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Eye Candy from Sonoma AND my love, the Delta Wing, Monica Hilton, Simon Pagenaud ; It is a Festival of Links!!

26 Feb
Love the Lines

Love the Lines

I will link all of this hot mess together by the end of this article, I promise!
I tend to get a tad antsy this time of year as we all await the wheels turning at the Grand Prix of St. Pete.
I mean, it is one thing to endure a long, miserable winter with record snow depths that extend back to when they started keeping records.

Please End Winter [ ]

It is another to also endure the long off season, far away from my not so secret addiction: speed. Just mere weeks until things heat up and scheduled testing begins in earnest.
I thought I would take up some more blog space and opine on how one survives the off season. A good portion of my time is spent taking advantage of YouTube and the ability to review some highlights of the previous season. With lingering daylight and longer nights, I tend to get into the historical types of Indy Car videos. Recently, I came across both US and BBC produced copies of same year events and it is pretty interesting to see the different broadcast perspectives. If you have about 4 hours to kill and a good amount of tissue, I would suggest SKY Sports’ British broadcast of the 2012 Indy 500. A fabulous perspective awaits, but be warned; Dan Wheldon is highlighted in this broadcast and it will absolutely bring the [manly] tears.

One of the early testing locations I look forward to is Sonoma because in the early spring the grounds are covered in green. I posted a similar video about this time last year and, again,the video for this year is presented by GoPro cameras. The cool thing about this yerar’s video is the placement of the camera. It never occurred to me to see the track from the perspective of Simon Pagenaud’s helmet. Now, I am usually familiar with ‘point of view’ shots and have grown accustomed to seeing racing portrayed from a camera hung off the car. The start of this video blows me away……and makes me chuckle as well. Look for a cameo appearance by none other than Davy Hamilton. Extra bonus points will be given.

The bat mobile

The bat mobile

All of this leads me back to 2009 and while on a drive to my daily cubicle death, I encountered a AM radio drive time talking head that was interviewing a lady about none other than the Indy Car series and motor sport. I forget her name, but I seem to recall that it was Race Girl or something like that. I was pretty impressed as she stated her case against Indy Car adopting the Delta wing as the next generation of race car platform. I kind of snickered when it was referred to as the penis mobile and yet that moniker remains to this day. Go figure! Especially since the Delta wing has evolved into a potential class within the sports car and endurance racing disciplines. All that and a qualified female piloting the current iteration of the Delta wing makes for pretty good humor when I look back to that radio show. The recent accomplishments of the concepts first envisioned by Ben Bolby are pretty impressive as is evidenced by this cool video summary of an ALMS race in 20123 from Road America. Enjoy!

All of which brings me back to where it all began. You see, from that radio show I was listening to in my car, stuck in traffic, bored and mad as hell, I ran across Monica Hilton. Interesting person, very gifted writer and tireless worker on behalf of the sport she loves. It was nice to see fresh attitudes and unfailing charm in action and she went on to toil for HVM racing in Public Relations. As things always do, they change in Indy Car on almost a weekly basis and people switch, change, move on…..

All of which brings me to this link about a new venture called Snake Pit Customs. Back when I had a hankering to start an Indy Car blog, I had a chance encounter with the rcae gIRL and used her writing style as a guideline. Not because I wanted to be just like her, but because of the tenor and tone of her sarcasm. In fact, I believe that the blogosphere of Indy Car is quite awash in the use of sarcasm. I tend to enjoy that quite a bit! But I digress…..

Fast forward to today, or at least January 21, 2014. The times have changed and Monica has moved on to a different slant on the world of PR.

So, now to tie all of this blog posting up into a nice and tidy little package. There are a few clues, but to the untrained eye it appears to be mere rambling. Well, look no further and consider these hidden points:

Winter will never end in Indianapolis
Somewhere the folks at IMS are planning a killer snake pit event for the 2014 Indy 500
Simon Pagenaud can drive a GoPro like nobody else
Monica Hilton has a great new adventure
Snake Pit Customs is born ( )
The first client of record for Snake Pit Customs is…drum roll please:
Simon Pagenaud!

So, now that you are all informed and are armed with KILLER INSIDE PERSPECTIVE, start getting excited about the upcoming series kickoff event in my favorite part of the world, St. Pete! And we all look forward to what the speedway has planned for this year’s Snake Pit!

As always, thanks for stopping by and we will talk to you next time!

Finally, SOMETHING I Can Get My Head Around

17 Feb
KuBu at Indy 2013

KuBu at Indy 2013

I unashamedly follow Tony Dizinno, a writer for NBC Sports “Motor Sports Talk” as well as other outlets. This gent is a PROLIFIC producer of word count and not just for the sake of volume. He produces well written content across multiple racing platforms!

Something he recently had written caught my eye and actually left me with that tilted head, confused dog look. Imagine an Indy 500 that followed the “path” laid out by BCG or whatever moniker du jour is used today to describe the plan to move THE Hallowed Grounds forward. A page out of that playbook called for adding a star from another series to the entry list. The most recent tome on the topic from Tony can be found here:

Now, to most commonly educated folks, that would mean add a NASCAR star to the entry list. Actually, the Indycar Series DOES try to cross pollinate from other so called open wheel series to complete the field of 33. I believe what the Consultant du Jour meant was a NASCAR star.

Enter Kurt Busch.

Such a fanfare of tweets were proffered by the plethora of pandering bloggers! Oh my…… Did you see that Kurt was in Indy last summer and actually passed his ROPE in ONE DAY they screamed in unison. While, in unison I mean they screamed this talking point in many different flavors but you get my drift.

In all fairness, Kurt handled himself quite well in a borrowed car that I am sure came with the caveat, bring her home….please. Bring her home…..UNBROKEN! He enjoyed the experience so much that he delayed his IND departure to complete all phases of ROPE. I am not the best judge of talent behind an Indy Car steering wheel, but I have seen enough of the lines these cars take entering turn one  to know who is puckering and who is seeing it all IN-S L O W-M O T I O N.

Enter ‘Dinger.

The Dinger Knows Indy

The Dinger Knows Indy

From a man totally disgraced by NASCAR for an indiscretion of their vaunted “actions detrimental to NASCAR” and violations of their substance abuse policy to a man on a holy terror mission of redemption, at one point in the race, AJ kicked everyone’s ass in the 2013 Indy 500. Who in the class recalls where Dinger finished in that race? Anybody?…Class….class…Buheler….

He finished 7th in a race with too many lead changes to count let alone keep up. I used to be able to score Indy 500 races in my head without a pylon and then came the lead changeapalooza of last year. Emotional win for T.K. to be sure but; who came in second, let alone seventh?

Enter Chevrolet (or as Uncle Bobby calls them, cheverlayzzz).

What is the common theme here? Well, if you followed Tony Dizinno, you would be well informed but if you just follow me, well then, you would not be so informed. The common thread and talking points are these:

-Chevy had 13 teams last year. They have 11 now and are looking to share the love some more
-KuBu is a Chevy man
-‘Dinger is a Chevy man

So, my premonition is not one, but possibly TWO tin top drivers doing the daily double. My supposition is that ‘Dinger is pretty capable, his team uses Chevrolet power and therefore my conclusion is:
(Fill in your best cross pollination wish here).

The link to thought provoking wordsmithy by Jerry Bobkowski can be found here:

So now, while you chew on that thought a little while and pray for Spring to finally arrive in Indianapolis, contemplate what it would mean for a double double to take place. Does this put more butts in seats? I am gravitating towards a yes vote!

As always, thanks for stopping by to read and rest your feet a few. We will talk to you next time!


Back in the saddle again…..Really!

17 Jan



After an extremely long hiatus, basically doing what one does to keep up with the speed of life, it begins again. Time to saddle up and as they say in Denver these days, time to ride. Taking some time off to learn to look at things differently just might not be so bad an idea unless it means taking time off from your job. I doubt your employer would give you as much time off as I have taken. But I digress……

The long layoff after the season ending show at Autoclub Speedway has left a deafening silence. Thank goodness that Trackside with @KevinLee23 returned on January 15th. You need to bookmark

and keep up with what really is happening in the open wheel world. If you did then you would know the name Action Jackson. Combine that with the name Dillon Welch and you can see kids following Daly and Veach’s foot steps. Who really worries about a long off season anyway? There is so much ‘content’ out there when the motors go silent that the winter doldrums pass pretty much at the same rate every year.

Let’s check the tic box, shall we?
-Penske team is virtually in lock step again even with adding a former F-1 driver to their ranks
-Ganassi team is in l;ock step again, even with the hiring of a former Penske driver
-Andretti Autosport is answering the question “Is there life after Go Daddy?”
-Will changes from/to Honda solve a mileage problem?
-Should Ed Carpenter give up his seat on twistys? (Yeah, perhaps so)
-Will that other race in May cannibalize or add to the number of butts in seats?
-Should Mr. Miles even invite another blogger into his lair for a conversation with a real fan?
-How soon will the international part of the race schedule be developed?
-Will Pressdog return to IndyCar blogging?

This is going to be a long season and an even longer off season going forward. Of that I have no doubt! But more to my point, there is still a TON of content out there even before one starts to read opinion fluff pieces. Here is one bit of news that I watched unfold on Twitter in real time: Talk to me about a mini baby Borg. Tell me all you know about this trophy and describe its inception. Use the margin and of course, show all of your work. Enjoy the helpful photos and bask in the warmth of a father’s love for his son.

Make it a productive weekend and of course, we will talk to you next time!



Post: POST Indy 500 V2.013 Wrap Up Post

28 May
TK Rocket Prep credit Gforcepaul

TK Rocket Prep credit Gforcepaul

Gonna be a short post, folks; back a few years none other than Alex Lloyd made the show at Indy and drove a pink car while wearing a pink fire suite. Now that …. Takes …. Stones. His run that year was summed up in two words in the Indianapolis Star the next day; “Pink Lloyd”. I remember it as clear as if it were yesterday. I still chuckle today at the images in my mind. Believe me, this is in no way a discredit to one whom I consider a heckauva shoe.

Kanaan's nose,perhaps credit gforcepaul

Kanaan’s nose,perhaps credit gforcepaul

Fast forward to a post today on Motoramic by none other than the esteemed Alex. He completely hit it on the head in dissecting the Indy Car TV ratings over the weekend, while keeping in the spirit of Indy still being the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. I am pretty sure that phrase is trademarked somewhere.

Not This Year Ryan credit GForcePaul

Not This Year Ryan
credit GForcePaul

Was I ecstatic that TK gets his face on the Borg? Hell yeah! Was I among the folks in line waiting one hour plus to get my joke of a cooler examined by the cooler police at IMS? Oh heavens yes! But all in all, the spectacle that is Indy shown through on this year’s running of the auto-mo-bee-lee Daahhh- Lhaarrr- Ah extravangaza I love and know as the Indianapolis 500.

But it needs to be noted that Alex Lloyd’s observations and musings ring so very true, so very spot on. The Indianapolis 500 remains the greatest spectacle, she just needs a few repairs. You go, Mr. Mark Miles. You can bring a super bowl to a town like Indianapolis, you can surely fix this.

The Alex Lloyd story can be found   Here

So, if you missed the multiple ways to view the summary of the 97th running of the Indy 500 then you now have multiple ways to view this phenomenal rendition of the greatest spectacle in racing! Check out this link and if you do not have tears flowing from your eyes then you just do NOT know what Indy means.

TK; Finally!

Thanks and we will talk to you next time once we get past the two fer taking place at Belle Island this weekend. Thanks Roger!

Less Than 48 Hours To Launch; If THIS Don’t Whet Your Appetite for Indy V2.013, Then Get a Life

24 May


On Carb day at the ‘Hallowed Grounds’ that comprise the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, FIL history was made on this date. With a gap of 0.026 seconds, Ireland’s Patrick Dempsey pulled off the tightest finish EVAH at the Motor Speedway. Forget the fact that local up and comer Kyle O’ kissed something besides the famed yard O’ Bricks.

The real story was the last lap. The BIG SHOW that will be running on Sunday should hope for such an unscripted, drama filled last 2.5 miles around the O’ Brickyard. Young Mr. Conor Daly should hope for such a finish one day…..

While I toiled away at my day gig and monitored the Twitter stream I remembered why this weekend means so much across all of the big three Modus Operendi de Speed; from Monaco to Indianapolis to Charlotte, every promoter drools over an unscripted finish like this. Do you hear me, Mr. Gossage?

Thanks for hitting the blog, continue using the hash tag #Indy500orBust and we will talk to you next time!


The Twitterverse Take on Indy V2.013

The Twitterverse Take on Indy V2.013

Pole Day Wrap Up; Yawwnnnnn………Ed Carpenter wins the Indianapolis 500 Pole…….WHAT?!!!

19 May
credit GForcePaul

credit GForcePaul

I got a little tradition busting to share with you, pal. Consider this: The qualifications ‘traditionally’ end at 6pm local time in Indianapolis. In a smooth transition of television schedule adjusting and shell game type of hidden moves, NBCSN bounced the pole qualifying and showed us the last few qualifiers in a made for television, drama filled session. The Fast Nine competition was set to run at 4:30pm and give cars multiple runs at a pole shot. Due to weather, this final qualifying segment was ran at 6:30 pm in Indianapolis on Saturday and in a further break with ‘tradition’, a small budget, one car owner/driver combination literally kicked BIG TEAM derriere (insert your favorite Death Star team name here).

Yes, Virginia, David slayed Goliath, there IS a Santa Clause and if you are an open wheel fan that follows the sport even on the most distant of periphery, you realize that this is big time upset in the making. Now, if you are more than just a casual fan of American open wheel racing and know some of the recent, non-traditional history of the sport, you have heard the behind the back whispers about Ed Carpenter; he eats from the Hulman silver spoon, never had a real job, has had everything handed to him. Well, Ed first came to the speedway at the age of 10 when he watched Rick Mears win the pole in 1991. Fast forward to 2013 and EFFING- KA- BOOM. Super Team Death Star literally explodes and as some of my fellow blogging scribes like to say, death star shrapnel reigns down on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I am still in shock and it is 12 hours later. Oxygen, please…..Doctor? Doctor?

This topic will be covered by many far better word smiths than I but I can guarantee, none of them have been walking the hallowed grounds of the speedway as long as I, searching for that long lost upset similar to the ones we saw in years gone by. Yesterday at the speedway held so many story lines, drama and fairytale ending that I can tell the traditionalists, maybe, just quite maybe, there will be a return to the glory days of a small team swigging milk after the end of 500 long miles. This with just 33 and a half cars on the property!

So, hit these links and follow the musings of the folks that hang out at the Blogapalooza Deck at pit out of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They got ALL the good read! (Zachary Houghton) (Eric Hall) (Mark Wilkinson) (Steve Wittich )

Here is a shot of what I hope the the erst of the field sees during this years’ running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Sweepstakes Motor Car Race. Yeah, it’s the back of Ed Carpenter’s car….

credit GForcePaul

credit GForcePaul

Thanks for reading and we will talk to you next time!


Tuesday 05/14/2013 Brickyard Cliff Notes: A Toe IS A Tow Is A Race Set Up Tow

14 May



credit gforcepaul

credit gforcepaul

Based on all that transpired today at the Hallowed Ground (5565 miles ran in a 6 hour period by 34 different driver/car combinations) it sure smelled like a race set up kind of throw away day on the speed charts for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500. Let me be clear; long range forecast for Sunday, May 26th look a lot warmer than the 52 degree temperature experienced early in the opening gambit of this year’s race. So, with engine miles running out on some leased engines it makes sense to see what your car will do with track temperatures approaching 130 degrees amidst 30 mile an hour buffeting winds coming out of the south. When I left the day job to hit the track today it truly did feel like we went from late spring to mid-summer in Indianapolis, all within a 24 hour period. If I am an Indy Car engineer I am either pulling my hair out or referring to last year’s notes when it was unseasonably warm (sauna like to be exact).

Kanaan Engine Change

Kanaan Engine Change

Consequently, I found today to be reminiscent of past years in following a well laid out plan to successfully run the month of May at the Brickyard. There seems to be a slow, albeit steady rhythm to building speed for the upcoming Pole Day. Today revealed itself and the schedule (the internal metronome that is the month of May) became more apparent. Fast teams tend to let the slower teams on “short lease” engines go out and rubber the track for a few days seeking speed and car and driver  feedback. Better heeled and funded teams are able to let hold on station, run slower race set ups and when everyone gets fresh engines to qualify, out comes the qualifying trim and set ups. BOOM; down goes the smaller teams, all the while it looks like the other guys with more funding are sandbagging……

Which brings us to exhibit ‘A’;  Hizzhonour Da Mayor of Hinchtown gets into the car usually driven by Marco and posts BIG times and speed of 224.210.

To Hinch or Not to Hinch

To Hinch or Not to Hinch

(Actual speed chart for today can be found  here) . From that point, Marco gets into Hinch’s car and posts a 221.972 lap. It gets even spookier from here; then Hinch gets into his car and posts a 221.781 lap. HUH? I suspect that the set up on Hinch’s car was similar to a race set up and Marco’s car still enjoyed a qualifying set up.

From here on out I am thinking that the plan and work list for each car will be to run Wednesday in race trim and Thursday in qualifying trim. When I win the lottery and run my own race team, searching for my glass of milk after 500 miles at Indy, I certainly will use this map to get through the pre-qualifying week at Indianapolis. And on a further note, some reported seeing all of the Andretti  Autosport vehicles today sans front wing wicker bills. That is rather freaky…….

On a different note, it is easy to see and observe the aero dynamics that make up the design of an open cockpit vehicle. It almost takes on an artistic aspect that I like to call speed in motion while standing still. To wit; I present some aerodynamic eye candy of Ryan Hunter-Reay’s ride. It really does look fast standing still.

Aero Kits need not apply????

Aero Kits need not apply????

I particularly enjoy some of the body work that was so much maligned during its debut. Imagine the pole day to come this year. We already have folks knocking on the 225 mph door early in the game in RACE TRIM for God’s sake! Fast forward to when the boost is kicked up from its current 18.84 psi to a resounding 20.29 psi. I remain confident that we will see a 230mph time come pole day. This will be on display on Fast Friday, May 17th. Call in sick and drop by Friday to feel the buzz return!

Take care and we will talk to you next time!



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