LiveBlog: Penske has the Power

Posted by Iannucci | 1/13/2009 | 7 comments »
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Your humble host has returned from a few a glorious days in the beautiful city of New Orleans. I'll spare you the details but suffice it to say you need to go and you need to go soon, because the lack of tourism seems to be hitting the city hard. In short order it will be turned over to pirates - dead pirates - which means a drunken Johnny Depp will stroll into town, drink all available rum previously used for "Hurricaines" and then all hell will break loose.

This is a great town, but even Anne Rice has moved away. That's right, many of the vampires have recently left. Obviously they need your help.

Speaking of help, it appears the "What about Helio" question at Team Penske has been answered, and the answer is...Will Power. Power will be revealed today (and by "revealed" I mean as an employee only - he's still wearing clothes) at a press connference that starts right about now.

2:30pm Waiting for things to get started. The video feed is blurry but I think I can make out huge blogger fan John Oreovicz. Why isn't he wearing his pressdog shirt?

2:33 Ryan Briscoe, Team Penske President Tim Cindric, Will Power and Helio Castroneves enter the room, all dressed in black. Let's have a Black Celebration.

2:34 Bob Jenkins is emcee of the ceremonies. It's nice that they have an announcer for the press conference. Since Scott Goodyear is unavailable I'll be providing color commentary for the masses.

2:35 Cindric says "The most important thing for us is to support Helio." And by support he means hiring a contingency driver from Australia.

2:38 "There's three drivers for Penske in 2009 and we'll determine who drives when...at the appropriate time." Since they only have two cars contractually I suggest they have a televised ro-sham-bo contest during the time trials for each race. Or perhaps competitive eating.

2:39 Will Power speaks for 30 seconds. Hi Will, nice to see you, let's talk to Helio.

2:40 Helio says "It's nice to have friends backing me up..." Sadly, the IMS audio engineers aren't backing him up because the audio then goes dead.

2:41 Audio still gone. Visually I can see everyone has their hands on the table except Helio. He's probably saying a rosary right about now.

2:42 Audio is back, and Tim Cindric is talking about upcoming testing and letting Helio remain focused. Focused on what, paying his attorneys?

2:43 Now Helio is talking again about being strong. Says he's "EEE-nnocent of those charges." Looks like Will Power can't get a word in edgewise at his own press conference.

2:45 Tim Cindric says "There's nothing I'd love more than to come back to The 500 and run Helio." Winning there twice will inspire that kind of confidence.

2:46 No further questions for now. "For those of you on the phone, if you have a question please dial star one." Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

2:47 Wait, here's a question. What if Helio is ready to race at St Pete? Cindric says "if Helio's ready to race the #3 car is his." I wish I could see Power's face now but the feed is kinda blurry. Pity.

2:49 Cindric will not comment on the length of Power's contract. "You know we don't talk about durations."

2:50 Question for Will! Huzzah! "When I was given the offer I didn't have anything signed at the time....Whatever happens I'll come out of this a better driver."

2:51 Thanks Will, but now we're going to talk to Briscoe. Ryan is asked to talk about racing against a guy from Australia. I suppose it's a lot like racing against a guy from Brazil, but what do I know.

2:52 Cindric is asked about hiring another foreign driver. Sounds like someone let Ryan Hunter-Reay's dad into the room.

2:53 Helio is "working on staying feet", which means he's exercising. Six to eight hours of cha-cha per day with some extra foxtrot on the weekends.

2:59 That's it. Bob says "Ryan, Tim, Will and Helio are available for one-on-ones." I guess we're all heading to the court to shoot some hoops. This is Indiana, after all.

Alrighty, friends. Looks like the only real news here is that Helio is still the driver of the #3, but as long as he's indisposed Will Power will be the understudy who steps in for the weekly performances. Not a bad insurance policy to have.

7 comments

  1. meeshbeer // January 13, 2009 1:27 PM  

    LOL! you noticed the hands too did ya? too funny.

    Welcome back btw!

  2. pressdog // January 13, 2009 3:04 PM  

    Oreo promised me he'd wear his 'dog shirt. Bastard! The technical difficulties that always accompany these things -- if the feed doesn't just freeze entirely -- are why I just wait for the transcript.

  3. Dale Nixon // January 13, 2009 3:26 PM  

    Team Penske enforcing a policy of truth.

    Kudos to the IRL for having the foresight (forsyte?) to schedule a press conference the day AFTER Tony Dungy stepped down...way to make the obits page, err, local news.

  4. AZZO45 // January 13, 2009 4:32 PM  

    I'll just hope Ryan Hunter Reay has more solid options for 2009 then gambling that Helio gets derailed by the IRS. Team OZ at Penske (without the yellow & dual green livery)???

    Perhaps Roger likes fixing Australian race drivers with crashing issues? Will Power has tossed away a few solid 1st place runs with "driver error" leading to DNFs

  5. Anonymous // January 13, 2009 8:29 PM  

    I just think it is hilarious that a guy named Will Power will be driving for a tobacco company.

  6. AZZO45 // January 14, 2009 10:43 PM  

    Will Power MIGHT be racing for Team Penske, & sponsored by an invisible tobacco company.

  7. Anonymous // January 15, 2009 7:18 PM  

    GO WILL!