Sunday, January 29, 2023

Weekend Update

 Well, as expected it was a busy weekend, and I ended up spending a few hours yesterday working on some music that I had to finish. To be fair, I also made an edit of the Cujo trailer, replacing all of the Cujo scenes with my dog. But I did watch a couple of hours of the race last night too.

Mainly I just wanted to note that, while I didn't get to screen a bad sports movie (hopefully next year!) this weekend, this blog will be with me in spirit in a little while, since one of the things I need to do for our podcast today is to watch THIS thing:

I mean, it's a bad Christmas movie, but also... a karate movie is kind of a sports movie, right? Look, Christmas + karate + Eric Roberts... I might need to break out the Abita after all.

I'm at least watching the end of the race while getting some actual work stuff done before I suffer through kung fu Christmas or whatever.

Looking forward to hopefully getting back into the flow around here in the future!

2023 Daytona 24 Hours - Hour 20 Check-In

We're up at Speedgeek HQ, and having taken a little time to survey what's happened overnight (and getting in a cup of coffee, so as to hopefully have a better chance of stringing together a few coherent sentences here), it appears that while plenty happened overnight, we're in much the same state as where we left off some 9-10 hours ago. The #31 Whelen Cadillac hit problems overnight and now sits about 18 laps behind the leaders, while the #24 BMW, the #6 Porsche and the #10 Acura have all had issues that have dropped them several laps behind as well. Up front, it's the #60 Meyer Shank Acura and the #01 Ganassi Cadillac on the lead lap, with the #02 Ganassi Cadillac lurking just a lap behind. 

Clustered behind those seven top GTPs, there are still eight LMP2s, with roughly four of those (the #04 Crowdstrike Racing by APR, the #35 TDS Racing, the #88 AF Corse, and the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports) on the lead lap. The #17 AWA Duqueine leads LMP3 by about eight laps, with 3rd in class about another 8-9 laps behind.

Meanwhile, in the GT classes, the top-4 in both GTD-Pro and the top-6 in GTD are bundled on the same lap or two, as pit stops ebb and flow. As I type, the #27 Aston Martin leads GTD and the #3 Corvette leads GTD-Pro, but these positions change and scramble seemingly with almost every lap.

We've got four hours to go. It'll be time for some waffles here shortly, and then settling in for the final run to the flag just 1:30 Eastern. Should be interesting all the way to the checkers!

Saturday, January 28, 2023

2023 Daytona 24 Hours - Hour 10 Check In

We've finally settled in for a good, long chunk of race watching in the Speedgeek household, after what I call a period of "interacting with family members" and "not monopolizing the TV". The early hours, while not without incident or reliability issues, have actually been relatively quiet, at least in my opinion. One two of the GTP cars (the #25 BMW and the #7 Porsche) have hit issues bad enough to drop them multiple laps down, and of the other seven GTP cars, all but one are still on the lead lap. The LMP2s largely lurk about 10 laps behind the GTPs, with only the #8 Tower car (an issue with a leaking drinks bottle shorting out some electronics) and the #11 TDS car (out due to crash damage) the only ones not running effectively line astern behind the leading seven GTPs.

In the GTD classes, it's still basically anybody's game, although the Mercedes and the Aston Martins have looked to be the most consistently quick. Meanwhile I've got a flavorful beverage (a Deschutes Black Butte Imperial Porter) and a comfy chair. Does it get much better than this on a Saturday night in January?

Blogathon 2023: Limerick #1

You know I have to do at least one Blogathon limerick. So as we say goodbye to the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, I present...

The Current State of LSU Basketball

We once had a coach named Will Wade
Agreements for payments were made
But his wife wrote the checks
And he got fired next
So the players he paid barely played

Oh, hey...

It's Blogathon!

It's been a while, huh? I can't describe how busy work has been the last two years (note: being a school athletic director is A LOT of work), but things may finally be slowing down around here. And in my sports world, it hasn't really been a GREAT time to be a fan of the Cubs, Saints, and LSU (I just watched my basketball team wrap up the SEC/Big 12 Challenge with an 8th straight loss here in January), but that all could be turning around soon as well, starting with LSU baseball next month.

In addition to college baseball, Andy and I have been talking some other fun things coming up, such as the Canadian curling championships, the World Baseball Classic, March Madness and more.

This site is sort of a mess, but we'll see if we can make it a little more presentable as soon as I have time, even if mainly for archive purposes. I guess it's really just the tag filter links, which may not be too difficult to fix. At the very least, it'd be fun to be able to do full Blogathons here again in the future.

For this weekend, I'll be around, at least checking in on the race between working on music and some podcast stuff.

I did at least stock up on some essentials:










I haven't been drinking much beer lately, but there are some leftover Christmas Abitas in the fridge that I may break out to celebrate. You know, I think someone should throw a Christmas Ale into their Navage and just really go for it! That sounds like a Blogathon party to me!

A Quick Check in With Some Critical Blogathon Information

 As many of you will remember from Blogathons past, there are some extremely important items that we've neglected to report on yet.......

Our Snack Lineup:

And My Beer Lineup:

As you can tell, everybody was extremely ready for the green flag to drop (which is the instant that the snacks are allowed to be opened):

Happy Race Day, everybody!

We Are Green At Daytona!

 The green flag has dropped and the #8 Tower LMP2 car (known as "the one with Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin in it") has already stopped on track, causing the first full course yellow. But now we're back green again! I'll be ducking away here for a bit, but check back in here and there for our continuing coverage!

2023 Daytona 24 Hours - GTP Class Preview

We made it! Getting in just under the wire with our last class preview, the extremely tastefully named GTP. I came along as a new racing fan in 1991, when the IMSA GTP class had a wide variety of chassis, engines and manufacturers (Nissan, Chevrolet, Toyota, Jaguar, Mazda, and Porsche, plus Buick, Acura and Ferrari in the Camel Lights class), so a return to that nomenclature and hopefully the number of involved manufacturers of three decades ago is a welcome change. With the introduction of "something old" (the GTP name) also comes "something new", a brand new hybrid system that works with every powertrain from every manufacturer. No word on if anything "borrowed" or "blue" is also on the way. In any given year, a new set of cars or engines would bring a heightened chance for the dreaded "new car blues", but bringing in a whole new set of technology increases the chance for reliability catastrophe by several orders of magnitude. This year's GTP class win may very well come down to whichever car can stay out of the garage the best. So, what that said, who's likely to take home the Rolexes?

The Pack

#24 BMW M Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8 - The Bimmers have seemed to be just a tick off of front running pace, winding up 7th and 8th in qualifying, ahead of only the #6 Penske Porsche that crashed in the bus stop chicane late in the session (although, this being said, both BMWs were less than a second off of the pole time, so they're not miles off of the pace). I've got to assume that reliability (or the lack thereof) is essentially about the same for all four manufacturers, so I'm going to go off of pace for chances to win. Odds - 10 to 1.


#25 BMW M Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8 - See above, same goes for the #25. Odds - 10 to 1.


#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 - An even further throwback to the previous GTP era, Porsche has named their new car the 963, the spiritual successor to the dominant 962 of old. In the hands of the dominant Penske squad, the 963 will be sure to win dozens of races......someday. But will tomorrow be the day of that first win? Odds - 9 to 1.


#7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 - See above comments for the #6. Odds - 9 to 1.


#31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac V-LMDh - The multi-time Daytona 24 Hours winning team Action Express brings a single Caddy LMDh car to this year's race, with Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken joining previous driver Pipo Derani. I'm sure that they're working with the Ganassi Cadillac team to gather data on the new car, but they're the only one car team in the GTP class this year. Will this work for them or against them once the green flag drops? Odds - 9 to 1.


#01 Ganassi Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-LMDh - On the other hand, the Ganassi team has twice as many cars, twice as many crewmembers and, I suppose, twice as many chances to win. Add in the might of their organization and engineering, and I'll give them a slight edge over the #31 Whelen car. Odds - 7 to 1.


#02 Ganassi Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-LMDh - Same goes for the #02. Odds - 7 to 1.


#60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb Agajanian Acura ARX-06 - Again, based straight up on pace, the Acuras have definitely had an edge on the other cars through testing and qualifying (the #60 is on the pole, in the hands of Tom Blomqvist), although the other teams appear to be closing the gap through the last two days of practice. Have the Acuras been working through other parts of their program the last couple of days, and we'll see an advantage again in the race? Odds - 7 to 1.


#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 - Look, the Wayne Taylor Racing guys had a three race Daytona 24 winning streak going, until the Meyer Shank guys beat them by a whopping three seconds at last year's race. A four race run of 1st or 2nd means that I've got to pick you as the favorite, even if it's only by a tiny edge. Odds - 6 to 1.



We made it! With like four hours to spare! Tune back in later today for further coverage of the 24 Hours!

2023 Daytona 24 Hours - LMP2 Class Preview

And now we hit the portion of the class previews where we could be talking about not just class winners, but overall winners. Due to the new hybrid technology and all-new cars found in the GTP class (the class formerly known as DPi, but tastefully renamed to throw things back to the nomenclature of the era when I fell in love with IMSA racing), an LMP2 car could come through a pile of smoking, sparking top class cars to win this thing outright. Which of the LMP2s is most likely to do just that?

The Solid......Pack

#55 Proton Competition ORECA LMP2 07 - Honestly, there are no tail enders in this class, and basically every car looks roughly as capable as any other to make the podium or even win. However, the #55 Proton car is both starting last in class, and only completed three laps in the final Friday practice session. The #55 could be starting behind the 8-ball. Odds - 15 to 1.


#20 High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 07 - There's going to be a lot of similar sounding previews here....but the #20 car has been mid-pack-ish in pace, in both qualifying (when it wound up 7th), and in last practice (when it wound up 5th, but actually set the same lap time as 4th, and was only 0.031 second behind 3rd). There'll be other, more likely cars to win. Odds - 12 to 1.


#51 Rick Ware Racing ORECA LMP2 07 - Like the #20, the #51 Rick Ware Racing car has been down on speed, qualifying 6th in class, and wrapping up the last Friday practice 9th in class. Not a great set of signs, but anything can (and usually does) happen in this class. Odds - 11 to 1.


#04 Crowdstrike Racing by APR ORECA LMP2 07 - Another car that could easily compete for a podium or even a win, given just a break or two. Odds - 11 to 1.


#8 Tower Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 - A slight "hot take" here, putting a car with IndyCar superstars Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin this far down the pecking order, but neither has run 1) any race in a prototype car, 2) any race with multiple classes of cars on the track, and 3) a single 24 hour race. While this car might show flashes of extreme pace, I'd frankly be pretty shocked if they can keep it on the track and out of trouble for all 24 hours. Odds - 10 to 1.


#88 AF Corse ORECA LMP2 07 - A ringer team from Europe, I fully expect this car to be up around the top-5 or even top-3 for the majority of the race. It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine these guys taking the expensive watches back across the pond when this is all over on Sunday. Odds - 9 to 1.


 #35 TDS Racing ORECA LMP2 07 - Another ringer Euro team, with young American Josh Pierson on the driving roster. The TDS cars have been fast all month, and should absolutely compete for the win. Odds - 7 to 1.


#11 TDS Racing ORECA LMP2 07 - See above, but this car is loaded with guys who've run Daytona multiple times. A near shoo-in for a podium. Odds - 7 to 1.


#52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 - The class pole sitter. Nicolas Lapierre will likely have driving duties down the stretch as the clock dwindles to the 24 hour mark, and few guys are as quick in an LMP2 car. If they're in the hunt, they'll be hard to beat. Odds - 7 to 1.

#18 Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 - The 2021 LMP2 class winners of the Daytona 24 Hours, they've brought arguably their best ever driver lineup, a roster including platinum Oliver Jarvis, gold Ryan Dalziel, and "sneaky silver" Christian Rasmussen. If I had to give a single car in this class the edge over the others, it'd be this one. Odds - 6 to 1.



And then there was one! Come on back tomorrow for the conclusion of our class previews, followed by our coverage of the actual Daytona 24 Hours!

Friday, January 27, 2023

2023 Daytona 24 Hours - GTD Class Preview

We now move to the larger (and therefore "more interesting [to me]") GT class, GTD. As time grows short between now and tomorrow's green flag (about 15 1/2 hours as I start to type this), some of these previews might be kind of short...but we're giving it a go!

The Tail Enders

#57 Winward Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 - This car would have been one of the obvious favorites, if not THE favorite.....until a practice crash by Lucas Auer wrote the pole sitting Mercedes off, requiring the team to build up an entire new car essentially overnight (plus surgery for Auer; get well soon, Lucas). With this being the case, the team will be lucky to get a single lap before the race to see if they have any immediate things that need to be fixed before the race...otherwise, they'll be at high risk to have an early problem and fall laps down right out of the gate. Yikes. Odds - 80 to 1.


#42 NTE Sport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 - An all silver/bronze a last second driver shuffle, to make sure that there are drivers who have clearance to drive at night. Super yikes. Odds - 75 to 1.



The Super Longshots

#83 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 - A perfectly capable team....that's making its debut on American soil. What are the odds they can beat 22 other good-to-excellent GTD teams? Odds - 50 to 1.


 #91 Kellymoss with Riley Porsche 911 GT3-R (992) - By all accounts, the GTD Porsches have a catastrophically bad Balance of Performance this year, with the BEST 911 winding up 14th in class in qualifying. For whatever reason, they did not get any help from IMSA with a post-qualy performance boost, so they remain down at the bottom of the timesheets. Could a Porsche win GTD on reliability? Sure. But that depends on every car from every other manufacturer having serious issues. Not likely. Odds - 40 to 1.


#92 Kellymoss with Riley Porsche 911 GT3-R (992) - See above. Odds - 40 to 1.

#80 AO Racing Porsche 911 GT3-R (992) - Like a broken record, see above. Odds - 40 to 1.


#77 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R (992) - Yes, the same even applies for a team like Wright Motorsports. Odds - 40 to 1.


#16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R (992) - Same goes for the #16. Odds - 40 to 1.


 #023 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 - Like the #62 Risi Ferrari that I mentioned in the GTD-Pro preview, the GTD Ferraris are liable to battle the "new car blues". I'd be pretty shocked to see one in contention come Sunday morning, much less Sunday afternoon. Odds - 30 to 1.


#21 AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3 - See above. Odds - 30 to 1.


#47 Cetilar Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 - One more time, see above. Odds - 30 to 1.



The Solid Mid-Pack

#70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 - The sole US-based McLaren in top level IMSA has had its moments of running at the front of the class, but still has yet to win their first race. It'd be a little hard to imagine that breakthrough coming in the biggest race of the season......but it certainly wouldn't be impossible. Odds - 25 to 1.


#78 Forte Racing Powered by USRT Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 - This Lambo team has been around and about in the middle of the pack on the timesheets. And here they are, right about in the middle of this rundown of odds. Odds - 25 to 1.


#19 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 - Another totally capable team with plenty of driving talent that's been looking for speed. Odds - 22 to 1.


#93 Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR Acura NSX GT3 - A team making its Daytona 24 Hours debut. Solid car, solid drivers, but....there are other teams who have "been here, done this" before. Odds - 20 to 1.


#96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 - The Bimmers haven't been quite at the pointiest bit of the pointy end of the field, so it's hard to rank them much further up this list. The "Pro/Am" Turner car should be a contender for a top-5, though, if not a class win. Odds - 18 to 1.


 #1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 - The same must be said for the #1 BMW as the #96 BMW, although the Paul Miller squad has had tons of success that shows that they can regularly compete for wins. They get the nod in the "Battle of the Bimmers", but it's a tough call to see them in the five most likely cars to win the class. Odds - 17 to 1.


#44 Magnus Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 - The Clown Princes of American Professional Sports Car Racing! And they're fast this year! They seem to be clicking with their Aston, and the addition of Aston Martin factory driver Nicki Thiim sure didn't hurt their cause. They're a SUPER strong contender for the podium this year. Odds - 15 to 1.


#12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC-F GT3 - The "Pro" side of the Vasser Sullivan team showed that they can close the deal on an endurance race at Petit Le Mans last year. Can the "Pro/Am" side of the garage shake off the horrific luck that dogged them at every turn in 2022 and do the same this weekend? Odds - 15 to 1.


#66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 - Sheena Monk steps up from the lower series of IMSA to make her debut in the top series, joining GT stars Marc Miller, Katherine Legge and Mario Farnbacher. A top-10 feels assured, and a podium is extremely possible, with a clean run. Odds - 14 to 1.



The Front Runners

#27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 - The #23 car was quick just about everywhere in 2022, and their form looks to be about the same at Daytona this year. They've got to be gunning for the win in both of the GTD classes this weekend. Odds - 11 to 1.


#32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3 - But meanwhile, the Mercs have looked like absolute rocket ships this month, qualifying on the pole in GTD-Pro and making a 1-2-3 sweep in GTD qualifying (although the #57 Winward Mercedes will be starting from the back of the pack after its crash). At the moment, it seems to be a question of which Mercedes can keep it all together the best for 24 hours..... Odds - 10 to 1.


#75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes AMG GT3 - See above. The Mercs have to be the favorites to win this year. Odds - 10 to 1.



Just two classes to go! Check back shortly for the top two prototype class previews!

2023 Daytona 24 Hours - GTD-Pro Class Preview

Having gotten through the first of our five class previews for this year's Daytona 24 Hours, let's move on to the next class in my hierarchy of "least interesting (to me)" to "most interesting (to me)". The fourth most interesting class (to me) (aka "the second least interesting class") this year? GTD-Pro. Why is this, you (my theoretical and not entirely fictional reader) ask? Well, put simply, GTD-Pro has two strikes against is. 1) A GTD car of any kind won't win overall this year (too many GTP and LMP2 cars for that), and 2) GTD has WAY more cars in it than GTD-Pro (a margin of 23 to ten, as of a couple days ago, with the #53 MDK Motorsports Porsche switching to GTD-Pro). Game, set. And match, I guess. Anyway, our GTD-Pro class preview:

The Extreme Long Shots

#53 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R (992) - The aforementioned MDK Porsche switched from GTD to GTD-Pro this week, for....reasons, I guess? According to their statement, it's because they're planning on running the rest of the season in Pro, so they want to get a head start on that, seems like maybe they want to try to run platinum driver Jan Magnussen more and run their bronze and silver drivers less (all drivers are required to run four hours in GTD, but that requirement is only two hours per driver in GTD-Pro). Anyway, it'd be a true shock for two silvers and a bronze (plus Magnussen) to beat all of the factory backed, gold- and platinum-laden lineups on most of the rest of the teams. Odds - 40 to 1.


The Extremely Unlikelys

#62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 - This placement comes down to literally three words: "new car blues". Risi is an extremely capable team, and the driver lineup is four Ferrari factory platinums, but the car is 100% new (and superduper gorgeous, I'll add). Against a field of tried and true machinery.....I just can't see it winning. Odds - 20 to 1.


#64 TGM/TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 - Like the #53 Porsche, a driver lineup filled with bronzes and silvers (two of each). Although all four guys are quite capable, factory driver speed they're not. Could they keep their heads down and find themselves on the podium after 24 hours? Yeah.....but the top step? Only if all the other nine cars falter. Not likely. Odds - 20 to 1.


The Solid Mid-Pack

#63 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 - The only GTD-Pro Lambo only qualified 6th and has seemed to struggle a bit for pace, although they were only 0.038 seconds off the pace of the top time in class in the Thursday practice session yesterday. Will it be quick enough to hang with the leaders and be able to chase down or hold off one of the other cars in class if it comes down to a late race shootout on Sunday afternoon? Odds - 12 to 1.


#95 Turner Motorsports BMW M4 GT3 - Another team that swapped over from the GTD class, likely in order to lean harder on gold/platinum BMW factory drivers Bill Auberlen, Bruno Spengler and John Edwards. Not a bad strategy, that one. The drivers are all more than capable of bringing home the expensive watches, but is the M4 fast enough to run with the quickest cars in class? Odds - 10 to 1.


#9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R (992) - It feels utterly absurd to put the defending Daytona 24 Hours and series champ GTD-Pro this far down the list of teams and their capability to win, but the Porsches are reportedly at a 10+ MPH disadvantage in a straight line to the next slowest car in class. With this being the case, unless all of the other teams hit problems, it's hard to imagine a Porsche being able to win either GTD class. Odds - 10 to 1. 


#3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R GTD - Still running the C8.R that was converted from GTLM spec to GTD (until next year, when they'll get to use the version that was designed specifically for GTD/GT3), the Corvette guys are liable to execute a near-perfect race, but will the car have the outright pace for the end of race duel that the GTD classes always seem to come down to? Odds - 8 to 1.

The Front Runners

#14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC-F GT3 - The perpetually enduro-snakebitten Lexuses finally got their first endurance race win at Petit Le Mans in the fall. They seem to have pretty solid pace again this year at Daytona, qualifying 3rd in class, just a couple tenths of a second off of the pole. They'll be in the mix all day/night/day, for sure. Odds - 6 to 1.


#23  Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 - The Vantage has been knocking on the door of winning its first Daytona 24 for what feels like forever, and now seems to have the speed (qualifying 2nd in class) and the driving talent (a lineup filled with Aston factory rated golds) to get the job done. I fully expect these guys to be on the podium on Sunday afternoon, but will it be the top step? Odds - 5 to 1.

#79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 -The GTD-Pro class polesitting car (if only by 0.041 second over the #23 Aston), they have to be considered a slight favorite to win GTD-Pro. Team owner Cooper MacNeil will likely get his couple of hours of driving out of the way fairly early, so that he can hand off to his three Mercedes factory driver teammates, who are all #1 pace drivers. It's not a lock that the #79 Merc will win, but the AMG GT3s have looked awfully strong in the lead up to the race. Odds - 4 to 1.



Another class in the books! Tune in shortly for more previews, and, in a little under 24 hours, the actual race!  

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

2023 Daytona 24 Hours - LMP3 Class Preview

Welcome back to Furious Wedge, the Original Home of Blogathon! We.........lost our domain name, but we're still here! Things didn't work out fantastically with Blogathon last year, due to what I called at the time "A Lot of Things Going On". But we're back to give it another shot this year.


I'm getting a slightly earlier start in the pre-Daytona 24 Hours week than I did last year, so I'll tackle the obligatory class previews individually (as opposed to last year, when I crammed all the prototype classes into one preview....and then everything fell apart completely), but as I'm getting a little later start than I'd have liked (again, there are A Lot of Things Going On yet again this year), it may not be entire in-depth paragraphs for each car. BUT, my always inaccurate odds for each car will be present and accounted for. As usual, I'll take things on in order of "least interesting class (to me)" to "most interesting class (to me)". This year's "least interesting class" is, unsurprisingly, due to its 1) lack of engine and chassis diversity and 2) being the slowest of the three prototype classes, LMP3.

The Field Fillers

#87 Fast MDRacing Duqueine D08 - An "all silver" rated driver lineup, driving for a team making its Daytona 24 Hours debut. That's......not a recipe for a class winner. Odds - 20 to 1.


#43 MRS GT-Racing Ligier JS P320 - Another team making its Daytona 24 Hours debut....and with three drivers aged 21 and under. I don't think so. Odds - 20 to 1.



The Solid Mid-Pack


#38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 - A longtime LMP2/LMP3 entrant that seems to usually be in the hunt, but with three silvers and one bronze driver in the lineup, this feels like one of the longer shots to win. Odds - 13 to 1.


#17 AWA Duqueine D08 - A team that has the advantage of a gold rated driver to go to for late race heroics, but also has two bronzes in the lineup. Another longer-ish shot. Odds - 12 to 1.


#13 AWA Duqueine D08 - The other side of the AWA garage sports a similar setup, with one gold rated driver, but two silvers and one bronze (as opposed to the #17's one silver and two bronzes). The more likely of the two to find top-in-class success. Odds - 10 to 1.


#33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320 - With multiple overall Daytona 24 champ Joao Barbosa on the driving roster, we are truly headed toward the pointy end of the field. I'd expect the #33 car to be in the thick of things deep into the race, and could easily see it on the podium come Sunday afternoon. Odds - 9 to 1.



The Front Runners


#85 JDC Miller MotorSports Duqueine D08 - Longtime prototype team JDC Miller Motorsports (well known for their "Banana Boat" LMP2 giant killer of a few seasons ago) is entered with a gold, two under-30 silvers and one bronze driver, longtime GT contestant Til Bechtolsheimer. This is easily one of the top-3 combos in the class, and it'd be a disappointment not to have them in the running for a class win. Odds - 6 to 1.


#74 Riley Motorsport Ligier JS P320 - A bunch of guys who have "been here and done that" before, as the two time defending LMP3 class winners. Shouldn't they be the favorites this year? Maybe so..... Odds - 5 to 1.


#36 Andretti Autosport Ligier JS P320 - .....except that the Andretti Autosport team has to be hungry to get their first Daytona 24 class win, and they came with an absolutely STACKED driver lineup (gold driver Gabby Chaves, two super talented under-30 silvers in Dakota Dickerson and Rasmus Lindh, and kinda-sorta-silver Jarrett Andretti). Can they improve their 2nd place in qualifying at the Roar Before to a class win come Sunday afternoon? Odds - 3 to 1.



And with that, we've got our first class preview in the books! Come on back later today/tonight/sometime soon for the rest of the classes!

Friday, January 28, 2022

2022 Daytona 24 Hours - Prototype Class Previews

Welcome, everybody, to Blogathon 2022! Well, such as it might be this year, anyway. We're kind of throwing things together at the last minute this year, due to what can only be described as "A Lot Of Stuff Going On", for all of us here at GBS. As a result, it's not fore sure what all we're going to have for Blogathon events this year, but I plan on getting some abbreviated odds and class previews up here before the Daytona 24 Hours starts tomorrow. Circumstances have stepped in this week and prevented me from doing the daily posts with full class breakdowns, so with a little over 25 hours to the green flag (as I type this), I'm going to consolidate the GT classes into one post and the Prototype classes into another post. First up, in my usual "least interesting (to me)" to "most interesting (to me)" order, it's.....

THE PROTOTYPE CLASSES! CONTROVERSY! Well, not really, I suppose. The GTD class has been my "most interesting class" the last couple years, and with there now being TWO GTD classes (more on this later), we've doubled our fun with the GT cars. Meanwhile, LMP3 and LMP2 are roughly as interesting (to me) as they've been in the past, and the DPi class only has seven cars again this year, so the Prototypes are first.

LMP3 Class


The Field Maker-Uppers:

#38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JSP320 - Two Bronze level drivers and one Silver = can't imagine this one winning. Odds - 15 to 1.


#26 Muelhner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 - One Bronze and two Silvers = see above. Odds - 15 to 1.


#7 Forty7 Motorsports Duqueine D08 - One Bronze and THREE Silvers = see above. Odds - 15 to 1.


The Solid Mid-Pack

#6 Muelhner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 - One Bronze and two Silvers BUT also plus ex-Mazda factory driver Joel Miller = a better bet. Odds - 10 to 1.


#13 AWA Duqueine D08 - One Bronze and two (experienced) Silvers BUT also plus ex-multiple factory team driver Kuno Wittmer = an even better bet. Odds - 8 to 1.


#33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JSP320 - Half of the drivers are a Priaulx (Seb, Andy's kid) and a  Barbosa (Joao). We're getting to the pointy end now. Odds - 7 to 1.


The Front Runners 

#36 Andretti Autosport Ligier JSP320 - An Andretti (Jarrett), a front running Indy Lights driver (Rasmus Lindh) and longtime IndyCar/sports car driver Gabby Chaves. A near lock for a podium, as long as it's running at the end. Odds - 6 to 1.


#54 CORE Autosport Ligier JSP320 - The driver lineup is loaded with longtime sports car competitors Colin Braun, Jon Bennett, George Kurtz and Nic Jonsson, and the team has a zillion sports car wins in many different classes. This car will be in the mix for the win at the end. Odds - 5 to 1.


#74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JSP320 - The defending champs. It'll come down to them and the CORE Ligier. Odds - 5 to 1.




LMP2 Class


The Field Maker-Uppers:

#69 G-Drive Racing by APR ORECA LMP2 07 - Odds - 15 to 1.


#20 High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 07 - Odds - 12 to 1.


#8 Tower Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 - Odds - 12 to 1.


The Solid Mid-Pack

#68 G-Drive Racing by APR ORECA LMP2 07 - The presence of former IndyCar driver Ed Jones and Audi factory driver Rene Rast gives this car the nod in the G-Drive stable. Odds - 10 to 1.


#29 Racing Team Nederland ORECA LMP2 07 - Odds - 10 to 1.


#22 United Autosports ORECA LMP2 07 - Odds - 10 to 1.

The Front Runners

#18 Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 - The defending champs, with the entire 2021 driving lineup coming back to defend their title. They'll be in the conversation all day, night and day. Odds - 8 to 1.


#81 DragonSpeed USA ORECA LMP2 07 - Longtime sports car driver Eric Lux is joined by newcomer IndyCar driver Devlin Defrancesco and rising IndyCar stars Colton Herta and Pato O'Ward (who, don't forget, won an LMPC championship in IMSA only a few years ago). This car will be in the mix at the end. Odds - 7 to 1.


#11 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 - Half of the drivers are ex-Mazda factory driver Jonathan Bomarito and ex-multiple factory teams Harry Tincknell. Enough said. Odds - 7 to 1.


#52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 - An incredibly experienced driver lineup, and they start on the class pole after winning the LMP2 class in the Roar Before qualifying race. They look like they might be the one to beat this year. Odds - 6 to 1.



DPi Class


The Pack:

#5 JDC Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi -The only arguable weakness here is the presence of a Bronze driver (Ben Keating, going for an overall win to add to his 2015 GTD class win), but he's about as good of a Bronze as you're going to find. The rest of the lineup is beyond reproach, with Tristan Vautier being joined by Richard Westbrook for the season and Loic Duval on board for the enduros. Odds - 8 to 1.


#60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb-Agajanian Acura DPi - The Meyer Shank guys struggled to come to grips with the Acura DPi last year, but should be closer to front running pace with a year of data in the notebook. Odds - 7 to 1.


#48 Ally Cadillac DPi - Finished 2nd here last year after missing juuuuuust a pinch of speed vs. the #10 Acura. It'll be in the top-5 for most of the 24 hours. Odds - 7 to 1.


#31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi - The #31 Cadillac always runs at the front, and 2022 will be no different. Odds - 6 to 1.


#02 Chip Ganassi Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi - The Ganassi guys have added a second car for 2022 and with an all-Platinum lineup, it should contend all day, night and day. Will it win, though? Hmmmmm.... Odds - 6 to 1.


#10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 Acura DPi - The three time defending champs are going for their unprecedented fourth straight win.....but they're not the favorites?!?!? Hold that thought. Odds - 6 to 1.



The Favorite

#01 Chip Ganassi Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi - The #01 is jam packed with driving talent, with sports car ace Renger van der Zande being joined by drivers holding 11 IndyCar championships and 91 IndyCar race wins. To boot, Scott Dixon has won overall at Daytona FOUR times Sebastien Bourdais has won overall at Daytona twice. Yeah, I'm going with these guys as the favorites. Odds - 5 to 1.



OK, that's all of the Prototype classes done. Come back sometime in the next 24 hours for the GTD-Pro and GTD class previews before the green drops!

Sunday, January 31, 2021

2021 Blogathon Pick 'Em - 24 Hour and Overall Results

 OK, so now that we at the Speedgeek household have gotten through our nightly tasks and the first half of "Full Out 2: You Got This!" (and it is well worth the time...), I've got a minute to do a rundown of the points scored at full distance and the totals for the entire race.

24 Hour Points:


1st - #10 Konica Minolta Acura ARC-05 (Mike - 12 points)

2nd - #48 Ally Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi (Allen - 8 points)

3rd - #55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi (Allen - 4 points)


1st - #18 Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 6 points)

2nd - #8 Tower Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 4 points)

3rd - #82 DragonSpeed USA LLC ORECA LMP2 07 (unclaimed)



1st - #74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 6 points)

2nd - #33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 4 points)

3rd - #6 Muehlner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 (Mike - 2 points)



1st - #3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Andy - 6 points)

2nd - #4 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Mike - 4 points)

3rd - #24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE (Andy - 2 points)



1st - #57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (unclaimed)

2nd - #75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 (unclaimed)

3rd - #1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Andy - 1 point)



24 Hour Mark Points:

Allen - 32 points

Mike - 18 points

Andy - 9 points

2021 Blogathon Pick 'Em Points Totals:

Allen - 61 points

Mike - 54 points

Andy - 30 points

Wow! A come from behind win for Allen, fueled by taking six of the nine points paying positions in the Prototype classes. That makes two years in a row for Allen. Not a bad job for a guy drafting from a hotel room on his phone and from memory!

Anyway, that's all for Blogathon 2021. Good times were had by all (I think, anyway, at least I had a good time). Thanks to everybody that stopped by. Here's hoping we all make it back here for more fun in 2022. Or maybe even before then. Or maybe not.

2021 Daytona 24 Hours - 24 Hour Report

 Just time for a quick update right now before real life beckons, but wow. While catching the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac suffered a flat tire with about eight minutes to go, leaving the WTR Acura to trot to the line for WTR's third straight Daytona 24 Hour win. Era Motorsport won the LMP2 class with the #18 "crayon car", Riley Motorsports won LMP3 with the #74 car, the Corvettes swept GTLM, with the #3 leading the #4 home, and the Winward Racing #57 Mercedes led a 1-2 Mercedes sweep with the #75 Sun Energy 1 car in 2nd (we'll mostly gloss over the fact that I gave both of those cars 100 to 1 odds to win...). OH, and Wayne Taylor just dropped an F-bomb from Victory Lane. What a day.

I'll have more later, with the Blogathon Pick 'Em final standings.

2021 Daytona 24 Hours - 22.5 Hour Report

We're down to the last 90 minutes of the race and we still have three classes fully up for grabs:


DPi -  The #10 Wayne Taylor Acura has led a TON of this race, and the #60 Meyer Shank Acura, the #55 Mazda, #01 Ganassi Cadillac and the #48 Action Express Ally Cadillac are all still within 15 seconds of the lead. This is going to go down to the wire.

GTLM - Both Corvettes, the #24 RLL BMW and the #62 Risi Ferrari are all on the lead lap.

GTD - The top-7 cars are all on the lead lap, with the 8th place #97 Aston Martin just a lap down. This is like a barroom brawl.

Meanwhile, the two classes that are less up for grabs:

LMP2 - The #18 and the #8 cars are separated by about a lap.

LMP3 - The #74 car has a four lap lead over the #33 car. OK, this one is basically over.

I'm going to settle in with a Rahr and Sons Brewing Winter Warmer (although it's like 40 degrees here in Oklahoma...yes, home of "Full Out 2: You Got This!".....we tell each other "you got this!" pretty much constantly in these parts) and watch the end. Buckle up!

2021 Blogathon Pick 'Em - 18 Hour Results

I don't want to bury Mike's work with the annual Blogathon movie here (and make no doubt, from his comments, I'd say that he's clearly the one who's done the most work this weekend, just trying to make it through that "film"), so I'm going to post a link to that here. Really, go read Mike's recap of "Full Out 2: You Got This!" here. It's good.

OK, with that, we've passed the 18 Hour mark, so it's time for some more Blogathon Pick 'Em scores:


1st - #10 Konica Minolta Acura ARC-05 (Mike - 6 points)

2nd - #01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi (Andy - 4 points)

3rd - #31 Whelen Racing Cadillac DPi (Mike - 2 points)



1st - #8 Tower Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 3 points)

2nd - #18 Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 2 points)

3rd - #82 DragonSpeed USA LLC ORECA LMP2 07 (unclaimed)



1st - #74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 3 points)

2nd - #33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 2 points)

3rd - #6 Muehlner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 (Mike - 1 point) 



1st - #4 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Mike - 3 points)

2nd - #3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Andy - 2 points)

3rd - #24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE (Andy - 1 point)



1st - #21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (unclaimed)

2nd - #57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (unclaimed)

3rd - #1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Andy - 1 point)


18 Hour Mark Points:

Mike - 12 points

Allen - 10 points

Andy - 8 points


Totals After 18 Hours:

Mike - 36 points

Allen - 29 points

Andy - 21 points


So, Mike is pulling a pretty good gap on Allen and I'm going to have to have things really change big time to take advantage of points doubling for the 24 Hour mark. However, in the hour since these results posted, the #31 Whelen Cadillac has hit gearbox problems (they're still in the garage and have dropped to 10th overall) and the #01 Ganassi Cadillac has received a penalty for being in gear while up on jacks during a pitstop (dropping them to 4th in class overall). So....five hours left!

Blogathon 2021: Limerick #3

An Ode to Full Out 2: You Got This!


Cartwheels and flips are fantastic,
And you know, if I wasn't so spastic,
Then you'd hear all about
How I'm going full out
Every time that I'm doing gymnastics.

2021 Blogathon Pick 'Em - 12 Hour Results

Good morning from Daytona! Or, rather, from home. As I write this, we're now approaching the 17 Hour mark and three of the five classes still have multiple cars on the lead lap and a fourth only has a one lap gap between 1st and 2nd in class (the fifth class, LMP3, is essentially down to only about three cars that have a shot at the win, unless those top three all hit problems...which could still happen because, you know, seven hours to go). This is still wide open and should be fascinating down the stretch, but for the sake of our Blogathon Pick 'Em game, let's take a look back at the midpoint of the race:


1st - #10 Konica Minolta Acura ARC-05 (Mike - 6 points)

2nd - #48 Ally Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi (Allen - 4 points)

3rd - #01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi (Andy - 2 points)



1st - #47 Cetilar Racing Dallara LMP2 (unclaimed)

2nd - #8 Tower Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 2 points) 

3rd - #82 DragonSpeed USA LLC ORECA LMP2 07 (unclaimed)



1st - #74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 3 points)

2nd - #6 Muehlner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 (Mike - 2 points)

3rd - #33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 1 point)



1st - #4 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Mike - 3 points)

2nd - #3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Andy - 2 points)

3rd - #24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE (Andy - 1 point)



1st - #57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (unclaimed)

2nd - #21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (unclaimed)

3rd - #75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 (unclaimed)


12 Hour Mark Points:

Mike - 11 points

Allen - 10 points

Andy - 5 points

Totals After 12 Hours:

Mike - 24 points

Allen - 19 points

Andy - 13 points

And now we're only about 45 minutes away from the next scoring opportunity at the 18 Hour mark. We'll be back here in a bit for that.

GBS at the Movies - Full Out 2: You Got This!








At 8:30 a.m. EST, I'll be live-blogging another definite classic film, Full Out 2: You Got This! You can watch along on Netflix if you're around this morning, or just stop by later for all my thoughts on this new blockbuster.


OK, starting NOW! Let's go Full Out!


 I'm officially going full out now. And the university of Oklahoma looks bigger than my hometown.


So, I bet at some point, someone will NOT be going full out. And it's likely that a whole group of people will not be going full out. And then some coach will be like, "Guys! You need to go Full Out!" And then they will. And then they'll be better at the gymnastics stuff.


This dance teacher (or something) just said she WON'T make them go full out. I'M SORRY, WHAT? Dance sucks then. In gymnastics, we go FULL OUT. 


So, currently, I think the gymnastics team is TRYING to go full out, but they're falling down and stuff. They want to win a national championship, but they might have to actually go full out to do it.


I've never seen the first Full Out, by the way. But also, if there's another sequel, I think it should be called Full Out 3: You Got This 2!


This guy is explaining his planned comic book, and really, no one cares. He probably won't even go full out with it anyway. Unless it's a comic about this gymnastics team, who eventually WILL (I assume) go full out.


I know this is a movie about gymnastics, so I don't wanna sound dumb when I say this. But... This is a LOT of gymnastics. Like, there are little plot points here and there, and then they'll have a minute-long sequence of girls flipping and stuff. Imagine a baseball movie where there is a brief scene and then dudes taking batting practice, and it just rotates like that.


Oh boy! We're breakdancing now! Is someone gonna learn how to go full out in gymnastics by first learning how to breakdance?? Seems like the natural progression to me!


Ok, the coach almost did it! This year's theme is going full... THROTTLE. I mean, that's basically full out!


Oh, and the coach is bad at acting.


There's our first Boomer Sooner.


In order to be a good gymnast, you have to be a good dancer?? Really? So obviously, there will be a lot of dancing in this film. As far as I'm concerned, it is now officially Full Out 2: Electric Boogaloo.


This movie is really bad. Really really bad. I'll acknowledge, however, that for kids who are like 10 years old and really into gymnastics (and/or dancing), it's probably watchable. And that may be the only positive thing I say about it in this entire post.


Um, we're country line dancing at some kind of dance recital thing. I don't think that really happens. There's also one dude on stage singing and playing a guitar; no other band members are present, yet we hear all the other instruments.


Oh, ok. This one dancer just did some flips. So obviously at one point, she will end up on the gymnastics team. Going full out, naturally.


I thought the geek dude's shirt said STONER CHEMISTRY. But it's just Sooner Chemistry instead. Probably the most popular shirt on campus, I'm sure.


Whoa, wait. This one girl wants to leave the team to go try out for the Olympics. That's going a little TOO full out! Now she's gotta leave the team. (I guess it's good that they just saw that dancer doing all the flips last night?)


Oh hey, it's Nadia. Netflix distribution achieved.


Our best player wants to go to the Olympics!

"Please tell me you're joking."

"I wish I were."


Dancer in the gym. "Do you have any tips for her on the beams?" Oh yeah, cause if you're a dancer, you can just walk into a gym and give gymnastics lessons.


Now the coach said "full steam ahead." Still no full out! Oh, and we've had three Boomer Sooners now.


"She's pretty dope." And now we're dancing in the library!


Look, if the Sooners don't win the national championship, I hope everyone looks back at all the dancing they've been doing. Cause you know what LSU and Florida's gymnasts aren't doing right now? Dancing in the library.


The coach isn't happy! No one is doing gymnastics well at all. Tell them to go full out! Tell them!


Man. 9 a.m. at the North Oval? No way! This coach is a hard ass! (I had music theory classes that were over by 9 a.m., coach.)

And STILL no full out! But we ARE dancing again.


"Oklahoma? Hi, we're Netflix. Can we film a gymnastics movie at your school?"

"Yes, but only if you promote our dance program as well."

"Deal. We'll make it a gymnastics movie that's actually about dancing."


Dancer to dancer:

"She wants to get down with us."

"When the boys are done."

Plot twist... The boys are never done! We dance 24/7! Go make us sandwiches!


I remember when I worked in the football dorm in college and how all the football players would spend all their time at the baseball field, learning about baseball and challenging each other in random baseball activities.


More bad music alert! These are the best days of our lives! Cause life will never top breakdancing in a courtyard on a college campus in Norman, Oklahoma!


Boomer Sooner #4. (I'd abbreviate that to B.S., but it wouldn't be very clear what I'm referring to in this post.)


Going to a party. Oh yeah. College party time. I'm ready. Oh... it's a dance battle party. Boy, I went to SO MANY of these in college.


Guys, I lied. I didn't go to a lot of dance parties in college, ok?


Guys, I lied. I really didn't go to many parties at all in college, dance or otherwise.


Guys, I lied. The only parties I went to in college were the ones I threw on my floor when I was an R.A. And people only came because I would get the big 6-foot subs and plates of cookies from Subway. Looking back, if I'd made them breakdance before taking cookies, I wouldn't have had to lie to everyone on my sports blog 20 years later.


"Netflix liked our movie pitch. Unfortunately, we only have about 30 minutes of stuff filmed. How can we give them a 90-minute film?"

"Let me ask you this: Can you get 45 minutes of dancing footage and maybe 15 minutes of gymnastics stuff?"

"Yes! Great idea! WE GOT THIS."


There's 18 minutes left. I don't know if I can take 16:43 more scenes of dancing.


Maybe they can go outside and film some kids playing hackeysack or something? Just switch it up, you know?


We just met famous people named Impact and Villain. I don't even know if they're real or not. But at least we switched from random dancing to gymnastics again for a minute.


Wait. The geek dude didn't know his new girlfriend was on the gymnastics team? The only thing less believable than this is the fact that like 12 people (and no other teams?) are here at the national championships. (Edit: Some shots do now appear to show other teams and something resembling an audience.)


"I told you you'd get your chance, Natalie! (I knew that girl would break her ankle and the coach would have no choice but to actually let you compete!)"


I'm watching this gymnastics national championship play out in the last eight minutes of a movie that is supposedly based on a true story, yet all I can think is, "Man, I wonder what those dancers are doing right now." Cause that's the movie they've given us! A dance movie with a side story about gymnastics.


We finally got a "You got this"! I don't know if we ever got a "full out"?

Two more Boomer Sooners though!


Look, real footage of the real-life team. What about real footage of the breakdancers on campus?? Show us!

Oh... More line dancing. Cool.


Ok, in the closing credits, although it's MORE dancing, we get to see the actors dancing with the gymnasts they're each portraying in the film, which is cool. We also learn that one of the kids is an actual Special Olympics gold medalist and that the real OU coach is pretty funny. 10/10 for the credits sequence.


Well, I did it again. I definitely went full out this time. Thanks to everyone who followed along! 

2021 Blogathon Pick 'Em - 6 Hour Results

 We've well and truly settled in here, just after eight hours into the race, so we'll backtrack and get the results for the 6 Hour mark of our Blogathon Pick 'Em Fantasy game:


1st - #5 Mustang Sampling JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi (Mike - 6 points)

2nd - #01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi (Andy - 4 points)

3rd - #10 Konica Minolta Acura ARC-05 (Mike - 2 points)


1st - #11 WIN Autosport ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 3 points)

2nd - #82 DragonSpeed USA LLC ORECA LMP2 07 (unclaimed)

3rd - #8 Tower Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 1 point)



1st - #74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 3 points)

2nd - #33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 2 points)

3rd - #6 Muehlner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 (Mike - 1 point)



1st - #4 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Mike - 3 points)

2nd - #3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Andy - 2 points)

3rd - #25 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE (Mike - 1 point)



1st - #16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R (unclaimed)

2nd - #1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Andy - 2 points)

3rd - #23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (unclaimed)

So, through six hours, here are our standings:

Mike - 13 points

Allen -  9 points

Andy - 8 points

It's still close, though! And with 15+ hours still to go......ANYTHING CAN HAP-...yeah, yeah, I know. But racing lends itself so well to cliches...

Saturday, January 30, 2021

The Radiant Radish #115: Car Songs for Blogathon!

Each week, I host a show on Radio Free Nashville, playing a bunch of power pop, pop punk, and indie rock music. This week, to celebrate Blogathon, I'm taking songs from my past Blogathon playlists and playing all songs about cars! The show is airing here right now, or you can listen to the archive below:

Mario Kart Online: The Return!

It's been a few years since we could play Mario Kart online during Blogathon since we didn't have the latest version. But now we're back! I'm a little nervous!

Blogathon 2021: Limerick #2







Navage is a Blogathon classic.
I once thought nothing could surpass it.
But Battery Daddy
Surpassed it so badly,
And that's not the least bit sarcastic.

2021 Blogathon Fantasy Draft

As Mike alluded to in his first limerick post, things are a LOT looser around here this year. With everything that our families have going on, we've scaled back some of the stuff that we've done over the years, but we did manage to put together a 10-round pick 'em fantasy draft last night. Since he absolutely murdered us last year, Allen got first pick, followed by me, then Mike:

Round Allen Andy Mike
1 #48 DPi Cadillac #31 DPi Cadillac #5 DPi Cadillac
2 #60 DPi Acura #01 DPi Cadillac #10 DPi Acura
3 #55 DPi Mazda #3 GTLM Corvette #4 GTLM Corvette
6 #8 LMP2 ORECA #14 GTD Lexus #6 LMP3 Duqueine
7 #11 LMP2 ORECA #9 GTD Porsche #44 GTD Acura
8 #33 LMP3 Ligier #62 GTLM Ferrari #54 LMP3 Ligier
9 #74 LMP3 Ligier #38 LMP3 Ligier #7 LMP3 Duqueine
10 #79 GTLM Porsche #1 GTD Lamborghini #96 GTD BMW


 By my estimation, the only cars on this list that have hit any sort of considerable trouble as of the 4-hour mark are the #81 DragonSpeed LMP2 ORECA and the #29 Racing Team Nederland LMP2 ORECA, so this thing is still wide open. At the very least, I'll be back in a couple hours with the scores at the 6-hour mark.

Blogathon 2021: Limerick #1

Hey everybody! Things are way more laid-back this year. It's been crazy for everyone, of course, and we didn't prepare much for the weekend. We are going to do some live Mario Kart a little later, and I'll likely still live-blog a bad sports movie at some point tomorrow. Stay tuned for details. We also did draft cars for the race, so Speedgeek will be updating our scores for that.

I'll try to check in throughout the weekend while getting over my heartbreak from that LSU/Texas Tech game.

For now, here's a dumb limerick to kick things off...

Once again, Blogathon's here,
And I just wasn't ready this year.
But you'll likely deduce
I like any excuse
To have some hot wings and some beer!

Friday, January 29, 2021

2021 Daytona 24 Hours - GTD Class Preview

We've made it! Our last class to preview this year is the perennial favorite (or, at least my favorite class for the last couple years): GTD. The reasons for that: 1) the most cars (19, nearly double that of the next biggest class), 2) the most manufacturers (nine, fully TRIPLE that of the next most manufacturers in any class). Who cares if it's the slowest class, when you've got a field like that? OK, let's get to it.

The Little-Hopers

#42 NTE Sport Audi R8 LMS GT3 - As much as I hate to relegate the car that has one of my personal favorite drivers in it (that would be J.R. Hildebrand, who really should have a full time gig somewhere), he's the only driver rated above Silver. And J.R. has never raced this car or on this track. A win is not gonna happen for these guys. Odds - 100 to 1.


#75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 - The Sun Energy Mercedes has done this race several times before, but has yet to get anywhere near the podium at the end of 24 hours. And 2021 won't be any different. I wouldn't be surprised to see them up near the top-5 in the closing hours (likely with the rapid Raffaele Marciello or Luca Stolz behind the wheel), but a win would be very, very hard to imagine. Odds - 100 to 1.


#64 Team TGM Porsche 911 GT3R - The verdict comes down to this summary: two Silvers, two Bronzes. Odds - 100 to 1.


#57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 - It's Maro Engel (a really quick Platinum) and three Silvers. Nope. Odds - 100 to 1.


The Peloton

#44 Magnus with Archangel Acura NSX GT3 - My favorite team (well, tied for favorite, with the Vasser-Sullivan Lexus team), but they've got a new team association this year and a new car. That is a combination that rarely adds up to "win in the first time out". Odds - 75 to 1.


#16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R - Usually, a Porsche with Patrick Long and Jan Heylen behind the wheel would be one of my favorites, but these guys are working with an all-new car after their first one was damaged beyond repair in the run up to the Roar Before. I think that in a field as stout as this one, that's the sort of thing that'll essentially eliminate you from winning contention. Alas... Odds - 30 to 1.


#21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 - Plain and simple: the Ferraris haven't looked quick enough. Odds - 25 to 1.


#63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 - See above. Odds - 25 to 1.


#97 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 - The Astons look a little quicker than the Ferraris this month, but I am predicting that they'll lack just a tick worth of pace when things get down to brass tacks on Sunday afternoon. Odds - 20 to 1.


#23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 - See above. Odds - 20 to 1.


#28 Alegra Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 - I'd rank this team higher if they were running their typical Porsche entry, but they've switched to the Mercedes-AMG this year. Maybe this will be the magic combination for them and Maxi Buhk and Billy Johnson can carry them to a win, but I just don't see it. Odds - 17 to 1.


#88 Team Hardpoint EBM Porsche 911 GT3R - Notable for carrying factory Porsche driver Earl Bamber and GTD stalwarts Katherine Legge and Christina Nielsen, but something tells me that they're going to lack just the last little bit of pace that'll allow them to contend for the win. This said, I think they've got a great chance at a top-5, and possibly even a podium. But everything would need to fall right for the win. Odds - 17 to 1.


The Pointy End of the Grid

 #19 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 - I've heard that the Lambo teams say that they're struggling for pace this year, but seeing as how one of them finished 3rd in the Roar Before Pole 100, I think we're going to see more of the same as past years, with multiple Lambos running near, and even at, the front. Odds - 14 to 1.


#111 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 - See above. Odds - 14 to 1.


#96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 - Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley wheeled the #96 Turner BMW to the win in the Roar Before Pole 100, but they seemed pretty sure in the post-race interview that other teams are sandbagging. I guess we'll see, but I think they're going to be right near the front for all 24 hours. Odds - 12 to 1.


#12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 - The Lexuses put on quite a display for most of the season last year, with Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz (shout out, WHAT'S UP, BIRCHWOOD, WI?) sweeping through the middle of the season in the #14 and nearly winning the championship after a rough start to the season. I think the Lexuses will be right at the front again for most of the season, and I think they'll take the GTD title. A Daytona win? Yeah, maybe one of those, too. Odds - 10 to 1.


#14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 - See above. Odds - 10 to 1.


#9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R - This team is always quick with Zacharie Robichon, Lars Kern and Matt Campbell behind the wheel, but then they went and added Porsche factory driver Laurens Vanthoor. Holy smokes. This has got to be one of the pre-race favorites (and they're starting 2nd after finishing just a couple seconds behind the Turner BMW in the Roar Before Pole 100). Odds - 8 to 1.


#1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 - The defending champs, and if somebody else wants the win, it goes through the Paul Miller Racing Lambo. Yeah, yeah, they're starting almost last after dropping out of the Roar Before Pole 100, but this is about executing over 24 hours. This team has proven they can do exactly that. Odds - 7 to 1.


Whew. Just in the nick of time. OK, it's time to do some prep for my All Racing Fantasy Draft that takes place tomorrow morning, and then I'll see all of you in the afternoon at Daytona! Thanks for coming by!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

2021 Daytona 24 Hours - DPi Class

Ahem. Like last year, I'm courting controversy (among all seven people who will read these class previews) by not having the top DPi class in my place of prominence as "most interesting class (to me)". Again, a light car count in the DPi class (seven) relegates the class of the likely overall winner to 2nd place in my rankings again, ironically, behind the slowest of the five classes. A lack of cars and a lack of manufacturers will do that. BUT, the top class comes tomorrow, today, we're talkin' DPi.

The Contenders

#55 Mazda Motorsports DPi - The good part of having only seven cars in a tightly bunched field means that they're all "contenders", so I only have to come up with one section heading. Score! Anyhow, by dint of the fact that they're the only manufacturer among the three in the DPi class not to have won a championship, the Mazda DPi is last on my depth chart, even though they finished 2nd here last year and finished 1-3 at the last race of 2020, the much delayed 12 Hours of Sebring. Sorry, the other two manufacturers just seem better suited to win this year, especially since Mazda dropped from two entries to one (meaning if something befalls the team, there is no second car that might be able to soldier on). Odds - 10 to 1.


#60 Meyer Shank Racing w/Curb-Agajanian Acura DPi - Welcome back to the top class, Mike Shank! It's seriously great to have the "little team that could" back around and running for overall wins after a few years in the GTD class. The driving lineup is basically second to none, with full timers Olivier Pla and Dane Cameron being joined by "I'll drive" Juan Pablo Montoya and A.J. Allmendinger. That's a frightening combo. However, they've seemed to be just a tick off of the frontrunning pace for a good chunk of the month, and I think they may struggle to match the pace of the Cadillacs in their first Acura DPi outing. Odds - 7 to 1.


#10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 Acura DPi - An essentially identical story to the Meyer Shank Acura, the Wayne Taylor squad only took delivery of their Acura DPi a couple months ago and appear to still be getting used to it. They have the advantage of having three guys on the team that are intimately familiar with this car in Ricky Taylor, Helio Castroneves and Alexander Rossi, and Felipe Albuquerque has proven that he can drive anything, but even a small missed technical item can derail your 24 hour race. Meanwhile, the Caddys look pretty usual. Odds - 7 to 1.


#48 Ally Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi - It's basically "pick a car number out of a hat" in this class when it comes to who'll win, but it's especially hard when it comes to the Caddys. For me, the #48 falls to the bottom of the depth chart. Kamui Kobayashi has won this race in a Caddy, and Mike Rockenfeller and Simon Pagenaud can make anything go fast (although Rocky is returning to the top class after several years in a GTLM Corvette), but their fourth driver is a liability. Yeah, yeah, that fourth driver is seven time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, but he's new to these cars. I think he'll do fine, but in this company, "fine" is not exactly "enough". Odds - 6 to 1.


#01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi - Another controversial pick! Sure, Chip Ganassi's cars have won the 24 Hours of Daytona 83 times (number estimated), but they've been away from the top class for five years while campaigning the Ford GT in the GTLM class (plus sitting out last year). They're obviously always great here, but you do have to wonder if they'll slot right back in to top form after this long away. Also, we know that Scott Dixon and Renger van der Zande (both winners last year with Wayne Taylor) know their way around the place, but Kevin Magnussen is making his endurance debut this weekend. Those don't always go smoothly, especially for somebody who's used to full-on attack for 90 minutes worth of Formula 1 racing... Odds - 6 to 1.


#5 Mustang Sampling/JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillac DPi - It's Team France! Seriously, all the drivers are French. I checked and everything. Not only are they all French, but Tristan Vautier, Loic Duval and Sebastien Bourdais are all top flight drivers. Honestly, I can't even decide who is theoretically the "closer" among them. They might have to have some type of fight among them to sort it out. Except French guys....fighting.....sorry, it was way, way, way too easy. Odds - 5 to 1.


#31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi - Not a shock to find the #31 Caddy here, is it? They were quickest in pre-Roar Before Pole 100 qualifying, but got sent to the back for a technical infraction, but then still won the Pole 100 at a canter, anyway. The Whelen/Action Express team knows this car and track inside and out, and among Felipe Nasr, Mike Conway, Pipo Derani and defending NASCAR Cup champion Chase Elliott, there isn't a soft spot in the driver lineup (I know you could make the same argument for Chase that I made for Jimmie above, but Chase has cleaned up on the road courses in Cup lately...I think he's just simply quicker). If somebody else wants to win this race, they've got to come through the #31. Odds - 4 to 1.


And with that, we're down to the last class! Oh, and side note: if I were betting my own actual money, I'd be putting some down on that #5 Caddy..... Anyway, see you all back here very soon, as we wrap up our class previews and head into Blogathon!

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

2021 Daytona 24 Hours - LMP2 Class Preview

 We're in the dead center of the 2021 Daytona 24 Hour class previews now. Right in the middle, between the "ooh, those are the classes to watch" category and the "uh....maybe I'm gonna go grab some snacks" category is the "eh, sure, let's check in over there" class for 2021: LMP2. Last year, LMP2 was my "least interesting" class, with only six cars on the entry list (although one of those scratched before the race even started), but this year, there are more cars starting in the LMP2 class (ten) than the last two years combined (nine). MOVIN' ON UP.

The Pack

#11 WIN Autosport ORECA LMP2 07 - Ex-Mazda factory driver Tristan Nunez is the headliner of the driver lineup, although Matthew Bell has quite a bit of endurance experience. I'll be honest, I don't know much about the two Bronzes on the team, Steven Thomas and Thomas Merrill, which is why I'm parking them back here. Odds - 20 to 1.


#51 RWR-Eurasia Ligier LMP2 - The most notable driver to American fans will be NASCAR driver Austin Dillon. Less known would be rumored IndyCar-driver-to be Cody Ware. Essentially unknown would be Salih Yoluc. The fastest driver, though, would be Mathieu Jaminet. The only Ligier in the LMP2 field, which isn't a good thing (it's been said to be down on straightline speed at Le Mans in the past...and going fast in a straight line is kind of a big deal at Daytona. Odds - 15 to 1.


#82 DragonSpeed USA LLC ORECA LMP2 07 - Teammate to the defending race winning #81 DragonSpeed ORECA, you might think that this car would be further up the grid, but the #82 finished 9th out of ten cars at the Roar Before Pole 100, and the #82 only has one driver above Silver (that would be Christopher Mies, who's won here before in a GTD Audi). There are just simply too many fast cars here this year. Odds - 11 to 1.


#47 Cetilar Racing Dallara LMP2 - Here is where things start to get tricky. Cetilar is an experienced European Le Mans Team, and the Dallara is extremely fast in a straight line (as we've covered, a good thing at Daytona). But this is their first go here in the States, so to me, it feels like the Italian guys are going to wind up mid-pack-ish. Odds - 10 to 1.


#8 Tower Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 - Gabriel Aubry and Matthieu Vaxiviere are both extremely quick. Timothe Buret maybe a tick less so (although he has plenty of 24 Hour experience). John Farano is the requisite gentleman Bronze of the group, but he seems capable. Again, like I've mentioned for the last couple of cars, there are just simply faster cars here this year. Odds - 9 to 1.



The Front Runners


#18 Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 - We know full well that Ryan Dalziel can get the job done in a prototype car (he sat on the pole here in 2012 and finished 2nd). Paul-Loup Chatin is quick. Kyle Tilley and Dwight Merriman have both done this race more than once. And the Era ORECA has a sweet paint job that was designed by a six year old (yes, really). These guys should contend well into Sunday morning and possibly even beyond. Odds - 8 to 1.


#20 High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 07 - Another of the first time Daytona entrants (which, in fairness, applies to most of this class), this team features an actual Formula 1 Grand Prix winner (Robert Kubica) and an actual member of a royal family (Ferdinand Habsburg-Lothringen). Cool, huh? Those two should be quick, and their Danish co-drivers Dennis Andersen and Anders Fjordbach should hopefully be capable enough to hand off to Robby and Freddy (as I'm going to call them, just to be obnoxious) in the late hours. Odds - 8 to 1.


#29 Racing Team Nederland ORECA LMP2 07 - The Dutch squad, loaded with quick Dutch drivers...and one Frenchman. These guys have been quite good in World Endurance Championship competition, with a class win at Fuji a couple years ago. They finished 4th in the Roar Before Pole 100 race, after building their car out of a shipping container just a week or so ago. I think that story will continue into Sunday afternoon, and I think a podium is a strong possibility. Odds - 7 to 1.


#81 DragonSpeed USA LLC ORECA LMP2 07 - The defending champs, with longtime driver Ben Hanley being joined by Rob Hodes, Indy Lights veteran Garrett Grist and lightning quick IndyCar driver Rinus Veekay. This car will contend for the win all the way to the end....and come up just short. Odds - 7 to 1.


#52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 - Longtime LMPC and LMP2 team Mathiasen Motorsports finished second to the #81 DragonSpeed car last year, but with Platinum driver Nicolas Lapierre, Gold Mikkel Jensen and quick young Silver Scott Huffaker on the squad, this team is poised to go one spot better in 2021. I'd say that if your "weakest link" is Ben Keating (one of the most solid "gentleman drivers" on the grid, and whose outstanding "Dinner With Racers" podcast episode I just listened to earlier this week), you're looking better than good. This is my pick (although I'm not exactly going out on a limb, seeing as how they're on the class pole). Odds - 6 to 1.



We're past halfway, with just one GT class and one Prototype class to go. Let's see if I can get those done before the weekend!