Swatkins Glen

Posted by Iannucci | 7/08/2007 | 5 comments »
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So this is what it's come to. Danica grabs Dan's arm at Milwaukee, Tomas throws his gloves at Marco in Texas, and now Sam and Tony barked there way into such a frenzy the bystanders broke out in a fracas. Eventually, smack begets smackdowns.

While the original collision that left a snappy tire mark on Nariz's ride seemed to a "racing incident", it should be noted we're getting a lot of these lately. Nonetheless, after the race when Kanaan decided Sam's mark was not sidepod worthy it was interesting that unlike the Meltdown in Milwaukee, both drivers were all too happy to discuss their shenanigans.

And that's where things got silly.

As Kanaan pointed out afterwards, he and Sam weren't going likely going to be punching each other so there was no need for anyone else to be involved. Say what you will about him dropping the "needs his dad to defend him" remark, but that's exactly what it looks like. No one was in danger of anything, so Sam Sr needs to stay in the team bus.

So Sam, as a public service JUST IN CASE you ever go to NAPCAR where they have these skirmishes all the time:

Rule 1: When taking issue with a driver off the track, first remove your helmet. (You too, Tony, even though you're likely not going anywhere else.)

Rule 2: Do not let any family member or friend get in a fight in your stead, unless of course it's your wife. That seems to be an acceptable thing in Tin Top land.

Rule 3: In the post race interview, refer to the other driver only by his number so as not to give his name any airtime. That will upset his sponsors, which darn near as satisfying as punching him in the face.

The Good
Scott Dixon OWNS this track. He's probably lobbying right now to get a second event (or why not three) at The Glen added to the 2008 schedule. Unfortunately for him, there appeared to be not so many fans taking in the action.

We've been pretty hard on Uncle Sam as of late, not only because his "haven't made up my NAPCAR mind" thing is getting old but also because lately he's seemed uncharacteristically whiny in interviews. However, the man deserves a hand for a stellar second place performance today on a road course. Bernie Ecclestone for you on line one, Sam.

Dario Franchitti did what he had to do, which is stay up near the front while Iceman was pillaging the New York countryside. Having two of his AGR teammates (Kanaan and Andretti) tag along for Top 5 finishes was gravy. Wonder if they celebrated by throwing pies at each other afterwards.

Buddy Rice has been interviewed at the conclusion of three straight races. So help me if Jesse James busts out and wins a race this year, I'm going to iron the bills of every baseball cap I own.

The Bad

The RLR team gambled with early pit stops, and that pretty much was a death blow to that team's chances on Sunday.

Shame on Marty Reid and Scott Goodyear for calling out TJ Patrick as the now infamous "psycho in the white shirt" who took down Sam Hornish Sr. Although they later corrected their mistake and interviewed Dadica (presumably as some sort of mea culpa), that's not a mistake that should ever be made. Just ask Richard Jewell.

Darren Manning had another strong run going until he admit ed he gassed out the final laps with sore arms. Same thing that happened at St Pete. Attention Danger Mouse: you are competing against freaking triathletes! Getcha head in the game and getcha butt in the gym. 12-ounce curls aren't getting it done.

The Ugly

Oh, Helio. It wasn't just that rear wing that collapsed in Milwaukee - it was his season. How a guy wins the pole 5 times in 10 races and has the season he's working on is incomprehensible.

We don't want to beat the poor fellow about head with his run self-inflicted damage (and getting stuck by a wheel in Texas wasn't his fault), but the image of Helio's flaming car spinning away as Dixon drove past and Franchitti ran over the wreckage of the #3 car was pretty much Spiderman's season in a nutshell.

It's almost as if since Andretti 3.0 went head over heels at Indy the gremlin that was laying waste to the season for Marco jumped onto the #3 car, wreaking havoc ever since. Suddenly Marco is looking like the stars are shining on him, while Helio is looking like a guy who should go nowhere near a casino.

At this point Castroneves can try to salvage his season by trying to log a couple of wins - or at least start with finishing on the lead lap. He still has a fast car and he always has a chance to win any of the remaining races. If that doesn't work, well, start punching somebody.


  1. Joe // July 09, 2007 2:13 AM  

    Don't be too hard on the guys on the booth - I mean, if you had to pick one dad likely to be involved in a fight on pit road, wouldn't you pick TJ?

    When I saw the interview after the race (not having heard the original audio), I figured they were looking on perspective on excessive parenting and they figured TJ was their man.

    True story - ESPN had the other guy (the one not named Hornish) for a TV interview and ran out of time.

  2. Anonymous // July 09, 2007 5:09 AM  

    what a blast !

  3. Anonymous // July 09, 2007 5:46 AM  

    Indy Rasslin' League !

  4. mmack // July 09, 2007 6:22 AM  

    What a weekend! NA$CAR and the IRL changed places with the taxicabs having a photo finish at Daytona and the open wheelers having post race fisticuffs.

    As for "Slammin' Sammy", while the on track nerf of Kanaan was his fault, Tony isn't exactly innocent if post race reports are to be believed. It sounds like he gave Sam either a brake check or a chop block coming into the pits on the cool down lap.

  5. Ken // July 09, 2007 8:12 AM  

    Sam aka the undiscovered James Dean of the IRL.... I think you should know that there are many of us that were tired of you even before you won the Championship all the low energy sighing and lackluster interviews, so go, please we beg of you, go to NAPCAR and see how whining whilst banging your sippy cup on your high chair tray plays over there.... It apparently is not enough that you have at least become something of a big fish in a small pond at Indyland, now you feel overlooked and unappreciated because there are others who attract equal if not more attention because they actually have personalities and have something interesting to bring to the table.... BTW Sam, if you think you are under appreciated here in the IRL just imagine the shadows you will be standing chilling in over at CABCAR.... And a word of warning, I don't know if you have seen how many buddies Juan Pablo has over in the land of left rotating goobers, but keep that whining up when you switch over and you are going to become overly familiar with the construction of the safer barrier.... If you want to feel appreciated, take a look at your overinflated paycheck (carry a photo copy of it if necessary) and if you are looking for a friend, cash the check and buy a dog....