Tag Archives: Indy 500

Indy/Detroit Post-Mortem ;-) (better late than never)

It’s funny… when I was sitting there thinking that I was frustrated about not being able to comment on Texas cause I haven’t seen it yet, I realized I hadn’t posted at all since before I left Toronto for my “Schwit/OWW Indy-Detroit Road Trip Spectacular Presented by Honda Canada!” or #soidrtspbhc for short! 😉

Even funnier is how different my post would have been immediately following Indy (judging by my cliff notes) then how different it would have been from that post, post Detroit. (again looking over my notes)

There will be a separate post on the said “presented by Honda Canada” car itself coming up, and I’ll pick up on the racing and the players again after that, but first, here’s a little post Indy/Detroit recaplet for posterity… Continue reading

My 500th Post…

Oh universe, I so enjoy when you toy with me like this.
My 500th post falls in the Month of May. Amusing.

So, what to write on this momentous occasion? Well, I was planning a Part 2 on yesterday’s post, but I guess I’ll hold that for now and instead plot my thoughts on my upcoming trip to the 500 instead.
Seems more appropriate.

Truthfully, more than anything lately, as I prepare for my trip, I’ve once again been thinking of Dan.
It’s still strange to me that someone I was barely acquainted with had such a monumental impact on my life. But he did. And still does. Now, however, I’m finding myself smiling more when I think of him. Continue reading

Indy 500 (psuedo live) Race Blog

I am working right now. Yes, working on a Sunday. On the Sunday of the Indy 500. I’m hating life and trying not to go postal everytime the phone rings.

I will be sort of paying attention, sort of working, sort of blogging. Probably none to the best of my ability.

So far, same ol same ol. Tradition, yada yada yada…

Here they come. That was an ugly start. Not even remotely lined up.

And Davey Hamilton doesn’t even complete one lap. Spins and hits the retaining wall on the back straight. Looks like he is out and OK.

Yellow… commercial… clean up… *get some work done*

TK watch: already up to 25th… LOL! It was like he was shot out of a cannon!

and we’ve got some contact at the back of the field lap 7. Junky is dead stick in the middle of the track. Right rear tire peel off the rim. May or may not have had contact with Sato. Bruno out and ok.

ooh… fighting words from Davey Hamilton. Scheckter is an “idiot” and a “knucklehead” LOL!

TK Watch: 18th

Yellow… commercial… clean up… *get some work done*

This is the most bullshit way to try to follow a race.

Penske fucks Will Power YET AGAIN!!

Ya, missing all of the race due to work calls and having to run down to the front door to let people in. FML!

Guess I’ll read about it later…

This is too frustrating… pulling the plug for now.

Enjoy the race everyone!

The Month of meh…

*warning… Margarita’s, a patio and wifi. Meesh has a belly/mind full of tequila on this holiday Monday here in Canada, so spelling and grammar and “sense” don’t count* *complete thoughts and sentences not guarenteed*

If Pole day was shockingly disappointing, then Bump day was soul crushing.

I still don’t really have the words today to express myself fully. Maybe because real life intervened and I was on an 18hr photo shoot that prevented me from being tethered to my computer to watch this nightmare play out. It still feels like a cruel joke, like someone is punking all of us that live and breath racing and Paul Tracy.

He is in 2003 race trim!! do ANY of you know… can any of you GRASP how hard this man has worked to get to this place?? When I hung out with him in January, I quietly, silently, questioned whether he still had the fire in his belly. He seemed defeated, and a little flubby at the time. Almost complacent about racing and his future. Then it was like someone lit a fire under him.

How cruel the universe that would see fit to exclude Paul from this race, after he devoted himself heart and soul to being championship ready and worthy.

How cruel the universe that sees fit to see him sitting on the sidelines instead of driving fulltime.

How cruel the universe.

Paul showed heartbreaking honesty and class in his Racermag Blog in the aftermath. Jimmy showed culpability in his apology to Paul’s fans for not getting him in the show. Winning as a team. Losing as a team. I get that. I appreciate that.

I’ll appreciate it more if they can take the Geico money and put Paul in a car at the Glen as a precursor to Toronto… *hint hint*

That said, I can’t help but wonder if KV tech bit off a little more than they were capable of chewing. 3 fulltime wrecking balls er drivers,  a likely very over worked crew. Not enough frankencars to cover the damage… I have to wonder outloud if Paul would have been better off with a one-off single car team effort (a la RLR) where the focus would have been solely on him and getting that car in the show.

“what if’s” don’t amount to a hill o’beans after the fact.

I can tell ya that the bitter pill of not being able to make it to Indy this year, was definitely easier to swallow this morning. Watching races containing a Paul Tracy-less field… not so much exciting or interesting to me. I definitely felt that at St. Pete’s. I will however been cheering for Simona and Bia. I’m tickled pink for Bruno and Sebastien, and will be over the moon if Justin can quietly make his way into the hunt.

My focus is now on the month of July. (my personal month of May)

Kicking off with the Glen, then the party comes to my town, (the banners are up now, causing me to squee just a little in the pit of my belly when I see them on the lamp posts) then I hop on a plane to Edmonton. That’s right. I’m all booked! It became officially official on Friday when my bosses surprised me and booked my plane tickets for Edmonton. It was their way of saying thank you for essentially putting my life on hold since April to keep the business up and running. So at least now I am guaranteed to see both of Paul’s remaining races this season.

I really feel sort of disconnected right now from the circus. I didn’t get to watch one minute of racing this month until Saturday due to work. From that I saw that it was basically status quo. Penske/Ganassi dominating, with a few underdogs scratching their way in.  Andretti Autosport is struggling again. Gotta feel for them as they seemed to have some momentum in the early races.

I did see that Princess Sparkle Pony stopped barfing up bunny fur and burping rainbows, and got her widdle feewings hurt… awwww…

GMAFB.

Sucks for her and her entourage of sharks and sucker fish that the reality of her skillset is becoming apparent  to not only real racing fans, but the general public now that she is no longer the novelty act, but rather one of several women in the field, all of which actually put their ON TRACK careers first, and spend their time and resources bettering themselves as race car drivers, rather than building and maintaining their ‘brand’. Nothing shines a light on your own irrelevance, than someone doing the same thing as you, only better.

Bottomline is, sometimes you’re the hero, sometimes you’re the villain. You gotta take the jeers with the same conviction as the cheers. Suck it up buttercup. This is racing, not a fucking cotillion. Somebody boo’s you, or doesn’t like you? Big fucking deal.

There are a lot of drivers out there that people love to hate! Do they curl up in a ball and whine about it to the media? hell no! They wear the black hat! They revel in their villain ways! Best example of that was Paul in Montreal. The weekend spent with “Capt Quebec” will go down as one of my favorite racing memories. The boos from the crowd drowned out the sound of his car for most of that weekend. But he took it all in stride, and even played it up a little. By the end of the weekend, he was a hero again. It’s all in the attitude my friends.

Hell, a lot of people hate MY fucking guts. Do I give a shit? HELL no.

I do what I do, I believe in myself, I do it for me. If there are people are on my bandwagon taking the journey with me, great! If not? whatever.  There’s the door.

I don’t write this blog, or do any of my other race writing and photography ventures to win some internet popularity contest. The surest way to become irrelevant is to try to become relevant. It’s forced, it’s contrived, and it rings about as true as, well as true as… an example I could think of if I was more sober. *shrug*

Personally I think Danican’t is having an identity crisis now that she is being shown up by a pretty, personable, fast and GENUINELY nice female driver who’s life isn’t “scripted” by a team of reps who see a product and dollar signs, rather than a race car driver. Hell, I’m sure she herself doesn’t know where Danica the driver begins and Dancia the Brand ends.

Apparently how the handle “Boos” wasn’t part of her marketing strategy script as the hearts and flowers stepford wife-like media automaton that they unleashed last year as part of the “get Danica a big cheque, er Nascar ride” production.

I almost feel sorry for her. Almost. But you know what? You make your bed, you gotta lay in it. Lumps and all…

And with that, I’m going to shut the lid and perhaps have one more drink to salvage what’s left of my 1 day weekend (the other 2 days of my long weekend were spent working… boo!!!) before kicking back into work mode tomorrow.

Indy 500 2009…

the aftermath…

So… A week yesterday I headed off on “Meesh’s little Indy adventure”. My first race of the season. My first road trip. My first trip to racing mecca. I didn’t really know what to expect to be truthful. To be honest, in hindsight, I think I expected more…

I felt very disconnected from the whole experience for the most part. I still do. It’s all a blur. I was so busy leading up the weekend, I had no time to really get excited. Then I was so busy when I got home, I had no time to really bask in the moment. (hence the post race blog a fucking week later)

With deadlines looming, and the thought of getting back in that fucking car… (More on that later) I was distracted for much of the time I was there. Plus any time you’re at a new track it takes a few days to get acclimated. Well I didn’t have a few days. More like hours…

The first time I was near cars on track… Well, I wasn’t. That’s the problem. I got there on Saturday. The Lights cars and drivers were gone. The IndyCar drivers did the autograph session thing. (had my brief meet ups and hugs with my PR buds and drivers) Then off to the public driver’s meeting, then they were whisked off to the parade and never came back. So there I was at a race track with no fricken racing! Ugh.

Sunday was more of the same weirdness. I briefly caught up with Tags & Nelson. Saw Oriol again (ran into him Saturday night) Gave a EJ a good luck peck on each cheek. (how European) (thought bubble: you know the drill, 2 ft taller, 20yrs older…) Then headed off to the grid, as per my usual routine, only there was nothing usual about it.

There was no warm up that day. The drivers were no were near the pits, and I got shuffled off the grid a good HOUR before any drivers made it down there. WTF?! Here it was race day and I hadn’t seen Paul. That is unfathomable to me. Normally milling about with the drivers pre-race, here I was 4 floors above it all, hoping to catch what I needed with my camera zoomed to the max. The whole experience was like watching it on tv for the most part, only louder. Except in the media room, which was like a fucking morgue most of the time. Seriously. I’ve been to louder funerals. Actually, there was much chuckling and a few “oooh”‘s when Moraes said he was going to talk to Marco… and then some uncomfortable laughter when Samantha Lloyd revealed she was in labour, but not going anywhere. Then back to the dead silence until the crashes. Miller got loud for a bit after the race. He can always be counted on to stray from the status quo… 😉 (that’s why I luvs him so…)

There were so many people, friends & acquaintances at the track that I didn’t get to see because I had both better access & shittier access! Ironic no?
I did meet up and hang with  Pressdog (Bill) and MyNameIsIRL (Jeff) who I feel like I’ve known my entire life. I wish we had had the opportunity to hoist a couple of cold ones over the weekend, rather than just sit beside each other furiously typing LOL!

Trifecta of Word Butchers!
*photo credit unknown person behind Jeff’s camera!*

I was formally introduced to Curt Cavin as “not a stalker” hehe… (thanks Jeff) Had an interesting conversation with John O (always a highlight of the weekend) (I will bring your beer to the Glen I promise!!)

The list of people I didn’t get to see or meet is way too long, and if I start to think about it, I will just get angry. As my buds are all linking to their pics I’m like YOU WERE THERE TOO?!?!
To all of you that were there that I missed, maybe another race on the circuit this season?

Things I loved about the Speedway? Well, it’s the Speedway! My first impression was that it seemed smaller than I had pictured. Once you start walking around though, you realize how NOT small it is.

The IMS media centre staff was awesome, and accommodating, but not in a begrudging way.

The cafeteria staff make the most awesome sandwiches! (I somehow missed the hot meal both days LOL!)

Honestly, I could do without the yellow shirts. Well, ok, most were ok, but there were some that will now make me snarl at anyone wearing yellow for the next little while. And those fucking whistles… gah! I have a few rather unladylike suggestions of where they can store them until next May…

oh and thank you to the awesome Canon peeps who plopped a free cap on my head (on not in) and then cleaned and updated the firmware on my camera! Cool!

The race itself, meh…
again I’m not much of an oval fan, and when you watch the race from the vantage point I did, you don’t get the sense of the track. It was a straightaway. That’s it. A magnificent straightaway, mind you, but just a straightaway. Give me Vegas or Michigan or Chicago or Milwaukee. Actually, give me Cleveland or Edmonton. Where you can see the whole thing.

And It was predictable.
Red cars dominated. Fuel was saved. Young drivers crashed. Heartbreak for Kanaan & Meira. A Penske car won.

Now, in my most humble opinion, the WRONG Penske car won, but it was the one that would get the most media play, so that is how it played out. ABC darling “Twinkletoes Castroneves” is much more sellable to the ignorant masses than a true cinderfella story like Power, fighting for his career, winning the big race and putting Penske on the spot to field him for the season. I have to wonder if the tire guy was fired for his “mistake” or given a bonus… but I digress…

Paul finished top 10. Not where he wanted to be, but definitely a great result first race out of the gate this season with yet another new team. He again proved he deserves to be in a seat fulltime (more on that later)

When it comes down to it, this “event” is all about the pomp and less about the circumstances. This tradition and that tradition, spread out over way too many days. Unless you’re there for the entire month (god forbid) or at the very least the final week, you don’t get a sense of the build up and are left scratching your head afterwards.

I did have a funny conversation with my buddy Dean McNulty from the Toronto Sun. He asked me if now that I’ve been here, did I “get it”… did I get why the IRL won the “war”. I had to admit that I did. Like it or not, with TG having this ace up his sleeve, Champ Car was never going to “win” unless this race was part of their schedule. It’s too big. It’s too historic. Again, I’ve never seen so many people in one place at one time. Too bad they don’t come to the rest of the races… just sayin.

Back to the drive… NEVER AGAIN!! What the fuck was I thinking??? 8.5 hrs my ass. That’s obviously minus any other cars on the road and absolutely ZERO stopping. I overestimated the “joy” of the solitude and was bored out of my mind after 3hrs. Since I’m apparently out of favour with the folks I used to attend races with, there was no one to even offer to drive down for company.

I started logging my trip and my thoughts on my digital recorder. BRASSY! Once I figure out how to get them online, I’ll toss them up for a laugh. On the ride back I was decidedly less “brassy”. I mostly talked to myself to stay awake at that point. From here on out. (except for the Glen, cause that is a short drive) I will be flying. I get a lot of my work done on the plane. You can’t write while you’re driving! LOL!

Ok… My inaugural Indy 500 experience is officially in the books. I carried my media pass around in my bag for the week to use as “show & tell” for my friends. Most of them don’t get it, but they appreciate how happy racing makes me, so they put up with my enthusiastic retelling of my weekend exploits.

Here are some of the pics I took this weekend. Again, not the best selection as I didn’t have much to work with. But hey, it is what it is.

Indy 500 Saturday
Indy 500 – Race Day

Looking forward to the Glen.