LiveBlog: Richmond 2008

Posted by Iannucci | 6/28/2008 | 19 comments »
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Welcome to Saturday night short track action where Steve Kinser and Joe Saldana will be thrilling the crowd...oh wait, sorry. Wrong night. Seriously though, this should be some exciting stuff tonight as 26 cars try to work their way around 3/4 quarters of a darkened mile.

We need to start off with an apology. We may have been remiss in passing on Davey Hamilton's words that AJ Foyt (The Owner) is absent from the Richmond festivities because he can't stand to look at Darren Manning without spitting fire. After researching this Foyt Racing indicates that Super Tex is back in Houston due to a "schedule conflict", which Hamilton may have read as "scheduled conflict". We apologize for any confusion.

Race Control has Dixon, Danica, Wheldon and Quattro tonight, so in the interest of equal time we're going to keep an ear on Foyt IV tonight. Congratulations to him, Buddy Rice and Bruno Junqueira for starting in the Top 10 tonight and temporarily bending my perception of the universe.

And now, it's time to start.

1: Wow, that was actaually one of the best starts in years...until Hunter-Reay spun coming out of turn four, bringing out the yellow. Doh!

8: Back to green, although Bernoldi is stopped in the pits with some kind of suspension issue.

9: And just like that we're back to yellow as Will Power goes bonzer into the wall. Looks like he's OK otherwise. So unless Bernoldi has come back out we have 2 green laps and 2 cars off the track. I'm sensing the program may run a bit LONG tonight.

10: Oh yeah, it's Kanaan, Marco, Graham, Dixon, Wheldon.

22: Finally back to green and the lap is completed. Hallelujah! Meanwhile Helio started 18th and is up to 13th. He really wants to win.

25: Now Helio's up to 11th. Man on fire.

30: Yellow as Foyt comes down into John Andretti, touches, and then shoots up into the wall. As if that wasn't bad enough for Vision it looks like Quattro's rear attenuator came off on impact and fired down the track, crippling the car of his teammate Ed Carpenter. That there is some seriously bad luck.

31: There's a bit of a delay with Race Control but it sounds like his spotter was saying "inside inside" but then stopped saying it in the turn, so Foyt went down, and, well, as Darren Manning might say, Bob's your uncle and he's into the wall. I can't say for certain that it's the spotter's fault because the audio and video may not have been perfectly synchronized.

40: Back to green, and although there's no change at the front Helio is up to 9th.

42: Helio around Servia for 8th. Cue the theme from "Jaws".

49: While his teammate is still off the track Jamie Camara has gone from 24th to 12th. Congrats also to the Camaras on the birth of their son this week.

53: Camara to 10th. That's a Conquest car in the Top 10 folks. Of course, it's early.

57: Kanaan, Marco, Graham, Dixon, Wheldon. Buddy Rice hanging in there in 6th, begging for air time.

68: Yellow for debris on the track. Link just asked "Is Marty still out there?" Har har.

70: Someone said there's a groovy lemonade stand in the pits so it's fiesta time! After stops the new leaderboard is the fuel makers of Jamie Camara and Danica Patrick, followed by Kanaan, Helio(4th!) and Marco.

80: We go green, but not without a yellow. Rice, Junky and Briscoe are all in various states of "your race is over".

82: Replay shows Manning ran into the back of someone on the restart, and then Danger Mouse slid around tagging a few of drivers. Also, Vitor tagged Manning and all of a sudden we have an "accordian effect". Sweet fancy moses, this is ugly.

86: This may or may not have been started by a slowing black car with the #25 somehow at the front when the green flag flew. Vitor, Briscoe, Manning, Rice, Junky are all out after that.

88: Just got this email: "Camara's strategy of lead and brake is briliant. He can take out half the field without being touched!"

93: Back to green, where Danica is a moving chicane. And then we go back to yellow. Looks like Vitor was not done in by that last crash but he is now. He and John Andretti are tapping out with a collision.

94: What do we have, 8 cars left?

96: Actually by my count we have 15 cars, one of which is Marty Roth. Who'da thunk it.

97: Camara, Kanaan, Danica, Marco, Helio - all eagerly awaiting the next Yellow-Green-Yellow.

99: Darren Manning is chatting with Brienne, echoing the comments of Ryan Briscoe that something needs to be done about braking on the restarts. Paging Mr IHJ.

103: Danica and Danica alone pits. Smells like another outbreak of Kyle Moyer fuel strategy. Meanhile Ed Carpenter is back on the track looking to lock down a Top 15.

108: Back to green...and miraculously we stay green as Camara is holding off Kanaan.

114: Marco around Kanaan for 2nd.

116: Marco around Camara for 1st. Chewing up Brazilians and spitting them out.

119: Marty Roth is going excrutiatingly slow. Please exit the track. PLEASE!

123: Email recieved: "If you were drinking for every yellow lap you'd be driving like Marty Roth right now."

130: Marco, Camara, Kanaan, Helio, Wheldon.

133: And (surpise!) it's another Yellow, this time for Graham Rahal, fulfilling his "Hole in the Wall" sponsorship. We're not even halfway through but we have a solid contender for the worst IndyCar race ever.

138: Several cars pit although Andretti 3.0 is not one of them. Amazingly ESPN lists the Top 3 as Marco, Viso and...Milka? Uh, guys that's Townwsend Bell in the car.

139: And just like the WorldWide Leader corrects that oversight. Pressdog must have called the B-Unit directly.

142: Back to green flag racing. Marco, Viso, Bell, Kanaan around Danica for fourth. Danica's car continuing to run in reverse.

145: Yet another yellow as Hunter-Reay and Mario Moraes snuggle up together in the worst of ways, singing "Crash into me". Make it stop! Getting out of the car the Hunter wants to discuss racing stategy with Eminem, then they both get into the same safety vehicle. Should be a fun trip to the infield car center.

146: Should have made the Drinking Term "Real Estate" basd on Scott Goodyear's abundant use of the term tonight.

151: Marco, Viso, Kanaan, Helio, Camara lead as this nightmare becomes an official race.

155: Someone get the Hunter a towel. He's sweating like a...well, actually I don't know any politically correct way to complete that phrase. Nevermind.

163: Back to green and Kanaan goes around Viso for 2nd.

164: Helio around Viso for 3rd.

166: Camara around Viso for 4th. Notice a trend here?

169: Servia around Viso for 5th. You never know these days if this is a bad car or if EJ's just "making fuel".

182: Briscoe is back out, as is Manning. Track probably seems a lot more spacious now, eh guys?

186: P1 notes: "This is pretty dumb, having an N-word commercial on during an IndyCar race." She's in a bad mood since her girl is going backwards.

200: Marco, Kanaan, Helio, Camara, Servia.

203: Marco and Kanaan are about to lap Danica and Mutoh. Hold your breath, Michael!

205: The drama is averted as Marco pits. Strategery.

212: If you aren't reading the comments then you don't know we have actual NASA weathermen telling us that contrary to what the broadcasters are saying there will be no rain anytime soon in Richmond. So that's one less thing to worry about.

217: I recall seeing on that one of Tony Kanaan's favorite songs is "Yellow" by Coldplay. I'm remembering this because we're under yellow again as Camara loses it and greets the wall.

219: Pit fiesta for those who have not pitted. All are in and out safely except for Hideki Mutoh who for some reason is taking off the steering wheel. P2 - our resident Mutoh fan - has left the room.

222: Kanaan, Castroneves, Wheldon, Servia, Dixon, Patrick, Wilson, Bell, Marco - and that's all that's left on the lead lap.

226: Hideki broke the half shaft. It's OK because AGR buys their transmission parts in bulk.

228: Back to green and Dixon goes right around Servia for 4th. Right behind his teammate now. Should be a great deal of TCGR racing love there.

238: Kanaan is pulling away, up by two seconds. Otherwise, lots of lock-stepping. Can't blame them for dialing down the bravery after tonight's racing massacre.

255: Kanaan extends the lead to 3 seconds. Not much else happening. You can take a nap - I'll wake you when something happens.

269: Kanaan by four seconds as the leaders maintain position. In other words, keep napping.

276: It's now a six-second lead. Might be lapping Marco soon.

282: Marco graciously lets him by.

290: Townsend Bell in 11th gets some air time. I don't know who "Rigid" is but they've got to be pleased.

300: And Kanaan wins his first race of the year. Probably feels more like winning "Survivor", but it keeps him in the championship hunt. Good for him and his team.

Congrats also go out to Servia (5th), Wilson (7th) and Bell (8th) on their best finishes of the year. You all earned it. For real.

Recently a few of you have been asking if there is some way you can have your comments in the LiveBlog. I'd love to be able to do that, but I think there isn't much any of us can add tonight beyond "that was a steaming pile of a race". Ugh. Thank you very much, and good night.


  1. Carrie // June 28, 2008 5:47 PM  

    For pete's sake you guys, stop wrecking!

  2. faniqgearhead // June 28, 2008 5:56 PM  

    This is a farce, and naturally it's under a big crowd in N-word country, after surprising ESPN promotion ahead of time.


  3. Carrie // June 28, 2008 6:18 PM  

    *eye roll*

    That's crash #29948557457.

    I think it's time to switch to the Craftsman Truck series race.

  4. Demond Sanders // June 28, 2008 6:18 PM  

    There are 12 cars left. WTFOMG!

  5. // June 28, 2008 6:24 PM  

    I have no idea where TCGR is seeing rain 30 minutes away.

  6. Demond Sanders // June 28, 2008 6:29 PM  

    Very small shower around Lynchburg, VA headed east right towards Richmond

    It's at least a half hour away.

  7. Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. // June 28, 2008 6:29 PM  

    What is with Brianne Pedigo and the, "Hey Driver, let's take a look at the re-play."??

  8. // June 28, 2008 6:31 PM  

    Well, you've got one near-Ph. D. and one full Ph. D in weather telling you that rain is nothing to bank on.

  9. Demond Sanders // June 28, 2008 6:52 PM  

    Kind of a predictable result for Marco's fuel strategy.

    Bummer for him because he seemed like he had enough car to win without an alternate strategy.

  10. Tabernerus // June 28, 2008 6:56 PM  

    Umm, where the heck is AGR buying their drive-shafts? Because I never want to buy auto parts there!

  11. Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. // June 28, 2008 7:17 PM  

    lots of action...
    1 mississippi, 2 mississippi,...

  12. the american mutt // June 28, 2008 7:26 PM  

    For the record Pressdog,

    What Kanaan did to second third and fourth there at the end. THAT IS A BITCHSLAP! In the future only apply this term to THAT. Note that DIxon doesn't do so well on the not flat out tracks this year.

  13. Bob Mc // June 28, 2008 8:00 PM  

    I thought one of the prerequisites to getting into a race car was that you actually needed to know how to drive.

    After watching this debacle, I must have been mistaken.

  14. Dale Nixon // June 29, 2008 7:50 AM  

    So I guess the "Indy Challenge" portion of the title refers to finishing the race?

  15. mmack // June 29, 2008 8:08 AM  

    Did anybody call the CDC in Atlanta? It appears we had an outbreak of Yellow Fever in Richmond VA last night.

    Either that, or in a nod to NBC's homage to George Carlin by replaying the first SNL episode, ESPN and the IRL brought out their own "Not Ready for Prime Time" players.

    Props to TK for winning his first race of the year, but as mrs. mmack said: "This is (freaking) ridiculous!"

  16. mmack // June 29, 2008 8:08 AM  

    Wait, I think they're going yellow again!

  17. racefan // June 29, 2008 2:35 PM  

    That was a sad excuse for a "professional" race. I turned down free tickets for the event, and I'm glad I did. I probably would have been with the large group of people that left at about the halfway point. Heck, even TK apologized for the boring race over the PA! Too bad no one was left to hear it :)

    How much longer do ya think Richmond will be on the schedule after that?

  18. Anonymous // June 29, 2008 3:53 PM  

    The CDC comment is especially funny since I work for them ......just had to comment.

    I am new to watching these races and unfortunately I haven't been very impressed.

  19. Bob Mc // June 30, 2008 7:18 AM  

    This is what the Grand Prix of Cleveland was dropped from the schedule for? That's impressive. Well, played, Mr. George!