This weekend presented a challenge for fans like me, since it was one the few holidays for the Indy Racing League. I could have planned a mini-vacation myself, took the kids somewhere, done some work around the house.
Did I do any of that? Naaaaah. Instead, I plopped myself in front of the TV on Sunday and tried to watch racing from some other series.
First, it should be noted I woke up at like 5am to go golfing. That’s the crazy thing about Arizona – you tee off at dawn in the summer because you either fry during the middle of the day or get caught in a monsoon in the afternoon. No fun there. Anyhow I may have to make like Bobby Rahal and fire my own driver, since Mr Callaway was all over the course on Sunday. Suffice it to say it was less than fun and his ride in the bag in no longer safe.
So I get home in time to watch the Brickyard 400, which now has a sponsorship from Allstate but that doesn’t mean I have to call it that. Like this O’Reilly name for Indianapolis Raceway Park, I refuse to conform. I’m a rebel, a loner. Anyhow, at the start of the race they announce there will be “Competition Yellows at laps 15 and 40”. That’s right race fans, scheduled yellow flags! Supposedly this had something to do with the track being “green from rain”, but I think NAPCAR has really caved in to sponsorship concerns if their scheduling these things.
Anyhow, after several laps I nodded off. The “Competition Yellows” were not necessary as there were like 40 yellow flag laps in the first half of the race. Not to mention the cars were averaging 170 MPH around the track at full speed. That’s not exactly slow, but compared to IndyCars it’s…OK, it’s slow. I perked up when they asked which former Indy 500 participant had the best chance to win, with the choices being Robbie Gordon, Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, and JJ Yeley. I also snapped awake whenever they went “down to Jamie in the pits”.
No offense to Brienne Pedigo, but I really miss Big Jamie Little. Sadness.
When it was all said and done former IndyCar driver Tony Stewart had won, and as you may know he know likes to climb the fence Spiderman-style. This time, he got his ENTIRE TEAM to climb the fence. Way to kill an already tenuous celebration routine. This is now becoming as elaborate as the Icky Shuffle.
Meanwhile in second was 2000 Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, which is no small feat since Pablo is driving a Dodge – the pig of NAPCAR. Pablo has now raced at IMS in an event by IndyCar, Formula One and NASCAR. Can Motorcycles be far behind, Pablo?
To be honest, I was kinda hoping that Pablo would win since Uncle Sam has mentioned he wants to be the first driver to win both The 500 and The 400. That would be one less thing for Sam to worry about. Am I selfish? Yes. So sue me.
One crazy note: I SWEAR I heard Rusty Wallace say this late in the race about Montoya “…he’s been really impressive for a guy who never in his life has raced here before.” I was nodding off, but I’m telling you Old Number Two said that. Maybe he just was trying to wake people up – people like me.
So once The Brickyard deal was over there was a conveniently scheduled Champ Car race in San Jose being aired. I think this would be the fourth CCWS race I’ve seen all year, and there has been a wreck on the first lap in EVERY ONE of them. IndyCar drivers must have more patience, because other than Mid Ohio they save their collisions on road or street courses for later laps.
Meanwhile, I know Pressdog has been observing this all year but races in that series have become “Festivals of Nose Cones”. Like half the drivers lose nose cones from running into each other during the races. You look at them wrong and the front wings fall off. Unbelievable. One driver lost his nose cone on the course, got a tow in from the safety truck, returned to the track, and ended up winning the race. I am totally not making that up.
So at the end of the day (literally) I had watched a whole bunch of racing and decided I really don’t like this off-weekend stuff. I know it’s hard on the race teams to go every week, but it’s none too easy on fans to get excited for a race every Saturday or Sunday and then be left to fend for a racing jones during the vacation weekends. Just saying that this condensed schedule is rather addicting for the fans.
Come on, Michigan!
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