All photos were taken by me, unless otherwise noted.
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All opinions and remarks are mine and don't reflect those of IMS or anyone else for that matter, and should be taken with a generous helping of sodium.
May 7, 2006
I arrived early today and saw many interesting things and people. I met Grover. He was upset I wasn't wearing my pink tutu, swim fins, and top hat. I told him those things were at the dry cleaners. He beat me up and took my beer. I got a nice sunburn too.
Since I am a wealthy and influential Indy fan, I have a bronze badge. The first garage I came to was AJ's. He wasn't there, but his cars were. I left him a note saying I'd be back around later if he wanted to chat.
Then I saw Thadeus Medieros and his crew working on their car. He is very pretty. Almost a pretty as Arie Lippback and Arie Lippback Jr. and Arie Lippback's wife and Arie Lippback Jr.'s girlfriends and groupies.
Thadeus was wearing some of those funny French shoes that John Cougar Mellenkamp sings about.
I don't think Thadeus is from around here, but that's OK, because he has to have a wheel barrow full of guts to do what he does...
Next thing I know, I round the corner, and there is Townsend Bell's rig, all set up nice and pretty for a photo-op.
There are many real and professional photographers with their huge cameras and lenses and jaunty vests with lots of pockets and many credentials hanging off of them that say something like "over the wall gang" or something. I wish I could be in their gang, but I don't have a vest, so I elbowed them out of the way and took this picture with my little tiny Kodak Instamatic.
I don't know why they put snow tires on it, though. We don't get much snow in May in these parts. Maybe they're not from around here too.
Next stop is the AGR garage. Mario was in there too. He was probably worn out after taking the Brawner Hawk out for a spin earlier. I saw him in his driving suit. He looked sorta like the marshmallow giant guy in Ghost Busters. He seemed very happy to be getting all of the attention.
I don't think Michael should have #1 AND rookie stripes on his rig. First of all, he isn't #1 because he didn't drive to a win last year at Indy or win the championship, he just co-owned the team.
And he can hardly be called a rookie, I mean, how many cars did he drive to death here before? So please take the stripes off please, and give the #1 to Dan Wheldon or nobody....
It's all good, regardless....
Next I paid a visit to Al Unser Jr. He's looking good and fit. I hope he has a good car underneath him. It'd be funnier than hell to see him kick some AGR butt this year.
Some people call him Opie from the Andy Griffith show. I don't think Opie Taylor won Indy twice, but Little Al did!
I made him smile when I yelled, "Don't worry, Al. You still got more rings than all the Andrettis combined!"
I was getting tired of walking around the garages and bumping into all the autograph freaks. I mean, how many copies of Rutherford's signature do you need? What are you gonna do? Sell 'em when you're old and gray in order to finance your retirement?
Anyhoo...I went out to the track and watched the cars run for a while.
The Carmelo car ran quite a bit, and the driver, P.J. Chesson, passed his rookie test. Congrats! The announcer asked him if he was gonna run anymore after passing R.O.
PJ said something like, "F'n' a skippy I'm gonna!"
Have you seen this dude? He is thick. He is Hugeness Incorporated! He could beat up just about anybody in the paddock, probably even the entire town. He's got tats running around his gunboats. I bet he pulls major chicks too, and not the skinny kind like the AGR drivers get, but real, corn-fed Hoosier type girls!
Pretty soon I had to go pee, so I figured I'd go back to the garage area and do it because the restrooms are much cleaner.
After taking care of business, I thought I'd go back to AGR and see what they were up to.
They had Marco's rig up on jacks...probably changing the oil or something, because Marco ran a bunch of laps and passed his rookie test too. Congrats! I bet Michael was nervous, because he's the Dad AND the boss, but he's not the boss of me!!
Then I went over to where the gas pumps are. That's a good place to get photos of the cars without a lot of people getting in the way.
I saw them fueling Martin Roth's car. My 7th grade geometry teacher at Speedway Jr. High was named Mr. Roth. I wonder if they're related?
Well, I better hit the rack. I'm gonna do it all over again tomorrow.
May 8, 2006
The big boys showed up this morning and unloaded...
Herta's rig coming out of Herta's rig.
Danica's car going through some kinda pre-tech tech inspection tent thingy.
The Ethanol car of Jeff Simmons going through the same tent.
A couple of shots of Sam Hornish's car after being lovingly unloaded from the streamliner Team Penske haulers.
I told a couple of the Penske dudes that I knew how to drive the big rigs, and that if they were too nervous or scared to back them outta Gasoline Alley, I'd do it for 'em for free. They said they pretty much had things under control, but thanks anyway...
Next I went over to Tony George's Vision team and I saw Ed Carpenter's new car. Very nice...
I saw Tony a lot today. He was wearing jeans and looked just like one of the guys...not anything like a millionaire or anything. I think I'd like to have a beer or two with him sometime...
I went back over to the pre-tech tech area, and there was Tony Kanaan's car.
I hope he doesn't pull over or press the wrong button and let somebody else win on the last lap. I guess sometimes he gets confused, but so do I sometimes.
For instance, on my 10 speed Eaton-Fuller transmission in my big rig, sometimes I forget what gear I'm in. That usually happens when a good song like Fool For The City by Foghat comes on the radio.
I bet Mr. Kanaan doesn't listen to Foghat...
Then, right behind Kanaan's car, I saw Scott Sharp's rig. They were getting ready to weigh it, I think.
I didn't see Scott. He might have been at the gym pumping iron. He's really cut now...almost as thick as PJ Chesson. I'd like to see those two in a brawl. Now THAT would be a good fight.
I go back and forth a lot, as you may have noticed. My calf muscles are really sore today from all the walking...
Anyhow, I went back around to Arie Lippback Jr's garage, and there he was standing on top of the car and shaking his butt.
Not sure why this was going on, but I bet if I did that, I'd get thrown outta there in half a heartbeat.
I saw Tim Wardrop in there too. He's English. The Star called him an "Indy whiz." I met him once or twice over at the Flagroom, but I bet he doesn't remember me. I was drinking beer that night...
Now THIS is REALLY cool! This is Thadeus Medieros's rig. Talk about run what you brung!
You got red primer, bare metal and carbon fiber ground down to nuthin' with a billy file, and raunchy STP stickers!
I told 'em it looks just like my Chevelle that's been sitting in my garage since 1999, except that I got brand new fenders for it from Year One Restoration parts. I don't know if Year One sells parts for Dallaras or Panozes though...
Thadeus went out and ran 214s. I bet it'll go 220 as soon as they paint and wax it because it'll slip through the air easier. Shoot, I bet I could be an engineer like Mr. Wardrop if they'd give me a shot.
Next stop is the Rahal/Letterman stables. I never watch Letterman, because he's on too late and I have to get up early for work.
Anyhoo...here's Jeff Simmons and his crew getting things together.
Jeff replaces Paul Dana who died in a nasty crash in Florida.
Good luck Jeff!!
I don't care what anybody says. ALL these guys are brave as hell for doing what they do. So, next time somebody wants to call one of 'em a wanker, they're gonna have to go through me, 'cuz I'll go all PJ Chesson on 'em for sure!!
Here's a shot of an Ethanol show car they displayed just below the Vigoda.
I call this a snail's eye view of an Indy car just before the snail is vaporized!!
I think it has its road course wings and setup, but I bet Tim Wardrop would know for sure.
Maybe they're gonna have an allstar CART vs. IRL race at the end of the season on Indy's roadcourse. I read that on the intardnets somewhere. That would be cool. I'd go to that, but I won't go to another F1 race. I don't like Bernie much.
Here's a couple of pan shots I tried to do, like my dad showed me, with my Kodak Instamatic.
This is Al Jr. at speed going into Turn One. My Instamatic has a very slow shutter...
This is Larry Foyt exiting the pits.
PAN is a cool word real photographers with vests and lenses and credentials use. It means to move the camera with the moving subject matter and clicking the shutter and following through with the motion of the subject. Have I made myself clear? Probably not, but my dad and other real photographers could and can do it really well.
I'm not near as good as my dad. I really miss him, especially this time of year.
I gotta hit the rack now. Another full day trackside tomorrow, with everybody hittin' the bricks.
May 9, 2006
Just About Everybody Came Out And Played Today!
...so I spent most of my time in the stands, watching the on-track action and having cold beers.
I still managed to get some off-track shots for you fine folks.
Many have said how cool the Vigoda looks this year. Well, here's how I composed it in my picture. Composed is another one of those cool words real photographers use sometimes.
BTW...I know it's called the Pagoda, and that BiF is the one who originally called it the Vigoda. BiF is a close, personal friend of mine. My hat's off to him. We are like twin brothers.
Here's the Jeff Simmons rig after being carjacked and stripped.
After Bobby Rahal found some wheels and tires, Simmons posted one of the higher speeds for today, something like 222mph, but he got a tow big-time. TOW is one of those cool words real racers use, but I'm just pretending to be a real racer. You guys probably know what it means for real.
Without a tow, Jeff couldn't break 219. Keep plugging away, Jeff!
Buddy Rice ran pretty good today. Here's his rig rolling out of tech.
I wish someone would form the bill of Buddy Rice's hat for him. An Indy champion should never look like a dork. Indy champions are not dorks, even if their hats look dorky.
Here's Koske Matsura's racing unit.
He ran pretty good today as well, and did many smokey burnouts upon pit exit....the sweet, pungent aroma of incinerated Firestone Firehawks filling my nostrils....
Back at the fuel pumps with Team Carmelo.
PJ Chesson and crew were chasing it BIG TIME today! They are gripping for a good setup. Maybe Tim Wardrop could give them some pointers since he is an Indy whiz.
I bet PJ is gonna go all animal pretty soon and start playing some of that sweet chin music on someone if they can't get his rig to perform. I hope I'm in the garage area when THAT happens!
I also hope they can find the speed. I'm pulling for you, Team Carmelo!
Here's Townsend Bell and Ed Carpenter BSing outside the Vision garages.
I am TRULY impressed with the Vision Team. Carpenter, Bell, and Schecter all kicked some serious butt today....pretty much right outta the box. Darn near as good as Penske and Target, I'd say. Good job, gents!
Vitor Meira's rig...
Right before I took this shot, Vitor was underneath the car, helping the crew fix something. You gotta like a driver that'll do that!
I like this guy. He's nuts. He's fearless. He kept me on the edge of my seat last year during the race. He ran good today too.
His car is bright orange, and when he gets close to the wall in the short-chutes, the car's color reflects onto the wall, turning IT orange too! Reminds me of years ago when the STP cars did the same thing...
This is Danica Hospenthal's car.
She is the Princess. She is very popular, especially amongst little girls and women. She gives the sport much exposure, which is always good, and I give her much props for doing what she does. I probably couldn't do it without soiling myself.
She is married now. Congratulations to her and her new husband. His name is Paul. That's a nice name.
I used her married name instead of her maiden name. I'm kinda old-fashioned that way sometimes.
She has her own merchandise trailer. Go Danica Hospenthal!
This is the gearbox and rear wing assembly of Thadeus Medieros's rig.
I don't know where the rest of the car was. Probably in the paint booth.
This is an insider's look at the business end of Thadeus Medieros's garage.
Check out the toolbox! Heck, it's just like mine, except mine is a Craftsman and mine has an NRA and a WRZX X103 sticker on the lid. I bet Thadeus listens to Metallica too!
If you look closely, you can also see an open case of Bud Light. No bottled spring water like over in the Penske garages...
I like these guys more and more every day!
May 10, 2006
Well, it looks like a washout...
...so I think I might stay home today.
I thought I'd wax a little nostalgic for a moment. This is a picture I took back in the mid 80's in the turn four infield. The turn four infield is gone now.
That's my two good racing buddies Eddie (L), and his cousin Shimster (R), and my 1973 Chevy Impala coupe, with an awesome stereo using my uncle's Heathkit speakers on the roof of the car.
We were listening to Bad Company's Deal With The Preacher. I don't think there were any preachers in the infield that day.
Our shorts were very short in the 80's, but we were not short on beer!
Eddie, the Impala, and the speakers, are all gone now. I miss Eddie, especially this time of year.
Parked kinda kitty-corner behind us that day was a carload of dancers. I'm not sure which ballet they performed at, but maybe it was the Windsor ballet. Maybe they were Canadian...
They were very friendly and sociable, and they made many new pals.
It was a typical hot, May day at Indy. The ballet dancers decided it was time for a cool drink.
Apparently they didn't have cups or bottles or cans, so they had to use a funnel and a length of hose to drink with. Canadians are resourceful people!!
It wasn't long until one of the ballet dancers, suffering from a slight case of the vapors, decided it would be a good time for a nap. She found a nice shady place to take a short rest from the day's activities. Her friend is helping her to settle in...
OK...so I lied...
I ended up going to the track anyhow. I have issues...
Anyhoo...I got there just as Jeff Simmons tagged the wall. Here's a shot of the car on the hook.
Luckily, Simmons wasn't hurt. I saw him walking back into Gasoline Alley after his little shunt. He looked a little embarrassed. I know how he feels.
This one time, I was pulling away from my house in my car while my dad was out front watching. I didn't look behind me before I pulled away from the curb, and I sideswiped a neighbor who was driving down the street. Boy, did I feel silly! Simmons probably feels silly too, I bet.
The car wasn't damaged too bad.
Bobby Rahal has an awesome set of tools, kinda like a TV repairman, so I expect the team will be able to fix up the car no problem.
If you look real close, you can see how the left front tire is flat-spotted all the way down to the cords. I'm guessing that tire won't be recapped.
I'm beginning to think this car is snake bit. I told the crew they oughta put this sled in a shredder, or at least repaint it so there's no more green on it.
Here's a picture of Indy 500 Champion Eddie Cheever. Eddie could give lessons to certain Indy 500 Champion drivers on how to not look like a dork.
Eddie is being interviewed by a female version of the media. The look on Eddie's face says, "Hey Zoomie! I'd like to date this young woman!"
I hear you Eddie, but I would like to see her eat a sandwich first.
I have seen this young lady interviewing other drivers in the garage area. She asks pointed, probing, racing-related questions like, "So, I hear you just got married. Where did you honeymoon?"
Young, female media types get very good access...better than most of the guy media people. I wonder why?
Here's Dario Judd after turning some hot laps today.
Dario slapped the wall yesterday...really more of a love tap. I hope he brought enough pairs of skivvies to last him the month.
He is married to Ashley. Ashley is not the typical AGR babe. She's had a sandwich or two. She looks healthy. She could be a Hoosier. I haven't seen Ashley yet this month. Maybe she's making a movie somewhere, and can't be bothered.
Bryan Herta and crew returning to the garages when the rain began...
Bryan is right there with the rest of his team, posting good speeds. I've heard it said that he is quite the card, cutting up and playing jokes. So why does he always seem so sad?
Is it a tears-of-the-clown kinda thing?
Clowns scare me.
Rick Mears and Sam Hornish Jr....
I saw Rick win Indy four times. He made it look easy, even though I know it wasn't.
Sam would sell his new wife to win at Indy, but he may not need to. He's burning up the track. This might be his year.
I bet Roger Penske made Sam shave off his soul patch.
Many of the crew of Team Penske smoke cigarettes. I wonder if they get their squares for free?
PJ Chesson and Team Carmelo head back out to the track.
They are still chasing a setup. I'd sure like to see them do well, but I think they've worn out their engine.
I'd work for them for free if I could help them, but what could I do besides sweep the floor or wax the car?
PJ told me if I don't quit stalking him, he's gonna kick my butt.
Since it's going to rain for the next forty days and nights, I thought I'd get you all up to speed on some of the scuttlebutt I've heard in and around the paddock. Paddock is one of those cool words real racers, who are usually not from around here, like to use when talking about the garage area and pits.
I've heard a few people on the intardnets saying that certain teams at Indy will get special, souped-up Honda engines with nitrous injection and ported and polished racin' heads.
I don't think this is true, and I'll tell you why (eventually).
I am sneaky. I walk through the paddock and I watch, listen, and observe. I am like a well-trained Marine sniper, except that it's not a bullet that surprises you when it goes through your head. It's a picture, or later on, a convoluted posting on the intardnets. I like to eavesdrop...
Anyhoo...I overheard Brian Barnhart, who is the brains and the heart and soul of the IRL, explain the engine thing to someone. He says that the IRL gets the engines from Honda, then the IRL gives each engine a unique serial number. Then the IRL puts the serial numbers into a big hopper, sorta like a bingo tournament. Then the race teams do a blind draw to get their engines.
It sounds fair to me.
Here is the AJ Foyt/ABC team, working on one of their cars. I bet they think the engine deal is fair too.
They had Toyota engines last year, I think. I would not own a Toyota.
I also heard an interesting tidbit from one of the smaller teams. I think it was Lil' Al's, but I can't remember for sure because I'd had a few beers and it was hot that day.
Anyhoo...dude says he's only got enough tires to run 60 laps, then they are done. This might explain why Al hasn't been on the track much.
Roger Penske seems to have plenty of tires.
Maybe Roger could loan Al a few. After all, didn't Al win a race or two for Roger a few years back? Help a brother out, man!
On opening day, they had a bunch of Corvettes out at the track.
Seems like the only people that can afford a Corvette these days are overweight old men in white car show T-shirts, and younger yuppie types who probably got their money by robbing our 401k's.
I took pictures of all the 1953-1967 Corvettes because everybody knows that they are the real and best Corvettes ever made. The new Vettes are chick cars....chicks with lots of Benjamins...
My Dad liked Vettes too. This is his '66. Dad liked Cadillacs too, but I always loved the Corvette the most. Dad would let me wash it. Dad would let me ride in it, sometimes in the back if my big brother was with us. That would get you a seatbelt ticket today!!
Dad never let me drive it, though, because he sold it right before I got my driver's license.
Sometimes, my dad was mean.
That's about all I have for today, folks. Hope I didn't offend anyone. But in case I did, I'll be at the Flagroom tonight for the festivities, so you can explain things better to me if you want, or maybe we can fight or something too!
I'll be hoisting one in Railbird's honor...
Even though I didn't know him as well as many of you, I still miss him, especially this time of year.
May 12, 2006
I went out to the track today. I didn't stay long because everything was wet and it was still raining.
If you look closely, you can see that the car numbers on the pylon correspond exactly to the cars starting or running positon. How often does THAT happen? Must be some kinda harmonic convergence or alignment-of-planets type thing.
People talk about windows and weather. I think those people think that when they use cool words like windows, they think they are Bob Gregory, but they are not. Windows is a word only famous meteorologists, or maybe Bill Gates, should use.
All this rain is a bummer, and I bet it's all George W. Bush's fault. Anytime anything anywhere goes wrong, it's always his fault. I won't vote for him next time.
It rained a lot in the 70's too, but I don't remember anyone blaming Nixon, and we really needed someone to blame for 1973. That was a bad year. I was at the race that year, and I can remember thinking that they should build a big dome over the track so we could have races rain or shine. That would be cool.
I went over to the Firestone garage next. There, I saw a guy balancing race tires.
He was a very friendly fellow. He said he can mount and balance 100 tires in a day! Wow!
I told him that I thought Brian Barnhart, the brains and heart and soul behind the IRL, should get all the race cars out of the garages, mount them all with rain tires, and make them all go out and run.
I need to be entertained. I paid $100 for my bronze badge. I can watch it rain in my back yard for free. The F1 guys run in the rain, and they are kinda girlie, so I think the IRL racers should run in the wet too.
I bet the IRL guys would do it without Mr. Barnhart telling them to if they could, because they are tough.
My next stop was the tech garage. Whose car should I see in there? It was the racer of Danica Hospenthal!!
Danica has a big, special section in today's Indianapolis Star newspaper. The story was written by Curt Cavin. He is a Hoosier journalistic legend...a lot like Ernie Pyle, or Robin Miller.
Curt Cavin wrote about Danica's wedding. He included some candid photos from the ceremony. I think Mr. Cavin must have stolen Mrs. Hospenthal's wedding photo album. I bet Mr. Hospenthal is gonna kick Mr. Cavin's butt if he ever finds out about it too!
The story also mentioned how, before she was married, Mrs. Hospenthal used to get all drunk and crazy over in Europe when she was driving those funny foreign types of cars. They drink a lot in Europe. She'd forget things sometimes and feel kinda sorry for doing things other times when she partied a lot. I know how she feels. I used to be young and dumb once too, but I got married and had to quit doing stupid stuff.
Mrs. Hospenthal and I are really a lot alike, if you stop and think about it!
This is a photo I took today at the garages of AJ Foyt/ABC racing.
This is how the fashionable, trendy Indy racers dress for inclement weather.
I saw some people today who were wearing trash bags. I bet AJ Foyt wouldn't wear a trash bag. Four time Indy 500 winners do not wear trash bags to stay dry. Four time Indy 500 winners are too tough and cool to wear trash bags. Former Champions would rather get wet.
I have Microsoft Picture It Publishing 2001 and Photoshop and time on my hands. I'm on vacation.
This is a bumper sticker logo-type thing I designed.
I probably should ask Gene Simmons if it's OK, because he might kick my butt or spit blood on me if I don't clear it with him first.
I bet Tony George wouldn't have a problem with it, though. He seems pretty mellow to me, and he cares about the fans, and I'm a big fan. I just wish he would make it quit raining so we could go racing again.
May 14, 2006
I do not subscribe to the hate and politics of open wheel racing. I watch it all, even F1, on TV, but I won't go to another USGP. I don't like Bernie much.
I saw a Champ Car sticker on a restroom appliance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
I do not know if the sticker was put there by a hateful IRL fan, or a hateful Champ Car fan. All I know is that the sticker was gone the next day, due to the care and diligence of the IMS Ecology crew. Thanks, crew!
I watched the Champ Car race at Houston last night. SeaBass, that's what Sebastian Bourdais is called, won the race. He looks like a Purdue rocket scientist, but that's OK, because he drives like a rocket too. He just got married, in France, to a French girl, I believe. Lots of racing drivers are getting married these days.
SeaBass and Paul Tracy do not like each other much, I don't think. They would never marry each other.
Champ car drivers throw tantrums, sometimes. They like to make hand gestures, wave to their fellow race participants, and do fake swerves at other cars on the track. Road racing will do that to a guy, I guess, but if I did those kinda things out on the interstate, I'd probably get shot at!
The track at Houston is very bumpy. It was set up in the parking lot of the Astrodome. Sometimes, there is a temporary road course set up in the parking lot of the abandoned cinema-plex at Lafayette Square. Same kinda deal...
In Champ Car, they have a push to pass button. That's kinda cool, I think. You press it, and your rig blasts forward faster for a short period of time. You have a limited number of PTP's, so you better use them wisely and judiciously, young man!
PTP is kinda like my kids' Nintendo Gamecube Mario Kart Double Dash. They have a turbo button they can press in that game too. Come to think of it, the tracks on Mario Kart Double Dash are a lot like the tracks Champ Car races on. Maybe there is a connection.
Champ Car uses two types of tires for a race. One type is softer, gentler, and kinder, and has red sidewall lettering. Those tires are so COOL! I want a set for my Caddy. Those tires look just like the tires on my Hot Wheels cars I had when I was a kid.
If it ever quits raining, I'll be back out at IMS to report on the goings on there.
I saw something today I haven't seen in a while.
A green flag!
I carried on a personal Mother's Day tradition too. I stopped by my mom's house, said, "Hi Mom. Happy Mother's Day. I love you. Gotta go to the track now!"
I am a bad son.
Many cars went out to practice. Some high speeds were posted. Last year's champ, Dan Wheldon, posted the top speed of 228+ MPH. He got a tow, though.
Here is Dan being interviewed by a local TV media type.
I saw Dan sign a little kid's Mother's Day card. Dan told the kid that where he comes from, they spell MOM like this......MUM. Dan is from England, like Tim Wardrop. Dan is cool. I think I'd like to drink a few pints with him sometime.
Pretty soon, it started raining again, so I went back to the garages.
I saw a new car. It is the racer of Steve Gregory.
Steve and his team seemed disappointed that it was raining again. We are all upset, Steve. Believe me!
The car looks very cool and evil and fast with its shiny black paint. However, maybe the racing team should reconsider using a cuss word for a sponsor.
I mean, I don't think our kids need to see an Effen race car with Effen vodka or Effen anything else like that on it.
I got into big trouble one time, just after I came home from Marine Corps boot camp. I was sitting at the dinner table with my mom and dad having supper. I said, "Hey Mom. Pass the Effen mashed potatoes!"
I am a bad son.
These are more pictures of stylish Indy racers and their trendy rainwear. They are very sexy.
Speaking of sexy....I saw some very pretty young ladies in the garage area today. I didn't take pictures of them because, sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor. They looked like they were fashion models or centerfold pinups or something like that, but I never saw girls that looked like that on the noses of B-17s.
Eddie Cheever saw them too! I told Eddie that those winsome lasses were too young for him.
He said, "Zoomie, they are never too young!"
I think Eddie Cheever has become a dirty old man.
My next stop was the Panther Racing stables. They had a car in there that was all primer gray, and since I'm a closet gear head, you know I had to take a photo.
Primer is cool because primer means that dudes are working on the car, and dudes that work on the cars are cool and are unsung, so that's why I take a lot of pictures of the crews working.
There was a Panther guy in there, so I asked him whose car it was gonna be. He looked at me as if I had just stepped off a Martian space craft. Then, he said it's just a car they use to practice pit stops with.
I don't believe that for a minute! It's not like they have a warehouse full of cars laying around. I bet Panther is planning to give that car to Arie Lippback Sr to put in the race so he can win like Big Al did in an old show car that sat in an airport lobby and had sticky kids fingerprints all over it.
I think the Panther guy thought I was a spy for Roger Penske or something, but I am not.
I WOULD be a spy for Team Carmelo, though, if they wanted me to be! I bet I'd be good at it too, because I am sneaky.
At this point, I was soaked to the bone, and I can't let my Kodak Instamatic get wet, so I decided to leave IMS, but I took this last shot before I departed.
I hope we don't have to see this anymore this month. That would Effen be bad!
May 15, 2006
Idle hands are the devil's playground...
With all this free time, I have been thinking about some business ideas to coincide with the Indy 500...some fun stuff that maybe just might sell, or get me into big trouble and thrown into the Marion County lockup.
Here is my first idea.
It is the Official Danica Hospenthal Cowbell!
I think we should get the famous Indian cymbol maker from India, Zildjian, to make them for us for cheap out of brass or copper or scrapped supertankers, or whatever they make them out of. Then we could get 'em Fedex'd here just in time for her Victory lap around the track! We could ring them or bang them with those big turkey leg bones you find all over the place.
It would be a special moment for Mrs. Hospenthal, I'm sure!
My next idea is kinda selfish, I guess. But my kids need to eat too!
It is the Official Walter Zoomie I AM ZOOMIE T-shirt.
We could also have the logo silk screened on sweatshirts and hats and bumper stickers and young lady's thongs! I bet Eddie Cheever would especially like that last idea!
Those are the two ideas I had.
I bet you all wish the track was open today and tomorrow, because then you wouldn't have to read my foolishness here on the intardnets.
But, if you really think about it, I could be at a pub somewhere, drinking way too many New Castle Ales and getting arrested for public intoxication. That would Effen suck!
Is it OK to say suck here? If not, I am sorry, and I will delete it.
May 17, 2006
I just found out that my wealthy, conservative sister has a ticket for me and my son, in J stand, for the race! All I have to do in return is to drywall, mud, sand, paint, rewire, and trim out her entire palatial estate up at Geist! Sounds fair to me!
Now she wants me to fix her hail damaged dimensional Owens and Corning asphalt shingles as payback for the tickets in J stand. I am afraid of heights. Everybody knows J stand is the best place to sit for the race. Only the coolest, real racers sit in J stand. I will be on my sister's roof sometime soon after the race. Someone please be ready to dial 911.
My sister is a mean sister.
I usually take my oldest son to the races. He is 12. This year, I decided to take my younger son to the race in J stand. He is 10. I do not want him to feel like Dad is neglecting him or doesn't like him much.
I can use the race as ammunition. I say things like, "Son, if you misbehave in any way between now and race day, I will take your older brother to the race in J stand instead." My 12 year old son likes that idea a lot.
My 10 year old son has to pee a lot sometimes. His bladder is small. I think I won't feed him or let him drink anything during the race. I told him I wasn't going to hold his hand every time he had to go pee. I told him that the other people in J stand he has to step on when he has to go pee won't like him much and will get mad. I told him also that if he got kidnapped or something when he went to go pee, that was too bad. I'll look for him after the race.
I am a bad father.
Today was a beautiful day to be alive and well and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Dave "The King" Wilson says something like that sometimes. He is a Hoosier radio legend, plus, he loves Indy, and works with David Donaldson, so he's pretty cool in my book. I'd think I'd like to have a beer with him sometime.
I saw something today at the track I haven't seen in a while. It was this big, warm, orange, fiery ball in the sky. It was the sun. It was nice.
I saw some new faces and cars today too. They are the faces and cars of the second week teams. The second week teams are looking like geniuses right about now!
This is the rig of Airton Dare.
It is being checked out by the crack team of IRL technical folks. They are making sure that Airton is not cheating or using unapproved parts like hidden jet engines or something.
Later on, Airton went out on the track and didn't go very fast, so I don't think he was cheating. Maybe Airton was nervous. I know how he feels.
One time, I got on my cousin's Honda minibike. I had never driven a minibike before. I floored it, popped the clutch, and almost broke my neck. That incident made me nervous around Hondas too. I'm sure Airton will be OK, because he is a professional racing car driver. I bet Honda minibikes don't scare him at all.
The next newcomers that I saw were the cars and stars of the Playa Del Racing Team. Welcome back to Indy, Playa Del! We are happy to have you back.
This is the car of Jack Lazier.
Jack's rig is sponsored by some kinda online gambling outfit. I hope the sponsor is not from New Jersey or New York City. Otherwise, Jack might never see any of his winnings, and he could end up with a case of wobbly knee if he doesn't do well in the race!
Jack drove for Playa Del last year and did a great job. Jack is the brother of Indy 500 Champion Buddy Lazier. Driving fast and good must run in the Lazier family. I bet Jack hopes being an Indy 500 Champ runs in the family too.
Here is the other Playa Del racer. John Herb will attempt to pilot this car to Victory pedestal so he can chug a cool, refreshing bottle of milk.
Good luck, Mr. Herb!
If you are paying attention, you'll notice that the Playa Del car numbers are 21 and 12. If you put them together, you get 2112! 2112 is just about the best album the rock group Rush ever put out. I bet Jack and John play Passage To Bangkok on the team radio frequencies when they orbit the world's greatest racing facility. I know I would if I was them!
Next on my itinerary was the garage of Thadeus Medieros...one of my favorite drivers. His racer is fresh from the paint booth.
Remember when it was all cool and primered and looked like the junk man's pickup truck who scrounges through your garbage the night before trash day and leaves a big oil slick out in front of your house?
Well...no more, bucko! Now it looks sharp and shiny and fast!
It looks like the car Jordan Gongcock drove way back in the olden days of Indy. Jordon won Indy a time or two, so maybe it is good luck for Thadeus too!
Here's the racing machine of Vision's Tommy Scheckter, who is the son of 1979 Formula One Champion Jody Scheckter. It is a bad motor scooter, and it has a convenient carrying handle on the nose too!
Team Vision platooned today. Tommy, Eddie, and Townie all were on the track together...following each other very close and drafting and passing each other at 220 MPH! It was WAY cool! They will be a force to reckon with come race day. You watch!
These are various parts of a Target/Chip Ganassi racer.
Don't worry! The lads at TCG know how to put it back together! They are professionals. They pay attention to stuff, unlike me.
Sometimes, I don't pay enough attention.
Not long ago, I went out target shooting. When I was done, I took the gun apart to clean it, but then I couldn't put it back together, so I brought a plastic bag full of gun parts to a gunsmith and paid him $50 to re-assemble it. I bet he thought I was a dork!
The mechanics at TCG are sorta like gunsmiths for Indy racing machines, but it will cost you a lot more than $50 for their services I bet!
This is a picture that proves AJ Foyt has a sense of humor.
Some people say AJ is old and dumb and mean just because he beats up computers and Arie Lippback and doesn't take any crap. I don't think so. I say AJ is everyman. I mean, who hasn't wanted to smash a computer or a pretty European man? I know I have.
And now, here we have a VISA/Mastercard sign outside AJ's garage. How cool and funny is that?
I wonder if AJ has a modern swipe-type thing for credit cards, or one of those old ka-chunk things with carbon paper in it?
I'd lay odds on the ka-chunk thingy if I was a bettin' man!
Here is Derek Daly interviewing Mrs. Hospenthal for Q95 radio on the Boob and Tom show.
Derek Daly is a former F1 and Indy car legend and a broadcasting legend, so that makes him doubly cool in my book! He must have run Eddie Cheever off the road a time or two back in their F1 days, because those two don't like each other much.
I think I made Mrs. Hospenthal's day today. Remember the Official Danica Hospenthal Cowbell I introduced to you yesterday? Well, I brought it to the track today. When Mrs. Hospenthal appeared from Gasoline Alley this morning on her way to her pit, I rang the cowbell good and loud so she could hear it! She waved and smiled and laughed. She should do that more.
She didn't run all that well today. I could tell by the look on her face after her run that she was not happy and needed more cowbell, so I gave her some. I think she felt better after that, but I can still tell that she wants to get rid of her crappy slow Panoz and get a Dallara.
If you know women like I know women, you know that they get what they want...sooner rather than later.
I suspect that Bobby Rahal has ordered a C-5 full of Dallaras, and is having them shipped Next Day Air!
In the afternoon the weather took a nasty turn. You guessed it! More rain on the way!
After the short deluge, the rest of the practice session was canceled. Oh well, plenty of action until 4pm at least...better than nuthin'......
This is something I saw next.
Now...maybe it's just me, but I don't think it's a good idea to put your kid on an Effen leash!
Perhaps if this young mother would put a leash on her Ho-Ho consumption, she could keep up with her young son. It's just a thought..............
And another thing.... I don't think flip flops/shower shoes should be allowed in the pits. Toe jam could cause a nasty wreck. Watch yours.
On my way out of the track this evening, I think I saw Tony George's car.
I thought he had a Cooper Mini. A guy could fit two Minis into this rig.
Then again, I guess Tony could have more than one car. He is a millionaire, after all!
I don't see how you become a millionaire selling baking soda. I guess he struck while the iron was hot.
Timing's everything, sometimes...
See y'all track side tomorrow! (if it doesn't Effen rain)
May 18, 2006
I am never one to toot my own horn.
However, after looking at this morning's Indianapolis Star, I have decided that my Indy 500 coverage is better than theirs!
I am just one man, and I do this for free. The Star has many, handsomely-paid staff, and they only have one page of Indy 500 news? What are they doing? Sending all of their crack reporting teams to cover a story about moms running their own businesses? Or how Hoosiers eat too much and smoke too much? Duh! Stop the presses! It's May in Indy. Get your butts to the track and do some reportin'!
I think the Star should hire me as their full-time racin' reporter and photographer. I would work cheaper and drink a hell of a lot less booze. Heck, I wouldn't even make them buy me one of those jaunty vests other photographers always wear.
Maybe that's why my pictures are pretty good! Nobody knows I'm a wanna be photographer because I don't look like a photographer. I just look like some kinda dorky race fan with a cheap Kodak Instamatic...a nobody you don't have to worry about or fix your hair or wipe up the BBQ sauce from the corners of your mouth!
So, in conclusion, that's what I think the Star should do.
OK...now I'm gettin' mad.
I've had about all the rain I'm gonna take. I went out to the track today. Got rained on going over there. They almost had the track totally dry, then it rains again. Then it quits, and the sun comes out. Then it starts getting real cold and windy and dark and evil looking...all Wizard of Oz and stuff.
I figured I might as well call it a day and rest up for the Flag Room tonight, so now I'm back home posting stupid pictures and stories and having a cold beer.
Before things turned all to crap again, I was able to cruise the garages and get a few shots.
Here's Derek Daly and Track Dude Mike Young interviewing Bobby Rahal's boys... Jeff Simmons and Buddy Rice.
I've already previously covered everybody in this picture except Track Dude, so now I'll talk about him for a bit.
Mike Young works for Q95/X103 radio, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, which is a huge and evil corporate conglomerate bent on the destruction of everything everyone holds dear.
Thing is, Mike is an ultra cool dude...not evil or mean or stuck up or anything, and he Effen LOVES racing! I bet he'd rather be at the track all day, drinkin' beer and watchin' cars and chicks, rather than have to go to X103 and listen to a really bad Staind record. He's about the only member of the media that doesn't act like he is Christ come to cleanse the temple.
He'd really freak if he knew I used to be in radio too! I graduated, first in my class, from Professional Broadcasters Institute. That school doesn't exist anymore. A long time ago, I used to DJ at a 3000 watt blowtorch country station in Boone County. You'd never know it now, but I was a broadcast legend at one time.
Mike Young and I are a lot alike. I think I'd like to have a beer or two with him sometime.
Here's a couple of shots of the Koske Matsura racing machine.
This is the team waiting to put Koske's rig through tech. If you look closely, the guy on the left rear tire is using his foot as a wheel chock. Not a good idea, crew dude. Unless you are wearing steel-toed shoes, that could be dangerous.
They make me wear steel toes at my job. My feet get very hot.
My employer doesn't care about my comfort. They are a mean employer.
In this second shot, the guy steering the car seems to be saying, "Hey Zoomie! Get the Eff outta the way!"
Koske and his team mate, Scott Sharp, are tearin' it up this year! They are very fast!
I could say something like, "They are fast because they think Godzilla is chasing them."
That would be wrong, so I won't say that.
Here's a pair of photos of the Vision/Rock and Republic Racing Team.
In case you didn't know, Rock and Republic is some kinda high-fashion $150 a pair blue jeans company. I doubt that a working man, like you or me, has ever heard of them, let alone bought a pair of their fancy schmancy pantaloons. I get my jeans at K-mart.
This is Ed Carpantier, signing autographs for eager fans.
This picture kinda concerns me.
It shows garage activity of Tommy Scheckter's car and crew.
If you look closely you can see a table full of tasty, junk food-type treats. These days, racing crews probably shouldn't stuff their faces with Doritos.
Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi, and Team Andretti make sure their guys get plenty of fruit and veggie platters. I bet they are regular.
I bet the Vision crews are gonna be needing some Metamucil if they don't change their ways.
Oh great. Dave "The King" Wilson is on the air now and is telling me they are running out at the track. I can hear the cars screaming by on the radio. I am Effen upset now!
Here's a picture that probably might make Chip Ganassi mad.
I used to work in a warehouse once. I had a boss that liked to say, "Zoomie, if you got time to lean, you got time to clean."
He was a mean boss.
I wonder if there was anything to clean or sweep in the TCG stables when I took this picture? Probably not, but who knows for sure?
The TCG crews are professional and very fast so far this month. I bet they think they have everything done and under control, and they don't have anything to do until race day.
Don't count your chickens before they hatch, TCG Team! Indy can be a bitch sometimes, and she can bite you on the butt!
Here is the crew of Playa Del Racing, working hard and getting ready for the Indy 500.
If you look closely, you'll see a neon Leinenkugel Beer sign! How cool is that? Anybody that's cool has a beer sign or two in their garage.
Leinenkugel is a legend in brewing. I've never had the pleasure of partaking in a Leinie. I'm sure it is a fine ale, enjoyed by all.
Here's a shot of Steve Gregory shooting the breeze with Scott Goodyear and Bob Jenkins.
I've already covered Steve Gregory.
Scott Goodyear and Bob Jenkins are broadcast legends who work for the partner, ABC/ESPN.
Goodyear used to drive Indy cars, but he's retired now. He almost won the Indy 500 a long time ago, but he got black flagged for passing the pace car or flicking a booger at Al Unser Jr. or some other kind of nefarious on-course racing incident.
He tried to cheat and got caught, I think, and that's why he's always had a bad attitude ever since. Let it go Scotty, just let it go.
Bob Jenkins has been doing racing stuff for 30 years or more. He truly IS a broadcast legend. He is nice, very nice, and he avoids negativity and confrontation, I think. Bob could give me some pointers on how to deal with people, probably.
He is like the Gandhi of motor sports broadcasting. He looks like he is at peace in the picture, doesn't he?
My last picture of the day will be a picture of Steve Gregory's rig coming out of the IRL tech shed.
Steve Gregory is French. He is from France....Nosferatu, France. I hope he is not the devil or a vampire or a werewolf, but he can go out there and drive like the devil and that will be OK with me!
See you at the Flag Room tonight!
May 19, 2006
Everything was right with the world today at IMS.
Perfect weather, and Ms. Jamie Little. She is a vision. She is a broadcast legend who works for the partner as a pit reporter. She is able to wear a nomex suit in a way I have never seen before.
The look on her enchanting face says one of two things in this picture:
1-- "Zoomie! Take me! Take me NOW!"
2--"Get the Eff away from me and quit stalking me, you annoying dork!
I prefer the former.
Please allow me to dream.
I bet Eddie Cheever would trade his Indy 500 win if it meant he could date Jamie Little.
Arie Lippback Jr. pranged the wall yesterday. Today, his team worked their butts off to fix the shattered racing machine.
Arie's team was able to get the car back together. They are awesome, as evidenced by this illustration. Way to go, Team Arie Lippback!!
This picture disturbs me.
This is four-time Indy 500 Champion The Rocket Rick Mears. He is riding on a Segue, which is a two wheeled, portable, electric mode of transport. Another name for it is DORK-MOBILE!
No Indy winner, no matter how many times he's won it, should EVER be seen riding one of these.
I mean, if Marty Roth wants to ride a Segue...OK, but not Rick Mears.
I understand that Rick Mears might have sore legs from Indy car crashes from a long time ago, and that walking a lot might hurt him now.
That's fine, but, I think that if a 4-time Indy winner needs a little help getting around these days, he should have a throne of hot chicks that look like Jamie Little to carry him around or something.
And Tony George or Roger Penske should pay for it too! Why not? They pay for everything else!
This is the racer of Max Papis. He is the new team mate of Eddie Cheever.
I bet Max and Eddie are gonna cruise for young chicks together, that's what I think.
Max used to drive in the CART series, which is now known as Champ Car. Some people think Champ Car drivers are better than IRL drivers. I couldn't really say for sure if that's true or not, but when I watched the Champ Car race at Houston last week, I thought I saw a driver or two there that had the same driving prowess as a Marty Roth or a Jeff Simmons.
I heard Max was killed in the movie Driven. He looks like he's recovered nicely. The movie Driven Effen sucked. It was bad cinema. Life is too short for bad cinema.
Here's a shot of Max after practice ended today.
If you look closely, you can see that Max shares the paddock's deeply felt affection for me.
I can just feel the love emanating from Max's facial expressions and hand gestures!
I bet Max and the rest of the paddock will probably have a real nice present for me at the end of the month once the race is over...sorta like how they did for Chuckie.
I'll just play it off and pretend I don't know about it, though, and when they give me the present I'll act all surprised and stuff and maybe I might cry or something a little. That always plays good in the media...
I hope they give me something cool, though, like maybe a Dallara or something. I don't want a Panoz, though. They suck.
This is the tub of the Thadeus Medieros racer. The tub means what's left over and identifiable after a heinous crash.
He had a shunt, or off course excursion yesterday. Those two terms are used by real racers, usually of European road-racing origin. I just used them to sound cool. When those terms are used in an Indy reference, it means you garbaged your rig by stuffing it into the concrete walls!
Note how the crew members look embarrassed and sad and downtrodden and won't even look the camera in the eye.
They are forlorn that all their hard work up until then was for naught.
Don't despair, Team Thadeus! All is not lost!
Just throw that mangled tub into the back of your brother-in-law's pickup truck and take it to the body shop and fix 'er right up!
That's what we do here on the south side!
This is Roger Yasukawa pulling out of his Team Playa Del pit.
Roger replaces John Herb. Mr. Herb musta had better things to do than to drive fast at Indy.
This is the racer of PJ Jones.
PJ Jones is the son of Parnelli Jones, the 1963 Indy Champion. Parnelli is a bad ass. He kicked Eddie Sachs' butt once for mouthing off.
PJ Jones got some free, on-track time all by himself today after the track closed. I bet Parnelli threatened to kick Tony George's butt if he didn't let PJ get some practice in.
I have an old burnt up Offy piston. I was told it came outta one of Parnelli's racing rigs from back in the day. Last year at the Flag Room I got drunk, and I had Parnelli autograph my piston. I thought he was gonna kick my butt, but he didn't, so now I have a cool piece of Indy racing memorabilia.
NO...it's not for sale either!
Here's a shot of Tony Kanaan's car. I really don't have anything smart to say about it either.
Wait....yeah, I do!
The drivers of Andretti Green are playful. I saw Dario Judd rub Tony's bald head this morning. I saw former AGR driver and Indy Champ Dan Wheldon getting frisky with the sad clown Bryan Herta, as well as Kanaan. I saw the lot of them high fiving and stuff.
Those guys are close, and really know how to have fun!
This is Mark Donohue's sled from his 1971 Indy 500 effort.
This is Bobby Unser's rig from 1981 where he won, then lost, then won again because USAC and Mario had some problems or something.
Why do Andrettis seem to always cause problems?
I was there that day but I don't remember much about it because I had just graduated from high school and I was probably drunk from having illegal beers because I was only 17 or something.
I was a miscreant, juvenile delinquent.
A couple of shots taken from the catwalk above Gasoline Alley.
An old Miller, circa 1935. The owners used those stick-on type mailbox letters on it. I'm not so sure the owners of this classic racing machine know what Indy means. I think if I needed to do some lettering on my old race car, I wouldn't go to Home Depot to get it done. I think I would hire somebody cool, like Chip Foose, or something, to hand paint my graphics.
A classic, driven by Elmer George...
This is wrong on so many levels..
Another classic, done up right...
A slumbering TCG racing unit...
I heard a very loud thump today. It sounded like two railroad box cars slamming together, but it wasn't. That sound I heard was Jeff Simmons in his Bobby Rahal racing unit. He made a wrong mistake in Turn One.
This is what a mistake at Indy looks like.
Luckily, Jeff was not hurt.
This is the Jeff Simmons secret Hurt Locker. This is where Team Rahal puts all the bits and pieces of the cars Jeff Simmons destroys.
Remember when I said I thought that the Ethanol car was snake bit and unlucky and that RLR should shred it or repaint it? Well, maybe I was wrong.
I think that if I was Bobby Rahal, I would fire Jeff Simmons and just run two cars from here on out. That's what I'd do.
May 20, 2006
To my faithful audience:
I am sorry if I have taken this in a bad direction.
I don't intend to sound negative and mean and hateful to Mr. Roth or Mr. Simmons, or anyone else.
They are brave souls for doing what they do. I couldn't do it.
It's just that I don't want to see anybody else get killed, and maybe, just maybe, there are some out there on that track that really shouldn't be.
But what the Eff do I know? I'm just a dork race fan with a camera and intardnet access.
This is the Indy 500, not Eldon Rasmussen's Rent-A-Racer.
I am a bad thread author, sometimes.
See you track side.
I decided to take the day off from my blog work here. I thought it would be a fatherly thing to do to take both my boys out to time trials at IMS today instead.
I am a good dad.
Besides, with all the love I'm feeling in the paddock recently, I didn't wanna risk a butt beatin'.
This is my boys, up in the crow's nest in the North West Vista. For those of you who are directionally challenged, the NW Vista is in the Fourth Turn.
Don't try to stalk them or kidnap them or anything now, or I will mess you up!
I had to buy 4 hot dogs, 3 hamburgers, 1 tenderloin, and 4 Cokes today.
I am a broke dad.
Quallies was way cool. Sam "Soul Patch" Hornish won the pole. He is my pick to win the race.
One of the Target guys, maybe it was Wheldon, I can't remember which because I had beer, almost biffed it when he almost missed pit entrance after his warm down lap. That would have been very unprofessional on his part and would have made Chip mad, I bet.
I saw only two qualifiers wave to the cheering crowds after their runs. They were cool. The first was Matsura. The second was PJ Chesson, my hero, who thrust his fist in the air in a triumphant gesture! Back in the olden times, the drivers would darn near undress in order to acknowledge their adoring fans.
I guess today the drivers have better things to do.
Modern times suck sometimes.
I saw Martin Roth spin. Someone PLEASE park Mr. Roth before he kills himself. Or take the keys to his Dallara and hide them or something...
This guy was drunk and causing a scene in the NW Vista. He was loud. He was obnoxious. In this photo, he is challenging me to a duel.
Heck. I didn't even know the dude. He was a total stranger to me. He also offered to relieve me of my cooler of beer once he finished up with the light work of kicking my butt.
He was a mean drunk.
After I took this shot, I gathered up my two sons and we vacated the NW Vista. As I did so, I narced out the mean drunk to a yellow shirt, who had the Marion County Sheriff take the mean drunk to the lockup.
There are no cool people in the North West Vista.
I will be back on the job Sunday, giving you fine people the full coverage you've come to expect and deserve. (unless it Effen rains)
I am a good thread author sometimes.
May 21, 2006
Team Thadeus/PDM Make Indy 500 Field!
Awesome! Totally awesome!! After a three day thrash session, the car of Thadeus Medieros makes the field!
Thadeus biffed it earlier this week. The team has been begging, borrowing, stealing, and dumpster diving all over Gasoline Alley to get this rig back together.
Here is the team this morning, making final adjustments to the car, which I shall name FrankenCar II.
Note how they are using their mom's lasagna pan to pour tranny fluid into the gearbox.
It used to make my mom mad when I'd be wrenching on my '73 Impala and I'd use her Revere-Ware to clean parts with.
I was a thoughtless son sometimes.
This is the engine cover/air intake for Thadeus' racer. It is way cool!
Note how it is primer gray with black primered flames on it. It doesn't get any better than that! That's how we do it here on the south side too!
I think they primered over the flame job before they hit the track. I was bummed about that.
Here is the moment of truth. Team Thadeus attempts to start the racing mill.
She fires and runs! Voila! Success!!
The guy on the right looks like a mean Marine drill instructor, but he was probably just tired from no sleep and wrenching on FrankenCar II for three days.
He knows what Indy means.
He scares me.
This is Team Thadeus and car after their successful qualification run. They are very tired but happy. I am very proud of them. I bet they are very happy that I am proud of them too.
If you look closely, you can see that parts of this car, like the lower portion of the side pods, came from last year's Centrix car that was driven by Sebastian Bourdais. SeaBass stuffed that car into the wall at Indy too last year. He had some help, though, I think.
Thadeus and SeaBass are a lot alike, if you really stop and think about it.
I guess SeaBass had a Hurt Locker for all his broken race car pieces here too. That turned out to be really fortunate for Team Thadeus.
I guess SeaBass couldn't be bothered with Indy this year. He had to race in Mexico today for Champ Car, so he couldn't fit Indy into his busy social calendar, I bet.
I don't think SeaBass knows what Indy means.
This picture truly concerns me deeply.
This is PJ Chesson getting a tattoo in the Alley Cat's tent next to Gasoline Alley.
This picture was taken at 2:12pm, EST, on Bump Day at Indy...a time that I think would be best used testing race setups for a qualified car for the Indy 500.
The only other time the race teams will have to test race setups will be a short time on Carb Day.
I think testing race setups is more important than getting a skanky tattoo with a skanky tattoo needle while drinking skanky Michelob Ultra, but what do I know? I'm just a dork race fan with a camera and intardnet access.
I don't think Team Carmello or PJ Chesson knows what Indy means.
I am greatly disappointed.
I bet this photo will make Roger Penske mad.
This is a member of Team Penske engaging in dangerous horseplay. I bet if Roger ever sees this picture, he will fire this guy for not knowing what Indy means.
Roger Penske runs a professional organization. He does not take any crap from anyone. You only get one chance with Roger. Just ask Paul Tracy!
My employer has a "no dangerous horseplay" rule too. They don't want us to throw tape balls at each other because we might put an eye out. I think my employer is more worried about lawsuits than anything else, sometimes.
Roger Penske is most worried about winning at Indy, because he knows what Indy means.
My employer and Roger Penske are not much alike sometimes.
This is an employee of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. She has the important task of making sure the race teams have all the Firestone Indy 500 Firehawks they need to compete in the Indy 500.
This lady's momma did her hair up funny.
In the Marines, this hairstyle would be called eccentric. If we had hair like this in the Marines, we would be taken to Marine jail. In the Marines, we called Marine jail the brig. Marines are part of the Navy...the BEST part!!
I do not know if her appearance is in keeping with the image Firestone would like to represent to the public.
If I was this woman's boss, I think I would fire her or make her quit spray painting bright red streaks into her hair. That's what I'd do.
I would be a mean boss.
I know what Indy means.
This is a top secret spy photo of the super special rear view mirror upright mounts on the Team Penske racing machines.
I told you all that I would be a good spy because I am sneaky. Well, if this shot doesn't prove it, I don't know what will.
I bet I could sell this picture to Chip Ganassi or Michael Andretti for a few bucks too!
I bet this special mirror mount gives the Penske racers an extra 2 or 3 mph, and that's why they are starting first and second.
It's not really cheating either, because it's never cheating just because you're smarter or richer and can try out new stuff you think of that's not in the rule book yet.
That's what Indy means, so I don't wanna hear any Andrettis whining about it either!
This is a picture I took this morning. This is the car of Martin Roth.
This car would take on some drastic changes in its appearance as the day went on today.
I think you all remember me saying yesterday that perhaps it would be best for Martin to park his rig or for someone to take the keys before he made a wrong mistake again at Indy.
Martin has spun several times this month without collecting Indy's walls. He has been extremely lucky because Indy's walls will eventually demand payment for a driver's wrong mistakes. Just ask Sam Hornish!
Today, Martin paid his bill, and I was sitting right in front of the teller's window!
I heard that railroad box car sound again...
Martin entered turn one about ten feet outta the groove, I think. Martin entered the short chute wall at the pictured location. I hope the yellow shirts in the picture were not showered with fragments of Martin's car! Martin then proceeded to bounce a couple of times more up in turn two.
Luckily, Martin was not hurt.
Martin is paid up until next year. He will not have anymore payments until then, because he won't be in this year's race.
That is a good thing for everybody.
I think Martin should go into the catering business or something.
I think Martin thinks he knows what Indy means, but he really doesn't.
This is Martin back in the garage area after his little shunt.
He is getting into a golf cart to leave Gasoline Alley and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the year. He leaves behind a smoldering hulk in his garage. The door was closed, so I could not get a shot of the carnage. Sorry!
He was getting handshakes and pats on the back and condolences. He could have gotten a LifeLine flight to Methodist.
He is wearing a pinky ring. Indy drivers should not wear pinky rings.
Bye bye, Martin! I am happy that you survived the month!
May 22, 2006
Here is a picture I took yesterday.
It is kinda artsy-phartsy. It is a Duesenberg. Dusies were expensive and fast cars back in the old days. Only the coolest people back then, like Clark Gable or Mickey Rooney, could afford them.
Sometimes, when I'm tired of shooting race cars and mechanics with dirty hands, I try to go all Ansel Adams and take something that would look good on a magazine cover or a Pink Floyd album or something.
This picture would have turned out better if I had a camera that was better than my Kodak Instamatic, probably.
If you look closely, you can see many things in this picture. You can see a reflection of the Vigoda. You can see a reflection of a Champ Car friend who is full of hate and rage. You can see a reflection of me.
I hope you all like this photo. That would be a good reflection on me!
Earlier this week they had a buncha old pace cars sitting out on part of the road course.
When I was a kid in Indy, my buds and I always got fired up and excited when we started seeing pace cars cruising around town in late April or early May. We'd say stuff like, "Hey man! You see the new pace car? It's bad-ass!"
We had filthy mouths back then, I guess.
These are a couple of my favorite pace cars.
This is a 1969 SS, 350 cubic inch Chevy Camaro pace car.
If you had one of these in '69 and you couldn't pick up chicks, it was because you looked like Steve Krisoloff or something, probably. Or maybe you didn't brush your teeth. My grandma once said, "Steve Krisoloff is unfortunate looking."
I would never say a mean thing like that.
I didn't have a 350 cubic inch Chevy Camaro SS pace car in 1969. I was only 7 years old then, and my dad wouldn't let me drive anything or even get my driver's license.
He was a smart dad.
This is a 1974 W-30 Hurst Oldsmobile Cutlass.
It had all kindsa Hurst shifting goodies and a massive 455 cubic inch mill. The Olds 455 was a torque monster. Torque is a cool word real gear heads use. It means you can do smokey, frame-twisting, axle-snapping burnouts at red lights! It means you can pull tree stumps outta the ground with it. It means you get a lot of attention from the police!
My dad dropped an Olds 455 into one of his Cadillacs! I drove it to Pizza Hut once. It was awesome, and I didn't even wrap it around a tree or a bridge abutment. I am a skilled driver. Heck, I bet I'm as good as Martin. That's what I think!
May 23, 2006
This is a photo of Motorcycle Row at IMS. This is where all the crews and drivers park their bikes.
I saw Hondas, Suzies, YammerHammers, Harleys, Ducatis, and just about every brand you can think of.
Apparently, race teams and crews are compensated quite handsomely and have a lot of spare change to spend on toys.
Whenever I take my spare change to the CoinStar machine at Kroger, I usually only get about $18 back for my trouble, and Coinstar keeps about 9% right off the top. I bet CoinStar is run by the same folks who sponsor Jack Lazier's racer.
This is a Ducati motorcycle. A Ducati is a very expensive bike. It is made in Italy or Spain or one of those countries who use a lot of words that end with an i.
If you look closely, you will see that it looks like it was assembled by an insane plumber on acid. It is not a proper motorcycle.
Proper motorcycles look like Harley-Davidsons, I think, but I am not a Harley snob. I like the rice burners that look like Harleys too.
One time, I was talking to the Penske mechanic who works on my big rig. I knew he had a Harley, so I asked him how it was running and how he was liking it. Little did I know that asking, "So, how's your crotch-rocket going?" was the wrong mistake.
His face got very red and he told me he doesn't own a crotch-rocket, it's a Harley. He explained further that Crotch-Rockets are Japanese motorcycles, and then he said something about his sister and prostitution, but I can't remember all of that. It was a long time ago.
I think he wanted to kick my butt right there in the shop, but he couldn't because I was a client and it never looks good to beat the butt of a client during business hours. I bet if he ever sees me out on the street he would get mad and wouldn't buy me a beer or anything, probably.
Sometimes, people take their motorcycles way too seriously.
Here's a gratuitous shot of a cool car.
It's a ragtop 427 CID Vette with twice-pipes! I don't think I need to say anything else.
May 24, 2006
I went out to the track today. There were multitudes of little kiddies running around. They were having a ball. The IMS never had a family fun day when I was a kid. I guess Tony Hulman hated families or something, maybe.
I didn't stay long but I managed to get some half way decent pictures, I think.
This is one of the first things I saw. This is an improper race car.
Real racing machines designed to run on dirt tracks do not have license plates, head lights, tail lights, and turn signals. Pancho Carter never signaled to Sheldon Kinser before he gave him a slide job at Terre Haute, I bet.
This is what a proper race car that runs on dirt tracks looks like. Study it and know the difference!
This is an old time Indy racer driven by Jack McGrath. It has an Offenhauser engine.
If you look closely, you can see tennis balls stuck in the air horns. I bet that engine won't run good with those in there. Mr. McGrath probably didn't allow tennis balls anywhere near his racer, I think.
I think the car is currently owned by a Russian tennis player, like maybe Anna Pornakova or Maria Sharapova.
Allow me to stop and think about those two for a minute..........................................
OK. I'm all better now.
Here is the car Walt Hansgen drove at Indy in 1964.
Walt had a front row seat for the devastating crash which killed Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald.
Not trying to be morbid, but I'd never seen Hansgen's car before, and I thought it was interesting.
What do I know? I'm just a dork race fan with a camera and intardnet access.
(Photographer for above B&W picture unknown. Taken from my private collection.)
Next, I walked over to Vigoda Plaza, where many festive activities were taking place.
There was a small oval track set up, and some dudes were racing nitro-powered remote controlled cars there.
I saw some familiar faces there too. A couple of the hot shoes from Vision Racing were there, and I bet Tony George would be mad if he saw these pictures too!
Here we have Ed Carpantier risking life and limb, with Townsend Bell happily looking on in the background. That kinda dangerous horseplay could get an eye poked out or something!
I bet Townie is hoping Ed gets hurt by that high flying RC car so he can get a full-time ride with Vision racing for the rest of the season.
Townsend Bell might not be a good team mate, and he might be evil too, maybe.
Watch your back, Mr. Carpantier!
Here's Sam Hornish's crew practicing pit stops in front of an appreciative crowd in the garage area.
I really don't have anything smart to say about this shot either, because Team Penske is intelligent and tough and professional and darn near perfect.
Roger wouldn't have it any other way!
He knows what Indy means.
These two shots are for Eagle104. He is an Indy legend and has been working his substantially large butt off in order to preserve and archive our beloved Indy traditions.
Eagle104 knows what Indy means.
He has been feeling a bit under the weather lately, but I bet these two photos will make him feel more better.
This is an Eagle racer, driven by Lone Star JR. The Eagle was designed and built by Dan Gurney, who is just about the coolest guy ever in Indy racing.
This version of the Eagle is the most beautifullest and cool model ever created, and everybody knows that too.
If somebody somewhere disagrees, they're wrong, probably, I bet.
Get well soon, Eagle104!
I was looking at this car when I saw AJ Watson drive up in a golf cart with some of his buds.
I went to high school with one of AJ's daughters. She was pretty too. I never dated her, though. I didn't play varsity football or anything like that.
I was puny back then.
This is the car I was telling you about earlier...
I asked, "Hey AJ! Any idea who built this piece of junk?"
I think I might have made the wrong mistake again, because AJ said that he built it.
It's a good thing AJ's really old now, because I think I made him mad and I'm pretty sure he wanted to kick my butt hard.
Sometimes, it would probably be better if I just shut up and didn't talk. That's what I think.
May 25, 2006
I went out to the track today even though I am not a big fan of the Indy Pro Series.
I have issues.
Seems like whenever an open wheeled car runs out at IMS, I am forced to go see. So I watched both practice sessions and qualifying, had a beer or three, took some stupid pictures, and milled around the garages a little and then went home before the typhoon hit.
Here are some gratuitous shots of some IPS rigs.
This is the car of Jaime Camaro.
He qualified 3rd with a speed of 184.681mph. Mr. Camaro is from Brazil, and his car is part of the Andretti/Green juggernaut. You'd think with a fast last name like Camaro he would have gone faster than 184.
Maybe he had better things to do.
This is the IPS racing machine of Alex Lloyd.
He starts 5th with a speed of 184.036mph. Alex is from the UK....more specifically, the Isle of Man. Now, I'm not sure exactly where the Isle of Man is, but I bet it's somewhere near England or something. I'm sure Alex and Dan Wheldon have pints of ale and discuss English football a lot.
Heck, I would like to join them. I have a lot of interest in fine English ales!
Alex is not related to Lloyd Ruby either, probably.
Here's the IPS racer of Sean Guthrie.
If you look closely, you will see a squad of Penske spies in the background. I bet they are trying to steal Mr. Guthrie's race setups for race day. Those Penske spies are not very good spies because I could see them plain as day and they are in this picture too!
If I was Roger Penske, I would fire those spies.
They are not sneaky.
Sean starts 12th with a blistering average speed of 181.446mph. Sean Guthrie is the son of Indy racing legend Big Jim Guthrie, I think.
Sean is an American from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I bet he and the Unsers are neighbors, and that they feel comfortable enough knocking on one another's doors to borrow sugar, eggs, or cigarettes anytime day or night 24/7.
That's what I think they do often, probably.
I wonder if the Unsers hired Sean Guthrie to sweep their new museum's floors during the off-season?
It would be honest work, at least!
This is the IPS racing mount of James Chesson.
Jimmy is the younger brother of the smokin' hot IRL driver PJ Chesson who has lots of sizzle and is thick and swollen and tattooed and hails from New Jersey somewhere!
Jimmy starts 11th with a speed of 181.542mph. Jimmy has dreams of competing with his older brother in the Indy 500 some day, I bet.
When we were kids, my older brother used to throw shoes and stuff at me when he got mad.
I bet if PJ tries to throw a shoe at Jimmy they'd both get black-flagged and sent to their rooms and maybe even grounded too, because Brian Barnhart doesn't play games!
That's what happened to me and my brother anyway.
So after a while I grew weary of watching the IPS rigs, and I decided to see what the big boys were up to.
This is what Team Cheever was up to. They were practicing pit stops with a beat up old show car.
This is a close-up action shot of the right front tire changer in action!
A good action shot shows motion and movement, so this is a good action shot, I think!
The guy pictured changing the tire dropped the wheel nut once, and his team mates chided him and derided him and made fun of him. I think they just wanted him to do better next time. They weren't being mean or anything, probably.
He better not drop the wheel nut during the race, or Eddie will probably fire him, I bet.
This is PJ Jones' car.
It has a new paint job. They have tried to make it look like Calhoun, which was the name of PJ's dad's car back a long time ago when he raced at Indy and won.
All the crew needs to do now is put the engine up front on PJ's car, and they will be all set!
Back in the olden times at Indy, they used to give the cars cool names like Calhoun, or Coyote, or Spooky Tooth, or Harvey Wallbanger.
Now all we get is Dallara or Panoz, and one of those kinda sucks sometimes, unless it's on a road course.
Ingenuity used to be cool, I think.
Speaking of paint jobs...this next thing I saw made me openly weep right there in front of God and everybody in the garage area!
It is the freshly painted racing unit from the PDM stables, driven by Thadeus Medieros!
What a beautiful sight!
I brought a couple of 8X10s of FrankenCar 1 and FrankenCar 2 to the track today for the entire PDM/Team Thadeus crew to sign.
At first, I think the mechanics and crew were scared of me because I said I wanted them to autograph my pictures. I bet they thought I was some kinda weirdo Indy groupie or that I wanted to steal something like a 9/16 Snap-On socket from their toolbox or something.
Then I told them that they were MY heroes for doing a serious 3-day all night thrash wrenching session so that they could make the world's greatest race!
I told them I have an appreciation for what they did because one time, on the road side, I had to bypass a busted heater hose line on my Caddy so I could get home and fix it right later.
They calmed down a bit after they realized I was sorta cool.
I met the HMFIC, Paul Diatlovich, and he was the first guy to sign my photos. He seemed pretty cool. I soon had all the mechanics gathered around and they all signed my stuff.
I even had the dude that owns Royal Spa, and also serves as the stop sign holder in the pits, sign the pics. He said he wanted some copies of the photos, so he gave me his business card so I could e-mail them to him.
Sorry, but I can't give out info like top-secret PDM Racing email addys, so please don't ask. It wouldn't be very professional if I did that, I think.
Anyhoo...I guess all this kinda makes me like an Indy racing insider now, sorta.
I think I could probably go out with the PDM guys after the race for beers. That's what I think.
Pretty soon I was getting tired and low on beer and I had to pee, but before I departed the garage area I walked back by Motorcycle Row.
This is another example of a proper motorcycle.
This is a Triumph motorcycle. These bikes are just as cool as Harleys and more cooler than Japanese bikes that look like Harleys.
This Triumph looks like it came straight outta the movie Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Now THAT was good cinema!
Triumphs are built "in Hinckley, in the heart of Great Britain." That's what the Triumph website says anyway.
Just about anything made in Great Britain is cool, like Triumphs, Jaguars, Rolls Royces, Astin Martins, Spitfires, and Elizabeth Hurley!
I bet Dan Wheldon could date Elizabeth Hurley if he wanted to!
As I was walking towards the exits today, I saw this in the Vigoda Plaza.
It is some kinda horrific tractor-pull truck thingy from hell, sponsored by Ethanol.
This is the Horrific Tractor-Pull Truck Thingy From Hell's (HTPTFH) power plant.
It's the only thing that's really cool about HTPTFH.
I'm no expert, but I think it is a big-block Chevy engine.
If you look closely, you can see what appears to be a crank trigger on the dampner. Crank trigger and dampner are two cool terms real gear heads use.
Crank triggers on dampners have something to do with engine timing, I think, and are used only on the coolest and most powerful engines!
That's what I read in Car Craft magazine anyway.
May 27, 2006
I will now describe for you my carb day.
I got to the track early and headed straight for the old racer tent by the museum because my hate-filled CART buddy wanted some close-up pictures of that #5 laydown Epperly. He has a friend who is going to build an exact copy of this old racer. So I bet I get to drive it once it's built because I contributed so much!
After taking the pics of the Epperly, I ran into Gene Crucean. Mr. Crucean is a real photographer who, with his buddy John Mahoney, used to put out Sprint Car Pictorial, which was a cool dirt track racing magazine from way back in the olden days.
Since I'm a racing insider these days, Mr. Crucean knows how important and vital and essential I am. Mr. Crucean and I are going in together on a book deal sorta thing. It is really super special top-secret stuff right now, so I better not say much more about it. Mr. Crucean is paying me in beer. I like the way he thinks.
Gene and I are a lot alike, I think.
This is what the third turn looked like. It was full of people in various stages of drunkenness and nudity.
It was like the old times, except back in the 70s we didn't play Snoop Dog on our car stereos.
Snoop Dog should never be played at Indy. That's what I think.
At Indy you should play something from Ted Nugent's Double Live Gonzo, or you should play nothing at all, I bet.
So then I watched the IRL cars do their last practice before the race. It was very cool, and there are some new paint jobs and sponsors.
After watching the practice, I decided that the following cars will be blacked flagged by lap 10 of the race:
#88 Airton Dare
#97 Steve Gregory
#61 Arie Lippback Jr.
#98 PJ Jones
#18 Thadeus Medeiros
They are all too slow and dangerous to be around for the Indy 500. I am sorry, but that is how I feel. I bet Brian Barnhart is gonna feel the same come race day!
I am a bad and mean blogger.
Here is a gratuitous shot of a cool car.
Even though it is a Ford, it is still cool, I think.
Next on tap, besides more beer, was the IPS Freedom 100. There were no surprises during this event, unless you count the surprising number of beers I was able to consume during its 40 laps!
Wade Cunningham won the race. Way to go Wade!
One compelling story about the Freedom 100 is the story Gene Crucean, a racing journo legend, told me about. I will tell you now the story Gene told me.
Jeff Dodge started the race dead last, 19th. He finished 8th! Good job Jeff!
Jeff is a sprint car hot shoe who won a chance to race at Indy by winning a sprint car race somewhere sometime. Jeff had never driven at Indy. Jeff had never even driven a rear engined racing rig before. Jeff picked off half the field in 40 laps! I'd say Jeff would be a good candidate for a full-time Indy ride before much longer.
Jeff Dodge should take Marty Roth's place. That's what I think!
Here's another off-topic shot of a cool car.
It is a Mopar. Mopars are cool because they are so expensive and rare and hard to work on and they make you cuss a lot more than a GM product. Sometimes, the more difficulter something is, the betterer it is!
That's what I think
After the Freedom 100 I was getting tired, and I couldn't see real good. I had to close one eye while I walked and stuff. That ever happen to you when you get real tired?
The garage area was full of people and corporate types, and the B-24s and Third Blind Mice were getting ready for their concert.
I didn't feel like doing any of that, so I departed IMS and went over to a buddy's house. He lives close to the track, so I could sit there and eat cookies and drink beer for a while until I wasn't tired anymore. After four or five hours, then I went home.
Here is a photo I took of a cool rig.
It is a Chevy Chevelle on the race track!
I bet you didn't know that I have an old Chevelle too, but my Chevelle doesn't run and is full of rust and mice nests and stuff. It has rust holes in the trunk floor that are so big you could drop a basketball through them!
It is a nasty Chevelle.
I should get rid of it, or something.
Here is my nasty Chevelle I was telling you about.
Some people talk about "continuation" muscle cars.
Yes. I have one of those.
It is a 1968 Chevelle which continues to sit in my garage and continues to rust a little bit. Pretty much.
I keep hoping a family member will get a brilliant idea to call Chip Foose from the hit TV show Overhaulin'.
One day I will come home from work and I will go to the garage to get a beer, and I'll notice, much to my horror and chagrin, that my feces-box Chevelle seems to be missing.
I will call the local police, but they will not be of much assistance because they are all in on the scheme to restore my Chevelle and bring it back to its former glory.
One day, I will come home from a hard day's work with a bad attitude because four-wheelers are driven by ignoramuses, or because it snowed, or something. I will go to the garage to get a beer.
I will notice something way cool sitting in the formerly vacant space where, formerly, my cancerous excrement-box Chevelle had been sitting before it was stolen. It will be my Chevelle.....all shiny and pimped out.
I will jump and scream and cry and pump my arms furiously and victoriously in the air, and it will all be caught on tape because there'll be hidden cameras and stuff.
Then, all the players in this drama will come out. I will high five them, shake their hands, hug them, and probably get a little snot on them. Or something. I might even give some thought, just for a second, about making sweet, sweet, passionate love to them. But I will not do that. I only do that with my wife. I will not explore this particular topic with you people any further...
So then Chip Foose and the mechanics and the film crews and the prankster cops leave. I am now left with a cool car, and a huge bill. I must pay taxes on all labor and material charges incurred for fixing up my Chevelle. Chip Foose leaves no stone unturned an he doesn't cut corners. Only the best for Chip! I now have a $100,000 '68 Chevelle, and no way to pay the taxes on it! I must sell the Chevelle now, but that's OK.
I didn't like the low profile bling-bling dub rims anyways, and the paint job looked like it belonged on a circus wagon.
Yes. I think that's probably how it would all play out.
May 28, 2006
Here's what I think.
It was Africa hot today. Africa hot is a term from the movie Biloxi Blues. That movie was good cinema.
I also think that I am an Effen genius maybe, sorta.
Remember when I said these things a while back?
|Sam would sell his new wife to win at Indy, but he may not need to. He's burning up the track. This might be his year.|
|Quallies was way cool. Sam "Soul Patch" Hornish won the pole. He is my pick to win the race.|
I am like the Kreskin, or something, of Indy and stuff. I am like an insider, almost, and this picture proves it!
Sam Hornish wins the 2006 Indianapolis 500 Mile Sweepstakes Race!!
I told you, didn't I?
I am amazing, bordering on spectacular!
Today I had to sit next to a fat short hairy ape of a guy in J Stand, and he smelled like he forgot to bathe or something this morning. He encroached on my space due to his lardness. It was kinda gross. Good thing I wore long pants, otherwise I woulda had to feel his simeon-like leg hair up against me. I mighta hurled up my KFC chicken strips if that had happened. Maybe he should have used some of Mrs. Hospenthal's Secret deodorant, because it is strong enough for a man, but it is made for a woman.
Mrs. Hospenthal did pretty good today. She stayed outta trouble, didn't make anybody wreck, and she got a top 10 finish again at Indy, I think. For a girl, she's pretty good at driving racers at Indy. She just might win it all one day soon, I bet.
I watched the race closely, and with my steel trap of a mind I can dissect what I'm seeing and tell all the interested people around me what I think's gonna happen next.
When Kanaan was chasing down Wheldon I said, "Looky at Danny comin' outta Four. He's way high. His car is going away. Kanaan's gonna eat him up here in a minute! Look how Kanaan's taking the corner on the inside!"
I say cool stuff like that and everybody around me nods in total agreement, especially when it comes true! I bet they think I'm a spy or something.
I bet I could do color play by play on the TV for Indy racing better than Rusty Wallface, that's what I think! And I would not bring up NASCAR all the time either. I don't think Indy fans wanna hear anything about NASCAR. I know I don't, anyway.
Here's a photo of a couple of freaks in J Stand today.
Marco almost won the race today, but Sam boatraced him at the finish line. That was kinda cool. Maybe it was so hot that Marco's Clearasil was melting and running down his face and got into his eyes and he couldn't see good enough to throw one more block on Sam like he did the previous lap.
I bet the Andrettis are really whining now!
Whenever the announcers would say "Marco," I'd say "Polo!", really loud.
I am clever like that, sometimes.
Helio crashed and took out Buddy Rice. That was below average in my book. Two Indy Champs should never crash together in the same wreck in the same turn at the same time.
Indy Champs should smash their racers in seperate incidents because it is more dramatic, and Indy is all about drama.
It looked to me to be Helio's fault. I think he was hot and tired and thirsty and didn't really have much more interest in competing in this year's Indy 500, so he tried a bonehead banzai move and it didn't work very well either.
I bet Roger Penske is mad at Helio.
Scott Dixon got black flagged for blocking, and that really Effed his chances today, but it's his own darn fault anyhow. I told you guys that Brian Barnhart doesn't play games. Now I bet you believe me, don't you?
Vitor did some wild suicide moves today. I told you he was nuts and fearless. Next time you people might listen to me!
Michael Andretti's steering wheel display blew a fuse or something, so that's gonna be his excuse for not winning at Indy again. I guess Mikey's not much of a wrench or anything. Heck, I can find and replace a busted fuse pretty quick in my Caddy. I wonder what AGR's problem is? If I was running AGR, I think I would fire the blown fuse finder/changer guy.
Tommy Scheckter destroyed his car and the pit road attenuator and then Jack Lazier hit a piece of the debris and sent it off into the stands. On TV they said nobody in the stands got hurt, but my hate-filled Champ Car buddy says Tony George and Brian Barnhart are keeping the carnage covered up. My friend says hundreds of helpless IRL fans were decapitated, but it's all hush-hush stuff the IMS wants to keep quiet so that the F1 fans won't be scared to show up in July.
PJ Chesson got taken out by his dummy team mate, Jeff Bucknum, on the second lap. Both cars were trashed, actually. I bet PJ has already kicked the crap outta Jeff at least twice already. I know I would. I bet Ron Hemelgarn has already fired Bucknum. I bet Carmelo Anthony has already gone all ghetto on Bucknum too.
Little Al ran over a buncha junk that fell off of Jeff Simmons' sled, then little Al crashed. Then Jeff crashed a little later. Serves him right, the big dope! I bet after the race, Al Jr went over to Jeff, blew cigarette smoke in his face, then kicked his butt hard.
Remember when I said this?
| After watching the practice, I decided that the following cars will be blacked flagged by lap 10 of the race: |
#88 Airton Dare
#97 Steve Gregory
#61 Arie Lippback Jr.
#98 PJ Jones
#18 Thadeus Medeiros
Why were the cars of Jones and Dare still allowed on the track?
Maybe Brian Barnhart didn't get the memo, or something.
I should not be ignored, I think.
I think that's just about all I have to say about the race. It was fun and cool!
This is something I saw this morning on my way in for the race on Georgetown Road.
Freedom of speech is cool, but it can also be VERY annoying, sometimes.
I think I saw more proselytizers than cops on Georgetown Rd Saturday night, but the proselytizers were not thumping drunks like the cops were!
And another thing...I don't think the Right Reverand Archbishop of Canterbury O'Malia, or whatever the dude's name is who does the pre-race blessing prayer thingy, should try to jazz up that solemn moment by being cute or sexy by putting in something about "Sugar Ray."
I mean, if he wants to say something like, "Continue to bless us with Your glorious sunshine, O Lord, but could You turn it down a little?" ...That would be cool, but don't bring up a one eyed ex-boxer or something. It's got nuthin' to do with Indy, and it's just as bad as Steve Tyler from Arrowsmith botching up the National Anthem.
You gotta know what Indy means and the traditions, darnit!
You all remember my Champ Car friend, right? You know...the guy who seethes with hate and rage?
Anyway, he told me after the race that the race was scripted all the way and that Tony George and Brian Barnhart staged all the wrecks and yellows and black flags and fuel hose nozzles getting stuck and broken and punctured tires and everything else that happened so that Hornish could win and the Andrettis would lose again!
And you know what? My CART friend, who is angry and bitter and didn't stay for the whole race because he is kinda girlie and couldn't stand the weather, just might have something there.
Hang on a minute and I'll tell you why I think so.
(A little off topic....but I bet if I told my sullen Champ Car friend's other enraged Champ car friends that he went to the Indy 500, they wouldn't like him much anymore because they'd think he was a traitor to Champ Car, or something. Follow me?)
OK....now back to why my irate CART friend might be right about the treachery of Tony George....
After the race, they interviewed Hornish about "how's it feel?" and "what are your thoughts?" and "what's the first thing you're gonna do" and all that rot after winning the Indy 500. In the audio for Sam's reply to these and other stupid questions, I could distinctly hear the sounds of Indy racers at speed. How does that happen....unless it was a pre-recorded and staged Victory Lane celebration interview? I mean, at the time of the supposed interview, there were no more cars on the track.
I bet Jack Arute and ABC/ESPN recorded the interview two weeks ago after Tony George and Brian Barnhart decided that Roger Penske paid the right amount and that Hornish would win!
I'm so confused now, sorta, probably.
Here is my son after the race in the desolate empty trashed J stand where the cool people were for the race.
While scrounging, he found an intact sixpack of beer, a Mt. Dew, and five beer can coozie cooler type thingies.
Horking abandoned stuff after the race is cool, and having your ten year old son find and bring you free beer is even more cooler, I think.
The Indy 500 is cool and fun and you all should go there as often as you can before you die.