Team Meeting; Weekend in Review: Cluster F*** Edition


Indycar:  Where to begin?  Indycar was at Indy Failure League DEFCON 1 over the weekend.  Dario Franchitti started on pole and dominated, putting most of the field a lap down and making the race a parade.  A yellow flag for rain lasted for ages as Indycar can’t/won’t red flag races.  Then, Dario crashed trying to block Sato.  Dario proved he is the Scottish Douche by trying to say Sato wrecked him when clearly it was the other way around.  Ryan Hunter Reay and Orial Servia then led the majority of the race which towards the end was again yellow flagged for rain.  An  attempted restart went wrong because the track was wet and Indy Failure League was in full force.  Race Control had no idea what to do and finally put out the red flag while they thought it over.  Drivers and team owners were freaking out, as the above picture of Power shows.  Apparently all the drivers and team’s did not want a restart but Barnhardt didn’t hear or didn’t listen, causing mass carnage.  In the end the last restart was canceled and results reverted to what they were before the restart although Newman Haas and Ganassi are trying to protest.

The restart was bad but Micheal Andretti’s hysterical interview afterwards was pretty sad too.  The restart obviously should not have happened but the issue really came about because Indycar doesn’t throw the red flag the way NASCAR does.  When there’s a major wreck or rain NASCAR will red flag, preventing the loss of large amounts of laps under yellow.  Indycar doesn’t do this and spent a large portion of the middle of the race under yellow.  By having the Red flag it also gives Race Control time to check the condition of the track and make a better decision.

Of course the reason Indycar doesn’t like to throw the Red Flag is that they don’t have onboard starters… why Open Wheel doesn’t have them I cannot say, but the 2012 car won’t have them either.  It would mean less yellow’s for stalled cars and allow Red Flags for major wrecks and rain…. so it really should have been.  But then again this is the 2012 car.  Doing things that would improve Indycar is the opposite of what’s happening.

Also where there any jet driers at New Hampshire????  I didn’t see them on TV.  Since this was an ABC race they just may not have shown them.  If they weren’t out there however it’s no wonder the track was too slick.

In general I don’t think the finish or reverting the results is that bad.  The crash started as the cars crossed the start/finish line taking the restart and in many series when that happens the results revert to the previous lap.   I have to agree with the NASCAR policy of not changing the race win after the fact.  You just can’t do that to fans.   As I said on twitter Indycar needs a race result changed by an appeal as badly as it needs another failed F1 driver who’s name is difficult to spell… speaking of which…

Some GP2 driver/F1 reject who’s name I can’t be bothered to look up is going to drive for DDR at Infieneon and Baltimore.  That’s just the type of driver Indycar needs (note sarcasm).

Will Power’s freak out after the race including flipping off Race Control was a gift to fans and bloggers.  He had better not be fined or I’ll have to post another anti-Race Control Rant, and I’ve wrote multiple this summer!  In my opinion Dario’s whining in victory lane is a lot more damaging than Power flipping Race Control off (something most fans want to do).  And I don’t think Dario should have been fined either.  We need some real emotion and personality in racing, not boring Jimmie Johnson PR trained clones.  But good news is, many fans as well as Kanaan and Penske have offered to pay any potential fine.  Power got himself and Indycar some good, funny, attention.  If anything they should pay him for it!

Also in Indy Failure League news the aero kits are delayed until 2013.  Teams were convinced a 75K aero kit would bankrupt a majority of teams.  How an OPTIONAL accessory would cause a majority of teams to collapse I do not know and have not had it explained.  However this means that the main reason for picking Dallara, the “aero kits” are gone… so that’s pretty sad and pathetic… like most things with the 2012 car.

Add Pippa Mann to the victims of the current Dallara.  Mann, Power, Phillipe, Miera, Conway, and Wilson have all had back injuries from the “Crapwagon’s” which I have decided now deserve a new nickname; Backbreakers.  Crapwagon can go to the 2012 car.  Pippa’s injury is less severe than the others as she should be back this season for Kentucky and Vegas.

Indy Lights.  Who cares?  No cars, no names, no passing, no interest.  A “road to nowhere” as it was called on twitter is pretty apt.

Interestingly ratings from Mid Ohio were down by a lot; coming in at .2.  That would suggest that the ratings increase for Toronto and Edmonton weren’t “Momentum” but in fact were a Tour De France bump as I suggested (and was criticized for).

Indycar re-upped with ABC until 2018.  For a person with a lot of strong opinions I can’t say I feel that strongly either way.  Considering how poor ratings are on Versus it’s no wonder Indycar wanted to stick with ABC for some races, but on the other hand ABC broadcasts are so poorly produced that it seems to me to be a major roadblock in growing long term (or short term) fans.

Heard an interesting rumor on twitter.  If the MotoGP at Motegi get’s canceled the Indycar race will also cancel… if that’s true that’s almost enough to make me support the riders boycott of Motegi!  It would end Indycar’s 2AM parade.  Sadly it’s too late in the season to get a replacement race lined up and Power need’s ever race he can get to end the Scottish Douche’s reign of terror.  Still… it might be for the best to put Motegi out of our misery.

Really really really really hope the rumors of Mexico City or China for 2012 are a joke.  St Pete was confirmed as the season opener in March of 2012.  Rumor of a Seattle street race at some point in the future… does no one remember what happened to Champcar?

NASCAR: Marcos Ambrose finally broke through and got his first career Cup win at Watkins Glen!  Ambrose has been fairly successful with poor equipment on ovals and amazing on the road courses.  Coming from Aussie Touring Cars Ambrose has experience with larger cars on road courses and it shows.  He’s faster than AJ Allmindinger or even Juan Montoya on a road course.  Ambrose’s win makes another underdog win in what has become one of the most unpredictable season’s in years.   Of the underdog wins Ambrose’s is one of the most impressive.  He’s been on the cusp of a road course win for ages and he finally took it by passing both Keselowski and Busch.

Speaking of Keselowski he continued to impress with a 2nd place finish despite his injury at Road Atlanta.  Looks like some road racing practice paid off.  His Chase chances are now incredibly strong  as Watkins Glen was expected to be the most difficult with his injuries due to the need to use the clutch and brake.

The race for Chase spots is pretty hot.  Hamlin and Keselowski are the current wild card spot holders.  Earnhardt Jr. is among the current top 10 and thus still in the Chase.

Nationwide race… see what I said for Indy Lights, add Cup drivers.

Watkins Glen was also the site of numerous hard crashes from David Ragan to Denny Hamlin.  Luckily no injuries.  SAFER Barriers were made for a reason…

MotoGP:  Bruno produced a great WSBK race a few weeks ago as well as for the support races but the Grand Prix itself wasn’t that good.  Pedrossa had been dominate all weekend but as is so often the case when he’s involved, Pedrossa crashed early.  That allowed Casey Stoner to win without much of a challange.  He was followed by fellow Honda’s; Dovizioso and Simoncelli.  Lorenzo brought up 4th due to worn tires.  Ben Spies, with a pinched nerve in one arm, finished 5th and Rossi ended up 6th.

In more interesting news the first public 1000cc MotoGP test was held Monday.  Casey Stoner led while Spies and Lorenzo were able to be within a tenth of him.  Stoner has already tested a 1000cc bike while this was Lorenzo and Spies’s first time on the bike.  Testing times can be misleading but it’s good to see Yamaha can keep up with Honda.

According to interviews afterwards  Ben Spies believes the 1000cc bikes will suit his riding style.  Considering Spies is already very good that should set him up for a great 2012 season.

At Tech 3 Cal Cruchlow is in trouble with team owner Hervé Poncharal.  Poncharal believes Cruchlow crashes too much and hasn’t preformed as well as Spies did last year or Edwards is this year.  Should Cruchlow get fired there are no shortage of replacements including Simoncelli, Dovizioso, Laverty, and Melandri as well as some of the current Moto2 riders.  Edward’s situation will largely depend on whether Yamaha continues to write his paycheck as a multiple times WSBK champion doesn’t race for free.  All of that said… Cruchlow deserves a 2nd year.  Coming up in the shadow of Spies is rough for anyone and an early season injury has caused a lot of his problems.

The CRT Suter/BMW took to the field and set the slowest laptime of the test, 800 or 1000cc.  Not reassuring.  On the plus side they showed improvement over the last test.

Posted on August 17, 2011, in Indycar, Moto GP, NASCAR Nationwide, NASCAR Sprint Cup and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. “Some GP2 driver/F1 reject who’s name I can’t be bothered to look up is going to drive for DDR at Infieneon and Baltimore. That’s just the type of driver Indycar needs (note sarcasm).”

    Your loss. Pantano is a good driver who got shafted in F1 by bad luck, questionable politics and a lack of cash.

    • Then head out to Le Mans… seriously, no one in America cares or will ever care about a racing serious that is stacked full of random, nameless F1 reject. They never have and never will.

      • You realise you don’t have to watch it if you don’t want to.

      • Come on, Leigh, you know Dylan’s right. Giorgio Pantano coming on board at a mid-pack team for two races is certain to cost the Baltimore race 0.2 ratings points alone, at a minimum. Those 45 total seconds he spends on screen during the entire race will have people turning off their sets in such numbers that local utility companies will think that there were electromagnetic pulse charges set off in every major population center in the US. It’s a scenario that could only have been avoided by putting Buddy Rice or Townsend Bell or some other journeyman American driver in the #22 car for two races where that car is likely to finish no higher than 15th, regardless of who’s driving, even if it were Vettel or Hamilton. I’m disappointed that you can’t see that.

      • @Speedgeek,
        I hope for your sake he doesn’t whip Dario and Power😉

      • I am looking for nascar clothing for women to wear to the race this weekend. I want to feel like I am apart of the crew while I am there with my dad and his friends! Does anyone know where I can find some for a pretty good price?

  2. Oh, I know exactly how Giorgio operates. I was, after all, watching the F3000 race from Imola where he dropkicked Townsend Bell into the gravel trap at Tosa, which prompted Towny to dub him “Puntano”. I think that within a month, we’re all going to be celebrating Giorgi’s first IndyCar win and trying to figure out how to say “chrome horn” in Italian.

    • Right, because I”m sure if BTCC and DTM were taken over by NASCAR Truck and Nationwide drivers the fans in Europe wouldn’t complain at all…. it’s not just what’s his name that’s the problem, it’s that we get stuck with Paganaud, What’s his name, Tung, Jakes, Conway, Viso, Sato, Baugette, ect. while drivers, both American and not, who have fans and have built at least some sort of reputation are left on the sidelines.

      • DTM is an international series, so I’m not sure that point applies. Hell, there’s more German’s in F1 than in DTM.
        BTCC is also a poor comparison. That’s a mainly tiny British national championship with British drivers on local British circuits that no one in Britain watches.

      • The point is that two races for Giorgio Pantano isn’t going to affect anything because the #22 car is not selling tickets to any races or drawing eyeballs to the Series, reagardless of who’s driving it, unless they attract Jacques Villeneuve to come out of semi-retirement. Pagenaud, I have no idea what your problem is with him (he’s done well in his very limited seat time this year, has actual fans in the sports car world, beat Graham Rahal to the Atlantic title, and I know you’re about to compare him unfavorably to Robert Doornbos, as far as ChampCar results went in 2007, but Pagenaud was moving up from a car with 1/3rd the horsepower while Doornbos was moving over after 2 full seasons of F1 racing and/or testing, so that is not an apples-to-apples comparison). Tung is doing a race or two because that team can not operate without his check (would you prefer Dragon stay home? Because that is literally the alternative). Jakes, yes, wouldn’t be here without his check, but then again, without his check, Sebastien Bourdais is probably sitting home as well. Would you prefer that? Viso, yes, again, I’d prefer he be done with IndyCar at the end of the year, but if his money is able to help fund TK at KV, then I’m OK with him being there while Jimmy and Kevin find other money (which I sincerely hope they are doing). Sato actually has fans (yes, he does, I have seen some) and has been fast. Baguette is probably fast enough to be here on his own merit.

        I don’t know why I keep debating you on this. You constantly screaming about a driver that you don’t like or haven’t heard of (and it seems like you haven’t heard of most everybody outside of IndyCar, F1 and NASCAR) getting into a mid-pack car for a race or two is resulting in a non-stop cacophony of complaining that isn’t going to win you any readers. You’d be better off picking your battles a little more wisely instead of taking on a new percieved slight almost every single day.

      • Sorry I don’t watch GP2 or F3

      • If all What’s his name and Tung and Carroll get are a couple races here or there then it’s fine, but what I don’t want to see is them ending up with fulltime rides.

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