LiveBlog: Nashville 2008

Posted by Iannucci | 7/12/2008 | 20 comments »
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The good news is a huge amount of rain fell this afternoon, delaying the start of the Indy Lights race by over an hour. That's a positive because it cleaned the track enough so that there was obviously more than one groove, although watching the race online we didn't see too many passes on the outside lane.

The bad news is more rain is expected after the start of the IndyCar series race, so we may not see an entire race tonight.

Since we're in a hurry, it's time to start.

1: Another fugly start. Dixon gets another jump (legal or not) and shoots up to challenge for third.

3: Yellow as Marco and Briscoe collide and shred parts all over the place. Say it with me in your best pressdog voice - "It's a festival of carbon fiber!" Who knows who ran over what back there. Replay looks like something just snapped on Andretti's car and Briscoe gets collected for another probable DNF.

5: Helio, Danica, Dixon, Mutoh, Kanaan. We've got Danicker on the Race Control, and she just said she thought Helio ran over something.

9: In the interview exiting the infield care center Marco admitted driver error.

12: Back to green. Dixon gets a good run at Danica for second but she throws a total block party. Try to act shocked.

16: Kanaan around Mutoh for fourth. Elsewhere there is much locksteppage.

35: No one passing anyone except for lapped traffic, but teams are being told rain is about 10 minutes away. Oh joy.

43: Danica tries to sneak under Helio but he throws a block.

45: Danica tries to sneak under Helio but he throws a block. Again. This time though she has to lift and Dixon and Kanaan both pass her.

50: Helio, Dixon, Kanaan, Danica, Godzilla. We should have some pitting soon though.

55: Dixon goes low on Helio and he's hung out to dry. Helio drops all the way back to 5th. Mutoh has to brake to avoid contact and he drops back into the teens.

59: Danica pits. So do others.

62: Dixon leads and seems to be the only car that hasn't made a pit stop. Oh wait, here he comes. Jack Arute says Iceman is "ready to be serviced". Ahem.

63: And now Servia leads since he made a pit stop in the first few laps. He could sure use a primary sponsor.

67: Servia, Dixon, Kanaan, Patrick, Wheldon. Champ Car Fanatics are high-fiving each other right now.

68: So much for high-fiving - Servia pits and has a 18-second stop. Now he's 15th and is a lap down.

74: The pits stops shuffled things up a bit. Dixon, Kanaan, Patrick, Vitor, Wheldon. Maybe they should just use 2 gallon fuel tanks at this track.

83: The broadcast team keeps saying rain is threatening really soon. Meanwhile we're getting really close to the halfway (official race) mark.

86: Slowly but surely the top four are closing in on each other. Vince Welch just said Dixon is conserving fuel despite the threat of rain. Are you kidding me?

90: Kanaan closes and goes around the fuel conservationist in traffic and takes the lead. Let's see if Nariz can pray for rain and drive at the same time.

100: Yellow for the Hunter hard into the wall. Replay looks like he just got out of the groove and slid up into the not-so-soft wall. This race will now be official no matter what Mother Nature does.

103: Everybody pits while they clean the track but six-second pit stops indicate a bunch of short-filling. What, is it gonna rain or something?

105: Kanaan, Dixon, Danica, Vitor, Helio. Wheldon, Carpenter, Manning, and Rice driving valiantly off-camera behind them.

110: Back to green. Fairly orderly procession by comparison.

121: P2 just noticed the ticker and inquired "When did Camara and Foyt go out"? Don't ask me, I just blog here.

128: And we're spreading out again as none of the top cars are within a second of each other. Sorry Nashville, but this track gives ovals a bad name.

131: Still no rain. Nasvhille could also use some better meteorologists.

138: Yellow as the highly publicized rain finally hits this race. Not a lot of rain, though.

140: Just got this email: "Marty could finish?"

141: Looks like Danicker nearly lost it trying to get around the Cajun Sheff. Nice save but she gave up a couple of positions.

142: Someone on Danica's radio just said "they've told the fans to leave the stands because bad weather is on the way". As Johnny at Live Fast Racing noted last year, this place is an abomination in the rain.

147: Kanaan, Dixon, Vitor, Danica, Helio.

148: All of the leaders pitted except the Target cars, filling up with enough fuel to go the distance. Marty Reid says the rain has stopped.

151: They were going to go back to green but Dixon was dragging his heels.

152: And here's the real restart as Helio bolts past Danica and Kanaan. Nearly bumps Nariz, but as you know that wouldn't be the first time.

160: Dixon, Wheldon - both requiring a pitstop in 15 or so laps - then Helio, Kanaan, Danica.

166: Yellow for rain. Lots of rain.

168: The cars are still circling the track. In fact, it looks like it may have stopped raining. Today's racing excitement brought to you buy The Weather Channel.

170: OK, now there's more rain. The red flag comes out and the cars will finally park for now. Drivers get out of your cars. Time for a potty break!

170: And after 20 or so minutes of rain the checkered flag flies. That's guitar number three for the Iceman. I don't have the stats handy but he may be undefeated in that Energizer car. The power of the bunny.

Congratulations to Ganassi on the 1-2 finish. Vitor finishes 5th 6th (typo, I swear) and Eminem scores his second straight Top 10 in 10th. And, AND...Marty Roth finishes 11th 13th (I'm blaming Race Control for that mistake). Check for a plague of locusts.

It looks like it's about to rain here as well, so thank you very much folks, good night.


  1. Carrie // July 12, 2008 7:09 PM  

    Well that sucked. Never thought I'd say it but I'm not upset to have missed that one live. At least I was dry, comfortable, and able to change the channel at will here at home.

  2. pressdog // July 12, 2008 7:27 PM  

    z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-zz-z-z-z. IndyCar may have achieved the illusive 0.0 with this waste of time.

  3. Anonymous // July 12, 2008 7:27 PM  

    Danica finished 5th, not Vitor - he was 6th.

  4. Jenna // July 12, 2008 7:42 PM  

    I have to agree, this was the most boring race of the season:(

  5. History_Lover07 // July 12, 2008 8:00 PM  

    I will admit - I did flip to the Nascar race at Chicagoland a couple times. I'll admit it, it was so boring I had to resort to Nascar.

  6. Joan // July 12, 2008 11:59 PM  

    Dude, it wasn't that boring.

    I can't believe you missed Badyear calling Helio and Tony boyfriends.

  7. Anonymous // July 13, 2008 3:57 AM  

    Did Marty say "lock step"? I think I heard a "holding station", but dozed off. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Oh, and Roth was 13th ??? and only 1 lap down, not 11th.

  8. Dale Nixon // July 13, 2008 5:30 AM  

    If only Dixon had spun under yellow again and taken out the first 12 cars in the field...

  9. Anonymous // July 13, 2008 5:38 AM  


    heh, yeah, i caught that too. it provided needed "lulz" for the evening.

  10. Robert // July 13, 2008 7:06 AM  

    If this season is about fuel mileage- it is not the way to rebuild the image of the IRL! That was the worst race- at least Richmond had cars destroying each other! I know rain races are a breed of there own - but the IRL is loosing fans with the Dixon fuel race wins.

  11. NewJerseyIRLfan // July 13, 2008 7:08 AM  

    I say out with Goodyear and in with Cheever!!!

  12. Tabernerus // July 13, 2008 8:14 AM  

    I love oval racing. I do. I really do. But can anyone around here honestly say they'd rather watch Nashville than Road America or Cleveland? Seriously? It's NOT a track conducive to good open-wheel racing. It's just not.

  13. Grizzlor // July 13, 2008 9:36 AM  

    You've likely not going to have to worry about Nashville much longer, if Robin Miller is correct, it's gone for next year. Not surprising, it will mark the third Dover Motorsports track to bite the IRL dust (Dover, Gateway). Fourth if you consider they once owned Long Beach and sold it to Champ Car. Unfortunately, Nashville's date is not likely to go to Road America or Cleveland, but likely to Toronto.

  14. LA // July 13, 2008 12:53 PM  

    I was at the race and it really wasn't that bad. It was exciting to see the lead change on the track and not in the pits. Danica and Helio tried at different times to get the lead and managed to lose quite a few positions. I feel bad for TK. He seemed to have the best car. But having the best card isn't always what's needed. I think Dixon is a bit charmed.

  15. Demond Sanders // July 13, 2008 4:38 PM  

    Blech. It went from a race that would further close TK's points gap to the race that sealed it for Dixon. Can't believe he lucked into another win.

    The league needs to bust out of this semi-slump and soon. Dixon dominating ensures its irrelevancy will continue. They need an Helio-Danica-Andretti-Rahal win fast.

  16. mikebdot // July 14, 2008 5:45 AM  

    I was at the race. If you tell the fans to leave the stands, you better *bleep*ing park the cars. It really is that simple. I am not sure I will ever attend another IRL race simply due to race-control's lack of brains. That includes the Indy 500. I did not listen though and watched the finish.

    They may have just lost a fan. I'm disgusted. They may as well have handed Dixon the win. Especially after his little stunt on the restart. He should have been black flagged for that crap.

    Speaking of hating Dixon (there aren't very many of us on the blogs, but maybe 10 people clapped when he was introduced), anyone that went to the race notice how every single lap they waived the blue and yellow for Will Power to give Dixon the inside line, Dixon plain and simply didn't make the pass? His car was MUCH faster and yet, he sat back behind Power for about 8-10 laps for no reason whatsoever? Then, inexplicably, he blew by him right before turn three and Kanaan got caught behind him until the front stretch. You should not be allowed to manipulate lap traffic like that. If the lap traffic goes wide in every single turn until you decide to make the pass he's just missed out on valuable seconds against HIS competition. If you can't make the pass in 2 or 3 laps, they shouldn't put out the blue/yellow again.

    Helio did the same thing earlier in the race and almost took out Danica with the same stunt. Then, laps later, after Danica was slowed up by Helio coming down on Danica as she tried to pass Dixon was able to get past Danica, and then, when Dixon went to pass Helio he gave him PLENTY of real-estate.

    The powers that be need to tell their drivers to grow the hell up, especially since Danica is the only person filling seats and getting any sort of reaction during introductions. If they don't start treating her like an actual race-car driver, the league is going to miss out.

  17. GurneyEagle // July 14, 2008 7:09 AM  

    Let us also note that Mario Moraes(!) finished 10th, ahead of all other former Champ Car drivers. Could we be talking podium at Chicago?

  18. jimmyK // July 14, 2008 7:43 AM  

    Does the IRL see the problems with Ganassi's teams and the rumor of Target leaving the IRL and think buy gifting wins and letting Ganassi have cheater cars is the way to grow the sport?

  19. Anonymous // July 14, 2008 9:42 AM  

    Helio gave Dixon a ton of room to pass him on the inside because he had been warned about his blocking after getting Danica the first time.

  20. The American Mutt // July 14, 2008 9:59 AM  

    Picks are illegal in all other (non life threatening sports) and Dixon should be flagged for using lapped traffic that way. I was at this race, and am having a hard time justifying giving money or time to this series after such a despicable job by race control. You tell the fans to leave, you end the race. I don't care if race control thought the race was ok--and if they did why was there a caution when I can tell you personally and with first hand experience THERE WAS NO RAIN, and the race would have finished. In regard to Dixon--he choked that start to get another yellow lap. During the first yellow he couldn't keep up with the pace car (it took him nearly two laps to get there)--race controls desicion--slow the pace car. If I want race control decided wins, and BS contrived finishes I'd watch that tintop series. This race was a fucking joke, and I don't know how much longer I can put up with spending time and money on this bullshit!