Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Indianapolis 500 Wrapup
This is Dario Franchitti wired up to talk with TV hosts after winning the 91st Indianapolis 500. He came to America to drive in the CART (now Champ Car World Series) Championship Series. We would have posted this Sunday night...but the old bromide about "for want of a nail, etc." also works on computers. When there are two screws holding a case where there should be six, then strange things happen, just like at Indy...where there are more twists and turns than any road course anywhere, despite it being a 2 1/2 mile oval.
  • Michael Andretti likely drove his last Indianapolis 500. He'll be credited with a 13th place lead lap finish. He is the Andretti in Andretti-Green Racing. Franchitti (winner) and Danica Patrick (8th) had the best finishes for AGR.
  • I still contend that Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan are the two best IndyCar series drivers never to have won at Indianapolis. Methinks TK will have unfinished business next May.
  • Don't count Helio Castroneves out of the IndyCar championship. He's 4th in points with 171, just 13 back from Scott Dixon, who retakes the IndyCar point lead.
  • NASCAR aside--Casey Mears wins on Memorial Day weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. That means the Mears family (he and uncle Rick) has five Memorial Day wins between them.
  • Score two for the good guys--Franchitti's win at Indy...and Kyle Petty's third at Lowe's. Franchitti remembered the late Greg Moore when he answered a question about being so well liked in the IndyCar paddock. As for Kyle...there are places in the afterlife for those who really come back from adversity to make the lives of others better. You might have a favorite driver...but Kyle ought to be one of your favorite people and role models as well.

We're taking a road break until Pocono on June 8.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Pre-Race Musings from the Soggy Brickyard

Milka Duno (above) says she's ready to start her first Indianapolis 500. Milka starts 29th. The last starter is rookie Phil Giebler.


  • Penske Racing can never be counted out. They are masters of showing one facet, and concentrating on another to get one of their drivers up front...see 2006, when Sam Hornish won. By the way, 2 time 500 winner Helio Castroneves starts from the pole.
  • Ganassi Racing is another contender, with IndyCar Series point leader Dan Wheldon, and Scott Dixon (who is one of my best Indy Car drivers who haven't won the 500)
  • Andretti-Green has two sentimental favorites named Andretti (Michael, who has come so close in past years and says he'll hang up the helmet after Sunday and son Marco, who came so close in 2006). They have a dark horse in Tony Kanaan (another of the best drivers who haven't won Indy).
  • My dark horse sentimental picks would be, in order, Sarah Fisher and John Andretti.
  • I think, however, that Penske and Helio pick up another "Baby Borg" for winning the 500.

Posted at 11:58 am local time

Friday, May 25, 2007

Carburetion Day Snapshots/91st Indianapolis 500

Top--AJ Foyt giving guidance and motivation to his crew during the Carb Day run. AJ has 2 cars entered..the #14 of Darren Manning and the #50 of two time Indy winner, Al Unser, Jr.

Center--Al Unser, Jr. getting ready for the Carb Day run...he shook down the #50 (numbered in honor of Foyt's 50th year in the sport) with a fast lap of 217.158 miles per hour.

Bottom--Roger Penske looks over the telemetry while polesitter Helio Castroneves shakes down the pole winning car for the last time. The two time Indy 500 winner was 4th on the practice chart with a speed of 223.527 miles per hour.
Top Five Speeds on Carburetion Day:
  1. Tony Kanaan/#11--225.467
  2. Dario Franchitti/#27--223.807
  3. Michael Andretti/#39--223.575
  4. Helio Castroneves/#3--223.527
  5. Jaques Lazier/#21--223.468

Other Past Champs:

  • Sam Hornish, Jr./#6--222.981 7th Fastest
  • Dan Wheldon/#10--222.199 13th Fastest
  • Buddy Rice/#15--221.161 17th Fastest
  • Buddy Lazier/#99--218.149 30th Fastest
  • Al Unser, Jr.--/#50--217.158 31st Fastest

The Ladies:

  • Danica Patrick/#7--222.862 8th Fastest
  • Sarah Fisher/#5--218.173 29th Fastest
  • Milka Duno/#23--211.658 33rd Fastest

Pit Crew Competition Results to follow.

Updated at 1:36 pm local.

Penske Racing and Helio Castroneves' crew win the Pit Crew Competition over his teammate Sam Hornish, Jr. Couple that with Ryan Newman's Pole at Lowe's Motor Speedway, and it's been a good 24 hours for Team Penske. See you Sunday.

Updated at 7:36 pm local

Monday, May 21, 2007

Random Thoughts/Indy and Nextel Cup

  • Happy Harvick (Kevin, Daytona 500 winner from Richard Childress Racing/RCR) took the money at Lowes Motor Speedway and spanked "The Beast of the Southeast" at the Nextel All Star Challenge...if Hendrick Racing stumbles next weekend...Happy will get happier.
  • Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and RCR are going into a joint engine program...wonder who will get the best motors...methinks Harvick and AT&T driver Jeff Burton (NASCAR lost this latest round in Federal Court to keep AT&T off the Burton car) and another driver for Childress will get the best (AA grade) and DEI gets darn good (AA-) engines.
  • We wonder who's got the biggest bankroll to pay lawyers...AT&T or NASCAR...even Vince McMahon backed off when he had the dispute with the World Wildlife Federation.
  • Almost 10 per cent of the Indianapolis 500 field (9.1% or 3 out of 33 starters) are women. Wonder where the NASCAR "Drive for Diversity" took a wrong turn--or are we impatient? Humpy Wheeler was ahead of his time when he arranged for Janet Guthrie to get a ride in the Coca-Cola 600 some 30 years ago.
  • On Armed Forces Day, May 20: The men and women in the Armed Forces do something every day that 98.5% of the population can't or won't do--serve in the active defense of our way of life. They will, unfortunately, never get the respect they deserve in most outlets--except here.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Reminder to Attendees at the Nextel All-Star Extravaganza:

We saw this in the front window at our podcast advertiser, 07 Racing Collectibles, in Endwell, NY (http://www.07racingcollectibles.com). The signs speak for themselves.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

News From the PK Communications Co.
May 15, 2007
Motor Sports Radio (sm) Network Reaches Broadcast Milestone With 700th Episode of "Radio-Road-Test"
JOHNSON CITY, NY–The Motor Sports Radio (sm) Network business unit of the PK Communications Co. (Johnson City, NY) reached a broadcast milestone with the production of its 700th network episode of "Radio-Road-Test", the network’s weekly five minute program of driving impressions of American and foreign cars and light trucks. "Radio-Road-Test" has been in continuous national syndication and production since its premiere on January 28, 1993. The episode is scheduled for first broadcast on May 18, 2007.
"Radio-Road-Test" host Paul Kaminski said, "Our 700th road test vehicle was a Ford Mustang GT convertible. Like every other episode, this one features a real-world 0-60 miles per hour measurement (5.7 seconds timed on a hand held stopwatch), a discussion of handling, interior features as well as standard and optional safety features, a base price and sticker price comparison and a real world observation and measurement of fuel economy (22.4 miles per gallon combined)." Kaminski is a veteran radio journalist who has reported for CBS News Radio, ABC Radio News and Sports , the BBC World Service, and for other major English language radio networks nationally and internationally.
"Radio-Road-Test" is heard locally and nationally on terrestrial radio, internationally on the American Forces Radio Network, and by podcast from the company website (msrpk.com/podcast.htm). The network also produces "Race-Talk", a weekly program of major league auto racing news, preview and commentary.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Dale Jr.--My Takes

  • By walking from DEI, he raises the value for every driver in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series when contract time comes around. It is, perhaps, NASCAR racing's "Curt Flood" free agent moment (Flood was the baseball player whose struggle and court battle established free agency as a sports way of life, for better or worse)
  • He and sister Kelley are stand-up people for getting this out and dealt with...a little of the military academy training shone through.
  • This announcement and its timing was a master PR stroke which even bumps Danica Patrick off the racing portion of the sports pages...Ramsey Poston (pr flack for NASCAR) had to like all the ink.
  • One wonders just how many Budweiser cans with Jr's likeness are planned before he changes numbers...I can see it now...the '8' on a 24 oz can and call it Dale Jr's "master cylinder".
  • One also wonders which of the Chevy contenders/pretenders will make a credible offer for Dale Jr's services.
  • Dale Earnhardt, Inc. won a Pyhrric victory in these negotiations--Stepmother Teresa showed the NASCAR universe who was boss. But would you rather be the boss of a company worth hundreds of millions of dollars, or one worth tens of millions? The value of DEI is, for all practical purposes, reduced dramatically once Dale Jr drives his last race for the company in November. Dale Jr merchandise money goes to the new team, and his replacement won't sell as many collectibles. The question is raised again: On January 1, 2008, will Dale Earnhardt, Inc. be worth more in liquidation than it would be as a going business concern?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Lone Wolves aren't thriving in NASCAR Nextel Cup Racing

No, I am not referring to the single car teams (this is true for them as well); but tracks like Pocono, New Hampshire and Dover.
Here's a link to a letter sent to Dover's Board of Directors:
The gentleman reminds us of a principle that is used to value companies: Is the organization worth more in liquidation (selling all or part of its assets) or in operation?