Monday, July 2, 2012

Ode to Portland: Can it already be 5-Years GONE? (Part V)

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that on Saturday - before the deluge as I was walking towards my seat down at the Festival Curve, four “Tough talkin’ Hood Boyz in Pro Team logo knock-offs;” Err, four young lads in black t-shirts passing me by said: “Hey-hey-hey; LOOK! Check it out; 3-3-3!” As apparently the ‘Fly yellow Scandia 333 jacket is definitely the coat to have, eh? As I’ve been sporting IT everywhere... To the track, the restaurante, hotel, etc.

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

So far, so good - as I know I shouldn’t be talking ‘bout I-T but the weather’s looking mucho better so far... Having had an early breakfast I decided to stroll thru my hotel’s lobby in my ex-Scandia team gear! As I heard a group of men at the front counter talking about various racing drivers to which I couldn’t help myself and interjected  Justin Wilson’s name twice, as ‘Juan replied; there  you go, while the other gentleman said COOL! In regards to my jacket as I made my way back upstairs to my room; as the weather was indeed much more cooperative, as it was dry all the way over to the track; as I’d originally intended to arrive at my seat for the second Atlantics race. Yet I ended up arriving so early that I caught the entire Champ Car warm-up session proceeding the Atlantic’s. And they put on an excellent second race, which was followed by the Champ Car driver introductions.

After putting the rain gear back on once again for a passing shower during the Atlantics race, the rain basically stayed away for the remainder of the day, although a fellow fan above us told the couple sitting in front of me. DON’T take that off until about 5:30PM!

As I did finally take off my raincoat prior to the green flag being dropped; which was preceded by an overly annoying fireworks blast. This was followed by a wonderful fly over by a lone vintage P-51 Mustang! And I find that the sound of a Rolls Royce Merlin piston engine has to be one of the sweetest sounds of Aviation!

As I lamented into the talking machine:

And it was also Newman Haas Racing’s 100th WIN... (Which to that point in time had only been accomplished by Thee Captain, aka Roger Penske - as I’m not sure if Thy ‘Cheepster has accomplished this yet?)

But I’m way ahead of myself here... Having left for the track at 9:35AM there was hardly any crowd as I made my way into the venue lickidy-split and bought a very overpriced $9.00 program - which I mused didn’t even have the accompanying paper entrants flyer pages for the first time ever... Also slightly bemused that this (lost?) program still featured Matt Haliday in the “Tootie Fruity Rum Bum?” Bachelart car instead of my newly anointed Jan “Van Hagar” Heyland inside the program... Along with purchasing a bottle of water, etc I still managed to sit down at thee top ‘O the hour (10AM) and marvel at getting to view the majority of the Champ Cars warm-up session...

Another entertaining Atlantics race ensued - with ‘Linksheaven’s Boy John Edwards having another rough go at the office. As although he was indeed the youngest competitor at age 16 - apparently he has just gotten his public driver’s license; as I don’t know exactly what happened to him, except for hearing the PA System announce that he’d pulled off to the side of Turn-6 as his rear wheel had “Left-the-Vehicle!” Noting it had been a torrid weekend for Edwards; having started 18th on Saturday and P17 today...

And I was rootin’ for “Jimmy Heath cliff” (James Hinchcliffe) to win today - as I believe these were the days prior to him winning his Mayorship, eh? As ‘Hinch started once again from Pole, securing P1 both days - and began both races by leading; yet once again Hinchcliffe got snookered on a restart and Kevin “Somebody?” starting only his second ever Atlantics race took the win instead.

As it was quite hilarious to Mwah that the weekend’s Atlantics races were swept by a pair of 18-year old ‘KuhNucks scoring their debutant Atlantics victories with thy ‘Young Wicky (Robert Wickens) taking Race-1 and Kevin Lacroix winning Race-2. As apparently this was to be the zenith of Lacroix’s climb up the ladder system - as after finishing ninth overall in a full Atlantics season for Derrick Walker for ‘08 he mysteriously disappeared from the racing scene after that.

And I swear... but who know’s with my CRAPY vision - I swear I saw two puffs of black smoke rising into the air from the drivers clamping so damn hard on their brakes going into the Festival Curves that I saw the black brake dust floating skywards during one of the races restarts...

And as I noted previously - they did ‘Somme-then absolutely STUPID in my mind - lighting off some exceedingly LOUD Boom Boom fireworks prior to the starting of the Champ Car race I believe?

Announcing each CCWS driver individually with some really corny, vain, funky ARSE song clips between each driver - of which naturally I DON’T know who they were, although I did catch them playing “Girls just wanna have Fun!” When announcing Thy Leggy ‘Juan, nee Katherine Legge - in what would be her final Open Wheel Racing season before returning to an overly maligned rookie IndyCar campaign in 2012...

As they got to the top five-plus drivers; while I don’t know which ‘Juan - for one driver they played Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line,” followed by AC DC’s “Back in Black.” And for Mr. Wilson they played Cold Play before all of the driver’s road around the track in possibly Mazduh’s? For the Driver’s parade lap - whilst I remained seated and didn’t remove my cap for the playing of Taps while chanting silently “FUCK THE WAR!” As I mused to myself how in year’s past the flyover was performed by Oregon’s Air National Guard; but guess what? They’re over ‘Dar in a MEAT GRINDER called Iraq...

Justin Wilson ’06 Hero card
And I still have NO FUCKING CLUE! Of what happened to Justin? Oh yeah, Champ Car did its very first ever standing start today...

(Hmm? Somehow I’m guessing “Mister CandyMann” & the fine folks at IndyCar will completely gloss over that whenever they unveil standing starts, eh? As what’s that ‘bout tradition & history Mr. Bernard?)

As I’m still totally baffled over what happened to Justin ‘BIG UNIT Wilson who finished second after taking off from pole like a scalded cat with Bad Bobby ‘D (Robert Doornbos) in tow. As nobody stalled on the grid as Justin & Doornbos went wheel-to-wheel into the Festival Curves before Wilson simply ran away ‘N hid... Leading by the proverbial “Country Mile” and hence, I-T just DOESN’T add up for Justin to suffer a 32+ second swing; from leading by plus 17 seconds to finishing runner-up by 15 seconds…

As SHEISA! I actually witnessed le ‘Hamburgular making the winning pass when he out braked Wilson into the Festival Curve before pulling away from the somewhat shocked Englishman, right? As I can only surmise that Wilson’s healthy lead wasn’t big enough to negate his time lost entering and exiting Pitlane.

Whilst the “W” was ‘‘SeaBasses (Sebastain Bourdais) 26th Champ Car victory, which means Bourdais has tallied one-quarter of Norman; OOPS! Freudian slip here as I yawned tiredly when speaking the words Norman Bates when trying to say Newman Haas into the talkin’ machine. (As why is this making me tired...) Although I did feel that ‘Ol Sebastain was the Norman Bates ‘O Champ Cars at the time; Hya! Noting how SAD Bourdais’s victory made me since I wanted my man Justin to win...

And they did wax on ‘N on ever so eloquently ‘bout it being Newman Haas’s 100th victory - even getting Paul Newman to speak a few words over the PA System before his driver pulled into victory lane, as I don’t think Newman really wanted any part of this pomp ‘N circumstance; Err dog ‘N pony show...

While Doornbos finished on the podium’s final step - saying he’d had trouble on his “Reds” (alternate rubber) today, but is third in the point’s standings and definitely wants to win some races this year.

And I mused to myself if this would be a Young Guns Trifecta today - after the two 18yr old ‘KuhNucks had won in Atlantics would it be the 18-year old Graham Rahal’s turn today? NOPE! As I noted that Rahal Jr. had a pretty rough day - going off track several times I believe and finishing somewhere at the tail end of the grid.

‘PT (Paul Tracy) also had a torrid day, his team having elected to put him onto an alternate pit strategy which went bust since I believe it was the very first time ever in 24-years that the race went completely green, flag-to-flag. And although the race was only one hour 45-minutes in duration, Bourdais completed 103-laps in this amount of time which musta been a “New Track Record?”

And I noted how it was kOOL! Hearing what sounded like a Freightrain passing by as Doornbos held up a pack of five cars behind him as they went “Whump-Whump-Whump-Whump-Whump!”

Also laughed over listening to the Atlantics - as one driver totally peeled-out trying to heat-up his tyres during a restart, while I could hear another competitor’s brakes squealing in protest before engaging in his burnout... Obviously you need to be stomping the brake pedal pretty hard to do that, eh? As the tape suddenly came to the end of its loop; and now five-years later, I have NO clue if I recorded any more of this riveting story on another missing cassette tape?

Now I really should get that ‘FRILLIN Molson Indy Vancouver poster with the twenty-five Portland Champ Car driver’s “John Hancock’s” upon I-T framed; SHEISA! (While it does seem somewhat funny that I’ve managed to begin & finish this ‘Mega yarn on the same darn blasted ‘Confuzer...)
 Monday, June 11th, 2007
So all I kinda remember now - some five-years later is the surprise I played upon myself when arriving at the train station to return home after a leisurely last breakfast at Elmer’s and another enjoyable shuttle van ride with my Numero Uno shuttle driver Donnyell.

And I really don’t know if I should admit this - but imagine my shock when the Amtrak attendant at Portland told me that my ticket was for Vancouver, Washington to Seattle; Huh? WTF? As that’ll be another $14.00 sir if you wish to take the train from Portland? As apparently I’d had Vancouver, British Columbia on my mind when I’d made my reservations with “Julie” the female talking robot; CRIKEYS!

YES! Of course I wanna go ALL the way home from Portland please... As the rest of the day’s trek back to the “Jet City” was fairly uneventful and overly anti-climatic - as little did I know it would be the last ever Indy Car Series race in Portland, Oregon...