All posts tagged Dario Franchitti

28 Posts
ashley-judd-dario-franchitti

dario franchitti and ashley judd are getting a divorce

Upon hearing the news of Dario Franchitti & Ashley Judd’s statement that they’re getting a divorce, this was my reaction:

Ryan Hunter-Reay & his wife Beccy. Championship podium at Fontana, CA, 2012. CREDIT: INDYCAR/LAT USA

indycar drivers talk christmas plans & presents

IndyCar recently asked their drivers how they will spend Christmas this year in addition to naming the best Christmas gifts they’ve ever received.

indycar_featured_TK

the indycar catch-up, catch-all

I’ve been super slacking on my IndyCar duties so consider this post a catch-all, catch-up on the series.

I fully intended to write a post dedicated to Marco Andretti’s win at Iowa, but got sidetracked with other stuff. I’m still super stoked that he FINALLY got another win, but I’m really hoping he can pull off some of the same magic at Infineon Raceway this year. ‘Cause I’ll be at that race.

Am I the only person that is completely bored whenever Will Power or Dario Franchitti win a race? It’s really boring. I don’t dislike either driver, quite the contrary–I like them both a lot–but it’s so predictable. I think IndyCar might want to think about doing something to their points system to make things more interesting, ala NASCAR’s “Chase” structure.

In couple news… Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay married his girlfriend Beccy Gordon (Robby Gordon’s sister) on Sunday, July 3rd. Congrats Ryan & Beccy!

Alex and Bronte Tagliani

Alex and Bronte Tagliani walked the red carpet for the drivers party in Edmonton

Simona de Silvestro

Simona De Silvestro created her own flotation device when the rain washed out practice at Edmonton

Sebastian Saavedra

Sebastian Saavedra chats with a young fan

James Jakes

James Jakes arrives at the drivers party in Edmonton

James Hinchcliffe

James Hinchcliffe arrives at the drivers party in Edmonton

Helio Castroneves

Helio Castroneves arrives at the drivers party in Edmonton

Marco Andretti

Marco Andretti drives through Toronto

Dario Franchitti

Dario Franchitti celebrates his Honda Indy Toronto win with the Grid Girls

Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal poses for a photo with fans

Marco Andretti - Michael Andretti

Marco Andretti celebrates his Iowa Corn Indy 250 win with his family

Helio Castroneves, Dario Franchitti, Will Power

Will Power won the Edmonton Indy, while Helio Castroneves finished 2nd and Dario Franchitti took 3rd.

Ana Beatriz

Ana Beatriz's nails are color-coordinated with her firesuit. Super cute.

(all photos courtesy of INDYCAR)


NOTES:

– Take the 2011 ‘Fabulous’ Reader Survey and enter for your chance to win an awesome Goo Gone prize package. Contest & survey ends on August 10th, 2011. More info

– Help me raise money for My NASCAR Year 2012. More info

indycar_texas_featured

firestone twin 275s please and displease

Dario FranchittiSome things I learned while watching the IndyCar Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday:

1.) Race car drivers are not entertainers. What I mean by that is when you interview them on TV they’re not going to understand that they only have seconds to explain themselves or tell a story and be extremely funny or charming while doing so. So it’s not helpful to interview them about nothing while they need to pick a tire and sign it. Just let them pick the damn tire and sign it. Keep it moving! There is nothing they can say that will enhance the enjoyment of them picking their starting position.

2.) Dario Franchitti is not a fan of randomly selecting his starting position when points are on the line. While I understand his perspective and his frustration, I think that the way the staring lineup for the second race was created wasn’t that big of deal. Racing is a crapshoot, even if you qualify 1st or last. Either one isn’t a guarantee of anything, so if you picked the number out of hat or ran laps for it, to me at least for one race, it’s not that big of a deal. But then again, I’m not trying to win a Championship, but then again I STILL feel like it’s all a big game of chance anyway, so whatever.

Ricky Carmichael poses with Mario Andretti. Ricky got to take a ride in the two-seater IndyCar with Mario.

Ricky Carmichael poses with Mario Andretti. Ricky got to take a ride in the two-seater IndyCar with Mario.

Marco Andretti

Marco Andretti

Alex Tagliani celebrates winning the pole for the first of the two Firestone Twin 275s

Alex Tagliani celebrates winning the pole for the first of the two Firestone Twin 275s

Will Power and Helio Castroneves pose for photos with a young fan at a autograph signing event

Will Power and Helio Castroneves pose for photos with a young fan at a autograph signing event in Texas

James Hinchcliffe

James Hinchcliffe checks an iPad for help with practice

JR Hildebrand

JR Hildebrand jumps in his car? Or is that out of his car? I can't tell :)

Will Power

Will Power is just kinda happy about winning his first oval race

victory_featured

indycar wags and habs (husbands and boyfriends) walk the red carpet

Last night was the 2011 Indy 500 Victory Awards Banquet where they honored this year’s Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon.

There are a bunch of great WAGAHAB (Wives and Girlfriends and Husbands and Boyfriends) photos, so let’s not dilly dally.

:)

Pippa Mann

Pippa Mann and her date

Ed Carpenter, Sarah Fisher

Ed Carpenter (far left) poses with his wife, Heather, his team owner Sarah Fisher (who's expecting her first child this year) and her husband, Andy

Alex and Bronte Tagliani

Bronte and Alex Tagliani

Tony Kanaan and his girlfriend Lauren Bohlander

Tony Kanaan and his girlfriend Lauren Bohlander

Ryan Hunter Reay and his fiancee Beccy Gordon

Ryan Hunter Reay poses with his fiancee Beccy Gordon

Dario Franchitti and Ashley Judd

Dario Franchitti walks the red carpet with his wife, Ashley Judd

James Hinchcliffe and his date Melissa

James Hinchcliffe and his date Melissa

Dan and Susie Wheldon

Dan and Susie Wheldon

Danica Patrick and her husband, Paul Hospenthal

Danica Patrick and her husband, Paul Hospenthal

Buddy Rice and his wife, Michelle

Buddy Rice and his wife, Michelle

Indianapolis Motor Speedway chairman Mari Hulman George arrives with Florence Henderson, and Mari's grandson Jarrod Krisiloff and his wife, Megan.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway chairman Mari Hulman George arrives with Florence Henderson, and Mari's grandson Jarrod Krisiloff and his wife, Megan.

2011 Indianpolis 500 drivers on stage

Doesn't it look like they're at a telethon?

Dan Wheldon

Dan Wheldon speaks to the audience

JR Hildebrand

JR Hildebrand took home the Chase Rookie of the Year award and $1,064,895! Wowsers!

(all photos courtesy of INDYCAR)

indy500_featured

the indy 500 slamdances with my heart

JR HildebrandI could not believe what I was seeing. I thought that J.R. Hildebrand would round that corner, come down the straightaway and win his first Indianapolis 500 in his first attempt. I thought he would receive a hero’s welcome when he came back here to the region of his Sausalito hometown, the San Francisco Bay Area. Surely there’d be a parade or something in his honor.

But then he hit the effing wall! I couldn’t freaking believe it. I was screaming. I should of known better, you’re not supposed to count your chickens before they’ve hatched. I was so heartbroken for J.R.. I’ve never been within reach of winning the Indy 500 and crashed, but I know what that feels like. Think about it, you’ve had one of those moments where you make a mistake and it costs you BIG time. It really stings.

Dan WheldonDan Wheldon was the winner, and he was emotional, which made ME emotional! How could this race do that to me in the span of 3 minutes?? I felt sadness, anger, disbelief, happiness, and empathy. I felt it all.

What an incredible finish. Just incredible. And this race really needed that kind of ending, because if Dario Franchitti or Scott Dixon cruised to the win it would have be soooo boring.

And one word about the broadcast itself. I loved the pit reporters and I really, really wish we could have only heard from them. They were the only people giving me the information I wanted & needed. That’s a hard job too, so extra kudos to them for doing such an awesome job. On the other hand, the announcer’s booth peeps, I have no words. :)

Country music artist Kellie Pickler

Country music artist Kellie Pickler

Model & make-up artist Katarina Van Derham is friends with Marco Andretti

Model Katarina Van Derham is friends with Marco Andretti

David Letterman

David Letterman

Seal & Kelly Clarkson

Seal & Kelly Clarkson wave to fans before singing the National Anthem

Zachary Levi

"Chuck" star Zachary Levi

Kathy Ireland

Kathy Ireland

Patrick Dempsey

Patrick Dempsey

"Burn Notice" star Jeffrey Donovan

"Burn Notice" star Jeffrey Donovan

All 33 drivers take the traditional group photo on the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

All 33 IndyCar drivers take the traditonal group photo on the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Dan Wheldon

Dan Wheldon with fans

Dan Wheldon celebrates with his fans

Dan Wheldon lays down on the finish line

Dan Wheldon revels in the moment. I love this shot!

Dan Wheldon with his wife, Susie, and their two sons, Oliver and Sebastian.

This photo and the one below it were taken the day after the Indy 500. Here Dan poses with his wife, Susie, and their two sons, Oliver (in Susie's arms) and Sebastian (held by Dan).

Sebastian Wheldon kisses the bricks! So cute!

Sebastian Wheldon kisses the bricks! So cute!

(All photos courtesy of INDYCAR)

hollywood_featured

why does the izod indycar series have the best parties?

Parties that I’m never invited to. I just don’t understand it. Actually, I have no idea how the actual party goes, in terms of atmosphere, drinks & apps, but I do know that they’ve always got an amazing guest list that makes me seethe with jealousy. This year’s Indy 500 Centennial Goes to Hollywood soiree was held at The Colony in Hollywood, days before the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The guest list was interesting. I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Jenna Jameson

Former porn star Jenna Jameson

Tito Ortiz and Jenna Jameson

MMA fighter Tito Ortiz with his girlfriend, Jenna Jameson

Adrian Grenier

Actor, and the whole reason I'm so jealous of everyone that got to go to this party, Adrian Grenier

Dario Franchitti

Dario Franchitti

Helio Castroneves

Helio Castroneves

Adrian Grenier, Mark Wahlberg and Dario Franchitti

Adrian Grenier, Mark Wahlberg and Dario Franchitti

Craig Robinson

Comedian & actor Craig Robinson

JoJo

Singer JoJo (She has a new CD coming out this year)

Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal

Young The Giant

The band Young The Giant performed at the event

EJ Viso

EJ Viso

(All photos credit: Getty Images for INDYCAR)

longbeach_featured

mike conway loses his izod indycar series victory virginity

I have to admit that I didn’t see everything that went down at the 37th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach yesterday. I got a late start because of the NASCAR race and then I realized I really needed a nap. But I did wake up with enough time to watch Mike Conway win his very first IZOD IndyCar Series race. That was very cool, I love it when someone wins for the first time. It doesn’t happen near enough.

It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t see the whole race, and so I don’t have a lot to talk about, because I can get right to the photos!

:)

Marco Andretti (left) and his grandfather, Mario (far right) chat with Los Angeles Dodger shortstop Jamey Carroll before the start of the Dodgers game vs the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, April 15th, 2011

Marco Andretti (left) and his grandfather, Mario (far right) chat with Los Angeles Dodger shortstop Jamey Carroll before the start of the Dodgers game vs the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, April 15th, 2011

Marco Andretti throws out the first pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals game on Friday, April 15, 2011

Marco Andretti throws out the first pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals game on Friday, April 15, 2011

Dragon Racing owner, Jay Penske (left - hulloooo Jay!), and his driver Paul Tracy (right)

Dragon Racing owner, Jay Penske (left – hulloooo Jay!), and his driver Paul Tracy (right)

Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick

"True Blood" actor Stephen Moyer participated in the 2011 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race

"True Blood" actor Stephen Moyer participated in the 2011 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race

"Good Day L.A." host Jillian Barberie-Reynolds participated in the 2011 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race

"Good Day L.A." host Jillian Barberie-Reynolds participated in the 2011 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race

Kimora Lee Simmons shares a photo with her boyfriend Djimon Hounsou and their son, Kenzo

Fashion designer/model Kimora Lee Simmons shares a photo with her husband, actor Djimon Hounsou, and their son, Kenzo

Frankie Muniz

Actor Frankie Muniz

Brian Austin Green

Actor Brian Austin Green

Chef Gordon Ramsay and his children

Chef Gordon Ramsay and his children

Actor Patrick Warburton

Actor Patrick Warburton

Dario Franchitti (3rd place), Mike Conway (winner!), and Ryan Briscoe (2nd place)

Dario Franchitti (3rd place), Mike Conway (winner!), and Ryan Briscoe (2nd place)

(all images courtesy INDYCAR)

barber_featured

versus needs an intervention

Tony Kanaan and Wally Dallenbach Jr. Yes, VERSUS the channel that broadcasts IndyCar action needs serious help. I asked everyone (ok, nobody, but did I really need to?) what they thought of this weekend’s coverage of the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama and they all said the same thing: It sucked!

Now, I don’t like saying negative stuff but you guys–I’m talking to you Versus–need to hear the truth. Your transitions, your intros, your outros, your lead announcer who was way to excited when it wasn’t necessary, and those moments of dead air really took the wind out of your sails. It was not good stuff.

That being said it wasn’t ALL terrible. I really enjoyed your pre-race coverage with NUMEROUS live driver interviews (take note, FOX) and the look back at what happened last week at St. Petersburg since I didn’t get to watch that race–now I’m all caught up. I also dug that segment with James Hinchcliffe when you had him trace the layout of Barber Motorsports Park blindfolded. That was fun stuff.

You guys need to step it up though. Maybe you should go on one of those team building retreats and foster some good synergy to make your broadcasts more seamless & in sync.

We, the fans who have to endure your coverage, want this for you more than you know. :)

But on to the race itself. It was pretty interesting watching the IndyCar drivers have to get used to double-file restarts. It wreaked havoc with cautions all over the place, but it just made me even more excited for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway later this year. It’s going to be really cool.

Another highlight was Simona De Silvestro. I’m so excited for this girl. She’s kicking butt right now, she finished the race in 9th (at St. Pete she finished 4th) but she’s sitting 5th in the points standings tied with Scott Dixon. As the SNL parody of Miley Cyrus would say, “It’s pretty cool!” (I’m obsessed with saying this by the way, I do it all the time in my head and sometimes out loud when no one’s around, it’s on a loop)

:)

Dario Franchitti

Dario Franchitti

Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick poses for a photo with a fan

James Jakes

James Jakes

Ana Beatriz

Ana Beatriz shows off her fractured wrist. The injury occurred on lap 5 at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg last month, the first race of the season. She's hoping to be back in her car for Long Beach this week.

Ryan Hunter Reay

Ryan Hunter Reay

Spiders at Barber Motorsports Park

Creepy! Spiders at Barber Motorsports Park

Will Power

Will Power jumps for joy over winning the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Dario Franchitti, Will Power and Scott Dixon

Dario Franchitti, Will Power and Scott Dixon celebrate landing on the podium at the Hond Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Scott finished 2nd and Dario came in 3rd.


(all photos credit & courtesy of INDYCAR)

indycar championship celebration: tony kanaan throws dario franchitti in the pool

2010 IndyCar Championship Celebration setup at W Hotel in Miami's South Beach (Credit: IRL)The IZOD IndyCar Championship was decided back in early October which wasn’t that long ago even though it feels like it’s been 50 years. I intended to post these photos from their Championship celebration in Miami but got sidetracked. The event was held the day after the final race of the season, taking place at the W Hotel in South Beach.

Better late than never, and really, who cares how long you had to wait to see photos of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Champion Dario Franchitti get thrown into a pool by Tony Kanaan? These pics hold up.

:)


Will Power and his fiancee, Liz Cannon

Will Power and his fiancee, Liz Cannon

dario franchitti (sort of) lives with his mother-in-law

Dario Franchitti and Will Power are still battling for the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Championship. There's only one race left!Things I learned while watching the Indy Japan 300 Saturday night (which was actually Sunday morning in Japan):

1.) Drivers exchange helmets with each other. Cool!

2.) Tony Kanaan only sees his 3-year-old son, Leo, once a month. His son lives in Brazil. I found this piece of news to be distressing because I don’t know how I could live only seeing my child once a month. I know, well I’m deducing, that Tony isn’t with the child’s mother anymore (since he’s dating someone else) but it still sucks right? I guess that’s the best you can do considering his schedule and where the kid lives.

3.) Anthony Joseph Foyt V (That’s number 5!) was born on Saturday to AJ Foyt IV and his wife Casey. More from FoytRacing.com:

Congratulations from everyone at A.J. Foyt Racing to A.J. Foyt IV and his wife Casey on the birth of their first child Anthony Joseph Foyt V. Coming in two weeks ahead of time and with a full head of black hair, Foyt V clocked in at 2:48 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18th in Indianapolis. He weighed 7 lbs. 1 oz and measured 20 inches. Mother and child are doing fine and the proud poppa hasn’t stopped smiling.

4.) Okay, so this tidbit I didn’t learn while watching the race, I found out by watching Oprah (it’s the last season! gah!). Last week Oprah had The Judds, Wynonna and her mom Naomi, on to discuss their comeback/farewell-for-reals-this-time tour they’re starting this year and it came up that the Judd women including Ashley and her husband Dario Franchitti all live next to each other on a 1,000 acre piece of land outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Ashley’s house is only 60 seconds down the road from Naomi’s and Wynonna’s house is 6 minutes from Naomi. I think this is super cool and their land is gorgeous, complete with a river running through it.

5.) How perfect is it that Will Power won the road course championship and Dario Franchitti clinched the oval course championship and there’s only 13 points separating the two of them going into the final race of the season for the overall IZOD IndyCar Championship? Couldn’t have written it better myself. My money is on Will.

:)


Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick

ashley judd wins at mid-ohio, oops, I mean dario franchitti

Dario Franchitti and his wife, Ashley Judd, celebrate his win at Mid-OhioDario Franchitti held off Will Power to win the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by Westfield Insurance last weekend. But I don’t think Will got too down in the dumps about the whole thing since he was able secure ownership of the first ever Mario Andretti Road Championship Trophy.

Legendary racecar driver Mario Andretti will be on hand at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma next week to present the trophy to Will. As we all know Sonoma was the scene of Mario’s grandson’s, Marco Andretti, first ever (and so far, only) IndyCar win. I was there to see it and I really, really, really, really hope that Marco can find some magic and get a win at Infineon Raceway again. Plus, I always think it’s adorable to see Mario, Michael (Mario’s son, Marco’s father) and Marco together.

I’ll take that or Graham Rahal winning, or Simona De Silvestro winning. I’m also willing to accept Milka Duno finishing higher than 20th place. OK, now I’m being greedy.

hehe :) I kid, I kid.

And since I brought up the topic of Mario Andretti, how cute is he in those Honda commercials? I love it when the “regular dude” takes Mario for a ride in a Honda, after Mario has taken the guy around a track in a two-seater IndyCar, and Mario says “I’m hungry.” (video below)


Francesco Dracone

Ladies, this is Francesco Dracone. You’re welcome. :)

Also, Francesco will be one of eleven drivers testing at Infineon Raceway on Friday. I will be there as well, with bells on.

helio castroneves drops the nice guy routine for 10 minutes

Helio Castroneves at Edmonton 2010Things had been relatively quiet during the Honda Indy Edmonton IZOD IndyCar Series race, that is, until those final laps.

Helio Castroneves was caught blocking (in this scenario it’s a no-no) his teammate Will Power which to me looked like the slightest of blocking, but whatever the officials know better than me. Plus Will did say in his post-race interview that Helio blocked him and well you’re not supposed to do that.

So Helio, who finished first, didn’t win the race and proceeded to go apeshit when he got out of his car. That had to have been one of the awesomest racing-related tantrums I’ve ever heard/seen on live television. The video is below and it gets good at about the 3:55 mark.

My only gripe was that Versus didn’t cut to Helio sooner. They should of had a straight shot on him the entire time, why bother talking to Scott Dixon, who would have been second but ended up winning the race because of the penalty levied against Helio. I’m sure Scott was grateful (who wouldn’t be?), but who cares what he had to say. Helio was where the action was at.

why does jimmie johnson have to win everything??

(Left to right) Crew chief Chad Knaus talks with Jimmie Johnson before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sunday in Loudon, N.H. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)I mean, really. Let’s recap… He’s very good looking. He’s married to a model. He’s gonna be a daddy. He’s making millions of dollars as a race car driver. He’s won an unprecedented 4 Sprint Cup Series Championships in a row. He’s got the smartest crew chief. He’s just won two races in a row. He won the Pepsi Refresh Project competition he was in versus Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Sheesh! Jimmie, knock it off! :) I kid, I kid.

Actually, now that I read that, if Jimmie ever feels down (why would he?) he can read that paragraph and it should perk him right up again.

Photos from New Hampshire after the jump!

gilliland and kvapil: reunited and it’s so cool!

Travis Kvapil (left) and David Gilliland (right) (photo credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)Words cannot express how psyched I am to see that Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland will be teammates again! The two are joining Front Row Motorsports, running Fords, for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season. This is superawesome news and I’m glad these guys are going to be full-time Cup drivers, with full-on organizational support, again.

From the official press release:

As previously announced, Front Row will have two more full-time Sprint Cup programs in 2010. Travis Kvapil is behind the No. 34 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion and Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Kevin Conway is driving the No. 37 ExtenZe Ford Fusion. Veteran crew chiefs Steven Lane and Peter Sospenzo have been named crew chiefs of each respective program. This is the first season Front Row Motorsports, based in Statesville, N.C., will field three full-time programs. The teams will be supported by Ford Racing and Roush/Yates Engines.

Gilliland comes to Front Row Motorsports having been a former teammate with Kvapil at Yates Racing under the Ford Racing banner.

“It’s going to be great to be back in a Ford with Roush/Yates Engines and teammates with Travis and Kevin,” said Gilliland. “Travis and I had a lot of good runs together in the past and I know that Front Row Motorsports has put a lot of efforts into their program during the off-season. I think we can surprise some people.”

I totally agree, they can kick some butt. I remember when I interviewed David he said that he and Travis get on well and that they like the same things in their cars. That’s gotta be helpful in building your teams and setups. Oh and FYI, Gilliland will be in the No. 38 again but with Taco Bell as a sponsor. Niiice.

In other news…

– On Monday night our 4-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson visited the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show and engaged in a little “Bumper Car” racing with Jimmy and actress Ashley Judd, who we all know is married to the adorable Scotsman and reigning IndyCar Champion Dario Franchitti. I love Ashley, she’s so cool. I have to admit that I’m planning on seeing the Tooth Fairy because of her (maybe not in the theater, but still), although the fact that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is in it too helps. He’s friggin’ gorgeous, and his arms! Omigosh his arms. Okay, I’m getting off track. Videos of Jimmie’s appearance are below.

Also, The Late Night with Jimmy Fallon blog has a poll up right now asking you to vote on who you think is the best motorsports driver of all time. If you guys let Speed Racer win, we’ve got serious problems!

indy grand prix of sonoma: i want an audi and a scooter for xmas

Scott Dixon heads back to the garage after practicing on Sunday, August 23, 2009 at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)On Sunday, last weekend, at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma when I arrived at the track, again at 8am, I realized quickly that there wasn’t much to do. I sat on pit road and watched as fans and VIPs took spins around the track with professional drivers from the Jim Russell Racing School. The whole thing made me wish I owned an Audi, the car of choice for the day’s hot laps.

Eventually, I ducked into Jennifer Azzi’s press conference. As I wrote a few days before the weekend started Azzi was on hand as the race’s Grand Marshal. It was cool to see her and I must admit that I totally missed my opportunity to introduce myself and tell her what an inspiration she’d been to me as a kid. I’m shy, OK. And I have to work up what I’m going to say in my mind before I actually do it and make sure it’s not lame. There never was a perfect time, but whatever, she’s on Twitter and I plan on saying something to her at some point over there.

indy grand prix of sonoma: antinucci sighting does not disappoint

The garage on Saturday, August 22, 2009 at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)Last Saturday I arrived at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma bright and early (8am to be exact) for the start of my Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend.

Not long after I picked up my credentials, got to the media center, picked up the necessary schedules and general information I’d need for the day I had my first driver sighting.

Graham Rahal was in Victory Lane with his No. 02 McDonald’s Racing Team car for an interview with a local television station.

the other busch brother finally wins

The No. 2 pit crew hoists their driver, Kurt Busch, after he was declared winner of the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)Here’s what I will say about the race at New Hampshire this past weekend: It was a good day for Kurt Busch and that’s pretty much it.

It was a good thing to see Patrick Carpentier capture the pole on Friday; you can’t take that away from the guy. Kurt needed a win in the worst way, but as usual I would prefer it if people could win — especially the much needed ones — with a complete race devoid of rain or controversy. It’s like when Dario Franchitti won the Indy 500. He’s a good guy and deserved the win, but just for me personally I would of felt better about it had it not been rained out. I’m just sayin’.

I didn’t see and hear everything that went on during the race because I was down in Los Angeles for my cousin’s wedding, and so I had to contend with my three nephews and their endless questions about racing. They’re 11, 9 and 7-years-old and they want to know everything. The questions never stop. Who’s leading? Who do you want to win? Who do you want to lose? Who do you want to finish 2nd? Who do you want to finish 3rd? Who do you want to finish last?

I love them I really do, and I desperately want to bring them to a race so they can see it all in person, but it did make me long for the times when I can watch the race in the peace and quiet of my apartment. :)


<br />
The sixth caution came out on lap 273 when Dale Earnhardt Jr. got into an incident wit Jamie McMurray near the entrance to pit road. (Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)” /></p>
<p><em>The sixth caution came out on lap 273 when Dale Earnhardt Jr. got into an incident wit Jamie McMurray near the entrance to pit road. (Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)</em></p>
<p><img src=

During the seventh and final caution, Kyle Busch (top, No. 18) and Juan Pablo Montoya (bottom, No. 42) were involved in an incident that cost Montoya two laps for rough driving in the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo Credit: Chris McGrath / Getty Images for NASCAR)

Polesitter Patrick Carpentier and his daughter Anais meet the crowd during driver introductions before the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Polesitter Patrick Carpentier and his daughter Anais meet the crowd during driver introductions before the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

getting testy at pocono

Today has been hectic for moi. I officially moved into my new apartment and I’m so tired I could… well… go to sleep.

As far as NASCAR goes, here’s what I know:

1.) Elliott Sadler is sticking with GEM
2.) Jeff Gordon is sticking with DuPont
3.) Every time I think of Elliott Sadler I can’t help but think of E.T. saying “Elllliiiiioooottt”

I’m off to put a bedskirt on. Oh! But one more thing, I was thinking about this the other night. So crew chief Jimmy Elledge was fired from Chip Ganassi Racing, but he’s married to Kelley Earnhardt Elledge who basically runs anything that her brother, Dale Earnhardt Jr., is doing, so do you think he’ll get a job over at JR Motorsports?

Here are some photos from the testing sessions at Pocono this week:


Clint Bowyer waits to get in his car during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

They’re installing my dish tomorrow! Yay!

Clint Bowyer waits to get in his car during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

David Gilliland turned the fastest lap of the day on Tuesday (54.742 seconds) during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

David Gilliland turned the fastest lap of the day on Tuesday (54.742 seconds) during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Marcos Ambrose helps his No. 47 crew by working on his tires on Wednesday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Marcos Ambrose helps his No. 47 crew by working on his tires on Wednesday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Terry Labonte tests the No. 45 Petty Enterprises Dodge during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway on Wednesday (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

They’ve got great genes in that Labonte family.

Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Terry Labonte tests the No. 45 Petty Enterprises Dodge during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway on Wednesday (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dario Franchitti reviews data during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dario Franchitti reviews data during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Martin Truex Jr. meets the media during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway on Wednesday (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Martin Truex Jr. meets the media during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway on Wednesday (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson talks with the media during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

I don’t know what is up with Jimmie’s hair but let’s just hope he’s “in between styles” right now.

Jimmie Johnson talks with the media during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

don’t stand so close to me (unless you’re clint bowyer)

So I have this new vow that whenever I get media credentials I’m going to make the most of them. I’m going to do everything and access everything that my credentials will allow, at least, all of the stuff that I know about. There were three symbols whose meaning I never got around to figuring out. So anyway, back to making the most of things. I knew I wanted to get to the drivers introduction stage but it was way out on the start/finish line and not on pit road like it had been at California. So I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to be out there. Plus I didn’t see any of the media people that I recognized out there, but as I like to say “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” So I went out there and one of the security people let me through. 

Before the start of driver introductions there were a bunch of small introductory speeches by various big wigs, the Mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman, SMI Chairman of the Board Bruton Smith, etc. And then the Blue Man Group put on a little show. They were really cool to see in person, even if I only saw the right side of the stage. I thought it was fun having them perform. Musical/theatrical shows are such a Vegas thing and it’s only fitting to have one before the start of the race, plus it’s like you get a little extra for all the money you shelled out for the tickets.

While the blue dudes were performing Clint Bowyer walked out on to the grass with a bunch of guys I’m assuming were his friends. He stopped to check out the show like right next to where I was standing. It was the most awkward thing. Should I stand there and look at the show like “yea I think the show is really cool too Clint” or should I stare at him and snap as many photos as possible right in his face? Well I chose a sort of combination of the two. I took photos of him, and stared at him and also tried to move out of his way so that he could get a better look at the show, all the while trying to be nonchalant about the whole thing.

And so eventually all of the drivers streamed out onto the grass behind the stage. Dale Earnhardt Jr. sped by in his requisite black hoodie and into the tented backstage area. Meanwhile a woman standing next to me with a very large chest area had Robby Gordon sign her boobs, I mean, shirt.


Robby Gordon gives his autograph (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

Robby Gordon signs a fan’s boob shirt at the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.

Clint Bowyer watches The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

Clint Bowyer watches The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.

Clint Bowyer watches The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

Clint Bowyer watches The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.

The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.

J.J. Yeley and his adorable daughter Faith exit the stage during driver introductions at the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

J.J. Yeley and his adorable daughter Faith exit the stage during driver introductions at the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.

A group of drivers hang out before they are introduced at the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas

Kyle Petty, Ken Schrader, Dario Franchitti, Juan Pablo Montoya and David Reutimann (sitting) hang out before they’re introduced at driver introductions.