Monday, August 10, 2009

Mid-Ohio Scorecard

So I’m guessing everybody’s heard ‘bout all of the musical chairs having just been played over the weekend in Lexington, Ohio; but for those of you playing at home, here’s a recap plus a look at the remaining four events in this years vaunted ICS calendar; which be still Y’all beatin’ hearts… As its chock full ‘O Oval tracks:

CalendarAug 23: Infineon Raceway; 2.4-mile Road Course
Aug 29: Chicagoland Speedway, 1.5-mile oval
Sept 19: Twin Ring Motegi, Japan; 1.5-mile Oval
Oct 11: Homestead-Miami Speedway; 1.5-mile Oval

Pre-qualifyingBut back to Mid-Ohio, which saw “Bad Bobby D,” that’s Robert Doornbos to uze Jeffey, (NOT Doorknobs) who apparently was irked at Graham Rahal for NOT sharing his Quarter Pounders with the Dutchman, nor being able to get the secret sauce recipe from NHLR and took the proviso in his contract to walk after twelve races… Seeing Doornbos promptly hoof it over to HVM Racing; to team with EJ “What, Me Worry”” Viso, where he won two races enroute to the 2007 Champ Car rookie of the Year honours, by finishing third with two wins that season for Team Minardi USA. (One of HVM’s numerous incarnations) Bobby D will drive the No. 33 and has been inked for the remainder of ’09 thru the 2010 season.

Thus with an open seat at Newman Haas Lanigan Racing, Oriel Servia who’s currently collecting a paycheck as Tony “great Balls ‘O Fire” Kanaan’s Driver Coach, Err Consultant, was asked to keep the seat warm for The Hamburgular, a.k.a. Bourdais… But Hey! Why not Dan “Spike” Wheldon instead?

Alex Tagliani (2009 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year) decided to “Walk like an Egyptian,” taking his ice cream cone with him and left Eric Bachelart’s shoestring Conquest Racing organization in hopes of finding a full time gig in 2010… (Good luck TAG, you’ll need it!) As Bachelart has signed two Drivers for 3/4th of the remaining season, skipping this week’s contest. First up, Nelson “I’m Irish” Philippe will drive the I’m green car at the track uze Ovalhead’s affectionately chastise as “Snorhoma” and Homestead, while Kosuke “F U” Matsuura who got censored for saying FUCK on TV will drive for the first time since ’07 at Twin Ring Motegi… go Kosuke!

At Dreyer & Reinbold Racing‘s ever revolving door of Drivers, Tomas “Rockem-Sockem” Scheckter was busy hawkin’ MonaVie this weekend, while Milka-licious (Duno) stayed pat for a second outing in a row as Mike Conway’s wingman, Err Wing person… (Don’t go ‘dare Danny… NO! Don’t say wing nut!) Look for Scheckter, Duno and Conway the rest of the way with the exception of Roger Yasukawa in Japan, which will make a total of three Japanese warriors circumnavigating the Twin Rings.

Sarah “Ovals R-Us” Fisher stayed home in Indiana, but will race at Chicagoland and Homestead, while Will (Feel the) Power’s Grand Am pit crew was busy in Watkins Glen, thus leaving only two Pesky Carz on the grid to play follow the leader with TCGR. Look for Will to be back at Sears Point Raceway and Homestead.

But where’s Dan-Dan-Danicker?

Over at KV Racing Technology, our fellow Kuh-Nucks were left High ‘N Dry, missing out once again on the chance to see their national hero, the pride ‘O Toronto, none other then Paul Tracy fill in for Mario M ‘N M Moraes, who was grieving the death of his father.

Team 3G, remember them? Well once again they had Richard Antinucci behind the wheel, while look for Stand-in Stanton (Barret) to race in Japan, while Jacques Lazier and Antinucci will arm wrestle over who gets the remainder of the events.

Whew! Don’t knows ‘bout Yall, but I’m tired from just reading all of ‘dat, and hopefully the action was as exciting on track when the muzac stopped… Although don’t know who got left out when the Weasel popped, eh? As Justin Wilson cracked the Top five in Friday’s practice session with Gasp! A red TCGR car fastest…

QualifyingSo add 4, subtract 5, divide by 3.27, carry the 9, Blah-blah-blah… And we find ourselves with a massive 21 cars filling this weekend’s grid at Mid-Ohio, as I eagerly awaited the soothing tones of Mike “Yippee-Kai-eh” King and Driver Analyst Davey Hamilton now that my Confuzer seems to be back to 100% strength… As today’s qualifying was split into Group 1 having eleven racers including both target/Chip Ganassi Racing entries, while Group 2 had ten cars including both Penske’s, Paul Tracy, Oriel Servia and Robert Doornbos.

Group 1
Prior to Group 1, the BIG UNIT (Wilson) gave a hint of what was to come, having been fastest in the morning’s final practice session. And don’t think the Indy Car drivers aren’t hangin’ it all out? Witness Wilson going off in turn 2 during the 20min session, enroute to grabbing P1 briefly, while with 8min left Scott Dixon is now sitting fastest. Then with 6min left Wilson throws on his first set of reds, forcing everyone’s hand while languishing in third… As the order of the Group 1 results would be: Dixon, Wilson, Dario franchitti, Graham Rahal, Hideki Mutoh and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Group 2Whale obviously you’d expect the two Penske cars to make it thru, while it was to be a free-for-all between Danica and the Boyz… With Gasp! Patrick making it thru, while both Tony Kanaan and EJ Viso brought out simultaneous full course Yellow flags in the dying moments of the session, which caused both drivers to lose their quickest two lap times, seeing Group 2 results as follows:Castroneves, Briscoe, Patrick, Kanaan, Tracy and Viso…

Top 12Having begun the day on a green track after a rain shower had washed away all of the prior day’s rubber, times finally began to fall, as most amazingly Wilson and Briscoe both set identical times when breaking into the 1:06’s both tripping the electric eye with digital readouts exact to the fourth place decimal! And thus Wilson would be scored ahead of Briscoe simply by the fact that he’d set his time first… As Dario would wait until the waning moments to lift himself up by over a half second to keep his Fast Six record intact, by now having made 15 of the last 17 road/street course sessions, while ‘Ol PT was to be denied once again, albeit finishing ahead of Danica as the clock struck zero and the last six contestants standing were: Dixon, Wilson, Briscoe, Rahal, Franchitti and Hulio.

Fast Six
So once again Wilson and Briscoe were throwing down the gauntlet as the only two drivers to have saved a set of the ultra critical red rubber, while the other four contestants were stuck with scuffed red tyres… As unfortunately the “BAD Burnin’ Inferno” (Briscoe) had to go and pip my boy the BIG UNIT! As Briscoe cut a lap at 1:06.6814 vs. Wilson’s 1:06.7007 and thus the front row will mimic Watkins Glen… With Dixon third, Rahal fourth in his Home race and Hulio starting ahead of Dario on Row 3...

RaceFor an actual race report, I’ll leave you to peruse the Blogosphere and read any of the fine “Vurd Botcher’s” entertaining scribblings, as mice knucel’s are plain tuckered out and I’m simply knackered from all of this typings, not to mention being GUTTED from Wilson getting “MILKA’ED!”