On the ROAD once
again at thy crack 'O Dawn; CRIKEYS! As the non-winding Russian River road is
far more pleasurable to drive in our Topsy-turvy Minivan, even if we Don't have
any Zoom-Zoom' Californian's on our Tail-feather's Six first thingy in the
awoken at 6:20AM; Aye Karumba! Off we drove in our PJ's' once again towards Sonoma
Raceway, which for Mwah, as previously mentioned, will forever be indelibly
known as Sears Point Raceway... As it still seems overly strange that I'd
actually been behind the wheel driving one of the countless "Plain Jane
vanilla" non-descript white Ford Taurus rental car's dotting the Bay area to
I-T from San Fran' some 19yrs ago! Which seems totally foreign to Mwah these
days, since I NO longer have a valid Driver's license! Like, really dude, You
drove to 'N from Sears Point Raceway via the Golden Gate bridge? Aye Karumba!
BLIND DRIVER, BATMAN!
the few remaining shreds 'O memories from attending the Shelby American Daytona
Coupe's 30th Anniversary honouring their triumphant defeat of “Il Commendatore,” nee Enzo Ferrari and his 'Uber rare
& priceless 250 GTO's for the 1965 FIA World Sports Car Championship, (GT
Class) along with the AWESOMENESS of four of the six Daytona Coupe's being
present still linger...
for reasons unknown; Hmm? May because it involved driving was the stretch along Highway 37? Across the
Sacramento Delta? As it just plain reminded Mwah of driving across our Highway
520's floating bridge, which Claudio pointed out to me upon the start of our
drive home. While I also tend to recall staying some where's in Novato; but I
arrived 'Uber bright 'N early for race day, as there was virtually NO traffic
on race morning at 7AM-ish! As we zoomed into our Handicap parking lot and were
immediately "preyed on!" By the pleasant, cheerful parking lot
attendants circling in Golf Karts to take awaiting passengers to wherever
desired in said racetrack; as this really is the ONLY way to Fly; Hya! Telling
the waiting golf kart driver it'd be awhile, since I still needed to change,
Earthquake; What Earthquake?
Back at Guerneville, which I'm told is
approximately 1hr NW of Sonoma Raceway, Claudio & Mwah were "Snug as
Bugs in Rugs;" Hooah! As nary a
thing was felt from the strong earthquake jostling the Napa valley at 3:21AM!
(Or at least this was what I was led to believe what time it occurred...)
Hence, whilst latherin' up with some toxic
suntan lotion, we were still completely unawares', having totally SLEPT thru thee earthquake Sunday
morning before leaving for the track at 6:30AM.
while I was busy preparing, a car parked
alongside us - with a very pleasant Chap' exiting the vehicle resplendent in
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team kit, whom Claudio struck up a conversation
with, by casually asking you're from Columbus, Ohio, right?
as Thom introduced himself, he replied I'm from Minnesota. Which for humour, I
retorted: I've got a brother who lives in Minnesota. Oh really, where? Hopkins. Where in Hopkins, as it went on 'N
on like this... As Claudio & I chuckled A-L-L the way home about what were
the odds of my riding 900+ miles to meet somebody who turned out to be my
brother's next door neighbor in Hopkins, MN! As what a small world it is
|Graham Rahal's "Hero Card" garnered at
this year's IndyCar autograph session at Sonoma. (The Tomaso Collection)|
before this enlightening discovery, Thom asked: How are you Guys doing? Fine;
NO! really, I mean how did the earthquake effect Yuhs; HUH? What earthquake are
you talking about?
Thom incredulously asked: "Where have U Guys been?" When we finally got
our first mention of said 6.1-magnitude earthquake... The largest since the Bay
area bridge buster 'Wayback in '89; Aye Karumba! As both of us completely slept
thru I-T & never felt a thing!
I did enjoy the fact that Team Penske had to evacuate from the Marriott in Napa
@3:30AM & weren't allowed back in. While I heard somebody walking by
at the track - while still getting ready saying how their room's ceiling
had caved in w/water gushing around!
Sunday, Claudio proclaimed he just wanted to sit in our seats, where we watched
a very enjoyable Indy Lights race - the season finale and championship decider!
although rising Brit' talent Jack Harvey once again ran away and hid from the
majority of the competitors, except for title protagonist Gabby Chaves who ran
alone in second place. Which was all Chaves needed to do to win the Indy Lights
was really fun hearing Balardi Auto Racing's team on Pitlane directly in front
of us Hooting 'N Hollering, screaming 'N shouting with delight over winning
their first ever Lights championship. Since although I was pulling for Harvey,
I'm ecstatic that a new team won the title
doesn't karma have a mysterious way about I-T? As have I told Y'all 'bout where
our seats on the front straightaway along Pitlane were situated? As Guess Who?
We were seated directly in-front of? Can Y'all say 'HULIO; FUCK!
when we'd been seated Saturday I asked Claudio if he could see the No. 3 Team
Penske timing stand? Yep. Can you see a
man with snow white hair? Yep. Is he wearing a headset? Yep. Well then, that's
Roger Penske. He's a Billionaire who they call "The Captain," although
I now prefer calling him 'El Capitano...
although I couldn't SEE I-T! Especially since we'd sought refuge underneath the
shelter of a nearby food vendor's massive awnings in order to eat our lunch.
For the very first time I'm aware of at a race track, Sonoma Raceway put on a
I already knew of this acrobatic team called the Patriots Jet Team, as they'd
been pressed into service in Seattle the year that the Government canceled
military airshows because of the "Sequester," uze do remember that BULLSHIT right?
Patriots fly the Czech built Aero L-39
Albatros, and their six plane group's signature maneuver is the Tail
Slide, where they actually slide backwards!
alas, with NO disrespect to these fine Aviators, the Patriots are simply NO
match for our revered Blue Angels! Having previously scribbled how Seattle's
Seafair attendance had plummeted nearly
30% in 2013 due to the cancelation of the Blue Angels!
Then again, the Patriots Jet Team pilots
aren't NO slouches either, as their 2011 roster included two ex-USAF
Thunderbird's, one ex-RCAF and one
ex-USN Blue Angels "Flyboy's," along with two ultra accomplished
milled around our seats during the elongated Pre-race hyperbole before
meandering down to the start/finish line in order to watch the race's start,
which saw the start aborted a few times due to some driver Hi-jinxes - which
reminded me of the time at Portland International Raceway where they'd gone
yellow for eight laps in a FREAKIN' row trying to start the race! Hmm? May be
2002? Since I tend to recall that Kenny Brack was flyin' the Target
to our nearby seats, I delighted in being able to "Talk Smart" by
explaining why various "Backmarkers" were already topping off their
ethanol, etc. Really enjoying being able to witness what the camera's eye fails
to pick up sometimes...
|Mike "Ice-Ice, Baby!" Conway's "Hero
Card" garnered at this year's IndyCar autograph session at Sonoma. (The
As we watched
different race strategies unwind, with Mwah guessing Taku-san's going
off-strategy since he's so far behind 'N Viola; SHUHZAMM! Takuma Sato was up
front when the first yellow flag flew
and ultimately finished P4.
Yuhs haven't figured out yet? I'm totally NOT a fan of thy OLD-est IndyCar
Blogger Geo. Phillips (Oil Pressure) boy
Helio Castroneves, who I call 'HULIO instead.
naturally I took 'Mega delight on seeing Castroneves in so early, lap-2 me
thinks? Albeit we didn't know it was for a front wing change - as I just
thought he was languishing at the rear once again; Hooah!
couldn't see anythingy, 'cept for Claudio describing the Mondo' dust cloud
caused by Pole-sitter and race leader
'DJ WillyP's (A long ago My Name is IRL euphemism for Will Power... Thanxs
Jeffie!) miraculous 360-degree spin up in Turn-7? As I jokingly muttered how may
be he was sleep deprived from having to exit his hotel room that morning during
the earthquake; Hya!
the unthinkable occurred! As I crossed all four of my fingers on both hands and
actually started rootin' for Graham Rahal to win. Holy Allegiances Change
Batman! As I thoroughly despise their sponsor, yet told Claudio how much of not
only a career boost it'd be for whom I call "Grahamcracker," along
with helping RLLR's impending title sponsor search...
was so excited that I could not only S-E-E the first four cars running nose to
tail, but! The incredibly close trio of P2-3-4 running in virtual lockstep every
time they passed our vantage point on
the front straightaway! As it looked like Graham was gonna finally get the
proverbial "Monkey Off his Back!" As thy young Rahal was actually
pulling away with the lead!
with four laps remaining, Rahal was inexplicably out of it! As I extolled to
Claudio how he'd cracked once again, hence thy moniker 'O
"Grahamcracker!" As somehow, all along I'd secretly known he wouldn't
Graham, who's now gone six torrid year's without victory, but that was ok,
since another really kOOL Cat
picked up the lead, with Mike
"Ice-Ice, Baby!" Conway taking over the point in the Fuzzy-Wuzzy's (ECR) machine, with Scotty "Iceman 2.0" Dixon and
Ryan Hunter-Reay on his tail. As the latter was definitely the crowd's
favourite in our section - which I ARSE-sume is somewhat connected to his
California association, i.e.; his "Better Half," eh? As the women
around us were going Ga-Ga for him!
as Dixon pounced, Conway utilized his "P2P" (Push-to-Pass) one final
time to no avail! As Dixon was thru into the lead while Conway's extra gas
guzzlin' maneuver caused him to run dry of ethanol before reaching the
stripe, while Y'all know the rest of the
story, right? With RHR second, "Symone Pagenoe" (Simon Pagenaud)
coming outta nowheres for third. Taku-san P4 and Monty' (Juan Pablo Montoya)
rounding out the Top-5, which was a marked improvement over his 19th place
Yet in Graham Rahal's defense; it wasn't 'til I'd
gotten home 'N read George's thoughts upon the Sonoma race that I learned that
the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team had run Graham out of ethanol, and
hadn't cracked after all! As just how many times have RLLR and Bobby Rahal
gambled on fuel strategy/yellow flags and come up "Snake-eyes?" As
perhaps that would make an entertaining story?
with the chequered flag flown, we immediately left for our vehicle, as a really
nice man driving the "Special Busses," i.e.; Handicap inquired where
Y'all parked? I'll drive Yuhs to your
needed to make a Beeline back to Tacoma for Claudio to resume his 'Awntie
Harriet Caretaking duty Monday evening. Since at 95yrs "young," but
with a severe case 'O Dementia, she can no longer be left alone.
in our pursuit of driving nearly 900-miles in less than 24hrs; Crikeys Mates!
As mentioned, we left the track immediately at race's end, i.e.; 4PM. Drove for
6hrs to Redding 'N slept another night who knows where? Other than next to some
sorta Semi-truck compound w/continuous Semi's driving in-out A-L-L nite!
made it all the way from Redding, CA to Tacoma by 2PM Monday afternoon &
then I bussed home Tues morning & have felt tired ever since; and since
home, I've been playing massive 'Ketsup forever! As suppose I should
really go thru my mail (Bills) one of these days, eh?
those were my sediments' during the week in-between poondin' A-L-L of this out
'N getting ready to trek off to thy "Other" Florence... Having since
visited Florence, Oregon's magnificent Sand Dunes, made my debutant appearance
at the local Rods "N Rhodies car show + camping and visiting our friends;
Blah-blah-blah... Although NOBODY offered me any S'mores; CRIKEYS!
what's a visually impaired 'Vurd Botcherer to do, eh? Having gone stark raving KURR-RAZY
poondin' my nucels' Bloody on my various Mondo' trip stories, Rooskie' features
and Oh yeah, Somme-thun' called Formula 1! As I've gotta GO pack 'N get ready to
Jet off to Austin for another memorable F1 race weekend...
to "SEEING EYE GUIDE GUY" Extraordinaire Claudio' for the MOST
Bitchinh' Roadtrip in Years!
read the 'Mega Florence Car Show recap,
see; AUTOS: Rods 'N Rhodies Car Show a Low Key affair in the "Other"