Monthly Archives: June 2009

How the mighty have fallen…

Whether by choice or force, it appears that Tony George is no longer calling the shots. (One of course questions whether he’s really been calling any shots of late anyway… personally I don’t think he has)

Sure the easy thing to do right now would be to cheer or taunt or sling mud and insults, but to what end? What would be the point? Does it change the past? No…

I got tired of the whole “our side-their side” thing long ago, and was relieved in a way upon unification that I no longer had to choose and explain and validate. It was exhausting.

One has to think that Tony George, the man, unburdened by the titles President & CEO, is also feeling a sense of relief tonight.

Much the same way those of us that work in racing sometimes long for the days when we we’re ‘just fans’, when we went to the track ignorant of the insider gossip & news, and just enjoyed the racing, unaware of the ugly underbelly of the industry, it will be interesting to see Tony ease into the fulltime roll of just team owner.

There is a picture one of our photographers took of Tony in Texas (which I used in our story tonight) I remember when I saw it being mezmerized by it. It was Tony George, almost unrecognizable. Relaxed, sitting on the ground, headphones on. Gone was the buttoned down shirt and dress pants, in it’s place a t-shirt, jeans and a casualness. He looked unfettered and relaxed. Like a great weight had been lifted from him.

I get that there are many, in particular those who refused to accept, let alone embrace last years unification, who are still wearing giant chips on their shoulders. They are celebrating tonight. Dancing, shouting, jubilant at what they foresee as the final nail in the coffin, the death of the IRL.
Good for them. I hope they find some satisfaction in their revelry.

I, for one, don’t find any joy in this.
Instead I worry for the sport I love.

Was I happy with unification? no. It broke my heart to lose Champ Car. But the thought of losing American open wheel all together breaks my heart even more. So I was, and still am, willing to put the past behind and look to the future, to finding some common ground between IndyCar and Champ Car, taking the best of what they both had to offer and moving forward.

If IndyCar fades away, there is no magic bullet. No phoenix will rise from the ashes this time. For a while, if we’re lucky, the junior formulas (if they survive) will feed the European series. Hell, even that’s a clusterfuck.

This is not the time for divisive behavior. This is the time we need to rally. To fix this. To move forward. Lest we risk losing it all forever.

“uh uh uh uh oh oh… the right stuff”

That’s right kids, enough of all this “inside… inside…. inside…. clear” bullshit.
(or as the case has been… “behind… behind… behind… nevermind”)
It’s time for some right turns!!

So, I’m packed and pretty much ready to go. (Still no credential confirmation for OWW, but they did this to us last year too. We weren’t confirmed until 3 days before… *sigh*… ) Anyway I’m keeping the faith, but barring that will start to call in favours for my photographer who is flying in and just cancel my trip. EDIT: all systems go! Spam filter ate our confirmation!

Anyway… I can’t tell you how happy I am that this roundy-round marathon of putritude is over! Time to get back to some racing! Where drivers can and will actually make some moves without fear of the dreaded marble/wall combo! Where MY boys will start to shine.

I’m especially looking forward to BobbyD breaking out now. He’s had a few months in the car, so he’s familiar with it’s nuances and it’s shortfalls. For those who haven’t had the pleasure yet, he is just thrilling to watch on road courses, so the Glen should be awesome. Of course it’s on ABC, so all of that brilliant camera work and commentary we’ve become accustomed to on VERSUS will be but a distant memory… :bangs head on desk:

Speaking of awesome and “thrilling”… Oh ya baby.  (you knew it was coming! come on!) PT is in da house! Woot!
I would absolutely love to see him have a good result going into the Canadian leg. Not only for his own vindication, but also since IndyCar & these races are currently the best kept secret up here, no matter what the spinmeisters say.
At least if PT win’s, places or shows we may get some media play before our race.

Richard Antinucci is back! Woot!
{dirty old woman mode on} Eye Candy quota raised! {/dirty old woman mode off}
This kid should have been in a car from the start in my ever so humble opinion. (And he shoulda won the damn Championship last year too) He won here (the Glen) last year in lights, so other than the difference in the car, his learning curve shouldn’t be that much of an arc. It will be interesting to see if that car is as much of a pig with him behind the wheel, as it has been with the rest of it’s rotating roster this season.

My little sparkplug finally has the monkey off his back, so I’ll be looking for the EJ that pissed the world off last season to return to the Glen this weekend. This isn’t a fucking pageant! Enough with the Mr. Congeniality routine. I want FIRE! I want AGGRESSION! I want a half dozen post race soundbytes by the other drivers whinging about your driving!
Of course, if you take out PT, I’ll hunt you down and put you over my knee young man! …
({dirty old woman mode on} drifts off into deep thought… {/dirty old woman mode off})

What was I talking about? Oh ya, The GLEN!! and getting back to real racing!

I still don’t understand why Will isn’t in a car this weekend. Oh right, no crew. Stupid. Just… Stupid.

Mario ran well here last year with Uncle Dale, so Justin should fair well, as will Graham and Newman Haas.

Even though his is one of the dreaded “red cars’ I would also happily cheer for Briscoe to get back the win he was robbed of last year. (not to mention the two recent ones)

Ok… that’s it from me for now… (ya ya, I know, the Tony George thing… I’m percolating that one on the commute home)
I’m still at the fucking office, and starving, but had to finish up some work here due to the holiday tomorrow, then write the OWW articles before I left as it was “breaking news” (not really though as we saw it coming thanks to the awesome and oft maligned Robin Miller)

so, more later… want to get home before the skies open!
ciao

SunTrust Indy Challenge *live* race blog

So here we go kids… Scotty says start your engines, so lets crank em up and get this party started!

I’m flying blind tonight unless someone wants to drop me a note with a Ustream for the race. (apparently Justin.tv is temporarily unavailable… hrumph)

Green Green Green!!!

Let’s see can we get through the opening lap… er… no apparently.

Yellow… Jacques Lazier spins all by himself from DFL and stuffs it in the safer barrier in turn 2, thus cutting the amount of tv time he would have gotten for his new sponsor exponentially. (the leaders would have passed him every few laps giving the sponsor a shout out each time!)

7 laps under caution, now back to green!

Marco on fire tonight. Up 7 spots already.

Franchitti is racing by himself, the rest of red cars are a couple of car lengths behind. Marco is all up on Mutoh, but being a “good teammate” for now. Moraes was the only car to dive into the pits for fuel on the yellow, so keep an eye on him in alternate strategyville.

25laps in, Moraes is already lapped. So much for that strategy.

Yellow Yellow Yellow! Briscoe! oh NO! a little solo spin and wall action and there goes the championship lead… Unless something catastrophic happens to the other 3 red cars.

Handling issues right off the start proved the nemesis for Briscoe. Apparently they were going to try to fix the car and get him back out there, but that has been vetoed. Thanks for coming out. See you at the Glen. (I hope… more on that later)

Mutoh leads the restart, with the Princess on his ass. She tries to get racy, doesn’t work, Franchitti inhales here. Thanks for playing.

lap 52, Mutoh still leads (can you say “save my ride”?)

*commercial* (gonna see if I can find a video stream somewhere)

ok, got a stream. Not a great stream, but a stream. Listening to the radio stream while watching. (the video stream stops every couple of seconds…gah!)

lol Kim Green: “if someone would give us a yellow”

somewhere up in race control, Barnhart throws his head back laughing maniacally, humming “what have you done for me lately”

Dario is all over the back of Mutoh… but Hideki (or Hikeki depending on who you talk to) is holding his own.

We’re already up to over 100 laps. This race is going to blow by. (thank god, cause I for one am tired of the roundy rounds, and this is the last one for a while)

Lap 104 and Mutoh is coming into the pits. Good job Hideki!

Moraes got a little squiggly

The Princess is finally in (111 lap stint)
They all seem so amazed that she got that far on fuel. She weighs about 12lbs. come on…

everyone is on commercial. I’m bored and thirsty.

Festival of green flag pitting…
Everyone is in and out cleanly, except for Franchitti, Dixon & Rahal.

Yellow! Yellow! Yellow! Conway into the wall. :mocks surprise:

Franchitti, Dixon and Rahal radio to the pits for the crew to buy lottery tickets.

Rahal doesn’t have enough fuel to stay on track, neither does Franchitti, both come in for splash and go. Dixon manages to make it around until the pits open.

UGH.. the manboob commercial. *pokes eyes out with steak knife*

Good god, how hard did Conway hit? it’s taking forever to clean this up. Is the marble vacuum truck out there or something?

Wave arounds for everyone! The entire field is the lucky dog!

Strike that. Kanaan is still down a lap. His luck continues to suck.

Dixon shot from a cannon on the restart!

everyone battling traffic (also known as Moraes tonight)

I swear I just nodded off…

wonder how many times a week Kanaan thinks about the fact that he CHOSE to go back to AGR instead of taking the Ganassi deal…

how did EJ get all the way down to 15th? Sucky pit stop that I didn’t see or is the car just a pig? (if I boot up T&S my computer will explode)

Rahal & Andretti got into each other, but with no consequence.

everyone is starting to make their final pit stops

Mutoh and Patrick on their own weird strategy. If no yellows, they could be battling for the win.

Just as I typed that, Twinkletoes finds the wall, slides along the wall along the back straightaway.

Dixon, Franchitti & Rahal radio to the crew to buy another lotto ticket, and complain of discomfort as the golden horseshoes up their asses are starting to chaff…

Sorry, I’m so zoned out at this point. Red cars will win, which one, not sure yet, but I’m gonna go start writing this up.

Talk amongst yourselves…

Who’s a happy boy?…

PT was like a kid in a candy store this morning as he unveiled his new car for the Honda Indy Toronto!
Even Jimmy was full of smiles!
I too couldn’t wipe the grin off my face.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing Paul so happy and knowing that he will be racing in the next two races I will be attending.
He looks great! He’s dropped some weight, looks rested and focused and happy. He was very comfortable and laid back this morning.

Patti (his wife) looks equally great and happy and I hear Viv is coming to the race, which will make my year. (nothing more fun than hangin in the pits with PT’s mom)
Hopefully CJ will make an appearance too.

Since this was a reveal for Paul as well, it was fun to watch his reaction when he saw the car. He even ran back up to the podium and made them turn the mic on so he could speak some more. VERY un PT like action that is! (not fond of public speaking) He just gushed about the car and the race and how proud he is of his car and to be back racing in Toronto.

For the first time, I’m actually excited for this race and feel like it’s coming. It sure as hell isn’t because of the “buzz” in the city.

When I asked Charlie J if this was the kick off to some serious promotion now as so far it’s the best kept secret in town, I got the standard PR answer of “well I’ve heard nothing but the opposite”. Bullshit.
Norris MacDonald came to my rescue and called him on the “PR” answer. If there has been major promotion going on, I sure as hell haven’t seen it. (other than Honda Dealer ads, which quite frankly promote Honda, not the race)

Apparently there is a huge promotional thing happening for two days the week before the race at Dundas Square.
Ya… newsflash… promoting a supposed international racing event 5 days before the event is not “huge promotion”

I actually feel sorry for Charlie. He busted his ass for this race for years. I imagine his hands are tied and he just has to tow the party line, but man… who does he think he’s fooling? I live here man! I remember all the events I went to prior to the races in previous years and all the promotion.

As I already alluded to earlier in my blackberry drive-by, the issue of the run off’s was also brought up and denied. Again, we will see.
I also laid that juicy tidbit of information at the feet of those paid to write and report, so we’ll see if they dig up anything to the contrary.
Again, I hope it was just a silly rumour, because it will be a disaster if not. I asked Paul about his thoughts on it. When I get home (yes I’m still at work as I put in some extra hours to cover the time I took for the Press conference) I’ll transpose the quotes.
(I felt like such a dork sticking a digital recorder in front of Paul… we both actually chuckled at the weirdness of it)

anyway… here is a wee gallery of snaps from today. My flash died (of course) and we were in a fricken shitty lit Military hanger… so it is what it is…

KV/PT unveiling

run off update…

I point blank asked Charlie Johnstone of Honda Indy Toronto about the “no run off’s” rumour.

He told me it was not true and that whoever was saying this was misinformed…

So there ya go… We shall see in 18 days I guess…

ok… Back to work!