the qualifying process.
And finally, back to the events of yesterday…
The news finally trickled into the mainstream. (kept quiet until next of Kin in England could be notified) First short stories with some vague “facts”, still misleading and misrepresenting what happened and the nature of the confrontation and the people involved. (this was not a drunkin bar brawl in some dive with a bunch of punks!) As the story spread and was expanded, with quotes from NHL general manager Brian Lisles, the true nature of Davey Evans was revealed and the heinous randomness of what occurred brought to light.
People have been commenting to myself and others saying that it must be harder for those of us that knew him. In a way we all “knew” him in that he was one of our extended racing family. One of those uniformed grunts who would nod or smile from the pits when you walked by or with whom we would chat and laugh with in the paddock. He represents all of our friends on teams everywhere. Their joy is our joy, their pain is our pain.
I would like to say I can’t even imagine the sadness affecting the NHL crew right now, but truthfully I can. That kind of shock/sadness/anger feels like you’re suffocating. The saving grace is that they are rooted for a couple of weeks, with the entire racing community in one place. I’m sure the support and brotherhood of the paddock will go along way towards healing their broken hearts. Maybe this tragedy will be the polarizing factor that brings that sense of community that Champ Car had back to the IndyCar side of things.
and with that… I’m outta here