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!


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


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!


Take care and we will talk to you nest time!


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 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.


And Its PIPPA In Just Under The Wire!

30 Apr
Credit GForcePaul

Credit GForcePaul

Professional reporting hat – ON

(Indianapolis, April 30, 2013)
Pippa Mann, a 29 year old Indy Car pilot from London, England is about to embark on her second run at the Yard of Bricks in hopes of taking that famous swig of milk in victory lane. Pippa Mann today was confirmed as the third entry for Dale Coyne Racing, after a lengthy and exhausting search to complete a program (read: find a sponsor). Mann, who last competed in the Indy 500 two years ago was almost in a seat on Bump Day last year, but never got the call to suit up.

Pippa Mann was the first woman to win a Pole at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She also lead and won from the pole in one of her last races in Lights at Kentucky Speedway in 2010.

Professional reporting hat – OFF

I have mentioned it many times before in this blog; HIRE PIPPA, dammitt! I only need to share a well quoted line from Dale Coyne (credit to IndyCar Staff writers for this piece):
“We have known and followed Pippa from her first interest in coming over to America and the IndyCar series,” Coyne said. “Her hard work and dedication are commendable and have shown results. She has qualified for Indy, qualified on pole at Indianapolis for the Indy Lights race, won an Indy Lights race at Kentucky and has been a great asset for the sport.”

A re you kidding me? Pippa Mann has been an UNSUNG hero and ambassador for IndyCar racing and open wheel racing in general. What do you do if you do not have a ride for Indy? You follow Pippa’s lead, get up and off your arse and go….. to…… work. You pound your feet on the concrete, you get up at 5am and hit the gym, you hit the concrete for sponsors some more, you help Glass Hammer Racing develop young ladies into race car drivers (in your copious amounts of spare time), and always find time to do show prep for her gig as a member of the Indy Lights broadcast team.

In other words, this lady GETS IT. You do whatever it takes and, in amongst all of the turmoil that is ups and downs of sponsor search, Pippa found time to marry a gent we shall continue to refer to as….”Himself”. Not too bad for a lady that is, ah, shall we say, unemployed. My job search took me about 6 months; Pippa has been at this for two years and this is just at the IndyCar level, not counting efforts in years prior.

So, once the excitement wears off, make sure to drop by the garage area and tell Dale Coyne, Thanks, man! He has made a ton of true IndyCar fans happy today! I cannot wait to get a picture of Pippa standing next to Justin Wilson. Should make for great optics!

And to Dale, once again, my thanks, Sir!

Thanks for stopping by and we will talk to you next time.


A little Eye Candy From Sonoma

3 Mar

J.R. Hildebrand at Sonoma in early March. See how green Sonoma is? What a great place to follow up the Barber race with on the way to PHOENIX. Now That’s a schedule!
(All credit to and Marshall Pruett @marshallpruett)

More to come from Barber testing!