Archive | September, 2011

A word of thanks to Pop Off Valve

28 Sep Simona De Silvestro

I need to take a moment to thank one of the pillars of motorsport blogging; Tony Johns of Pop Off Valve. I have several that I follow but the two main stalwarts of blogging that I attempt to emulate while keeping my brand developing are Press Dog (Bill Zahren) and Tony Johns of Pop Off Valve. When you are a small fry start up without an angel investor, save for the lovely Mrs. GForcePaul, you need the gentle push that these folks give you. That is IF they are in the frame of mind to even offer such a push. When I specialize in typos and get noticed for that, I remind peeps and Tweeps to view the “about GForcePaul” at this blog, It kind of says it all, I laugh at myself because everyone else is!

I try to emulate these gents without actually stealing any of their material (think of it as joke writing, who wrote the first ‘chicken crossed the road joke’?). It is important to thank Tony for his shout out of these humble writings in my blog as well as to offer thanks to Bill for forwarding tweets when I ask him to do so on his blog, Press Dog dot com. But I do have to say this about Tony; he picked up on my typos and his lead in from his latest article just hammered my and…I….LOVE…IT! Like my bio says on wideopenwheel.wordpress.com, I laugh at myself….often. Like my father used to say, “Learn to laugh at yourself, son. Everyone else is!”. I still miss my father to this day…….
Again, Tony’s stuff can be found here:

http://www.popoffvalve.com/2011/9/28/2454861/indycar-blogs-the-paddock-pulse-september-28-edition#storyjump

Do NOT touch your television set nor do you need to adjust the vertical (if you remember original Outer Limits episodes you will recall that line! You just need to join me at the not so gorgeous facility called Kentucky Speedway this weekend. Holy Shit! The entry list is HUGE just as I suspected, since these turd mobiles are extinct in 3 weeks. Look for them on E-Bay…………..entry list can be found here:

http://www.indycar.com:8080/var/assets/KyS%20Entry%20List%209-27-2011.pdf

Until next time…..
GForcePaul

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Bonus Sunday Post on a rainy day in Indy

25 Sep

Thought I would weigh in on the differing opinions about how runs the state of Indy Car while we go into the last two races of the 2011 campaign. Love him or hate him, one thing is for sure: no one works as long and hard as RB does. Period……

On Randy Bernard: Con (a rant on many levels)
Local Comment regarding Indy Star article by Curt Cavin
09/25/2011
Posted: 8:37 AM on September 25, 2011
Agreement with the fact that Fans have lost all respect for BB and this cannot come back, rule changes or rule clarification. Sorry that Bernard cannot understand this. Helio is not the only driver to speak up on this situation, Power flipped him off on live TV, Michael Andretti went wild when the race went green in the rain and spoke up. All drivers have lost respect for BB, too. Mr. Bernard really needs to understand that as long as BB remains, fans disappear; he can work all he wants to build Indy, while BB brings it down. Another thing important to fans is the OVAL races. What fan wants to pay money and travel to see a follow the leader race, nothing is more boring, just watch qualifying and it’s over. I know that Mr. Bernard is fairly new and want to do good for Indy, but he really needs to take note of what fans say and what fans want in order to build Indy up. Fans are what keep Indy alive believe it or not? Randy ? And China? the country who almost owns USA, Please.
Really ? Oh by the way Danica and Helio are the two top favorite drivers for years in Indy, she is leaving, sorry to say and attacks consistently on Helio sure won’t help this series, reread the comments about last years Edmonton that was stolen from him. I hope Randy really wakes up he seems like a nice guy, but theres a big difference between a bull and an Indy car.

On Randy Bernard: PRO (an informed rant)
Local Comment regarding Indy Star article by Curt Cavin
09/25/2011
Posted: 10:31 AM on September 25, 2011
Randy supposedly reads these responses……..so……you have been the brightest spot in open wheel in years. I like the fact that you’re getting “your feet wet” in promoting Las Vegas and seeing how to get the job done making ovals a success. Will be nice to have a model to work from.

I know Penske and Detroit are back on the schedule. But Randy, please DO NOT take Michigan out of consideration because of geography. There is no track (including Texas) that puts on a better oval track show for IndyCar. Find some sponsors (starting with GM??) and rent the track if needed.

Sorry on the “miss” on a TV contract upgrade. I still believe the lack of TV exposure is the single biggest reason holding back sponsorships (they buy numbers), and re-building the fan base more rapidly.

Lastly, thank you for being a diplomat. I’m sure you’re as tired as the rest of us are about the Danica questions.
Keep up the good work.

Thank Gawd twistys are over, but what GORGEOUS venues they are, Bat Man!

23 Sep

The bat mobile

Finally, on to ovals for a short change of venue, namely the final two IZOD Indy Car Series races. Let those words roll off your tongue for a spell and ponder the upcoming show at Kentucky. Close racing, fugly bumpy track and the number of cars that should hit the entry list just might add up to a great show. Lord knows, I have had a difficult time keeping up with the layte changes, ads and remves of the entry list. This is just a week before the race as well! Downside: up against the 800 pound gorilla called the NFL. At least it is the week after a fairly open test, so drivers should have all the oval track cob webs knocked off by race time.

Friday brought forth a plethora of late breaking IZOD Indy Car Series news on a huge variety of topics. Who is in for J’Wil at DDR? Who will land at Andretti now that they announced they will run Shev-Ro Lay as Uncle Bobby Unser calls them? What will happen to the seat vacated by Mrs. Hospenthal? When I read about Jean Alesi prepping for the 2012 Indy 500 I truly had a WTF moment (and no, I do not mean winning the future, so all of you Sarah Palin fans please commence bag breathing). Eddie Cheever had the killer, smoking BEST comment about Jean; he tweeted that he wants to be at the end of turn 1 at Indy the first Jean comes through it at speed. He referred to Jean Alesi as “angry”. If you have ever heard Eddie on the radio, guiding the young Ed Carpenter when Ed was his shoe, you know Eddie is anything but reserved…….Don’t let his dry television broadcast persona fool you! Eddie knows the proper way to spell intercourse.

DDR News can be found here:
http://dreyerreinboldracing.com/media-center/news/townsend-bell-joins-dreyer-reinbold-racing-at-kentucky-and-las-vegas.aspx

Shev-Ro-Lay news can be found here:
http://andrettiautosport.com/news/?p=893

The Friday open test at Kentucky is still in progress so I guess times are nonyabiz so move along filks. Nothing to see here…..Kind of sad if one is trying to build a brand or racing series. How much cos is added to the league to send a T and S team there since it is so far from Indy? And since I am in a mini rant mode, What Is Up with the mighty Press Dog? We all owe him a debt of gratitude for his super duper HI rez shots of the first oval test of the 2012 car. You can find them on his flicker page right here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pressdog/sets/72157627591166881

And last but not least, if you are in Indy on Tuesday and it does not rain, you get a sneak peek at the 2012 car running on hallowed ground. Hope to see you there!

Princess Sparkle Pony bids farewell……does that move you?

15 Sep

Nothing lasts forever and things change ALL THE TIME…….
The much maligned Jenna Fryer (I THINK her title is AP Auto Racing Writer but Tony Stewart calls her more colorful names) wrote a post on August 29th about Mrs. Hospenthal. Funny in that Mrs. Hospenthal met the similarly named MR Hospenthal while seeking respite from a yoga induced hip injury. Imagine that. Participating in the dangerous sport of Yoga resulting in a hip injury! And you thought Crapcar drivers were in top shape , er…….disregard that one, Smoke. I laud Jenna for her in depth reporting and her best lines about Mrs. Hospenthal’s coming out party on August 25th can be found here:
http://blog.masslive.com/racinwithjason/2011/08/danica_patricks_nascar_plans_prompt_more_criticism.html
The best line of the article revealed that one writer observed that Mrs. Hospenthal showed up for her announcement in black leather and hooker heels…..beer spew!!! I know; old news but I am like your old uncle everyone hates to see at Thanksgiving! He repeats his same old jokes and laughs at them like it is the first time they are told to you. Much like the news that Danica is heading to CRAPCAR. This, after losing 85 consecutive Indy Car races so I cannot blame her for chasing the ca$h. Even Little pEE is still going to the bank; how long is HIS losing streak? Dayammm but them bubbas sho’ must have lots of ca$h.
But I cannot let this next observation go by unchecked and I am NOT going to give it a pass. The Associated Press is assigned the “article author” credit but the story’s headline says it all. Now, for the sake of full disclosure, compliments are always given to Speed TV.com for this little gem:
http://nascar.speedtv.com/article/nns-danica-patrick-ready-to-have-at-it-with-boys/
Have at it[with the] BOYZ? Well cut off my legs and call me shorty! Tired of having at it with the MEN so now maybe on to some success with the BOYZ. U go gurl……away. The IZOD Indy Car Series needed you 4 years ago so my thanks for that. I believe that Ropin’ Randy will find another deserving recipient of the future spotlight. Lord knows, IICS can sure use more butts in the seats. Now that Mr. Bernard understands the needle, hopefully he can find the right “Face Of IICS” to actually move it.
And that concludes my rant. Next post is going to be about the GORGEOUS Road Course, Montegi and the ringer driving for Conquest, De Oliveira. If that don’t move your needle, you are not really an IICS fan, now are you?

Baltimore Wrap rap; yo…..word

8 Sep

Before I begin, I really, positively, ABSOLUTELY need to say thanks to my homeys in the ROBO unit in the TV compound at Baltimore. They toil away in the trenches on behalf of VS and hardly ever get air time. Today’s photogenic lead shot is a screen cap of their excellent work. Thanks to Coy, Rob, Compy, Ryan and K-Roge for allowing me and my niece to visit during Lights practice. They tried to convince Mike Wells that they were working, but we know better….I’m just sayin. Seriously, graphics and robo are really the seldom recognized among the inner workings of a race broadcast.

I am not too down with non-oval (road) racing in the Izod Indy Car Series, nor am I enamored with street courses, either. I usually spend a ton of my time within the confines of the Mother Ship IMS during the month of May, like for the past 30 years. Baltimore totally ‘eFfed me up. I am not kidding. Large, totally humongous props and personal thanks to the fine peeps at Client Services for their accommodation of my credential request. I was given a chance to expose a new world of motor racing to a previous NASCRAP kinda, sorta fan. Oh, my niece did grow up near Penn State and knows where Williams Grove is and has attended a few events there but….still, NASCRAP at Po Ko-Oh No was her major experience to date. Then came the show in Baltimore….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUjNTD_FJSM

By now you have seen the YouTube sensation “Kannan gets MAJOR AIR, Helio saves his life”, or, “Rahal almost meets his Maker”. TK”s air video had over a MILLION hits by Wednesday so I am sure IICS got major wow factor as a result. But the street atmosphere in BWI? Oh my. At Indy, a typical fan can get about 30 feet from the track surface as a best vantage point say, in the short chute between turns 3 and 4. If you can score handicapped seats (or if you are cool enough to support a handicapped friend to see the race real close) the viewing from that vantage point can be mind numbing. At the Grand Prix of Baltimore, you could get that close to the catch fence while sitting at a corner bar, watching cars go by with deafening sound. For the recently initiated (read BGP spectator) to Indy cars close up, they look fast sitting still. These stick and ball sport fans really could not eat up enough of the sights and sounds. Believe me.
Props as always to Speed TV and the incomparable Marshall Pruett for this link:
http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/indycar-baltimore-rewind

I witnessed Randy and his minions pulling out the stops on Free-not much track activity- Friday at the track; there must have been 3000 fans walking around the convention center paddock. Several hours were spent watching teams killing time in s l o w m o t I o n and the fans were freakin loving it. That was the best good will gesture IICS could have ever made, especially with the track just a smidge away from completion. Some of my posse madly tweeted that it looked like an IICS Trade Show at the convention center. With no action on track, the series participants did HUGE interactions with the crowd. Case in point, I am an unabashed Hinchtown fan and feel James is part of the future of the sport. I spent a lot of time hanging like a skool gurl around their hauler. James was signing everything in sight for an hour and Oriel Servia was inviting little kids to sit in the car while he posed for shots taken by totally awe struck parents of said little kids. This type of good will generated for the series cannot be bought at any price. I mean, stick and ball guys would never do this on a rain delay.

A special thanks to the_Race_gIRL for providing the spark to blog and for the advise she offered at BWI. I hope to follow in her foot steps one day and do advertising for a race team. Nah, my goal is techie IT stuff for them. Thanks, Monica! I also had the pleasure of the BEST hotel room on the Bay. Here is what my view looked like as I slept for 5 nights in this unique hotel “room”

The “Gorgeous Facility” that makes up the water front street course called Baltimore’s Inner Harbor blows away anything I have seen before in a race facility. I even own property in St Pete and that place wishes it could get the love shown in BWI for their event. Granted, there were a few, well maybe many, locals that do not share the venue’s positive vision with the soon to be re-elected mayor, but there would absolutely be nothing going on in downtown BWI Labor Day weekend otherwise. Baseball games at Camden Yards notwithstanding, most of the locals that can, do go south to Ocean City, Maryland for the last summer fling. Most of my observations reflected a ton of party people doing stuff I can do in Indy but with a different atmosphere all together. I mean party people with a capital P! Stop off at the Hilton, INSIDE the center of the track, have a cocktail at the bar with the Lights teams and their staff while watching the race in real time on the big screen. Step outside the Hilton and you are at the start of the back straight just past turn l. Do that somewhere besides Long Beach.

This week’s comments on Baltimore sure ended up being a touchy – feely kind of love fest for the crab samm’ich capitol. However, the vibrancy of the event all weekend is a bright spot. With the safety vheicles in the way, Tony flying and Seabass qualifying so well, all the things that went, or could have gone very badly for the series were washed away in the reception Indy Car received. Kudos to Mr. Angstadt and Mr. Bernard. On to 4 more years of upward trajectory for the series in Baltimore.