That’s why they call it NAPCAR

Posted by Iannucci | 7/28/2008 | 26 comments »
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In an attempt to remain focused it has been the goal of your humble host to limit the coverage of other forms of racing since the start of the IndyCar series racing season. Today, for just a moment, we will diverge from that goal.

Many of you were probably watching in shock and horror yesterday as the N-Word took its act to The Brickyard for a 400-mile race. Despite several sessions of testing the “Car of Right Now” (CORN) was shown to be quite incompatible with the compound provided by Goodyear, resulting in exploding right-rear tires after 10 or so laps of racing. That’s right, 25 miles and the tire is ground down to nothing but dust in the wind. Stupendous.

Of course, the N-Word solution to this problem was to throw NINE “competition yellows”, meaning every 10-12 laps of green flag racing would be met with a yellow flag to slow everyone down so they could change tires again. No matter how bad any IndyCar race has looked this season due to crashes, parades or inclement weather, none of them were as painful to watch as this debacle. It got so bad that the competitors simply slowed down, running laps in the 150s, which compared to the 220s that IndyCars run at IMS is, shall we say, unexciting.

When you find yourself watching an auto race and the most thrilling aspect is trying to determine who’s going to get their right-rear quarter panel blown to smithereens, you can’t help but wonder if the racing product has is instead been replaced by some form of terrorist drinking game. I’m sure Goodyear dealers throughout the country are utterly thrilled about their stock car affiliations today.

And as bad as was for those of us watching (and doing laundry or mowing the yard or simply napping) at home, it was especially brutal for the folks at the track. This site is fortunate enough to have many readers in the Indianapolis area, one of who was kind enough to provide a brief summary of his day at the rack. Here’s frequent commenter “J E Clerk” with the awful truth.

“Utter disgust” are two words that come to mind. My seat was surrounded by mullet heads with drinking problems, and the woman in front of me kept throwing up. Oh yes, it was a real class act. I hardly had time to notice all the green flag laps.

This morning I was watching a replay of the post-race show on Speed, and they were trying hard NOT to blame Goodyear or Nascrap, but instead they were steering the blame towards the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I can see right now they’re going to spin this so it’s nobody’s fault except the track’s, and that’s what angers me. Goodyear should have had its ducks in a row, but didn’t. Everyone was angry. I’d love to know what the drivers were saying OFF camera. If I was a driver I’m sure I would have been fined for dropping F-bombs ON camera. HAH!

I haven’t seen a Goodyear screw up that bad since Scott Goodyear passed the pace car in ’95.

26 comments

  1. Doug // July 28, 2008 9:55 AM  

    I found it interesting that the talking heads wanted to blame IMS for the fact that the Goodyear tires would only last ~10 laps at speeds of 170-ish. I know the COT is a heavy POS, but still the Firestones on the IndyCars last at a minimum of 3 times as long, longer if you sacrifice a bit of grip, at speeds in the 210-220 range. That means that the lateral acceleration experienced by the tire is (..divide the... carry the one...) about 1.75x greater. Yet, we have never seen in recent years a tire failure at the 500 as a result of poor construction.

  2. bbovenguy // July 28, 2008 10:08 AM  

    It's ridiculous that they're blaming the Speedway. The track is 100 years old - it's not like Goodyear has never seen it before.

    Some clever person at Firestone should put together a commercial with all the F1 guys complaining about Michelins at the Speedway and all the NASCAR guys complaining about Goodyears at the Speedway, and then show the Indy cars zooming around the track on Firestones with no problem - at at much higher speeds!

  3. pressdog // July 28, 2008 10:29 AM  

    The track was resurfaced in 2005, three years ago, so it totally snuck up on everyone. Look for N-word to call for total repaving. Let me know when the bus of people willing to lay on the track to prevent that departs so I can be on board. At least when Michelin FUBARed the F1 race in 2005 they cowboyed up and said "we screwed up" and tried to compensate fans.

  4. Johnny // July 28, 2008 10:45 AM  

    I thought things *might* go the way of blaming the track, but Darrel Waltrip and Dale Jr. (let's face it, the most credible/listened to voices out there for most of the NASCAR fan base) have both been very critical of Goodyear, reminding them that at this year's test at the Brickyard, tires were only lasting 6 laps. Combine that with how awful Goodyear was at ATL and what Tony Stewart said, anybody with a pulse has realized this wasn't an IMS issue.

  5. mmack // July 28, 2008 10:47 AM  

    My seat was surrounded by mullet heads with drinking problems, and the woman in front of me kept throwing up.

    J E, if you're reading, let me be the FIRST to send my condolences. You've officially topped my "N-word IMS nightmare" from back in 2003. Mrs. mmack and I took our two friends to the Brickyard 400 as our gift for their 10th wedding Anniversary.

    Now, I know I've poked fun at N-word fans before, but as God and Mrs. mmack are my witnesses, we could only use 2 of the 4 seats we bought. The other fans were apparently too fat for all of us to fit.

    For a short time my wife and my friend sat in the two seats they could use, and her husband and I sat one row behind them in two unused seats. That worked until the ticket holders arrived 25 - 30 laps into the race. Mrs. mmack and I got up and went into the infield and watched the race on the JumboTron behind the Pagoda. At least I could stretch my legs and get a beer from our cooler. But luckily nobody threw up on us.

    Needless to say we haven't been back to a Brickyard 400 since. And based on the tone of your e-mail, you won't either.

    Sorry J E, it sounds like a real bummer.

  6. moose // July 28, 2008 11:48 AM  

    Yes, the COT is a heavy POS, but if you take into account the downforce generated by an IndyCar at 220 MPH the IndyCar weighs a whole lot more.

    Just isn't any excuse. They test and get 6 laps, and when they come back they've managed to add another 4 to 6 laps? And the tires were shredded. They'd run 12 laps and the tires would have belts showing.

    Sad.

  7. Anonymous // July 28, 2008 12:07 PM  

    Having watched the last four Indy 500's as well as the last four Brickyard 400's my mind always turns to - why would anyone want to watch a NASCAR race anywhere that isn't Daytona, or Charlotte? Those cars are awful everywhere that isn't a super speedway or speedway... and even then it's not guaranteed to be a good show. NASCAR = WWE to IndyCar and ALMS' mixed martial arts. I wish the Brickyard didn't make Tony so much money and he would cancel it.

  8. Rodney King // July 28, 2008 12:09 PM  

    They should just rename it the "Goodyear Caution Flag 400."
    That way the fans know what they will be getting.

  9. Rodney King // July 28, 2008 12:11 PM  

    They should just rename it the "Goodyear Caution Flag 400."
    That way the fans know what they will be getting.

  10. yaumb // July 28, 2008 12:43 PM  

    Looks like this topic is very popular with bloggers today (he says after publishing his own rant...).

  11. Jeff Iannucci // July 28, 2008 12:45 PM  

    Oh come on, yaumb - if you're going to pimp your site you gotta post a link.

  12. Jenna // July 28, 2008 1:42 PM  

    TG isn't going to take any crap from them..

    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080728/SPORTS/80728067

  13. Uncle Dan // July 28, 2008 2:26 PM  

    Embarrassing for the City of Indianapolis and the IMS. I watched Jeff Gordon tire test a couple of years ago and that's the only Nascab I have seen at IMS. Thank God!!!

    (Should I even mention that I ran into Sam Hornish Jr today at the gas station here in Indy and he was not very friendly even though I was? Perhaps he had alot on his mind. Nice Escalade, though.)

  14. Meatball // July 28, 2008 2:34 PM  

    I was there and it was complete b***s***! I want to pimp smack the retards (yes, you Rusty Wallace) who want to sit here and blame the track! It's been the same surface since 2005 when it was last resurfaced. YOU (NASCAR & GOODYEAR) F'D UP! The fans deserve some sort of rebate for sitting through that crap! The least they could do is own up and say "yeah, our bad! We will fix it." God I can't wait until May! Maybe then I"ll be able to get this taste out of my mouth!

  15. Kyle D // July 28, 2008 3:32 PM  

    I had a white shirt on at the start of the Brickyard 25+25+25+etc. By the end, it was grey at the end because it was covered with black dust made from some of Akron's finest rubber. Oh, and I was sitting about two-thirds of the way up the J Stand. It was really sad because, when the cars were actually racing, the racing was decent. The second guy in line could push the other and cause him to make a mistake going into one or three, then make the pass in two or four. Plus, the guys who could get the power down could make two- and three-wide passes on the straights. Then...NASCAR threw the yellow.

    Oh...and the fans around me had spray bottles full of water, but no vomit. It was actually not TOO horrible sitting with the people this time around.

  16. Robert // July 28, 2008 4:49 PM  

    Firstone should run an add of an old man on the front porch telling his grandkids about the days when some racers were too scared to go fast, some races had to be stopped every 10 laps, and some times the tires just fell apart after 25 miles. The kids are shocked to hear such news, and then the Mom walks out and says "Bye dad, we gotta get going" and they get into the SUV, and the kid drops his toy Indy car on the ground and it lands in font of the tire where the sidewall says "Firestone". Andretti 1.0picks up the toy car, dusts it off, spins the wheel, hands it to the kid and says something stupid about tire technology learned from running the INDY 500.

    .......yep-slow day at the office today!

  17. 6th Gear // July 28, 2008 5:15 PM  

    Blame A.J. He's the one that convinced Goodyear to get involved in racing back in the mid-60's.

    Back in the good 'ol tire war days Jim Hurtubise would bring out the old Mallard and slap a couple of Firestones on one side and a couple of Goodyears on the other just to piss off both parties. Good 'ol Herk.

    As Babe Stapp said, "Firestones, put 'em on, forget about 'em." Or, was it Duke Nalon?

  18. John in Speedway // July 28, 2008 7:41 PM  

    Ahhh how I love thee. Why was Tony Stewart keeping his mouth shut? I expected some Goodyear bashing out of him.

    It's a blasphemy that anyone would consider blaming IMS. Thou shalt be flogged in public if shalt insult the sacred grounds of IMS. Damn thee!!

  19. Carrie // July 29, 2008 5:49 AM  

    Guys... NASCAR is never going to take the blame for any of this crap anymore than Goodyear is. But FFS, what were they supposed to do? Pull an F1 and have a driver boycott?

    That said... not one fan or driver really buys their BS (though the drivers have to toe the line on what they say or risk a huge fine for some made up infraction). They have this problem at least twice a year where they screw up on the tire compound for the race and it either becomes a wreck-fest or you have what you had Sunday.

    This is what happens when a racing entity allows itself to be bought by "official" sponsors.

  20. Billy Coy // July 29, 2008 6:29 AM  

    I try to live by "if you can't say anything nice" rule so I'll say

    My steaks in the North Forty were great !

    The National Anthem was amazing !

    Since we left early there was no traffic going home !

  21. J E Clerk // July 29, 2008 6:33 AM  

    billy coy:

    Yes, I was really impressed by the singing of the national anthem. The traffic going in was really good, but I got there at 8am, which was a tad early. And in the spirit of saying good things, it got me out of the house and away from the family for a day! haha

  22. Carrie // July 29, 2008 8:01 AM  

    Okay so after actually reading what Goodyear was saying, I think you guys are being a little over-sensitive about your hallowed ground that is IMS.

    They stated it was a combination of a too soft tire with the heavier car and the new surface. Maybe I've missed the article you guys seem to be reading where someone says, "It's all Indy's fault because the track was mean to us," but it doesn't look to me like they have said anything that wasn't the truth.

    Blah blah blah the Indy car is actually heavier and the Firestones don't suck. Yeah, and the Indy cars have been running the same car and same tire compounds since the repave and have a month of on-track activities to work any problem out before the race. NASCAR hasn't.

    All that said, it was still inexcusable for Goodyear to not have tested more extensively.

  23. Carrie // July 29, 2008 8:04 AM  

    BTW there are buttholes everywhere. JE, sorry you had such a bad time but don't blame it on those people being NASCAR fans. I didn't blame the IRL for the buttholes I've encountered at Nashville. I blamed the South.

    ;-)

  24. Anonymous // July 29, 2008 9:22 AM  

    How long as NAPCAR been "developing" the COT? How many years? And they can't find a suitable tire to put under it? Incredible.

    Instead of shilling for every thing under the sun as 'the Official (fill in the blank) of NASCAR' and being serenaded by the ringing of the cash register maybe the Lords of Stock Car Racing should invest a dime or two in working on putting the best possible product on the track each week.

    That should be job one.

  25. wild05gsu // July 29, 2008 2:24 PM  

    It's the curse that did em in. The curse of Indy got even with Nascar, sometime in the spring Brian France was heard saying that he wanted to make the Indy 500 a Nascar race. So simply put; Vuky, Brayton, Renna, O'Conner, Unser, and all the other ghost of the speedway made sure that Nascar will not have a good showing. These same Ghost kept Emo from being sucessful after he drank OJ in victory lane.

  26. Dale Nixon // July 30, 2008 5:32 AM  

    I think Tony George thought he was blaming SCOTT Goodyear in yesterday's statement.