Monday, December 26, 2011


Whale, its ‘Dat time of thee year again; as hopefully Santa came to your house and left you some tidings of Glee... Not to mention Eggnog, Biscuits, Candy Canes, Mekons, (Tangerines) and perhaps a ‘lil ‘Somme-thun Naughty??? Oh Never Mind!

And thus, your humble No Fenders scribe is taking a Holidaze break for the next two weeks and will return on January 9, 2012...


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hey IndyCar; All I Want for Christmas...

Hmm? Let’s see, a permanent road course venue already built. A rich tradition of Open Wheel racing history. Devoted Fans who return yearly, provided a GOOD Show is put on, and I’m sure lots of open dates upon its track calendar, eh?

Hmm? Wunder where it could be? Perhaps somewheres in the Pacific Northwest? In the shadow of Mount Bachelor? In some Granola chewing, Wind Surfing, Tree Hugging Mecca? Perhaps a track where il Lione, aka BLOODY ‘NIGE (Mansell) once mused ‘bout looking at thee mountain whilst pounding the East end horseshoe kerbing...

And GROAN!!! As Y’all Ovalheads mash your teeths over another DAMN Twisty track crowdin’ out your beLUVed Ovals... But, since Indy Cars reputedly in desperation of another race event to get itself up to its contractual 16-race schedule... Can Y’all say Portland? As in Portland Int’l Raceway or whatever it’s called now? Although it may be a tad bit too HOT for a race ‘Thar in July! As it was 102deg-f during a past ALMS event there... And I hugely doubt it’ll get its traditional Father’s Day date back anytime soon, right? But Hey Santa! If not in ’12, then how ‘bout in 2013 in cahoots with Sears Point or Phoenix, eh?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Kringle!

 ‘Twas the day before Christmas, when through all of the paddocks.
Not a motor was idling, not even a single Cosworth “Lump” could be heard.

The garages were swept and tidied with care,
In hopes that Roger Penske soon would be there;

The mechanics were nestled all snug in their beds.
While visions of Championship bonuses danced in their heads. (Not to mention HULIO!)

And “Princess” in her negligee, *or was that her swim suit?) Along with Paul Tracy in his crash bucket, had just settled down for a quick tryst in the sack.

When out on the lawn there arose such a racket, ‘ol PT sprang from the bed to see what “TAG, Suitcase Servia, Whiney Bags and Bad Bobby D’ were groaning about.

Away to the window Tracy flew like a demon. Ran over the back markers and punted the Hamburgular clear outta the way.

The smoke from between Sea Bass’s ears. Glistened like a smoke signal, without a glow. When, what to PT’s wandering eyes should appear.

But a Ferrari ENZO followed by an armada of Prancing Horses in tow.
The ENZO was piloted by an ex-Formula 1 driver, still brutally quick.
That Tracy knew in an instant it must be Michael Schumacher.

More rapid than a grid full of Bridgestone alternate “soft rubber tyre’ Formula 1 chassis in “Qualie Two” light fuel tanks mode. The seven times World Champion whistled and jeered, and called them by name;

Now, Mika now, Coulthard! Now, Rubinoe and Ralfanso!
On, Heinz-Harald! On Villeneuve! On Damion and Irvine!

To the front of the grid! To the head of the pack.
Now burn rubber, burn rubber baby, burn rubber quick!

As tyre tracks that leave ominous black streaks behind. While Herr Schumacher leaves another competitor far behind!

So up to the roof-top the Prancing Horses flew. With trunk loads of presents and Schuey too. And then, came a banshee wail of the ENZO, high atop the roof.

The revving and idling of each assorted Ferrari. As PT rubbed his hands. Down the chimney Schuey forlornly came. He was dressed all in Scuderia Red, from his head to his foot.

And his Nomex driver’s suit was all tarnished with ashes and soot;
an assortment of winning trophies, he’d stuffed into his back pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! His rosy cheeks, how they glowed.
His hair as always was perfect, (by Loreal...) his jaw like a chisel! His lips clenched in a mischievous smirk. As the smile was reminiscent of a Cheshire cat;

The remains of a Cuban cigar hung limply from his teeth. As clouds of Smoke encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a taunt face and washboard abs. that still showed his youthful physique when he laughed at the dumbfounded PT. He was strong and fit as an ox, a festive and jolly elf; Thus Paul could only laugh when he appeared

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head. Soon gave TRACY nothing to fear. As Schuey spoke nary a word, but went straight to his work. Filling all of the stockings with various racing trinkets. (Such as the 2002 Borg Warner Cup, a new three year contract signed by P.L. Newman & Carl Haas along with some of the Hamburgular’s secret winning sauce…)

Before Messer Chrome Horn could wipe away his astonishment, the famous German turned Quickly, laying his finger aside of his nose. And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his idling ENZO, and to his waiting minions gave a whistle. And the screeching of tortured Ferrari lumps could be heard as they burst away like rocket ships! But ‘ol PT heard him exclaim, as he power-slided out of sight;

"Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good-night."

Merry Kringle!

(Written by Tomaso – December, 2007)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Three Speed-Boosting Upgrades to Consider

If you’re looking for different methods to significantly boost the overall speed of your vehicle, and want to avoid the costly purchase of a brand new car capable of reaching higher overall speeds based only on its manufacturer-installed equipment, then you’ll need to use some aftermarket automotive upgrades to make up for the power difference.  Below, we’ll cover different materials you can use to modify your automobile so that it can reach higher top speeds with greater ease, so that you can utilize those materials most likely to show a performance boost in your car.  That way, regardless of what components you end up utilizing, you’ll end up seeing upgraded results whether you spent less than a hundred dollars or more than a thousand.

Performance Chips
For those vehicle owners who have very tight budgets and don’t have any extra money just sitting around to pay for professional part installation, installing aftermarket performance chips are inexpensive and easy-to-install alternatives to many other more complex upgrades.  Automotive performance chips remap the vehicle’s ECU so that it responds more effectively to different readings received, resulting in closed performance gaps.  The right ECU chip add-on can result in up to 60 additional horsepower in your car’s engine output, not to mention up to 4-7mpg in fuel savings over time for improved fuel efficiency.  Not bad for a chip that often costs under a hundred bucks and usually takes less than a half an hour to install!

Hood Replacements
If you’d prefer to replace an existing part rather than install something new that wasn’t initially included with your vehicle, considering replacing your vehicle’s stock hood.  Manufacturer-installed hoods tend to be considerably heavier than they need to be, and the extra weight puts a greater strain on your vehicle’s engine.  By replacing the stock hood with a lightweight hood alternative, such as a fiberglass hood or carbon fiber hood, you can cut down on the overall weight of your vehicle, thereby reducing engine strain and providing for greater engine power.  Go with a fiberglass hood for the most lightweight option, but choose carbon fiber instead if you want one that’s lightweight but also more durable than fiberglass.

If you have plenty of extra money to spare and aren’t concerned one bit about your finances, you should look into the logistics of installing a turbocharger in your vehicle.  Turbochargers can provide up to hundreds of additional horsepower, and like performance chips, they are also quite efficient by design as well.  Turbo kits can be expensive, prohibitively so for some, but utilizing one will certainly give your vehicle the most dramatic improvement in terms of overall horsepower gains...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

RETRO: Phoenix’s last Grand Prix - Two-decades ago almost slipped past (Con’t)

Can it really be 20+ years ago that Phoenix, Arizona held its third and final Formula 1 race around its Downtown Streets...

I seem to recall having been dropped off by Mi Madre to spend the day on my own on Friday, even being loaned her instamatic camera to record the day’s events, of which I don’t really remember these anymore...

As I seem to recall more the ‘Fly-yellow Lamborghini Contach on display, being surrounded by some “Floosies,” Err high fuhlootin’ models... Not to mention having to run multiple Gauntlets ‘O FREE cigarette hawkers... With Marlboro and Lucky Strike being overly pushed upon the crowd! As I know some Arizona Boyz who still fondly reminisce ‘bout the plethora ‘O FREE five “Ciggee’s” mini-packs they acquired that weekend in The Valley of the Sun.

Although I do still recall that after a most enjoyable day in the SUN, having taken a bevy ‘O masterful action packed photographs... As Mi Madre picked me up, she inquired: Didn’t you put film in the camera? SHEISA! OH F%%K!!!

As this year I was most enamored by the beautiful Benetton-Ford’s, as the B190-B Autopolis liveried chassis were my absolute favourite that March, even having had ‘Juan drawn for Mwah by No Fenders Artiste Dave. As these were the Pre-Sckewmaaker (M. Schumacher) cars ‘O Triple World Champion Nelson Piquet and future CART “SuperSub” Roberto Moreno; as I even recall Dave climbing atop some ‘Verboten electrical sub-stations in order to snap a few pics ‘O these F1 Landsharks for Mwah!

Whilst I was also PREVIOUSLY smitten by “Stevie Johnson’s” (Stefan Johansson) lovely  Onyx ORE-1 and Ivan Capelli’s Leyton House March of the ’89 USGP. But the Benetton was my Numero Uno pic this year, followed by the Tyrrell 020 and the Gary Anderson penned Jordan 191.

And I also recall that the Gold Grandstand bleachers were practically EMPTY, and as soon as the race had started, the ticket “Sentry’s” had disappeared and our posse ‘O five Amigo’s sat in these OVERPRICED, high fulootin’ seats for the remainder of the race, before later walking onto the racetrack’s city streets surface afterwards.

And I believe it was a fairly boring event? As “ARROGANT” (Ayrton Senna) in his McLaren MP4/6-Honda V-12 simply ran away and HID from the resta duh field en route to another victory; YAWN! With his Arch-nemesis “The Professor,” aka Alain Prost’s Ferrari runner-up, albeit never seriously challenging Ayrton. Whilst Piquet took the podium’s final step upon running a Non-stop race thanks to his Pirelli’s rubber. As ironically, Prost’s second-place finish would be the highest result for the 642 chassis that season...

Also flooding back into le Memory-banks is spending time with Miguel reviewing the Vintage Formula One Grid, most notably thee ‘Wee Scot’s, aka Sir Jackie, nee Jackie Stewart - as I stood alongside JYS’s marvelous World Championship winning Tyrrell. While on the opposite spectrum of these petrol-mobiles was the miniscule GM solar powered winning entry of an Australian solar challenge...

And although he’d shocked the F1 Fraternity the year prior with his front-row start - Minardi’s Pierluigi Martini, who’d finished just outside the points in seventh-place the year prior, was classified P9, the first runner listed as Retired, with just eight finishers out of 26-starters...

-          Yet, the Minardi M191 was powered by la Scuderia-motive power, nee Ferrari’s  Tipo 037 3,499cc Normally Aspirated 65-degrees V-12 lump that the “Works” team was utilizing in the evolutionary 642-model. As Giancarlo Minardi had miraculously managed to obtain a supply of customer engines that season.

Thus, Martini’s Scuderia powered racecar, along with its Pirelli tyres - enabled the Italian to outscore Bertrand Gachot; 4-points, (Jordan) JJ Lehto; 4-points, (Scuderia Italia) Michael Schumacher,; 2-points, (Jordan, Benetton) Mika Hakkinen; 2-points (Lotus) and the “Brundell Brothers,” a.k.a. Martin “BillyBob” Brundle (2-points) and Mark Blundell, (1-point) whilst being teammates at Brabham.

As Martini tallied six points - finishing Eleventh Overall - ahead of those “B-I-G” Names in the point’s standings for Gran Primo Piloto’s... Which wasn’t too shabby for the continuously underfunded (“lowly”) Minardi Squadra! While I’m guessing that Moreno took little solace in scoring four-times MORE points that season then DER TERMINATOR (Michael Schumacher) en route to Tenth-place Overall, eh?

As its interesting to Mwah, how ironically 20yrs ago, Ayrton Senna not only won his third and final Formula 1 Drivers World Championship, but; it was also the final Championship won by a twelve-cylinders ‘lump... Of which when you hear the word twelve-cylinders you usually think of Ferrari - which makes it even stranger that the feat was accomplished by the rival Japanese Auto Giant Honda instead.

As I guess it’s even more symbiotic that all of this also surrounds the release of the epic Asif Kapadia SENNA Documentary, eh? As your humble scribe saw it on the Big Screen two decades after his last live sighting of thee Brazilian Wonder!

Not to mention it being the debut of some plucky Irishman named ‘EJ’s debut as a Grand Prix Constructor. As those beautiful Jordan 191’s in bright green 7Uplivery were piloted by some F1 BADBOYZ known as DE CRASHERIS ‘N PEPPER SPRAY! As in Andrea de Cesaris and Bertrand Gachot, who’d eventually make way for somebody named Michael Schumacher!

Whilst its even sadder to think that JJ Letho, whose BMS Scuderia Italia (Dallara/Judd V-10) I managed to snap a picture of as it sat abandoned inside the cacophony ‘O Jersey-barriers after having retired... Was just sentenced to two-plus years in Jail for the death of a friend during a late-night boating accident in Jyrki Juhani Järvilehto’s Homeland...

With another ‘Finn making his Grand Prix debut named Mika Hakkinen in the revitalized Lotus T-102 Ford/Cosworth - who’d ultimately notch up the most Drivers crowns for Finnish drivers to date, with two to his credit; 1998-99 at McLaren. While Kimi Raikkonen and Keke Rosberg each secured the Drivers title once apiece... 

As the only two drivers still on the F1 Grid - remarkably two decades later were DER TERMINATOR ‘n ‘RUBINO; as ‘Herr Schumacher’s legacy is already well known, whilst his ex-Wingman Rubens Barrichelllo spent a most discontent 19th Formula One season puttering ‘round the back end of the grid for Team Willy, aboard the much maligned Williams FW32/Cosworth V-8 - whose radical super-steep driveshafts not only caused a myriad of reliability issues, but also saw the team’s Technical Director Sam Michael leave his post in dismay...

Monday, December 19, 2011

RETRO: Phoenix’s last Grand Prix - Two-decades ago almost slipped past...

And as we get down to the wire on the end ‘O the year Twenty-eleven; YIKES! Your humble No Fenders scribe has almost failed to post this nostalgic tome harkening back two decades ago...

As it seems most symbiotic that another tiny bubble; Tiny Bubbles Don Ho, Anyone? Chirp-Chirp; Hya! That was a funny ‘Juan wasn’t it? As I flashed back to the thought after seeing the SENNA movie this August, that it was ironically twenty-years ago that I last saw the Brazilian Maestro live in-action poundin’ around the city streets of Downtown Phoenix - being my second-ever Grand Prix... As obviously I now wish I’d not forsaken the 1990 event, albeit I didn’t miss the rainstorm that obliterated Saturday’s ‘Qualie session and there were plenty ‘O chances remaining... As Phoenix had a five-year contract with Uncle Bernaughty! (RIGHT?) As I’ve previously scribbled my Debutant F1 race outing thoughts in:

Goin’ into le Wayback machine... I now vaguely recall being sent all of the Arizona Republic - Phoenix’s premiere ‘Fish-wrap (Newspaper) clippings regarding that ’90 middle-race I skipped... And was stunned to discover that these bits ‘O paper sent to Mwah courtesy of Mi Madre divulged the shocking results of Pierluigi Martini aboard the Minnowesqe Minardi - having been on Pole-position from Friday’s times, as I believe that Formula 1 then utilized an aggregate two-day qualifying time system and everybody was struggling to keep pace with the ‘Uber-sticky Pirelli ‘Qualie rubber... Of which Martini’s Minardi M189 Ford/Cosworth V-8 was utilizing.

Thus with the unexpected deluge of rain on Saturday, which obviously washed the track’s rubbered-in surface away, all of the drivers were not only struggling for grip; BUTT! Can you believe it? Trying to match the pace of the lowly Minardi - which only ‘Ol BLOCKHEAD Berger was able to eclipse! As the Austrian now Ayrton Senna’s Wingman at McLaren managed to snatch Pole from Martini by scant seven-hundreds of a second.

Yet I do recall watching the race live on TV on ‘Juan ‘O ESPN’s networks - with Bob Varsha and ‘Hobbo, aka David Hobbs calling the race - being most flabbergasted by a relatively unknown Frenchman named Jean Alesi aboard the Tyrrell O18 Ford/Cosworth DFR (3.5-liter) V-8 - utilized as a stop-gap measure before the unveiling of Tyrrell’s radical O19-model.

This was the blue and white Epson sponsored chassis that sported Dr. Harvey Postlewaite’s revolutionary Dihedral-nose front wing - with the high nose treatment ultimately becoming de rigor in F1, which Alesi chauffeured to a sixth-place finish on its debut in Imola, Italy; hence scoring a single point in the San Marino GP.

And as kOOL! As the Tyrrell 019 was - its high front-nose treatment making me think of the WWII Corsairs; I personally liked the following year’s Braun paint schemes better...

Yet the ’91 season wasn’t deemed an improvement over the previous year’s campaign; with Ukyo Katayama and Stefano Modena at the helm of the 020-model powered by the Honda V-10 lumps utilized by McLaren the season prior... While the mercurial Alesi had been lured to Scuderia Ferrari, but I’m getting ahead of myself here...

As Alesi not only led the 1990 Phoenix Grand Prix for some 30-odd laps in his lowly Tyrrell, but had the audaciousness to repass Senna’s McLaren after the Brazilian had originally passed the Frenchman for the lead! As Senna would go onto win the race, followed across the stripe by Alesi with Belgium’s Thierry Boutsen taking the final podium step in his Williams FW13B/Renault V-10...

Thus, the following March I did indeed make my second (and final) pilgrimage to the Iceberg Grand Prix in The Valley of the Sun and only have the following fleeting images of that glorious weekend in la memory banks...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Perfect Storm - Really Indy Car?

FUCK! That OVER-used catch-phrase is really beginning to PISS ME OFF!

You mean The Perfect Storm as in a Tempest in a Teapot? C’mon INDYCAR! Dan Wheldon deserves BETTER than that!!! As have Y’all noticed how almost every Media report includes the careful wording of how the number of Cars competing; the Pack-racing; the Oval Track’s configuration and Go Daddy $5.0 million Prize had NOTHING to do with Wheldon’s totally UNNECESSARY Death - to which all I can say is BULLSHIT!!!

While I appreciate the fact that we now actually have some factual data explaining what caused the irrepressible ‘Brit’s death - which Gee Wally! Uh Duh; a massive blunt force trauma... Of trying to stop a moving object hurtling 325-feet airborne while decelerating from 224mph to 165mph in a scant 2.4-seconds into an UN-moveable object, i.e.; the tracks catch fencing... Well, obviously we know the outcome... As I knew it was bad as soon as I heard ‘Ol ‘PT’s post accident interview...

But what I still do not understand is: How did the catch fencing strike Wheldon in the head? As Gordon Kirby’s story notes:

“The chassis impacted a post along the right side of the tub,” said Indy Car’s operations chief Brian Barnhart. “That created a deep defect in the tub that extended from the pedal bulkhead along the upper border of the tub and through the cockpit. The pole intruded in the cockpit and made contact with the driver’s helmet and head...”

Does that imply that the tip of the catch fence speared Wheldon’s hurtling Dallara racecar? Or was it just a vicious side impact? As there seems to be infinite conjecture over Los Vegas Motor Speedway’s catch fencing design/installation - to which I’d agree it really DON’T matter which side the posts are on during such a high speed impact! As I’d not only say the fencing did its intended job; but! IndyCar’s DAMN FREAKIN’ LUCKY that NO Spectator’s were seriously or fatally injured!

But C’mon Indy Car; you’re doing a HUGE disservice to Dan Wheldon’s death by simply trying to sweep it under the rug... As isn’t it a tad bit late for Brian Barnhart to be telling us after the fact that IndyCar is forming a committee to study the viability of racing on high-banked ovals in the future.”

Barnhart said each track must be evaluated separately because the overall track geometry varies from track to track...”
WTF? As I still recall Robin Miller’s most prophetic words - regarding ex-CART/IRL Driver Adrian Fernandez claiming he’d never seen so many drivers looking scared before the start of the race...

As let’s call a Spade A Spade here... IndyCar spent nearly one whole year trying to come up with an unheard of spectale for its Season Finale race - intended to totally Blow-up the typically dismal Homestead ratings. Izod Indy Car Series CEO Randy Bernard personally pulled out ALL the stops to personally promote the race with PT Barnum-like antics; first with his NON-Indy Car driver challenge; Chirp-Chirp! And when that FAILED, he was HELL bent to NOT be denied and concocted the Dan Wheldon who’s-Your-Daddy Celebrity Match Race... So you asked for the Perfect Storm and guess what happened?

As I sincerely hope that the Indianapolis Star - who’s online story by Curt Cavin includes the words BUY IMAGE associated with the photographs of Randy Bernard and Brian Barnhart isn’t keeping a single ‘BLOODY Red-cent and instead, is donating 100% of these proceeds to the Dan Wheldon Memorial Trust Fund...

R.I.P. Dan Wheldon!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sarah Fisher & Co making Big Offseason Moves!

First of all, I found myself overly ‘JAZZED ‘bout the recent announcement that not only was Sarah Fisher Racing returning in 2012; BUT! They were coming into the new 2012 Body-by-Mennen, Err Dallara Aerokit era with guns ablazin... Having signed the 2011 Indy Lights Champion Joseph Newgarden to a three-year deal; CRIKEYS! As I was so pumped that I immediately predicted the Nashvillian would become the R.O.Y. (Rookie of the Year) for 2012! Without even knowing if he’s guaranteed a Full-season ride? To which I was immediately lambasted about! Although I’m guessing that”Symone Pagenoe” (Simon Pagenaud) may have something to say ‘bout this, eh?

Anyways, way to GO Sarah, Andy and your new ‘Offical Pardner Wink! (SFHR) As I concur with thee OLDEST IndyCar Blogger on the planet; Hya! Geo. Phillips assessment of this being a bonafied STEAL!

Meanwhile, in case Y’all haven’t noticed? SFR has added another letter from the Alphabet to its name, now going under the banner SFHR - as in Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing... As Willis E. “Wink” Hartman, of Hartman Oil - reputedly the guiding financial force behind saving Sarah’s sponsor less 2008 Indy 500 campaign, when proposed sponsor ReeseQ never quite got ‘round to putting the check in the mail... Not to mention the donor of a brand spankin’ new ’09 Dallara chassis so Sarah could have an adequate backup racecar... Has now become an Official partner of Sarah Fisher Racing, hence the name change to SFHR from now on; although I’ll have a hard time doing this - since it’ll always be SFR to Mwah...

Then on top of the new Race Team name, word comes once again from the Dom ‘O Indy Car Bloggers... That’s Mr. Pressdog to uze Danny; Hya! Has just thrown out the following gem regarding how SFHR will become a new “Anchor” tenant on Main Street in Speedway, Indiana. As the Speedway Redevelopment Commission (SRC) has announced jointly that SFHR will build a brand new race shop in Speedway, with plans to relocate by September, 2012.

Hmm? Perhaps they’ll be building upon that mysterious U7 Spy Shot ‘Offical No Fenders Photographer ‘CARPETS spotted back in July, eh?

The Iceman Cometh!

HE’s BAAAAACCCCKKKKKK!!! As in thee ORIGINAL ICEMAN, nee Kimi Räikkönen is returning to Formula 1 after a two-year sabbatical; which will see The ‘Kimster drag his Oomphlaat’s to the newly rechristened Lotus 3.0 F1 Team, which was previously Lotus Renault GP, formerly Renault, Benetton and Toleman; Yi-yi-yi!

As Lotus F1 Team 3.0 will sport an all new Driver lineup for 2012, with Räikkönen being partnered by reigning GP2 Champion Romain Grosjean, as wither The Mad Rooskie, aka Vitaly ‘VO5 Petrov who was given his walking papers by the Enstone-based squad.

As Petrov’s now scrambling to find a remaining ’12 F1 seat, with Team Willy, (Williams) and Hispania being the only truly open rides left. Although I’d enjoy seeing him send Jarno Truli packing from Caterham F1, (Which should solve the Italian’s distain for the Loti’s power steering...) and would give Tony Fernandez possible access into Mother Russia...

SSM finally announces ‘Symone

’Juan ‘O the WORST kept secrets in the IndyCar Paddock was Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SSM) inking of France’s “Symone Pagenoe” (Simon Pagenaud) to a Fulltime ride in Indy Cars for 2012... As SSM finally made it official last Thursday, a day after SFHR’s B-I-G announcement!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another legendary Race Team turns OUT the Lights

Unfortunately this occurred just days prior to Thanksgiving... And I didn’t actually discover it until after returning from Hawaii. As I was wunderin’ what duh Speed Freaks were talking to The Bud King ‘bout - which I discovered upon their Turkey Lurkey weekend rebroadcast. (Which I didn’t bother listening too...)

Thus, upon fishing for the Kenny Bernstein interview; it was kinda sad to think that another legendary NHRA Team is closing its doors - following on the heels of Don “The Snake” Prudhomme’s shuttering back in 2010.

Kenny Bernstein was always a BAD HOMBRE to Mwah - becoming the first National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) ‘Flopper (Funnycar) pilot to successfully cross-over and win the Top Fuel Dragster category; a feat he did twice, (1996, 2001) to go along with his four consecutive Top Fuel Funnycar titles. (1985-88) As Bernstein was also the first ‘Rail-driver to record an official NHRA pass breaking the 300mph barrier in 1992 and eclipsing this with the first 310mph blast in ‘94!

Yet for me, I tend to remember Kenny B more as the frustrated(?) Back marker Championship auto Racing Teams (CART) Team Owner of King Motorsports, of which I thought their crowning achievement was Jimmy Crawford’s finishing 8th in 1991 at the Speedway, right? Although I’d forgotten that Roberto Guerrero captured the Pole at Indianapolis in 1992. Or that Scott “What Pace Car?” Goodyear won a race at Michigan in 1994; the team’s lone IndyCar victory.

As I remember Bernstein’s CART Operation running in the colour scheme of green & white with primary sponsorship from Quaker State - with “The King of Speed’s” cars being predominantly powered by those OVER-boosted “Stock block” turbocharged Buick V-6’s. ..

And after King Motorsports teammates Jim Crawford and Roberto Guererro had spent the whole Month of May flirting with “A NEW TRACK RECORD!” Indy 500 Pole-sitter Guerrero managed to “Flick-his-bic,” Err spool-up his rocketship Lola/Buick and break traction, sending the Hapless Columbian spinning into the wall on the Pace-lap and NOT even take the 76th running’s Green-flag; OOPS! Thus opening the door for ‘lil Al and Scott Goodyear to battle over that most memorable race victory...

As your humble scribe had been SUCKERED once again in the annual B-Squared I500 Pool; magik-IL-lee having drawn the very LAST starting spot (No. 33) which ironically, just so happened to be Scott Goodyear in the Walker Racing Mackenzie Financial Lola/Chevrolet - in which I, riding on the Coat-tails of thee ‘Kuhnadiun Goodyear almost pulled off the most unpredicted upset!

Meanwhile Bernstein’s NHRA Budweiser sponsorship of 30yrs was the longest ever association in Motorsports with a solitary sponsor - while whenever I think of Kenny B’s BUTTWIPER ‘Flopper, I immediately think of revered Crew Chief Dale Armstrong. (Along with Lee Beard...)

And I was totally unawares that “The Bud King” is the ONLY Team Owner to ever WIN a race in the three disciplines of NHRA, NASCAR and Indy Car, as Bernstein’s King Racing won three times in NUTCAR with Brett Bodine and Ricky Rudd in Quaker State livery in the early 1990’s...

Sid Watkins goes fishing...

Couldn’t help myself, as this was ‘Juan ‘O the most moving portions of the SENNA movie to Mwah - which I scribbled laboriously in:

As Professor Sid Watkins, the President of the FIA Institute - and longtime Medical Delegate, not to mention riding shotgun for several years aboard the FIA’s Medical Safety Car has announced his retirement from the FIA after 50-years of service; Aye Karumba! But ‘Doc Watkins will remain on after having been unanimously voted the FIA’s first ever honorary Board member role, as Messer Watkins will continue stumping for the FIA internationally, and thus I guess won’t be actually going fishing anytime soon, eh?

Austin F1 race is GO!

As I scribbled recently - I was totally unawares of the continuous goings-on at COTA; NOT CODA. Oh Never mind! As after Uncle Bernaughty extended Circuit Of The America’s DROP DEAD date of November 30th, to December 7th; Hmm? What happened on that day in history, eh?

I’m relieved to report that Red McCombs has issued the following statement: “Mr. Ecclestone has been Paid!” And thus the show will indeed GO ON as previously announced... With work restarting immediately to finish the circuit “Just-in-Time” for its November 18, 2012 inaugural F1 race date - set to be the United States first Formula 1 event since the 2007 USGP at Indianapolis...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Go Daddy - Make My Day!

Seein’ that this is the MOST powerful Dallara in exsistance...
As in the Dallara DW12...
And if properly Driven
Can break the Flyin’ Dutchman’s
Speed records at Indy!

Whales, you’ve gotta ask yourself (Mr. Bernard)
Whale Dooze Yuh feel Lucky?
As I’ve gotta tells Yuh, in all of this excitement
Over who’ll be drivin’ your number seven
I’ve lost track of who’ll all of your drivers will be?
Will it be three cars or four?
Will it be BULLY BOY
(Hunter-Reay) or ‘Sommebody else???

Whale do you feel ‘RUCKY Mikey?
Dooze Yuh?
Hmm? Just had the wild Hair notion of  perhaps Go Daddy would like to see Kurt ‘F-BOMBS R-US Busch as Danicker’s replacement, eh?

Monday, December 12, 2011

America’s First Formula One World Champion – A Half Century ago

September 10, 1961
Italian GP – Monza, Italy

Whilst scribblin’ my Nostalgia earlier this season – recollecting upon some of my fleeting memories of the Portland Hystericals, Err Historics, it hit me like a “Two Ton Heavy Thing!” That not only was it some ‘Ol Coot known as ‘SuperTex, aka A.J. foyt’s 50th Anniversary of his debutant Indy 500 victory; it was also fifty years ago that Phil Hill won the F1 Drivers World Championship, albeit under tragic conditions... Becoming America’s first ever World Champion, a rarefied feat that has only occurred twice in the past half century...

Can it really already be three years since Messer Hill’s untimely passing – occurring during his treasured Monterey Historics weekend, which reputedly he was a Concurs de Elegance Judge for 40-years! As the transplanted Floridian continued his passion for vintage automobiles after he’d hung up his driving helmet, forming the vintage automotive restoring house of Hill & Vaughn.

Thus, on that ultimately sweet ‘N sad day of September 10th, Phil Hill would become America’s first ever Formula 1 World Champion - as history denotes; Hill’s teammate and title competitor Count Wolfgang Von Trips was killed after colliding with Jimmy Clark and his errant Ferrari ultimately caused the deaths of 14-spectators...

Interestingly, Ferrari ran four “Works” chassis that day, with Hill, Von Trips, Richie Ginther and Ricardo Rodriguez; while a fifth Ferrari was chauffeured by Giancarlo Baghetti.

And not only did Von Trips start the race on Pole, but the German too held a 5-point advantage in the Drivers title fight: 38-33 vs. arch rival Hill; with Lotus’s Stirling Moss having a mathematical, albeit slim chance of clinching the Drivers crown over the two Ferrarista’s.

And although two of the four remaining Ferrari’s retired from the race, Phil Hill ran away and won the event ahead of Dan Gurney in a Porsche and Bruce McLaren in a Cooper-Climax on Monza’s notoriously bumpy Oval-Road course combination; which reputedly ‘Ol ‘Hobbo, aka David Hobbs won the last event on this circuit configuration in one of the overly potent JWA Gulf Ford GT 40’s...

And speaking of those magnificent GT 40’s, how many people recall that Messer Hill was part of ‘Ol Shel’s (Carroll Shelby) original crew ‘O merry-men chosen to drive the untested chassis at Circuit de la Sarthe in 1964, as I’d liken to think it was due to the results of drivers such as Hill, Dan Gurney, Ken Miles and others development skills which honed the GT 40 into such a BAD ARSE racecar!

Recall that Hill was a gifted Sports Car driver of his era, ultimately winning le 24 Heurs du Mans three times for la Scuderia (Ferrari) in those ‘Uber-dominant 250 GT’s - all three wins coming with Belgian Co-driver Olivier Gendebien, (1958, 1961-62) becoming the first ever American born winner of LeMans in the process.

Yet having grown tired of “Il Commendatore’s” (Enzo Ferrari) Machiavellian dealings with his drivers, Phil had the ‘Kuhoona’s to walk out on enzo, albeit to an outfit that’s Grand Prix exploits were a total disaster. As I still recall reading of Hill’s later exploits driving for Jim Hall and those narly Igloo-white Chaparral’s. With Phil’s last major victory coming aboard a Chaparral 2F at the 1000km of Brands Hatch; but I liken to remember Philip Toll Hill, Jr., in a different light, having previously mentioned that I met the man twice; first in 1992 at Portland International Raceway before spending a week-plus with Messer Hill in Italy in 1999 where amongst other things, he was my amiable Co-Tour guide at the Ferrari Factory!

Yet my fondest memory of Phil is the ’94 Monterey Historics where I witnessed Hill throwing a bright blue Bugatti T-37 around masterfully, albeit giving the car a tiring workout as its tyres howled in protest each lap past my vantage point towards the bottom of the hill after the famous Corkscrew corner...

Friday, December 9, 2011

INDYCAR: A Decade of Despair and Rebirth

The Brackster - Kenny Brack’s Team Rahal IndyCar (Source:
As your humble No Fenders scribe tries mightily tearin’ himself away from those lingering images of WARM, DRY & SUNNY Hawaii - whilst in the midst of another DARK ‘N GLOOMY Pacific Northwest winter... A ‘llittle while ago; Whale HELL! A long while ago as in (2011) Pre-Indy 500 - whilst having a chat with CARPETS, we came upon an interesting subject – as in what drivers are still left from a decade ago? Or how many drivers from that first dubious Indy Racing League Indy 500 are still in the game? As all of this was derived from my comment towards I wish that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway would announce a listing of the confirmed 269 living drivers planning to honour their IMS invitations for this year’s world’s largest autograph session.

As I still question what will become the new demarcation line when The Split NO longer exists, albeit it may never truly go away, a la something known as The War of Northern Aggression...

Thus, what year will it be in the future when there are NO longer any (carryover) Holdover Champ Car/IRL drivers left from the Class of 2008 when the two entities became one again, and how technical do we become, i.e.; for example - do Simona de Silvestro, James Hinchcliffe, J.R. Hildebrand, Raphael Matos and Graham Rahal count as Byproducts of the Champ Car side of the ledger, having cut-their-teeth in Star Mazda, Toyota Atlantics and Firestone Indy Lights. (Pre-merger...)

And do names such as Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, Wade Cunningham, Jay Howard and Alex Lloyd count towards the Indy Racing League’s side of the ledger, i.e.; Indy Pro Series/Indy Lights, eh?

And where does Ryan Briscoe fall into this mix, having come directly from a Formula 1 Testing Gig, I believe... (Although I’d count ‘em as an IRL member)

And although the year 2000 stands out strongest for Mwah – as I still fondly recall watching that year’s Indy 500 from Up North Eh! In Vancouver, BC and rejoicing ALMIGHTY! As Juan Pablo Montoya kicked everybody’s ARSES... (Leading a total of 167-laps in a relatively unknown vehicle...) As I still firmly cling to the notion that the first seven finishers that day were ALL Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) BOYZ... (Nah-Nah Nuh Nuh Nana!)

Yet whilst the CART BOYZ were once again claiming the top prize at the Speedway, unfortunately my darkest memory of Twenty-Oh-one will always be that HORRIFIC day at the Lausitz Ring, where ‘Zorro’s life was forever changed... Although Ive previously scribbled my recollections upon Alex Zanardi’s fateful day in a Post Labour Day story; actually September 15th, which you can read in;

Thus, how can we compare ‘N contrast these two past Feuding entities? As according to my (somewhat?) quick research; Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) ran a total of four 500-mile events that season; Motegi, Japan; Lausitz, Germany; Rockingham, Great Britain and Fontana, CA. Meanwhile, the Indy Racing League (IRL) ran a total of four 500-miler’s – Atlanta, Indianapolis and Texas, twice.

And thus, I’ll use the Twin Rings Motegi race – run on May 19, 2001 as the yardstick to compare vs. the 85th running of that year’s Indy 500; May 27, 2001 to see just how many drivers from those two warring factions would be participating at this year’s Centennial of the Indy 500 – which contrary to the overly ‘Hyped babbling of the media, is NOT the 100th running – as something known as World War One & Two got in the way... With NO races being run in 1918 and between 1942-45, hence making this year’s Centennial the 95th running of the Indy 500.

CART: Motegi 500k
DATE: May 19, 2001
Winner: Kenny Brack; Team Rahal

Team Penske: No. 1) Gil de Ferran, No. 3) Helio Castroneves; Chip Ganassi Racing: No. 4) Bruno Junqueira-R, No. 12) Nicolas Minassian-R; Walker Motorsports: No. 5) Toranosuke Takagi-R; Newman Haas Racing: No. 6) Cristiano da Matta, No. 11) Christian Fittipaldi; Team Rahal: No. 7) Max Papis, No. 8) Kenny Brack; Bettenhausen Racing: No. 16) Michele Jourdain Jr.; PacWest Racing: No. 17) Mauricio Gugelmin, No. 18) Scott Dixon-R; Patrick Racing: No. 20) Roberto Moreno, No. 40) Jimmy Vasser; Sigma Autosport: No. 22) Oriel Servia; Arciero/Blair Racing: No. 25) Max Wilson-R; Team Green: No. 26) Paul Tracy, No. 27) Dario Franchitti; Forsythe Racing: No. 32) Patrick Carpentier, No. 33) Alex Tagliani, No. 77) Brian Herta; Team Motorola: No. 39) Michael Andretti; Fernandez Racing: No. 51) Adrian Fernandez, No. 52) Shinji Nakano; Mo Nunn Racing: No. 55) Tony Kanaan, No. 66) Alex Zanardi.

Dale Coyne Racing only contested Rounds 1-2 with Michael Krum & Luiz Garcia, Jr.

Memo Gidley replaced Nicolas Minassian for second half of season at TCGR.

Townsend Bell made his rookie debut for Patrick Racing in Dale Coyne’s No. 19 during season’s final two events as a tuneup for his “Full-season Gig” at Patrick in 2002, after winning that year’s Indy Lights title.

Alex Barron replaced Max Wilson for season’s final two events at Arciero/Blair Racing.

Casey Mears substituted for Alex Zanardi at Mo Nunn for season’s final four races...

IRL: Indy 500
DATE: May 27, 2001
Winner: Helio Castroneves-R, Penske; (CART) 2nd) Gil de Ferran, Penske; (CART) 3rd) Michael Andretti, Team Motorola; (Barry Green) (CART) 4th) Jimmy Vasser, TCGR; (CART) 5th) Bruno Junqueira-R, TCGR; (CART) 6th) Tony Stewart, TCGR; (IRL) 7th) Eliseo Salazar; (CART) 8th) Ayrton Dare; (IRL) 9th) Billy Boat; (IRL) 10) Felipe Giafone-R; (IRL) 11) Robbie McGehee; (IRL) 12) Buzz Calkins; (IRL) 13) Arie Luyendyk; (CART) 14) Sam Hornish Jr.; (IRL) 15) Robbie Buhl; (IRL) 16) Mark Dismore; (IRL) 17) Greg Ray; (IRL) 18) Buddy Lazier; (CART) 19) Cory Witherill-R; (IRL) 20) Jarret Schroeder; (IRL) 21) Robby Gordon; (CART) 22) Jacques Lazier; (IRL) 23) Davey Hamilton; (IRL) 24) Jeff Ward; (IRL) 25) Donnie Beechler; (IRL) 26) Eddie Cheever, Jr.; (CART) 27) John Herb-R; (IRL) 28) Stephan Gregoire; (IRL) 29) Nicolas Minassian-R; (CART) 30) Al Unser, Jr.; (CART) 31) Sarah Fisher; (IRL) 32) Scott Goodyear; (CART) 33) Scott Sharp; Pole Sitter. (CART)

Scott Sharp spins on Parade lap coming to Green flag...

Today’s IndyCar Drivers
Below is the list of drivers remaining from the two warring factions a decade ago that were slated to contest this year’s Centennial Indy 500. I’ve included Townsend Bell, who only participated at the end of 2001 in a Dale Coyne/Patrick Racing project, while Bruno Junqueira once again did qualify for the race before being withdrawn by A.J. Foyt in order to assist Michael Andretti’s placement of Ryan Hunter-Reay and his prized DHL and Sundrop (Pepsi Co.) sponsorship into the series signature event...

As many may know, the 2001 season was full of turmoil, most notably the HORRIFIC accident that nearly claimed the life of Alex Zanardi, along with the crushing accident Davey Hamilton endured.

And the Texas Motor Speedway was a vicious venue that year, not only causing Hamilton to undergo some 21+ surgeries and reside in a wheelchair for a year... But it also caused CART to cancel its planned event due to the dizzying speeds causing drivers to experience vertigo and have many report blacking out from the continuously high speeds (G-Forces) they were achieving.

Meanwhile, this combined group of drivers have some pretty amazing credentials behind them, with some arguably claiming the most prolific to be ‘HULIO’s feat of winning three Borg Warner trophies for The Captain, (Roger Penske) although I’m guessing somebody named PT will still dispute that, eh? Hya! And Y’all don’t think Bryan Barnhart’s letting Paul Tracy complete his qualifying run to make this year’s Indy 500 before going Yellow due to RAIN was Payback for their Officiating MUCK-UP at Long Beach, eh - Dooze Yuh? Which obviously PALES in comparison to either Edmonton or Loudon - take your pick!

(3) Helio Castroneves; Penske: 2001-02, 2009
(2)  Dario Franchitti; Andretti Green Racing: 2007, Target Chip Ganassi Racing: (TCGR) 2010
(2)  Arie Luyendyk; Doug Shierson Racing: 1990, Tredway Racing: 1997
(2)  Al Unser, Jr.; Galles Racing: 1992, Penske: 1994
(1) Scott Dixon; TCGR: 2008
(1) Sam Hornish Jr.; Penske: 2006
(1) Gil de Ferran; Penske: 2003
(1) Kenny Brack; A.J. Foyt enterprises: 1999
(1) Eddie Cheever, Jr.; Cheever Racing: 1998
(1) Buddy Lazier; Hemelgarn Racing: 1996
(Stats ONLY include Class of 2001 Drivers, i.e.; CART v IRL)

(4)  Dario Franchitti; Andretti Green Racing: 2007, (IRL) Target Chip Ganassi Racing: (TCGR) 2009-11  (INDYCAR)
(3) Sam Hornish Jr.; Panther: 2001-02; (IRL) Penske: 2006 (IRL)
(2) Scott Dixon; TCGR: 2003, 2008 (IRL)
(2) Gil de Ferran; Penske: 2000-01 (CART)
(2) Al Unser, Jr.; Galles Racing: 1990, Penske: 1994 (CART)
(1) Tony Kanaan; Andretti Green Racing: 2004 (IRL)
(1) Paul Tracy, Forsythe Racing: 2003 (CCWS)
(1) Cristiano da Matta; Newman Haas Racing: 2002; (CART)
(1) Buddy Lazier; Hemelgarn Racing: 2000 (IRL)
(1) Greg Ray; Menards: 1999(IRL)
(2) Alex Zanardi; TCGR: 1997-98 (CART)
(1) Kenny Brack; A.J. Foyt enterprises: 1998 (IRL)
(1) Jimmy Vasser; TCGR: 1996 (CART)
(1) ) Buzz Calkins; Bradley Motorsports: 1996 (IRL)
(1) Scott Sharp; A.J. Foyt enterprises: 1996 (IRL)
NOTE: Scott Sharp & Buzz Calkins were ’96 IRL Co-Champions
(Stats ONLY include Class of 2001 Drivers, i.e.; CART v IRL)

2011 INDY 500 Competitors
CART (9)
No. 2) Oriel Servia; Newman Haas Racing
No. 3) Helio Castroneves; Team Penske
No. 9) Scott Dixon; Target Chip Ganassi Racing
No. 10 Dario Franchitti; Target Chip Ganassi Racing
No. 23) Paul Tracy; Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
No. 77) Alex Tagliani; Sam Schmidt Motorsports
No. 82) Tony Kanaan; KV Racing Technology
No. 84) Bruno Junqueira*; A.J. Foyt Enterprises
No. 99 Townsend Bell; Sam Schmidt Motorsports

* = Junqueira gets HOSED by Mikey Andretti’s decision to BUY Bruno’s ride in order to install “BULLY-RAY” (Ryan Hunter-Reay) in order to make sponsors DHL & Sundrop happy; BARF!

IRL (1)
No. 11) Davey Hamilton; Dreyer & Reinbold Racing