Monday, May 31, 2010

Part 19- My Humongous Astronomical 2010 Indy 500 Blog Mess: Race Recap And Farewell

The race itself consisted of intrigue and many wrong mistakes, and I have no doubt that both the Penske and Ganassi organizations will be conducting mass terminations of many of their associates in the very near future.

I got one of these today! I bet I know of some associates right about now who wish they had one.

I will not recap for you every nuance of the race, because it would be mind-numbingly tedious for me to write, and for you to read.


Suffice to say that it was fun and exciting, and that those of us who didn’t puss out because of the heat deserve some kinda medal.

Pretty much.

If you weren’t there, you need to be next year, or I’m afraid you and I can’t be friends much longer.

I sincerely wish for Mike Conway’s speedy recovery. That crash was truly horrific, and it is only by the grace of God that it wasn’t much worse.

Dario Franchitti was the class of the field and drove away to win his second Indy 500. Congratulations, Mr. Judd! A well deserved victory in deed!

Another Indy 500 is in the record books.

As usual, it did not disappoint.

Can’t wait until next year, at which time I hope IndyCar comes to its senses and gives me my second week of practice.

I need to be entertained, and one week of practice is NOT enough.

But…then again, a good entertainer always leaves one wanting more, so maybe, in the long run, the powers that be know what they’re doing.

Who’s to say?

Certainly not me.


_____



Thus endeth my 2010 Indy 500 blog type thang.


I hope you have enjoyed it.

If not, I am sorry, and I will delete it.

Not.

Thanks to all the folks who have made the two weeks of Indy special for me.

Hanging out with you, having cold beers, and bullshitting is the most funnest part of it all.

And, without you, my life at Indy would be nothing but a hollow shell.

Special thanks to Curt, Dark Marc, Grover, Mike, Trevor, Ziggy, Trackforum and its members, and the fine folks at Camp ‘n’ Brew.

I love you, man, but that doesn’t mean we’re gonna swap spit in the shower any time soon.


You know what Indy means.

Thanks to the drivers and crews.

You guys and gals kick ass, and
I wish I had a fraction of your talent.

You know what Indy means.

Thanks to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its staff for giving me a beautiful, fan-friendly facility I can always be proud of.

Thanks to all who encouraged and supported my blog foolishness, and I apologize if I don’t remember all your names.

I’m getting old, and the fact that I’ve had a few beers when we meet doesn’t help matters!

Thanks to the guy who let me check out his cool vintage car shop. It was one of the highlights of my month.

I’d also like to thank the following: RayBan, Coors, New Castle Brown Ale, Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Miller, Lipton, Chrysler, the convenient stores of Speedway, Dell, Motorola, HP, Olympus, Kodak, Coppertone Sport SPF 50, Avia, Glock, Smith & Wesson, Penske Logistics and MOST of the lads there.

Thanks to Mom for shacking us up night before the race.

It means a lot.


You know what Indy means.

Extra special thanks go to my wife and family for understanding that they will be widowed and fatherless during the month of May.

I love you and am very thankful you are in my life.

Generous thanks to sister Mary for the tickets.

Dedicated to my old man, Rick Johnson, who introduced me to auto racing at a young age.

You took me to Indy, the Hoosier Hundred, Terre Haute, Milwaukee, and Atlanta.

Thanks, Pops.

You know what Indy means.


I still miss you and think of you every day.


If I was half the writer and photographer you were, maybe I could make a buck doing this.

But alas, I’m just a dumb truck driver with a camera, intardnet access, and some vacation to burn.

Oh well…


I’ll share my passion with my sons, and carry on the traditions of Indy, so that they'll know what Indy means.



See you all next year.



Maybe.

Part 18- My Humongous Astronomical 2010 Indy 500 Blog Mess: Pre-Race Festivities

Race day was fun and exciting and Equatorial Africa Space Shuttle Rocket Booster Hot.

I was almost dreading the uncomfortable conditions, but a true and real Indy 500 fan doesn’t bitch much, so I prepared accordingly.


I dressed my oldest son and myself in loose, baggy, and light-colored clothing.

SPF 50 sunscreen was applied liberally, and vintage wide-brimmed, Government Issued floppy boonie hats were worn.


We traveled light, with canned soda, iced tea, and bottled water.

Amazingly…for the second year in a row…no beer in the stands for me on race day due to the warm conditions, as it is neither prudent nor proper to soak oneself in alcohol on a blazing hot day.


(The fact that I had abused my body with exotic liquid alcohol substances the previous evening probably had something to do with it too.)

Good old Marine Corps hot weather/desert survival training comes in handy sometimes, and I didn’t want to pass out or make a million trips to the pisser and miss any of the pants-wetting excitement.

Icy-cold, water-soaked towels on the head and neck help keep the body core temperature down, and I never once left the grandstands for the entire duration of the race.

I’m hardcore like that.

My son and I arrived at J-Stand just in time to witness the Parade of Military Heroes.

I am pleased to report that behavior in J-Stand was as it is supposed to be this year, with no douchie anti-American comments from clueless Communist heathen sympathizers.


The only improper incident I witnessed in J-Stand was from a well-meaning but uninformed fan that yelled out, “Boogitty-Boogitty-Boogitty!”

Thankfully, I heard this only once, and I was not later forced to throat-punch this ignorant individual.

The pre-race ceremonies were OK, but seemed kinda flawed and the timing was a little off, and I bet the Indianapolis Motor Speedway audio guy gets fired for malingering.

Jewel sang the National Anthem with a pair of microphones malfunctioning, but at least her pears were out there to look at…and they were not malfunctioning at all.

IndyStar Photo

Not one little bit…

The Navy F-18s were a little late for the flyover.

Way to go, Swabbies!


Mike Young Photo

Maybe next time we’ll have some proper naval aviators do it…like US Marines in some Harriers.

That would be cool.


Then, a lone bugler played Taps.

His microphone went on the fritz too.

It would have been a good idea to have fresh batteries in the cordless mics, sorta, or, make sure your cheap Radio Shack equipment was tested properly BEFORE the Greatest Spectacle In Racing began.


Back in olden times, I was a part-time weekend radio guy making $5/ hour, so I know a little about what I’m talking about.

Maybe.


Soon, Gomer sang the Indiana National Anthem.

He was in fine form.


Then, the helium-filled celebratory devices were released, and the command to start engines was given.

For some reason, the two-seater was out there with Mark Wahlberg riding shotgun and Mike Andretti driving.

I was uninterested in this activity, and quietly wished to myself for this cheese-dickery to cease and conclude with fiery wreckage.


IndyStar Photo

I’m chock full o’ hate like that sometimes, though.


I am not impressed with Hollywood or its celebrities.

…and I am NOT sorry about it.

Jack Nicholson waved the green light.

I didn’t care about that either.


IMS Photo

Jack is a dirty old man, and troll-like in appearance.

Now that I think about it, Jack and I are similar in many ways.

Maybe he's not such a bad fella after all.


Anyhoo...Jack's a great actor, but I'd be careful about canonizing him.

He's good at pretending to be something he's not.

Big fucking deal...

In other news, Jewel is still a pretty girl.

stuff.co.nz Photo

Let’s race!

Part 17- My Humongous Astronomical 2010 Indy 500 Blog Mess: The Night Before The Race

Well…the roar is over. That’s what the clich├ęd douches in the media always say after the Indianapolis 500 is run and everything’s quiet.


I don’t know why I said it.


Anyways…this will be kinda like part of my Indy 500 wrap-up report.


The last couple of days have been fun and exciting and Africa Hot.


The last two days have also been a good example of poor parenting and fatherhood.


See…I took both of my disgruntled teen-aged sons to Camp ‘n’ Brew down on Georgetown Road to observe the debauchery of Night-Before-The-Race festivities.


We didn’t leave there until well after 1:30am race day morning.


I am a bad dad.


My sons were treated to many observances of full frontal mature female breast assembly displays.


During all this, I stood calmly and observantly off in the distance…close enough to intervene if threatening shenanigans ensued, but far enough away that I would not interfere with my sons’ enjoyment of the proceedings.


One time during the evening, my sons were in line at the official Camp ‘n’ Brew Porta John.


They were chatting up a couple of inebriated young ladies when I strolled upon the scene.


I asked my sons if they were behaving themselves, and one of the drunken hussies spoke up and said, “Are you their dad?”


I replied in the affirmative.


Then she said, “They are so cute and nice and polite. They are behaving like perfect gentlemen. You’ve done a good job raising them.”


I said, “Thanks. They’d better behave, or I’ll rip them a new asshole!”


It made me feel somewhat good that even a stumbling slobbering drunk had noticed my somewhat successful attempt at child rearing.


(A note for all you young and inexperienced parents: I have found that the frequent threats and infrequent applications of bodily personal violence against one’s own children are effective in this department.)


Your mileage may vary, of course.


Raise your brats the way you see fit.


At this point, I was getting TIRED from the draft beer I was drinking, so I rounded up my two lads and we stumbled back to our base of operations to get ready for my Christmas…race day at the Indy 500!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Part 16- My Humongous Astronomical 2010 Indy 500 Blog Mess: Zoomie Gets Off...The Beaten Path



Sometimes, a dork like me is able to hang around cool and real racing insider people who know even cooler people.

Then, sometimes, dorks like me are able to go to secret undisclosed locations and look at truly bitchin' gear-head type stuff.

I refuse to tell you where this super-secret location is, because some of you might be unsavory and try to steal some of this cool shit which isn't yours to begin with.

Then, I would have to hurt you.

Bad.

Anyhoo...the following are some pictures I took inside this location.

When I walked in this place, my loins felt all tingly and stuff.

Sorta.

I have issues.

The owner and skilled craftsman at this location has a pair of vintage Alfa Romeo racing units. I think they are from the 1923 year of manufacture, but my memory retention is not very good, so you may have to utilize Google for further information.




He works on them himself and fabricates by hand many of the parts he uses in his restorations. Back in olden times, he was a crew member of a real and fast Indy racing team, but he got tired of the bullshit and went to work for himself.






He is amazing and spectacular.

Also in the shop I saw this 1980s version of a racing Corvette from like the GrandAm or American LeMans Series or something...I don't know which.



It was cool too.

Then, I saw these two antique motorcycles, which always are fun and exciting to look at.




I thank the proprietor of this secret establishment for allowing me the privilege of looking at his cool shit.

It was fun!

Part 15- My Humongous Astronomical 2010 Indy 500 Blog Mess: Random Photos And Short Commentary

I have been busy lately drinking a lot of beer and socializing with real and cool Indy 500 fans I am happy to call my friends.

Even though I'm kinda TIRED now, I'll be doing more of the same tonight, which is the annual "Night Before The Race Tomfoolery and Vomit Festival."

In the meantime, I thought I'd post up some random photos I've taken the last few days and let those of you who can't be here get a feeling for what's been going on.


This is a set of tools sitting in an ashtray on the rear element of Sebastian Saavedra's racing machine. Apparently, a small toolkit is all that's required to properly service an IndyCar.


This is Tony George looking wistfully and regretfully at a Brickyard 400 promotional poster on the side of what was once his Pagoda. He had a knock-down, drag-out brawl with his mom and his sisters, and he got fired at IMS from all his duties there. Now, all he does is kinda mope around in the background and try to get along as best he can. Poor guy.


Here is a dramatic photo of Townsend Bell putting on his helmet and "getting ready to go to work." That's what Dave Calabro always says about drivers suiting up to go on track. Dave gets overly dramatic sometimes, and tries too hard to be cute on the public address system. That's what I think.


This is a slut on a side pod. The side pod belongs to Graham Rahal. I bet Graham would like to hug those curves. Or something...

Here we see Tomas Scheckter "getting ready for war." It's not really war-like to drive a real and shiny and fast IndyCar, but I bet Dave Calabro would say something goofy like that if he was clever and a wordsmith like me.


This is the crack safety crew standing by for heinous racing incidents committed by malingering drivers who no longer care about taking a proper and prudent line around my race track.



This is Dave The King Wilson interviewing Will Power and Ryan Briscoe...evil associates of the Penske Organization. Dave was lucky he got outta there without getting his throat cut. Penske associates are known for their skulduggery. Maybe.


This is an incident of dangerous horseplay committed by rookie Penske associates who obviously didn't read the handbook thoroughly. It's a good thing I'm cool and didn't tell Roger about this, or these cats would be toast.


This is the kinda awesome thing one sees at Indy on Georgetown Road.


Young, surly, disgruntled youth of today behaving immaturely in the Vigoda Plaza.


The Delta Schlong futuristic racer thingy. I will hang myself from a shower rod if I have to see 33 of these monstrosities orbiting the world's greatest racing facility.


I saw this hanging from the bumper of an old Ford van. I bet the owner lives down by the river and kidnaps folks.


A jaw-dropping depiction of IndyCar machines lined up menacingly.


A drunk and disorderly and real Indy racing fan sitting outside in the Africa-Hot blazing inferno of the Tower Terrace seats. Photo was taken by a soft and delicate and ersatz Indy 500 corporate type who was sitting in air conditioned comfort in the suites while getting fanned by well-oiled and cut and swollen eunuchs. Pretty much.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Part 14- My Humongous Astronomical 2010 Indy 500 Blog Mess: Something To Ponder

Before the drunkenness, fun, and frivolity of The Indianapolis 500 takes place, I thought it would be a good idea to remind you fine folks of the real reason for the season.

If you attend the race, please be mindful of the occasion, and leave the politics at home.

This is a free country, and there's plenty of room for disagreement, but there is a time and a place for everything.


This is a sappy slide show video YouTube type thing I put together a while back.

I hope you like it.



video


Semper Fidelis.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Part 13- My Humongous Astronomical 2010 Indy 500 Blog Mess: Practice And Qualifications Wrap-up

This is sorta like a part of my practice/qualifications wrap up report thing.

I may write more. I may not. Who’s to say? If I make this shit similar to work, it ain’t no fun. And if it ain’t no fun, it ain’t no good. Maybe.

We had lots of rain during the week and it was cold too.


Then, for qualifications, it was Africa Hot and many formerly shiny and fast Indy racers made wrong mistakes and turned right and crashed. But, all the real and talented teams put their shattered rigs back together and managed to put their cars in the field.

I salute all the skilled technicians who thrashed day and night, and I will not heave their exhausted and smelly carcasses in front of speeding large commercial vehicles.


The new qualification setup forced the top nine drivers to go out and risk certain death innumerable times for my entertainment….which is the way it should be.

My entertainment is of paramount importance.


This new format was supposed to draw untold millions of new fans and make them all piss themselves with excitement. The crowd looked just about the same to me, and folks in the stands seemed interested in the proceedings, but I couldn’t say if replacement undergarments were needed during the process.

In the long run, even with the new format, there were really no surprises. Penske and Target dominated pretty much.



Helio Castroneves continues to make Indy his bitch. I’m not prepared to call him the all-time King of Indy, but he is untouchable at Indy in the current sled. Come race day, and with a little luck, he will be the next 4-time winner…but he’ll still not be Rick Mears or AJ Foyt or Al Unser. This fact is indisputable.

Tony Kanaan wadded up two racecars during quals, but managed to make it into the field. TK starts way back in the back, so he’ll probably drone around all day in 25th place until one of his unskilled fellow participants puts him into the fence. TK’s Indy snake-bit ways continue, and I no longer automatically pick him to win it this year. Too many negatives to overcome. Maybe next year.


Danica Hospenthal opened her big fat mouth and caused many of her former fans to boo and throw rotten tomatoes. She cried and whined after her fecal-like racer scared her during quals. She said her feelings were hurt. Boo-Hoo. Real Indy racers don’t cry about poor performance, and they don’t bitch about subsequent treatment from fans. Shut your hole and drive. You don’t know what Indy means.




Sarah Fisher made it. Ana Beatriz made it. Simona DeSilvestro made it. And they are all pretty much real racecar drivers, sorta generally more attractive in all categories than you, and good sports about this whole thing. They know what Indy means, and I would rather have cold beers in Turn Three with any of them than you. Bye!


The rest of team Andretti made it, but they are probably still scratching their heads. A hot race day could spell doom for them if they don’t get things sorted.

My good buddy Paul Tracy didn’t make the race because Team Vasser made a dumb decision to try to re-qualify, and the car was unsafe at any speed. PT hanged it all out and dirt-tracked his racing unit in the turns, but could not find enough speed in the hot and greasy conditions. I bet Team Vasser fires their transmission specialist who fucked up on Saturday. That’s what I think.


I guess now PT has more time for an interview with me, but he had his chance and blew that too. I got more important shit to do now, like work the next couple of days, then prepare and execute Indy 500 party activities. Down the road, Jack. Maybe next year.


Alex Tagliani put his low budget shoe string team solidly in the show and had a shot at The Pole for a while until the evil Teamster Peskey showed up. Good job Team Tags! Then, as a sign of goodwill and payback from last year, Tags put Bruno “Blinky” Junqueira into the backup car, and he put it in the show with almost no practice. Awesome performance, Blinky!



Team Tags is the feel good story of Indy this year. I am pulling for them in the race.

Team Dreyer and Reinbold put all four of their rigs in the race early on. I am very impressed with this. It won’t be too long before Team Dreyer and Reinbold bitch slaps Penske and Ganassi. I will take great pleasure in this if it ever happens, because I always root for the little guy and the underdog, and I hate bullies. Good luck on race day!



Team Panther put both of their cars into race, even though Dan Wheldon forgot where the pits were early in the week and crashed. Danny won it once. He could do it again.


Hell…Ed Carpantier put his sled into the top nine. Effing awesome! Ed knows his way around Indy, regardless of what the haters say. He drives smart and is capable, and has shown he knows how to stay in the running and stick around until the end. He is my dark-horse pick. The haters would shit themselves to see Ed drink the milk! It could happen.


No Milk ‘n’ Donuts this year. I couldn’t be more pleased.

More later.


Maybe.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Part 12- My Humongous Astronomical 2010 Indy 500 Blog Mess: Bertrand Baguette

Another rookie this year at Indy comes to us from Belgium, and his name is Bertrand Baguette.


Hallo and welcome! I hope our Yankee waffles are pleasing to you and remind you of home!

Bertrand started out in Techumseh-powered GoKarts in Belgium.

He proved to be wicked sick fast in those, and it wasn’t long before Formula One was knocking on his door to test for a couple of their high-powered teams.


But, Bertrand, never the one to take the pussy route, wanted to do something more difficult first, so he decided to go to the IndyCar series instead of nancy-boy F1.

Now… a lot of American folks enjoy making fun of his name and call him Au Jou, or Crepe Suzette, or Spinach Souffle, or some other Belgian/French-sounding culinary term, but I would never stoop to such a low level because I know derogatory nicknames for a gentleman and racer such as Bertrand Baguette are uncalled for and childish.

So there…

Anyhoo…As you probably know, Belgium is famous for being a sneaky shortcut for belligerent Germans who are well-armed and traveling to France.


Well, I’m here to tell you that this Belgian has figured out the shortcut around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and has posted some impressive speeds.

It wasn’t always so.


On opening day, I observed Bertrand closely…like I always do to rookies trying to tame my race track…and I was not impressed.

Between gulps of beer, I noticed he took a different line through Turn One every time, and I was sure he was going to end up a greasy smudge on Indy’s unforgiving concrete.


In fact, I announced, to no one in particular, that Mr. Baguette would be the first to visit Indy’s now infamous Hurt Locker.

I was wrong, and Bertrand has proven to be a quick learner.


I salute you, brave Belgiumite Indy racer!

I wish you continued success!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Part 11- My Humongous Astronomical 2010 Indy 500 Blog Mess: Takuma Sato

Takuma Sato is a new rookie at Indy this year.

Welcome nOOb! Nice to see you! We are all happy to make your acquaintance!

Takuma hails from Japan, and he is relatively familiar with fast and shiny racing machines seeing as he drove Formula One sleds in the past.


I’m guessing he got fed up and bored with Bernie Eccelstone’s bullshit, and decided to try his hand at real Indy racing for a change of pace.

I commend him for his actions, because most F1 drivers readily admit that they don’t have the balls to try Indy because it’s difficult and scary…what with those hard walls just inches away threatening to turn one into smoldering vaporized ruins at the first hint of a wrong mistake.


Mr. Sato has set up shop with Jimmy Vasser and company, and has come along quite nicely on the ovals, even though fellow countryman Hideki Mutoh banzai-ed his ass into the fence at Kansas a while back.


I’m gonna assume that Takuma kicked the ever loving dog shit outta Hideki for that little maneuver after the race.

I bet throwing stars were involved too.

Maybe.


Anyhoo…Takuma’s racing unit is all decked out in a vintage throw-up livery reminiscent of Jim Clark’s Lotusseessessess from back in the olden times.



Some might say it is a travesty or a crime against humanity and the racing gods to sport such a paint job.

Not me, though.


I can’t help but like it, and it’s pretty cool, and it’s green, but it is not now, nor will it ever be, a Lotus/Ford.

No.


It will still always be a Honda/Dallara/Firestone.

And for that I am sorry.

Part 10- My Humongous Astronomical 2010 Indy 500 Blog Mess: Danica Patrick-Hospenthal

As you may or may not know, I’ve spent the last few days trackside, observing and drinking beer and getting wet a lot.

I figure it’s about time I told you a few things I’ve seen, and my somewhat related thoughts.

First thing you should remember is that I’m no expert at anything, so you should probably take my comments with a coal shovel full of salt.

I will now talk about various drivers…in no particular order of importance.

The Princess, Danica Patrick-Hospenthal, was not a happy Indy racing legend today.

Even though Tony Kanaan set her car up for her, changed the oil, filter, and spark plugs, swept the carpet, and cleaned the glass, Mrs. Hospenthal had a difficult time in her #7 Oh-Go-Daddy-Get-It! Special.

Her first hot lap today damn near ended in a heinous racing incident in Turn 1.

Danica’s rear end started to swap out from under her, but she expertly caught it and continued on to the pits.

Later, I would see her quickly and stiff-leggedly marching back to her garage with a scowl on her face, and her sheepish but crack crew members prudently pushing her excrement-like racer about thirty paces behind.

I am confident the lads at Team Andretti will get her sorted out soon.

God help them if they don’t, because there’s nothing worse than a woman who is not satisfied with her automobile.

Perhaps Danica’s man Paul should give her a foot and shoulder massage like all good husbands are supposed to do.

Or…maybe Tony Kanaan should hang a pumpkin pie-scented air freshener in Mrs. Hospenthal’s racing sled.

I hear pumpkin pie will soothe just about anything that is bothering a person.

I know I don’t feel like being crabby when I’m eating pumpkin pie.

Who knows?

Maybe it will work at Indy.

I’ll bring the Cool-Whip, and we’ll make it a big party.

Or something…

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Part 9- My Humongous Astronomical 2010 Indy 500 Blog Mess: Some Photos I Took Today For Your Viewing Pleasure


It was a cold, blustery, dreary, and damp day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today.

As evidenced by the following shitty photographs, these types of conditions reveal the severe limitations of my trusty but old Kodak Instamatic.

I think I need to do one of two things:

1- Get off my ass and get a good digital camera and go further into debt.

2- Convince a real lens-man with proper equipment to take my pictures for me...for free.

Seeing as I'm lazy...and a cheap-ass...I'll most likely do neither, and I'll try to take better photos if the sun ever comes out again.

In the meantime, please look at the following crappy images and click on them for their full-sized mediocrity if you want.

I apologize in advance.