Archive | May, 2013

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!

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

24 May

FILrace2013INDY

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?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp1klmtsWQA&feature=youtu.be

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

GForcePaul

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!

http://www.indycaradvocate.com/ (Zachary Houghton)

http://anotherindycarblog.wordpress.com/ (Eric Hall)

http://newtrackrecord.com/ (Mark Wilkinson)

http://www.openwheelworld.net (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!

GForcePaul

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!

GForcePaul

Monday 05/13/2013 Brickyard Cliff Notes

13 May

 

The Mayor; will he make it a 3rd win at Indy?

The Mayor; will he make it a 3rd for 2013 win at Indy?

With the best of the very best Indianapolis based blogging scribes relentlessly posting either minute by minute @Twitter updates in preparation for their blogs or completing professional writing assignments, I thought I would slide in a few Cliff Notes and photographic highlights from this past weekend at the hallowed grounds.

As I alluded to last week, thirty three is just a number; however, I had no idea that the quality of the IndyCar pilots that comprise this year’s gathering would make for such closeness on the daily speed charts. Here it is late on a Monday night and there are still folks trying to get into the field (hello, Buddy?) I was doing some quick night time catch up reading after an afternoon jaunting around the garage area and came upon these little gems and jewels on a fairly busy third day of track activity;

Tows remain the best method of gathering top of speed chart notoriety and media attention. If you were young Marco, then you lead the crew, posting a lap of 225.100, after inhaling (being pulled by) 3 other Andretti Autosport vehicles. This makes one ask the question, “Will we see 230.001 this Pole day?” Hello….Buhler? BUHLER?…..

Up the boost, Scotty, we need more power. ..Kirk….out.

Now I am not a fan of the TOW being n indicator of true speed and capability BUT, consider this; About 30 hours prior to his posting a 219.044 lap, Conor Daly was running in Spain in a GP2 event. After that adventure, he flew back to Indy and was 28th on the speed chart. What will he possibly do with 8 hours of rest? But the best indicator of how pole day will go could be a very scary outcome such as this one where Dario Franchitti and Pippa Mann posted frighteningly similar times on Monday. Rounding out an arbitrary group of four folks from positions 21 through 24, we get this stuff:

POS:21 CAR: 60 Bell, Townsend 221.137
POS:22 CAR:10 Franchitti, Dario 220.549
POS:23 CAR: 63 Mann, Pippa 220.500
POS:24 CAR:9 Dixon, Scott 220.419

DSCI0212

Well, who is zooming who? I realize that this is so very early in the game prior to the running of the greatest spectacle in racing, but imagine if we actually posted a grid that reflected today? So, Having said all of that, I wanted to share my vote for the best paint scheme at the track for 2013. The ballot is in and I voted for Badd Ass Seabass. You bring your fanny out to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this 2013 racing season and I guarantee that you will have to wear shades to look at this McAfee car when it is in the sun!

DSCI0193

Take care and we will talk to you nest time!

GForcePaul

A Little Soul Searching Or 33 Is Just A Number

8 May

Thirty two names, thirty THREE cars. Too much emphasis is being placed on the magical number of 33. Traditions die hard and yet, they do have a way of being slightly altered. Recall when 34 cars started the Indy Racing League’s grand show in the not too distant past? I seem to recall that the sun did come up the next day! It also came up the day after that…..

I love tradition as much as the next guy does, but guess what? I love the racing that has taken place this year (and last) even more. Quick, tell me, how many cars started at St Pete? How many started at Barber, Long Beach and Sao Paulo? Granted, restrictions are placed on the number of entries when pit road requires the governing body to do so, but I do not see 33 cars on any of those entry lists. I would go so far as to say that even the 600 pound gorilla that is NASCAR is struggling to make 43 cars show up each and every week. One thing is certain; you will NEVER see a start and park entry in ANY Indy Car competition! I cannot think of a single driver that would even allow such shenanigans.

So, the whole thing boils down to ‘field fillers’ and do we or don’t we? Now, here is where we are going to differ a tad, so I am going to say this slowly; t h e r e  a r e  m a n y  d r i v e r s  n o t  e m p l o y e d  and  F E W  A R E  F I E L D  F I L L E R S.

If you want to insult a Pippa Mann, good luck with trying to classify her as a marginal driver. Take a shot at Townsend Bell (more on him in a minute). Do you really think that Buddy Lazier is not a good enough talent regardless of his being a former winner? Call him a field filler if you want. I call him by his title, Driver Coach last year to Jean Alesi. So, this year he gets to run the chassis that Jean ran last year with a lotus turd for an engine. Did you know that on Thursday, May 9th, KUBU or as we affectionately call him Kurt Busch, brother to Rowdy, will be attempting the full ‘O’ program? This was reported by Dave Furst via that all informative social platform, Twitter. I cannot wait to see how all of that pans out because he has been in an Indy car before and running a full rookie orientation program to set bench mark data is quite cool.

Credit IMS and Andretti Autosport

Credit IMS and Andretti Autosport

Which brings me to my point, best expressed by a direct quoting of the recent post by Zach Houghton on http://www.Indycaradvocate.com and you had best RUSH to add his link to your favs bar! My aquaintenance, Zachary always takes the high road and delivers an opinion that always makes sense. Regarding Mr. Townsend Bell, on May 8th Zach wrote, “In short, while I welcome Townsend Bell in the booth and hope he remains a big part of the team for the foreseeable future, I also appreciate his record at Indianapolis, and his well-deserved reputation as a fantastic one-off or part-timer there. Far from being a field-filler, Bell is a valuable add to this 500 list of hopefuls in terms of competition. He’s in a good spot; a veteran driver that can show up and be a welcome addition to a team. We’re to a point where we expect to see Bell each May, and at least throw him in the discussion. There’s no reason think he doesn’t have at least a few more Indy 500 runs in him, and I’m excited to see what he can do with them.”

Well said, Zach. My dark horse for the past several Indy 500’s has certainly included Townsend in the mix! I hope he turns out to be a great field filler….OOPS! A great competitor……my bad!

Take care, thanks for reading and of course, we will talk to you next time.

GFoercePaul