Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Danica AIN’T NO First Lady of ‘RASSCAR!

For some strange reason, I decided to watch the February 20th edition of Speedcentre and was immediately bowled over when I heard Adam Alexander boldly proclaim that Danica Patrick was the FIRST Lady of ‘RASSCCAR; WTF? You’re FREAKIN’ kidding right Adam? I mean C’mon, this ceaseless frothing over Queen DannaWho has really gotta STOP!

As Yo Adam - Newsflash! For the record, Danicker is NOT 'RASSCAR's First Lady... As that honour belongs to none other then Janet Guthrie - who was not only the FIRST female driver to contest the Indy 500; BUTT! Ditto for NASCAR! Becoming the first woman to contest a Superspeedway event in 1976, along with being the FIRST Femme Fatale to compete in the DayToner 500 where she finished 12th in 1977 after losing two cylinders in her engine with 10-laps remaining...

While I'm not certain 'bout Lyn St James, the first female Rookie Of the Year at the Speedway in 1992, albeit I seem to recall seeing her in a Ford Thunderbird racecar 'Summe-wearz, right? Perhaps what she used to set a closed course speed record in? Or just publicity shot with Awesome Bill (Elliott) from Dawsonville? Although I do know that St James done ‘Somme-thun Princess Perma-pout HASN’T! Can you say le 24 Heurs du Mans? Which St James contested twice in 1989 & 1991. Along with WINNING the Rolex 24 twice and Sebring once whilst kicking the Big Boyz tails in those Narly Roush Mustangs... 

Yo ‘RASSCAR! Whudda Yuhs means there’s Other racing going on?

So originally - since apparently I’m a DannaWho? ‘HATER; Oh Never Mind! I’d intended to Boycott thee entire ‘DayToner 500 racin’ thingy... Hey, I mean it’s only scheduled to last 5-and one-half hours, right? YUK! OH SHIT! Where’s the mute button - trying to eat breakfast before the RIVETING ‘DW ‘LUVfest; Err, interview with guess who was slated to PEAK! Err, pop-up after duh commercial...

Thus I decided to read Donald Davidson’s most Excellante book - Autocourse: The Official History of the Indianapolis 500 instead; WHAT? NO Danica? Hya! Yet apparently I couldn’t stand it, and after finishing the chapter I went out to have a looky-loo at who was leading? But ‘Ol Chalkboard Larry Mac screeched ‘Somme-thun ‘bout tonight’s race; Huh? This made me do a little “Happy Dance!” When I discovered that the ONLY thingy that can stop the DannaCar express is good old Mother Nature - as I’m hoping that thee GURR-REAT! ‘Merricun race gets RAINED OUT! As I wunder if Ye ‘Ol Windbag Dave Despain will be kickin’ off Wind Tunnel tonight? To which I discovered there was some sorta motorcycle racing going on Down Under from Phillip Island...

Tunin’ in with only 15mins of the first race remaining - I watched Max Biaggi simply cruise home aboard his Aprilia rocketship, with Marco Melandri runner-up on his BMW and Sylvain Guintoli third; Huh? Where’s my Numero Uno man “The Bull.” Don’t tell me Carlos Checa has retired?

Thus I decided to watch race-two in its entirety - as I simply delight over the commentary of Jonathan Green and the other Steve Martin - as Green is even more animated then Mike “Yippee-Aye-Eh!” King is, whilst Martin is masterfully Dry...

Turned out that The Bull (Checa) had had a ‘Mega High-side in round-1 and therefore DNF’ed, which surely isn’t how the reigning World Superbike (WSBK) Champion intended to begin his title defense.

Biaggi simply blew past his competitors down the main straight with the unbelievable “Grunt” of the Aprilia’s V-4 with a terminal velocity of 325kph! Which I believe is faster then Formula 1 currently circulates around the globe at, albeit “Jungle Boy,” nee Antonio Pizzonia holds the record at le Autodromo Monza - just shy of 375 ‘clicks; SHEISA! Or 231mph for us ‘Yank’s - set back in the three-liter V-10 era; But I digress...


As granted, today’s F1 Landsharks are every bit as fast; BUTT! You’ve gotta admit 201.825mph on a ‘Scooter is FREAKIN’ INSANE! As Biaggi was simply amazing in round-2 - after he nearly had taken himself out at the start and dropped to stone last on lap-1 while Checa loped around at the sharp end of the grid, albeit dropping as low as third astern - before taking the lead from Jonathan Rea; coming thru Johnny... As Carlos then simply motored off into the distance.

Yet the man of the hour was Biaggi who simply marveled at coming all the way back up to finish runner-up - as Martin wryly noted: “He only passed three on that lap,” whilst attempting to dust off not one, but both of the BMW’s down the straightaway.

With the best race of round-2 being the massive scrum over the podium’s final step, as thee Irishman Rea simply ran his rubber ragged trying to hold off a hard charging Tom Sykes, the Kawasaki rider having started the day on Pole in race-1 - who’s tyres were in better shape, with Sykes nicking Rea on the final lap.

And it was funny to hear Martin note that the two OLDEST riders on the WSBK circuit - with a combined 78-years between them were 1-2 on the podium; Crikeys! But even more impressive was Leon “The Lion” Haslam’s stirring performance - as the BLOODY ‘BRIT was riding with a broken right leg, toe and heel, with the broken toe being on his shifter foot; aye Karumba! As Haslam gritted thru the immense pain to finish a remarkable fifth in round-2; as Yuhs gotta ask yourself would Danica be able to do that?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thank You Honda

And Bobby Rahal...

WOW! Those are two sentences I thought I’d never type in my life - let alone post on thee ‘BLOB; Crikeys! Yet that’s exactly how I felt late Friday night when I first noticed the Honda press release sittin’ in the No Fenders mailbox announcing the FANTASTIC news that Honda had confirmed Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing to its fold for the entire 2012 season. As now we can get on with a proper Rookie Of the Year battle - not to mention watching an exciting new prospect get a proper chance to ‘Shine On in Indy Cars this season...

Trackside shares the ‘LUV with Word Butcherers...

So did Y’all bother to listen to the Cornucopia ‘O ‘Vurd Botcherer’s taking up the Airwave broadbands on 1070 The Fan last Thursday night? As I’ve purposely shied-away from participating in previous years... But I haveda say I truly enjoyed the show with the exception of the program Dumping on my Confuzer during every single commercial break - having to endure multiple attempts of re-logging onto the website; but I digress...
And thanxs to that fine ‘KuhNaidiun lass ‘Meesh, who claims to have some affinity for Cathy Griffin; Huh? Who the HE Double Hockey Sticks is that Meesh??? AnyHoo, she’s already done the heavy lifting for Mwah and thus I can be lazy and just simply point Y’all to her recap of the Keyboard Warriors regalia on Trackside instead of attempting to speel everybody’s name & topics... Kudos to Kevin Lee for making it happen.

Trackside rolls out the butcher block

Although just for the record, your humble No Fenders scribe was advocating for Indy Cars to return to Portland International Raceway, a 1.96-mile Permanent Road Course - that’s already built! Since we DON’T want NO STINKIN’ Ovals up here; Hya! Although we have shot down two proposed Oval track projects in the past, yet do have the Monroe Speedway...

2011 MotoGP Highlights

If I was to say that a "Stoner" was the best in the world at something, you would likely think I was talking snowboarding, poker, or some X-Game sport. However, this past season, fans of MotoGP heard the phrase "Stoner dominates" all too often as Casey Stoner took the Bwin poker sponsored 2011 MotoGP title in dominating fashion. I'm surprised they didn't rename the tour the StonerGP.

Just how dominating was Stoner this season you ask? If you have to ask, you clearly don't follow the Bwin backed MotoGP season, which sucks for you. Anyway, Stoner won 10 races this season. There are only 18 races total. He took the first race at Qatar and then let Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa take the Spanish and Protuguese races respectively. Stoner then took the next three races to jump out to a huge lead.

Stoner had another three match racing streak after winning the US Grand Prix, the Czech Republic GP, and the Indianapolis GP. Tack on Aragon, Iveco, and the Valencian GP to finish the season and you have a dominating performance that resulted in him having a 90 point lead over Lorenzo to finish the season. With his dominating performance this season, one has to wonder if he can follow it up in 2012.

Unfortunately, the dominating season of Stoner was overshadowed by the passing of Marco Simoncelli. Everyone that is associated with or a fan of MotoGP remembers that dreadful day in October at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Simoncelli lost the front end of his Honda on Turn 11. Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi were right behind him and unfortunately could not avoid a collision with Simoncelli.

The impact knocked Simoncelli's helmet off and he sustained serious trauma to the head, neck, and chest. Within an hour of the injuries, Simoncelli passed away at 16:56 local time. The 12 time 250cc winner will always be remembered for his flamboyant style. Sadly, his passing reminds us that what we take for granted can end in an instant.
The final race of the season began with an emotional tribute to Simoncelli as every rider took a memorial lap to remember him. Many thought the final race would be canceled, but many felt that it would be a better tribute for riders to honor his memory and do what Simoncelli enjoyed most, racing.
The 2011 season will be remembers as much for the dominance of Casey Stoner as for the tragedy in Simoncelli's death. Fortunately, a new season is on the horizon and fans and fans can look forward to happier times. The next season starts on April 8th and and online poker room Bwin will be back to sponsor. Will Stoner continue to dominate or will someone step up to challenge him? We will find out soon enough...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bloggers Invade Trackside Tonight!

Although the Dean ‘O IndyCar Bloggers has already busted out his usual HipDaddy vibe upon tonight’s Trackside with Kevin & Cavin radio show tonight... Nonetheless, just thought I’d let Y’all know that your humble No Fenders scribe has actually stepped up to the plate this year, albeit I’ll be batting Clean-up tonight...

The show airs from 7-9PM ET tonight on Indy’s 1070 The Fan, or if you’re on the Left Coast like I am with NO radio stations, you can check it out via the Internetz at 1070thefan.com.

The first segment will feature Kevin & ‘Kurty breaking down all of the latest news before Thee OLD-est IndyCar Blogger Geo. Phillips step’s up to the batter’s box around 7:20PM ET as the lead Blogger...

Sarah Fisher Engine Squeeze Job NOT A Positive sign for IndyCar

POW! SHUZZAM! BIFF! As I’m trying to refrain from throwin’ down any Kurt GFYS! Busch F-Bomb laden tirades over what’s fast becoming the SORRIEST news of the yet as begun 2012 Indy Car Series season; as seriously GM? You’ve just announced a record $7.6 BILLION profit, cancelled ALL Workers Pension’s and yet cannot come up with the ability to provide one more lone V-6 engine for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing - WTF?

Thus imagine my laughing-out-loud upon reading Open Wheel Racing Curmudgeon Robin Miller’s latest rant, where ‘R rightly states:

“Can you imagine Chevy or Ford telling NASCAR that they appreciate the fact Ricky Stenhouse was the Nationwide champion but they won’t be able to give him a Cup engine until Bristol?”

“We all understand it’s a new engine, it’s got teething problems, it’s expensive, it takes something like 14 weeks to make a crankshaft and the manufacturers are losing money.

But this is supposed to be the top level of open wheel racing in North America. This isn’t Saturday night claimers at The Speedrome, this is serious money and serious business.

To think Sarah Fisher has a car but can’t get an engine for it isn’t just unacceptable – it’s friggin’ embarrassing.”

As I especially liked ‘R’s pun ‘bout the new multi-million dollar facility being built in Speedway, Indiana being as good as being located in Bahrain; YOUCH! Sic ‘em Robin! As why is this team being treated like the Rodney Dangerfield of Indy Cars?

Thus, I’m gonna have a really HARD time even remotely rootin’ for ‘Chebbie this season, as part of me wants to see SFHR not running Chevrolet now, albeit I DON’T want to see Sarah, Andy, “Wink” and Newgarden sitting on the sidelines...

As for Mr. CandyMann (Randy Bernard) going to bat for Sarah - I think he’d better try a little bit HARDER! As I’d like to ASS-sume he realizes there’s further implications for the series besides the TRAVESTY of Fisher & Co being denied an engine until Indy: Can you say R.O.Y.? (Rookie Of the Year) As it’ll be downright EMBARASSING if Joseph Newgarden doesn’t get a fair shot to compete for this honour vs. “Symone Pagenoe” (Simon Pagenaud( and Thy Leggy ‘Juan. (Katherine Legge)

As I DON’T know who dropped the ball on this ‘Juan, but really IndyCar? You’re gonna let Sarah Fisher & Joseph Newgarden be punished for your oversights; Hmm? Next thingy you’ll know, SFHR will be denied a top-flight AFX Body-by-Mennen Aerokit, eh?

And that’s before we even get to hear Meesh’s take upon the perceived UNFAIR bias being shown towards the female equation of the sport, I mean first NO ‘LyndieCar and now this? YIKES!



MILLER: Outrage for Sarah

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bahrain Unrest continues Daily...

Perhaps Y’all read Uncle Bernaughty’s latest wrap upon those silly “Kid’s” mucking about the streets in Manama? Oh Bernie, you’re such a Scream... As this just in from Bahrain, where torture & rendition are the current rage in the Gulf Nation Kingdom...

2 Westerners Are Detained as Protests Continue to Roil Bahrain


As really F1? You’re still gonna race in Bahrain this April? Hmm? Perhaps Y’all will wish to read The Mole’s latest intelligence report for a more pragmatic look upon the Geopolitical landscape of Bahrain?

Petrov replaces Trulli at Caterham

Caterham F1 announced last Friday what I’d previously scribbled ‘bout in Father Time; that veteran Italian Grand Prix driver Jarno Trulli has been pushed aside to make way for the upstart ‘Rooskie Formula 1 piloto Vitaly Petrov, who’ll make his Caterham debut at this week’s Barcelona winter test, having already had a seat fitting for the CT01.

Also, apparently of note comes the ‘lil trinket that Mike Gascoyne has been appointed Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Caterham Group, which opens the door for Mark Smith to assume this role for the Formula One operation, and perhaps, a glimpse into Gascoyne’s future role with the company? As I thought I’d read that Gascoyne would retire there...

NO word on whether or not thee Scrumptious ‘Juan will attempt following ‘Rubino and possibly Adrian “Bubbly” Sutil Across-the-Pond?

Knaus caught Cheating - again; Stewart ‘Smokes ‘em; now all we need is a DannaCar update, right?

So I could only chuckle to myself over the announcement of Chad Knaus and Jimmie “Vanilla” Johnson being caught CHEATING for this year’s upcoming DayToner 500, when Tech Inspectors discovered that the No. 48’s C-post pillars didn’t quite conform to current COT regulations, having sent the offending sheet metal back to its R&D labs in Charlotte for further examination while letting the Hendrick team repair their chassis prior to this weekend’s upcoming Daytona.

Meanwhile apparently Tony “Smoke” Stewart decided racin’ really is rubbin’ when he decided to give Kurt “GFYS!” Busch a ‘LUV-tap and sent the elder Busch’s No. 51 spinning into the wall and causing a six-car pile-up during practice; with both Busch’s, i.e.; Kurt & Kyle, both Penske’s of Brad Keselowski and A.J. Allmendinger and Jeff “PrettyBoy” Gordon along with Stewart being involved, with Gordon’s car the only ‘Juan not incurring major damage, as the others will most likely be forced into backup’s for the Bud Shootout...

Now all we need is for an update on Queen DannaCar, as I’ve read that Princess Perma-pout cannot even find solitude in the bathroom, as some frenzied onlooker stalked her into the ladies room and patiently waited for her Highness to extricate herself from the commode before garnering her John Hancock...

And has anyone seen Mikey “Aw Shucks” Waltrip? As I think we needz Somme ‘Juan to hawk us some Ageless Male Sugar-pills, right? Oh Never Mind!

Monday, February 20, 2012

INDYCAR: Why does SFHR still NOT have an Engine?

DAMN YOU ‘DAWG!

As ‘Juan ‘O my countless stories under construction was to scribble my rendition of the Sarah Fisher story. You know the little team that could!

Thus instead of re-hashing what’s already been sniffed out by Pressdog, I’ll just leave you, me & Randy Bernard ponderin’ thee $64k question: Why DOESN”T Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing have a FREAKIN’ Engine signed, sealed ‘N delivered???

I mean really Chevrolet? You’re gonna supply FAST EDDIE but leave Sarah Fisher, arguably the antithesis ‘O red, white ‘N blue; baseball, wieners, IndyCar & Apple pie... With its American driver high ‘N dry on the sidelines... ro-ro, I see that the Mr. CandyMann negativity meter is startin’ to peg in the red here!

No Fenders Skate on thee State of the State of ‘IndyCarz...

So I couldn’t have planned it better if I’d tried, having been on ‘Holiday once again, this time in thee Valley ‘O the Sun, partaking in some R&R with thee FamDAMNil-lee... And hence I magically MISSED this year’s riveting State of the IndyCar Nation speech; HURRAH!

Thus I suppose I shouldn’t say much towards Mr. CandyMann’s feverish pitch he apparently laid on upon ‘Ye Faithful flock ‘O IndyCar devotees... ‘Uze know, those still remaining from the 15-20 MILLION LOST during that ‘lil thingy known as The Split!

Yet there’s ‘Juan thing that’s been sticking in my craw lately, that being Mr. Bernard’s pointed remarks towards us here in bloggerLand, when Randy recently told us to STOP being so NEGATIVE towards IndyCar and the general state of Open Wheel Racing; WTF? As my Pop’s has just reminded me of having a problema towards “Athortive” figures, especially including Bosses; YIKES! And thus Y’all may see my dilemma - especially since I DON’T like somebody telling me what to do; ‘nor how or what to poond aways upons my trusty keyboard for my ‘lil racing ‘BLOB thingy... Can you hear me now Mr. Bernard? As I find this almost as insulting as John Barnes ridiculous taunts towards us 40 ‘Somme-thuns with Cornfuzers, which I prattled on ‘bout in;


Now I have nothing against Mr. CandyMann, especially having lived thru the majority of the Championship Auto Racing Teams era, the IRL, albeit a firm & loyal devotee of CART and then Champ Car, with such dubious leaders as John Frasco, John Caponigro, who were both, removed in 1989. John Capels, William Stokkan - previously Playboy Enterprises head of Marketing & Licensing, followed by Andrew Craig who was also subsequently fired before interim leader “Booby Ruble,” aka Bobby Rahal watched CART ultimately flounder.

Then there were the Four Mouseketeers, nee Kevin “Smiley Face” Kalkoven, Gerald WWHAAAA!” Forsythe, Paul “Goofy” Gentilozzi and Dan Petitt, not to mention proposed CCWS savior Chris Pook, who managed to quickly burn thru Champ Cars $100 million “War Chest!” Whilst on the opposite side of the field we had such luminaries as ‘Ronnie (TG) George, BillyBob Brazenheartz (Brian Barnhart) Terry “Where’s duh Beef?” Angstadt and a host of others...

Thus ‘Juan can see that the Open wheel Racing leadership is littered with YES men who managed to run the sport into the ground and hence create a lasting air of negativity, which I believe is justly deserved and henceforth I’ll not shy away from continuing to throw out my two bits worth upon thee ‘Weave-uh-Sphere, got I-T Mr. Bernard? But I digress...

As I cannot say that I truly found anything massively riveting revealed during this Dog & Pony show, ‘cept Halleluiah! Princess Perma-pout wasn’t in the building for once; Hya! As it seems the biggest controversy’s surrounded the dumping of ‘LyndieCar by NBCSN along with the new & improved
Leader Card Circle
-program handout formulae... Hey Mr. Bernard, where’s my cheque? Hee-hee-hee...

As for Lindy Thackston’s dismissal from Pitlane reporting duties in favour of Townsend Bell, I cannot say too much ‘bout that - as I’m a Townsend Bell fan and unfortunately have always viewed female sideline reporters as well, uhm, you know... token appeasements to male and female TV viewers... Although I do have to agree it seems kinda twisted that the head Peacocks would be so contrite to dismiss a likeable female persona in a totally male dominated domain which could only have helped improved its sagging television ratings whilst new female racing drivers continue invading the Indy Car driver ranks; as I’ll leave it to that fine ‘KuhNaidiun lass Meesh to expound upon this. Although it seems to me that this gender divide won’t truly be broken until a woman ascends to the broadcast booth proper...


As for the new & improved racing Stewards, you haveda wonder if there’s some clause stating that at least one Unser must be present at all times? Although I have absolutely nothing against Johnny Unser’s announcement, as he was overly pleasant towards Mwah when taking the time to give me his John Hancock after the world’s largest autograph session was over last May, also having nabbed The Flying Dutchman’s signature there too; OOPS! Am I name dropping here? And I guess I should have known who Gary Barnard is, since I’ve just learned he was an ex-CART/CCWS Steward; yet I guess he did his job summarily as well as Wally Dallenbach, (Sr.) Tony Cotman and Chris Kneifel - since I don’t recollect Barnard’s name from the past.

Yet all I really wanna know is what’ll happen when the other ‘BB, nee Beaux Barfield tells Arie Luyendyk to instant message ‘Ol ‘SuperTex to inform him Mike Conway’s being penalized; Hmm? What does Yuhs think Barfield will do if A.J. attempts another punch-up with Luyendyk, eh?

As for the potential Standing Starts, all I can say is - been there, done that! As once again whilst IndyCar continues shirking the Pacific Northwest, having once again given Portland’s past traditional Father’s Day weekend date to Milwaukee, its kinda funny to think I witnessed the first ever IndyCar standing start five years ago at Portland International Raceway’s Champ Car event with the Panoz DP-01...


Thus, I’m really NOT sure what if any? Overly important news came out of Randy Bernard’s speech, as I won’t be suitably impressed with the Indy Car Series until it returns to Portland, has REAL multiple chassis suppliers, i.e.; Eagle, Lola, Penske, Reynard and Swift propelled by a quartet of engine manufacturers racing on a balanced schedule of Ovals, Permanent Road Courses and Temporary Street Circuits with truly the best International drivers competing, which sounds like a past racing series; Oh Never Mind!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Swedish Speed Merchants (Con’t)

“Stevie Johnson,” aka Stefan Johansson
Continuing on with my past hunt for Swedish Open Wheel Racing standouts, I came up with a total of nine characters fitting this description, as we definitely “Brack” into the characters in this final portion of Icelandic ‘lore...

(5) Tommy “Slim” Borgudd
Series: F1
Teams: ATS; Tyrrell
Years: 1981-82
Wins: 0

Karl Edward Tommy Borgudd, better known as “Slim,” made his name originally as a Jazz/Rock Drummer - reputedly playing for the Bands Made in Sweden & Solar Plexus before garnering Fortune ‘N Fame as a Session Drummer for the ‘Mega Pop rock group ABBA...

Yet Borgudd also began dabbling in motor racing in the early 1960’s behind the wheel of a Lotus Formula ford before moving onto Swedish Touring Cars between 1972-75 - whilst claiming the Scandinavian Formula Ford series title in 1973. Slim than set about moving up the ladder and ultimately won the 1979 Swedish F3 Championship for his own concern behind the wheel of a Ralt-Toyota.

Unable to land a ride in F2 the following season, Borgudd made his Formula 1 debut for the Minnowesqe ATS F1 Team at the 1981 San Marino Grand Prix - having affixed ABBA logos to his chassis flanks in hopes of luring other sponsorships, albeit ABBA didn’t contribute any financial backing to the Percussionist turned Grand Prix racer...

Slim ultimately made ten Formula one race starts with his high point coming with a sixth-place finish at the 1981 British Grand Prix for ATS, where multiple drivers dropped out due to a plethora of mechanical maladies.

For the 1982 season “Uncle Chopper” (Ken Tyrrell) hired the ‘Swede as Eddie “The Great” Cheever’s replacement; upon Slim reputedly having “shined On;” Err shone up an Italian driver by the name of Michele Alboreto the year prior during qualifying, now his teammate at Tyrrell. Yet Borgudd didn’t exactly set the F1 world alight and was impolitely jettisoned from Ken’s team after that year’s USGP WEST race at Long Beach, the third of the season, as Slim’s money had run out! Subsequently being replaced by a British ‘Chap named Brian Henton...

Afterwards, Borgudd made a career out of Tin tops, most notably in Trucks, where he won three Championships, along with Saloon racing in the British and Swedish Touring Car Championships,  also participating in a “one-off” at the ’87 24 Heurs du Mans before ultimately retiring from Professional Motorsports in the mid-1990’s.

Having settled down in Coventry, ironically Messer Borgudd just celebrated his 65th birthday this past November 25th - now joining full Senior Citizenry status - while there’s NO word on whether or not he broke out the Drum kit and played “Will you still Need Me; Will you still Feed Me, when I’m 64?” Hoohah!

(6) Kenny Brack
Series: Indy Racing League; CART; IndyCar.
Teams: Galles Racing; A.J. Foyt Enterprises; Team Rahal; Target Chip Ganassi Racing; Rahal Letterman Racing.
Years: 1997-2003, 2005
Wins: 10

The ‘Brackster will always hold a special place in my memory banks – for two main reasons; as first he’s the only Big Name Indy Racing League driver I can think of who made the reverse switch, from the IRL to CART, when everyone else was going the opposite direction, albeit it may have not been his wisest career move?

Secondly, with my lucky choice of Kenny to my Chump Carz Fantasy Racing league, I ended up losing the title by a very scant 4-points in the final race at Fontana, as my success as runner-up was based largely upon Brack’s fantastic sophomore season (2001) for Team Owner   Bobby Rahal in that sharp lookin’ yellow & white Shell IndyCar...

But don’t forget that Kenny actually began his ‘Big Carz baptism under fire as a rookie for the faltering Galles Racing team in 1997 before moving onwards & upwards to A.J. Foyt’s team the following season - where he promptly won the Indy Racing League title.

Brack followed this up the next year by winning the B-I-G show, a.k.a. the Indy 500 - ‘Ol SuperTex’s (AJ Foyt) last time in Victory lane at the Speedway, albeit as a Team Owner in ’99. (As I seriously doubt that Foyt will ever win again at Indianapolis...)

And then Kenny made the most unusual move to CART the following season; Hmm? Perhaps he was getting’ fed-up with having to eat Chicken Fried steak, which is some of AJ’s favourite grub - Yuhs Hear? Hya!

Brack’s debut Championship Auto Racing Teams season driving for Meesh’s favourite Booby Ray-X; Err Bobby Rahal, saw the likeable ‘Swede paired with “MAD MAX” Papis.

In his sophomore season with Team Rahal, Brack had a breakout season by winning four races and finishing runner-up to eventual Champion Gil De Feran; taking his second consecutive Drivers crown for The Captain, nee Roger Penske. Kenny then moved onto TCGR and thee ‘Cheepster, a.k.a. Chip Ganassi; who’s got a very high level of expectation regarding his racing drivers... And hence, as apparently ‘Cheep didn’t think Brack was cutting the mustard, the ‘Swede’s CART career ultimately floundered, albeit winning the season finale for Ganassi in Mexico City before parting ways...

For ’03, Kenny returned to his old haunt, although now being known as Rahal Letterman Racing and residing in the rival IRL, where Bobby amongst other CART owners had defected too - where things didn’t go exactly Swimmingly... As Kenny was injured in a ‘Mega fence climbing accident at Texas World Speedway which recorded the highest ever G-Forces since the IRL began recording these. Spiking at a MASSIVE 214 G’s!!! As it would take Kenny 18-months to recover from his multiple injuries, with Brack’s RLR-seat being taken over by Buddy “HotRod” Rice, who’d go onto win the 2004 Indy 500.

Yet in another twist ‘O fate, or synchronicity; it would be none other then Brack who’d substitute for the defending Indy 500 winner the following May, as ironically Rice suffered major back injuries at you guessed IT! Texas World Speedway... Therefore it was a Cinderella story in the making when Kenny claimed that year’s fastest qualifying speed with a 4-lap average of 227.598mph. With Kenny’s run beating the Pole position speed set by TK “Follow-your-Schnoz” Kanaan’s 4-lap average of 227.566mph for the ’05 Indy 500, having qualified after Pole Day.

Yet it wasn’t to be thee ‘Brackster’s year - as the affable ‘Swede would retire from mechanical woes on Lap-92; and then retire from Open Wheel Racing. As his rookie female teammate named Danica Patrick stole ALL of that year’s Headlines, while Oh Yeah; somebody named Dan Wheldon actually WON the race!

Yet Kenny was lured out of retirement four year’s later to compete in Rally-X Games where he’d win a Gold medal and subsequently has dabbled in other Rally’s and Vintage Racing, including having co-driven a narly 427 Cobra recently at Goodwood with “Mr. LeMans,” aka Tom Kristensen...  

(7) Stefan Johansson
Series: F1 (CART & Sports Cars)
Teams: Shadow; Spirit; Toleman; Tyrrell; Ferrari; McLaren; Ligier; Onyx; AGS; Footwork.
Years: 1980, 1983-91
Wins: 0

Poor Stefan will forever be known to me as “Stevie Johnson,” courtesy of Randall – The Moniker King, who came up with this clever adaptation of the ‘Swede’s name during ‘Juan of  our yearly treks to Portland International Raceway.

Yet it’s kinda funny how I seemed to know just ‘Kibbles ‘N Bitz; Err bits & pieces of ‘SJ’s career, albeit having learned he’d filled in for some Hot-schue named Ayrton at Toleman, when the Brazilian was “Sat-down” for one race for breaking his contract to jump to Team Lotus - before Toleman ran into contractual dispute over its tyre supply in ‘85, leaving the Swede High ‘N Dry.

Stefan then substituted at Tyrrell for Stefan Bellof who’d fallen out of favour with “Uncle Chopper” (Ken Tyrrell) for the season opener at Brazil - before replacing Rene Arnoux at la Scuderia when the Frenchman was sacked by Scuderia Ferrari prior to the Portugal Grand Prix.

After two frustrating seasons of driving for il Commendatore, nee Enzo Ferrari - Johansson moved onto McLaren to partner “The Professor,” aka Alain Prost for 1987 where I first noticed Stefan’s name, although Stefan simply was Prost’s ‘Wingman keeping the seat warm for Senna...

And as I’ve previously mentioned, I first really took notice of Stevie-J’ aboard one of my favourites from the 1989 Iceberg GP at Phoenix, a very neatly penned Alan Jenkins chassis, the Onyx ORE 1-Ford/Cosworth DFR V-8... Yet I must admit I lost track of Stevie when he departed Onyx and didn’t take notice again ‘til his resurgence Across-thee-Pond in CART driving for Tony Bettenhausen’s Penske “B-Team” squad, i.e.; AMAX sponsored Penske/Chevrolet  racecars, in which Johansson won Rookie Of the Year (R.O.Y.) honours in ’92. As the Swede won his first CART Pole-position appropriately at Portland the following year, before eventually leaving CART after the 1996 season...

Yet Stevie-J’ did go onto a successful Sports Car career, winning le 24 Heurs du Mans in ’97 with ex-Ferrari teammate Michele Alboreto and “Mr. LeMans,” aka Tom Kristensen aboard the TWR “Open-top” Joest-Porsche, along with having won the 12-hours of Sebring earlier that year aboard a Ferrari 333SP.

Stefan has also previously ventured into Open Wheel Team Ownership roles twice, with a successful Indy Lights team, with somebody named Scott Dixon driving for him. Plus a one year Champ Car squad with Jimmy Vasser and rookie Ryan Hunter-Reay who took an opportunistic win for Stevie’s American Spirit Team Johansson at Surfers Paradise in the wet.

And I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Johansson at the 2011 Indy 500 World’s largest autograph session, whilst when not busy signing his John Hancock for admirers, manages IndyCar driver Scott Dixon along with designing his boutique watches.

As I’m certain he’s not too bummed over ‘Quick Nick (Heidfeld) breaking his record for F1 podiums without a victory, which was previously eleven before the German recorded his twelfth last year before being dumped by Lotus-Renault XP ‘Calladrocious...

(8) Bjorn Wirdheim
Series: F1, (Friday/Third Driver) Champ Car & Japanese Super GT
Teams: Jaguar & HVM Racing
Years: 2004-2005
Wins: 0

Bjorn began by racing Go-karts for five years, culminating with his winning of the Southern Sweden Championship at the age of 15. He then transitioned to single seaters, moving into the Formula Ford 1600 Junior series in ’96 – before winning the Championship in ’97 with a ‘Mega 17-victories...

For the 1998-99 seasons, Bjorn contested the Formula Palmer/Audi series before moving onto German Formula 3. Then in 2002 he switched once again, this time into International Formula 3000, the predecessor to today’s GP2 series. In his rookie campaign, he finished fourth overall + Rookie of the year with Arden International. The following year he was so dominating enroute to the Championship – that he broke Justin Wilson’s record points tally while becoming the series only ‘Swede to win the title, before signing as Jaguar Racing  F1’s third (Friday) driver, when the team was still owned by Ford.

For 2005 Wirdheim joined Keith Wiggin’s struggling HVM Racing Minnowesqe Champ Car Team and slogged his way thru 11-races before deciding to part company. Next he switched to Japan’s formula Nippon for 2-years and has most recently been competing in the Super GT series for Toyota...

And before Y’all say where’s No. 9, Number Nine, Number Nein? As in MEx who I first became aware of in 2009; I’ve left the promising ‘Swede out as I’ve chronicled his pursuits in another riveting tale depicting my Young Guns of 2009 selections; YIKES! Which I’ll spin off into another riveting story on a further day...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ode to DannaCar...

Toe to toe
Dancing very slow
Barely breathing
Almost comatose…
(pressdog!)

Wall to wall
People hypnotized
And they're stepping lightly
Hanging on her every move each night in Rapture

Back to back
Sacrailiac
Spineless movement
And a wild attack

Face to face
Sadly solitude
And it's finger popping
Twenty-four hour shopping
InDannaCar Land!

Flavour Flav HMS Monogram told me everybody's high
DJ's spinning' are saving' my mind
Flash is Fast, Flash is cool
Jacke Vanilla sez fast, Flashe' no do

And you try to stop
((Watching’ MAC Montoya, Sam Hornish & ALL those Open Wheel DEFECTORS!)
SURE SHIT!
Just go out to the parking lot
Get in your car and you drive real far
Away from the track!

After you drive all night, you see a bright flashing light
And it comes right down and lands on the ground
And out pops a Girl in a shiny sequin bathing suit from RASSCAR!

And you try to run but She's got a gun
And She shoots you dead and “She eats your head
And then you're in the Girl from RASSCAR!

You go out at night, eatin' Racecars
 You eat Marches, Reynard’s, Swift’s and Panoz’s too…
And you don't stop, you keep on eatin' Single Seaters
Then, when there's no more Racecars left
You go out at night and eat up Open Wheel Racing series instead
Like Champ Car and the IRL
While ‘Ol timers desperately cling to fantasies of a renaissance…

Face to face, dance cheek to cheek
One to one, man to man
Dance toe to toe
Don't move to slow, 'cause the Girl from RASSCAR is cutting thru
(Excuse me HULIO!)

But Mrs. Hospenthal is through with the competition
‘cause She's been eatin' a ton ‘O snicker bars
Yeah, wall to wall, door to door, hall to hall
She's gonna eat 'em all
Rapture…

Be pure
Take a tour; through the sewer
Don't strain your brain
Just check out that Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue instead!
And then say it real fast
Boog-itee- Boog-itee- Boog-itee!
Paint a train, cause you’ll be singing' in the rain
If dare ain’t some ‘Tin Tops on real soon
I say stop throwin those mountain dew cans at Pretty Boy Floyd
Junior Nation!
Just be good ‘ol boyzs and cheer for ‘dannaCar instead!

Well now you see what you want to be
Just like Mike, who’s trying to pump up ‘Dem Spin-Car ratings on TV
'Cause the Girl from RASSCAR won't eat Candy bars when She’s PEAK-ing
In the bright lights…

As now She's gone back up to MARS Where She won't have a hassle with the human race ‘cause now its ‘DannaLand!

And you hip-hop, and you don't stop
Just blast off, sure shot
'Cause the Girl from RASSCAR stopped eatin' Racecars
And now She only devours IndyCar
get up; ‘Cause She’s gone HOLLYWOOD!
(Original lyrics: Blondie; Rapture)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Balderdash?

So, if the Weathermen were correct... Cymbal crash please! As what’s that saying ‘bout the Weather-people being correct 50% of the time, eh? Thus, on Wednesday, there were early predictions of rain turning to SNOW forecasted for Sunday, which then was pushed forward to Saturday afternoon instead - when those upstart San Francisco 49ers were en route to defeating the Nawlin’s Saints Pre-Souper Dooper bowl XL VI...

Which if Y’all aren’t familiar with, when it snows in Seattle, we become not only Sleepless; BUTT! Totally unable to drive in the white stuff, i.e.; SNOW; as our city comes to a virtual standstill; CRIKEYS! As after all, how can you expect Ye Mayor “McSchwinn” to ride his bicycle in the snow, right?

And although the buses are theoretically safer due to their metal canopies; they certainly DON’T slide nearly as well as sleds or toboggans! As I inadvertently titled my riveting weather story Snow-Muh-Getton; Hya!

Thus, what better way for me to craftily weave my long neglected Swedish Speed Merchants stories into my ‘lil “BLOB” thingy - according to the great ‘Aunty Harriet, eh?

Since while being “Snowed IN” for ‘Juan-week, I flashed back to my most amusing adventure of going to Sweden for the very first time, when some ‘lil Volcano activity made life exhilarating for thousands of Air travelers! And since it was even cold when I went there in May, therefore this just re-enforced my typical thoughts towards Sweden; as in gobs ‘O white stuff, i.e.; snow, snow and more snow: Ya Sure Yuh Betcha!

Not to mention “Proper” World Rally Cars pinballin’ therez ways off of endless Snow banks while induced in ‘Mega four wheel drifts... Of which I’ll be most interested to read about how Nasser Al-Attiyah does this weekend in the Swedish Rally, his debutant WRC outing - which seems pretty amusing since I DON’T think they ever get SNOW in Qatar, eh?

So there’s the set-up; Err wind-up and here’s duh pitch... Or is that Snowball, eh? As let it SNOW in Sweden - but NOT in Seattle; Hya! As I’d better go play in the snow before it melts; since Seattle just recorded its WARMEST day of the year with an unseasonably balmy 58deg-f on Feb 4th; Oh-Oh, I’M MELTING...

NOTE
This riveting story about Seattle’s Snow Blindness was obviously scribbled before your humble No Fenders scribe read about the sub ZERO Arctic weather currently causing havoc, death & mayhem in Russia and Europe...

Swedish Speed Merchants

Gunnar Nilsson
Y’all know my most overused vernacular, not to be Cornfuzed with “Veniculi,” Err Italian People mover – Hya! But it’s hard to believe that almost two-year’s has slipped by since I passed over that pesky Eyjafjallaj√∂kull volcano en route to Vaxjo, Sweden – home of not one, but two ex-Gran Primo Piloto’s - as another story has finally escaped the irresistible gravitational pull of the NoFenderz Wormhole Vortex...

Thus here’s the “second-two-last” story I haven’t finished yet from that wonderful Swedish outing with my ‘Mega Tourista’s Tanja & Alvin; as little did I know I’d be going to the Hometown of two of Sweden’s Formula 1 drivers: “Stevie Johnson,” aka Stefan Johansson and Bjorn Karl Michael Wirdheim; both from Vaxjo. As I’d previously witnessed Stevie in action first at the USGP at Phoenix when he drove the beautiful Onyx F1 car... Then I later saw Johansson and “Wardhamm” plus “the Brackster” (Kenny Brack) all at Portland Int’l Raceway prior to my first visit to Sweden...


Which naturally made me ‘wunder just how many ‘Swede’s have been Formula 1 and/or CART or Champ Car drivers? To which I unearthed the following Intel which I’ve tried scribblin’ chronologically...

(9) ‘Swede Drivers:
Anderson, Conny; Borgudd , Tommy “Slim;” Brack, Kenny; Eriksson, Marcus; Johansson, Stefan; Nilsson, Gunnar; Peterson, Ronnie; Wirdheim, Bjorn; Wisell, Reine.

(1) Ronnie Peterson
Series: F1
Teams: March; Tyrrell; Lotus.
Years: 1970-78
Wins: 10

Ronnie began his ascent to the Pinnacle of Motorsport (Formula One) the traditional way, winning several Go-karting titles before graduating to single seater racing, where he won the 1969 European Formula 3 title – prior to joining the March (Factory) “Works” Team alongside a rebellious Austrian known as “The Rat.” (Niki Lauda)

After his 3-year contract was up, Peterson switched to Lotus for the first of his two stints with Colin Chapman, winning seven times alongside main teammate Jacky Ickx; plus Jim Crawford, John Watson and Brian Henton. He then returned to March for one further season in ’76 before moving onto partner Monsieur “De-Pie-eh” (Patrick Depailler) in those revolutionary Tyrrell P34 Six-wheeler’s. (In the far better paint scheme of First National...)

Then in ’78, Ronnie returned to Lotus as it’s number two driver behind Mario Andretti, as the ‘Swede won his final two race victories before perishing from accident at Monza, Italy the same day that Andretti became World Champion...

(2) Reine Wisell
Series: F1
Teams: Lotus; BRM; March.
Years: 1970-74
Wins: 0

There seems to be little offered ‘bout “Rennie,” (Reine) other then perhaps he was simply a victim of timing... As he was trying to carve out a Formula 1 career at the same time as Peterson – not to mention being overshadowed by Lotus teammate “EMMO,” (Emerson Fittipaldi) as for example; upon scoring his lone podium finish, a fine third place on his maiden Grand Prix outing at Watkins Glen, instead the media focused upon Emerson scoring his first victory. Wisell made his 22nd and final “Official” Formula 1 start in his Home race, the 1974 Swedish GP...

(3) Conny Anderson
Series: F1
Teams: Surtees; BRM.
Years: 1976-77
Wins: 0

Very little information upon this ‘Swede – albeit he was a Motorcross rider before toiling in Formula 3 for nearly a Decade; then with backing from Rotel, he ran a pair of Privateer March’s in the European F3 Championship beginning in 1975 – when he won the Monaco event, yet was stripped of victory for jumping the start and being given a time penalty of 1-minute. Yet he still finished fourth and then won at Anderstorp before losing the title to ‘Aussie Larry Perkins.

Then in ’76, Conny won a total of four European F3 races: Nurburgring, AVUS, Croix-en-Ternois and Knutstorp, but once again lost the title, this time to a rising Italian named Ricardo Patrese.

Anderson made his Formula One debut at the Dutch Grand Prix for the Surtees Team, before finally fading from the racing landscape after he failed to qualify for the ’77 French GP...

(4) Gunnar Nilsson
Series: F1
Teams: Lotus
Years: 1976-77
Wins: 1

It seems to me that Gunnar’s career is  overshadowed by nemesis Ronnie Peterson, who effectively “stole” Nilsson’s seat at the rapidly improving Lotus concern. Gunnar did win the 1975 British Formula 3 Championship

And was Mario Andretti’s teammate at Lotus, winning once in the wet at Zolder, site of the Belgian Grand Prix – passing Niki Lauda’s Brabham for the victory. Having signed to race for Arrows in ’78; sadly, Gunnar was never healthy enough to race for this new Start-up team, and ultimately died from testicular cancer at the age of 29...