Friday, May 3, 2013

The Tomaso Files: Spinin’ Wheelz, 4-lefts really Does Make a Circle!

Like classic Rockers Chicago once loosely crooned: Where in thee HE-LL does A-L-L of the FREAKIN’ Time go? As I was bumping my way down the street Juan Day a man said watch where thee F%%K you’re going O-L-D man; CRAP! What ares Yuhs, blind? Oh Never Mind!

As another year has gone by - yet I still feel the same about Boycotting the Bahrain Grand Prix, which if Y’all are still reading this ‘lil ‘BLOB thingy you’re painfully aware of, eh? As it was one year ago that I spent the weekend in the Valley of the Sun, a fairly hot sun it was indeed... Keeping pace with Australia’s mercurially H-O-T weather this year; as it was 103-degrees that weekend whilst in Arizona; as I was on a mission, ‘Whale Yuhs all know, a mission from - Thanxs Dan Ackroyd, but there weren’t NO Lincolns to go for a weekend cruise in, although Blogmeister Miguel pointed out some “Cool Cat” cruisin’ in AZ with the top down upon his rosso Ferrari F430/458 Italia Spyder on our way home from the airport - with the mercury registering a balmy 97deg-f outside; SHEISA!

’Wurld Famous No Fenders scribe Tomaso clamberin’ thru the window of a Richard Petty Driving Experience 2X Seater at Phoenix International Raceway - April, 2012. (ADP)
Nope, instead I was off to Phoenix to ride aboard my second 2X Seater mobile, albeit this time being in the more cumbersome confines of a ‘Roundy Round Stock Car Bomber; YIKES! As I can still recall smackin’ thee HELL outta my elbow ‘N skinning I-T thru the cheesy drivers suit when trying to climb  into the car’s side window, Y’all know they DON’T have NO ‘Doorz a la that Dukes ‘Oh Hazzards mobile Yeehaw!

That’s right, your humble No Fenders scribe - who was BOYCOTTING the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix was instead basking in the HEAT of AZ; BUTT! It’s a DRY heat, and so’s your oven; Hooah!

Thus taking a ride around Phoenix Int’l Raceway in one of the multiple Richard Petty Driving Experience’s 2X Seaters... To which A-L-L I can say is it was way too SHORT! A la Indianapolis and the Synden Racing 2X Seater ride I took a lifetime ago which Y’all can read ‘bout in;

As its funny to think that the insanely OVERPRICED $50 in-car video which is uploaded to a memory stick has been languishing inside a desk drawer for all of that time, albeit I was told when Artiste Dave & Blogmeister Miguel viewed I-t along with others that my goofy ARSE ear-to-ear smile rapidly diminishes a la the car’s tachometer needle in corresponding fashion as the car slows down upon lap three...

Of course Indiana Bureau Chief Daniel Baines Cooper gave me absolute grief for not asking the following questions: Who was your driver and what type of car were you riding in? To which I did neither other than I think my chauffer’s name was Art? As the funniest part of the whole experience was me trying to shake his hand when he asked me if I was ready? Uh, gee Art I’m BLIND! As I have N-O idea how long he’d been holding his hand out until a glimmer of ‘Somme-thun flashed in my peripheral vision, as I think he also bumped my chest; like get with the program Dude!

One of the countless Richard Petty two seater Stock Car ‘Bombers at speed on the Phoenix Oval. (ADP)
And the only few things I remember about that  fun ride was the acceleration was unbelievable, as Art spun the tyres in a rubber shreddin’ peelout in first gear, as the torque was unbelievable! As I still don’t know if this was a leftover Busch Tintop or warmed over Sprint Cup car, pre  COT Gen-5 variety? But I do know they had a Jimmy Johnson lookalike No. 48 on hand; URGH! (Uh Gee Wally, guess which car your humble No Fenders scribe ride-along was in - ro Ro, NOT the Vanilla car... Oh ‘Whale, at least it weren’t Pretty Boy Floyd’s Dupont chassis...)

My ride came about courtesy of a very kOOL customer of Artiste Dave’s (the No Fenders KICK ARSE logo creator) who he’d mentioned the Award Winning No Fenders blog too - who gave him a free 3-lap ride-along gift card that was good for any Richard Petty Driving Experience, of which my home state’s participating track, the Monroe Speedway’s ride was 5-laps due to its insignificant 5/8th mile length... But I wanted to go FAST! As I feel the Need for Speed! And on at least a minimum 1.0-mile circle track - not even having contemplated the historical Open Wheel Racing significance of Phoenix, which just sprang to mind whilst scribblin’ this...

Nope, Phoenix International Raceway holds a few sentimental aspects to I-T; first being my debutant IndyCar Oval track, although it was a CART race in ’94 instead, back when the Ford owned Cosworth engine manufacturer was producing their wicked ‘lil 2.65-liter V-8 BAD ARSE XB turbo lump.

And secondly, as I mentioned to the super nice man who took great care of me getting into/out of said Stock Car Bomber - I hadn’t been there in 14-years when I took my first ride-along in a Bob Bondurant Driving Experience Ford Taurus SHO Pace car with driving coach and professional racer Tim Moser whilst Blogmeister Miguel was busy behind the wheel of one of the driving school’s Formula Ford single seaters; Aye Karumba! As he was participating in a single day driving class event ‘Wayback when ‘Ol ‘Bondo was still a died-in-the wool FoMoCo (Ford) devotee as he’s since slipped over to the Dark Side and runs ‘Chebbies now; but I digress...

As I mentioned before, the torque of said stock car was impressive while I enjoyed the miniscule G-Forces produced by the tracks modulated banking, better known in ‘Roundy-round parlance as Variable banking. As I said miniscule, which they weren’t actually but felt that way to Mwah in comparison to the IndyCar thrill ride around Indianapolis at a ‘buck sixty-five plus!

 While obviously we hit the track’s corners super fast as Art simply sounded like he was just lifting off the LOUD pedal into the corners before accelerating briefly once again on the already disappearing straightaway, the ride was over in the blink of an eye as we began slowing down to re-enter pit lane and obviously I didn’t wanna get out!

Fast forward another year and without consciously planning I-T, I managed to arrange ‘Somme-thun besides sitting ‘N staring at le Telescreen on the corresponding offending Bahrain GP weekend, as mentioned before, this time I was off to see an unheard of singer named Lila Downs at Meany Hall, who’s acoustics are fabulous!

Lila is a fantastic Mexican singer who’s got the most unique and impressive voice, not to mention amazing tonal range, as I felt like I knew her simply through her melodic voice, as her soul simply overwhelms you - with Lila going from husky Baritone, dare I say I-T? Manly voice to an unexpected Opera Soprano voice who’s unbelievably high staccato pitch instantly reminded Mwah of those ‘Ol is I-T live or Memorex speaker commercials that shatter a wine glass!

And it was amazing how much of the audience hooted, hollered, wolf whistled and clapped loudly along with each ‘N every song, while her seven piece backup band was el Supremo too! Consisting of an Electric and Acoustic guitar, Bass, Drums, Trombone, Sax and two Accordions who even played an excellante rendition of dueling Accordions during one song...

And we were left scratching our heads over why it’d taken Lila so long to come to the Pacific Northwest, since during the pre-lecture we were told her first time in Seattle had just been last year, which is odd since her sisters live here and were in our audience.

As I confessed on the way home that I’d found myself momentarily thinking of thee original ‘YO ADRIAN! As in Mexico’s Adrian Fernandez briefly during the concert - to which Mary Ellen said why him; what about Michele Jourdain, Jr. To which I added yeah, along with David Martinez and the oft overlooked Mario ‘BOOM BOOM Dominguez... Yet I was just thinking of how cool Fernandez had been to Mwah last year at Indy - as Lila’s exuberance made me think of Adrian’s panache towards Mwah at Mother Speedway, as I find it funny I was thinking Indy Cars over F1 in regards to Viva la Mexico.

’Auntie Harriet surrounded by the cars of her youth at the LeMay America’s Car museum in Tacoma, WA Feb, 2013. (D2P)
Having spent the weekend at the esteemed ‘Auntie Harriet’s and with the unexpected warmth of sunshine and spring having finally truly sprung, I decided to postpone my Tres Bussotos trip el Norte a further day to enjoy visiting a park I’d never heard of before in Tacoma named Wright Park and take in the tranquility of sunshine, chirping birds, laughing playing children and an amazing array of flora ‘N fawna. As Mary Ellen & I were completely enthralled by the oh so succulent scent of the park’s lone Daphne bush; CRIKEYS MATES! I think he’s gone off the deep end, I mean isn’t this supposed to be a racing blog; Huh?

And there was also an amazingly wide ‘N stout  Sequoya tree on hand which Mary Ellen had me walk around in order to fully take in its monstrous dimensions - as I had to keep stepping back to keep from tripping over its ‘Gynormous roots!

There was also a Cannon in the park that Harriet spotted from afar as I pushed her drunkenly in her wheelchair as I was told if I felt grass then I’d veered off the gravel path...

As upon returning home Tuesday afternoon I made the Cardinal Sin of listening to my telephone messages to which a nameless caller said in a sad Japanese accent Bonsai! This is taku-san and I just won the Long Beach Grand Prix; SHEISA! If only I’d been able to fit a cannon ball into that 1783-ish cannon from a long ago Spanish Galleon - I’d have fired I-T broadside at the caller who’d given the races winner away - walk thee plank Ye Matey; Hya! (As it’s actually from the Spanish-American War having been captured in Havana, Cuba...)

Thus I sat down and watched 4.5-hours of Memorex, starting with the Long Beach Fast six qualifying show and then the race itself, which just didn’t have any excitement to I-T for Mwah since I already knew the outcome, albeit I was impressed with Justin ‘B-I-G UNIT Wilson’s masterful carving thru the field to wind-up upon the podium’s final step, as the only thingy better would have been seeing three ex-Formula 1 ‘Boyz on the podium, albeit Graham Rahal did pilot a BMW-Sauber F1 chassis briefly during one CES event in los wages.

And thus, now I’m back at Zed ‘Confuzer once again poundin’ my stubly ‘lil fingers as fast as they’ll type away in order to prepare for my next journey in less than a  month’s time to Mother Speedway as your humble No Fenders scribe goes round ‘N round...

Kudos to ‘Artiste Dave for the Bitchin’ Day out at Phoenix Int’l Raceway + the 2X Seater ride!

Photo Credits
ADP: Artiste Dave Photos; ‘RASSCAR Pics
D2P: “the Doctor” Pictures; LeMay museum