Audience Participation Required

Posted by Iannucci | 3/12/2008 | 42 comments »
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Since the peanut gallery is justifiably complaining about the lack of representation in the Class of 2008 sidebar, it’s time for me to come clean and admit I’m still trying to find some discernable personality traits to determine nicknames for some of these new guys. Now it’s best to leave scheduled part-timers like Alex Lloyd and Townsend Bell for another day, because right now we (yes, WE) have got to get down to brass tacks for helping out the many gentlemen below.

So it is with all sincerity that I am pleading with you for your assiastance. If you’ve ever wanted to do something for me (I mean, other than checking out the FINE advertisers at the top of the site) then please by all means toss out a nickname or two in the comments to help get this class fully enrolled. The only rules are it can’t be (too) demeaning, and it has to be FCC appropriate. Otherwise, show me what ya got.

Name: Jay Howard
Team: Roth Racing
Facts: The 2006 Indy Pro champ was largely unemployed for 2006, perhaps due to the fact that his driving though skillful can become as wild and erratic as his hair. Also, he bears more than a passing resemblance to a young Rod Stewart.
Possible Nickname: “The Mod”

Name: Ryan Hunter-Reay
Team: Rahal Letterman Racing
Facts: A talented young road racer with a handful of Champ Car starts to his name, Hunter-Reay was handed the reigns of the Ethanol ride after Jeff Simmons was abruptly let go mid-season. Ryan performed well enough to keep the job, ironically scoring two of his three Top 10 finishes on ovals.
Possible Nickname: (O-Ryan) “The Hunter”

Name: Hideki Mutoh
Team: Andretti Green Racing
Facts: Last season IPS runner-up, Mutoh’s Panther Racing team learned that Mutoh’s car #55 can be said as “Go-Go” in Japanese. Reminding them of the “Go Go Godzilla” chant in films, the Panther team adopted the nickname, even going so far as using a Godzilla plush during car inspection. Mutoh is no longer #55, but his 8th place debut in the ICS finale shows he’s still a fire-breathing beast.
Possible Nickname: “Godzilla”

Name: Franck Perera
Team: Conquest Racing
Facts: Perera has been moving up the ladder from Italian Formula Renault to F3 Euro to last season where he was the runner up to Rafa Matos in the Atlantics series. Other than that all I know is he’s French and his name sounds like “Fronk”.
Possible Nickname: supposedly he’s “Fearless”, but aren’t they all?

Name: Will Power
Team: KV Racing Technology
Facts: He’s pretty good, but his is name is Will Power. For real! What more do you need to know?
Possible Nickname: “Willpower”

Name: Graham Rahal
Team: Newman/Haas/Lanigan
Facts: He is The Bobby’s son, and The Bobby has not been afraid to let his team know this as he boarded planes to go watch Grahmam race. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. He ascended to Champ Car straight outta high school so he might be the next great American driver. Then again he might not be.
Possible Nickname: “Rahal 2.0”

Name: Oriol Servia
Team: KV Racing Technology
Facts: The 33-year-old Spaniard has raced for many, many teams in his Champ CART career, accruing a total of one win and 16 podiums in 126 starts. I don’t know what’s more impressive – that he has 126 starts or that he has 126 starts with such a record of futility. Other than that, the poor guy has a name that sounds like something your drunken roommate would mutter right before he/she ralphed.
Possible Nickname: “La Cucaracha”, which admittedly is a Central American song, but this career truly resembles an indestructible cockroach.

Name: Justin Wilson
Team: Newman/Haas/Lanigan
Facts: After a stint in Formula One, the 6’ 3” giraffe-like Wilson went on to a successful Champ Car career – if there exists such a thing. Wilson finished in the Top 3 in series points each of the last three seasons, twice being the best driver not named “Sebastien Bourdais”. He’s also known to be extremely polite off the track, like Vitor Meira but taller and with a British accent.
Possible Nickname: “Leaf Eater”, although because he shares the same name “The Cajun Chef” is also being considered

OK friends, have at ‘em. If you like them say so, if you don’t say so, and if you have a better idea then PLEASE say so.


  1. John in Speedway // March 12, 2008 9:41 AM  

    Godzilla and Rahal 2.0 are dead locks in my opinion. Leaf Eater is pretty damn good too, and funny. For Will Power, another option is "Horse" Power. I'm just brainstorming here. Oriol Servia could be "El Matador" or "Inigo Montoya" who was the Spanish swordsman in the movie "The Princess Bride". For the Frenchman: Frank Van Damme. Kind of stupid, but at least I'm getting the ideas started.

  2. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 9:54 AM  

    Jay Howard "The Duck"

    Ryan "Duck Hunter"-Reay

    (enough of the duck,,,sorry put it on my bill)

    Hideki "MXC" Mutoh

    Franck "The Tonk" Perera

    Will "Hour Of" Power

    Graham "I'm Not Bobby" Rahal

    Oriol "Baltimore" Servia

    Justin "I gar-on-tee!" Wilson

    Like John in Speedway said we're just brainstorming and there's no such thing as a bad idea...

  3. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 9:55 AM  

    Here's my take. First, I think Rahal 2.0 is a cop-out. I'd suggest Son of 'stache, because I always think of Bobby Rahal's classic mustache. Next, I like Godzilla, but personally would go with the original Gojira, which is actually a combination of the Japanese words for gorilla and whale. Or if you go even more abstract, just call him Gorilla-Whale. You could always go with Ray Hunter-Ryean. Fronkie is fun. Leaf-eater is awesome. Spanish Inquisition is an option for Servia. You should say I like bizarre, abstract nicknames.

  4. Johnny // March 12, 2008 9:56 AM  

    Cajun Chef is just to perfect a coincidence though.

  5. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 9:57 AM  

    Ohh ohh! Combining Billy Coy and myself, you also have:

    The Fronky Tonk Man

  6. Allen Wedge // March 12, 2008 10:07 AM  

    I think it was pressdog who first pointed this out but Will Power bears a pretty striking resemblance so I'm nominating him for:

    Ricky Bobby

  7. Allen Wedge // March 12, 2008 10:10 AM  

    also "The Matador" for Servia, espically if you've seen his recent hairdo

  8. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 10:23 AM  

    Ryan Hunter-Reay. "The Hyphen" As in, "my complements on the hyphen."

  9. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 10:36 AM  


    Howza' 'bout:

    Oriol "Double Stuff" Servia (Playin' the Oriol - Oreo angle)

    Graham "Cracker" Rahal (Huh, bet he hasn't heard THAT since third grade!)

    Jay "The Hair" Howard

    "Justin Time" Wilson

    Townsend "Rung My" Bell (I remember hin from the old CART days. Hits everything at the track but the concession stand)

    Will "Full" Power

    I fully second "Fronky Tonk" Perera.

    But Inigo Montoya for Servia? OH NO! We've already had ONE Montoya in open wheel, and we all know how THAT turned out! :^)

    "Hallo, My name is Juan Montoya! You crashed my race car, prepare to die!"

  10. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 10:39 AM  

    Billy Coy,

    Move it around and call him "Baltimore" Oriol Servia, and I'll give it a vote.

  11. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 10:45 AM  

    Jay "Shemp" Howard

    Ryan "O-Ryean" Hunter Reay

    Hideki "Gojira" Mutoh

    Frank "Fronk Fry" Perera

    Will "Don't Call Me Horse" Power

    Graham "Baby Bobby" Rahal

    Oriol "Energizer Bunny" Servia

    Justin "Ragin' Cajun" Wilson

  12. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 11:11 AM  

    Justin = Gigantor :D

    Bigger than big, taller than tall,
    Quicker than quick, stronger than strong.
    Ready to fight for right, against wrong.

    Gigantor, Gigantor, Gigantor.

    I'll be chanting that in the stands when he takes the lead!

  13. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 11:14 AM  

    I've lived in Spain and was born and currently live in Indianapolis. I like El Matador or El Toro for Servia. It embodies the culture, tradition, and spirit of the Spanish people. And they are absolutely passionate about their deportes de automovil over there, just ask Fernando Alonso.

  14. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 11:46 AM  

    thread jack

    Mr. Anonymous

    Welcome to Indy !
    I'm a big fan of Manolete. I just read the book about his death and can't wait for the movie.

    thread jack turned off

  15. John in Speedway // March 12, 2008 12:40 PM  

    Nice quote mmack. lol. El Matador is sounding very good for Servia. How about just calling Jay Howard: Rod Stewart. Direct and straightforward.

  16. Fred Hurley // March 12, 2008 1:39 PM  

    Servia as "El Matador" sounds great, though "Will Drive for Food," works too.

    I say Rahal 2.0, if you're gonna go with Quattro and Andretti 2.0.

    Will "Copper Top" Power? His hair is sort of dark goldish.

    Justin Wilson should be "J-Dubb."

  17. SS Minnow // March 12, 2008 2:06 PM  

    Hmmmm.... Where to start.

    Jay Howard- The Rod Stewart ref is great. "Maggie May", "Young Turk", "Hot Legs" (for the ladies, of course)

    Ryan- Still like "O-Ryan the Hunter"

    Hideki Mutoh- The picture caught my eye and with the Rod Stewar reference earlier, I could not help but think that he eerily reminded me of the Go-Gos guitarist, Jane Wiedlin. Not sure where to go from there except "Head Over Heels".... no, wait... that was Dario. Godzilla it is.

    Franck- "Fronkensteeeen" (Young Frankenstein style)

    Will "Rush Hour" Power

    Graham Rahal- "Who's Your Daddy"

    Oriol Servia- cruel, but funny "Last". "Zorr-O", "Zerr-O" ??

    Justin Wilson- "Guarantee", "Stretch" or simply, "Chef"

  18. Iannucci // March 12, 2008 2:44 PM  

    I really, really love these suggestions, although I should like to point there is one other rule, which is no acronyms. For example, everyone calls Tony Kanaan “TK” and that’s all well and good but let’s face it – those are just his initials. Weak.

    Also, it’s possible for a driver to have more than one nickname. Dan Wheldon has been referred to here as “Lord Wheldon”, “Boulder Dan” and “Captain Hairdo” (pressdog’s original), but “Well Done” is just the one that appears by his photo. You can never have enough nicknames, really.

    One other addendum: since Hunter-Reay has the hyphen in his name, should we consider “Slash” as a possibility?

    My favorite so far is “Fronkensteen” for Perera. That’s a lock. In fact, I’m gonna put him on the sidebar right now.

  19. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 3:17 PM  

    The name is Fronkinsteen, and I'm in search of Godzira and Rooster Cockburn.

  20. Deron Ertel // March 12, 2008 3:20 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  21. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 3:31 PM  

    Quatro is still good for A.J. But we down here in the south prefer to address him A.J.Foyt Jr.-Jr.-Jr.

  22. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 3:50 PM  

    Spiderman is fine but he is now Dancin' Stu (Simpsons). Oriol Servia,well it's just to hard to pronounce.We'll just go with Cookie.And keeping with the snack theme Rahal is now Cracker.

  23. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 5:25 PM  

    I'm a fan of Will "Drive For Food" Power.

  24. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 7:43 PM  

    Actually RHR won two races in Champcar (a road and an oval - Milwaukee)...I like the choice of Hunter for his nickname, and since Servia has been with God knows how many different teams each different year (or as of late, each different race) how about "the Wandering Spaniard?"

  25. crimsonace // March 12, 2008 8:06 PM  

    Howard: as much as he looks like Rod Stewart, Maggie May (although I'm sure he won't go for that :) ). Maybe Downtown Train.

    RHR: "RYAN". Wasn't that his "sponsor" in CC?

    Mutoh: I like Godzilla.

    Perera: Frenchie.

    Power: Does he really need a nickname? The guy has the best name in motorsports next to Dick Trickle.

    Rahal: Rahal 2.0. Only because "my daddy's my stalker" doesn't fit.

    Oriol: "Bouncer". Hasn't he raced for every team in creation ...

    JW: "Stretch." Only because "My head keeps blocking the airbox" won't fit :).

    And, for Ernesto Viso: "Visa". Apparently, that's helping him get in with HVM.

  26. crimsonace // March 12, 2008 8:07 PM  

    And, add for Briscoe, what the F-troop used to call him: "The Human Missile."

    Then, again, if the F-troop bestows a name on someone, we might not want to repeat it.

  27. SS Minnow // March 12, 2008 8:26 PM  

    Thanks for the nod and the add to the bar.

    I was thinking about another name for Justin. "CrawDaddy" However I still love "Chef" or some variation due to the fact if Newman gets pissed about TG's "catering costs" at IMS this year, Justin can just "whip sumpin' up".

    Sorry about exceding the "quotes" quota.

  28. Anonymous // March 12, 2008 9:43 PM  

    I think Oriol should be Oriol that names out there anyways.....

    Or how about the Server?

    RHR should be named California he reaks of it. BTW he's dating Becky Gordon, funny you all probably knew that she's decent.

  29. The American Mutt // March 12, 2008 9:44 PM  

    Once again I have to be the geek who corrects a simpsons reference. It's DISCO Stu. I like Cracker for Graham but maybe Crackjack? Regardless...Ricky Bobby works. Run with it Jeff.

  30. The American Mutt // March 12, 2008 9:46 PM  

    anyone know if NHL is keeping McDonalds? If they go with Graham we could call him McRahal.

  31. Anonymous // March 13, 2008 12:25 AM  

    Name: Hideki Mutoh
    Team: Andretti Green Racing
    Possible Nickname(s):definetly "Godzilla"

    Name: Townsend Bell
    Team: Dreyer & Reinbodld racing
    Possible Nickname(s): Townsend "Saved by the"Bell, Townsend "Pac" Bell, Townsend "Last Call" Bell

    Name: Graham Rahal
    Team: Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
    Possible Nickname(s): Graham "Kracker" Rahal

    Name: Alex Llyod
    Team: Vision or TCGR
    Possible Nickname(s): Alex" The Man" Llyod , he is from the Isle of Man

    Name: Oriol Servia
    Team: KV Tech
    Possible Nickname(s): the Matador

    Name: Ernesto Viso
    Team: HVM
    Possible Nickname(s): "Flyer" , "Super Man" , "Monte"

    Name: Mario Dominguez
    Team: possibly SAMAX
    Possible Nickname(s): "Super Mario"

    Name: Bruno Junqueira
    Team: Dale Coyne Racing
    Possible Nickname(s): "Sonny", "Junky"

    Name: Justin Wilson
    Team: Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
    Possible Nickname(s): "Chef", "the Chef", "Cajun Chef", "too tall" "Sheff" ( he is from Sheffield )

    Name: Marty Roth
    Team: Roth Racing
    Possible Nickname(s): "need sponsors please", "bluejay", "red runner", "raptor", "molasses"

    Name: Jay Howard
    Team: Roth Racing
    Possible Nickname(s): "Rod", "Hot Rod" ( Coincidentally his middle name is Stewart ! ), "the Zohan", "Zohan"

  32. John in Speedway // March 13, 2008 12:10 PM  

    I believe McDonalds will be on Justin Wilson's car. But I may be wrong.

  33. Anonymous // March 13, 2008 2:32 PM  

    I will submit the nickname of "Nostril-damus" for anyone fitting of it. The pictures do not do enough justice to the nostrils to make an accurate match.

    Oriol Servia's name always reminded me of Tom Servo on MST3K.

  34. Deron Ertel // March 14, 2008 11:21 AM  

    I just realized that Will Power could in fact be Shawn Spencer from Psych. They bear an uncanny resemblance to eachother.

  35. Anonymous // March 14, 2008 4:13 PM  

    "have car will power"

  36. Anonymous // March 14, 2008 4:28 PM  

    "reay-cy ryan"
    for hunter reay

  37. Anonymous // March 14, 2008 4:33 PM  

    instead of mu gu gai pan how about
    "mu gu mutoh"

    if thats politically incorrect how about

    "what the hideki"

    when mutoh gets in one of those pit lane driver altercations, look out... He deki you

  38. Anonymous // March 14, 2008 4:41 PM  

    mr. anna nichole smith

    as lucky as the other j howard

    died happy

  39. Anonymous // March 14, 2008 4:47 PM  

    servia right

  40. Anonymous // March 14, 2008 4:50 PM  

    "son of godzilla, HIDEKiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii"

  41. Anonymous // March 14, 2008 4:57 PM  

    a la james bond

    "rahal, graham rahal"

  42. Anonymous // March 17, 2008 8:03 AM  

    How about ...

    Jay "Spike" Howard"

    "Teddy" Graham Rahal