SPIKE ROGAN'S Warped World of Sports

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Barnhardt's Blunders

Boy where to even start this week! Well first we had the week priors’ race in Toronto. All week Tomas Scheckter kept proclaiming that Alex Tagliani needed to stop “Crying like a baby” over their crash in Toronto. It seemed a bit like the Billy Batts line from ‘Goodfellas’ “…Go get your fucking shine box!

Luckily both Tagz and Scheckter had crappy races at Edmonton that kept them away from each other. Otherwise Tomas would have been in the trunk of Henry Hill’s car or Tagz would have been beaten silly like 2006 versus Paul Tracy. (We will get back to him later in this ramble.)

So Edmonton started off looking like another kind of dull run away for the “IndyCar Shark” himself, Mr. Will Power. (Or Mr. Power, William as Helio called him on the Versus Pre-Race show.) Fastest in practice, takes the pole, yada, yada, yada for 2010 Road & Street races to this point.

Well, who knew the last few laps would just blow away any other racing story? You had the F1 race earlier in the day, if you could see it in your local market. Followed by a big bomb for NASCAR at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They say anywhere from 135,000 to 150,000 were in attendance. The NASCAR run media says the latter, while people from the local media there like Curt Cavin and “Sockless” Robin Miller say more the lower.

IMS seats 250,000 fans so it is safe to say NASCAR has lost its power in the Indianapolis market. The front stretch looked like an ARCA race at Michigan. But to be fair even if NASCAR had 135,000 that would still be one of their biggest crowds for 2010. That is more than Pocono Raceway holds, and I know for a fact they are not near a sell-out. NASCAR can’t sell-out tracks like they did in the late 1990’s & Pocono is no exception. The problem is more than just a weak economy since their TV ratings continue to decline.

Also you had a god awful pit strategy by the 42 crew to take four tires late in the race when two were enough. While Montoya lost the race being too far back on the re-start and then tangling with the Milkas of NASCAR, Chip Ganassi didn’t win with him but lucked into his team mate’s right call with a McMurray win. Ganassi upping the Dark Sith Lord, Roger Penske becoming the 1st owner to sweep the Daytona 500, Indy 500, and Brickyard 400 in the same season. (Listed in order of run not importance! Also Both NASCAR races were won for the 1st time by Ganassi. Not too shabby!)

Now to the Great White North, where “hosers” were up in arms over a really shitty end to the race. Brian Barnhardt a man who gives mental disabilities a bad name, down right BLOWS a call to decide a win. I won’t go into long detail since EVRYONE saw the post race coverage. ESPN was all over it like flies on shit. (Mainly to deflect attention from the empty house they broadcast from earlier that day. Even the Network affiliates in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA Media market showed it and all they cover is NASCAR.)

While it is “Great” the IndyCar series is getting press, what is not great is that NASCAR’s dud gets swept under the rug, while the fact the IndyCar race had a better turnout for the amount of seats they had. (Plus the locals had either the race or watch as the local CFL team loses four in a row on TV. But what is going on in Indy other than the 400? It’s not like it’s NY or LA.)

It would have been a better selling point to say, “Hey NASCAR is on the decline, put IndyCar on TV.” Or “Let us race at your Super Speedway.”

Instead it is a race being fixed like a WWF match between King Kong Bundy & Brett Hart. Only in this case the man throwing the race is King Dumb Barnhardt!

Barnhardt better be glad he has only pissed off the IndyCar fans. If this were a NASCAR event he would have been castrated and scalped by angry fans armed only with empty torn cans of Natural Lite. And boy do NASCAR fans know how to use Beer as a weapon post race. Just see Talladega from a few years back!

Its due time Cowboy Randy B, rides back into town and lassos up another big bull! He did the right thing about Milka Duno, and now he needs to fix this Barnhardt debacle once and for all. The bigger question is with whom?

I’ve heard Al Unser Jr.’s name tossed around. I like that, certainly the closest win in Indy 500 history (still my most memorable as a 6th grader.) helps. When I was on The Inside Line I tossed the name Wally Dallenbach Jr. in the chat room around. Sure he is NASCAR announcer on TNT, but they do so few races, he might need more work in 2011 why not? He raced all kinds of cars, and is one of the few guys covering NASCAR who often doesn’t care who he offends. Wally has never been good at being a yes man for NASCAR. How he is still there is a miracle in itself.

Heck even Pancho Carter would be a good pick, he has spotted for Milka Duno this year, and if anyone knows what blocking looks like, it’s one of her spotters!

The issue remains, Scott Dixon was handed a victory he didn’t deserve because King Dumb Barnhardt has his head so far where the sun doesn’t shine.

As for Will Power’s claim of “Yes” Helio blocked me. Am I the ONLY person who since St. Pete has read between the lines Helio & Will are fighting for Alpha Dog rights among Penske drivers? (With Briscoe the freighted poodle hiding from run ins with the likes of cones, tire barriers and Graham Rahal on twitter).

In St. Pete during the rain delay, how many times did Helio “joke” he wanted to “break Will Power’s legs if he keeps winning.”?

When I was at Watkins Glen, pole day had a semi-tense moment not reported in the media center. Helio went off course late in qualifying and was late to the Pole award press conference. When he arrived (after Pole Sitter Will Power had been speaking.) Helio sat down next Power and stomped his feet. (Not smiling. Media center is DEAD silent.) Power jumps in “He’s such a kidder” to cause an eruption of laughs. Then Helio laughs along too.

Well is it not kinda odd, that Sunday after Helio explodes, he “jokes” around with the head of Security he just grabbed, and then tells the TV crew “Talk to my attorneys!”

Folks, there is a dog fight in Team Penske, Helio being in the 3 car has been Alpha Dog for a LONG time, now Power is looking to gobble him up and take over. This is only the start; wait till we get to the end of the season. Power is great on Road & Street courses, but Helio is the dog who is still on top of Penske’s oval efforts. If Will Power wants an oval, I bet he will have to beat Helio for it.

As for Paul Tracy, he as predicted couldn’t wait to gloat on Twitter about Helios bad luck. WELL, I called him out on Twitter and told him to get over his Indy 500 loss and grow up. (Hey, I’m a Gonzo Journalist, we put ourselves in the story! i.e.; Fear & Loathing: In Las Vegas. A book that starts out about covering a Motorsports event by the way.)

Well Mr. Tracy replied back! Normally he NEVER replies to non-famous followers. But he did, and his rebuttal was “At least I didn’t assault an official”. Well, that is very true PT, but we have seen what you do to smaller drivers who won’t back off.

I should be careful what I say about PT. (And as much as I rip him, I do really like him. He is like Sir Charles Barkley; he will always give us a show & sound byte.) Having seen his family lingering his pits at the Glen, I might find myself getting stomped like Billy Batts, by middle aged men in plaid, ready to be extras for the Red, Green Show.

Hopefully they will spare me the clubs made of all Duct Tape!

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

IZOD IndyCar fans, Get fooled again!!!

Ah “what to say, what to say…” “Like a word misplaced nothing said what a waste…”

Those are lines from the Pearl Jam song ‘Dissident’, and somehow it came to me at the end of this god awful announcement from the IZOD IndyCar series today.

Open wheel fanatics and even casual race fans were getting all up into a froth in anticipation for this announcement. Myself and @Kart58 on Twitter were talking about how it felt like Christmas eve waiting to open our presents.

Clearly the iconic committee put a massive amount of coal in many fan’s stockings. Espically if you’re a fan of Swift Engineering. I like how Rachael Nichols (better known as @Pinkgineer on twitter) was VERY classy on the matter. She posted shortly after the announcement the following: “Thanks to everyone for the support these past months. I would have still put in just as much effort if I knew the outcome. Until next time!”

I would be Uber pissed if I flew from California to Indiana only to be so publicly let down. But I lack class! My tweet as soon as I heard the IZOD IndyCar series will use the lines from the Who’s classic ‘Won’t get fooled again’ by staying with Dallara were as follows: “By inviting the people from #Swift to be at this, they basically just used brass knuckles to punch them in the crouch. #IZODIndyCar”

Am I wrong? Am I? Why invite people your about to say “Thanks but FUCK YOU! We have no need to change companies!” Swift got the fans more pumped up with their innovations and PR effort than Dallara, Lola, Delta Wing, and the BAT people combined!!! Rachael Nichols has become a fan favorite in the IndyCar series, and she has NEVER been a driver or strategist there!

The biggest thing that makes me laugh is the spin-meisters claims that Dallara will make car cheaper. REALLY!?!? Robin Miller said it during the winter, and I will say it now, if they think they can make a car cheaper, well then what the fuck have they been doing for what eight years now?!?

Now I know some are easily grossed out so skip this next paragraph if that is you!

Yesterday I had a “Woody Allen” Sandwich from the Carnegie Deli; it’s about three pounds of Pastrami, and corned beef on rye. I missed the first few minutes of today’s press conference in the bathroom from it. Little did I know when I flushed, that was not the biggest pile of shit I would encounter this afternoon! Man did this announcement STINK!

Ok sorry folks, but that is the damn truth!

If you heard a farting sound around 12:45 PM ET today, it was not the dog, but the sound of IZOD Indy Car fans bubble getting burst!

Granted I like the idea of different aero/body kits. They seem to think they can limit teams to just two types per season. And this will put an end to spec looking cars. So clearly the Delta win even had a victory today, albeit MINOR!

I hope if nothing else the “Mushroom buster” may find its way into the aero kits. That was a major selling point many fans loved about Swift’s plan.

I’m still not sure what to think about the engine for 2012, is it just me or did all the “Rah-rah, let’s go Dallara, win, win, win, wheeeeee!” basically dominate not only the press conference in Speedway, but also on-line? Did we even still learn anything about new engines? Or did my making a Dallara this afternoon keep me away from the PC as they hazed over it?

I did hear the “Push to Pass” button may add what feels like 100 HP. On paper that sounds good, but, can we park Milka for that? Can you imagine her timing on that? Or what if you PTP at the end of a straight into a turn, could it be like having a stuck throttle?

Hey I like the PTP idea. But wonder if maybe 30-40 HP is a big enough boost for 15 seconds.

Back to Dallara in closing, they claim a discount to the first team who buys the new car. I would hope Sarah Fisher Racing (SFR) would be the first in line. Even if it means they have to camp outside Dallara’s building for a week like teeny boppers for a “Twilight” film.

She could be the next Ganassi or Penske (so-so driver turned power house owner), and this could be the thing to move her up. Otherwise, today’s announcement basically went like the who song. Meet the new car, same as the old one. And Now, IndyCar fans won’t get fooled again. (No one will care when they have another “BIG ANNOUNCEMET” they already shot their wad of disappointment.)

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I hate you, you hate me, we’re a fast un-happy family

While 2010 marks the "return" of Andretti Autosport (Formerly Andretti-Green Racing) in the Izod IndyCar series, it is anything but happy times. It is no secret that Danica Patrick and teammate Tony Kanaan are not the best of friends, or even in the same fantasy football league.

But what has been hidden is the fact crew members are feuding at Andretti Autosport as well. While at the Glen I overheard a less than lovable conversation between members of Andretti Autosport.

I shall withhold names to protect those involved. But I caught a conversation between a member of the 7 team with a member of the 26 team in the 26 pit.

7 team member: (pointing towards the 11 pit) "Did they ask you for any set up information?"

26 team member: "No."

7 team member: "yeah well I'm not volunteering any information to them unless they ask, and even then I won't be too forthcoming!"

26 team member: "yeah I don't blame you."

The member of Danica's team then walked into the Kanaan pits to speak with a member of the 11 team.

Well this sparked my interest and I worked over a unnamed source with strong connections to many insiders at Andretti Autosport on several teams. It seems that to our surprise the 7 team is still taking Danica's side, even after she tossed them under the bus at Indy, ran them over, backed up, ran them over again, and then spit on them for good measure with her comments after qualifying.(The one that got her booed.)

But the 7 team is also a bit segregated from the other three full time teams. Since the teams pit by points at the Glen; Kanaan,Hunter-Reay, and Marco Andretti were all pitted in a row. Further down the road by themselves was the Go Daddy team. So they feel like outsiders with a growing clique between Hunter-Reay & Kanaan who are very tight.

My source tells me that when Michael Andretti took over full control of the operation a mood change came with it. Everyone's ass is on the line week in and week out. The pressure is greater than ever for these teams to win, every little mistake is used against them later.

Michael Andretti has set the tone that if you don't win, be ready to take a verbal beating. If you don't like it there is the door, and don't let it hit you. Working at Andretti Autosport is more like being an intern for MTV, they will give you shit with no concern knowing plenty of people will take that job if they leave.

With everyones ass on the line, it's clear that a panic mode has set in. The 11 and 37 having won races become a bigger threat to the 7 crowd. Clearly they have a driver who lacks focus on the IZOD IndyCar series. Clearly many will pay the price for a poor showing by Miss Danica.

It's a shock they still protect her when she has insulted them, and is not doing her part to put the 7 in position for even a podium, let alone a win. But since Danica unlike the crew members brings big sponsorship dollars, she's Milka like. She won't go away as long as the big bucks roll into the Andretti Autosports bank account.

And it wasn't just that moment that showed the pressure is getting to crew members. When Ryan Hunter-Reay first pitted during Sunday's race, I was there for his stall leaving the pits. Once he was re-fired and left front tire changer Jeff Simon had a MASSIVE temper tantrum. (as did other members, but no where near the level of Simon.)

Simon kicked the shit out of several tires, banged on the pit box with his hand violently, and even yelled "Mother Fucker!!!God Damn him!!!!" right in front of Ryan's wife Beccy Gordon. (Who was confused at first as was I what happened. I thought it was a Ethanol fire at first since he stopped much like TK did for his fire last season.)

The 37 won the 1st race of the year for Andretti yet they seem to be as massively stressed out as the 7. I'm sure the fact it was not until July 4th that IZOD officially backed sponsoring them for all of 2010 did not help. Imagine every week you don't know if you will still have a job?

Now I understand it's good to have a crew who hates losing, thats what champions do.But clearly the Andretti Autosport family needs to attend family therpy together. This is a family that is ready for the Springer Show if they don't calm down a bit.

My source seems to also tell me, most of these members would jump, if there was someplace to jump to. With no openings at Penske & Ganassi there is really no better place to go. Let alone the weak economy right now makes Andretti one of the better paying places.

Don't be shocked if the big two have openings, they will most likely be filled by defectors from Andretti. Also be ready, this could boil over to a massive incident on national TV if things don't change. The 7 & 11 teams don't seem to be in any hurry to make peace.

Clearly there is just a growing amount of bad blood and finger pointing that the Andretti PR machine has done a fine job keeping behind closed doors. But this weekend they couldn't keep it too silent when someone forgot they were 18 inches from a guy with a media pass on his neck.

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Fear & Loathing: at Watkins Glen on the 4th

With all the talk about Watkins Glen possibly not coming back to the IZOD IndyCar series schedule in 2011, I bugged my network to let me go. One it was a great excuse to go visit one of the most scenic road courses on Earth.

And considering I was at the last IndyCar series race just a year early at Richmond (owned by the same company) how could I pass this 4th of July event up?

After a few weeks of delay the track finally cleared me to go. My room that was reserved was an hour west of the Glen. In a town named Hornell, NY. The room was cheap and most on-line reviews were neutral of the place.

I left for the Finger Lakes region shortly before 10 AM ET on Friday July 2nd. I was expecting some major delays in holiday traffic. Lord knows every holiday from the 4th, to Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Festivus, Flag Day, and even national Spam carving day, the brilliant minds in TV news inform us that “AAA predicts higher than average people traveling on the highways”.

Well as usual the twits who force smile with chemically enhanced whiter than white smiles had it all wrong. Hell these bastards believed a boy was in that damn tinfoil balloon, is it a shock there highway was no more used than any other weekday?

I flew up Interstate 380, then outside the hell known as Scranton, PA I got on 81 north (a place where even it’s fictional residents can’t wait to jet, ask Steve Carell who is fleeing the fictional version of the city, like Japanese from Godzilla.) which I followed to the Binghamton area where I would follow 86 West until I got to the 414 North exit.

I found myself at the media registration just at 1PM. It took me just 3 hours to get to the track. Slightly longer than a trip to Philadelphia. I went in and got my pass, wrist bands for food, (it’s like a wrist band at an amusement park only I don’t get any free rides, for that matter the amount of food we could eat was small. That’s troublesome since us sports reporters love to make massive pigs out of ourselves on free media food. Why do you think so many sports writers and radio hosts are fat? It’s waiting for the team or league to drop the free grub in front of them. It’s a great way to suck up to us fat bastards; you’d be amazed what a good chicken parm could do to avoid pointing out the poor performance of an organization or a ticket sales department.)

I was massively annoyed they served lunch Friday at 11AM, like all the media members were 80 year olds who only have “Early Bird Special” dinners at 3PM.

But nonetheless, I was there to see the IZOD IndyCar series, not eating some Oscar Meyer, cold cut platter sandwich. So I went and traveled into the heart of the beast, the IZOD IndyCar series Pit & Paddock area.

I had not been to the Glen since October 1999, when I was helping SCCA driver Marc Cefalo (yes cousin of Miami Dolphins radio play by play announcer Jimmy Cefalo). Marc would accidently hit me with his car on pit road during first practice. I spent the rest of the weekend hoping around. I thought of this every time I was around the pits of AJ Foyt racing since it was that general area on pit road it happened.

Luckily I avoided making contact with vehicles at the Glen. But it’s not an easy feat at an IZOD IndyCar series event. I think these crew members who drive the pit carts all were New York City cab drivers in a past life. These sons of bitches don’t stop for many people. Many drive up and down constantly honking those little toy car sounding horns. But as a former pit crew member in the ARCA series I get it. I would have to try and set up the pits race day with all kinds of red neck jackasses in my way.

Many would pester me in “How do I get ones of dems dere ‘HOT PIT PASSES’ like youze got?” Often my less than pleasant answer would be “Get a job with a race team like me, now move!” So I can understand they have a job to do. No complaints, but Jesus the human head can only turn around so far at times guys; I lack mirrors to see you coming. Also turn signals would help us know where you’re going.

But no one is crazier driving around there than drivers on their scooters. The funny thing is all the IndyCar drivers on scooters are in great shape. Yet those kinds of things are not legal in a stock car garage area. And look at Tony Stewart that guy looks like he ate the Tony who raced in the IRL. He has to walk, like John Daley in golf!

And no IndyCar driver is dangerous with their scooter than… take a guess. Well not Milka Duno, the Coyne team drives her around on their pit cart. (I guess they don’t think she can handle a scooter, but they still let her out in an IndyCar.) No, it’s Mario Moraes. That kid flew through tight spot fans inches from him on both sides squeezed between the rails to keep them from walking too close to the transporters doors, and the cars on line for tech. I think Moraes cleared my left foot by about an eight of an inch moving at a swift pace.

As he got by I heard a voice shout “The kid doesn’t get it!!! That’s why he ends up on top of other cars on the first lap!” I looked around but could not tell where the deep voice came from. I pressed on, finding a man with a blonde mullet, fu-man Chu stash like the father on American Choppers, and a “I’m a Milka Duno Fan” tee-shirt. That is right; he had a shirt announcing he is a fan of Milka Duno. It is up state New York, and many locals are Buffalo Bills fans. I guess if you like to never win, why stop at the NFL?

I almost wonder if Hugo Chavez ran an ad on Craigslist for “…white male Americans to play the part of a Duno fan.” If so, I could use a pay check President Chavez, hell I will race for CITGO and run better even though my fat ass can’t fit in the car. Clearly she needed this man, since she has no “Fans” in the paddock who wear Nomex suites & carbon fiber helmets.

Friday practice was rather uneventful. Maybe the highlight was meeting Stephanie Wallcraft of www.planet-irl.com other wise, the day was nothing more than a chance to get use to the layout, and just enjoy the coolest day of the weekend.

Once practice ended I quickly left the track for Hornell. An hour later I checked into my hotel. I should have known right away it was going to be a total shit hole, when I walked into the office to find an extremely thin, pretty, 20 something woman at the desk who kept rubbing her nose as if she sucked up an eight ball seconds before I walked in.

The place was a 60’s motor lodge layout, and it looked like the last renovation came shortly after Reagan beat Jimmy Carter. They claimed to have free Wi-Fi but it only worked if you were within about 8 feet of the router in their office. My shower was not cleaned from the previous guest and everyday when I would enter the room I was greeted with the smell of sweaty armpits, and not mine!

I’m sure one day I will find a highly disturbing porno on-line shot in this room involving, well gross things. It’s just that kind of a dump. I would not advise any motel in Hornell, NY to be safe. Unless you want to meet people who were on an episode of ‘COPS’.

So I made sure Saturday I was at The Glen as early as I could. I was not getting cheated out of lunch, crap, last thing I need to do as a real sports media member is losing weight. It’s all about pigging out, especially the same weekend as the infamous Coney Island hot dog contest. Don’t you know every guy waiting for lunch that day was 300lbs and up.

As for on-track activities, EJ Viso had a crazy wreck. Yet another KV Racing car bites the dust. I asked team co-owner Jimmy Vasser about the car. It was a loss for the weekend, but Jimmy was sure they could still rebuild it for another road course event. This has to just keep that KV Racing budget racing up like the mountain climber on Price is right. Let’s hope KV doesn’t fall off the cliff soon like the game show bit.

With E.J.’s car not ready to qualify it would give Milka Duno her best qualifying effort, 24th out of 25. And slower than all but two Indy Lights cars. She would also ruin Ryan Hunter-Reay’s effort for a good qualifying run. I heard his radio as he caught her “MILKA!!! MILKA!!! GET BY HER!!! DON’T GET STUCK BEHIND HER NOW!!!” Well he did. Much was made about his “confrontation” with her.

Yes Ryan was pissed, but he was rather calm, and to be honest a bit of a push over with her. He told her she needs to use her mirrors on road courses because she didn’t even see him. Milka tried to defend herself, but was no where nearly as animated with Ryan as she was with Danica.

It would go on to be the topic of the weekend.

The bigger thing of interest was Adam Carroll’s debut with Andretti Autosport. He would advance to the second round in qualifying at a track he never ran until the day before in a series he never drove in until that weekend. It was nice to see a Northern Ireland driver in an open wheel car. It brought me back to the days of Eddie Irvine.

Also while Viso had a shitty day Saturday with that massive AM practice wipe out. Takuma Sato had a great day. Qualifying 5th for the race. When the session was all over, you would have thought Takuma just won the Indy 500. His pit swarmed with Japanese media, both print and Nippon TV. And an ESPN “reporter” whom I question if she knew his name before that moment. And a sockless middle aged man named Robin Miller. When it ended tons of people were coming over in KV uniforms and corporate types shaking his hand. The jubilation for the 5 team was high. Perhaps this will be the shot in the arm the team needs for the rest of 2010. (God knows their race finish was not)

The pole sitter was Will Power; this guy is quickly becoming the new franchise of the IZOD IndyCar Series for Penske Racing. While they keep “joking” publicly, I suspect behind the scenes Helio is really becoming un-happy playing backup to his old backup. It’s like Joe Montana becoming Steve Young’s back up QB.

And Penske is not the lone dysfunctional family in the paddock. The “new” family of Andretti Autosport is really on the verge of group therapy. See my separate article “I hate you, you hate me, we’re a fast un-happy family” for this scoop.

Sunday would be more interesting for the pre-race press conference than the main event later in the day. Ryan Hunter-Reay was announced would drive the “IZOD” car for the rest of 2010. With two events Ethanol USA would be the main sponsor. But what made this interesting was the one-liner made by Andretti PR man Al Larsen. Who would introduce Hunter-Reay as “…the President & treasurer of the Milka Duno fan club.” http://instantrimshot.com/

The members of the media had a mighty hardy chuckle over this. Ryan Hunter-Reay seemed to giggle nervously a little. Normally PR people avoid any semi-controversial comments like I avoid STDs. Clearly Larsen had no fear of backlash from this. Kind of ballsy considering Hugo Chavez is bank rolling her in the series more or less. Hey Al Larsen, be careful, who knows, Chavez may have Fidel’s old October missiles.

I could explain the charity that is getting set up, but check out the “mainstream” IndyCar press for this.

The Lights race was dull, and the main event after was worst. Luckily the league’s PR staff supplied me with a “Race Mode” sticker minutes after I tweeted I was going to be stuck in the Media center since the Glen never gave me one. I guess important people might see my tweets. This day Gonzo-tweeting won. Even after all my unprofessional tweets about the goings on behind the scenes, I was cleared to be up close and personal.

Maybe it was my Saturday coverage of Robin Miller. This guy is a piece of work. If you ever read ‘Fear & Loathing: In Las Vegas” Imagine Raul Duke, minus the salt shaker of narcotics, the angry Samoan lawyer, and a red convertible. Miller twitches like Jell-o in an earthquake as he writes. Not to make light of it, but something really is not right with that man. He’s nice, other than snubbing me on gum, but he’s a real odd-ball. (I like that!)

I struggled to watch the video feed of the World Challenge race with Miller's khaki ball cap shaking away under the TV. The guy was dropping F’ bombs like a kid with IBS drops deuces. He even called a driver in the series a “Fucking bitch” to the delight of media members in the room. I won’t name names.

I think Miller also could have been the basis for “The Dude” in the Big Lebowski. I just fear who would be his Walt. I know he loves A.J. a bit. But I digress. The man is very, honest with his thoughts. Plus I envy any man who has the fashion sense of Don Johnson and leaves the socks at home.

When the subject of the NASCAR race from the night before at Daytona came up. And a media member asked him how much money of equipment was destroyed did he think. Miller did like my point that so many teams were also being sponsored by US Military branches, that a shit load of US Taxpayer dollars were pissed away at Daytona. I never saw him on Speed, that night, not sure if he was on Wind Tunnel. I could see him repeating that there to diss NASCAR.

The race itself is more memorable for the excessive amounts of times my scanner would stop on Milka’s channel to hear over and over “Come on Milka DRIVE HARDER, YOU HAVE TO GO HARD OUT THERE!!!” “NO! NO! NOW YOU’RE GOING SLOWER!!! GO FASSSSSTER MILKA!!!

I think if you need any evidence just how bad it is her scanner on race day is all you need to hear. Clearly the 18 bunch know they are stuck with a lame horse, only this one can’t be taken behind the barn and shot for the glue factory.

Also the other things that went over looked in the days race was the fact that Raphael Matos (or Raphi as that clueless douche on ABC Marty Reid kept calling him.) finished in 4th place. This would tie his best finish for 2010 at Sao Paulo where he also finished P4. 5th place would be Mario Moraes topping his prior best finish of 2010 of P6 at Long beach.

Sure Penske went 1&2, with Dario taking third for Ganassi. But the fact the de Ferran Dragon team ended up 4th shows maybe this team is finally moving in the right direction. As is the case for Mario Moraes. His 5th place finish shows that when a KV car is not totaled they are good cars. If this team could stop having so many crashes, they could get a podium or two this year.

The last matter on the race I would like to address is what happened to the blocking flags? Remember Barber & Indy they were using that flag like toilet paper at a baked bean festival? Where the hell was it with Paul Tracy Sunday?

This guy was putting down blocks that would make Kyle Busch of NASCAR blush. He several times was way too aggressive with Adam Carroll. Luckily Carroll is a smarter driver than a Duno, or Romancini. How he didn’t get wrecked is beyond me. And Note to Paul Tracy, way to be a douche to the 24 team. They already lost one car to a massive crash this year, why must you risk destroying another car for them as you promote the race in Canada.

I think we saw this weekend why no one will give PT a full time ride any longer. He tends to have bouts with “Jackass-ism”. I’m sure the 24 team would have regretted not having Rahal in the car instead had he wiped out being such overly aggressive driver.

I think we did see that Adam Carroll is an extremely talented young man from the Northern six counties. Perhaps we will see more of this young man in 2011.

After the race I pigged out on Buffalo wings and slices of room temperature Dominos Pizza during the post race press conference. More comments about how Milka sucks and was in the way were made.

I’m not sure what else can be said, the racing was bad, attendance weak other than the turn one stands which were general admission. (The front stretch stands that were once Nazareth Speedway looked like seating for the invisible race fans) I don’t see this race coming back, it felt just like Richmond last season, but with right handers, and less fans.

Clearly after speaking to Randy Bernard pre-race the series will not run 4th of July weekend next season. He seems to think all holiday weekends are bad because corporate sponsors don’t want to entertain on holidays they would rather be with their families. Only I have two problems with that, one how many of these companies make their employees work holidays? And two, did Randy miss what weekend the Indy 500 is on?

The bigger problem is ISC is cutting the series loose and therefore under promoting events, leaving the series looking weak. Shit they had the place packed in Richmond but still used the lack of passing as the excuse to can the series. It seems IndyCar racing went from a split between teams and series, to a split between race track corporations ISC which is run by the France family of ASSCAR, wants to be almost exclusive to the Git-er-done crowd. And Bruton Smith is the real life George Costanza always doing the opposite.

Ok don’t race the 4th Randy, but don’t count out Labor Day weekend either. Since most CEOs don’t really “labor” they pay little people to do that.

On my way out of the track to my car, I passed Robin Miller going the opposite way driving a golf cart. I waved to say good-bye to him. He replied with a wave as he yelled "LATER DUDE!!!" I would drive off into the sunset, toward Pennsylvania, passing a barrage of fireworks exploding in the air along the highways. The dude abides, and shall return to an IZOD IndyCar event.

No Animals, media members, or race car drivers were harmed in the making of this story.

Spike Rogan has a letter in the August 2010 issue of Super Street magazine. On sale at newsstands now!!! And can be followed on twitter http://www.twitter.com/spikerogan

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