Monday, June 30, 2008


Whichever way you see it as I previously stated I was away from society during the Richmond race, however from all the reviews, recaps, articles and comments I've seen so far seems like that may have been a good thing.

So while I've been caught up by's recap video and all the news stories I could read I don't think it's really enough to make a full set of notes but is plenty however enough to reiterate the big need for the IRL to fix its start/restart procedures; as now the drivers are openly criticizing Brian Barnhart, and the lack of calls made, publicly and even on the live telecast now and it can only escalate from here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

IndyCar to Return to New Hampshire AND Vegas!?

Few people believed Smith at the time. Many still don't. But sources at SMI close to the situation say a move isn't likely for next year. In fact, New Hampshire may gain a race instead of losing one.

The track is part of a five-facility deal SMI is offering the IRL to stage IndyCar Series events next season. The other tracks involved are Texas, Kentucky, the Infineon road course (all of which have IndyCar events now) and Las Vegas. New Hampshire and Vegas have staged IRL events in the past.

link ESPN

I say

Monday, June 23, 2008

Want to wave the green flag?

And just after I said I may lack mid-week news.. here's some mid-week awesome news.

Have you ever wanted to wave the green flag atop the starter's stand for an IndyCar Race, well Firestone is Auctioning off the chance to wave the green for the Nashville 200 on E-bay with the entire proceeds to go to its local United Way chapter in one of the coolest ideas ever.

FYI: hopefully I'll remember to take pictures

I know I've been missing a lot of mid-week news recently but not without cause as you see Mrs. Wedge & I are being transfered to the D.C./Virginia area.

I'll make every effort to keep getting all the post-race notes done for sure but may be lacking in mid-week updates as my schedule for the next 6 weeks contains:

-fly to Idaho visit family; likely miss Richmond race then proclaimed as the best race ever; fly back, 4 days later leave B.R. in car to D.C./Va - tour for 4 days hopefully find a new home... no pressure there. Leave for Nashville, spend weekend at Nashville IRL weekend; drive back to B.R. family in town for grandparents 65th Anniv., likely watch Mid-Ohio delayed... then a farewell barbeque with Edmonton on TV; pack up life into a PODS container, get in cars and move to Northern Virginia...

It leaves roughly 11-12 'free' days in the next 6 If I miss some blogs or two, hopefully you could be so kind as to let it slide...

I'll make it up to you with full reports and pictures from Nashville!

Notes from a great race-day in Iowa

Though its not a race-action related note I did want to applaud the Indy Racing League and Iowa Speedway for continuing to put on the two races this weekend instead of listening to the countless antagonists who aren’t from Iowa that want to tell Iowans what they should feel and not do.

This comes from a person with very direct experience being from New Orleans (though now Baton Rouge) and our recent tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. I can say from personal experience that after a year of helping my parents gut their own house and sort through everything destroyed and starting new when they were so close to retirement that the re-opening of the Superdome on that Monday Night Saints’ game was a very much welcomed event in the city of New Orleans and especially the citizens of the gulf coast even if not everyone out of the area understood how welcome it was to this area.

I applaud the IRL and Iowa Speedway and the sellout crowd with 4a.m. tailgaters was just proof that it was the right thing to do; not to mention the ability to bring attention and help to what has happened and help raise money and help for the ravaged areas.

-As to the weekend of racing.. I’ll just say you WILL NOT find a sadder person after this weekend in the race world than Arie Luyendyk Jr., screwed by some hard lapped traffic in James Davison, the man outright dominated the Indy Lights race and while yes traffic is part of the race, the block-parties thrown to Luyendyk were especially harsh.

-On the other hand it looks as if Panther Racing has found its now 5th or 6th next big thing in Dillon Battistini who I personally look immensely forward to seeing in the IndyCar Series hopefully soon.

Now for some kudos, props and critique notes.

-HUGE PROPS to ABC/ESPN for having a 30 minute pre-race show that gave us some great interviews news and information; and I among probably everyone else watching hope continues…

-Kudos to the IRL for finding someone that made a lot of sense to call the start of engines. I’m still baffled at Chip Ganassi at Texas but having someone from Iowa’s Corn Growers was perfect and his call was great.

-Racewise, firstly kudos to racing competition. What a great moment around lap 170 or so we were literally looking at a top 5 of drivers who had yet to win this year.

-A call to all the non-big three teams to practice pit stops until you have those things iced down because its doing a disservice to the great driving, and also great engineering being done by at this point Vision, Roth, Rahal/Letterman racing and if N-H-L, KV or Panther can just put together a complete race those guys are easy top 5s.

-Major kudos to the field for not having a single on-track incident.

-Someone needs to remind the IRL that the cars do not need to be up to speed by the 4th corner on a restart, in fact they shouldn’t hit the gas till just before the line, that’s the general idea on going green on that lap, not the half lap before bring back the pace car for that final yellow lap obviously the drivers can’t handle the responsibility.

-Major kudos to TV-production for starting a field run through an “up to speed” segment but major non-kudos for stopping half-way through it and actually drowning out whoever was talking about John Andretti. And though she sounded fine talking non-kudos to the headset, production or Brienne herself for never catching her cues.

-WTF happened with Darren Manning, we are told he “fell out of the seat” and then also that it was a steering rack issue, the same that later took out Buddy Rice.

-A note not many noticed but major kudos to Hideki Mutoh holder of now the highest finish for a Japanese driver and surely only a sign of things to come; and for those who don’t know give that man a HUGE applause for being able to handle interviews so well, many may not realize but Hideki just started learning English barely 2 years ago.

-Can it be any more apparent that John Andretti needs to stay if at least at Roth Racing but most surely back in the IndyCar Series; and at the same time that Marty really needs to put Jay Howard in his car and only run himself in the 500 in a 3rd car.

-Whatever the opposite of kudos is to the IRL for FOUR 6+ lap cautions for non-damage/non-debris cautions.

-Lastly I’d pose this to everyone out there…is Iowa easily replacing or a very close 2nd to Texas as the most dangerous race on the circuit? Easily the highest constant G forces of the season today something more than Texas can say; Iowa is taking a serious toll on the cars themselves. Vitor lost 3 suspensions last year and Dixon had a steering rack issue then Carpenter, Roth, Bruno, Marco and possibly Kanaan all had parts break on the cars simply due to high stress on them…Do we have a new hardest track on the circuit?

And as a p.s. here is a nudge to Rahal Letterman Racing or Luczo Dragon Racing to make a courtesy call to Casey and/or Uncle Rick to find out how they can get Casey Mears, who looks like he is soon to be out of a job in NASCAR, back where he belongs in IndyCar racing…

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The everlong search for a scapegoat

I thought society was crazy when people were leaving get well cards for Barbaro, but it has actually managed to be even crazier now. We're getting massively flooded with stories and analysis of people wondering "what was wrong" with Big Brown that he suddenly wasn't the same horse or didn't give his all to win the Belmont Stakes and I just can't believe that none of these people care to admit to the fact that:


But lets fire the jockey because he didn't whip the horse enough and lets try and find so many reason's why Big Brown lost because there's no way in hell a horse can make a decision to just not run faster because it didn't feel like it...

(and to add to lost faith in mankind, you'll never guess what google turned back to me when I image searched 'Big Brown')

Monday, June 9, 2008

Notes from the Lone-Star Weekend

Firstly, I apologize for never getting notes from Milwakee, by the time I finally caught the replay of the race on classic it felt a little too late to do the notes I'll make it up with some extensive notes for Texas...

WOW, what a bi-polar weekend of racing we had from the IndyCar Series. This weekend was so far away from the middle, we either had some of the closest racing of the year or 30 laps of yellow for a piece of debris… good to even great announcing from Goodyear and Marty only to be partnered with some of the worst producing/editing possible, some great calls from race control actually penalizing speeding in the pits and also letting everyone race it out, and then some of the worst with two phantom yellows as well as 10 lap yellows when there were no debris on the course just someone spinning…. small teams making moves up high or those same teams suddenly having the hands of fate knock them to the back of the field, one of the best finishes in the making only to end under 6 laps of yellow. So without further procrastination and buildup, here are your notes from the weekend:

-Quick note: How many celebrities do you think live and were in the Dallas/Fort Worth area? Why.. seriously... why was Chip Ganassi calling the start of engines at Texas? Shit Robbie Knievel was right there and would have been perfect.

-The two most obvious good note from the weekend were close racing and close racing from outside the big three. It was great to see Ryan Hunter-Reay up there duking it out but to also see Vitor work his way up and to lead for as long as he did to only get screwed by an overly aggressive Enrique Bernoldi.

-For those who missed it Bernoldi got caught within the leaders and was trying to race with them when he lost it bringing out the second to last yellow. It stinks for Bernoldi who was having a good night but man talk about Murphy’s Law for Vitor Meira. Vitor had broken out a 4 second lead over Scott Dixon and Marco Andretti when he went in for his final pit, band yes while he may have lost seconds in neutral Vitor had a full tank and could run full rich while EVERYONE else was conserving and in fact Dixon was the only one remotely close to trying to finish on fumes. Had the race gone green to the end I truly believe Vitor would have gotten his first win.

-Now a bad note for the guys in the cars… someone needs to take the 28 drivers and sit them down on this off week and have a weeklong seminar on how to do a restart. The restarts were embarrassing as I’ve ever seen this weekend and at least give props to race control for calling these guys on it, however a huge thumbs down to race control for continuing to perpetuate the stupidest idea ever in having the pace car leave 1 lap before green. There is absolutely no reason the pace car shouldn’t be leading the field and pulling off at the pit entrance.

-And while we’re on the subject of stupid rules and poor calls by race control I honestly can’t say it any better than pressdog:

“Good thing these flag people weren't running the show when Danny Sullivan pulled his Spin and Win at Indy. Never would have happened. ‘Wait, someone was loose in turn three, better have a 12-lap yellow!’ And yet, when Viso clearly brushes the wall at Milwaukee, a noticeable hit that I saw personally and slowed him considerably, no yellow.” "Mario (I strongly believe Moraes) goes gets into Scheckter, goes around, saves it. OK, you throw the yellow for sure, of course, but why not go back to green in, say, TWO laps if there is nothing to clean up instead of six? Anyone? Bueller? A seven-lap yellow for no apparent reason just so everyone can pit under yellow is ridiculous. Better to give the fans more green-flag racing than make sure all the teams have time for yellow stops, OK? Who pays the bills around here? Ultimately it's the fans through ticket buys and buying sponsor products. “

Well said pressdog, I don’t think you will find a soul who disagrees…

-And while we’re into bad notes lets continue with what was the most disparaging thing from the race. Has ESPN/IMS Productions forgotten how to produce a race? I have been so ready starting with last week and then following up this week ready to commend Goodyear, Marty, Brienne, Arute, and Welch on some really great commentary and heck some things we not only have never heard before but have really added to the broadcasts, especially how they are now talking about all the cars in the race that are putting on any kind of good show. Seriously we’ve gotten EJ Viso updates 2 races in a row, if they start throing in the sponsors of the cars when they mention them it’ll go to, my wife and I also liked the notes about Goodyear's wife and how the wives are much more than spectators... A+

-However on the completely opposite side of it ESPN had the benefit of tape delaying the race yet I’m almost certain we watched more yellow laps than green, never had a single field run-though in all that yellow, and on top of it never should tape delay in the first place but if you do, how in the world do you put the live audio on by accident for more than a few minutes? How do you show driver interviews and go to commercial every time we go to green, and most importantly when you are on tape delay HOW DO YOU MISS IMPORTANT ACTION OVER A COMMERCIAL?

I’ve been hard on ESPN a lot but the booth has really picked up the their end and gone into a really good place while the production has gotten horrible, Chris Estrada really puts the whole thing into perspective:

Small note: Does anyone ever notice how ego driven-hypocritical Danica can be. A week before Indy she says she’s above getting angry and then storms down pit lane then complains about Brisoce in pit lane and then does the same thing to Vitor at Texas only to have Vitor be quick enough to dodge her, and then she’s throwing serious block parties throughout the race and you know if she were on the other end of that we’d be hearing about it…

- I’m fine with fuel knob setting because fuel games make a race intriguing, however maybe there should only be 3 settings instead of 6-7…

-and Finally, I used to say there isn’t a racer in the series I really root against but Marco Andretti is making it very easy to do it right now. The most apparently thing right now is that Marco NEEDS to race for another team to gain some humility because he sure doesn’t have any. He started this season so humble and saying all the right things and now he just seems like a spoiled ego. Think whatever you want about the RHR-Marco incident, its more a racing incident, maybe RHR didn’t need to go to the line but Marco also didn’t need to pinch after establishing that he was running high for the first 98% of the race especially when the incident with RHR was identical to Dixon’s pass only with Marco causing a unnecessary pinch/block. No matter what this quote should never leave any drivers mouth after what was so easily a racing incident.

“there's some guys you can race close with, and some you can't"

(you'll notice in the picture to our left that Dan Wheldon sure made it work)

Especially coming from a guy who had just caused wrecks two weeks/races prior. Ryan Hunter-Reay has won more races than Marco and didn’t need team tactics to win them, he hasn’t caused a single driver to complain up until this point and raced perfectly fine the first 98% of the race so how was he suddenly this horrible driver to be around is puzzling, basically every person on the planet will see this as a racing incident at the end of the day and even more costly as is looked like RHR had the speed to pass Dixon as well…

That quote may be one of the stupidest things to ever leave Marco’s mouth, at least for the manner of a serious case of pot calling the kettle black, he needs to start turning this season around, and quickly.


And now for one note outside of the race itself. Someone needs to explain to Robin Miller that no one cares who gets the news to them first if its only accurate some of the time. People just want news thats reliable. Yet he continues to be bitter in his articles towards other journalists, drivers, and the series and is possibly the most bi-polar writer you will see; one week we need Americans, the next we need diversity, then we need good ovals, then we need road courses... dude seriously just hang it up and become just a fan at this point and let the real reporters do the reporting.

Homestead and Nashville may be gone next year but you sure don't cite a single source for that claim, and even if it happens, wow you guessed right, I'm sure thats what readers are looking for, someone who guesses correctly on occasion; then on to you opinion being put off as a representation of the in the hell is a 13 road course 6 oval course schedule even close to what the fans want, especially when Track forum just polled its fans and barely 93% of the people polled want the series at least 50/50 and 73% want the majority to be ovals... try citing a source or statistic sometime...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Milwakee... wait what?

Guys I wish I was joking, but I have absolutely NO analysis for the Milwaukee ABC 225 run today. Why, because I didn't see the race... because of my own choice you ask...? Nope, and here's the part where I wish I was kidding.... our local ABC affiliate didn't run the race and put in its place a telethon.

Thats right, I couldn't see the race even if I wanted... so hopefully after I catch the replay on ESPN Classic I might have some thoughts, from what I've read it seemed like a good race and Briscoe Inferno won shutting up all his detractors you'd think, (but instead causing them to just make excuses and further doubt him), and it also seems as though Vitor may have had a scary moment...

I couldn't tell you though...

One thing I can tell you is that makes 6 winners in 7 races and at the moment neither Kanaan nor Helio have wins...