Monday, October 14, 2013

INDYCAR: Houston Hi-jinx

Otay, so I originally intended to post this a week ago but somebody named Dario decided to do a barrel roll in "H-Town" as Leigh Diffey took to calling it over the double header weekend...

Race 1
Saturday, October 5th
And I'd  really, really wanted to use Dumb 'N Dumber in my title, which isn't in regards to the actual on-track racing itself, well most of I-T; BUTT! As typical, IndyCar seemingly is shooting itself in the foot with A-L-L of the brilliance going on behind the scenes, I mean WTF? Moving Houston into June when its 94deg-f with 1,000% HUMIDITY in the beginning of October... Brilliant! ABSOLUTELY FUCKING BRILLIANT! I mean, let's kill off another race, shall we? And let's move Fontana to a HOTTER time of the year too while we're at it...

And then there's the STUPIDNESS of trying to build a street course in a scant 4-days time after hosting an NFL game the weekend prior to racing around a parking lot which led to the unforeseen cancellation of Friday Fast-Six qualifying 'cause there was a really B-I-G BUMP in the way of one of the corners that required 12-hours of grinding... Which put Saturday morning's schedule into shambles; Yee Haw! Let's go racing shall we? Just make sure to stay hard right at that one corner Fellers,' GidddieUp!

Holy Humidifiers Batman!  As let's try a standing start, shall we? As Open Wheel Curmudgeon 'R's (Robin Miller) word's about how standing starts lead to far less carnage then a regular Double-wide start seemed ironic - since the first starting lights seemed overly longish with Charlie Kimball being unable to disengage his clutch leading to an abortive start. Round 'em up boyz, let's try I-T again.

ROLLIN' ROLLIN' ROLLIN' - let's get 'Dem IndyCarz a-rollin,' Y'all hear? As thee Mayor 'O Hinchtown (James Hinchcliffe) stalled his No. 27 while apparently "FAST EDDIE" (Ed Carpenter) isn't a fan 'O Pink as he rammed Hinchcliffe straight up the 'Keister; Aye Karumba! With Tristan 'Turbo Vautier smacking the wall whilst taking evasive action... Oh Brother! Here we go, another FREAKIN' Street Race...

As Hinchcliffe was priceless while evading "Snidely Whiplash's" (Marty Snyder) rhetorical questioning... By saying he needed to PEE! When Snidely said he couldn't keep up with him... As Marty's really starting to agitate me with his insensitive Pitlane interviewing technique.

Whilst I cannot recall everything that happened, albeit I worried  a little bit of this event becoming somewhat Silversone-ish tyre wise with two cars mysteriously cutting tyres, most notably Justin 'B-I-G UNIT Wilson, who managed to evade disaster by calling his deflating tyre correctly and being able to duck into the pits before extreme shreddage occurred!

Meanwhile up front arch nemesis's 'DJ WillyP (Will Power) and Scotty thee "Iceman" Dixon were pulling away from the field running one-two, as Dixon was apparently just chillin' behind Power, waiting to strike shortly.

And all I know next is that I erupted in jubilation - possibly even waking thy neighbors up with my joyous Hooting 'N Hollering over 'HULIO's sudden mechanical maladies, as the points leader transmission needed servicing, requiring a gear stack (cluster) replacement which the  team did with zeal, taking only 8-9mins, which dropped Castroneves nine laps, or was it seven? AnyHoo, a long ways behind; GOODY!

And then Dixon jumped Power for the lead, as I marveled to myself that the stop was so long that I could clearly read the number 12 on Power's stationary Dallara, as a slight bobble with the jack caused Power's stop to be a miniscule 1.8-seconds slower then Dixon's who swooped by for the lead, which he'd never relinquish.

Meanwhile there was great Dicking about from P3 backwards, as Luca Filippi really shone this race, first out braking "Symone Pagenoe," (Simon Pagenaud) a truly impressive feat - vaulting the Italian rookie into third, who'd run as high as second before one of the races seven cautions ultimately caught him out - after being instructed to do whatever the then leader Will Power did, who stayed out, while Dixon had pitted "Justin-time" prior to the yellow flag, cycling back in third and ultimately leading with Power and Filippi still needing to pit...

and how 'bout "Symona-Symona," (de Silvestro) as the Swiss Missile ran up front all day long, ultimately scoring her series best ever finish in P2, runner-up to Dixon, while Wilson came back from his overly frustrating day with traffic and a flat tyre for an excellante third place finish - while I celebrated in further jubilation as Castroneves ultimately stalled his car after late race dicing with Mike Conway, while the two drivers had needed to take evasive action to avoid the safety truck assisting Oriel "Suitcase" Servia, whose Panther Racing team apparently ran him out of fuel, as you could hear the team instructing him to pit; OOPS!

As the race finished under yellow for points leader Castroneves stricken racecar - ultimately finishing 18th, while Pagenaud who'd suffered all day long on restarts pulled himself back up to fourth while Joseph 'STUD Newgarden who's Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car sported a brilliant paint job that reportedly took 500 man hours to complete came home a fine fifth place to round out our field of 24 entries Top-5, with Filippi recovering for a Top-10 finish in tenth place.

And say Bye-Bye! To Helio's 49-point lead which was whittled down to a scant eight by Dixon's impressive victory with third place contender Pagenaud now only 50-points adrift of Castroneves who leads with 513 prior to race #2 at Houston...

Race 2
Sunday, October 6th
And the hits just kept on pouring, or as Ron white would say, Uh-pourin', as guess what happened next? Yep, after a heat index of 100-degrees the day before I-T RAINED! And it rained & rained, causing qualifying to be cancelled... And then there was the 'lil blunder by Race Control? Or some IndyCar officials who claimed that starting positions would be based upon entrant points after having awarded Scott Dixon Pole, holding a press conference to this effect and even reportedly having gone so far as letting Dixon put the Verizon P1 sticker upon his rear wing before somehow Helio Castroneves ended up on pole, which is quite confusing since his team had been docked 15 entrant points for their car being illegal at Texas, although apparently somebody read the rule book after the fact and there's some proviso for Double Headers being different; Uh, who'd ah thunk I-T? As it was pretty smart of Dixon to dedicate his Saturday victory to Beaux Barfield, eh?

Hmm? As Castron-nervous had doged one bullet named qualifying. And I get I-T, that it's a street race which equals copious amounts 'O yellow, or as 'Ol 'Dippity Dawg DW (Darrel Waltrip) sez; Yeller's breed Yellers - Yuck-yuck-yuck! But really eight FREAKIN' yellow flags; URGH!

And let's NOT even get started on standing starts shall we? As the powers-to-be found Saturday's so fantastic that they thought they'd do it all over again, I mean may be there'd be some more start line carnage? As first Taku' (Takuma Sato) forgot which side he was starting on while Dario Franchitti also encountered problems on the aborted start - before 'Marky-Marc got nabbed for creeping and ultimately given a drive-thru penalty for jumping the start... While perhaps duh 'Peacock-lite's (NBCSN) chronicling of Dario getting his hand smashed in the window during the parade lap when somebody rolled it up on him was an omen of things to come?

But  the fourth standing start of the weekend was actually a good one as 'HULIO actually got off the line ahead of  Dixon who began screaming on his radio OIL, OIL! Coming everywhere from Castroneves leading racecar... As I've read somewheres that Dixon said it appeared to happen immediately after Helio had driven straight over the big bump on the track where everybody else was avoiding it; as Dixon wrenched off a visor tear-off quite early in the race... Before the No. 3 Penske sponsored by Shell that weekend suffered its second straight gearbox malady, as this time 'HULIO ground to a complete halt on-track on lap-11 as the gearbox itself had sheared away from the engine itself - as I burst out into delirious glee over Castroneves bad fortune, since I just don't wanna see him win the championship; not to mention it seems like some sorta divine intervention for the past shenanigans Team Penske's pulled upon Scott Dixon, eh? (Although I'm NOT claiming Dixon's NO Saint...)

Thus Dixon took over the point with lots of great racing going on behind before Will Power passed the Target car for the lead and drove like a scalded cat the rest of the race, taking twelve potential points off of Dixon and trimming his then 38-point lead to 25 by winning plus leading the races most laps.

And Kudos to the Penske Boyz, as its 'Uber impressive that they repaired an entire ARSE-end of a Dallara DW12 during the race in some 36 laps I belief? As I guess it's a good thing that those Kardashian haunches are so wide, eh? Hya!

And it was nice to see thee Mayor 'O Hinchtown rebound in the Pink-mobile with a third place finish, while Justin 'B-I-G UNIT Wilson and le 'Hamburgular, nee Sebastain Bourdais  rounded out the top-5, with Wilson vaulting into fourth place overall in the points standings, his and the Minnowesqe Dale Coyne Racing's best ever results, albeit there's still one 500-miler Oval remaining, eh?

Yet I'm guessing Y'all know by now 'bout the HORRIFIC last lap shunt that Dario Franchitti endured, as he even tried to keep from ramming Takuma Sato who he'd seen going wide by running to his left side I believe? Yet it wasn't to be as Dario's car went airborne after riding over Sato's rear wheel hump in what was a violent looking crash! Which fortunately Dario survived, albeit with two broken vertebrae, concussion and broken ankle which he's since had surgery on, as the back will probably take six months to heal itself? As hopefully we'll see Dario behind the wheel of his No. 10 racecar next year - since he'll probably be itching to break his victory drought which will now be over a year long - as its been years since he went winless in an IndyCar season, right?