Cheat Sheet: Infineon 2008

Posted by Iannucci | 8/23/2008 | 5 comments »
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My sincerest apologies for the slowdown in posts recently. We've had some family members with health issues ranging from the sniffles to the serious here at the World Headquarters, but I'll spare you the details since you don't come here to discuss my family.

No, we all come here to discuss IndyCars, and personal problems notwithstanding I don't mind admitting I'm kinda bored. B-O-R-E-D. Or as that recent campaign would say, BO(RED).

Boredom happens and it's not permanent, but it's there for several reasons. Silly season didn't get that silly, largely because we can't say so-and-so is jumping to or from Champ Car. The weekly action of most of the summer has screeched to a halt in the last month, leaving us with one race over the last 26 days (although it was a darned good event). Oh, and Scott Dixon has pretty much sealed the deal for his championship season, with the only thing remaining on his IndyCar championship checklist being the obligatory N-Word rumors.

(That's a joke, people. Please don't send me emails asking what I've heard about Dixon driving stock cars.)

Topping it off we come to one of the most challenging yet passing-free courses in the world, where the professional meets the processional. At least there's AGR to keep it interesting in Sonoma. Last year Tony Kanaan threw the mother of all block parties for Dario Franchitti, trying in vain to finesse his teammates damaged car to victory. The year before it was Bryan Herta's impeccably timed spin allowed Marco Andretti to conserve his way to his lone series victory. Who knows, maybe this year Danica Patrick or Hideki Mutoh will take one for team.

Hey, we need something to get excited about here.

Favorite: Scott Dixon. He's the defending champion. He has 6 wins in 14 races this year. He has 5 wins in 9 IndyCar road course events. OK, he's been freakishly awesome, but it would be great if he could something silly like you did two years ago when he had that bad pit stop and moved up 6 spots in 15 laps by passing people on the track and not on pit stops.

Contender: Helio Castroneves. As noted earlier this week, the Dancing Champion has finished in 2nd place on 3 of the 4 road/street events this year. Two things Helio has been doing: win pole positions (3 of the last 5 races), finish in 2nd place (3 straight races).

Longshot: Oriol Servia. Just because I'm weary of jinxing Will Power and Justin Wilson. Besides, everyone knows the driver to watch this year is ALWAYS EJ Viso. Viso is more relentless than Denzel Washington in "Man on Fire", although not as judicious.

Driver to Watch: Ryan Briscoe has lead 80 of 145 laps at the last two road course events (Watkins Glen and Mid Ohio). Does he block defend for his teammate or does he gun for his third win of the year? Inquiring minds want to know.

Danica Threat Level: Pffft. The threat monitor has been turned off indefinitely.

Drinking Term: "Overtake". We need to go with a sobering term that won't be used much, because honestly, you're better off just brewing a pot of coffee this weekend.

Stat of the Race: Sunday will mark Helio's 110th consecutive IndyCar series start, which will tie Sam Hornish Jr. for the second-longest streak all time. I miss Sam, and judging from the lackluster results Sam is having in the Cup series I wonder if Sam misses us.

pressdog says: "Infini-yawn. Snore-noma. Sears Point-less. I should care about this race .... why? I guess we need a break from all the excitement of the Olympics and a lock-step-a-thon is just the medicine. Dixon has the title locked up. Look for him to drive to finish. The winner will be one of the big three, AGAIN. z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z. I'm saying a too-little-too-late win for Helio, an estimated 691 people in the stands and a TV rating nearing the illusive 0.0."

Hang on. I was there last year and I can vouch for the fact that there are more than 691 fans at the track. They're just not sitting in the main grandstands because those happen to offer the worst views of the track. You on the other hand will probably be watching at home with multiple camera angles, so enjoy the show!


  1. Carrie // August 24, 2008 8:33 AM  

    After "Sears Point-less", I think I'm a little in love with p-dog. ;-)

    And dammit Jeff, don't jinx Oriol.

    As far as the race being boring, well, that's why I like listening to the IMS broadcast over watching on TV. Besides, I have a drinking game where I take a sip every time Mike King cuts someone off mid-sentence. I'm usually hammered by the time the race goes green.

  2. Demond Sanders // August 24, 2008 1:16 PM  

    I'm going to check out the Colts new Lucas Oil Stadium for a preseason game tonight.

    I guess I'll get to fast forward the boring part(s) on DVR tomorrow.

  3. John in Speedway // August 24, 2008 2:32 PM  

    Hey guess what? Women's golf is going into overtime. Looks like we get to miss the start of the race again. This Versus deal can't start soon enough!!

  4. Anonymous // August 24, 2008 2:39 PM  

    Wowans golf. Freaking Great. VS doesn't look so bad.

    Boredom happens and it's not permanent

    Silly season didn't get that silly

    and Scott Dixon has pretty much sealed the deal for his championship season

    At least there's AGR

    I wonder if Sam misses us.

    TV rating nearing the illusive 0.0."

  5. Anonymous // August 25, 2008 10:42 AM  

    Yep, that turn 7 change didn't make for a passing opportunity. They need to keep tweaking that layout. I was there all 3 days this weekend and have attended since they came in 2005. This year they had as many people at the Friday practice as they had in attendance in 2005. The attendance was 40% higher on race day then last year. You can still sit pretty much anywhere you want. I did see a number of champ car stickers and shirts. Damn, need some passing at the track.