Friday, May 31, 2019

Ex-IndyCar Driver, Driver's Fiancées Get Real!

Right On to All Three of Yuhs!

Otay, so Not to burst the Euphoria of some little 'Ol Oval Race, especially since Thar are some in thou Blogosphere who say we shouldn't scribble 'bout Political matters on Racing Blogs...

Although I already had learned the News this January, when he was promoting his film on Netflix Me Thinks? Simply titled Hurley during the 24 Hours of Daytona, for which he's got a total of five Rolex's for.

Nonetheless it was nice hearing Hurley Haywood once again re-iterate that he's Gay, recently on The Guardian Newspaper. Which made me immediately wonder how many of the 36 Drivers who competed to race in this year's Indianapolis 500 are possibly Gay?

As Seriously? Hurley's the only Gay Driver to race in Indy Cars? Preposterous! As it's really Sad that it's still Taboo for Racing Drivers and Pro sports Athlete's even today...

While Kudos to Ashley Welch and Haley McDermott, Thee Better Half's of Team Penske's Josef Newgardn and Simon Pagenaud respectfully, for calling out the Disgusting Absurdity of our Male Dominated World for trying to Quash Women's Rights by wearing Pro Choice T-Shirts during this year's Indy 500 Qualifying weekend...

As I commend All Three for Speaking up on these "thorny" subjects publicly, along with taking the correct stance on these issues...

Monday, May 27, 2019

INDY 500: Recollecting A Different Sort of Anniversary

1994 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra Indy 500 Pace Car. (Image source:
As have Y'all seen a Ford Pacing the field at Thee Brickyard lately?

Yesiree Bob',
since Bob's your Uncle after all, Righto Mates? Uhm, perhaps You've heard 'bout some Cool Cat fondly known in Nofendersville simply as superMario', nee Mario Andretti having just celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his lone Indianapolis 500 win, Eh?

Or the fact that El Capitano', nee Roger Penske was celebrating the 50th Anniversary of contesting his Debutante Indy 500? Whilst ironically, it was the 45th Anniversary of the Works McLaren IndyCar team's maiden win with Lonestar JR', aka Johnny Rutherford, which seems somewhat symbiotic with this year's McLaren Racing's failure to qualify for the race.

But instead, how many of Y'all recall that it's Thee 25th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra being the official Indianapolis 500 Pace Car, with none other than 'Ol Rufus Parnelli Jones at the wheel. Which sadly, is the very last time a FoMoCo' product paced the Indy 500.

Whilst I've just realized when poondin' away on this story, it's also the 25th Anniversary of Mario's Arrivederci' IndyCar Retirement Tour...

Recent Indy 500 Pace Cars
(16) Chevrolet Corvette: 1978, 1986, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2004-08, 2012-13, 2015 and 2017-2019.
(9) Chevrolet Camaro: 1967, 1969, 1982, 1993, 2009-2011, 2014 and 2016.
(3) Ford Mustang: 1964, 1979 & 1994.
(2) Dodge Viper: 1991, RT/10 roadster; 1996, GTS Coupe.
(2) Pontiac Trans Am: 1980 & 1989.

Looking back twenty years ago, CRIKEYS! Some Fathead'; Err Funnyman named Jay Leno drove the front-wheel drive Chevy Monte Carlo Pace Car, which seems like an eternity ago.

While Shame on the Speedway! For not letting a woman pace their sacred race until the 21st century, when Elaine Irwin-Mellencamp did so in what ranks as my Numero Uno Ugliest Pace Car!

And probably the second strangest Pace Car I can conjure up on thou 'Ol Radar has to be the second and final Pace Vehicle, which a few years ago now came percolating back to mind when on Walkabout'

As it's sad to learn that General Motors has had a Stranglehold upon Mother Speedway for the past 22yrs consecutively now, beginning with Thar Oldsmobile Aurora pacing the 81st running of the Indianapolis 500 in 1997, with then Celebrity Pace Car Driver Johnny Rutherford at the Helm.

Whilst 'Ol Johnny Mellonheadz' ex-wife Elaine Irwin drove the last non Chevrolet branded vehicle at the Speedway in '01, which always Cornfuzes Mwah since it was actually a 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada. As the Auto manufacturers enjoy promoting new products this way...

Having just learned that Roger Penske was behind the wheel of a 2017 50th Anniversary Camaro SS during the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016, when scourin' Zed Internetz' for what I thought would have been a 2016 Camaro...

Yet this story is supposed to be about Ford Motor Company's third and final Indy 500 Pace Car pacing the field at Mother Speedway a Quarter of A Century ago, arguably the prettiest of the three Mustang Pace Cars, and definitely my favourite!

Which makes it even sweeter that I got to ride in one of the 1,000 "Ruby Red" Mustang SVT Cobra Pace Car Replica's Wayback in the mid-to-late 1990's around my true Hometrack, nee Pacific Raceways, which began as Seattle International Raceway for Mwah.

As this came about during one of my frequent outings to the SOVREN Historics races, which are forever known as Hystericals' Thanxs to Cammee'. Which I've already scribbled somewhat in detail 'bout the '94 Mustang Pace Car in the following No Fenders tome.

As it would be nice to visit Tacoma, Warshingtons' America's Car Museum again...

While how many remember that it was Benson Ford at the controls of the very first Mustang Pace Car in 1964, which arguably was a 1964-1/2 production model modified for track duty.

Although I certainly didn't know the name of Benton Ford above, nor can I seem to find out which Ford he was?

Or that Thee Wee Scot', JYS, Sir Jackie, nee Jackie Stewart was the celebrity driver behind the keyboard of the 1979 Mustang Pace Car, with those running Horse Deckles' on its Flanks. Being the only T-Top roof Pace Car model, with the other two Stangs' being Convertibles.

And the timing of Ford's Mustang being chosen for Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Honours couldn't have come at a better time, possibly the zenith of my Breathing all things Blue Oval, since not only was the Ford Cosworth XB Kicking Tail in CART! But I can still recall the nicely done Mustang Corral inside Portland International Raceway's Paddock (that year) that I spent liberal time Droolin' over during thoust yearly Trek to PIR for IndyCar races.

along with having picked up several posters featuring said Mustang Pace Car on the speedway's tarmac, with the old scoring pylon in the background? As I had one pinned-up at my Desk at work for a few years, and now believe it's somewheres' in my myriad 'O poster tubes...

Dorsey Schroeder Tom Gloy Trans Am Mustang "Hero Card" from Portland International raceway during the 1990's. (The Tomaso Collection)
Along with making me Flashback to the fact that I've also got two identical 30th Anniversary Ford Mustang Racing posters tucked away also. Since I can still recall Dorsey Schroeder glaring at me when having to autograph both posters, which also have Boris Said and John Gooding's John Hancock's upon them. As this trio 'O Drivers were Driving for Tom Gloy Racing, an 'Ol Racing Driver himself who actually competed in the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) era.

As I'd hoped to get the other Mustang TA Driver's autographs on said poster, albeit the six Drivers were split into two different time sessions, but I'd hoped at the very least to garner Thee Original TK's? As think Tommy Kendall came to prominence before TK' Follow-your-Schnoz!
Kanaan, well at least for Mwah. As Kendall was then Kicking Everybody's ARSE in the SCCA Pro Racing Trans Am series in his ultra Nasty Roush Racing All Sport Body Quencher Mustang!

While Ford was busy celebrating the Mustang's 30th Anniversary, appropriately by introducing the "Gen-x"; Uhm, the Fourth generation Mustang, i.e.; 1994-2004, known internally as the SN-95 platform. As these 4X Stangs' were ultimately powered by Ford's first modular engine, the 4.6-litre V-8. As it's hard to believe that Ford just celebrated the Mustang's 55th Birthday!

Since I Don't know 'bout Y'all, but C'mon IMS! Let somebody else have a turn. As I for one am ultra tired of the yearly Chevy Corvette-Camaro Tag-Team Pace Cars! since the last non GM vehicle to Pace the Indianapolis 500 was the '96 Dodge Viper GTS Coupe; YIKES!

As wouldn't it be Cool seeing one of Dodge's Narly Challenger or Charger SRT Hellcats leading the way round Mother Speedway? Or one of Ford's latest Mustang's. Perhaps the Bullitt' or any of the other stellar limited edition models, or Hell! The latest Shelby GT 350 or GT 500 incarnations! And that doesn't even take into consideration the Uber Bad Arse Ford GT!

And after All Honda's done for Indy Cars, including powering the entire Indy Racing League (IRL) grid, I'd love seeing an Acura NSX pressed into Pace Car duty.

Uhm, somehow, since we're still Making Americre' GURR-Reat again! I highly doubt that's gonna happen... While I sure hope General Motors is paying Hulman & Company a Boat-load 'O Greenbacks for having the exclusive rights to pacing the field. Which is too bad, since there's so many other worthy vehicles deserving Indy 500 Pace Car duty...

Saturday, May 25, 2019

INDY 500: A Wookie', A Three-times Champion and Journeyman Driver round out this year's Cast of One Offers'

Oriol "Suitcase" Servia's #16 RLLR dallara-Honda IndyCar during the 2017 Indianapolis 500. (The Tomaso Collection)
Although I Don't expect any of these Drivers to Win this year's Indianapolis 500...

And now it's almost showtime Folks! As the field's been filled nearly a week ago, whilst your humble No Fenders scribe finishes his epic 2019 rendition of Indy 500 One Offers' - for those of Y'all still reading, Mates!

103rd Indianapolis 500 Starting line-up

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Engine: Honda
#42. (R) Jordan King, United Kingdom
First Race: 2019
Starts: 1

Anyone who's followed Indy Cars recently will know that Jordan King filled-in at Ed Carpenter Racing, running the Twisties' portion, i.e.; Road Courses & Street Circuits part of the calendar for FAST EDDIE', aka Ed Carpenter last year, before being replaced by Ed Jones this season.

As I'll defer Y'all to my riveting No Fenders IndyCar Rookies tome from last year instead of reinventing thou wheel, regarding Messer King.

And I still don't get Jordan's return to Formula 2, other than apparently he couldn't find a desirable Fulltime ride in Indy Cars? Or his Budget didn't encourage this?

Hmm? May be a Fulltime Drive with Carlin in IndyCar next year? Or even more intriguing, a fulltime Gig with McLaren Racing in Indy Cars for 2020, with some Feller' named Fernando as his Indy 500 team-mate?

As King very Stealthily Stuck Himself into Thee Show, as I'll admit he was one of my three picks to DNQ this year. But acquitted himself nicely with a four-lap Qualie' run of 227.502mph, locking him into the field on Saturday, qualifying on the outside of Row-8 in 26th.

Ironically, King qualified one position ahead of fellow British Rookie Ben Hanley, who very impressively steered the DragonSpeed entry to P27 with a 227.482mph average...

Team Penske
Engine: Chevrolet
#3. (W) Helio Castroneves, Brazil
First Race: 2001
Winner: 2001-02, 2009
Starts: 19

Another year, same 'Ol HULIO' platitudes, Eh? And although he's the only Three Times Winner in the field, and one of only nine men to do so. He's also the only winner now relegated to "One Off" status.

Although I'd say the Brazilian was totally Overshadowed by some former F1 World Champion Spaniard and Juncos Racing and Kyle Kiser's epic qualifying run, Ci!

As we All know of Castroneves burning desires to add another Borg Warner trophy to his collection of three "Baby Borg" trophies.

Yet for Mwah, I still revel in the Delight 'O Helio finishing runner-up three times, most recently during his epic Duel with eventual winner Taku-san', aka Takuma Sato in 2017!

As a member of Team Penske's Four-car Armada, I suppose Y'all cannot ever count out the wily Brazilian from joining a rarefied trio of Four-times Winners, as Helio's either lost a step this year or is flying underneath thou Radar?

But I certainly Hope Castroneves NEVER joins Foyt, Unser, Sr. and Mears as Four-times winners! Although that's a debate for another day...

Team Stange Racing with Arrow SPM
Engine: Honda
#77. Oriol Servia, Spain
First Race: 2008
Starts: 11

Seems that I've seen this entry's nomenclature speeled' two different ways, yet being the very last official Indy 500 confirmation, and in the sake of going alphabetical, hence we'll go with the Team Stange moniker, which I really, really wanna make into Team Strange! Which apparently one nameless reporter did so; Hya!

Oriol "suitcase" Servia made his first start at the Brickyard over a Decade ago now, and has definitely earned the nicknamed bestowed upon him by the past Chump Cars TV Announcer Rick "Insert Sponsor's Name Here" Benjamin, due to his propensity of constantly changing teams...

Although this seems the worst kept secret, especially with Servia seeing limited Seat-time during the April 24th Open Test? Or he was Hanging out with the Arrow SPM Boyz' at the very least then. Since I tuned out for many hours of the rain delayed Webcast.  

nonetheless, Arrow SPM didn't make Oriol's inclusion to this year's Indianapolis 500 official until the day prior to Opening Day, ARSE-Sumedly to garner some media exposure, Eh?

Although Obviously; SNAP! Effectively this is a third car Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry in every guise, even down to running the team's traditional #77 on it...

Although I'll confess that I didn't see this unlikely Team Stange Alliance as Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports third car for the Month of May...

As we All remember Servia leading last year for 16-laps late in the race, albeit on an alternative Fuel strategy aboard the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Racing with RLLR, effectively Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's third entry. Which has apparently become the best way to Fast-track a Start-up IndyCar entry.

As I've got Zero Clue upon this Team Stange Racing concern, other than reportedly it's a RASSCAR' ARCA entity, which doesn't even have a working Website!

(Photo c/o No Fenders ‘Offical Photographer CARPETS')