All posts tagged J.R. Hildebrand

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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.

(Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

charging up with indycar in sonoma

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.

The No. 4 National Guard IndyCar will don a full 49ers paint scheme for this weekend’s GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at the racetrack in Sonoma, California. (Credit: N. Jacobson)

in advance of the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma

This weekend is the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. I’ll be there on Sunday and so will London 2012 Olympic gold medalists Tyler Clary and Erin Cafaro. Clary won the gold in the 200-meter backstroke and Cafaro was a part of the US Rowing Women’s 8-boat team. They’ll give the command to start engines with Sacramento mayor and former basketball star Kevin Johnson.

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

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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)

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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)

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.