2012 Grand Prix of Alabama *live* (post-delayed) blog ;-)

Ok… so here we go, first race out of the gate for the newly monikered NBCSports Network. (which absorbed Versus over the winter)

I’ve gotta tell you, after yesterday’s lacklustre qualifying show, I didn’t hold out too much hope for today’s show.

Seriously, did anyone else think they had tuned into a Golf broadcast yesterday? Awful. Just awful. No context, no excitement. The only time the commentators seemed to have any energy was when Power got dinged for his fast lap, and they started discussing the first “controversy” of the year and that Beaux Barfield was in the hot seat. If I wasn’t already familiar with the series and the format of qualifying, I would have A) thought “what the fuck am I watching?” and B) had ZERO motivation to tune in today.

Now, on the plus side, every commercial break was Indy-centric, and featured our drivers. and NO DANICAN’T! Woot Woot! Now if only we could lose the Ninja commercial…

So on to today, race day…

IndyCar 36 – a little preshow they’ve started this season, featuring one driver for 36hrs on a race weekend. This weeks show focused on Tony Kanaan.

Now, not to state the obvious, but those of you that have been around since, and spent time on the Champ Car side of the split will recognize this show as a revamp of RaceCar Driver. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Hey, it was a wonderful, successful show (3 seasons, 2 that actually aired, and DVD’s for sale) and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And really, anything that brings more eyes to the series is fine by me.

Was it good? Yes, of course, very enjoyable. But it’s NOT an original idea. So I’m not going to fall all over myself to fawn on NBC or IndyCar for finally catching on to something they should have and could have been doing for years.

But back to today. So far, so good. They don’t seem as staid or hopped up on valium as they were yesterday. Perhaps it’s the shiny new nomex suits?

As sad as I am that it’s a giant sausagefest now, I am happy that one of the sausages is Townsend Bell. He is always good for a candid, tell it like it is comment. (hmm… sounds like a certain ragin Canadian writer huh?)

Lovely tribute to Dan Wheldon, without getting too morose. I think Dan would have liked it. Of course it cut down on Robin’s infamous “Grid Walk” which turned into an awkward, if not completely ill-timed grid run, during the convocation (do the producers not get the minute-by-minute???) This lead to some funny profanity and heavy breathing quotes:
“what the hell? they’re all praying”
“What are you doing here? You don’t drive a lotus!”

This actually lead to him trending worldwide on twitter.
Oh Robin, never, ever, change. I love ya man. And get yer ass on Twitter!

Bart Starr, gives the official command to start engines, after a lovely 20 minute toast to his wife… GIVE THE DAMN COMMAND MAN! SAVE THE TOAST FOR BREAKFAST!

I want to thank my illegal stream supplier… As Canadian television has deemed it unnecessary to actually air today’s race live (or like in whole) Fuck you TSN.

GREEN GREEN GREEN!

Nice clean start. Again, I reiterate, these cars are fast and more importantly, look fast on tv.

And Tagliani plays his “this is the only way I’m gonna get my sponsor airtime cause I drive a Lotus” card, stopping on track on lap 2? (actually I don’t think he made it one full lap) He gets towed back to the pits and we are ready to go again.

GREEN GREEN GREEN!
ZoinkS! that was all dirt tracking and butt clenching!

Back from commercial on Lap 12, only to find Tags out of the car being interviewed. Engine BLOWN UP SIR (™pressdog)

Lap 14: Rahal and Taku have made the most advances on track. Simon Pagenaud is giving a clinic on road course driving and PASSING! Yes, you heard me PASSING… At Barber. Live. ON CAMERA! Who knew…

Servia, driving a pig of a car, and deadfuckinglast, is the first to pit.

Early pitters also include: Andretti, Wilson, Kimbell, and Franchitti

Now the rest of the field will slowly start pitting as well.

Marco Andretti is testing his limits with everyone out there. Has decided his car is unbreakable and he is invincible. At least that is how he is driving. And now he’s battling with Viso. This could get ugly… #justsayin

There are some amazing battles going on track and most importantly, on camera. I’m suitably impressed, and finding it hard to turn away from the action lest I miss something!

The leaders finally come in on lap 26/27. Helio came in first, Dixon and Hinch came in the following lap. The AA crew screwed the pooch (rear tires are a bit of an issue apparently) and Dixon got out not only ahead of James, but also ahead of Helio on track to take the lead. The Iceman Cometh… (actually he’s all charming and full of personality now, so that moniker hardly suits him anymore)

Pagenaud was also a victim of a bad pit-stop, but managed to hold on to 8th spot (down from 5th where he had awesomely driven up to)

So checking in on lap 36, (sorry the action is just too plentiful to turn away)
Seabass who is now in l1th in the underfunded teams shitty Lotus, started on the same row as Dashley who has now made it all the way up… 2 spots to 16th, in the Honda powered, more money than God team’s car… Me thinks Dashley has spent so much time up front, he has forgotten how to actually pass when mired mid-pack. It can be done, just ask… well, everyone who is in front of him, or has passed him.

And totally distracted by a work call…. missed whatever happened between lap 36 and 43… FUCK *turns off phone*

With 43 laps to go, Charlie Kimbell pulled off. why? NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! ™pressdog

Jan remarks from the booth that Marco’s not taking prisoners. Indeed Jan, but he sure as hell isn’t making any friends either! Though some drivers not on track today are commenting on twitter that they are impressed. Okey dokey then. Go Parko Go!

Sato-san has a most inauspicious moment, and his car rolls to a stop.
Thanks for coming out, but your day is done. *insert calming pan-flute musical interlude*

*glazes over and stops typing*

Sorry, there is actually so much action on track, and miraculously, ON SCREEN, that it’s hard not to be distracted from actually writing. I can’t even keep up with twitter stream at this point either. INSANE!

Wilson does a loop-dee-loop but keeps it running, narrowly avoiding contact with a bunch of oncoming traffic. NO YELLOW! Beaux, my friend, drinks are on me when next we meet sir. Thank you for bringing Racing back to IndyCar.

With 26 laps to go, Simon Pagenaud is the first of the leaders to make his final stop (he is back up to 5th fyi… love that kid!)

Okay… so with about 22 laps to go, Katherine Legge took a nap in the kitty litter. Not sure what the issue was, other than… well, I’ll save that comment for another day.
Once the entire field had pit, the yellow came out, and all of the cars/debris/etc.. on track, was removed to make way for a final rip roaring road course shootout. *adds another drink to Beaux’s tab*

With the 20 or less rule in place, lapped cars will be moved to the back. (get the fuck outta the way, we’ve got a race to run up here!)

17 laps to go… green green green

Dixon poked his nose in there, but NO! Power slams the door!

By comparison, Hinchtown completely screwed the pooch on the restart and allowed not one, but TWO cars by, Rahal, and Pagenaud, who has been fast and pass happy all day. It will take some serious bad luck for someone else for Hinch to be on the podium. So sad as he was 2nd and then 3rd for most of the race. (he will blame something/someone else post race, but truth is, he just didn’t get a good restart, and since there is no co-driver… well… #justsayin)

Power and Dixon completely check out up front, to the tune of over 14 seconds. So thankfully NBC focuses on the action that is really happening midpack. Which there is still plenty of right up until and past the checkers waving for the leaders. INSANE!!! I need 4 more sets of eyes, and 6 hands to keep up.

And then another work distraction, so the joy of this event is promptly ripped from my psyche and I don’t enjoy the pleasure of cavorting online with my race buddies basking in the afterglow of a spectacular event.

Huge KUDOS to both the drivers for putting on a spectacular show, and to NBC for redeeming themselves after yesterday, and actually SHOWING us the show that was happening on track.

Oh, and Beaux. You are a rockstar. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And finally… because it brought me so much joy, Today’s #bobisms
“dee Simona”
“saymin Pagenaud”
“Katherine’s leg is in the gravel”
“Will Power makes his final stop for the year”
“Honda Indry Grand Pee”

Oh and a really great save when after an interview with Sebass, he said “Simon….* extra long pause realizing he had the wrong guy* Pagenaud finishes up in 5th and Sebastien Bourdais finishes 9th with Lotus Power” Total non-sequitur and funny as hell, but great save!

On to Long Beach!

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10 responses to “2012 Grand Prix of Alabama *live* (post-delayed) blog ;-)

  1. Enjoying you blog almost as much as the race. We share thoughts but if I tried to write it we’d have a festival of Bobisms (love that description and tks also to Pdog.)

  2. Laughing too hard. Will have to heap praise on you later.

  3. Hinch has struggled with restarts in both races. Lost beaux coup places in 3 restarts at St. Pete. Not as bad today, but on Twitter said he had to work on them.

    I don’t even go to Twitter when the race is on. It’s impossible. Plus I don’t have cable, and couldn’t find an IndyCar stream, so I was listening to the race on IndyCar.com T&S, and had the NASCAR race on TV with no sound, and saw that particular whacky ending too.

    It’s good for all of us, by the way, that your love of IndyCar seems reignited.

    • ya, his immediate reaction after the race was full of excuses and blame. I think once he got a look at some data and replays he realized a little restart/reaction time work is in order.

      haha… it’s an exercise in multi-tasking “watching” a race. I don’t think I’ve just sat and “watched” a race since 2002.

      my love never wavered… it was just a little unrequited for a while 😉 (story of my life!)

  4. I can’t quit laughing about “katherine’s leg is in the gravel.”

  5. Great race, great coverage, and a very enjoyable recounting. Glad someone besides myself caught “Honda Indry Gand Pee.”

    “Will Power’s last stop for the year” was good also. I say, give that guy a raise; the rest of the crew will have to prep better, but let that guy roll on as he is.

    • Ya, a lot of people are calling for his head, but he comes by it honestly, and it certainly gives us all something to chat/laugh about post race 😉

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