Friday at Long Beach

Posted by Iannucci | 4/17/2009 | 4 comments »
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My apologies for not having a full-fledged post representing from sunny Long Beach today. Instead of using my laptop I tried to give updates via Twitter, which although it's not the same you can see on the right sidebar. Here is a recap, not including my 4am-ish departure from home.

First I arrived at beautiful Long Beach moments after Davey Hamilton press conference announcing an Indy 500 entry with Dreyer & Reinbold. D&R now has at least three cars (Conway, Hamilton, and John Andretti) for Indy, plus they're running Darren Manning this weekend again. Since when did they get all of these cars?

Shortly thereafter my phone filled up with "HELIO ACQUITTED" messages. I was told told by folks on site he was flying in tonight to ready for the race (race officials were definitely beaming), I personally checked to makes certain there is sufficient fencing for climbing. Just in case.

Almost immediately after that Paul Tracy gave a press conference with the Geico Gecko. (Opportunity lost by Gecko sound-alike Dan Wheldon.) Tracy referred to himself as a "former winner" of The 500, which was almost as amusing an when the Gecko-dude revealed himself to be Max Papis.

(Side note: I watched this press conference standing about five feet away from Meesh's super best buddy Paul Gentilozzi. Bruce Jenner was also in the room standing against the wall.)

Later came the Team Penske press conference where Will Power looked deflated. He wasn't bitter or mopey, but he definitely looked more like a guy who just found out his shiny new Penske car was being taken back and less like the guy with the fastest time on the track.

There was also a presser with the celeb drivers, where I learned that (a) Carlos Mencia is not that funny, (b) Jamie Little is hyper-competitive in an almost scary way, and (c) Al Unser Jr gives incredibly long answers to questions.

But more so, I learned that I need to get the heck out of the media center and out and about on Saturday. There is just too much cool stuff to see, like say "cars racing". What a concept.


  1. Unknown // April 18, 2009 6:13 AM  

    Hi my name is Roger in England, my pal Martin Plowman is a rookie for Panther Racing lights, any chance you may have seen him practice, just wondered how he might have looked

  2. The American Mutt // April 18, 2009 6:16 AM  

    Mencia got beaten to death by baseball bats and Kanye West in south park though. That was funny.

  3. Anonymous // April 18, 2009 7:00 AM  

    Is that "Cuban" Al Jr. with the Stogie with the Patron girls? Good to see him back at the track and doing well?

  4. Anonymous // April 18, 2009 9:22 PM  

    Roger- Here's Saturday's post-qualie stat and quote regarding Marting Plowman, courtesy of Trackside Online: "Martin Plowman, No. 15 Panther Firestone Indy Lights Qualification Position: 6th
    Speed: 93.724 mph
    Time: 1:15.5921 seconds

    "If you asked me yesterday if I would be happy with a sixth place on the grid for this race I'd be over the moon, but after this qualifying session the only thing I can say is that I'm disappointed. Our car was very good this morning and with the improvements done from last practice, both to the car and to my driving in a couple of corners, I really thought that we had a shot at the pole. Unfortunately on my last lap I got sideways on the track and I had to back out loosing some precious time that cost us a better starting position. We are in a good shape for tomorrow and I believe that if we keep ourselves away from the accidents we will have a good race."