paving the road to…

hell er… Oz, with good intentions.

First of all, kudos have to go out to IndyCar for attempting their “7 days of Paradise” set up.

It’s a great idea and a great incentive to keep the series in the forefront of everyone’s minds and to get fans excited for the upcoming race, which, while there are no points involved, should be interesting. As folks have pointed out in other conversations, with no points or championship on the line, this event will be just pure racing for the sake of racing. Balls to wall, full out, take chances, no holds barred. Personally, I can’t wait!

Now, unfortunately, the first race out of the “7 days” gate yesterday (1991) was a bit of a cluster. Try as I might (4 times throughout the day in fact) the damn thing wouldn’t play. Well, it would start for about 3 mins, then switch to Lauren B. and some testing session. Sorry L, not interested.

Today’s race however, 1994, is playing. A little hurky jerky, but I imagine it’s because I’m attempting to enjoy the technology on a mac, which while superior, is likely missing some super secret retarded “codec” that PC users have or have the opportunity to download. *shrug* whatever, I’m making due like I do every race.

It is awesome to see those HUGE fields of beautiful cars, filled with a line up of blast from the past names and talent. Fittipaldi, Mansell, Andretti (the good one), etc… The big name sponsors, giant crowds, and actual RACING! damn. What a treat to behold fast cars dicing for position and even, yes, PASSING! on a Street course no less!!

And the commentary! Actual “excitement” oozing from the booth! Imagine that! Quippy, informative, funny, sarcastic, energetic! I never thought I’d miss Derek Daly, but he is actually enjoyable! (no telustrator technology or “flat spot” commentary in sight yet however)

Now as the races stream through the decades, the fields will of course get smaller and smaller, the sponsorship will wane, and well, there will be at least one race that we’d all like to forget. (2002… fucking scary that one) But the cars will still be beautiful and the crowds huge and the commentary, though the booth dudes switched up often over the years, will make you want to continue to watch and be excited about it!

Unfortunately though, we will eventually get to our actual live coverage of the pending race weekend which will be where this promotion becomes a bit of a gamble.

There is still a good chance that the crowds will show, despite the uncertain future of the event and the ugly step-sister treatment the event is getting. The weather? Well, that’s a gamble no matter who’s racing and what year. But here’s where the punch in the gut comes. After 7 straight days of beauty & excitement, we will be jarred back to reality by the sight and sound of those smelly, slow, lumps parading around the track, orated by possibly the two most boring commentators on the planet. No other way to put it.

One can only hope that those who will be covering the event are also watching these blasts from the past and studying the track, the event, the history and the commentary so they can come into the weekend guns a blazin’. I have no doubt that the IMS radio folks will be on their game as they always are, but I fear for the tv broadcast “golf” commentary. (LOL… as I type this, Goodyear just spun into the runoff, enthusiastically pointed out by the boys in the booth *snicker*)

See, while the diehard fans will follow the IMS coverage, the not so diehards and even casual passersby while be relying on the tv coverage to “excite” them, and from what I understand, tv numbers are going to play a big part in determining the future of this event. With the Perry Como’s of racing broadcasts in the booth, this could very well be the death knell for Surfers.

and as if on cue, the video player just died with about 20 mins to go in the race. :bangs head on desk:

omen perhaps?

road to hell, good intentions, yada, yada, yada…

EDIT: for those of you that Twitter, you can now add @whatimthinking to your twitter feed and find out immediately when I’ve updated (I will add a tinyurl link to each tweet) I may also just randomly tweet about racing… ya never know! Cheers…

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5 responses to “paving the road to…

  1. Coincidentally enough, when you got to “smelly”, a pretty nasty odor reached my nose. Not sure if that was the paint drying in the hallways or grandma’s unique “scent”, lol.

    Another observation, I can’t believe they thought having safety vehicles out there during green conditions was a good idea. Though I think the current administration is sometimes trigger happy with FCYs, I sure don’t miss the “dodge the truck” exercise.

    As far as these current cars, just say to yourself “just two more years, just two more years”.

  2. Meesh,
    Some of those races are true classics, some not so much. The ’91 race was just before the racing bug bit me, but I’m certain I’ve seen all of the others. ’94 was indeed a classic and ’96 was a good one, too (though as a Vasser fan, I’m predisposed to think so). I’m a little perplexed as to why they picked ’02 and ’06, though. ’02 was the “non-green/monsoon” race, and ’06…well, I thought that was a mess above and beyond what normally brews up Down Under. In fact, the day of that race was the one and only time I’ve ever tried a liveblog…
    http://speedgeek.blogspot.com/2006/10/post-2-of-day-this-time-for-champcar.html

    Anyway, it’s very cool that IndyCar decided to do this. It’s like a little tip of the hat to the hardcore folks out there.

  3. @ Evan: Now that you mention it, there was a lot of “dodge the safety team” going on! Yikes!

    Did you lyao at Robby Gordon climbing the fence and then just sitting there? LOL! I know I did.

    @ASpeed: I believe the criteria for choosing the races was that that winner was a current IndyCar driver or team owner. (thus the 2002 debacle being included) (Super Mario “won” that one)

  4. Haha, yeah.

    Speaking of which, I sure do miss seeing Valvoline on the sidepod of cars. I always did like their paint schemes whether it was for Little Al, Robby, or Gil.

  5. I have huge framed pic of Robbie Gordon’s Valvoline car on my wall. I also loved Patreek’s cup car with that scheme.

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