Shwit!

First off I have to give props to P-dog for finally coming up with an awesome short form reference to my little sandbox. (since everybody bitches about the name of my blog!)

“Shwit” (anagram for “so here’s what I’m thinking”)
Haha! It amused me to no end! I immediately thought of the marketing opportunities! The catch phrases!
“Oh shwit!”
“Shwit happens”
“shwit, she’s at again!”
Look for t-shirts, mugs & hats soon!

So, yesterday I spent the day at the Performance World show.
Meh… Didn’t bring me the joy I was hoping for, although it was fun to yack about the state of racing with racing people. (was hanging with AIM Autosport and the Daytona prototype for the day) If any of you are around today, I may be heading back up there to snap some shots, so come say hi! Mark Wilkins, the driver, will be there for a couple of hrs to sign autographs, and answer questions. (starting around 1:30pm)

The crowd itself was a very strange cross section of humanity…(very strange!) I’ll leave it at that.
Oh and sorry boys, the booth babes were as skanky as they come. Seriously, I’m used to seeing pretty model types in some sponsor laden, too tight, cropped shirt smiling and hawking products. I don’t mind taking pictures of that for you folks. But this was not the case here. These were trashy, overbleached, overmade up, underdressed centerfold wannabe, not pretty specimens, skulking about the show looking like underage back alley prostitutes from a small town somewhere. Not worth the pixels! I took some pics of one gal who was the least skanky (if you can believe it) they are in the gallery.

Ok… enough about that. Let’s get down to brass tacks shall we?
Guess I’ll focus on IndyCar for now & see where it takes me…

What the fuck??
Where is the growth & stability I was promised post unifornication?
Why are there 8 drivers from last years line up standing on the sidelines without a ride two weeks out?
Recession this, buy out that, blah blah fucking blah… I don’t want to hear it! Put the fucking drivers in the cars!

People won’t walk into an empty store or restaurant. It’s human nature. Likewise sponsors aren’t going to ante up for a series that looks “empty”. There’s a reason theatres “paper” the audience. (Give out free tickets last minute to Fill empty seats) It makes the performers feel appreciated and it makes the other ticket holders feel more comfortable about their purchase.

If Dale Coyne could put two cars on the grid for all these years with nary a sponsor in sight. (don’t kid yourself, the Sonny’s on the car might as well read “Dale C.”) then surely to god Rahal Letterman racing could’ve squeaked out a budget for this one season while trying to replace the Ethanol sponsorship. You can be damn sure that if Booby RayHole’s new sugar daddy BMW was running an engine in the IRL there would be no problem. As much as I can’t understand the love affair for RHR (he’s about as appealing as wonderbread to me on and off track) I feel bad that he hitched his wagon to the fickle Uncle Festor.

Here’s the bottomline… Results are attractive. Drivers on the sidelines and cars sitting idle in a garage collecting dust are not getting results.

Do you as a sponsor want to put your name on a car for one race on the hopes that it’ll be successful after sitting dormant for months? Or would you rather pin your name to the guy that has been busting his hump from the get go, for the love of racing, has a bit of recognition and some momentum? I choose the latter.

The series itself is certainly trying very hard to polish the turd that could be the upcoming season. It is my understanding that the main website is getting a makeover as is the mobile site. They (the kids in the marketing/media office) are working Web 2.0 like no tomorrow. They’ve discovered that social media can be your friend and I applaud their effort to reach out to the fanbase on this level. Kudos to the teams that are following their lead and jumping on the SM bandwagon. Those that poopoo it are missing out on the most basic of marketing. Word of Mouth.

VERSUS is certainly impressing as they activate their relationship with IndyCar. Their presence was loud and proud at spring training, and they seem to genuinely want to take this thing to new heights. Everything I have managed to view has been impressive. I particularly enjoyed the behind the scenes look at the shooting of the promo spots with the commentary by the camera operator. (but I’m a big tv/movie behind the scenes junky, so I like stuff like this) They have also begun their ancillary programming this month, and the buzz is kudos all around. The irony of course is that living in Canada, and not being privy to an illegal dish, I personally can’t view any of the extra VERSUS programming. (at least not live or on tv….) This despite the tease from the Versus site itself. See there is a Canadian TV Schedule button at the top of the schedule grid, which takes you to the Canadian sister station, OLN. Of course once you get there you realize that the programming is almost completely different, and there is no mention whatsoever of IndyCar. (no we unlucky sods get the ugly stepsister treatment from TSN, who is the ugly stepsister of ESPN) (guess that makes us the uglier stepsister…) So, while I am excited for the series, I’m afraid I have to rely on the opinions of my fellow race buds south of the border regarding the VERSUS product. One can only hope that they will wise up and find a way to upload the programming in it’s entirety to the VERSUS/IndyCar page so that the international fanbase can participate and enjoy.

The car. Still ugly. But it sounds better if the grassroots webcam at spring training is to be believed. I’ll be curious as to how the Brazilian ethanol (sugarcane based) smells, compared to the American version (corn based).
Ya, I actually think about these things.
I’m also hoping that the teams get a little more creative with their liveries this year. After seeing the Honda Indy Toronto show car, I know for a FACT that you can pretty up these eyesores. Get on it boys!

ok… onto the drivers… (yup still going… ) Not going to talk about the regulars, they’ll get enough press on their own by winning the “big three” lotto…

So… newbies…
After months of speculation, Bobby D was signed, sealed and delivered stateside. Kids, be prepared for some fun this summer. Seriously. If y’all got your panties in a wad over Viso, you ain’t seen NOTHIN yet! LOL!
Doornbos is awesome on and off track. He is cocky, confident, well spoken, funny as hell, and can drive the wheels off a fucking car. Watching the presence of Doornbos turn the ever dominant Seabass into a petulant child, having tantrums on a Princess permapout level was the highlight of the 2007 season. The podium ceremony in Quebec was EPIC!!! Oh to have the scanner on when Bobby D & E.J come up behind Meira or the Princess on the first street/road course. BWHAHAHAHA!
Oh shit! (or shwit!), all of a sudden, I’m looking forward to the season!

Mike Conway: Don’t really know anything about him, but he held his own first time out at Homestead, so that’s impressive. He could be the one that quietly comes in and racks up enough points to pull the rug out from under the ROTY favorites.

Speaking of favorites… Matos: Love him or hate him (and over the years I’ve discovered more fall into the latter category) the kid can drive. Now that he’s up with the big boys though, will he get away with the unsportsmanlike antics he did while making his way up through the junior formulas? Remains to be seen. He could surprise or he could, for the first time in a while, be humbled.

Stanton “Marty Roth version 2.0” Barrett? Gimme a fucking break….
If anything he’ll give Dario’s nutjob wife a new target to bitch about. Nuff said there.

Ok… gonna take a breath… LOL. I’ll tackle the junior formulas in a separate bloggy…
(psst… P-dog… brassy enough for ya? 😉 )

Happy Sunday!

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19 responses to “Shwit!

  1. I’ll make sure to update you on the VERSUS coverage, Meesh. If they happen to give less time to leaders driving around by themselves and more time to actual BATTLES midpack, I will be giddy. Of course, it’s best if the battles occur up front but battle showing is the key. Not to mention informative commentary, innovative production, and continued activation.

    As far as the season, assuming some deals don’t fall apart at the last minute, I feel reasonably optimistic. That there’s turnover is a pain especially so soon but I have a good feeling about the racing. Then again, I usually feel that optimistic every start of the season. Hell, that special on the Princess got me excited if only for the fact that I got to see cars on screen again.

    • By the way, I do look forward to seeing Bobby D on track. 🙂 Those pictures from Mont-Tremblant will forever live in OW lore.

      As far as Matos, I’m glad to see him get a chance. If he doesn’t perform, I honestly don’t know what the point is of Indy Lights outside of the exciting, sometimes crazy racing.

      Hmm, Twitter huh?

      • Fave pics of that year, seriously.

        I can’t see Matos not performing. Kid is talented. (well, he’s hardly a kid now is he! LOL!) (a little birdie told me he was well into his 30’s…)
        I will be disappointed if it is only for one season. (the JR formula champion curse) I think Pagenaud was the only one that got two years after his championship (of the recent grads)

        Yes, twitter. Go for it Evan. We’ll talk ya through it!

  2. Holy Shwit! Brass on the rev limiter. Most excellent point about Bobby D. SOMEONE has to throw a little something-something into this Big Three Love Fest V. 19. I look forward to a blizzard of screamed Dutch into the scanner as Bobby D. stalks Daniker. Pretty sure she won’t want to stalk down to his pit box any time soon. Now all we need is Speedy Dan.

    Oh, I’ll keep you posted on the Versus broadcast. Of that you can be sure.

  3. I believe we pleebs north of the border will get the VERSUS broadcasts for the races. I don’t believe we will receive any of the ancillary programming. I will however be stalking and bribing anyone who cares to broadcast via Justin.tv or Ustream.

    LOL on Speedy Dan!
    Bobby D, E.J Viso and Speedy Dan, the “trifecta of terror”!!!! BWHAHAHAHA!!
    God I love those guys!

  4. Bobby, EJ and Dan, the three horsemen of the apocalypse. I feel a pressdog posting coming on. OH and totally put me down for a SHWIT HAPPENS shirt. Shwit yeah!

  5. The American Mutt

    For the love of god can somebody at least please record this on VHS, and get this girl some Indycar!?! This post may have just made you my favorite blogger, despite the fact that I think we each like drivers the other hates, and I don’t mind the Dallara-though I do concede the panoz champ car ran it’s last year with was pretty–provided you kept the nose on it. It was incredibly fun watching Seabass bitch about a second place finish to Bobby D. (shh..don’t tell I’m one of those weirdos that watched and loved both series….cept I HATE Houston. It’s an awful venue.)

  6. LOL! Ok… going to blow the dust of the unused Cafe Press store…

    LOL Mutt! Like I said, if VERSUS is smart, they will find a way to make the programming available to the international audience somehow.

    I don’t think I really “hate” any drivers. There are some I just don’t have a whole lot of respect for based on the hype vs results ratio. If I was interested in pin up girls/boys, I would blog about America’s Next Top Model or GQ magazine. I’m interested in drivers who are interesting off track and KICK ASS on track. Period.

    Epic podium tantrum!! LOL! ( really have to find those pictures )

    Honestly, I don’t even remember Houston! bwahaha! I think it was worse than San Jose first year though if I recall.

  7. Yay, Meesh is back! I agree with you completely and this post made me want to buy you a beer, and one day I will.

    I think we’ll both be watching via Justin or TVU or whatever (and then getting a torrent for decent quality). We do get most races live in the UK but only by paying a fortune to Mr Murdoch (which I would if I could).

    The use of social networking is a huge development with the one big proviso – they must use it for a conversation instead of a link feed or spamming tool.
    On Twitter, nothing pisses me off more than finding someone/something you want to follow only to find they only ever post links to their site (say like Autosport.com). Guys this stuff is designed to give us a window into your world, little interesting things for fans that maybe you’d never mention in an official article – SO USE IT!! The teams and series I follow all interact with their followers. It doesn’t have to be anything mind-blowing. It’s nice just hearing that Vision are loading the trucks for a test. It sounds stupid but nerdy fans like us live on knowing how long it takes for you to do that and travel to the track.

    Sorry, got carried away. 🙂

    On rookies, I’m coming at this from a different direction because I know very well who Conway is but don’t know much about Matos other than his few ALMS appearances. This is why Doornbos and Conway are my two top tips for ROTY.

    Conway is much like me (errr, ‘real life me’ not ‘online me’) – fairly reserved, keeps himself to himself and doesn’t stir anyone up but quietly goes about doing the business on the track. This is why he isn’t all that noticed (even in GP2) and why he’ll almost certainly come across as boring to you guys this year. But you should watch him. When he makes a pass it is always a decisive one, and he’s excellent in traffic. I was worried about him on an oval but he seems to be settling in nicely.

    Cars… did anyone see the new Formula Nippon designed by Swift? It looks like a big brother to their Atlantic car – it looks like a proper Indycar! Note usage of small ‘c’…

    Completely off-topic, will you (and Pressdog) also be keeping half an eye on F1 this year? I have a feeling they are going to need calling out on a lot of stupid things this year and you do it so much better than I…

  8. Wow sorry, didn’t realise that was so long!

  9. LOL! I love that it is long! (er… that just sounds wrong… )
    anyway, essay length responses are a-ok!

    Your point on the Twitter usage is very true. I know I plan on using the @OpenWheelWorld account to do live tweets from the track for the site (if I manage to get to a race this year! gah!)

    I just had the twitter conversation with a certain team pr dude who doesn’t see the value and fears the “we just had breakfast” tweets would annoy. I tried to explain that those who have twitter accounts and especially those who follow teams, drivers, tracks, etc… expect those types of tweets and relish them. I too used Vision as an example. I love knowing that they are ordering their team uniforms, or are tweaking there website, or that the driver is making an appearance somewhere. It’s Alice through the looking glass stuff. It’s taking a peek at the wizard behind the curtain. Sure to joe blow off the street, it may sound mundane, but then joe blow isn’t going to be a follower!

    Fans are consumers. If your fans feel important and informed, they are going to feel a sense of ownership in the team. That is going to be translated into $$$ for both the team (swag) and sponsors (loyalty purchasing)
    Do you think I would have ever purchased a Monster drink were they not supporting Paul? Or promoted Subway for weeks leading up to Edmonton? Word of Mouth! Return on investment! key buzzwords to be remembered.

    Hey I could care less what the kid (Conway) is like off track, as long as he impresses me on track. I’m looking forward to watching him. The euro drivers are always awesome to watch, especially carving their way through traffic.

    I will likely be watching F1 this season. I want to see what those monstrosities look like on track! LOL! I want to see if Lewis was a fluke, if Massa can master, if Vettel is the second coming, if Seabass can redeem himself… etc… etc…

  10. I didn’t mean anything about the OWW account! 🙂 And I’m sure I’ve seen some non-linky stuff in there.

    If you want to see ugly F1 cars a little early, Yossidlr is the king of F1 testing vids:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/yossidlr

    This is going to take some time to get used to! I guess the good thing is that we can tell the cars apart without liveries now – look at the noses.

  11. I’m going to need a long time to be enticed back. I mean that sincerely and without malice. I’m too tired of looking for something from AOW to excite me. They need to come back to me.

    -from a tired soldier.

  12. Oh and with Twitter updates – do they (team PRs) not realise that they shouldn’t feel pressured to update it at regular intervals? They aren’t press releases. Just update whenever it suits.

  13. LOL Pat, I know, but truthfully, I do want to interact a little more with the OpenWheelWorld followers. (has always been the intention)

    Fugly indeed! Holy Hideousness batman! Gah!

    Padre!!! Good to see you old friend! I hear ya, I do. I’m surprised I was able to adapt as well as I did. Perhaps if I was just a fan on the sidelines (with no job aspirations or writing assignments) I would have let go too.

    I’m glad you still look in here though!

  14. Pat, I think it’s just like anything when you’re new to it. I know when I first started on twitter I felt pressure (of my own doing) to tweet more and be pithy or witty or ‘terribly interesting’ & topical.

    It certainly feels more natural and conversational now. Ironically I use the @whatimthinking twitter account way more than my personal one. LOL! Guess I just feel more in my own skin with my racing peeps.

  15. I do too which is possibly why I don’t even have a personal account.

    I’ve had a pretty crappy few days but if ever you’re feeling down, revert to Alex Zanardi. I just saw this and thought it deserved a wider audience:
    http://blogf1.co.uk/2009/03/15/keep-on-smiling-alex/

  16. ‘What are you doing?’ Papis asked. ‘About 240 kilometres an hour,’ Zanardi said.

    I adore Alex. He makes me smile and tear up simultaneously. He is my inspiration and my measure of guilt and shame for feeling sorry for myself.

    Thanks for sharing that link.

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