Monthly Archives: September 2008

moving on…

Ok… so the weekend of memorials and crying is now over.
I knew my final moment of getting emotional would be watching David Letterman last night. Boy did he deliver. Great personal recollections of some hilarious stories and then a beautiful video montage with a heartbreaking song. I can read and cry no more. (at least for this week)

For those that missed it, here ya go:

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My trip to Atlanta is off. I could rant and whine and complain, but fuck it.
Life sucks, then you die, moving on.

I will say that the frustration I feel right now because of it however is only fueling my determination to work in the industry next year. Operation hire me continues. Again if you know anyone or have any leads for me, click on the “contact me” link in the sidebar.
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The TV schedule breakdown was released officially today. (unofficially within the pages of IndyCar digital magazine last week)

The complete 2009 television schedule follows:
(All times Eastern)

April 5 – Streets of St. Petersburg – VERSUS – 2-5 p.m.
April 19 – Streets of Long Beach – VERSUS – 3:30-6:30 p.m.
April 26 – Kansas Speedway – VERSUS – 4-7 p.m.
May 24 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway – ABC – Noon-4:30 p.m.
May 31 – The Milwaukee Mile – ABC – 3:30-6:00 p.m.
June 6 – Texas Motor Speedway – VERSUS – 9 p.m. – Midnight
June 21 – Iowa Speedway – ABC – 1-3:30 p.m.
June 27 – Richmond International Raceway – VERSUS – 8-11 p.m.
July 5 – Watkins Glen International – ABC – 1-3:30 p.m.
July 12 – Streets of Toronto -ABC – 1-3:30 p.m
July 26 – Edmonton City Centre Airport – VERSUS – 5-8 p.m.
Aug. 1 – Kentucky Speedway – VERSUS – 8-11 p.m.
Aug. 9 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – VERSUS – 1-4 p.m.
Aug. 23 – Infineon Raceway – VERSUS – 5-8 p.m.
Aug. 29 – Chicagoland Speedway – VERSUS – 9 p.m. – Midnight
Sept. 6 – The Raceway at Belle Isle Park – VERSUS – 3-6 p.m.
Sept. 19 – Twin Ring Motegi – VERSUS – 9/18 10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.
Oct. 10 – Homestead-Miami Speedway – VERSUS – 4-7 p.m.

Ok… so now the question begs, when and where exactly are the VERSUS races going to be aired in Canada? (including the ancillary programming) Time to start a little digging and emailing me thinks.

ok… that’s my little update for the day. Going to close the lid on this thing as it just keeps taunting me with everyone else’s travel plans to Atlanta, and I don’t want to read about it anymore.

the tributes continue…

It has been a sad weekend, no doubt. But for as many tears as I have shed over the passing of Paul Newman, there have been just as many smiles due to the stories have been flooding my inbox via my google alerts.

There are the articles from the movie mavens & critics, who have written about his long, illustrious career.

The expected articles from the major players in motorsports journalism, whose own personal experiences with Mr. Newman are regaled for all of us to share and envy and chuckle at.

There are the generalized obituary/tributes from those of us who are the small fish in the big jounalism pond, mostly on the outside looking in, but still in close enough proximity to have been touched on a personal level by his passing.

Then the rest are mostly just re-worked AP articles, flavoured to whatever demographic reads that particular newspaper, website, blog, etc…

But amidst all the generalized ones, there are a few that make you stop and smile. The politician who managed to get the man to do some pimping for his campaign. The man who was once a little boy at the Hole in the Wall camp. Heck I just read an article from Iran!

There are tributes and quotes from people of all walks of life and from all over the world. Actors, drivers, politicians, world leaders. It’s quite incredible. Makes me proud to have been associated with him in some small way.

There are some beautiful video tributes on the Newman’s Own Foundation site and on the Indy 500 site.

And photo galleries! oh! magnificent! (makes my 3 paltry little pics a bit silly now) Here are just a couple:

Indy 500 site

Newman/Haas Racing site

Autosport.com

And those are just the racing galleries. Many of the entertainment sites have their own galleries of his life and movie career.

Tonight on The Speed Report and on Windtunnel with Dave Despain there will be extended tributes to the man.

Tomorrow night pretty much every entertainment magazine show in the world will be carrying tributes I would imagine. If Letterman is live on Monday night, I’m 100% certain he will be talking about his long time friend and showing clips from previous interviews. (which were some of his best imo)

Perhaps the most moving tribute though was the joint statement released yesterday by his 5 daughters which read:

“Paul Newman played many unforgettable roles. But the ones for which he was proudest never had top billing on the marquee. Devoted husband. Loving father. Adoring grandfather. Dedicated philanthropist. Our father was a rare symbol of selfless humility, the last to acknowledge what he was doing was special. Intensely private, he quietly succeeded beyond measure in impacting the lives of so many with his generosity. Always and to the end, Dad was incredibly grateful for his good fortune. In his own words: ‘It’s been a privilege to be here.’ He will be profoundly missed by those whose lives he touched, but he leaves us with extraordinary inspiration to draw upon. During this difficult time, we ask for privacy for our family.”

Well Mr. Newman, it was a privilege to have you here.

Singapore GP *Live* race blog

It’s 7:30am here and yet it’s dark there… well, not really dark. (more on that in a minute) It’s the direct opposite of what we will experience at the end of next month when we are staring at the television in the middle of the night to  watch the race from sunny Australia (IndyCar, not F1, sorry don’t mean to be confusing)

First shot is a cattle drive of humans walking. HOLY CRAP! Look at the people! My claustrophobia immediately kicks in then I’m relieved I’m an IndyCar fan and will never have to worry about a crowd like that… but I digress

The lighting looks incredible. When I watched qualifying yesterday, I couldn’t figure out where the light was actually coming from. Today I was able to see it finally. Reportedly it’s 4x’s the level of lighting of a normal night time stadium game. It’s pretty awesome. No glare, no dark patches. Digital flags even! LOL! Cutting edge stuff man…

Peter Windsor is doing his thang on the grid.

Flavio is too cool for school as usual, rocking the tinted lenses

Kas Nakajima gets major airtime! I don’t even know if I’ve spelled that right as I’ve never had to write his name before.

Jackie Stewart! word!

LOL… Peter gives Webber big ups for being the first one to hit the wall.

Everyone keeps saying it’s really hot, which is playing tricks with my mind as it looks like it should be cool.

Nelson Piquet should never play poker, his face is full of angry tells. Varsha sums it up nicely.. “this is supposed to be fun kid!”

I can only imagine how beautiful the cars look under the lights. (or on an HD tv, which I don’t possess…)

It’s pretty incredible that this is a first time course and a first time night race. Damn… talk about go big or go home.

One lap around with Massa as they begin their installation lap. Interesting. I’m thinking very few passes and lots of wall kissing.

Thousands of camera flashes going off. I have to laugh at the ones going off from the buildings surrounding the course. Do they really think that’s going to help from that distance.

And they’re off! Massa says “see ya!” Lots of smoke or dust or something, but everyone is through cleanly.

wow… I never thought I’d say this, but the cars look slow from some of these camera angles.

replay of the start and we finally get to see some of the tussling that went on. The 2 K’s did a little bumper car action with Kubica getting away out front.

Zoinks! Rosberg does a banzai move on Trulli through the corner, but can’t make it stick, and Trulli gets it back.

The pit guys on the radio stating the obvious “you’ve got to get around Trulli” LOL! As a driver I’d be like “no shit sherlock!”

Massa is running his own race, bottoms out on a huge bump, sparks everywhere! There are a couple of packs of drivers on track now. Passing is not an option apparently.

Debris! Big chunk of something off someone. No car’s in a heap anywhere though. It’s a local yellow. Ooh… Webber just hit whatever it was. Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark. (ooh.. punny! LOL)

Back from commercial and we hear that Massa drove over the debris, and sucked it up like a vaccuum. Much concerned looks from the pits.

Rosberg get’s it done! Destroys his tires in the process, but gets by Trulli. Alonso gets it done a couple of corners later. (wait, shouldn’t Trulli be getting faster as he gets lighter?)

Kimi sets fastest lap. (seems to be his thing every race now)

Massa, Hamilton, and Kimi are waaaaaaay out front, all on their own.

5 more laps until pit stops

(commercial)

Seabass into the run off. Keeps it going. Varsha takes to the opportunity to give Paul Newman a shout out (I’m instantly sad again… ) and they run an audio interview of Windsor and Bourdais from yesterday.

We are brought out of that touching moment with the picture of a car pancaked into the wall.

Yowza! Piquet HARD into the wall. The replay shows him spinning awkwardly, then the ass end shoots around and smucks the wall. This will take a while to clean up.

Safety car.

Panic starting now. “save fuel” being screamed to all. Pits are closed, but some are ducking in anyway as they are on fumes.

Barrichello done blown up sir. Lot’s of perplexed faces.

Lot’s of clown car action out there. (werd to P-dog)

Pitlane finally open. Wow, that’s a tight entry!

Oh MAJOR clown cars in the Ferrari pits on that one!! With Kimi on his ass waiting, Massa drives away with the entire fuel hose. Takes out a crew member, sprays fuel everywhere. Manages to stop himself at the end of pitlane and waits for his crew to come a remove the hose. (wasn’t looking like it was gonna happen for a sec) Massa (well, Ferrari actually) throws away the win and valuable championship points

Rosberg leads, (but has a penalty coming) Hamilton is somehow down in 9th?! WTF? Of course we have no idea what happened on pitlane as we are at the mercy of the international broadcaster and what they wish to show. *shrug*

(commercial)

Rosberg is still leading, but they are just now going through all the stewards reports. LOL… wow.. it’s a festival of penalties coming up! Rosberg, Kubica, Massa so far under investigation.

Massa serves his drive through. Rosberg and Kubica are fined with a 10 sec stop and go. Rosberg trying to pull out more of a gap before serving.

Alonso is in the catbird seat right now. He’s in 5th, two cars ahead of him have to serve a penalty and the other two have yet to pit. The championship leaders all had lobotomies on that last pit stop and threw away the race, so… You may win this one yet Ferdie!

(commercial)

We return with Kubica in the pits serving his penalty. Webber has a brain fart, loses a bunch of positions coming back in line.

Rosberg in for his penalty. Damn, that must feel like the longest 10 seconds ever. Comes back out in 4th. Good boy.

Hamilton is trapped behind Coulthard, who is driving like he’s pulling an anchor.

Fisi is in for his first stop finally. Christ, he puts in enough fuel to get to the end of the season.

Webber is done sir! They just turned him around in the pits, and pushed him into the garage.

Trulli is flying out front now all by himself.

Massa in for another stop. Much kibitzing about whether his engine will survive the race.

We are now at the halfway point, and concerned with the time. Will we get all the laps in during the broadcast? Will I get to see the end of this race??

Trulli finally in, comes out in 8th in front of Nakajima, and despite being super heavy now manages to hold him off.

(commercial)

Alonso in the lead, followed by Rosberg, Coulthard and Hamilton.

Nakajima gets er done! Gets around Trulli. Kimi follows suit. (with less tire lock)

(commerical)

Back with Rosberg in the pits for final stop. Comes out in 7th, clean track ahead and behind.

Renault is preparing for Alonso’s stop. Much breath holding happening.

ooh… manages to come out in the lead. Hamilton finally gets around Coulthard, and he’s going to have to try to make up some track position. Both come into the pits for their final stop. Hamilton in and out clean. Coulthard problems in the pits. Premature evacuation. Boys boys boys. Lots of pit crew mess ups tonight.

Kimi pushing a little too hard.

Alonso’s team tells him “not to panic”  LOL… In other words, hold it together boy, this race is yours to lose.

Someone just passed on track, but the boys were too busy yapping to say who it was. LOL.

(commercial)

Alonso still out front. Rosberg is losing his brakes apparently. Kimi up his gearbox. Hamilton in 4th. (Kimi still has to pit)

oh oh… Trulli is slowing, but still running. Not a good sign. Kimi smartly dives in and gets his final stop in, comes out in 5th.

woah!? that was messy! Massa (?) spun and touched the wall in the run off, came out of the run off in front of Sutil, who drove straight into the wall.

Safety Car. This will get interesting now kids. (so much for that 17 second lead huh Ferdie?)

(commercial for clean up)

9 to go, Safety car in this lap, much stomach acid building along pitlane.

Will Alonso throw it away? Will Hamilton play it safe or go for the gusto? What role with Rosberg play?

green green green. Alonso shot out of a cannon. Rosberg slow off the start. Lewis balls to the wall.

Wow, that one camera angle is just horrible! It makes them look like they are driving 5mph.

Lots of skidding and locking up midpack.

7 to go.

(commercial)

Oh Kimi… Lost the ass end on that one and smucked the wall. He’s done sir! (4 to go)

Ok… full disclosure here. I got up a bit late, so I’m watching this on my PVR, and am now convinced I will not get the end of the race. (note to self, you should know better than to not tape the program immediately following the race…)

2 to go. Alonso is running away with it. Rosberg still in it. Hami in 3rd not pushing it.

1 to go! The crew running to the wall to celebrate (the phrase chickens and hatching comes to mind)

UGH! and that’s the end of the program. Fuck. LOL! *scurries off to Formula1.com*

So, all’s well that ends well. I guess I’ll see what silly pose Ferdie struck on the Speed report night.

Impressive run for Rosberg. Drive of the race IMO.

Hami collects a couple o’ points and gives himself a teeny tiny buffer.

Alrighty then, off to enjoy my day. If you aren’t aware, a good portion of the Speed Report and Wind Tunnel are going to be devoted to Paul Newman tonight, so be sure to tune in.

A google search of Paul Newman in the news section will bring up a plethora of the most amazing articles on the man and his effect on many peoples lives. Take a moment and read some of the stories. Very inspiring. He was an incredible man and his loss is being felt by many in all walks of life.

with a heavy heart…

Whispers started to trickle into my inbox late last night that we had lost our beloved Paul Newman.

“No no no!” I said under my breath, then thought at least he and his family aren’t suffering anymore. Having gone through that particular battle with my mom and my grandfather, I don’t wish it on anyone.

I wrote the story Paul Newman: 1925 – 2008 for OWW.net and then waited.
(I wasn’t about to go live with an unsubstantiated rumour)

I sent out a few emails for confirmation, set up some google alerts and got up every couple of hours to check.

About a half hour ago it finally started to hit the newswires and CNN just broke into their programming to announce it. It’s official. He is gone.

and now the tears fall…

I don’t pretend to have known him personally, able to count the number of conversations I had with the man over the years on one hand, but knew of him. I knew the thrill for fans of seeing him at the track. I knew the joy of watching him laugh and celebrate with his crew. I knew what it meant to the many drivers who spent time with the legend.

He was a private, passionate man, who through his actions set the bar high and set an example for us all.

He will be missed by so many, but his legacy will live on.

Here are a couple of my own personal shots. Not the best quality, but it’s the memories of the moment that count.

I had been documenting Tonis Kasemets’ return to open wheel that weekend (RA) He was driving for Newman/Wachs and Mr. Newman was one of his long time heroes. It seemed the admiration was mutual. This was Newman chatting with Tonis and his wife.

A little bit later, the monitor in his own pit box failed, so he headed down to one with a working monitor, Tonis in tow, and joined Justin Wilson to watch the session. (this was just as the rumors of Justin being top of the list for the NH seat began to surface)

Probably my favorite picture. He was usually very stoic and out of the public eye at the track. This day, in Toronto, he caught up with Miller on pitlane. Whatever Miller said to him cracked him up! They stood and chatted and a gaffawed for about 10mins. I felt guilty snapping a pic, but it was just so endearing.

and as if on cue, mirroring the sadness felt around the world, it has started to rain outside my window…

Thank you Mr. Newman for all that you’ve done and all that you were.

Motorsport musical chairs…

I just keep picturing the field of IndyCars lined up on the grid, with music blaring from the loud speakers, and dozens of drivers suited up, carefully and suspiciously, darting around the cars, then scrambling clumsily into whatever cockpit is in proximity when the music stops.

So begins Silly Season Seat Watch 2009.

Holy crap. I was just finally starting to figure out who the hell everyone drove for and what their numbers were. (hey, gimme a break, I was a ‘transition fan’) Now I gotta start all over.

So, since the season ended (which really it hasn’t “officially” ended as there is still another race and a banquet to be held) we have seen some interesting, if somewhat shocking driver exchanges.

Franchitti (back from the Abyss) to Ganassi (ousting Wheldon)
Wheldon to Panther (ousting Meira)
Meira to Foyt (ousting Manning)
Manning to… ????

I am just starting to tabulate the 09 Silly Season list of who’s in, who’s out, who’s knocking on the door, who doesn’t stand a hope in hell… (it’s one of my projects for the weekend)
Here’s what I do know however… there are a hell of a lot more drivers who will be looking for seats in 09 than there will be cars available…