Tuesday, May 26, 2009
By around lap 46 I was ignoring the cars all together and instead focused on an 45ish-year-old man with a white muscle shirt and an "I Am Indy" hat try to convince a 19-year-old girl to flash for him. "Come on. Just one tit?" Lovely.
Love it. Just outstanding.
On an unrelated/related note Deadspin (and other national outlets) is running the story of the school bus racing accident that took place over the weekend at Columbus Motor Speedway. Now, obviously there is an inherent comedic value to this story. Racing school buses is silly, I get it. I like jokes. But, something like this can literally close a short track. Like, for good. Like, out of business. Forever. And that fucking blows. Once lawyers get involved, things like this get ugly (or uglier). Now, in the interest of full disclosure, Columbus Motor Speedway is my local short track. I like the place. I'll go when sprints or midgets are in town. The USAC National Midget Series started their midwest season at CMS a few weeks back. I was there. It was a good show at a hell of a good price. Tracks like CMS are the backbone of motor racing and, shamefully, becoming few and far between.
Hopefully, my local short track can overcome this bus debacle and continue to provide inexpensive entertainment that churns out droves of new racing fans. Time will tell for CMS. We shall see. In the meantime, everyone should head out and enjoy your local short track ASAP. Buy a ticket, get some food, enjoy giving the track your money.
OK, I'm off the old soapbox. Here's a video of the wreck. Watching that cement fly is pretty nasty. As crazy as it looks, no one was killed.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
There are at least 10 interesting things that might happen come Sunday's open-wheel 500. So says Fox, anyway.
10 storylines to follow at Indy 500 (FoxSports.com)
The one called Pressdog is on location at Indy and filing trackside dispatches. Apparently he is sharing a Indy hotel room love-bungalow with a dude. Well done, sir.
Live from IMS 5/23/09 Part 1--Bloggers at the Gate. (Pressdog.com)
From Indy 500 champ, to Dancing stud, to Wesley Snipes, and back to IndyCar glory. It's been quite trip for Heilo Castroneves.
Cleared for takeoff (Indystar.com)
Deadspin editor AJ Daulerio will also be on locale at Indy. He'll be in the infield looking at drunks and searching for the ever elusive set of IUPUI sophomore boobs. His update will be posted Tuesday. Oh, AJ, the "Italian guy married to Ashley Judd" is not Italian.
Of Screeching Tires And Lost Control (Deadspin.com)
Enjoy the race. My Speed fantasy picks are Castroneves, Briscoe, Dixon. They will win. All of the them.
Also, fyi, Shane Hollingsworth won the Hoosier Hundred. Cheers buddy.
Monday, May 18, 2009
'Hell yes,' you say?
Well... Think about the prospects of running the circuit in an oval configuration one day, then the traditional layout later that weekend.
My god, I think I'd purchase a ticket to an event like that.
Should this race somehow happen, it would be the second coolest thing to ever come from Cleveland. This dance number is still cooler:
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I'm just having a hard time recovering from finishing p2 in Wind Tunnel's fantasy game for April. You may have seen "RideBuyers" on the graphic during last week's WT broadcast. Yep, that's me. I'm around. And I'll be around more. I promise. Have a great race week-
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Oh, and it's Adrian Sutil, by the way.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
-Prototype racing will be lame for the rest of the season. Don't try to deny it, the cream of the sports racer crop will not competing in America this season. Acura will win both prototype classes in the ALMS this season (by default) which sucks, because their cars have way too much time and money invested in them to waste their possible awesomeness beating up on privateer machines.
-Speaking of privateers, the weak landscape of prototype racing this season creates two classes ripe for the picking for enterprising non-works outfits. Example: Watch the success of a team like Intersport Racing, contesting P1. With a few missteps or teething problems within the XM or Patron bunches, you could see some surprise results and contenders.
-I love when Justin Bell acts as roaming pitlane reporter for Speed. The definition of classic is when Bell, after asking an interviewee a question, becomes seemingly uninterested in their response, and moves the mic away mid-response. The next Edward R. Murrow has an accent.
-If P1 and P2 entries will be the weakest in recent memory, GT2 will be the strongest. Porsche v. Ferrari v. BMW v. Corvette (after Le Mans) v. GT40 v. Viper. That will be worth the price of admission to any event on the schedule.
- When the hell did Truth in 24 get made/air? I totally missed this and was not even aware of the film's existence until hour 4 of Saturday's race. It was on ESPN? Really? How about a little heads-up there WWL? If anyone knows when a re-air is happening please let me know!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The fact of the matter is spec car racing has its pros and cons, just like every issue worth debating. There would be no debate, without positives and negatives to kick around, chew, and digest. So, here we go.
I’m about to make a glaring generality, so brace yourself. Most fans of our sport despise the idea of spec car racing. It’s treated like a bastard stepchild. One whose presence at family events is required, yet not embraced, because his “real” mom did meth and he can’t string together a coherent sentence because of the birth defects. Yeah, spec car racing is not that popular with fans.
It’s the concept of spec car racing that gives fans mental syphilis. The practice of spec car is something totally different.
The masses want to see the latest-and-greatest technology showcased. “Innovation” is buzzword tossed about circles of fans, mostly when speaking of the current batch of IndyCar standards. There is a yearning for new ideas and a “clean sheet of paper” approach when it comes to American open wheel racing. Vocal fans want to hear the words “…and a new track record!” reverberate off of the Tower Terrace at IMS. And fans want that record set with a something other than a Dallara chassis’ed, Honda powered, Firestone shod, Xtrac shifted, turnkey data acquisition system programmed, racing vehicle. Fans are pretty damn picky if you want to know the truth of it.
Of course, the totally valid argument against “innovation” and a “clean sheet” of anything are things like “money,” “resources,” and “desire.” All abstract concepts, themselves.
Sure, it would great if there were no restrictions on how to make your motor racing vehicle of choice traverse a circuit, but there needs to be takers to field such entries.
I would surmise that only a handful of teams would have the resources to build something “innovative.” Of those teams, someone would inevitably show up with something that looked like the Batmobile, goes 300-mph, cost $100 million to develop, and would kick everybody’s ass back from where they came. Teams’ would retreat, having sunk gobs of cash into a suddenly obsolete car, and this euphoric series would collapse faster than the Mets in late July. Don’t believe me? Take a look back at IMSA of the early 90’s or the original Can-Am. We know how this book ends. *Keep in mind; this represents the best-case scenario, as it features someone with enough cash to build a damn car. It’s a questionable assumption (at best) to say anyone could find the funding to build a “clean sheet” car today.
Motor racing is a sport that benefits greatly from grassroots participation. Of the fans that yearn for technological advancement to fuel motor racing, some might even participate in an entry-level form of racing. They autocross, go to track days, maybe even have a NASA or SCCA racer. Bet your bottom dollar these folks have an all too well understanding of cost containment in racing.
Spec Racer Ford, Spec Miata and Spec 944 are some of the most popular classes for amateur road racing in this country. The reasons are simple. A car can be built for a (relevantly) small investment, the racing is damn close, and the cars are pretty easy on replacement parts. In short, for a not-astronomically high investment, you get to go racing and car development is limited so things like driver skill, race strategy and car prep make the difference. What’s wrong with that? On a grassroots level, nothing, and no one could possibly argue otherwise.
But, what’s wrong with that on a professional level? I say nothing.
There just needs to be a happy medium between spec car affordability and the ingenuity that our sport was founded upon.
That brings us back to the debate waged by IndyCar fans on message boards, and bar stools across the country. Spec car v. non-spec car. Who is right? Both guys, of course.
Whenever the IndyCar redesign actually happens (2011 or beyond), we need a formula that gives fans and nerdy engineering types the possibility for innovation, development and all that other jazz. (Granted the chassis will still come from a single source, But we’ll overlook that.)
Conversely, the league needs to insure that there is an abundant supply of turnkey cars that a high-level Atlantic or Grand Am team could purchase and run back-to-mid pack right out of the truck. Oh, and for a reasonable price. Sound tough to do? You bet. But creating and nurturing an environment of innovation, while insuring a fresh supply of young teams can complete are two needed facets of competition to get this thing relevant again.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The radio business was in the tank well before the economy collapsed. This is not like the bank industry, where imminent demise is a relevantly new development. Radio has been in the ICU for years.
It’s the contradictions that make the radio business really weird (and by weird, I mean insolvent).
One such inconsistency is the local-versus-national debate waged numerous times over the course of my sterling yet brief radio career.
Program Directors want to have as much local programming as possible. The idea being that regionally-centric programming will be a greater draw than nationally based shows that may not be relevant to a local audience. That makes sense. Right?
The inconsistency comes when the same PD fires local show hosts to bring in cheap syndicated programming because the station can’t afford to pay a talker 12 bucks an hour. The same story has been played out in AM stations across the country, no matter if the station is a Clear Channel flagship or a 1000-watt station in Bumblefuck, Nowhere.
This drawn-out story and scenario got me thinking about an idea I’ve had for a while and previously published on a now-defunct motor racing interweb site.
In a nutshell, the plan calls for a full time single-car IRL team with a revolving door of local drivers to contest each event. For example, Memo Gidley would be in the car for Sonoma, Clint Field at Mid-Ohio and so forth. Local one-off sponsorships would be sold and the league foots any remaining cost. All crew members, engineers, marketing types and other staff would be up-and-comers, guys and gals with little or no experience in the sport. A few experienced guys (I hear Derrick Walker is free, hint, hint) would mentor the young whippersnappers to make sure everything is safe and done in proper manner. It’s the motor racing equivalent of local programming.
It seems like a no-brainer. Local drivers and sponsorships attract more local fans. Everybody is a winner! Of course, at least now, it’s almost impossible to sell anything, so the financing could be an issue. But, if the league would jump on this plan, and really devote some money and manpower (in terms of some bright young salespeople), this could be a reality. If executed properly, the investment return would be quick.
Alas, someone in the sport has to play the role of radio Program Director (aka the Kill Joy). Is it Tony George? Is it Brian Barnhart? Is it the individual team owners? Yes. Probably. And yes. Local programming has long been cut, and fields are filled with drivers of little relevance to the average fan. Hopefully the IndyCar Series is not subject to the same fate –obscurity, demise, death, and destruction- as radio.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Alas, that feeling is short lived, and what comes in the days and months following the "season kick-off" is worse than AIDS. (Kidding. Maybe more like a bad flu with a case of poopy-butt.)
Has the 2009 racing season started? Technically, yes. But, Detroit is technically considered a city and Nickleback is technically considered is a band, so that doesn't mean shit.
Nothing quite compares to the moments leading up to the first big deal race of the year, the Rolex 24. That race makes sane motoring fans want to leave their wives, quit their jobs, punch their dogs and head to Florida for a weekend contest waged on an otherwise uninteresting circuit, with uninspired cars that lasts too damn long. There is no reason for that race to mean as much as it does. But, I'll be the first to say, there is no race I anticipate more than the 24. None. I want the season to start as soon as possible.
That race gives us all the false sense that spring is near, and Friday nights at the local dirt track will be forthcoming. In that regard, the race is a cruel bitch and a farce. After the 24, the next watchable race happens in two months. It still snows in most places for another three months, and the real season-no matter the series-won't develop until May. It's like an addict taking a hit of heroin just before moving in with the Jon and Kate Plus Eight family for 10 weeks. It's not a pretty thing. We are all dealing with these doldrums currently. Hopefully you are coping better than I.
So, here we are. I'm redesigning the site banner and looking at photo galleries on USAC's website. What a dismal time of the racing year. Some real series should take advantage of this time and stage a winter tour of races in the warmth. Put the races on TV or the interweb, toss in some shots of broads in bathing suits, I'd watch.
Until that happens, enjoy the remaining winter and keep looking around here for updates.
PS- Mark your calenders for April 4th, this season's first USAC Natl Midget race in the Midwest. Columbus Motor Speedway. Rb will be there. Will You?
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
- Gordon Kirby
As it turns out PT is a stand-up guy. Good for him. He remains sans ride, but way to take the high road, Paul.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Party like a rock star? Maybe drop some dimes on 'dem hoes? How about making it rain? Well, if you happened to be Kyle Busch, you'd answer "hell" and "yes" to all of the above.
Good for you, son.
Kyle Busch Executes $5,000 Splash 'n Go (Via TMZ)
First off, Road America is totally undervalued on this list, bringing up the rear at #15. It's the Nurburgring of North America for christsakes. Top five material, no question.
Donnington Park? Really?
This list only encompasses the realm of "proper racing circuits" which, of course, means no ovals. At least that's the logic of Jalopnik guys. We could not disagree more, and Indianapolis needs a prominent spot on any queue of noteworthy racing facilities. Side note: check out the old oval portion of Monza, if you squint it looks like the corner of 16th and G'Town (without the stripclubs and transmission plants anyway).
View Larger Map
Other critiques are pretty tick-tacky. Mosport and Laguna could be a bit higher. Brno should be dropped because nobody knows where the hell it is. The Isle of Man course could be lower because, while cool, it's really only for motorcycle sidecar racing, and that shit looks funny. Aside from those minor points of stickiness, it looks like a fair list. Don't you think? Oh, for those too lazy to follow the link, #1 is Spa. Yeah, no shit.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
We like Mario's pleas to get Marco into a race seat. Nice set, Varsha.
August 16th. Live coverage begins at 12PM EDT on Speed.
Mobil 1 presents Grand Prix of Mosport
August 30th. Live coverage begins at 3:00PM EDT on Speed.
Petit Le Mans
September 26th. Live coverage begins at 11:00AM EDT on Speed.
Monterey Sports Car Championships
October 10th. Live coverage begins at 4:00PM EDT on Speed.
Monday, February 23, 2009
We will let Speedtv.com commentator "Mike Hickman" sum things up:
"Where's that SpeedTV.com spellchecker? His name in the article is Yasukawa not Yasukama. Is this a Freudian slip with F-1 Takuma Sato? Come on Speed, at least get the driver's name spelled right in the headline"
So, now that you are sold on the ALMS schedule, you'd better be planning a trip to the event nearest your abode. (Or, setting your DVR really far in advance. Either way.) Here's a run down of what's what and what's where for '09.
Oh, with some on-boards. Naturally.
57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida
March 21th. Live coverage begins at 10AM EDT on SPEED.
Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg
April 4th. Live coverage begins at 1:30PM EDT on ABC.
Long Beach Grand Prix
April 19th. Tape delayed coverage begins at 12:30PM EDT on ABC. The actual race is contested on the 18th, for those interested in rocking the LBC in person.
Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix presented by the Grand and Little America Hotels
May 17th. Live coverage begins at 3PM EDT on SPEED.
American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix
July 18th. Live coverage begins at 2PM EDT on SPEED.
Acura Sports Car Challenge
August 8th. Tape delayed coverage begins 2PM EDT on NBC.
The exciting conclusion coming soon. Featured tracks include Road America and Mosport. We can't wait either.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
View Larger Map
The curbing is a nice touch. Jealous.
Google Maps via carlounge via Jalopnik
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
For an undisclosed amount of cash, you can team with Urs Erbacher and crew chief Wayne Dupuy at an NHRA national event. Yes, you will be piloting a Fueler teamed with the multi time FIA champ Erbacher. Christ, (if you qualify) you could find yourself lined up against a Tony Schumacher or Larry Dixon in round 1! Like, in a real race! Not licensed to run a 1/4 mile is 3.9 seconds? No problem, your new team can help get you approved before your big weekend. Wow!
Interested guys can call Dupuy at 570-709-7195.
**Yeah, we thought it was weird that speedtv.com listed his phone number in the article too. We're putting him on our "must drunk-dial" list.
NHRA: Rent a Top Fuel Ride - a Sign of the Times
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Tony Stewart is the balls when it comes to plate stockcar racing. There is no equal. Exhibit 'A' would be his performance in this afternoon's N'Wide race. Watch the final two laps with him leading. Youtube it or something. It's bloody impressive. He is certainly the foremost pussy-and- racecar loving, plate-beast to date.
ESPN's stockcar coverage remains dismal. The only highlight of this afternoon's telecast was when Dr. Jerry Punch misidentified the Stealers Wheel classic "Stuck in the Middle," saying the Scottish band's hit was by Bob Dylan. That is inexcusable. Gerry Rafferty will no doubt kick Dr. Punch in the liver should their paths ever cross.
The SCCA has created a 911 GT3 Cup "Shootout" for teams who contest the World Challenge GT series using stock versions of the turn-key racers. Reading this reminded me of how amazingly beautiful racing versions of the Porsche 911 are, and forever have been. Case in point:
And yes, I am aware this is not a Cup car. Relax.
Enjoy tomorrow's stockcar race. Pre-race coverage started an hour ago and the race ends on Tuesday. Here is an extraneous Indy 500 video. Cheers.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Starting Line Up by Row Daytona International Speedway
Schedule of events:
Saturday February 14th
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – NSCS Final Practice for the Daytona 500
12:45 PM – NNS Driver Introductions for the Camping World 300
1:15 PM - NNS Camping World 300 (120 laps, 300 miles)
Sunday February 15th
2:30 PM – NSCS Driver Introductions for the Daytona 500
3:30 PM – NSCS Daytona 500(200 laps, 500 miles)
Bodine wins first Truck race of season
Harvick takes pole for Nationwide race
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
"Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick need to grow up and start focusing on their jobs and acting like professionals if they're going to be taken seriously..."
Monday, February 9, 2009
“This is a very tough sport. I don’t think people realize how tough it is. Sometimes I wonder why I even do it, but when you get an opportunity like that, when you have a son and see what he might be going through, or the challenges he’s going to face in racing, sometimes it’s better to just go to school and try to be good at something, be a doctor, be a lawyer. $10,000 would definitely go a long way toward putting my son through school.”
I offer a motion to amend.
WoO: Joey Saldana, Randy Hall Race Into Alltel All-Star Contest
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Deep breath, here goes:
Thirty-five drivers are locked in the field based on 2008 owner points. That's straight forward enough.
Tony Stewart (new team this year, remember?) gets locked in based on his past championship provisional.
That leaves 21 entered cars (57 total entries were received) to vie for the final seven starting positions.
You can either make the race on qualifying speed tomorrow (Sunday) or by racing into the show on Thursday during the 150-mile qualifying races.
Tomorrow's qualifying will only set the front row.
Two non-locked in drivers from each of the races Thursday get automatic starting spots.
The rest of the field will be determined by speed.
Oh, Stewart only gets the past champ freebie if he needs it, so should he make the field by other means, Terry Labonte would be next in line, followed by Bill Elliott, should both Smoke and Terry make the field.
Via SceneDaily, here is a list of the drivers vying for those last, none locked spots:
EM Motorsports’ Boris Said, Phoenix Racing’s Brad Keselowski, R3 Motorsports’ Mike Skinner, Kirk Shelmerdine Racing’s Kirk Shelmerdine, Yates Racing’s Travis Kvapil, Tommy Baldwin Racing’s Scott Riggs, Front Row Motorsports’ Tony Raines, Mayfield Motorsports’ Jeremy Mayfield, Richard Petty Motorsports’ AJ Allmendinger, Carl Long Racing’s Carl Long, Blackjack Racing’s Kelly Bires, Norm Benning Racing’s Norm Benning, EM Motorsports’ James Hylton, Gunselman Motorsports' Geoff Bodine, TRG Motorsports’ Mike Wallace, H&S Motorsports’ Mike Garvey, Cope/Keller Racing’s Derrike Cope, Furniture Row Racing’s Regan Smith and Nemco Motorsports’ Joe Nemechek.
Good luck, guys. We're going to go sit down and decompress our brains.
Have a great race weekend.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Saturday, January 31, 2009
The pride of The Ohio State University (that would be Bryan Herta, right?) has teamed up with former AGR engineer Steve Newey to form Herta Autosport. The team will contest the Indy Lights championship with American Dan Herrington (not the poker player) driving.
Check out the team's website. It's a bit light on content, but you get the point.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
KONI: Auberlen, Bell Win Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge Opener
To the victors go the spoils. The spoils in Bill Auberlen's case? His wife, of course. (She's the one on the right. Like it matters.)
Go get some rest racing faithful. Tomorrow is a big day.
David Donohue put the No. 58 Brumos Porsche DP on pole. Timo Bernhard was p2 in the newly formed Penske Porsche DP program.
Donohue Captures Rolex 24 At Daytona Pole 40 Years After Father's Victory.
Session one qualifying results.
Session two qualifying results.
The Koni Challenge race will run at 1:45 PM ET this afternoon. Live timing and scoring can be had here.
Race cars make the world happy.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Official entry list.
Jan 24, 3:00 PM ET, FOX
Jan 24, 4:30 PM ET, SPEED
Jan 25, 7:00 AM ET, SPEED
Completely extraneous montage of 80's IMSA machinery at Daytona:
Damn it, we're getting fired up.
Rb editors, staff, our droves of freelancers, and the little Filipino boy who makes us coffee would like to officially welcome you to the 2009 motor racing season. This past month has been a welcome reprieve from the pressures and stress associated with operating the finest motor racing weblog on the intertubes. But the vacation is over. Sporty cars will be turning wheels in anger this weekend at Daytona. Will we be there? No. Will have access to any insider news from the event? Doubtful. Will we cherry pick links and embed youtube video with little discretion? Hell yes. We're back, baby.
Let us all have a great race year.