Mini 2008: Moment of the Year

Posted by Iannucci | 10/01/2008 | 0 comments »
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All apologies for the temporary delay in results from the First Annual My Name Is IRL “Mini” Awards, but last week the results mysteriously disappeared from the otherwise reputable firm of Dewey, Cheatham, & Howe. The massive financial resources of this site weren’t enough to hire a world-famous Private Investigator like Tom Selleck or Bruce Willis, but it was able to land some guy who goes by the name of “Wombat”. After some diligent work Wombat was able to trace the trail to North Scottsdale where he found the tattered ballots dangling from the passenger door of a double-parked Lamborghini Murcielago. No further details were given, but at least we have the results back in hand.

Our next award is for Moment of the Year, which is pretty significant since this year was quite full of moments. Obviously the “bimergifiation dinner” between Tony George and Robin Willi, err, Kevin Kalkhoven would be the most important moment of the season, but since this IS a racing site the award will be, uh, awarded for going-on at an actual race track.

And even confining it to the track eliminates some otherwise fascinating moments. Marco and Babe driving Brazilian style at Texas, Danica and Sarah doing the same at Kentucky, Dixon’s brain freeze at Watkins Glen, Helio getting busted for his block party at Belle Isle, Vitor Meira’s General Lee-style flight at Milwaukee, AJ Foyt IV catching on fire more than once. All worthy contenders, but not quite as memorable as these nominees.

Graham’s win at St Petersburg - What started off as a rain soaked debacle on the flooded streets of St Pete turned into a star-making performance for a second generation IndyCar driver, as Rahal’s team set him up with a good car and a fuel strategy that worked perfectly in what turned out to be a timed race. Hey, a win is a win right? Unfortunately for the Son of ‘Stache, he never finished higher than 8th in any other race the rest of the year, cracking the Top 10 just 3 times in the remaining 14 races. Yuck.

Danica’s win at Motegi (or as Meesh likes to call it, “Japanica”) - Speaking of fuel strategies, there was much to talk about as Patrick benefited in Motegi from an outbreak of synchronized driving. Switching to fuel position “solar power”, Danica! was able to best her competitors on a gamble that there would be no yellow flags for the final 50-some laps of a race at Motegi, a track so cruel Dallara probably has a parts warehouse just outside of Turn One. After winning she wept, hugged, smooched, got a huge trophy, and resurfaced on nearly every talks how in existence. Her Q rating rose so much some TV producers even considered bringing back “Donohue”, although the kibosh was eventually put on that after realizing she wasn’t finishing higher than 5th in any other race.

Vitor’s pass at Indy - Simply awesome. In the future when the machines rule the earth they will get the most out of humans by constantly barking at us in voices that sound exactly like Pancho Carter. CLEAR! CLEAR! CLEAR!

Helio edging out Dixon at Chicagoland - We could probably flood the category with Helio moments this year. From running out of fuel in Kentucky, to climbing the fence guardrail and jumping around with all 22 people in attendance at Infineon, to telling Jack Arute “I don’t have anything smart to say” after Belle Isle – and that’s just the month of August! However, nowhere was Helio more entertaining without a yellow zoot suit than at Chicagoland, where despite knowing he was likely going to lose the championship he raced Scott Dixon to a razor-thin victory by like 1 billionth of a second. The moment couldn’t have happened without Dixon, who without a care risked wrecking and losing the championship by going wheel-to-wheel with Castroneves, proving that Iceman is indeed one of the first scientifically engineered robots sent from the future to defeat humanity.

And the winner is...

Milka and her towel want none of your "show" - Have you seen delightfully hideous waste of two-plus hours that is “Speed Racer”? Of course not, but despite that wise decision on your part you’re still likely aware that Milka Duno has a small part in the flick. In the interest of research your humble host sat through it (summation: think “Tron” meets “Driven”) and I can tell you two things about Milka’s role: she’s on the screen for like a total of 10 seconds, and she didn’t let that slight prevent her from trying to kill off the title character.

Call it art imitating life, because Milka hails from none other than Caracas, Venezuela – a.k.a. the Murder Capital of the World. Sure, Milka and fellow Venezuelan EJ Viso seems like charming people, but don’t be fooled; these folks would just as soon put you into a wall then put up with your sassafras. Indeed, the entire episode shows that Danica Patrick either possesses a naivete about these folks or is one of the most fearless people on the planet.

"It's not my fault that you're slow..."

Check the video. There was Danica – no helmet, no balaclava, probably no underwear either – facing the gaping maw of death and destruction that is Milka Duno. Challenging Duno, pushing her buttons, using language normally reserved for blogs. Milka, consumed with fury, throws her towel once, then twice, and you and I know there wasn’t going to be a third time. The fiery Duno was was thisclose to taking that towel and jamming it so far down Danica’s throat it would pass through her poor, beloved Husbandthal. Mark my words – the next time Danica tries to confront Milka it’s going to end with blood-curdling screams, a plateful of fava beans, and locks of black hair in an ebay auction.