Bump Hour

Posted by Iannucci | 5/18/2008 | 14 comments »
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Other than seeing AJ Foyt IV go out and easily qualify and later demonstrate his version of "Great Balls of Fire", Bump Day was a dud. Nothing at all happened worth noting until - as so often happens - Bump Day became Bump Hour.

(Well, nothing except Jack Arute establishing credit for Scott Dixon's "Iceman" nickname, as well as announcing his own nickname is "Scarecrow". We shall use this valuable information accordingly.)

Bump Hour though was quite the festival for all though as Roger Yasukawa, Marty Roth, Buddy Lazier and Mario Dominguez all took turns playing musical chairs for two spots. Unfortunately, Max Papis wasn't able to join the party due to a lingering gearbox affliction.

As you probably know, Lazier somehow found an extra mile-per-hour late to make his way into his 16th Indianapolis 500. Buddy joins Buddy Rice, Helio Castroneves and Dan Wheldon as four former winners in the race, which as I have been noting is kind of a big deal since they are no less in quantity than the four Indy 500 winners who started at the Daytona 500.

In this historic year we as fans didn't need that embarrassment of being outdone by the N-Word, and frankly I don't care if Lazier cheated and the folks at tech inspection looked the other way. Of course, that's one of many reasons why you don't ever want me in charge of Race Control.

Anyhow, here's a nod to Marty Roth for his "You can't get rid of me" attitude because it is inexplicably true. Seriously, after making it in another year by the skin of his teeth he's making a strong push to have his nickname changed to "Mr Bubble", so feel free to comment accordingly. We'll never know if Roth would have asserted himself in teammate John Andretti's ride should Mario Dominguez have bumped Marty in that final perilous run, but it wouldn't have been the first time such things would have happened.

And now that Lazier and Roth are both in The Show, now would be a great time to put something on those blank sidepods. Like say "Your Ad Here!"

ADDENDUM: After seeing the feedback in the comments section I’m calling a hastily assembled press conference outside of my cubicle this morning to announce the following:

It has come to my attention that the lazy use of the English language on my part has left many of you assuming I thought Buddy Lazier and/or Hemelgarn Racing had bent the rules in order to gain a starting position in this year’s running of the Indianapolis 500. That is certainly not the case, because the last thing I would want to do to a great driver like Buddy Lazier at a great moment like this is start some kind of malicious and false rumor.

Let me clearly and without sarcasm state: I DO NOT THINK THEY WERE CHEATING. I have neither proof nor reason to believe they or any other competitors were not fully within the rules of the day. In the sentence in question I was speaking hypothetically, although I can see how it could have been interpreted as being literal.

I sincerely apologize for any confusion this may have caused as well as any harm that as a result may have befallen Mr Lazier, Mr Hemelgarn, any employees of Hemelgarn Racing, or any small animals living in or around the premises.


  1. Anonymous // May 18, 2008 5:27 PM  

    There were only three Indy 500 winners in the Daytona 500. Villeneuve missed the race. Do you think Lazier really cheated? I missed the time from around 4:30 until just before 6:00 when Dominguez crashed.

  2. Anonymous // May 18, 2008 5:31 PM  

    I doubt he cheated, he could've easily picked up that 1MPH by changing the gearbox or by trimming the car out a little.

  3. Iannucci // May 18, 2008 6:34 PM  

    I was speaking hypothetically because I DO NOT think Buddy Lazier cheated. Sorry for the confusion.

    I'd have been more clear but I'm too much of an unprofessional word butcher.

  4. Anonymous // May 18, 2008 9:06 PM  

    Your Ad Here ! Call 317-555-1234

    Would be much better than blank side pods. pass the message onto N/H/L racing for the .06 Car and for the 2 Conquest racing cars, and for D & R racing's #15 for Buddy rice and for Sarah Fisher and for the 2 Marty Roth Cars.

  5. Rob // May 19, 2008 1:30 AM  

    Jeff, with all due respect, it's careless statements like that one that bring about the "unprofessional word butcher" comments.

    The reason I read your site and not pressdog's is because I tire of cheap humor and "oh-no-he-di'n't" shock statements very swiftly. Please don't go that way - you're doing just fine with facts and opinion.

    Personally, I thought bumpy hour was a blast. That's the kind of drama that cant be manufactured and the IndyCar Series needs that kind of thing.

  6. Anonymous // May 19, 2008 5:25 AM  

    Well, we know Banhart Enterprises won't fit on Marty's sidepod, although "Retired - Handling" might make a good one...

    I was really rooting for Mario on that last run; I wonder what will happen to the 19 large screen TVs they were going to set up around Mexico City for the race?

  7. Anonymous // May 19, 2008 5:57 AM  

    Too bad Toronto won't set up big screens so the folks can watch Marty Roth.

  8. Anonymous // May 19, 2008 7:16 AM  

    I listened to Buddy Lazier's race making run on XM radio yesterday, and the IMS Radio Network announcers said they were running almost NO rear wing on the car (the wing either had no angle, or even negative angle, with the leading edge higher than the trailing edge). They may have even dropped the front wings flat. That would give Buddy less drag going down the straights, but I would imagine less rear wing downforce = potential oversteer. In this case a veteran could drive a Dallara set up like that, but a rookie would probably scare themselves catatonic if the car's rear wheels started stepping out.

    I may be naive, but I don't think Ron and Buddy cheated. There's many ways a veteran driver and an experienced team can gain an extra MPH or two. C'mon, if you want to cheat, go for two or three extra MPH to be safely in the show! :^)

    As for "Bump Hour", I think a lot of people are channeling their inner Robin Miller here. Back in the days When CART Ruled The Open Wheel World And Everything Was Perfect And The Fans Got Magic Sparkle Ponies For Attending Races, here was how Bump Day usually worked:

    Track Opens for Quals, one or two cars make a run early, followed by a long (usually sunny and hot) afternoon of practice, with maybe a last minute deal getting brokered that put a driver in a back up car or saw a driver getting fired and replaced, and then around 4:30 - 4:45 local time one car would roll to tech and the qualifying line would build.

    For example, back in 1994:

    AP - The usual dramatic finish wilted in the heat yesterday as rookie Marco Greco of Brazil became the only driver to bump his way into the 33-car lineup on the final day of qualifications for the Indianapolis 500. Greco turned four laps averaging 221.216 mph, completing his run just 19 minutes from the end of the fourth and final day of time trials for the May 29 race.

    So Robin Miller and all others who "pine" for the bumping of the past may want to really look at the past. Not every Bump Day featured Bobby Rahal or the Penske team being kicked to the sidelines. Sometimes it was just teams spending the day struggling to find an extra MPH. And some of them never did.

    Not flamin' anyone, just sayin'.

    mmack, who used to leave for Indianapolis from Chicago at Noon on Bump Day knowing the "bumping" wouldn't start until 4 PM, if that. :^)

    Of course, that was when you could get to Indianapolis from Chicago in three hours or less! >:^(

  9. Jennifer Coomer // May 19, 2008 7:41 AM  

    Buddy Lazier is just totally and utterly awesome. Amazing. And Ron Hemmelgarn just seems like the nicest guy. What a story it would be for them to w... Okay, I can't say it. I'm afraid to say it. But I also feel the same way about Anthony Foyt.

    And, I can't believe I'm about to say this, yesterday I found a bit of respect in my heart for Marty Roth.

  10. Anonymous // May 19, 2008 7:51 AM  


    I believe the only trueway for you to atone for your literary faux pas is to buy EVERY My Name is IRL.com poster in attendance at this Friday's "Carb Night Burger Bash" a steakburger, fries, and a thick frosty chocolate milkshake. That'll learn ya' to mess with sarcasm! :^)

    P.S. You're getting off lucky! I could have asked for a Magic Sparkle Pony too.

  11. Fred Hurley // May 19, 2008 7:53 AM  

    Dave Despain had a great comment on Wind Tunnel last night while talking to Robin Miller. He said that it might be time to remove Marty Roth from his "Dr. Jack Miller, the Racing Dentist list of drivers who should find something else to do every May." Marty needed to find speed, and he did. Good for him.

  12. Anonymous // May 19, 2008 8:28 AM  

    What a job by Lazier and Roth. They both had to dig deep for speed and they both got it done.

  13. Anonymous // May 19, 2008 11:33 AM  

    Regarding Roth, I wonder what spine tingling shockwaves Jay Howard got when Marty passed the comment "It's has always been my dream to run the Indy 500 and I am living my dream".

    I am sure Howard had that same dream.

    If Roth had not pulled Howard out of his car, Howard would be living his dream as well AND would most likely have finished the race in a better position then Roth, if Roth finishes at all.

    Congrats to Buddy and Hemmelgarn, who showed the true spirit and remnants of the old days.

  14. Demond Sanders // May 19, 2008 5:18 PM  

    grizzlor is correct there were only 3 Indy winners in the Daytona field.

    Franchitti, Hornish, and Montoya.

    You had me reeling for a second, but if it makes you feel better Robby Gordon did finish second (to Brack).