IndyCar recently asked their drivers how they will spend Christmas this year in addition to naming the best Christmas gifts they’ve ever received.
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My morning at the racetrack in Sonoma (formerly known as Infineon Raceway) started with a crack. Not the crack of dawn, but the butt crack of some photographer loading himself into the media shuttle van. That was a sight I really could have done without.
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!
(all photos courtesy of INDYCAR)
– 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
I’m going to be totally honest with you guys right now. I have never watched “Bump Day” for the Indianapolis 500. Well, until this past weekend. I know, crazy right? Well, I’m never going to miss another one!
It was the most dramatic, heartbreaking, sad and awesome thing I have seen in a sporting event in quite some time. People’s lives were on the line, well not their personal life but ya know, the one thing that matters most to them–participating in the 100th Indy 500.
I didn’t get to see Alex Tagliani take the pole on Saturday, but I didn’t need to see it to know how much it would mean to him. Had you even heard of him before he got it? Exactly. So I’m super happy for him.
But what the hell happened to Andretti Motorsport? After Bump Day on Sunday, only two of their full-time drivers had secured a spot in the race, Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti, and Marco saved himself at the VERY LAST MINUTE. He ended up bumping out his teammates, Ryan Hunter Reay and Mike Conway.
Watching and listening to Ryan Hunter Reay’s reaction to realizing he wasn’t going to be in the race was just the worst, but he’s been able to turn his frown upside down after securing a deal to drive the No. 41 A.J. Foyt Racing entry that was originally supposed to be driven by Bruno Junqueira, who qualified the car.
So now Bruno gets to lick the fuzzy end of the lollipop. I can’t imagine what THAT must feel like. You can’t deny that it’s effed up no matter how you try to spin it. Michael Andretti, owner of Andretti Autosport, had to keep his sponsors (Ryan is sponsored by DHL & Sun Drop soda) happy, sponsors that were expecting to be in the Indy 500, so they did this deal.
Anyway, I cannot wait for the race this weekend!
(All photos courtesy of INDYCAR)
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.
(All photos credit: Getty Images for INDYCAR)
These are photos from a photo/video/web shoot that IZOD did with a bunch of IndyCar drivers a couple weeks ago in the California desert for the 2011 IZOD IndyCar season. I had to share these for sure because I love great photos and Weezer is featured in a couple of them. That’s right Weezer, the band I love for “Undone–The Sweater Song” will be on your TV screens next year promoting IZOD and IndyCar. It’s an interesting combo, don’t you think?
Graham Rahal and his girlfriend, Katie Osbourne.
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.
Helio Castroneves won last night’s IZOD IndyCar Series race, the Kentucky Indy 300, at Kentucky Speedway. I only saw Helio in Victory Lane because I was watching the NASCAR Nationwide Series race and it’s extra long post-race coverage.
At any rate, the thing that stuck out the most to me was of course Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens hamming it up in Victory Lane with Helio. You’d think they’d known each other forever. Terrell was taking up so much time the Versus crew had to wait to get their interview with Helio.
The last IZOD IndyCar Series race, the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer, was the same weekend as the NASCAR Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway. So of course I didn’t watch it ’cause I was busy at the track, which sucks because I didn’t get to see Tony Kanaan finally end his 2-year losing streak.
While I didn’t watch the race I did read the post-race quotes from Tony and his teammates at Andretti Autosport. I thought it was pretty telling that all of his teammates, except Danica Patrick, made a point of congratulating Tony. Very interesting. I guess Tony and Danica still have some sort of rift going on (He did say she needed to change her attitude) and who knows how that’s going to play out. Whatever the deal is I thought it was lame for Danica to not, at the very least, say something about how Tony’s win was great for the organization, ‘cause that’s just what you do. Duh.
“I have to thank my team and the entire 7-Eleven crew. They did a great job. I had a great car. I have to thank my teammates, Marco (Andretti) and Ryan (Hunter-Reay), who came over after qualifying. I was very disappointed. I made a mistake during qualifying and I was pretty down. They talked to me for 45 minutes and cheered me up. Marco gave me a little bit of his setup and Ryan actually helped me with the setup, putting it together for today. It was a great job as a team and it feels good.”
– Tony Kanaan
“We had an awesome day. We should have been on the podium with Tony today. We had an incident on pit lane and got black-flagged for it. We had to fight our way back up to the top 10. We had the Ethanol USA-Team IZOD car running in the top three. I’m really disappointed in the end. It should have been a great day for us. Congratulations to Tony; he deserves this for sure.”
“It’s definitely a disappointment to start third and finish where we did. The handling for the Venom car just didn’t make sense. We made all the right adjustments and we were still too loose. I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up finding something broken on the car. We just weren’t able to make it happen today on the ’26′ side, but I’m happy for my teammate (Tony Kanaan) and the ’11′ crew.”
– Marco Andretti
“It was a challenging race for the GoDaddy car. We had a good car, but the longer the race went on, the more difficult the car got, handling-wise. I wish we had a better day, but we’ll take a top-10 finish.”
– Danica Patrick
IndyCar photo fun time after the jump!
Consider this your warning that I’m going to be posting more stuff about the IZOD IndyCar Series. It’s surely not a bad thing. Quite the contrary actually. I have to thank the Indy Racing League for giving me access to their media site because without that I wouldn’t be able to bring you these awesome photos. Who knows, maybe I’ll go to more races too instead of just the one at Infineon Raceway.
Scott Dixon won the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway this past weekend. He was joined in victory lane by his wife Emma and their super adorable baby daughter Poppy. Her red hair is so cute!
Anyway, you all know how much I love to compare drivers to celebrities and I couldn’t help but think that Scott bares a striking resemblance to the lead singer of one of my all time fave bands, Stephen Christian of Anberlin. Check out the comparison below. Don’t they look like they could be brothers? They were born in the same year just days apart. How freaky cool is that??
|Scott Dixon (left) and Stephen Christian (right)|
In other news…
– It’s time for a Richard Antinucci update. If you remember he’s that super hot racer that carries a dual Italian/US citizenship. I gushed about my sightings of him at last year’s Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. He was in the IndyCar Series last year for five races and this year doesn’t seem to have a ride. Which boggles my mind considering that Milka Duno gets to cruise around as the resident safety hazard. Anyway, Richard is set to make his debut in the Italian Gran Turismo Championship. He’ll be driving an Audi R8 LMS for Audi Sport Italia in two events at Valleunga this Sunday and Magione in June.
– Check out this great article by Graham Rahal about his stint with Sarah Fisher Racing and his future in the IZOD IndyCar Series. I can’t believe he’s only 21. Racing sure does know how to make young guys grow up fast.
Scott Dixon and his wife Emma celebrate his victory with their daughter Poppy at the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, May 1, 2010.
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.
Infineon Raceway is really turning it on this year for the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County.
– First of all an IndyCar testing session is taking place there tomorrow from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Mario Andretti, Will Power, Tomas Scheckter, Jamie Camara, Enrique Bernoldi, E.J. Viso, Oriol Servia, Vitor Meira, Marty Roth, Alex Lloyd, Ed Carpenter, AJ Foyt IV and Townsend Bell will all be on hand. Admission is free for fans!
– As I write this Oakland A’s pitcher Brad Ziegler is being driven from downtown Oakland to the Oakland Coliseum in a two-seat, street-legal IndyCar by former IndyCar driver Davey Hamilton. Ziegler is being rewarded for his 37-inning scoreless streak.
– Saturday, August 24th will be “Firefighter Appreciation Day” at Infineon Raceway, and Sonoma resident Mitch Mulas has been named Grand Marshal of the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County:
The first 10,000 race fans that enter the raceway on Sunday will receive a FREE commemorative bracelet with the inscription, “Firefighter Appreciation Day,” and the date.
– For the first time this year fans attending the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County will be able to purchase an IndyCar Platinum Pass. What is an IndyCar Platinum Pass you say?? Well, it’ll allow you to meet drivers Helio Castroneves and Graham Rahal, plus more! Read on:
Race fans will be treated to a special question-and-answer session on Sunday morning with the two drivers. This exclusive session will take place in a hospitality tent overlooking Turn 7 and is only open to Platinum Pass members. Moreover, the Platinum Pass is the only way for fans to get a garage pass, which puts race fans just steps away from all of the stars on the IndyCar Series circuit.
Castroneves (Team Penske) is a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, as well as past champion of the hit television show, Dancing with the Stars. Rahal (Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing), son of legendary driver Bobby Rahal, became the youngest winner in open-wheel history (19 years old) when he took the checkers earlier this year in St. Petersburg (Fla.).
This deluxe package costs just $195 and includes:
- Meet-and-greet with Castroneves and Rahal
- Autographed hero card from each driver
- Full-event weekend pass (your choice of seats)
- Garage Pass
- Premium Parking Pass
- Platinum Hard Card
– And as if all of that wasn’t enough Infineon is also trying to break the world record for the most people doing the Twist. Ya know, that dance your parents did when they were teenagers. They’re loosely (and I do mean loosely) tying it together with IndyCar by linking it to Helio Castroneves and his stint on “Dancing with the Stars.” It has nothing to do with racing but it’ll still be interesting to watch!
Race fans will be invited onto the race surface at Infineon Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 24, to perform a dance that best describes the most challenging road course in the country — the Twist. Participants will be required to Twist for five minutes in the style made famous by Chubby Checker in 1960. Checker will be unable to attend the event but will send a video message that will be played on the Jumbotron prior to the start of the record-breaking dance.
“I can’t be there but I wish the people a lot of luck in trying to break the record,” Checker said.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s largest Twist dance took place in Yorkshire, England, in 2004, when 1,691 high school students and staff danced to Checker’s classic hit. Infineon Raceway hopes to shatter that record on Aug. 24 right in front of the main grandstand.