All posts tagged Scott Dixon

16 Posts
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.

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)

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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)

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shortcuts: another nascar connection on ‘the bachelor’, mcmurray & dixon swap rides

Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon

Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon

Now that I’ve finally finished up my Vegas posts I can get to some of the other stuff that’s happened recently.

Monday night was the finale of the 15th season of “The Bachelor.” I was surprised to see Emily Maynard “win” (I don’t like to think of it as “winning” so much as just being the best person for that particular person ’cause those other women aren’t losers, ya know what I mean?) and become engaged to Brad Womack. I’m happy for her, but I’m also really happy that she thought it best to wait to get married until after they’ve lived with each other in the “real” world. All in all definitely hope for the best for those two.

So here’s the fun/interesting news tip that Tara S. sent me. Apparently the newest Miss Sprint Cup, Kim Coon was a contestant on this season of The Bachelor, as well. I had no idea there was another NASCAR connection on the show. Kim was eliminated at the 3rd rose ceremony.

In other news…

– NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray swapped rides with IndyCar Series driver Scott Dixon today at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.

McMurray, on the car-swapping opportunity: I think it’s cool that the racetracks came together and were able to let us help promote those races and make it fun for us. For me, getting to drive this is a great opportunity. It’s a lot of money to come and do something like this, so it worked out well that they were already here testing. For Chip to bring his car down to Talladega and let Scott drive it, it’s hard to put those two together, because it costs so much money.

Dixon, on the possibility of becoming a Sprint Cup driver: Well, there’s no $5 million prize in NASCAR, so no, I’m not going. (Laughing.) Obviously, I’m intrigued by it. Sprint Cup is a massive sport, and has a huge following. I think the thing that’s most intriguing, as you’ve seen by the people who have tried to make the transition or have made the transition, it’s 43 cars that are very, very tight and very, very close. I think the tough part for me would be actually doing the 36 races a year. That’s a lot of travel.


Jamie McMurray and Scott Dixon swap rides

Jamie McMurray and Scott Dixon swap rides

Jamie McMurray and Scott Dixon swap rides

Jamie McMurray and Scott Dixon swap rides

Jamie McMurray and Scott Dixon swap rides

(All photos courtesy of INDYCAR)

– In his pre-race press release for Bristol, Clint Bowyer shared the story of what happened after his engine blew up at the spring race at Bristol last year:

You finished 40th last year after you blew an engine. What do you do after? Do you hang out? Go home?

“You have to go home and it’s not much fun. Funny story – I was driving and on my way home I about ripped the leather off the steering wheel because I was so mad. I pulled in to get gas down the road and the cashier had a little TV behind the counter watching the race. I told him how much money I put in and he looked at me, looked at the TV, looked at me again and said ‘why are you here?’ I said ‘long story; don’t ask.’ It was actually pretty funny.”

– REMINDER: Enter to win a Richard Petty Driving Experience ride-along at Bristol in August.

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

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.

helio and tony blow their vuvuzelas, doesn’t help brazil

Will Power finished 1st at the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen, Ryan Briscoe finished 2nd and Dario Franchitti finished 3rd (photo credit: IRL)Will Power, whose name continues to make me smile after all this time, won the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen this weekend.

On Friday all of the Brazilian IndyCar drivers gathered to watch Brazil play The Netherlands in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Brazil lost, which sucks (I’m over the World Cup since the US is out of it — just being honest here), but there were some awesome photos (see below) of Helio Castroneves in some heinous glasses and Tony Kanaan blowing his vuvuzela.

Ryan Hunter ReayRyan Hunter-Reay (right), along with Andretti Autosport, announced that they’ve secured enough sponsorship money to continue Ryan’s #37 entry through the rest of the 2010 season. This is great news and to make it even sweeter the team has put together a new program called “Racing For Cancer” to raise money for cancer research.

Ryan’s mother, Lydia, died last year in November from colon cancer and he’s dedicating this racing season to her. For more information go to www.racingforcancer.org. You can also follow them on Twitter @RacingForCancer

Among Ryan’s sponsors for the remainder of the 2010 season is AirTran Airways. I’m noting this because once upon a time I wrote to Southwest Airlines asking if they’d sponsor me and they said they couldn’t because they make a point of not sponsoring things that can crash. Kudos to AirTran Airways for taking a chance and sponsoring a great driver anyway. :)


Helio Castroneves

Helio Castroneves

making indycar a little more ‘fabulous’

Scott Dixon finished first in the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, May 1, 2010. Dario Franchitti finished second and Tony Kanaan came in third. (credit: Indy Racing League 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 (credit: Indy Racing League/Michael L. Levitt)
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 & Emma Dixon
Scott & Emma Dixon

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.

shortcuts: david ragan surprises people

– It was announced yesterday that Jamie McMurray will take over the No. 1 car for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing next year. I say congratulations to Mr. McMurray. I like knowing that people have jobs. This leads me to think about another driver that I think should have a ride next year and that would be David Gilliland. I think Joe Gibbs Racing should take on a 4th team and that team should be for David. It’d be awesome. :)

– NFL star Junior Seau has a new TV show called “Sports Jobs With Junior Seau.” Before Seau decided to come back to the NFL he filmed this original series for VERSUS about the people working behind the scenes of major sports leagues. In the December 23rd episode Seau tries his hand at being a pit crew member for IndyCar Series driver Scott Dixon. Check your local listings.

Mike Rowe, host of the super grody show “Dirty Jobs,” will be the Grand Marshal of this weekend’s Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. I love Mike Rowe because he does muck around in all of the muck on his show, and he has an awesome voice. AND he used to host a local TV show here in the San Francisco Bay Area so he’s sentimental fave. I’m glad he’s doing really well.

– NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Ragan surprised three Daytona International Speedway season ticket holders with free tickets to the 2010 Daytona 500 in February. There were pictures and I felt the need to post them.

:)


Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig, left, joined UPS driver Robert Clopton and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 UPS Ford David Ragan to present longtime season ticket holder Ben Allen and his wife with their tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 at their home Tuesday. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig, left, joined UPS driver Robert Clopton and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 UPS Ford David Ragan to present longtime season ticket holder Ben Allen and his wife with their tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 at their home Tuesday. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

Longtime season ticket holder Mike Bruno Jr., right, poses with his tickets to Feb. 14's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 and driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, David Ragan on Tuesday as Ragan hand-delivered him tickets for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

Longtime season ticket holder Mike Bruno Jr., right, poses with his tickets to Feb. 14′s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 and driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, David Ragan on Tuesday as Ragan hand-delivered him tickets for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

When he opened his front door, longtime Daytona International Speedway season ticket holders Jim Barron and his wife Char were in for a surprise -- NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, David Ragan. Ragan, who stopped in Daytona Beach before heading down to Homestead-Miami Speedway for this weekend's final races of the season, presented tickets to Barron for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

When he opened his front door, longtime Daytona International Speedway season ticket holders Jim Barron and his wife Char were in for a surprise — NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, David Ragan. Ragan, who stopped in Daytona Beach before heading down to Homestead-Miami Speedway for this weekend’s final races of the season, presented tickets to Barron for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

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.

shortcuts: obama meets nascar, childless viso wins daddy challenge

– On Wednesday President Barack Obama played host to NASCAR’s champions in what I can only describe as the coolest thing I’ve seen happen at the White House in really, really long time.

I loved that in his interview with ESPN President Obama stressed the importance of NASCAR and its role in helping the automotive industry. It’s a very important marketing tool and I’m so glad he took the time out from his insane schedule to support the automakers and NASCAR.

a memorial day weekend to remember

David Reutimann celebrates winning the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)So that was quite a memorable Memorial Day weekend. Early Sunday morning I caught the very end of the Monaco Grand Prix, the winner of which was Jenson Button. After hearing his name I couldn’t help but think of the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and how much I’ve always wanted to go to Monaco. Then I started thinking about how cool it would be to travel around the world to cover Formula 1 racing. I think that’s the one aspect of Formula 1 racing I like the best. I know men drool over the cars and all that but it just seems really boring to me. The cars are ginormous and the field always seems to be spread out. NASCAR just offers more… action. Anway, one thing I can say about Jenson is that his website is adorable. I love his logo! Someone make me a logo that cool.

The second race of the day was the Indianapolis 500. My hope was behind Marco Andretti and then on the very first lap he got screwed by Mario Moraes. It was at that very moment that I decided I would never ever try to pick someone to win a race ever again. So irritating. My heart broke for Marco. It’s one thing to lose it on the last lap, at least you were still in it, but to go through all of that preparation and not even get a chance really start anything. It’s just tough.

I know that Helio Castroneves’ win was emotional and it meant a lot because of his whole tax evasion aquittal, but it left me kinda cold? I’m happy for the guy, really, but I dunno, I just wanted to see something new. He’d already won the thing twice, give someone else a turn! Ha! That sounded like something you’d hear on an elementary school playground. Anywho, it was cool that Danica Patrick finished third. I think I understand her a little bit better after that pre-race piece ESPN on ABC did on her and her father. I think I understand her motives for keeping her feelings underwraps and trying to not be vulnerable.

A couple things I learned whilst watching the Indy500: 1.) Scott Dixon’s wife is pregnant! 2.) Ryan Hunter-Reay is engaged to marry to Robby Gordon’s sister, Beccy. The fact that I didn’t know either of these things show exactly how much attention I put towards IndyCar wives & girlfriends.

So after the Indy 500 show was over I changed the channel to FOX for NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 coverage. Little did I know that I wouldn’t find out who would win this notoriously long race a day later, with only a little over half of the race actually completed. It wasn’t NASCAR’s fault that they couldn’t run the full race, the weather just wasn’t cooperating, but it’s so annoying.

I’m happy for David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip Racing in general that they’ve received they’re first win, but I hate that it had to come under such lame circumstances.

Between yesterday and today I was witness to the world’s longest post-race show that included a stupid talking cartoon gopher (and his friends!) and fake grades for each race team that participates in NASCAR. You know those teams that they gave a C- to really deserved an F. They just wanted to be “nice” so that they could walk through the garage without getting dirty looks.

I couldn’t wait for them to just call the race already, I gave up on seeing a full race the moment they showed Carl Edwards walking around in jeans and a polo.

The only redeeming moment of the day came when Tony Stewart called the bald crew member from Reutimann’s team Billy Bad Butt. That was awesome and oh so very hilarious. I want to know why the guy felt the need to get in the middle of a conversation that Tony was having with David. Why don’t they have a microphone on Tony Stewart at all times?!


Jimmie Johnson, sporting a new haircut, jokes with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon during practice for the Coca-Cola 600. Each driver has three wins in the historic race. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dear Jimmie, What is going on with your hair these days? You have a super fashionable wife, can’t she take you to a proper salon in NYC and get your ‘do done? I mean, c’mon. Go talk to Sally Hershberger, she’s done great things for celebs like John Mayer, Roger Federer and Tom Cruise (to name a few!). She could really hook you up. :) XO – Valli

Jimmie Johnson, sporting a new haircut, jokes with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon during practice for the Coca-Cola 600. Each driver has three wins in the historic race. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Jack Roush inspects spark plugs in the garage during practice for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

He would.

Team owner Jack Roush inspects spark plugs in the garage during practice for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A group of kids enjoy some Domino's pizza while waiting out the rain delay at Lowe's Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Soooo adorable!!! I love this photo.

A group of kids enjoy some Domino’s pizza while waiting out the rain delay at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Michael Waltrip and winning crew chief Rodney Childers hug after the Coca-Cola 600 was called and Reutimann was declared the race winner. The win was the first in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Michael Waltrip Racing. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Michael Waltrip and winning crew chief Rodney Childers hug after the Coca-Cola 600 was called and Reutimann was declared the race winner. The win was the first in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Michael Waltrip Racing. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The Coca-Cola 600 was stopped just short of 3 p.m. ET to observe the National Moment of Remembrance. The cars lined up on the frontstretch and shut down the engines and crew members lined up the length of pit road to honor members of the military. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images)

The Coca-Cola 600 was stopped just short of 3 p.m. ET to observe the National Moment of Remembrance. The cars lined up on the frontstretch and shut down the engines and crew members lined up the length of pit road to honor members of the military. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images)

Olympic Gold Medalist and Dancing With the Stars winner Shawn Johnson learns how to change a tire before the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Olympic Gold Medalist and Dancing With the Stars winner Shawn Johnson learns how to change a tire before the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

magic circles are magically delicious

The Magic Circles and the IndyCar Championship trophy (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)And now for my IndyCar at Infineon adventure. Friday was dedicated mostly to practice for the IndyCar teams, and because of that it meant that the garage was dead. You’ve never seen a cleaner garage in your life. Things didn’t get interesting there until Sunday when the teams actually had to use it for preparation before the race.

So the really big deal was the press conference set up to unveil Firestone’s new “Magic Circle.” They’re the tires they created specifically for the top drivers who are still in the hunt for the IndyCar Championship. The tires have a white wall on the outside so that they can be easily spotted in the field during a race. Just another way the fans can keep track of the Championship contenders. Before Sunday’s race there were 4 drivers mathematically still in the hunt — Tony Kanaan, Dan Wheldon, Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves.

So I decided to stand outside of Victory Lane where the media had gathered for the announcement. I just wanted to try and get good shots of the drivers as they made their way over. What I didn’t know was that I managed to situate myself in the precise spot they were all going to stop their little motorcycles and scooters. Scott Dixon was the first guy to roll onto the scene right behind me. I find him to be incredibly cute and I can’t believe we’re the exact same age; he always strikes me as being a lot older. Then there was Helio who as far as I’m concerned seems to be totally over the whole Dancing with the Stars hubbub. Everyone loves to bring it up with him but he never goes into it and I can understand why. It’s been forever ago and he’s a race car driver, and that’s what he’s really about.

Finally Scott Wheldon rode up with his wife Susie on the back of his Target scooter/bike thingy. Instead of going around all the bikes where there was more room to walk, he had to walk on the inside of them causing me to try and squeeze myself against the Victory Lane fence. I think my bag hit him, but that’s what he gets.


Scott Dixon bike/scooter

Scott Dixon’s scooter on Friday, August 22, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Dan Wheldon and his wife Susie (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Dan Wheldon and his wife Susie roll in for the ‘Magic Circles’ media event on Friday, August 22, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Helio Castroneves (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Helio Castroneves arrives at the ‘Magic Circles’ media event on Friday, August 22, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Scott Dixon (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Scott Dixon walks in to the ‘Magic Circles’ media event on Friday, August 22, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan (photo credit: the fast and the fabulous)

Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan pose for photographers during the ‘Magic Circles’ unveiling on Friday, August 22, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Dan Wheldon (photo credit: the fast and the fabulous)

No outfit is complete without pockets!

Dan Wheldon speaks to the media on Friday, August 22, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

scott dixon knows how to carve wood

I have fabulous news! I get to go to the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Grand Prix of Sonoma County on August 22-24 at Infineon Raceway. I dig the IndyCar races ’cause the atmosphere is so different from NASCAR and I’m looking forward to it mostly because I haven’t been to a race since my first one in 2006. Now that I have a better understanding of how things go down at races in general I think I’ll be able to get more good photos and have a better experience in general.

And speaking of my first IndyCar experience in 2006, it was then that Marco Andretti won his first (and so far only) race. I was glad I was there to see it in person and I hope he can do it again. This time his No. 26 IndyCar will feature a special design from Blockbuster and Lucasfilm promoting the first-ever animated feature from Lucasfilm STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS. It makes extra sense because the Lucasfilm headquarters are here in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I would expect an appearance from George Lucas himself. I have no idea if he’ll actually be there or not, I’m just sayin’.

In other news…

– Last year’s winner of the IndyCar race at Infineon, Scott Dixon made an appearance at the track this week to help promote this year’s event. He learned how to carve wood with a chainsaw and made a replica of Infineon’s special trophy:
IndyCar driver Scott Dixon poses with Chainsaw Chick Cherie Currie at Infineon Raceway

Dixon got the rare opportunity to build his own trophy on Tuesday in the Wine Country Winner’s Circle at Infineon Raceway with the use of a chainsaw and assistance from “Chainsaw Chick” Cherie Currie. The event was held as a promotion for the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County, Aug. 22-24.

Dixon carved a replica of the raceway’s signature Champion’s Cabernet Goblet, which he toasted in 2007 after taking the checkers for his first-career win in the Sonoma Valley. The replica, which was created from a five-foot piece of redwood, was carved in high-horsepower fashion with an Echo chainsaw under the tutelage of Currie, a professional chainsaw artist. Dixon and Currie worked together to create the trophy during a 20-minute demonstration before media members and race fans.

“I think I know what I want to do after racing now. I think I found a new hobby,” said Dixon after completing the carving. “It’s something I’d never thought about doing, and Cherie was a great instructor. I’m just glad I didn’t chop the thing in half.”

All equipment was provided by Echo, a sponsor of Currie. Echo produces hand-held landscaping equipment for both the commercial and residential homeowner markets, and prides itself on setting the industry standard (www.echoincorporated.com).

“He did an amazing job, actually superb,” said Currie, who has been carving for seven years. “I told him he’s going to get the carving bug, because once you start you just want to keep doing it.”


IndyCar driver Scott Dixon carves wood with a chainsaw at Infineon Raceway (photo credit: Gary Phillips)
(Photo Credit: Gary Phillips)

would you like more water? coffee? tea?

Check out the photo below. It is of the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates open wheel and stock car drivers for 2008. Now, is it just me or do they look like waiters? Or maybe service dudes from my local dealership? I’m just sayin’… :)

Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates introduces its open wheel and stock car teams on Monday during the Charlotte Media Tour. From left to right, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Pruett, Reed Sorenson, Scott Dixon, Sabates, Ganassi, Dario Franchitti, Memo Rojas, Alex Lloyd and Bryan Clauson represent six different countries. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson)

no better time to get your IndyCar tickets

If you haven’t picked up your tickets for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend, set for Aug. 25-27, yet then I think you should mark your calendars for Thursday, August 17th. That’s the day that IndyCar