Monday, October 18, 2021

RETRO: McQ - The Man, The Movie and The Myths

As where’s ‘Ol Marty mcFly’s time Machine when Yuhs Needs it?

 

As a Blind Automobile and Racing Enthusiast, for which Y’all know Heavily centers round Open Wheel Racing, i.e.; formula 1 and IndyCar, like Ye sub title of thoust “Award Winning” No Fenders Blog denotes. Along with Sports Cars, predominantly the Blue Ribbon Round the Clock Endurance events, Obviously it’s Hard to know what any of today’s vehicles look like! Be that on the road or racetrack…

 

Thus I’m just reduced to my memories of years, Err Decades past when I was able to truly See what I was looking at or watching on TV, and it’s still pretty funny to think that I once held a valid Driver’s license for nearly two decades, especially now since I’ve long eclipsed my “Driving Time” since Surrendering said license…

 

Have to say I’ve never been a Fan of the late John Wayne, for which Family lore claims that “The Duke” used to visit my Grandparent’s upstairs tenants of the Duplex they owned whenever he was visiting Seattle, but I suppose everybody’s got some Crazy, Zany, Wacky Mythical story like that, Righto?

 

As recently I was listening to The Bob and Sherry Syndicated Talk Radio Show here on Ye Isle ‘O Nofendersville along thou Oregon coast and Bob Lacey went down another Wabbithole’ about The Duke whilst waiting in the Checkout line at some Home Improvement store.

 

Noting that The duke who was a prolific Chain Smoker, smoked Seven Packs a Day! Which I believe equates to 140 Cigarettes Daily, Holy Puffing Chimneys Batman!

 

This sent me down my own Wabbithole’, as the only John Wayne movie I carry round memories of from Wayback’ when, since I’ve only ever seen it on television long after it’s debut, is the long forgotten, and arguably either Obscure or totally Unknown 1974 movie simply titled McQ, for which Y’all can watch a Smidgen in the Youtube video Teaser below.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0P1yim4SPc

 

As John Wayne, who plays Detective Lon “McQ” McHugh  drives a 1973 Brewster Green Pontiac Firebird Trans Am in the movie, although I’ve got Zero Clue if it was one of the ultra rare (1973) SD 455’s or Not? Which reportedly there were only 252 total built with only 72 being four speed manual transmissions!

 

As “SD” reportedly is revered Pontiac parlance known for Super Duty for it’s most Beefed Up engines. And the 455 denotes the 455cubic inches (7.5-litre) Big Block displacement V-8 lump propelling the General Motors 2nd Generation F Body platform vehicle, which it shared with it’s Bowtie’ “Kissing cousin,” the Chevrolet Camaro.

 

Reportedly the Brewster Green body colour was only available in 1973, and if I recall correctly from another No Fenders tome about the late James Garner; ‘Ol Jimmy Rockford preferred the 1973 Trans Am model over the ’74, presumably due to it’s looks, since in 1974 Government mandates required uglier “Crash” protective front and rear bumpers to All vehicles.

 

Whale’, at least I had the Pontiac Firebird part right. But the Rockford Files car in question was actually the 1978 Pontiac Firebird Esprit instead…

 

http://www.nofenders.net/2014/07/james-garner-movie-star-and-man-of-auto.html

 

While Indianapolis 500 Aficionados will know that not only did Garner drive the Pace Car three times, but also that the Pontiac Trans Am paced the race twice. First in 1980 with a Turbocharged variant with Johnny Parsons behind the wheel. And then  in 1989, when the 20th anniversary Trans Am was chauffeured by Uncle Bobby’, aka Bobby Unser. But that’s entirely another story for a Nutter’ day…

 

The main reason I carry this virtually unknown Film in my own “Movie Vault” is because of it’s Seattle locale as the “backdrop” for the film. Although I only seem to have two fleeting memories of the movie today. As I think it opens with either McQ or somebody else roaring up ‘N down the deserted Freeway of Seattle? Since my memory says it always cracked me up how there was Zero traffic on presumably (Interstate) I-5, since I tend to believe it showed the backdrop of the entire Downtown Seattle on a brilliant sunny Day! For which both of are rarities! And I’d say it’s almost impossible to not encounter traffic on any major thoroughfare today, especially thru the choked Arteries of roads thru Downtown Seattle!

 

Also for some weird, strange reason think Thars some Automotive footage upon the now demolished Alaskan Way viaduct? But not sure now…

 

And although I never picked up on the fact that Wayne was wearing a toupee, since after all he’d just turned 66 if I did my math correctly when filming one of his latter movies. Instead I seem to recall that he had a ridiculous looking pencil thin Clark Gable mustache that looked totally outta place to Mwah! Which I now think matched the colour of his toupee? Although the more I think of it, I do think I recall his toupee since his hair seemed a tad too dark for his age…

 

Reputedly the required Car Chase scene in McQ was inspired by the legendous’ Steve McQueen’s 1968 Bullitt chase thru the streets of San Francisco, albeit when reading about the movie, it claims the chase scene took place on a beach instead. So I don’t know it that’s where it ended, after having started in Seattle or what?

 

Interestingly, the Stunt Man who was the very first to use a black powder Cannon charge to flip the leviathan trans Am without ramps was the legendous’ Hal Needham. As I can only wonder if this use of the ’73 Trans Am with it’s smallish “Flying Chicken” hood Deckel’ (Decal) led to another movie starring Burt Reynolds in a later model Black Trans Am?

 

While one of Wayne’s best lines in the McQ movie comes after his Trans Am has been Squashed by two Semi Trucks in an attempt upon McQ’s life. Where he tells one of the On-scene Police Officer’s while trapped in the wreckage: “I’m Up to My butt in Gas!”

 

According to one Los Angeles Times Movie Critic, the Film has a similarity to Clint Eastwood’s Magnum force, albeit Wayne’s McQ Blustering and Bombastic as always character shows more Humanity. While Eastwood’s Film just shows violence for violence’s Sake.

 

Reportedly Wayne regretted having turned down the Dirty Harry role, with Magnum force’s early drafts utilizing Seattle before switching to San Francisco after Eastwood took the role instead… 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Where Will Kyle Kirkwood land?

Or will another Indy Lights Champion be left High ‘N Dry Kerbside…

 

So as they say, whomever “they” are? Let The Games Begin!

 

Nearly a Fortnight ago, 22yr old Floridian Kyle Kirkwood won the 2021 Indy Lights Championship for Andretti Autosport as a Rookie. Kirkwood did so impressively, equaling the late, Great Greg Moore’s single season tally of 10 wins during the 1995 Season.

 

Kirkwood is the first Road to Indy Graduate ever to win All three RTI rungs; the 2018 U.S. F2000, (12/14) 2019 Indy Pro 2000 (9/16) and 2021 Indy Lights Championships )10/20) as a Rookie No less! And he’s racked up an most impressive tally of 31 Wins out of 50 Races in those three series alone, Aye Karumba!

(Wins/Races Series Tally in Parenthesis)

 

So you’d naturally think it would be Automatic that he’ll be racing Fulltime in Indy Cars next year, Righto? Not so fast, even though his Boss Mikey A’ says he’s really Keen to Keep Him. Uh Duh, No shit Sherlock!

 

Yet currently Andretti Autosport theoretically already has a Full House, with Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi and Romain Grosjean announced. While we’re All Ah-Waitin’ Breathlessly the confirmation of fellow Indy Lights Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport Rookie Devlin DeFrancesco, who finished a distant sixth Overall to be the new Chauffeur of the team’s No. 29 entry next year.

 

As DeFrancesco finished as the Meat in an Andretti Sandwich with fellow team-mates Danial  Frost 5th and Robert Megennis P7. With Devlin finishing 211 points adrift of Kirkwood and the team’s third placed Rookie behind Kirkwood and Frost…

 

My initial thought was that Kirkwood could become Top Jimmy’s (Vasser) and James Sully’ Sullivan’s future IndyCar team driver after spending his Debutant IndyCar season at Thar Dale Coyne Racing Co-Op? but obviously Michael Andretti won’t wish to let go of such a gifted driver, especially to a rival team, Righto!

 

As I just logically made this “conclusion” due to the fact that Kirkwood’s been racing in IMSA Sports Cars for Vasser Sullivan Racing’s (VSR) Lexus GT Daytona team during Endurance races recently. But I’m not so Hot upon this scenario anymore, since I doubt that Vasser and Sullivan want to train him just for a single season, if they truly decide to start their own IndyCar team in 2023?

 

Since if we’re All ah-Drinkin’ Ye Kool Aid over Toyota becoming IndyCar’s third engine manufacturer, and I’m reading thoust Tea leaves correctly? As Thar just so happens to be a Jimmy Vasser Toyota of Napa Dealership, not to mention Vasser and Sullivan run the Factory Lexus RC F GT3 Squad and Viola! Why wouldn’t they be the Japanese Auto Manufacturer’s Kickoff IndyCar team? Which surely Andretti and Honda would be loathe to lose him to a rival Manufacturer…

 

Thus, a more likely scenario to me now tends to be that Kirkwood could fill the vacant “lead” #51 Coyne-Ware Racing entry, (CWR)As Vanna, I wanna buy a Vowel! Since I’m getting extremely tired of typing out Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing! With Kirkwood on “loan” instead from Andretti Autosport, who could sweeten the pot by including a talented Engineer to Boot. Since Romain Grosjean’s CWR Engineer Olivier Boisson is also moving to Andretti with him next year.

 

Although Scuttlebutt still suggests that Takuma Sato is the most likely candidate for this seat next year, due to his strong, longtime Honda backing. Although Dale Coyne’s gotta be enjoying everybody trying to guess what He’ll do next year?

 

Then possibly a seat would open up in 2023 either at Andretti Autosport or Gasp, Meyer Shank Racing, (MSR) since I think Rossi’s contract expires next year? And if Rossi has a third unfulfilling season with Mikey A’, who knows what will happen? Even though I want Rossi to finally win a Championship, it’ll be tough Sledding next year.

 

Meanwhile, how much longer will MSR wish to keep an extremely long in the Tooth Helio Castroneves? Since after all, they are an Andretti Affiliated team, and I’ll go out on another tree branch and predict Hulio’ will Not be successful in his vaunted “Drive for Five.”

 

Obviously the easiest move would be for Andretti Autosport to restart Marco’s defunct fifth team entry next year. Yeah, I know, it’s All about that Budget thingy’.

 

But didn’t Marco somewhat Quit his Fulltime drive due partially to missing the cut on the 2021 IndyCar Leaders Circle Fund? Which Kirkwood is guaranteed to bring his $1.3m (Million)  Indy Lights prize fund to whomever next season, which I believe is more than the Leaders Circle Fund pay out.

 

As I know that winning the Lights Championship doesn’t Guarantee you a Full season ride in Indy Cars anymore, if it ever did? But it’ll truly be a Crime if Kyle Kirkwood doesn’t get to compete for IndyCar rookie Of the Year next season in a Fulltime ride!

 

Having just completed his Debutante IndyCar test outing at Sebring’s Short course alongside Devlin DeFrancesco, it sounds like Kirkwood was Quick immediately and is still Miles Ahead of DeFrancesco…

 

And I really Don’t like the idea of Michael Andretti keeping him on “Ice” next year by “Squirreling” Kyle away in some other series like Gasp, Formula E. Or even worse yet, either in Andretti Autosport’s Extreme E or IMSA LMP3 programmes.

 

And please do Not even Hint at Formula 1 if Mikey A’ does really become Alfa romeo’s largest Shareholder, ACK! Since I’m 98% certain that Kirkwood Doesn’t have the required Points for an FIA Superlicense.

 

As Kirkwood’s simply too talented to not be given the Ful Season IndyCar seat he Deserves next year, and it’ll absolutely be a Crime if He doesn’t land a Fulltime Gig’ for 2022! Or has his chance to Bag Rookie of the Year Honours whenever possible… 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

MotoGP’s Austin Autumn Harvest

Where thou King of COTA continued his Reign…

 

So it’s pretty weird to know that MotoGP just came Stateside for the first time in a Gory 903 Days! Having last raced on April 14, 2019 at Circuit Of The Americas, nee COTA,. Making  it’s Debutante Fall outing this October 3rd vs. it’s traditional April calendar date after essentially a two and a half year’s absence.

 

Obviously much has changed since the world’s preeminent Ash-fault’ Kneedraggers attacked COTA’s “lumpy” tarmac Wayback then.

 

http://www.nofenders.net/2019/04/moto-gp-forgotten-sports-desert-oasis.html

 

As it was somewhat Funny hearing The Voice of IndyCar’s Leigh Diffey doing the Pre and Post Race reporting live from COTA, so may be that’s really why IndyCar Quit Thar season so early this year? But it was nice hearing him talk briefly to Kevin Schwanz along with his Mate from Down Under.

 

Won’t even attempt giving a rundown on everythingy’ that’s changed, other than to say some Old Faces were in New places, notably in the Yamahopper’ ranks.

 

As Thee Doctor’, nee Valentino Rossi at Age 42 made his Swan Song MotoGP outing Stateside upon the Satellite SRT Petronas Yamaha outfit. Where somewhat strangely, past Ducati rival Dovi’,, aka Andrea Dovizioso partnered him.

 

As Dovi’ returns from the Wild in preparations to return Fulltime in 2022 whilst Rossi retires at season’s end.

 

And although this year’s two MotoGP Championship protagonists occupied the grid’s first two places, with Ducati’s Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia on Pole ahead of Yamaha Points leader Fabio Quartararo, All eyes were upon that “Masked Man” in P3.

 

And for good reason, as Thee Pinball Wizard, nee Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez sublimely Shot past his front Row competitors, led into Turn 1 and never looked back, Nor relinquished the lead!

 

As I must admit it was a pretty Dull race  with Marquez stretching his lead each lap, whilst Quartararo was quite content to sit in second, since he was only interested in increasing his large points lead to speed up his coronation as this year’s MotoGP World Champion. As Mission Accomplished as he ultimately added another four points to his lead, now 52 markers Ahead of Bagnaia.

 

AS the two biggest “Story lines” of the race, or most interesting during the fairly processional event were the battle for who’d ultimately take the Podium’s final step, along with how would Ducati corse Factory Rider whom the TV Pundits call Thriller Miller, aka Jack Miller perform after his disappointing Qualie’ outing.

 

As Miller had appeared to be the only rider able to match times with Marc Marquez during the practice sessions, with the Spaniard claiming the Aussie’ was still his biggest “Threat” in the race.

 

Miller made what ultimately was the wrong decision by making a late grid change to be the only rider on Michelin’s Hard compound in an attempt to help his chances of progressing forward from his “lowly” 10th place starting position.

 

Miller made it as far towards the Sharp end as P4 before his tyres faded, and he politely let Ducati team-mate Bagnaia by in order for the Italian to take his turn at attacking those ahead, especially since Pecco’ needed to somehow rebound from dropping rearwards at the start and somehow magically pass Quartararo.

 

Yet the final podium place should have gone to the Duc’ Pramac Racing Satellite rider Rookie Jorge Martin, who ran a great  race withstanding massive pressure from first Suzuki’s Alex Rins, then Miller and finally Bagnaia!

 

But it wasn’t to be, as the young Spanish Phenom finally Cracked unper this relentless onslaught, first running wide somewhere to see his nearly two second gap over Bagnaia basically disappear. Then Martin was penalized for a Track limits violation and given a Long-lap penalty, effectively handing the podium spot over to Bagnaia, who passed him Ontrack before Martin reluctantly served his penalty. As Martin’s delay would cost him a further position to rins and ultimately wind up a dejected fifth.

 

Meanwhile, it’s now obvious that Father Time has firmly caught up with the Ageless Valentino Rossi, who came home a quiet P15. While it was another Italian Youngster instead who impressed me. As Rookie Tnea Bastianini, who’s riding on a two year old Ducati for Sky 46 Esponsorama Racing, starting 16th came home an impressive sixth. One place ahead of eventual finishers Miller and Suzuki’s Joan Mir, the reigning MotoGP Champion who collided on the final lap.

 

Taking Nothing away from Marquez, who claimed his seventh out of eight victories at Circuit Of The Americas, with the TV Pundits firmly proclaiming the King of COTA had regained his Crown. I’ve heard somewhere that this was one of the three race circuits Marquez had circled as his best opportunities for winning. With All three circuits being Anti Clockwise, since he’s stil trying to recover from his Mega Accident in 2020 that severly damaged his right arm, which apparently still isn’t at 100% Fitness…

 

As Marquez won at the first track on his list, the Sachsenring in Germany, and now has claimed his second victory of the season at COTA. Where the Werks’ Honda’s Horsepower seems to enjoy stretching it’s legs in the Lonestar State.

 

But reportedly Quartararo was almost as Happy as Marquez on the podium with his runner-up finish, since he’s now securely got one hand upon the title, wwith just three rounds remaining. While Bagnaia in third probably just looked on in dismay? 

Monday, October 11, 2021

A Different Darrell Makes History!

And it’s Fantastic News, even if NASCAR’s moved onto the Next race…

 

Nah, I’m Not talkin’ about Mr. Boogity-Boogity-Boogity’, aka ‘Ol DW’, or simply known as Darrell Waltrip. And certainly Ain’t even remotely thinking ‘bout his brother Mikey Aw Shucks! Waltrip, FOX Sports Court Jester! Nor am I referring to those other Wallace Brothers, i.e. Kenny and Mike…

 

Nope, I was pleasantly surprised when perusing my NFB Newsline for The Blind telephone service late Monday evening (October 4th) to Hear the News that Darrell Wallace had won the rain shortened Talladega NASCAR race!

 

As I really enjoyed ESPN’s ryan McGee’s article completely explaining how this was a moment of Joy! And that Wallace, who’s nickname is Bubba Doesn’t have Any time for any of the Detractors or Social Media Trolls, nor the former President of the United States!

 

Hmm, isn’t that Strange how that Ex-President only had Eyes for Berating Black Athletes like Colin Kaepernick and Darrell Wallace?

 

But Darrell was simply celebrating his maiden NASCAR race victory instead! And that Wallace’s motto is Love should Always Stand Above Hate!

 

As McGee was the first to inform Mwah that his Full Name is William Darrell Wallace, Jr. who just so happened to be giving himself an early Birthday present, since he turned 28 years old this past October 8th.

 

And I find it overly Rich that it occurred in the Deep South at Talladega No less, since Wallace was instrumental in getting the Confederate Flag Finally Banned from NASCAR, Yeehaw!

 

Since I’m not a Roundy-Round RASSCAR’ Fan, I didn’t have Thy Telie’ switched on to witness the History making moment, as make No mistake, Wallace Drove his way to the lead before the race was curtailed due to rain!

 

And it’s somewhat Shocking to learn that it’s been 2,040 races since Wendell Scott became the first African American to win a NASCAR race Wayback in 1963! Although it took a few months to actually declare him the winner of the race, solely due to Racial Segregation.

 

For which I’m Not overly impressed over how NASCAR managed to Drag it’s Heels for nearly some 58 years before finally giving the Scott Family Wendell’s winners Trophy, which apparently the did quietly some two months ago.

 

As it’s a Banner year for Black Drivers, since earlier Myles Rowe, the Rookie Driver of the U.S.F2000 #99 Force Indy racecar won his maiden Road to Indy Single Seater race at New Jersey Motorsports Park on August 30th, in the Sunday morning race.

 

But this is supposed to be All about Darrell Wallace’s major Stock Car accomplishment! While perhaps one day soon Myles Rowe can accomplish his own History by becoming the first Black Driver to win an IndyCar race…

 

Congratulations Darrell Wallace! 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

2022 IndyCar silly Season: Volume 2

Looks like Honda’s ready to Dominate the Grid once again with 15+ entries…

 

Now that the 2021 IndyCar season’s over, I suppose all that’s left is who’ll end up where when we begin racing again at St Pete on February 27, 2022. Which at least it’s only a five monthsOffseason this time, compared to our typical 6-7 Months Snoozers!

 

Alas,  here’s what us lowly Bloggers do during the dreaded Offseason, we Madly Gesticulate like All Bench Racers do! As this is just an attempt of updating what I’ve previously scribbled here upon No Fenders in early August…

 

http://www.nofenders.net/2021/08/jumping-aboard-indycar-silly-season.html

 

As we All know, two of the worst kept secrets have since been confirmed. One a week prior to Long Beach when Ryan Hunter-Reay was dismissed from his long tenure at Andretti Autosport to make way for Romain Grosjean. And the other announcement at Meyer Shank Racing, confirming simon Pagenaud as Helio Castroneves team-mate just some 36 hours after Long Beach as the departing Jack Harvey’s replacement.

 

Thus continuing on with my No Fenders 2 Part Harmony, Here’s a quick rundown on what’s been Confirmed Driver-wise for 2022 so far.

 

Chevrolet

(2) Arrow McLaren SP: #5 Pato O’Ward, #7 Felix Rosenqvist; (2) Ed Carpenter Racing: #20 Ed Carpenter, #21 Rinus VeeKay; (1) Juncos Hollinger Racing: #77 R-Callum Ilott; (3) Team Penske: #2 Josef Newgarden, #3 Scott McLaughlin, #12 Will Power.

(R = Rookie)

 

Honda

(3) Andretti Autosport: #26 Colton Herta, #27 Alexander Rossi, #28 Romain Grosjean; (4) Chip Ganassi Racing: #8 Marcus Ericsson, #9 Scott Dixon, #10 Alex Palou, #48 Jimmie Johnson/Tony Kanaan; (2) Meyer Shank Racing: #06 Helio Castroneves, #60 Simon Pagenaud; (1) Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: #15 Graham Rahal.

 

Hence by my very Quick, Unofficial count, this gives us 8 Chevy and 10 Honda runners equaling 18 entries currently confirmed. Out of the presumably minimum 27 Car count next season, leaving us with nine Seats available. Which I’ll just Jot my remaining first impressions below.

 

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

(1) #29 TBA

It seems a foregone conclusion that The Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’, aka James Hinchcliffe Has left The Building, i.e.; Departed Andretti Autosport’s IndyCar team, and we’re All just ah-Waitin’ the next glossy, Snap Happy Press release announcing that fellow Hoser’, Err Kuhnuck Devlin DeFrancesco who’s just concluded his Rookie Indy Lights campaign will move up to IndyCar’s for 2022.

 

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan

(1) #18 TBA

I’ll stick with my earlier speculation (For the moment) that Kyle Kirkwood, having  now won the 2021 Indy Lights Championship will fill this seat. Even though Mikey A’ (Andretti) has said he really wants to keep Kirkwood who’s “The Real Deal!” Uh Duh, Mikey! Who holds an Option on him following his Indy Lights campaign, even though He Doesn’t have any IndyCar seats available for the Yank. But it’ll be a Crime if Kirkwood Doesn’t get a Full Season ride in Indy Cars next year!

 

On an interesting Sidenote, Don’t know if Y’all saw the recent conjecture over Toyota possibly becoming the long sought after third IndyCar engine manufacturer beginning in the 2023 2.4-litre V-6 Turbo Hybrid era? As could a future Vasser Sullivan Racing IndyCar entity be the Kickoff team to launch such an effort, Who knows? And surely Andretti, and more importantly Honda wouldn’t want to lose the services of Kirkwood, Righto?

 

Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing

(2) #51 TBA, #52 TBA

With No Disrespect towards Taku-san’, aka Takuma Sato, who I’m a Huge Fan of! Why would Dale Coyne and his Assorted Cast ‘O Merrymen choose the 44yr old Japanese driver over the younger 34yr old Kuhnuck’ James Hinchcliffe? Other than I suppose Sato’s name has more “star Power” due to his being a Two-times Indianapolis 500 winner, not to mention his Honda ties. But it’s just a Stop Gap move at best, unless Dale Coyne’s truly Happy with his never ending revolving Merry Go Round Driver Factory model, eh?

 

No idea if the No. 52 with Co-Owner Rick Ware’s son Cody, who’s supposedly focusing upon his Journeyman RASSCAR’ Career will return to the cockpit again next year? But I think they want to check off some ‘lil ‘Ol Oval race at 16th and Georgetown. Or if somebody else will make limited appearances aboard it?

 

Oh Shit! As I really need to Stop thinking about this! But two more names for CWR’s “lead” No. 51 car just came to thoust Tip of Thy Tongue. Since Dale Coyne seems to fancy European lads’, why not either Linus Lundqvist who just finished third Overall in Indy Lights, or perhaps “Poach” Christian Lundgaard?

 

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

(2) #30 TBA, #45 TBA

This is probably one of the more coveted seats on the grid that we’re All Ah-Waitin’ to “See” who fills RLLR’s third No. 45 entry. As it seems only a matter of time until Jack Bloody Nige! Harvey’s confirmed as Takuma Sato’s replacement in the No. 30, currently the team’s second entry.

 

Believe that Hy-Bee the Midwest Grocery Chain that’s also the title sponsor of the forthcoming Iowa Double Header will be the #45’s primary sponsor. And I’m left wondering if it’s essential for them to have an American Driver onboard?

 

Since after all, once again, wouldn’t Hinch’ be the perfect fit for this seat? Even though I’d like to see Oliver Askew land the ride, not sure he or Thee Great Santini’, nee Santino Ferrucci have done enough to close thou Dealio?

 

And now pretty sure I just heard IndyStar’s Nathan Browne note that Ferrucci’s claimed he’s no longer in the Frame for the ride…

 

And Thar Yuhs Have it Ladies and Germ! For the previous 2022 Bowtie Brigade Silly Season Volume 2 edition, please visit the following No Fenders link.

 

http://www.nofenders.net/2021/10/2022-indycar-silly-season-volume-2.html 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

2022 IndyCar silly Season: Volume 2 – Bowtie Boyz’

As How Many Chevrolet entries will line-up next year?

 

Now that the 2021 IndyCar season’s over, I suppose all that’s left to Speculate over the impending Winter months  is Who’ll land where aboard the multiple unconfirmed seats for next year…

 

Alas ,  here’s what I’ve “Gleanded” over the past few months, mostly from Racer’s Marshall Pruett’s Silly Season Updates. Whilst I also enjoy listening to the IndyStar’s Motorsports Beat Reporter Nathan Browne’s take upon the fluid Driver Market. Although in typical No Fenders prose, has grown into another Monstrous tome, and Hence, I’m breaking it up into Two Part Harmony…

 

Chevrolet

(2) Arrow McLaren SP: #5 Pato O’Ward, #7 Felix Rosenqvist; (2) Ed Carpenter Racing: #20 Ed Carpenter, #21 Rinus VeeKay; (1) Juncos Hollinger Racing: #77 R-Callum Ilott; (3) Team Penske: #2 Josef Newgarden, #3 Scott McLaughlin, #12 Will Power.

(R = Rookie)

 

Hence by my very Quick, Unofficial count, this gives us 8 Confirmed Chevy entries, leaving us with 4-9 Seats unoccupied, (Available) which I’ll just Jot my first impressions below.

 

A.J. foyt Enterprises

(2) #4 TBA, #14 TBA

I’d like to Arse-sume that Sebastien Bourdais will return aboard the No. 14 next year, although think I just “read” somewhere that the Frenchman is focusing more on a Fulltime Sports Car campaign and just running for ‘Ol superTex’, nee A.J. Foyt when his schedule doesn’t conflict? While Scuttlebutt suggest Dalton Kellett will remain in the No. 4 due to his healthy Family K Line Insulators backing. Not sure if we could see Tatiana Calderon making her IndyCar debut next year, or if the team runs a third entry; perhaps Charlie Kimball in the #11?

 

Funny how after I’d scribbled those comments above; the very same evening via my NFB Newsline for The Blind telephone service, I listend to the IndyStar’s Nathan Browne repeating the very same comments about Sebastien Bourdais, but also noting that an IMSA Source claims that Bordais has signed to drive Fulltime aboard one of Chip Ganassi’s Cadillac DPi VR Prototypes next year, and if he did also drive for Foyt’s IndyCar team, there’s at least four IMSA Sports Car races that would conflict, so who knows, Eh?

 

Carlin

(1) #59 TBA

Presumably Max Chilton will return for another season of running just the Twisties’, i.e.; Road Courses and Street Circuits plus the Indianapolis 500 per usual next year. Which in turn would see conor Daly filling in on the other three Oval tracks, as  Iowa’s a Double Header outing.

 

But the part I like about Carlin, and it’s pure speculation once again. But believe Pruett’s noted how one possibility of getting Carlin to two full season entries would be the addition of Indy Lights Frontrunner David Malukas and his HMD Motorsports concern.

 

As I’d like to see this happen, instead of Malukas running a third car at Foyt, since that’s primarily where Drivers careers falter! As just look at the long list of Foyt Castoffs…

 

Ed Carpenter Racing

(1) #20 TBA

So the $64,000 Question is will the U.s. Air force sign off on sponsoring Conor Daly for another season as the Boss Fast Eddie’s Twisties’ Specialist? Or could The Dude! Ryan Hunter-Reay land here instead? Since I think the talks of F1 Refugee Nico Hulkenberg are a longshot.

 

But I’d really like to see Ed Carpenter just run himself in a third part-time entry and have Conor or whoever run a Full season campaign instead, since this situation doesn’t breed season long continuity…

 

Juncos Hollinger Racing

Otay, we already know that the team’s inked promising Brit’ youngster Callum Ilott to a Fulltime Gig next year. So this is pure conjecture, but; thought I read per Marshall Pruett or somebody else on Racer.com? That in a perfect world “scenario,” JHR would like to run a veteran driver alongside Rookie Ilott. This naturally got me thinking why not Ryan Hunter-Reay? As he’d be the perfect fit and definitely lend credibility to their IndyCar effort. Although they’ve gotta do something about their mechanical maladies, since I’ve started pondering is Thar such a thingy’ as “Start ‘N Park” IndyCar efforts?

 

As I’m Not trying to imply Anything here, since I’ve always been a Huge Fan of Riccardo Juncos, but I’m left scratching my Noggin’ over why they along with A.J. Foyt’s Dalton Kellett entries always seem to Grind to a Whimpering Halt Mid-race due to Thar Chevy’s supposedly Quitting.

 

Although in fairness, I recall that Kevin Magnussen making his IndyCar debut for Arrow McLaren SP suffered the same exact maladies, so this seems to be a Chevy engine ting instead, Righto?

 

Team Penske and Others…

The predominant thinking is that El Capitano’, nee roger Penske will cut back to just three cars next season, so No News here, albeit I started wondering what they’d do with the Crew Members of Simon Pagenaud’s car? And who could Penske run in a “One Off” for the Month of May Double, i.e.; Indy GP and Indianapolis 500? Or just keep the “Band” together to morph into their upcoming Porsche Sports Car effort?

 

Meanwhile I’ve got Zero Clue on whether we’ll see the return of Top gun Racing or Paretta Motorsports next year at more races? Other than presumably another go at the Indy 500… 

Friday, October 1, 2021

Don’t Forget about Indy Lights

After all, it’s thar Gory 35th season, even if this weekend is the Season Finale…

 

Although I’d say that the current Indy Lights series is a former Shell of Itself, and presumably has been forgotten by Most after cancelling last year’s season due to COVID 19. Nonetheless, it’s still the Top rung of thou Road to Indy’s Feeder Series to the vaunted big Boyz’ IndyCar series, where many of it’s current drivers come from.

 

As I believe I heard that 20 of this year’s IndyCar Drivers are former Indy Lights Alumni…

 

Trying to not dwell on the negative, it’s actually encouraging in these financially tight times that this year’s Indy Lights series has seen as many as 13 competitors on it’s grid, which is an increase in recent car count, however slight.

 

The prize money for the series champion has been increased to $1.25m, up from the previous $1.0 million amount and now the top three championship finishers are all awarded an IndyCar test, with the series champion guaranteed three IndyCar races including the Indianapolis 500.

 

Unfortunately, and I think this is a major boo Boo, the series Didn’t contest it’s signature event, the Freedom 100 this year, the first time since 2002! (Excluding the ultimate Cancellation of the 2020 Season) Although perhaps this is in some part due to the usually small fields of past years?

 

But it still seems like a bad marketing move to Mwah, even if El Capitano’ nee Roger Penske doesn’t want them holding the Freedom 100 due to what he claims being unnecessary “Carnage!” And is trying to save the Teams from themselves, Err Money…

 

But speaking of Roger, who after all owns Mother Speedway (IMS) and IndyCar amongst other entities. Penske Entertainment Corp. will take Indy Lights “In-house” beginning in 2022 with the conclusion of Anderson Promotions contract at season’s end.

 

As the Following is what I’d gleamed for laxt year’s Indy Lights season, prior to it’s cancellation, for which Y’all can compare ‘N contrast to this year’s Indy Lights season’s field below.

 

2020 Indy Lights Teams/Drivers

Andretti Autosport: Robert Megennis, (R) Kyle Kirkwood, (R) Tristan Charpentier and (R) Danial Frost; Belardi Auto Racing: Toby Sowery and (R) Rasmus Lind; Exclusive Autosport: (R) Nikita Lastochkin; HMD Motorsports: (R) Antonio Serravalle, Santiago Urrutia and David Malukas. (R = Rookie)

 

As that was last year’s Preliminary Grid before the season was ultimately Cancelled outright. And I still Don’t understand how Indy Lights will ever be able to Grow it’s Market by Hiding behind the Nebulous Peacock Paywall! And Yeah, contrary to popular belief, it is a Gory Paywall!

 

Since at the very least, IndyCar would be wise to allow the Indy Lights races to be Broadcasted over the IMS or is it now the IndyCar Radio Network? Otherwise you’re never going to get any significant “buzz” (Traction) over IndyCar’s future Drivers!

 

2021 Indy Lights Teams/Drivers

Andretti Autosport: #27 Robert Megennis, #28 (R) Kyle Kirkwood and #68 (R) Danial Frost; Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport:

#17 (R) Devlin DeFrancesco; Carlin: #5 (R) Alex Peroni and #7 (R) Christian Vogle; Global Racing Group with HMD: #24 (R) Benjamin Peterson and #26 (R) Linus Lundqvist; HMD Motorsports: #59 (R) Nikita Lastochkin and #79 David Malukas; Juncos Racing: #2 (R) Sting Ray Rob and #51 Toby Sowery and Pserra Racing/AS Promotions: #11 (R) Antonio Serravalle. (R = Rookie)

 

Meanwhile, having Not raced since Mid Ohio’s round-2 July 4th, Indy Lights finally returned to action August 21-22 at what forever for Mwah will simply be Gateway, aka Wide World Technology Raceway (WWTR) after a Mega’ 48 day “summer Break!” And Y’all thought Indy Cars five weeks off was long, eh?

 

Heading into WWT Raceway, Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood led the Points standings with 290 followed by HMD Motorsports David Malukas with 279 and Global Racing Group with HMD team-mate Linus Lundqvist’s 265. While Andretti Autosport’s Danial Frost was fourth with 204 points and Juncos Racing’s Toby Sowery had 201, who seem longshots for the title.

 

Entering Gateway, the Top three Drivers locked firmly in the title fight saw Kirkwood having won six races to Malukas’s four and Lundqvist’s two. With Malukas scoring a Clean Sweep at WWTR to regain the points lead 371-368 over Kirkwood, knotting their claim of wins at six apiece. While Lundqvist remained third with 312 points, being the only drivers to have won races to that point.

 

Malukas and Kirkwood split the Portland weekend with a win apiece, seeing Kirkwood trailing by five markers heading into Laguna Seca. Kirkwood took a dominating win from Pole on Saturday with Malukas finishing fourth to see Kyle regain the Points lead by 8 points: 456-448, while Malukas’s Stablemate Linus Lundqvist remains third Overall with 381 points prior to the Sunday Laguna Seca round.

 

Kirkwood continued his domination Sunday by winning both rounds at Laguna Seca from Pole and leading the Most laps to increase his points lead to 15 over Malukas, now leading with 488 points vs. 473, as Malukas finished a disappointing runner-up some 26 seconds adrift.

 

While I believe that Lundqvist is now mathematically eliminated from title contention with just 403 points? Since if I understand the Points system correctly? Thars a total of 64 points on offer this coming weekend? i.e.; 30 points for a win plus One point apiece for Pole position and Most laps led.

 

Points are “Paid” for positions first thru 20th with a maximum of 30, followed by 25-22-19-17-15 to 1, with sixth place to twentieth decreasing by one marker each.

 

Next up, the final Ballad, Err Double Header weekend at Mid Ohio this Saturday-Sunday. Where the two remaining races of the 20 round season’s total, 10 Race weekend schedule will be held on October 2-3 Outta Sight, Outta Mind behind the nebulous Peacock Paywall!

 

As the Mid Ohio venue fills in for the season’s final two races due to the Toronto weekend being cancelled again due to Covid 19 Travel Restrictions this summer.

 

As Kirkwood has nine W’s to Malukas’s seven and Lundqvist’s two, as they’ve been the class of the 2021 Lights field, and some have claimed that both Kirkwood and Malukas should graduate to IndyCar’s in order to continue their title contending rivalry, a la 2018

Lights 1-2 Finishers Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta…

 

As Kirkwood can either tie or Break Greg Moore’s record for Most Wins in a Lights season, which Moore holds with 10 victories in 1995.