mmack's nnotes: Iowa 2009

Posted by Iannucci | 6/22/2009 | 2 comments »
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(Ladies and gentleman, once again My Name Is IRL proudly welcomes guest commentary from a man who reasonably suggests the race in Iowa be sponsored by MAACO. Back home and enjoying the amenities of the comfy couch, it's the one, the only, the mmack.)

After missing the Texas race due to a birthday party (Happy 40th George, old pal) and a graduation party, I am back on the Comfy Couch for the Iowa Corn Growers 250.

Ah I-o-way! Home of Pressdog, corn, and . . . . . . um . . . . . The University of Iowa! Go Jayhawk, no, that’s Kansas. Go Buckeye, no, that’s Ohio, Go Gopher, no, that’s Minnesota, oh yeah, GO HAWKEYES! I join as the track announcer strains his voice trying to get the crowd wound up, and the pres of the Iowa Corn Growers combines a pitch for ethanol with a call to start engines. Due to rain, the starting field is set by points, so it is Penske – Penske, Target – Target, and that sexy lady what got her commercial banned from golf coverage in the top five. We see a replay of the Marco “I AM AN ANDRETTI. AND YOU WILL BOW DOWN BEFORE ME, PEASANT!!!!” Andretti \ Danica Patrick dustup at Texas for the last race, and a follow up on the karma that has affected them both: Danica goes pit crew bowling and picks up a 7 – 10 split with a tire changer, and Marco spins into the wall in practice. Jack Arute shows us the pits, except all I see is a big cloud of fog on the camera lens. Hey ABC, you might want to fix that before the race starts.

The stands are full and as I search for Pressdog, the race starts. It’s a clean start, but before one lap is complete, EJ Viso is in the wall, and he takes Doorknob, I mean Doornbos with him. The bullring claims its first victims. A replay shows Doorknob and Viso busting a synchronized spinning move, with Moraes getting all squirrelly before they crash. I see O Ryan the Hunter ducking into the pits and then undoing the belts and climbing out. The nose and right front are off of the car. ABC catches Doornbos who complains of oversteer and being hit by RHR. Danica is in for a change of tires and a splash and go.

At this point Sheckter as in Wrecked-her is up six spots and we see a replay of his BANZAI!!!!! charge up through the field. We restart and HOLY GUACAMOLE! There’s actual PASSING! Dario passes Briscoe as Dixon closes on The Dancing King and Three Time Indianapolis 500 Winner Helio Who Needs a Last Name You KNOW Who I Am. Dixon dices with Helio and then slips past into the lead. On board with Dario as he fights a BIG wiggle Holy S%$^! Moment and then YELLOW YELLOW YELLOW!!!!!!! Helio and Dixon hit, with Helio’s right front wing going skyward and Dixon’s rear tire going flat. As Dixon flies in to replace his flat, an onboard shot with Dario shows him dodging a ton of shrapnel from Helio’s car. Tthe Penske team does some race track rhinoplasty for Helio while Ryan Briscoe leads and Tomas Sheckter takes 2nd and Marco “Tomas, I AM AN ANDRETTI, YOU’D BETTER MOVE OVER YOU LITTLE WORM!!!!!!” Andretti is in 3rd.

BDC (Banned Danica Commercial) shown on ABC. As an aside, if Lexus (Slogan: The luxury car for people who don’t want TOO MUCH excitement) is scared of Danica in a 1971 – 73 “Big” ‘Stang, Ford should do an add like this: Open with the fair Ms. Patrick-Hospenthal in her “GoDaddy” ’73 drop top, and a voice over of “If Toyota is afraid of this”, then fade to a bright red 2010 drop top GT powersliding out of a turn, tires smoking rubber. Ms. Patrick-Hospethal should be at the wheel, and the voiceover should continue “Then how will they handle THIS?” Not sayin’, just sayin.

Back to the racing action AFTER ABC (Another Big Commercial) misses the restart. The Cajun Chef races Carpenter, while Rahal makes a big save. Rahal has to save his car as Mike Conway dive-bombs Danica. Someone needs to send Mike a copy of The Danica Directive, so next time he won’t be so insolent. At this point the field begins to string out.

The Cajun Chef is cooked. Today’s dish: Cracked Dallara, after Justin goes tail first into the wall. At this point the leaders duck into the pit with Ryan leading Marco and Dan Wheldon on to the track. This means DANICA!!!!!! leads the race. Take THAT, Lexus!

Interview with Justin. Seems he was trying to run a wait, I’m not that crass to make that joke. The front roll bar was too stiff and he lost it.

Restart has DANICA!!!! and Mike Conway (?!?!?!?!?!?!?) in 1st and 2nd, Dario 3rd. Dario almost nails Conway, then dive-bombs him to take second. Briscoe and Wheldon dice for position, as Sheckter fights Mutoh. Sheck takers Mutoh and heads for Briscoe, racing him on the outside. Further up Kanaan stalks Conway as Wheldon fights his old teammate Dixon. He passes Dixon as Tomas starts flying up to the front.

Of course, as it gets going good: YELLOW YELLOW YELLOW!!!!!!!!! Matos, the crashmaker! Rafa spins it and Moraes hits the wall trying to miss him. Since Mr. Matos is carrying the colors of the USMC on his car, in the spirit of R. Lee Emery from Full Metal Jacket, I ask “What is your major malfunction?!?!?” As Ms. Patrick is off sequence, due to this yellow, I imagine she will pit. She does, and TK leads the race.

I see a MAACO commercial and I think a body shop is the perfect sponsor for this race. We return and TK, Wheldon and Sheckter are in the top three, HOLY COW!!!! No Penske or Target Chip Ganassi cars in the top three. At the restart Sheckter takes Wheldon and Mutoh fights with Ryan Briscoe. Dario slips to the inside of Marco as Danica leads Dixon. Lazier spars with Rahal as Wheldon closes in on Sheckter, and one lap later Dan passes him.

Odd that the commercial I see mentions everything except The Silent Pagoda. I wonder why that is?

After a long stretch in the lead, TK pits and Wheldon takes the lead. Briscoe takes second from Sheckter and them d@%nit! Tony is in the wall less than a lap after he pitted. Hits the outer wall and spins into the inner wall. Under yellow Briscoe leads Dario and Dan out of the pits.

TK gets interviewed after a trip to the medical center. He’s almost as unlucky as Viso this year. He does take responsibility for the crash.

Hey! An IZOD ad! Don’t see many of those.

Well, we WERE going to restart, except that 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place were going to pass Briscoe before the green.

Take 2, and we have a clean start. Mutoh gets around Choppers, er, Dan Wheldon as Dario slips past Briscoe. DANICA! and HELIO! battle for position. Call People magazine and, as the two biggest names in the IRL racing each other must be bigger than John and Kate plus Eleventy Billion Million Children. From the in car, Danica must be fighting some bad handling, but she is closing on Helio.

Briscoe is stalking Dario and OH MY GOODNESS!!! He PASSES him! It’s a cool shot on the in-car from Dario’s car. After the pass we see Dixon struggling with Mike Conway (?!?!?!?!?!?). We find out that a flat tire may not be the only damage Scott had when Helio punted him. As the race goes on Mike Conway is obviously auditioning for the role of EJ Viso with another three wide dive-bomb move.

As Briscoe aims to lap Marco, Marco reminds him “I’M AN ANDRETTI, YOU MISERABLE LITTLE AMOEBA!!!” and chops down across his nose. Ryan wisely falls back. At this point we follow Danica and find out she’s struggling with a poor handling car. Mikey tells her to hold on, they’ll pit in twenty laps. She may be lucky to make five more. As the race goes on and Briscoe gets around Marco, he starts lapping other cars and is closing in on Danica. Will we have an “OH NO, Danica is going a LAP DOWN, QUICK, I SEE DEBRIS!!!” yellow flag? As I ponder that, Dan and Ryan pit, and then Sheckter and Conway pit. Danica gets a temporary stay as Dario and Helio pit, which means Danica Leads Again! But Danica doesn’t lead for too long as she has to pit. It’s a good stop, but slower than the Penske team. Dario takes the lead and laps Mike Conway.

Banned Danica Commercial X 2

At this point I must confess I felt let down. For most of the race it was a very exciting affair, with plenty of passing and slick moves. But now it is Dario walking away and slowly lapping everyone up to his old teammate Dan Wheldon. On the white flag we find out Ashley Judd is at the track, so if Dario wins, it’s Floppy Hat Time. Mr. Ashley Judd wins and she sings the praises of her man, basketball, and Earth Worship. Ashley, I know you love him, but did you marry Dario or Mahatma Gandhi? He’s a race car driver, not a peacemaker.

Top five: Dario, Ryan, Mutoh, Wheldon, Dixon. Upon seeing Dario in Victory Lane, Mrs. Mmack wants Target to start selling the stuffed Bullseye the Target Dog in his little fire suit at their stores. We already have an idea for a children’s book Bullseye goes to Indy, so Chip, give us a call and make it so.

All in all, I give the race a B+. There was plenty of passing in the first 200 laps, but the last 50 showcased what everyone has been complaining about this year. At least there were plenty of people in the top five throughout the race who don’t normally show up there.

And with that, I’m done until Richmond next Saturday night. Unless Danica goes to NASCAR to replace Dale Jr. Then I have to comment on that.


  1. Kohl // June 23, 2009 8:08 PM  

    Jeff, maybe you should pull a Top Gear and reveal the Mmack? We know who the Stig is so we need to know it's identity!

  2. mmack // June 24, 2009 6:44 AM  


    Unlike The Stig, my identity is known only to Jeff, Pressdog, and mrs. mmack. No One Else Shall Know.