LiveBlog: Milwaukee 2008

Posted by Iannucci | 6/01/2008 | 15 comments »
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Before we begin, here is a brief public service announcement from the My Name Is IRL World Headquarters. We are currently experiencing networking difficulties (the wireless router croaked) so please note that today's "live" transmission will in fact be tape delayed until the conclusion of the race. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Notes will be scribbled "live", which means yes, we're totally copying the pressdog method today. Let's hope he considers it the sincerest form of flattery while he's rubbing elbows with the bigshots at the track this weekend.

In the meantime: Marco. Pole-o. AGR Karma?

Tony Kanaan is carrying Direct Supply logos on his car this weekend as a sign of goodwill toward Sarah Fisher. Direct Supply is based here in Milwaukee and if you think back a couple years, they sponsored Panther Racing and Vitor Meira when they were running the orange car with less than full sponsorship.

The Direct Supply CEO, Bob Hillis is here today and he went over and thank Kevin Savoree of AGR for the support.

AGR has also given Sarah Fisher an underwing to help that team repair their damage.

(MORE from TrackSide Online)
0: Pen and pad in hand, and off to the living room.

0: "Danica and gentlemen, start your engines!" Does that mean she's not a lady or am I overthinking this?

1: Despite the close quarters they're off to a clean start.

2: Or not. Looks like Servia needs a new nose.

4: Townsend Bell went from 21st to 10th in the one green lap, and no there's no "power to pass" involved.

6: Seems Servia has gone down a lap because his team had trouble changing the nose. You'd think a former CCWS team would have had plenty of practice with this exercise in 2007.

10: Back to green and Dixon moves into second behind Marco.

17: Bell is up to 8th, Viso up to 10th, and believe it or not the broadcast team is actually discussing them. Check for a swarm of locusts.

28-ish: My commercial breaks are not split-screened. I'm having an N-Word moment.

31: And we're back, where it's Marco, Dixon, Kanaan, Rahal and Helio. Viso has charged up to 8th.

39: Viso is now 7th, still being discussed. Who woulda thought he'd get more air than Danica what's-her-name.

41: Dixon takes the lead. I hear he's having a good year.

54: Oh no, the Mindy Song. If someone made shirts that read "I am Mindy" would you buy one? Just asking.

63: Yellow for invisible debris. In this case excessive marbles.

65: After mass pitting it's Dixon, Helio, Rahal.

68: Is it me or is this "Wipeout" show they keep advertising a total rip-off of Most Extreme Elimination Challenge? I guess the ABC exec didn't realize MXC is entertaining because it's dubbed over the Japanese.

70: We're still yellow and the sweeper is getting more airtime than Danica what's-her-name. Check for famine at the track.

73: FINALLY, we return to green flag racing.

74: Now Hunter-Reay is shown passing Power for 8th. 100 lbs of Fury has fallen to 18th and is still appropriately off-camera. Did ESPN get a new producer?

95: Wheldon is 4th and is wearing a helmet designed to look like the blanket of this 8-year-old cancer patient. Sniffles abound here in the household. Seriously, I'm now officially rooting for Dan this week.

98: After starting 20-something-th, Justin Wilson has stretched his way up to 10th.

123: Still Dixon, Helio, Rahal, although Briscoe has managed to not wreck his way up to 4th.

130: Trying to get around lapped traffic Rahal goes into the wall. Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before.

138: Rahal's lips don't match the audio, so maybe like MXC he's actually being speaking Japanese and being voiced over. Unlikely, though. Son of 'Stache blames Darren Manning for attempting to pass in front of him, disrupting Graham's vibe.

140: Time for another restart, where Dixon, Helio, Briscoe, Wheldon, Kanaan reassert the dominance of the Big Three. The locusts disappear.

144: Viso is now up to 6th and Servia and his new nose have recovered all the way back to 7th. And they're on camera. And I'm still shocked.

151: Dixon is stil leading and is said to be conserving fuel. High cost of ethanol, ya know. Also, Dixon's white racing gloves are unsettling. Is the Iceman becoming the Doorman? Will be checking his car for dust? Maybe busting out some magic tricks?

160: Brisoce passes Helio for second but he's two seconds back of Dixon.

172: Now Briscoe is one second back.

175: Now he's caught Dixon and passed him for the lead. Conserve this!

177: We are told Roger Penske said "You've got a good car there, Ryan. Take care of it." No, The Captain isn't nervous. Not worried at all.

193: Briscoe pits but takes nearly 10 seconds because of some issues with the right rear tire. So much for "Penske Perfect".

197: Viso's run just went sour as he does more than a little white-walling. Darn near making pancakes. Lucky for Briscoe who's a lap down because of the pit stop the yellow does not come out.

203: Dixon may be going green but he's still 9 seconds ahead of Helio in 2nd.

204: Dixon pits, out in 6 seconds.

208: Somehow despite the faster stop Dixon is in second directly behind Briscoe. OK.

213: Did Mary Reid just say Mike Hull is "steering" Dixon's car? This reminds me of the Toyota ad with the radio-controlled N-Word cars. "Zippy, run for your life!" Admit it, you thought it was funny too the first twenty times you saw it.

217: Dixon is all up in Briscoe's business but he can't get around him. This is going to be quite a finish.

222: Battling for sixth (I think) Carpenter and Andretti touch, taking out both cars. Holy Knievel! Vitor just launched over the bow of Marco's car!

225: Briscoe wins under yellow, although Dixon pulls up along side him to make it look close (yeah, right) at the finish. Style points for Iceman.

Looking at the replay it looks like Marco drifted up into Ed, meaning another inside move by Andretti 3.0 has resulted in a lot of carnage. Ugh. I hope Ed's OK since he hit the wall rather hard.

The replay also showed that Briscoe was thisclose to getting collected in that wreck as well. Much nervous cigarette smoking in the Penske camp these days.

It's too bad we didn't get see if Dixon could get around him, but congrats to the Briscoe Inferno on his first career ICS win. He becomes the third first time winner in the series in six races. Whoda thunk it.

15 comments

  1. Dale Nixon // June 01, 2008 1:25 PM  

    Wow, an impressive crowd.

    Especially when I flip the channel and see lots of empty seats at Dover.

  2. Anonymous // June 01, 2008 4:26 PM  

    Is it just me, or was the ABC coverage VASTLY improved today? There were many mentions of drivers we don't normally hear about, there was coverage of some tight battles that were taking place mid-pack, and they only showed Danica footage two or three times. I was pleasantly surprised with Marty and Goodyear also mentioning car sponsors more than in recent memory as well. Wow, I didn't see that coming after last week's display at Indy. Good job, ABC, a tip of the cap from this guy.

  3. Ansen B. // June 01, 2008 4:27 PM  

    I would just like to say that many people give ESPN crap for bad broadcasts, but I thought today's was pretty well done. Servia, Power, Viso, Wilson, Bell, Meira, and Hunter-Reay all got solid air time. Danica was shown only enough to satisfy those who watch Indycar only for her.

    Now they just need to get the audio matched to the video on their interviews, and they'll be set.

  4. Tabernerus // June 01, 2008 4:44 PM  

    Yeah, overall, a solid broadcast.

    I'm still not the biggest fan of the Reid-Goodyear booth combo, but it was MUCH better today than it has been.

    A good race. And a good crowd. Really, not much to complain about. Wow, what are we gonna do??? :-)

  5. Jenna // June 01, 2008 5:05 PM  

    It was much better. Though I forgot John Andretti was even in the race until his name got mentioned in the trivia question..

  6. faniqeric // June 01, 2008 5:07 PM  

    Yes, a much better broadcast, and a good crowd. Sucks we didn't get the sprint to the finish, but at least I can redlasso the crash and blog it on my site. Whatever gets attention.

  7. Anonymous // June 01, 2008 6:09 PM  

    Great race. Great blog. Thanks for your coverage.

  8. llilly // June 01, 2008 6:57 PM  

    It was a beautiful day for racing at The Mile today. There was a huge crowd partly because Marlboro gave away a bunch of free tickets for Team Penske. The sea of red hats was primarily in the lower rows, however, so I think it was still a good crowd.

    The Mile is a great track to get up close with everything racing. I love how the different character of each track contributes so much to the experience of being there.

  9. Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. // June 01, 2008 7:45 PM  

    "Tell Ed I'm sorry."

  10. Anonymous // June 01, 2008 10:43 PM  

    Circles jeff,circles!gilbert!

  11. Dale Nixon // June 02, 2008 5:01 AM  

    Is it time to start an IRL green-white-checkers petition?

    Watching a race finish under yellow is slightly less exciting than watching the Shriners on mini bikes in a Memorial Day parade.

    And they get to wear the Fez.

    C'mon IRL, hockey got rid of ties, clear off the track and let em rip one last time. Was there anyone watching (including Tim Cindric and Roger Penske) who did NOT think Dixon was going to force Briscoe into an ice-cream-brain freeze had it finished green?

    Especially if Marco is going to pull off an "overly optimistic" late move once every 5-6 races.

  12. mmack // June 02, 2008 8:44 AM  

    I came back from The Mile too late last night to comment, so I thought I'd add my comments now.

    First off, where did D&R hide the Nitrous Oxide in Townsand Bell's car? I'm thinking the fire bottle in the tub may not have been what it seemed. ;^) 21st to 10th in one lap on the outside line? If I didn't see it with my own eyes, I'd have never believed it.

    Secondly, as the field came off turn four on lap one it was a real world example of a Pressdog quote: "Twenty six clown cars roar out of the turn, skid to a halt, and 104 clowns in firesuits climb out and spray each other with confetti." That Servia just lost a wing is a miracle. Expected a "Festival of Carbon Fiber" (TM, Pressdog.com)

    Until Marco lost it and Vitor decided to try out for the Alpine Motorized Downhill Ski Jump team, for all the cars and all the Milwaukee Mile first timers, it was a surprisingly clean race. Once again for Graham - two weekends, two ovals, same turn, same result. Not that there weren't enough toe curling, cringe inducing moves made during the race itself behind the leaders. Plenty of times I expected to see a car spin into the wall after locking wheels trying a divebomb move.

    I would have loved to hear an AGR scanner when Danica!'s spotter told her Briscoe Inferno was lining her up to put her a lap down. Mrs. mmack grabbed my arm and pointed out a near certain "crash in progress" when Briscoe closed in on her.

    Much cheering when Briscoe Inferno took P1 from Iceman. Memo to TCGR and Car #9: Perfection is cool and all, but it can be boring. Next race, sandbag it until at least the last 10 laps. Also, noted much love for TK from the crowd during driver introductions.

    The Good:

    A much larger crowd than last year. I would call it 75 - 80% full. I saw noticable gaps in the furthest grandstands on turn one and four. To be fair, being IN the crowd, I couldn't see every section.

    The weather was pretty much perfect.

    While the race at the front may have been a snoozer, there was plenty of diving and slicing from P3 back.

    In a nice bit of foreshadowing, Rick Mears addressed the crowd on the 30th anniversary of his first win, scored right at The Mile.

    The IPS, I mean, Indy Lights race drew a pretty good crowd. A total runaway was avoided on the very last lap due to the winner and runner up having to slice through traffic.

    The parade of classic cars that once raced at The Mile was a great touch. Loved the Lotus STP Turbine and the AAR Eagle\Offy.

    Sounds like ABC\ESPN took a page from the IMS Radio Network. Kudos to the radio crew, like MRN with the N-word, they have VASTLY better coverage of the entire field than the TV crew.

    The Bad:

    Parking cars and traffic control seemed to be talents that eluded the staff and local law enforcement.

    I noticed much less vendors at the track than last year, or during the CART days. I also noted many food vendor stands were closed. When A-B (Budweiser) can get the beer concession in MILLER's home town, something's up.

    The Ugly:

    Vitor's crash and hoping Marco didn't get decapitated. It's never good to see a car go flying in the air, unless it's an episode of The Dukes of Hazzard.

    Wondering if the lack of vendors and Miller Beer went hand in hand with rumors that The Mile was on the bubble for coming back in 2009. I hope The Mile and the IRL can work it out and come back for '09 and beyond. Mrs. mmack and I are already upset at losing Michigan and Gateway, and wondering if Road America will make the cut.

    mmack, wondering if he can get an "I am Mindy, HEY!" T-shirt in XL for Jeff.

  13. yaumb // June 02, 2008 8:57 AM  

    That's "Milkman" to you, bud... or don't you worship at the Altar of the Holy Arute-abaga?

  14. Anonymous // June 02, 2008 2:55 PM  

    marco's apologies are getting really old. the kid needs to get his head in the game....the entire game not just when he feels like it.

  15. Dale Nixon // June 03, 2008 5:23 AM  

    Marco has the same sense of entitlement his father had, which makes it very difficult to root for him.

    I AM glad the Brady Bunch days of AGR are done though.