Climbing the Walls

Posted by Iannucci | 4/24/2006 | 0 comments »
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While this weekend's Indy Japan 300 at Motegi was exciting, it was kind of a boat race. Spiderman started on the pole, went essentially wire to wire, climbed the fence, and even broke out another “I drove it like I stole it” after winning. So in the end, it was an exciting race for field position other than the lead.

What made this race different from every other race was that the broadcasters were unable to control the video feed for much of the race. I am presuming Nippon TV or some such entity had all the cameras and was directing the race while Marty, Scotty and Rusty were chatting about what they saw - not unlike Myster Science Theater 3000. Also, Dr Punch was in the pits without his other two sidekicks – and really, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Anyhow, here a few things I noticed watching this really strange race:

  • The first 17 laps were gone. Didn’t happen. Perhaps someone lost the feed at ESPN, but for whatever reason the introduction and pre-race interviews were shown TWICE, then suddenly we jump ahead to the 18th lap. This was truly uncalled for since the race was broadcast on ESPN 12 hours after it occurred? How does this problem not get fixed in 12 hours? As a result, those first few laps are like the missing minutes from Nixon’s personal tape collection.

  • I was amazed at the speculation of what caused Scott Sharp’s car to spin left on a restart at lap 41, resulting in a frightening wreck for Jeff Simmons. While three separate announcers were guessing if the cause was a flat tire, a broken suspension, or oil on the track, NO ONE seemed to notice the car at the back (I think it was Marco Andretti, although the crawler indicated it was Giaffone) spin exactly the same way in exactly the same spot at Sharp’s car. I’m thinking it was probably not enough Oil Dry or one doozy of a coinicidence.

  • Speaking of the Simmons, after the week he had I’m guessing perhaps the No. 17 Ethanol car is actually cursed. Maybe it's because it's green (hey, Tony Kanaan hasn't won at Indy.)

  • As bad as it was seeing the No. 17 upside down, the scariest moment was watching Mr. Judd take out his tire changer on a routine pit entry. It was reported the victim returned to the track on crutches later, but it looked like the poor guy would have torn every CL in his leg. Mr. Judd should offer his wife for the duration of the poor fellow's recovery.

  • While Rusty was talking about Tony Kanaan’s charge to the front, the television feed kept showing Danica! in 8th place. Nice to know the mania has spread overseas as well. I would have guessed they would have kept showing homeland driver Kosuke, but I didn’t notice much coverage of his race.

  • Perhaps the strangest bit was Kanaan telling Dr Punch he just got off the phone with his mom and she said to thank Old No 2 for talking about him. I love my mom, but I don’t call her immediately at the end of my work day. Maybe this just says a lot about the current proliferation of telecommunication around the globe.

    UPDATE: The mystery spinner at the back of the field on lap 41 was actually Buddy Lazier.