Saturday Afternoon at Long Beach

Posted by Iannucci | 4/17/2010 | | 1 comments »
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I'll try to continue by avoiding any name-dropping today, simply reporting the news that fits. Here's what this fully sunscreened word butcher uncovered today.

Paul Tracy had a presser announcing what everyone anticipated would be a three or four race deal. Turns out it's an Indy-only fourth car with KVRT. The Canadian fans may now gasp in horror and cancel their Geico insurance. Assuming you can get that in The Great White North.

TSO Patrick (do sign up) asked the first question to team co-owner Jimmy Vasser: "How are you fixed for stuff since some of the KV equipment has been torn up this year?" Paul responded first saying "I asked the same question!"

Also, someone asked if Vasser's success today in the Pro-Celeb race (shameless plug: read all about it at The Silent Pagoda) made them think about entering a 5th car at Indy. Co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven quipped "Have you seen Jimmy's waistline? He'll fit in a (pro-celeb) car, that's it." (Note: Kalkhoven actually said "Toyota", but the pro-celeb cars are Honda Civics, and I didn't want to get Kevin in trouble with Honda since they are the sole engine provider of the IndyCar series...and maybe I just did.

(Ed Note: turns out Kalkhoven was right - those were Toyota Scion TCs in the pro-celeb race. My bad. Now we know why Kevin owns a race team and I own a blog.)

One final note relating to the Pro-Celeb race: beforehand they had a singing of Our National Anthem, and I noticed a few foreign drivers rolling by on their scooters as many Americans stood at attention. It doesn't bother me too much me since after all, it's not their country. But ONE foreign driver not only stopped walking back towards the trailer, but also removed his hat - Scott Dixon. Respect.

I walked around a bit to watch qualifications later in the day, but really there's not much to report. The smell of racing fuel and tires is awesome, but you don't need me to tell you that. Mostly though I was in the bowels of the media center writing that post for Silent Pagoda. However, I did attend the subsequent interview with the participants in the Firestone Fast Six - none of whom drive for Chip Ganassi.

Press conferences are always more lively with this many drivers, but with Helio and Tony Kanaan sitting at the same table it's practically begging for distraction. These two were clowning around the whole time with hand gestures and whispering and laughing - honestly kids, go to the back of the class until you can conduct yourselves better! (And by that I mean thank goodness for entertaining guys like these two.)

Seriously, at one point Kanaan had his hands under the table and looked like he might be tweeting. I can't confirm that though.

Asked about Will's run of success this year Kanaan said "We (other drivers) wake up every morning thinking about him...wondering what are we gonna do to beat him." Did anyone suspect Will Power would be getting into other drivers head this season? Other that Shane Rogers, that is.

It's gotten so bad that Helio joked "We just and to take one read tire from him," and I think Justin Wilson said "yeah, the left front". Even Ryan Briscoe, who wears the expression of the 3rd best driver on a 2-car team, said half-jokingly in response to a question of Rick Mears assistance to the Team Penske drivers "He's helping Will too much".

Lastly I found Robin Miller (does that count as name-dropping?) because I had to ask if that Facebook page was actually his. His response was that someone - he doesn't know whom - set it up and he only found out about it when he started getting emails with questions from Facebook users. But he doesn't use it at all otherwise. In fact, of the new media he said "I'm too old for that s--t", adding "nobody picks up the phone and just calls anymore".

Blogger victory of sorts, I suppose.


  1. Dale Nixon // April 18, 2010 6:01 AM  

    Fully sunscreened? I thought you were hanging with Arute on Friday - one would think proximity alone would be sufficient for a thick base tan!