Monday, February 8, 2010

This, That and the Other Thing

Dark again – hate when I miss out on a week or two, had plenty of ideas for content and humor just not enough time. I will share some thoughts on news from past week below. I also had a few ideas for Fake Press Releases that will simply have to go unrealized, but I will share some previews if you want to let your own mental creativity wander a bit.

Fake Press Release Concept 1: Danica Quits Racing to Focus on Acting Career. On way out the door rips nascar drivers for “being smelly”, calls Tony Stewart a “Pudgy Creepy Letch”, describes IICS as sweet people who need to get a clue and get it together. Announces new role in latest Bond flick where she plays a race car driving spy for USF1 which turns out to be a CIA cover organization for an investigation into the fixing of races by a French team in order to collect massive gambling winnings which are then siphoned off to a terrorist organization in So Paolo Brazil where a scheme is underway to attack an upcoming IICS race. To break the case she hooks up with Bond, who is also secretly driving undercover for McLaren and MI6. The Male lead was yet to be determined though rumors are persistent that Dario Franchitti was being targeted for the role. Dan Wheldon was quoted as saying “I could be Bond, look at these teeth! I could be Bond”. The role of Moneypenney was to be played by Pippa Mann.

Fake Press Release Concept 2: Well known Blogger Creates Split in AOWR by Forming New Racing League. Our buddy Pressdog, disgusted and disappointed that Leilanni Munter has been left rideless in the IICS and Simona Desilvestra was getting politicked by Iron Hand of Justice, decides to start a new all female racing league. Initially called “Women of Pressdog”, he soon finds sponsor and it is renamed “The Victoria’s Secret All Hottie Racing League” TO help teams get started financially a TEAM program is created that is partially funded by the publication of a calendar of scantily clad VSAHRL drivers. Insert several zingers about “Fast Women”.

Fake Press Release Concept 3: IICS Creates New Program to Promote Safe Driving with Local High Schools. Based on an idea from the Trackside Radio show, drivers are sent to local high schools to promote safe teenage driving and connect with future fans of the sport. Plan goes awry when an after hours custodian walks in on Tomas Schechter and 12 male students sporting black eyes, bloody noses and missing teeth. During questioning afterwards all twelve students were quoted as saying “What happens in Fight Club stays in Fight Club”. In a separate incident, after a school wide convocation Paul Tracy is spotted in the school parking lot passing out cans of Monster, packs of cigs and teaching kids how to do donuts in a hand me down minivan.

OK enough of silliness, a few comments concerning the news of the week.

Dallara Concepts –

Burgundy Car – Wouldn’t it be great if that burgundy car was the current car design having been adopted at the end of the 2008 season? AND we were still discussing the consideration of either of the two other designs for 2012? NOTE To IICS: Every four years, Every four years.

Red Car - If you took that after thought of a wing off the red car then told me that was the delta wing, I would believe you. If I were the Delta Wing people, I would be concerned about the reaction to that design. Marshall Pruett has some interesting rants about the release of the Dallara concepts. On top of his main points, something no one seems to be talking about is why this Image has such different production value and image quality than the other two. It strikes me that it was rushed together and thrown into the stack to have some ill affect on the unveiling of the Delta Wing. Not sure what the intended effect is but something is up here.

Yellow car - that’s the one I like the most. It looks like a respectable step forward in the design of Indycar.

Overall though, whether the new car is successful probably has little to do with what it looks like and has more to do with what it does under the hood. Will it go 225 with 400 hp, can it make 40 MPG?? Does it do something interesting and cutting edge enough to regain the respect of the wider automobile and racing community, getting manufacturers interested in and spending money on the league again? That is the real question and should be the first criteria in evaluating the ultimate success of the new car.

As for the impending war that reporters are rumbling about, one thing I would say is that there are more than two sides to this issue. The most important side has yet to be heard from. That’s you. Once the designs, strategies and plans are on the table, take it in think hard and then weigh in. Follow the Vision lead, write a letter and address it to 16th and Georgetown. If Mr Bernard wants to hear from you then take the opportunity, it seems expected. I’m sure Pressdog will tell me “Silly JP, car designs and the discussions about the future of the league are no business for fans”, but at the end of the day we are the ultimate arbiter, the supreme court that trumps the executive and legislative branches. Don’t be afraid to let your feelings be known.

Danica and the Ride of a Lifetime

I have had a couple posts over the life of this blog about Danica’s leaving for nascar. But after spending most of Saturday out and about with the Mrs, late Saturday night I settled in to watch the replay of Danica’s premier in the ARCA race. I knew basically what a fiasco it was over the first 2/3rds of the race – following tweets and texting nascar loving nephews killing time until the shootout. As I watched the race I realized some things. First, she will be gone to nascar when her current contract is up. For the first time and for positive reasons, I hope she goes and I hope she succeeds.

If she does, she will be doing something for all the competitors that she leaves behind. Sam, Dario, Juan Pablo and AJ all have struggled early on with their nascar careers, and with that has come this arrogance from the others that the quality of our drivers is low and we have inferior heroes. Truth is until TCGR merged with DEI (I think that is who it was) and Montoya got a Chevrolet to drive, none of those drivers had better than middling rides in which to display their talents. But with Danica it will be different – as she was charging from 23rd up to 5th before finishing 6th, I realized that no matter which level of tintop she races, she will always have one of the top 10 rides, she will have the opportunity to shine that her peers have never had. If she succeeds then our series does also because her relative lack of success against our best will validate their talent and ability. SO on the days you she is driving a chevy, I will be a fan. Of course on the days she is driving a Honda, I’ll be wearing my soon to be acquired Simona DeSilvestra t - shirt. Some habits die hard, but there’s no reason that reason can’t prevail.

The Izod Hex

There’s the SI curse, the Heisman Jinx and the Madden Curse and now Izod Hex – Film an Izod commercial spot and poof!! Funding for the upcoming season disappears. Happened to Ryan Hunter Reay and after shooting a new spot in Panama, Graham Rahal is searching. The full scramble in on to find him a home, tweets about clandestine trips to Minneapolis, a charity speaking event for Felix Sabates and rumors of a third TCGR car abound. This certainly would be a great outcome for Graham, and a decent one for the league. With the strides they made last year, It would be nice to see Graham also stay with NHL.

There’s always a disaster plan and it strikes me that there are two in play here. The first could be Coyne. Dale is lobbying and would love to land Graham. Coyne is running a business and clearly, Graham trumps nearly everyone else available from a business perspective. But a lot of fans have some high hopes for that #19 car. Hildebrand, Summerton or Edwards it doesn’t matter. To me that car represents an opportunity for a new young American. A young driver that otherwise might not get the chance. A young driver with common roots and sensibilities. A young driver who’s parents have already spent family savings and college funds, hoping to make their child’s dream possible. Perhaps I should write a letter.

The other possibility would be that Bobby unlocks the garage and he and Graham go racing together. Graham has learned a lot being out on his own, I think a partnership with dad now makes sense. I am a sentimental dreamer sometimes, but for all the parents with lesser means who took what was for them extraordinary measures to keep their promising young child’s dreams alive, Go Racing Bobby, Go Racing.

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