LiveBlog: Chicagoland 2007

Posted by Iannucci | 9/09/2007 | 7 comments »
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Folks, our good buddy MoneyCJ has called in to say his internet connection is toast. Ain't happening. As pressdog would say, she's BLOWN UP, sir.

So, since I personally need to congregate with some fans during this most glorious finale, I am inviting all of you (gasp!) to IM me during the race. I will be here, doing my best Money impersonation, but without the four-letter-words. Which pretty much makes me the anti-Money. Sorry.

All right, everyone. Time to buckle up. Here we go.


ESPN says this is a two-driver race. Oops, sorry Tony.

They gotta be bummed that Dario may be leaving the series. There won't be anything to do with all of the Flying Franchitti footage.

2: Well, there go the Penske cars to the lead. Buh-bye, guys.

8: ESPN busts out the POINTS NOW for the whole race. Nice. No math required on my part.

12: Penskes, Ganassis and Mr Judd pulling away. Danica around Kanaan for 6th.

18: RaceCast indicates Kanaan has pulled off. What the...?

24: Brienne Pedigo is telling me "as you can see" Kanaan had a puncture. Sorry, Bree. All I see is a nosecone.

28: Both TCGR cars around Franchitti. Pullllllllllling away.

33: Here comes Marco to help Franchitti. If you have fingernails, start chewing them now.

34: Nevermind - Marco wrecked.

deBASHmode (1:22:37 PM): DAMN! MARCO!
deBASHmode (1:22:59 PM): (Had ta swear - CJ'd be all sailor on this one...)
MyNameIsIRL (1:23:17 PM): LOL- Marco is his own worst enemy
MyNameIsIRL (1:23:46 PM): Or in this case, his car is.

36: Looks like Scheckter got collected as well. The pain at Chicagoland starts early this year.

38: Dixon witha SICK 6.8s pit stop. Only picks up one spot though. These guys (and gals) are that good.

40: My bad - Dixon picked up two spots. Helio, Dixon, Sam, Wheldon, Dario, SHARP!

tankyxtrordinare (1:27:20 PM): So what did Marco do??
MyNameIsIRL (1:27:45 PM): looks like something broke, sent him into the wall then sliding down
tankyxtrordinare (1:27:47 PM): ohhh
MyNameIsIRL (1:27:54 PM): don't think it was his fault
MyNameIsIRL (1:28:02 PM): he was charging like Paris Hilton at Nieman Marcus
tankyxtrordinare (1:28:04 PM): that sucks.... I hope i didn't jinx him though :/
MyNameIsIRL (1:28:18 PM): how so?
tankyxtrordinare (1:28:50 PM): i was talking to my sister about his season and i said, "watch i'll get a DNF at Chicagoland.... as a cycle.... begin with a DNF end with a DNF"
MyNameIsIRL (1:29:44 PM): so it's your fault. nice!

44: Green flag and Quattro is in 8th!

53: Danica and Sharp are battling each other for 6th. I'm sure after Detroit their BFFs.

58: Hideki Mutoh is in 9th. Color me impressed.

60: Helio and Sam are 1-2. Come on, Marty. Say "lock step". Say it!

67: RaceCast says PJ Chesson is 27 laps back. Because...?

63: Heeeeeere comes Danica! Right behind Franchitti in 6th.

72: Marty just said Scott Sharp leads all drivers with laps completed this year. All but 22 laps. I'd have a shot of Patron now but that stuff is expensive.

75: Scheckter seems to be back, albeit one lap back. Darren Manning is four laps back. Because...?

80: Danica is now back over two seconds. A five-horse race again.

81: Let's talk Dancing with the Stars. Oy. Julianne Hough appears to have HUGE racer-sized sunglasses. Get her in a car?

deBASHmode (1:48:58 PM): Severe handling issues in traffic for Manning
deBASHmode (1:49:14 PM): He's out.
MyNameIsIRL (1:49:23 PM): bummer

93: Everybody has pit and no one in the top 5 changes. Helio, Sam, Dixon, Wheldon, Dario. Lock-lock-lock-lock-step.

deBASHmode (1:51:05 PM): Radio's talking about electrical issues for Tomas and Ed, both in the pits
deBASHmode (1:52:43 PM): Both Vision cars are headed to the garage

Vision cars? Marty and Scott are not familiar with Vision cars.

98: Kanaan is up to 8th, 8 seconds back. Impossible!

102: We're halfway through and we have a "pass of the race?" Whatever. Sam passes Helio for the lead.

111: Hey ladies, MoneyCJ has a new show. "Dirty Sexy Money" this fall on ABC.

117: Dario is now two seconds back of the lead group of four. Insert ominous music here.

120: Money just called. Said he was so upset he couldn't LiveBlog that he went and got a tattoo. I am totally not making that up.

124: Sam Hornish Jr was just saying in one of those spotlight bits. I think he's on cold medication. WAKE UP, Sam!

deBASHmode (2:08:56 PM): Bet PJ's getting another tatoo also, while the Dussault team tries to track dow TWO mirrors for his car. (Green monster got hungry, I think.)
MyNameIsIRL (2:09:38 PM): is that what happened? more Dallara mirror failure?
deBASHmode (2:09:53 PM): yeah, BOTH mirrors. Freaky.

136: Speaking of Mirrors, the Mirror Man goes into the wall and brings out the yellow. That would leave Dario as the ONLY car on the lead lap since he didn't pit. More ominous music, but for Dixon this time.

139: Replay shows a nice move by Sharp to squeeeeeze by Meira. Another virtual Patron shot here.

141: RaceCast is showing Dixon in the lead. No freaking way, folks. Dario is at the back of the whole yellow-flag group but he's a lap ahead of everyone.

144: SAFER barrier repairs required. Marty says Franchitti will be the leader when the "wave by" occurs. Smells like Lucky Dogs for everyone.

147: Dixon tops off to try to make the distance. Dario follows suit. So much for the Iceman's attempt at strategy.

151: Green again. Dixon apparently IS the leader. Makes no sense. I'm watching under protest.

158: Dario is dropping like a brick. Hornish and Danica past Franchitti.

161: Sam boldly charges to the lead. Hornish, Dixon, Wheldon, Helio, Dario, Danica, Kanaan. Shocking group, I know.

175: No lead changes but Hideki Mutoh - who is a lap down - has pulled up and is dicing with the lead group. "Welcome to the party, pal!"

183: Kanaan has dropped back (pitting?) and Sharp has taken his place. Hornish is pitting for fuel. Bye, Sam.

186: Helio pitting. Dixon, Wheldon, Franchitti, Danica on the lead.

192: Same lead group of four.

193: Wheldon and Danica peel off.

194: DANICA SLIDES ON PIT ROAD! YELLOW! The Bryan Herta maneuver.

evlk7 (2:48:33 PM): Nice work Danica....scream on the radio some more
MyNameIsIRL (2:49:16 PM): hand gestures always help

197: "This is gonna be a two lap shootout". Hang on, everybody. Dixon, Franchitti to the finish. Literally. Win the race, win the title.


deBASHmode (2:52:29 PM): HOLY HAGGIS CANNOLI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

joeb (2:53:10 PM): well, that deserves a HFS

evlk7 (2:55:04 PM): There can be only one...(cue Highlander theme music)


Dario has run out of Ethanol somewhere on the track. He's chillin with a bottle of water, chatting up the Delphi Safety Team. Ashley is hugging everyone since "my husband" is the winner. She is sans the hat, which by my count makes him 2-0 in hatless races (counting Indy, of course)

Now Ashley is wearing a Scottish flag as a scarf. Yikes. Calls him "Dario", but then "My Sweet Little Husband"! Oh. My. Now she's calling out Milka, saying to get off the track. I smell a cagematch.

Dixon still finishes in second as the only other car on the lead lap. Hornish and Helio third and fourth. Mutoh 8th! (Beware Gozilla in 2008!)

And of course the perfect ending is that Brian Barnhart isn't here to give Dario the trophy. Alien abduction. Jack Arute represents - doing it ALL.

Congrats to Dario, but I'm winded. I don't know how MoneyCJ does it. Livebloggin' ain't easy. HUGE THANKS to all of the folks who enjoyed the race here with me. That's all, folks - I'll have a recap up later. Drive safely everyone.


  1. pressdog // September 09, 2007 3:55 PM  

    Killer live blog, hoss. I was sitting in turn 4 when the throw down happened. At first I say, "Dario got a hell of a sling shot" and then I said a very bad word, because I knew the Iceman had run out of gas or coughed or something. Danica was ripple-firing the F-bombs when she brain locked. You all should have been here. Plan now to come to Chicagoland in 2008. It's bad-ass, baby. Turns 3 and 4 eat cars and burp out the bones.

  2. Jason Connor // September 09, 2007 7:20 PM  

    I moved to Indianapolis from NASCAR country last fall. But I was never a racing fan of any sort. Though I happened to watch the 2006 Indy 500 and thought it was awesome.

    Anyway, I become an IRL fan at this year's 500. I went to a practice day (as a new Hoosier, it just felt right) And I read your blog and pressdog religiously since Memorial Day.

    I even went to the F-1 race and thought "I don't get it. Isn't racing supposed to include passing?"

    Great blog and great info. I learned a lot about IndyCar racing from your site.

    Thanks from an IRL rookie-fan. Thanks in part to you, the IRL has a new fan.

  3. Johnny // September 10, 2007 5:44 AM  

    Jason said:

    I even went to the F-1 race and thought "I don't get it. Isn't racing supposed to include passing?"

    F1 is simply the means by which the English wage political and economic warfare on their enemies. Allowing people to pay huge fees to see auto races is simply how they finance it.

  4. Iannucci // September 10, 2007 8:23 AM  

    Jason, that's just about the most humbling thing anyone has said to me about this site. You are VERY welcome.

  5. Anonymous // September 10, 2007 9:05 AM  

    Great job, pally. I'm still pretty fumed about my internet problem, yet pumped about my new tattoo.

    Anyhow...congratulations to Dario. If I see him I'm going to rub his head or something because it has once again been proven that he is the LUCKIEST man alive.

    Next time, Iceman.

    All in all, a hell of a season!

  6. Johnny // September 10, 2007 12:03 PM  


    Pics of tattoo?

  7. Anonymous // September 10, 2007 1:54 PM  

    Johnny--emailed one to Jeff, who may or may not post it here