Tuesday, September 28, 2021

IndyCar West Coast Wrap: Long Beach finale

Hello Alex Palou, Come On Down, you’re this year’s IndyCar Champion!


“The Hamburger and French Fry Show”

Although I’ve never been a Fan of le Hamburgular’, Sealmeister B’, SeaBass or simply Sebastien Bourdais, I’d like to give Racer’s Marshall Pruett and Bourdais A “shout Out” for their wonderfully Brilliant, Zany Daily Race session Video Debriefs over each weekend, which have become the Highlight of the West Coast Swing for Mwah! As I find that Seb’ has become quite Self Deprecating, Humble and Honest on his struggles with the A.J. Foyt racecar. While Marshall has really Blossomed as he Ad libs’ spontaneously, Conquers Any Topic of the Day, yet always keeps the “Interviews” light hearted…


As I thought I’d never say this, But! We need for Foyt to keep Bourdais another year to not only improve the Team’s Ontrack performances, but more importantly, so we can have another season of the Hamburger and French Fry Show videos!



Once again, Colton Herta led the way in Friday’s first afternoon practice session as Quickest of the four Andretti Autosport runners in the Top 10; Herta P1, Ryan Hunter-Reay 5th, and James Hinchcliffe and Alexander Rossi eighth and ninth respectively. Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud pipped Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou for second in the waning stages of practice. Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist was fourth, with Meyer shank Racing’s Helio Castroneves sixth. Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin was P7 and team-mate Josef Newgarden rounded out the Top 10 despite having caused a Red Flag, as one of the multiple drivers pirouetting Ontrack, with many hitting the Walls.


Championship rival Pato O’Ward struggled mightily to find the handling in his Arrow McLaren SP, mired in a lowly 16th! With Coyne-Ware Racing’s Romain Grosjean five places ahead of O’Ward in 11th, but behind his Rookie Of the Year Points leader and rival McLaughlin’s Top 10 outing.


Other possible Race winner contendahs’ Will Power and Scott Dixon were P12-13 respectively, and Im sure we haven’t heard the last of the Team Penske and CGR Drivers this weekend, since you can never count out The Iceman’ (Dixon) or Wild child DJ WillyP”, (Power) Righto!



Although Colton Herta remained P1 in Saturday morning’s practice, Team Penske Flexed Thar Muscles with Power second, Newgarden, Pagenaud and Mclaughlin P4-6 respectively! Thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’ (Hinchcliffe) was an impressive third.


Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward potentially righted his floundering “Ship” after saying on Friday  they’d need to “Yard Sale It!” In order to fix the handling, before moving up to eighth. While team-Mate Felix Rosenqvist remained ahead of the Mexican in seventh.


Romain Grosjean moved forward to ninth and Meyer shank Racing’s Jack Harvey rounded out the Top 10. Whilst Chip Ganassi Racing’s “Big Guns” Alex Palou and Scott Dixon went Backwards. As Palou dropped to 16th and Dixon to 20th.



That was the most Insane Qualifying session I’ve seen in forever! Which Leigh Diffey politely noted, Can You Feel the Championship Pressure Ratcheting Up? Since after all it’s his job to keep us All “Hooked.”


Group 1 saw Jack Harvey Clout the Wall and I believe pirouetted? Well at least he was laying “Dead Stick” Ontrack in the way of unexpecting will Power who had nowhere to go and B-A-M! As it was absolutely amazing that Team Penske was able to rebuild the left side of Power’s crumpled racecar during the ensuing 10-15mins plus before he returned to contest the Fast 12 Round sporting a replacement Team Penske Sidepod among other replacement parts!


Pato O’Ward brushed the Wall with the left side of his car, radioing in he’d definitely affected the rear Tow-link, which Arrow McLaren SP also did stellar work to have Pato ready to compete in the Fast 12 round.


And in the voice of ‘Ol R’, Ye Curmudgeon of Indy Cars Robin Miller: Sorry boys, But Hate is Good! And thus I just started bellowing out Choke, Choke, Choke after Colton Herta apparently was attempting to conserve a set of the FirestoneAlternate Reds by staying on his primary Black tyres and subsequently Hit the Wall! Then came in to the Pits and put on a set of Reds too late and was unable to advance out of Group 2!


As Sebastien Bourdais said it best during his Saturday video Debrief with Marshall Pruett. Why would you Expose yourself like that? The Field is so Competitive, why would you get Greedy when you’ve been the Fastest Car in practice…


But the most Drama of the afternoon came in the Fast 12 Round when Power’s car suffered a Gearbox issue leaving him stranded Ontrack and unable to move out of the way, even though Townsend Bell was certain he’d scraped the Wall again!


As Power’s stricken car caused a local Yellow for which it was reported that Felix Rosenqvist, James Hinchcliffe and Ed Jones All Failed to Slow adequately and initially advance to the Fast Six Shootout, Huh? For which after the IndyCar Stewards deliberated for 20mins, ironically Rosenqvist stayed in the Fast Six shootout to the protests of his Team Boss Taylor Kiel and team-mate O’Ward.


After the dust had settled, and I still think O’Ward got Screwed! The Fast Six Shootout results were as follows: Josef Newgarden took a somewhat surprise Pole position,

As I enjoyed Diffey saying please excuse the Foul language as you could clearly hear Newgarden say fuck Yeah!


Scott Dixon was a mildly upset second, claiming that third place Helio Castroneves had ruined his attempt at Pole, to which Hulio’ in typical gusto said Dixon’s just used to people pulling out of his way, Youch!


Simon Pagenaud was fourth, while Felix Rosenqvist was fifth and Romain Grosjean was P6.


Seventh went to James Hinchcliffe followed by Pato O’Ward in eighth, while Ed Jones split the championship contendahs’ with Alex Palou lining up 10th.


Scott McLaughlin wound up P13, while Colton PB ‘N J’ Herta and Alexander Rossi roll off P14-15 respectively.


Shout Out to Callum Ilott in only his third ever IndyCar race qualifying the Juncos Hollinger Racing Dallara/Chevy 18th and Outqualifying 10 competitors! Including Graham Rahal and Oliver Askew, both Ed Carpenter Racing entries, All three A.J. foyt entries, Max Chilton, Jimmie Johnson and Jack Harvey. As both Harvey and Askew Slapped the Wall in Thar respective Groups, triggering Red Flags and having their Fastest two laps deleted…


Race Day

The day began with Hulio’ literally blowing Ah-Gasket’ over feeling that Alexander Rossi hadn’t gotten out of his way during the morning Warm Up session when they came together. Hmm, what was that Prima Donna soliquy ‘bout how Scott Dixon was Mad at Him for Not Moving Over the day prior? As how long ago was it when Rossi said He’s Not here to make Any friends Ontrack…


As far as I was concerned, the Championship was Already over before the Green Flag flew, but after soon to be Ex-Coyne Vasser Sullivan driver Ed Jones Stupidly Spun Pato O’Ward on lap-1 and he’d dropped to last, I began singing ‘Ol Dandy don’s (Merrideth) melody “Turn Out the lights, The Party’s Over!” As it was a cruel way for Pato to end his season, and that was before his Halfshaft snapped on lap-18 presumably due to the errant collision by Jones…


After that it was just a case of who’d win the race? For which although I was rootin’ for Josef Newgarden, Not for him to win an unlikely IndyCar title, but to stop Colton Herta.


But as we All know, the 21yr old Californian drove like a Man possessed to atone for his Snafu’ during Qualifying, which he did by putting on a Driving Clinique! Leading some 40-plus laps en route to a fairly Dominant victory and a sweep of the California races, so Gulp! Nice Job Colton, Urgh!


Newgarden finished second, and in turn overtook O’Ward in the standings, with Pato sliding down one spot to third Overall. While the podium’s final finisher Scott Dixon claimed a fairly mundane fourth in the standings, since the Kiwi’s accustomed to winning titles instead.


Romain Grosjean slapped the wall midway thru the race, effectively ending his longshot for overcoming Scott McLaughlin in their Rookie Of the Year battle, which McLaughlin captured with an 11th place finish.


But Kudos to Alex Palou, who could have coasted home Midpack or worse to claim his first IndyCar Championship. But instead, the 24yr old Spaniard drove as he’s done during his entire Sophomore season and clinched the Crown with a fine fourth place finish.


As All sorts of noise has already been made over how it’s Chip Ganassi’s first Championship forever by another car instead of Dixon’s No. 9, with the #10 last winning an IndyCar Championship in 2011 at the hands of Dario Franchitti.


Or it being the first CGR title by somebody other than Dixon or Franchitti, who’ve won the lion’s share of Cheeps’ 14 IndyCar titles. The last being Juan Pablo Montoya’s Championship in 1999, which he won in his Rookie season on a Tiebreaker ironically with Franchitti.


As Palou’s title also comes on the 25th Anniversary of Chip Ganassi Racing’s first IndyCar Championship won by Jimmy Vasser at Laguna Seca, and it’s pretty impressive thinking how Cheep’s (Chip Ganassi) has amassed 14 IndyCar Championships in that time, which is obviously more than 50%!


While can Y’all guess who’s the other CGR Champion? Well I had to laugh out loud when hearing Leigh Diffey mutter my same words into the camera during the Post Race wrap-up, when he said that Alex Palou is a young Alex Zanardi! But it was Fantastic hearing an exhuberant Palou on the Speed Freaks Sunday night with Fans in the background of his Hotel Hooting ‘N Hollering for him, so Congrats Alex!


Whilst the funniest Bit I’ve heard over Palou’s impending Championship came from Dixon, who said he was one of the Ones telling Chip to sign him, so may be I should get a Cut? For which if Y’all Don’t know, Cheep’ garnered his nickname from Zanardi for being, Uhm… Uh, it’s an Italian pronunciation thingy’, Yeah, That’s the Ticket, Hya!


As Hello Palou Indeed. Congratulations Alex! 

Friday, September 24, 2021

IndyCar’s Championship “Chase” Finale

Although We Still Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Playoffs, Chase, Double Points or Lucky Dawgs’


First off, did Y’all notice how NBC and Leigh Diffey were “Teasing Us” about Not mentioning what Romain Grosjean did in the Acura Pace Car at Laguna Seca?


As Romain and Dale Coyne Racing (DCR) team-mate Ed Jones were filming a segment on driving the famed track when the Acura Type R’s brakes reportedly glazed over and Grosjean Slammed the Pace Car into the Barriers/Wall, setting off the car’s Airbags, breaking the front window and crumpling up the front bodywork! Which hastily had a tarpaulin thrown over it to keep it away from the Camera’s eyes…


During Sunday’s Pre-race buildup before going Green-Green-Green! First NBC played us a lap of somebody driving the track in Thar Honda IndyCar, before Diffey mentioned what a Beautiful looking Acura Pace Car Oriol Servia was driving at the head of the field, Yuck Yuck Yuck! Not mentioning it was a backup from the three Pace Cars on duty.


But Inquiring Minds wanna Know? Will Honda be sending out Grosjean and Jones for a Pace Car Sequel thru the Concrete Canyons of Long Beach’s temporary Street Circuit?


As we All know, this weekend’s Long Beach IndyCar race is the Season Finale, with just 54 points remaining on offer. While Alex Palou holds a Healthy 35 points lead in the Championship, along with currently having the most season wins with three vs. Pato O’Ward, Josef Newgarden, Marcus Ericsson and Colton Herta’s two apiece.


2021 IndyCar Point Standings

1) Alex Palou: 517

2) Pato O’Ward: 482 (-35)

3) Josef Newgarden: 469 (-48)


Won’t attempt doing All of the countless Points scenarios for who does what Sunday, since I’m sure everyone on NBC Sports will oblige us Ad Nausea during the entire Sunday TV Broadcast! But I believe if Palou finishes 11th or better, then He’s Champion! Not to mention Palou Holds the second place Tiebreaker 2-0 over O’Ward if they somehow inexplicably finished Tied on points.


Have to say I’m more interested in whether or not Romain Grosjean can Overhaul Scott McLaughlin in the Rookie Of the Year (ROY) Championship battle instead.


2021 IndyCar Rookie Of the Year Point Standings

1) Scott McLaughlin: 286

2) Romain Grosjean: 266 (-20)


As this points battle is a Wee Bitamyte’ tighter, although Grosjean still has a healthy margin to pull off unseating Team Penske’s McLaughlin who’s ran the entire season, including Indianapolis’s 500 Miler’ Double Points race vs. Romain having skipped the first three Oval track races.


Still hoping that Alexander Rossi, for whom I believe Marshall Pruett has coyly noted is on his “Eternal Revenge Tour” can finally grab himself a win at Long Beach, since the Californian who Cheekily noted recently he’s a “Media Darling” is long overdue a victory… 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

F1: Remembering Michael

As Sorry Sir Lewis, You’ll Never be as Great as Michael Schumacher!


Having scribbled those sentiments prior to the Max Verstappen Lewis Hamilton Collision at Monza…


Thus I’ve had several thought bubbles following Thar Mega Shunt’, albeit not having been “Watching,” Err listening to the race. Not to mention the Schumacher Family having just seen NetFlix release it’s Schumacher Documentary eight years after Michael’s Skiing Off Pis accident. For which The Guardian’s Giles Richards noted how the Documentary politely sidestepped showing any of Michael’s trademark Ruthlessness!


I am not taking sides in the Maximus Hothead’ v Golden Child, aka Sir Lewis incident, since the FIA Race Stewards have basically ruled it 1-1 for their Silverstone-Monza Clashes. Although you could say that Verstappen getting a 3-place Grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix makes Max look more guilty? Or are the Stewards simply trying to stop the continuing escalation from spiraling out of control instead…


But surely Y’all know it does Take Two to Tango, Ci!


And would Der Terminator’, nee Michael Schumacher have ever Winged On ceaselessly about how it was Nico Rosberg who caused the Toxic relationship at Mercedes? Now some five years since Rosberg Quit Formula 1 and left the team! Or how rich it was hearing Golden Child say he was disturbed over Max Not showing any empathy after their collision at Monza, when Sir Lewis was partying like a Rock Star at Silverstone whilst Verstappen was in Hospital?


As I’m left pondering how Schuey Senior would have behaved in today’s instantaneous Social Media era? Although he seemed to have a pretty tight knit PR Campaign always in Full Steam directed by Sabine Kehm, who still pulls the Strings for the Schumacher’s today…


As doesn’t the Mighty Spa’s Rain Gate Farce seem like such a lifetime ago? When having awoken even earlier than when I’d set the Alarm to “Watch,” Err listen to the Belgian Grand Prix, I found it a Wee Bitamyte’ Karmic that I managed to turn on Thy Telie’ part way into the segment where Karun Cowboy’ Chandhok was narrating Mick Schumacher’s driving of his Pop’s Debutante Formula 1 car at Silverstone.


Coming some Gory 30-odd years from when Der Terminator’,nee Herr Schumacher made his F1 debut at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix for Jordan Grand Prix in what I agree is arguably one of the best looking Formula 1 Cars of All time.


Alas, I’d forgotten how Great those Normally Aspirated Ford HB 3.5-liter V-8 lumps’ sounded! Which is probably part of my Hearing loss today, eh? I thought you said Blind people have Super Powers Huh, What did you say EH? I said I’m right here, you Don’t have to Bloody Shout!


Since this should have triggered memories of my second Iceberg Grands Prix outing in The Valley of the Sun, when unbeknownst to Mwah, Phoenix Arizona hosted it’s third and final United States Grand Prix, also 30 years ago this past March. But I don’t remember seeing the “Green” cars back then, with Andrea Duh Crasheris (De Cesaris) and Bertrand “Laughing Gas” Gatchot at Thar controls, since I was already a Benetton Ford Fan…


As the Jordan 191 was an ‘Ol school racecar since it utilized the quickly fading six speed Manual Gearbox, for which both Karun and Mick enthuse over it being a proper Old School racing car! Which Y’all can check out this wonderful Sky Sports segment in the Youtube video, but beware, You’ll definitely need to Crank It Up!




As it was GURR-REAT! Hearing ‘Ol Bloody Murray’s (Walker) voice again, as this reminded Mwah of how Electrified I was over the Schuey Sensation that weekend at Spa Francorchamps, as I know I watched that race live and was instantly Smitten with Michael, who immediately became my De Facto Numero Uno Formula 1 Driver of All time! As I took to living and breathing Michael Schumacher for nearly the rest of his F1 career, up to the end of his first retirement in Ought-Six’,  just ask Tacoma Bureau chief Mary Ellen!


Since it’s funny reading an ‘Ol No Fenders tome titled Schuey’s legend is Born that I posted here Wayback in November, 2009 when then commemorating the 15th Anniversary of his Debutante F1 World Championship. Noting how I had a Fraulein in the Monterey, California Visitor’s Center offerent to buy my Michael Schumacher Benetton T-Shirt I was wearing from me

Wayback in ’94.




since I’d argue now that his “legend” was truly born that Fall day at The Mighty Spa Francorchamps, before Benetton shrewdly Poached him from EJ’ (Eddie Jordan) in exchange for the Hapless Roberto Moreno, and the rest as they say, Is History!


As I’m left wondering if All of this Schuey Glorification is somehow in order to perk up Merchandise Sales? Or simply keep the Schumacher name in the Spotlight, and on the tips of our tongues…


Alas, it’s slightly weird to mwah that I Don’t feel any of this same emotion of being “Electrified” by Any of today’s current Formula 1 Pilotes. Nor can I say that any of them even excite Mwah. And it would be easy to go with Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris or  George Russell, who the latter I picked for future “Greatness.” But None of these Brat Pack enthuse me, not to mention they’ll All be driving for the Sports Top Teams.


Since the last Formula 1 Driver who I actually got enthused over is Alexander Albon, who I’m glad will be back next year, but does he have a Gory chance in a Williams?


Nope, instead the only current Open Wheel Racing Driver who Peaks my Excitement Meter these days is none  other than Patricio Pato’  O’Ward, but not even remotely close to what Herr Schumacher once did for Mwah.


As these days I find I enjoy Rootin’ for more than a single driver and Hence, I’m torn between my Numero Uno IndyCar Driver O’Ward, whom I should solidly be enfusing over, since he led  the Points Standings by 10 Markers heading into Portland over Alex Palou.


But the Spaniard’s my second favourite IndyCar Driver and I’d like him to win the title since he seemingly came  out of nowhere, i.e.; Japan’s super Formula and then a rookie season at Dale Coyne’s Minnowesqe Alphabet Soup Brigade… 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

IndyCar West Coast Wrap: Laguna Seca

So I guess it really is the Herta’s House After All, Eh?


Perhaps it’s just Mwah, but I find myself more ‘N more interested over how the IndyCar grid progresses over the weekend, in what many drivers denote how they “rolled Off the Hauler.” Although thought it was Rookie Romain Grosjean who said you Don’t want to start off P1 since then you Don’t have any room to improve? Yet , being P1 All weekend long at Portland wasn’t too Shabby for Alex Palou!


Interesting first practice session results on Friday, with Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden topping Ye Charts, followed by Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta nipping at his Heels. Herta led Mikey A’s three top 10 runners with team-mates Alexander Rossi fifth and James Hinchcliffe seventh. Chip Ganassi Racing’s (CGR) Alex Palou was third with team-mate Marcus Ericsson P10, while CGR runners Scott Dixon was P11 and Jimmie Johnson P24.


Ed Jones of Dale Coyne/Vasser Sullivan was a surprising P4., with his Coyne-Ware Racing team-mate Romain Grosjean ninth.


Oliver Askew led the way for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in sixth, whilst Graham Rahal was 17th and Takuma Sato 19th. With A.j. foyt Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais being the Meat in the RLLR Sandwich in P18.


Jack Harvey led the way for the Meyer Shank Racing’s duo, with Helio castroneves P13, one place ahead of Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward, who obviously won’t be happy being 14th! With O’Ward’s “Wingman” Felix Rosenqvist P16.


Ed Carpenter Racing didn’t have a great session, with Rinus VeeKay P21 and Conor Daly P23, the latter just one position ahead of Jimmie Johnson!


Penske’s Scott McLaughlin was 12th, will Power was P15 and Simon Pagenaud was 20th. And Andretti’s Ryan Hunter-Reay did little to impress in 22nd.


Rounding out the 27 Car field was Juncos Hollinger Racin’s Callum Ilott last, beaten out by Carlin’s Max Chilton and A.J. Foyt’s Dalton Kellett respectively.


Saturday Practice

Colton Herta sat atop the time sheets until Scotty McLaughlin bolted on a set of Firestone’s Alternate Red Rubber and stole P1 away from Herta! Alex Palou did likewise and vaulted to third. Simon Pagenaud jumped to P4 with Will Power behind him in fifth. Felix Rosenqvist took sixth with Alexander Rossi P7 and Ryan Hunter-Reay P8. Whilst Ed Jones slid to ninth with Josef Newgarden rounding out the Top 10.


Romain Grosjean dipped to 16th while Callum Ilott (P19) was the meat filling between surely two disappointed title Contendahs’, with Scott Dixon 18th and Pato O’Ward 20th, Yikes!  



Whale’ Lookie Thar’ folks, another Bleepin’ Roundy round race making us wait until 8:30PM (Pacific) for the Canned qualie’ replay, SPEW! Not to mention my P.O.s. ISP Crapping Out when typing this, telling me the programme isn’t responding, WTF! And now it’s done it again; Urgh, but I digress!


According to IndyStar’s Nathan Browne; Of the 23 previous IndyCar races held at Laguna Seca, the winner has come from Outside the Top 3 Starters only twice! The Pole sitter has won an amazing 15 times and only finished Off the Podium five times! Of the total 69 Podium finishers, only 14 have come from outside the Top 6 Starting positions. Thus  making It into the Fast Six Shootout Uber Imperative!


So wadda Yuhs know? The Taxicab bombers Show ran late with the Canned IndyCar Qualifying TV Broadcast starting at 8:37PM Pacific, Thanks NBC Sports! Since they Chopped 5mins out of IndyCar’s allotted 90mins Broadcast, BOO!


And the massive exploding thunder clap over ye bungalow By the Sea at 8:30PM seemed like an ominous sign of what laid ahead at Laguna Seca! Since perhaps it was a warning for what Colton Herta would do Race Day?


Group 1 saw Pato O’Ward advance in 3rd and Scott Dixon P6 with Romain Grosjean seventh and Josef Newgarden Knocked Out in ninth by Three Hundreds of a second! And will start a lowly P17 on a track notoriously difficult to pass upon.


Group 2 Saw Points leader Alex Palou barely scrape in at sixth quickest, with Conor Daly missing knocking out Palou by Five One-hundreds!


The Fast 12 saw both Palou and O’Ward having Scruffy laps but ultimately advancing to the Fast 6 Shootout, while Marcus Ericsson and Dixon would ultimately miss the Cut. As the Swede’ waited to see if he’d been impeded? Impressively Oliver Askew made the Fast Six Shootout, while Ericsson and Dixon wound up P7-8 respectively.


O’Ward was penalized for bringing out a yellow when spinning in the Corkscrew, and ends up P6 with Palou starting directly ahead of him on Row 2 in fourth. Will Power loses second place for not slowing down enough during Pato’s Yellow Flag and ends up third, whilst Askew ties his career best Qualie’ position with fifth.


Alexander Rossi moves up to start second after Power’s infraction, alongside Pole sitter Colton Herta, giving Andretti Autosport a Front row lockout. With Colton wryly noting how Mario’s sitting on Pit Wall and I’m sure He’s Happy about Power Not getting another Pole position…


Romain Grosjean and Scott McLaughlin both failed to advance to the Fast 12 Qualie round from their respective Groups, as Grosjean will roll off 13th and McLaughlin P16. As the Kiwi’ currently sits 13th Overall in the points standings on 268 markers to Grosjean P15 on 230.


Race Day

While I enjoyed Pato O’Ward’s answer to Kelly Stavis Pre-race when asked how he was going to attack the start and get around Alex Palou; “Uh, guess I’ll Have to Send It! I’m kinda in a Chip Ganassi Sandwich…” As Pato was directly behind Palou and had Marcus Ericsson and Scott Dixon starting directly behind him on Row 4.


Yet O’Ward’s other answer was more telling, when he said they’d gotten the maximum out of the car in P6 after finishing 20th in practice. Which was a sign of things to come as Pato started on the Primary Black tyres with everyone else on the softer Alternate Reds and summarily plummeted down the order! And never once during the entire race got ahead of title rival Palou.


Colton Herta’s two biggest challengers took themselves out of the running, albeit Herta and Alexander Rossi touched on lap-2 with Rossi then spinning off track and going a lap down. Will Power had an engine problem on lap-3 and think he went two laps down? Whilst we’ll never know how much Palou truly had  in his tank? Since the Spaniard Harried Herta  all day long, but eventually settled for second, en route to widening his points lead over O’Ward to 35 points.


Driver of the race Hands Down was romain Grosjean who put on a passing Clinique where you’re not supposed to be able to pass! Rocketing from 13th to eventually the final step on the podium. (3rd) As two of his numerous 27 “Victims” were eventual fourth place Graham Rahal and O’Ward soldiering home in fith.


Scott Dixon probably had the worst day of all, first faltering to many while trying to survive on the primary Black Firestone tyres before being Hit by a backwards Takuma Sato, who’d spun ontrack, and didn’t manage to stop his car from rolling into Dixon’s path! As both Dixon and (CGR) team-mate Marcus Ericsson were mathematically eliminated from the championship Sunday.


Josef Newgarden had a pretty rough day, but made a four stop strategy see him finish seventh after starting 17th. Yet Newgarden fell to 48 points behind Palou and is virtually eliminated from the title fight also.


Jimmie Johnson had his career best finish in P17 and provided some of the races “Best” action late going when he was instructed to make Grosjean “Earn it!” And try to hold up the Hard Charging Frenchman who was trying to track down fellow Ganassi team-mate Palou running second. As the pair momentarily collided in the Corkscrew but both soldiered on to finish the race.


But make no mistake, Colton Herta put another Beatdown on the IndyCar field at Laguna Seca, leading 91 of 95 laps, following his 2019 rout of leading 83 of 90 laps! Having now won Back-to-Back victories in Monterey, and has now won one more IndyCar race then his Pops Bryan “High speed Hurdles” Herta did during his IndyCar career, with Colton claiming his 5th W’. 

Friday, September 17, 2021

IndyCar’s Championship “Chase”

Although We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Playoffs, Chase, Double Points or Lucky Dawgs’


With just two races remaining the next two weekends, i.e.; Laguna Seca and Long Beach, there’s currently 108 points still on offer. As we All know that Alex Palou has vaulted himself back into the Championship lead, and also currently has the most season wins with three vs. O’Ward, Newgarden and Ericsson’s two apiece.


2021 IndyCar Point Standings

1) Alex Palou: 477

2) Pato O’Ward: 452 (-25)

3) Josef Newgarden: 443 (-34)

4) Scott Dixon: 428 (-49)

5) Marcus Ericsson: 402 (-75


Won’t attempt doing All of the countless Points scenarios for who does what, since I’m sure everyone else will oblige! But obviously, if Palou leads Monterey 55 points ahead of his nearest competitor, (2nd) then He’s Champion.


Arse-sumin’ Palou won’t clinch the title Sunday, but probably gets very close to doing so, heading to Long Beach, but who Knows? Especially the way this Wild ‘N Wooly season has been going! But you’d have to think Palou has had his spate ‘O Bad luck already, Righto?


As it would be Uber entertaining to See’ Romain Grosjean claim his first IndyCar win of the season at Laguna Seca! But I’ll leave it to IndyCar’s Oldest Blogger Geo. Phillips to put the Dreaded Oilpressure Curse upon whomever instead, Hya!


As I suppose we shouldn’t count out Colton Herta as winner at Monterey, since if I remember correctly? Didn’t he put a Beatdown upon his IndyCar compatriots at Laguna Seca in 2019…


And Grosjean will need a mighty Points Haul to either close back into striking distance at Long Beach or Overtake Scott McLaughlin in this year’s Rookie Of the Year (ROY) Championship Fight. As McLaughlin has steadily increased his lead from seven markers entering Gateway to now a healthy 38.


Also like many, including Racer’s Marshall Pruett, I too simply got caught up in the Drama of the elusive IndyCar Leaders Circle Prize contestants, since I knew it was Only for Full Season entrants! So we can All count out Boobie Ruble’s #45 RLLR third entry being in the running for this, and ditto for the #06 Meyer Shank Racing entry.


As the two Fulltime entrants whom seem to have a lock at not making the cut are Carlin’s Max Chilton (P23) and A.J. Foyt’s Dalton Kellett. (P24) Like are you surprised? 

IndyCar West Coast Wrap: Portland

Like Ain’t Everyone still ah-Talkin’ about that Crazy Race in the Rose City?


Obviously Y’all know that IndyCar has commenced it’s final three races with it’s West coast Swing beginning at Portland International Raceway on September 12th, a track I know very well from spending copious amounts ‘O time at over two decades during the CART/Champ Car era. For which a tiny part of Mwah still wishes I was attending…




Arse-sumedely’, it had been gone over Ad Nausea that Arrow McLaren SP’s (AMSP) Patricio Pato’ O’Ward led the Championship with 435 points, 10 ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s (CGR) Alex Palou, who’s had dreadful luck the previous two races. Third in the title fight was Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden 22 points behind, whilst CGR team-mates Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson were 43 and 60 points adrift respectively, which seem the most likely candidates to win the championship entering the Portland weekend.


Saturday Highlights

Will try not digressing about having to wait until 8:30PM Pacific to “Watch,” Err listen to 43 Glow In the Dark $19.95 Heli’ Commercials and the Delayed, Canned Qualifying TV coverage. Oh wwait, is Thar some Roundy round race at Bristol coming up next week? As it’s Uber Annoying having to go “Dark” waiting All Freakin’ Day!  Uhm, Aren’t we Doin’ that again this weekend? Oops, think I got that outta my system, Eh?


Saturday’s first Practice session involved three Red flag periods and the Top 9 being just 0.2 seconds apart. As Alex Palou finished P1 with a surprising Helio Castroneves and Jack Harvey P2-3 respectively. Pato O’Ward and Josef Newgarden were fourth-fifth, while Will Power was seventh. With Scott Dixon 11th and Marcus ericsson 14th.


Alexander Rossi led Andretti Autosport’s charge in eighth, with team-mate Colton Herta ninth. Both being Pipped by Coyne-Ware Racing’s Rookie Romain Grosjean in sixth, with Rookie Of the Year Points leader Scott McLaughlin P12.


Graham Rahal led the way for RLLR in 10th, with new #45 team-mate Oliver Askew ending up P16.


Amazingly, Jimmie Johnson who wound up 20th, finished ahead of Conor Daly, (21st) Simon Pagenaud (23rd) and five places ahead of Dalton Kellett!


While IndyCar Debutante Callum Ilott “Cruised” home for Juncos Hollinger Racing P24. Rinus VeeKay (17th) will get a 6-place Grid penalty for an engine change, and possibly ditto for Takuma Sato, who ground to a Halt early on. Whilst once again, the dreaded Cartoon Anvil Hit Ryan Hunter-Reay Yuhs Know Where! With a reported wiring loom issue curtailing his practice.


As Sato took an unapproved engine change and garnered a 6-place Grid penalty, with Hunter-Reay also expected to and thus, look for VeeKay, Sato and Hunter-Reay rolling off P25-27 respectively.



Yeah, I know that if you’re watching TV then it’s Arse-sumed You can See the Bloody screen! And the various Graphics, Hence the lack of true Verbal information on who’s in the respective Qualifying Groups or who gets shuffled out, leaves your Blind Word Butcher in Ye Dark, literally!


Thus All that came across during the first group was how Pato O’Ward had a really loose racecar with massive rear-end Drift and barely clawed his way forward by just surviving in sixth! With Leigh Diffey calling him the Ninja when going to commercial break and saying look at those Hands!


Group 2 also seemed a blur, other than Alex Palou began to stamp his authority on Qualie’ by being P1 in this group which saw Josef Newgarden failing to advance. As I loved the interview afterwards where the Team Penske driver was completely Baffled over his lack of speed and qualifying 18th!


Oh Yeah, think it was Group 1? Where afterwards they showed Romain Grosjean’s apparent infraction of holding up his Rookie Of the Year opponent Scott McLaughlin to which the typically blunt Paul Tracy said he didn’t think it was a penalty, even though Romain was given one, especially since McLaughlin actually got “Blocked” twice by two different cars, the other being Oliver Askew who didn’t get a penalty…


Conor Daly admitted making a mistake on his final lap and wryly noted starting in the back with Newgarden, Power and Uhm? They’re All trustworthy Guys to be around who won’t do something stupid, so we should be Ok.


For which the other “big Name” must be Castroneves, (17th) since Power was the Quickest Penske in 14th with McLaughlin behind him on Row 8 in 15th with Daly P16.


IndyCar Rookie Callum Ilott will start a respectable 19th with Jack Harvey alongside in 20th, while Grosjean who lost his fastest two laps rolls off P21, directly behind Ilott.


Then the biggest news of the Top 12 round had to be O’Ward  getting knocked out by his AMSP team-mate Felix Rosenqvist by some scant 0.013 seconds! With the Swede advancing and Pato finishing P7. Also impressively, Graham Rahal made it to his first Fast 6 Shootout appearance of the year, but once again it was Palou on top.


Have to say I was rootin’ for Alexander Rossi to take Pole, but Silly Me, Palou Owned the Day and captured his Debutante IndyCar Pole with Rossi second. Dixon took a quiet third with Rosenqvist fourth. And Rahal was P5 while Colton Herta’s gamble as the only car on the primary Black Firestone’s backfired as he ended up sixth.


Oh Yeah, shoutout to Oliver Askew who put the #45 RLLR entry ninth on his debut for the team, while Marcus ericsson will start alongside him him 10th.


 Race Day…

This simply has to be the most Insane race of the year! As I cannot ever remember a Start at Portland where the first two rows go Offtrack and Miss the first turn! Having to go thru the Chicane’s Runoff area whilst Pato O’Ward who’s starting seventh becomes the race’s leader! Whilst Romain Grosjean earned Racer’s Marshall Pruett’s “Golden bowling Ball Award” with a Direct Strike! As the Frenchman was described being like a Torpedo by Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe, who’s had even worse luck than Andretti team-mate Ryan Hunter-Reay, said Grosjean’s Turn 1 Shenanigans were Comical!


And at one point with the IndyCar Race Stewards throwing the Hammer down upon the first four starters, O’Ward was suddenly leading the Championship by 48 points, Aye Karumba!


As Pole sitter Alex Palou, Second place Alexander Rossi, Third place Scott Dixon and Felix Rosenqvist in P4; Instigator of the Blown First Turn when Nudging Dixon, were All sent to the back of the Grid in positions 16th thru 20th, WTF! Although little did we know how this would benefit them eventually…


O’Ward led for awhile before Graham Rahal in second performed the Overcut on O’Ward and then comfortably settled into the lead. But it was all for nought, as a Full course Caution for two cars stranded Ontrack, i.e.; Callum Ilott and Dalton Kellett brought out the first of multiple Yellow Flag periods, for which O’Ward seemingly got Hosed by.


And I still don’t completely understand how they did it? But Pole sitter Palou who’d been sent back to P16 or whatever managed to cycle his way to the front by having pitted on lap 9. Having switched to a three stop strategy during the race’s first 11 laps being run under Caution, as IndyCar Officials scrambled to reset the order correctly, not going Green until lap 11, Say What?


And even though Alexander Rossi had two restarts to try passing Palou, he simply couldn’t get the job done, as Palou held off Rossi and the rest of the field to score his third win of the season! And in doing so see a 35 point swing in his favour, and now leads O’Ward  by 25 points heading to Laguna Seca, who had dreadful luck and finished a lowly 14th.


Scott Dixon finished third, now 49 points behind. As remarkably, the Top 3 starters finish in their same positions, which seemed impossible after lap 1! While Rossi had to be disappointed finishing second! Although it’s his first podium of the season, and do I Dare “Curse” Him by saying He’ll win Long Beach…


Josef Newgarden salvaged a 5th place finish from starting P18 and now sits 34 points adrift of Palou. Whilst Marcus ericsson now seems out of the Hunt, falling 75 points behind Palou with a Ho Hum 7th place finish. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The Tomaso Files: Deliberating A Different, Dark Day


No Fenders Scribe Tomaso incredulously meets the legendous' Alex Zanardi briefly at Mother Speedway on Carb Day, 2013. (The Tomaso Collection)


As Obviously the World’s a very Complex place, where we All face Unique Challenges…


This past weekend, if you Tuned into Any sporting Event or Television in general, as well as Mainstream Media, you were painfully made aware of the commemorations over the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, for which seemed nicely packaged to Tug upon the Heartstrings of Nationalistic Jingoism Honouring the Fallen.


Yet I cannot help thinking who are the Real Terrorists if the News I’ve just Heard and read is as Accurate as it sounds. With the Cost of War Project in association with the Watson Institute for Public and International Affairs of Brown University reporting on September 11th that the Price of Continuous Wars in the Middle East since that Fateful Day have Cost the U.S. Taxpayers $8 Trillion (minimum) as in eight Trillion Dollars! With Afghanistan alone projected to have cost $2.3 Trillion.


Not to mention the Horrific Casualties of Foreigners estimated between 897,000 to 929,000., i.e.; predominantly Muslims. And those are just the ones Officially reported.


Yet where was any mention of the Islamophobic, Racist Violence carried out upon Muslims living in the United States immediately following 9/11, and I’d presume still to this very day? Which I’d hazard to guess was every bit as Bad or Worse then the current day Xenophobic Attacks upon Asians over the COVID 19 Pandemic.


And while everybody was Honouring the First Responders for their Patriotic Duty. How come Nobody will talk about the fact that multitudes of those very same people have had to file Lawsuits and continuously toil in litigation in order to get Medical Benefits from the Deadly Cancers and other respiratory Ailments they contracted by working in Ground Zero’s Toxic Dump and persistent Dust Cloud that Blanketed New York City. As our very U.S. government’s EPA Director Blindly proclaimed their was No Health Hazard from prolonged Exposure in order to re-open Wall Street!


As the New York Daily News won a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on the very subject in 2006, but Nobody wants to talk about that…


No, instead I’m thinking of how today marks the 20th Anniversary of that Horrible, Horrible Day at the Lausitzring in the former East Germany! Y’all know when Zorro’, aka Alex Zanardi almost lost his life in that Horrific Shunt with just some 13 laps remaining, just four days later…


As I can No longer “See” him trundling down the Pitlane on the Speed-limiter going Wog-Wog-Wog before apparently goosing the throttle and ultimately Spinning into the path of unsuspecting Alex Tagliani! As I believe that Alex was leading the race and thought he had a shot at winning…


As Y’all can read about my Fading Memories of Zanardi in the following No Fenders rant when commemorating then the 10th Anniversary of said accident.




But Zanardi has proven time again that he’s a Fighter, not only returning to the Lausitzring two years later to finish his final 13 laps in a specially outfitted Hand Control IndyCar, where his speed was good enough to have qualified 5th for the race! But returned to racing first in the European Touring Car Championship, (ETCC) debuting in late ’03 before contesting the Full 2004 ETCC season in a Hand Control adapted BMW.


In 2005 the ETCC became the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) where Alex scored the first of his four WTCC wins between 2005-09, before retiring from WTCC competition. Presumably in order to focus upon Handbiking instead, since he announced his intentions of representing Italy at the 2012 Paralympics.


As Alex first took up the sport of Handbiking basically as a “lark,” when he decided to enter the 2007 New York Marathon with only four weeks of training and summarily finished fourth in his category!


Since then, he’s won a Slew of Gold Medals for various competitions around the world, most notably winning his first  two Gold Medals and one Silver medal in the London 2012 Paralympics.


Fast Forwarding Five years ahead, Alex was mesmerizing us again with his unbelievable exploits at the 2016 Brazilian Paralympics where he captured a further two Gold Medals and another Silver Medal in Handbiking!


Zanardi returned to the cockpit in 2013 when he tested a BMW DTM racecar at the Nurburgring, and has subsequently competed in the BlancPain GT series, made a One-off appearance in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) in Italy, and most recently contested the 2019 24 Hours of Daytona in a specially modified Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing BMW M8 GTE Saloon.


Unfortunately Alex was involved in another Horrific Accident in June, 2020 when he lost control of his Handbike racing Downhill and slid Head First into the path of an oncoming Semi Truck!


Since then, he’s undergone multiple operations, but has first regained his Sight and Hearing, then the last news I can find upon him, claims he began speaking again this January after undergoing another operation to “Wake” his vocal chords…


Meanwhile, I’m not sure exactly when I first had the thought, albeit somewhere after the start of this year’s IndyCar season. Either sometime before or after the Indianapolis 500, and certainly no later then Road America.


As I’m completely amazed over how whenever I listen to Alex Palou speak, his charm, charisma and timre totally reminds me of Zanardi! As I feel like I’m listening to Alex’s brother, which in some small way I suppose I am…


Thus I find it totally Apropos, Karmic or Symbiotic that Palou not only Dominated the entire Portland IndyCar race weekend, but won from Pole after that most bizarre start that saw him and the Top 4 Drivers sent to the back of the field for Blowing the Turn 1 Festival Chicane! But I suppose it should have been expected, since after all it was the closest weekend for an IndyCar race ironically 20 years after Zanardi’s accident…


As Alex Zanardi will celebrate his 55th Birthday this October 23rd, for which naturally, we All Hope for it being an enjoyable day for the legendous’ Italian!


Monday, September 13, 2021

F1: Making A Mockery Out of Qualifying

Shame On You Liberty Media! Although everybody’s now just talking about Sunday’s Mega Championship Shunt instead…


All of the Subterfuge leading up to the second riveting Sprint Qualifying Race at la Autodromo Nazional Monza surrounded Mercedes Team Boss Toto Wolff deliberating the potential necessity to instruct Team Orders to assure Sir Lewis, aka Golden Child, nee Lewis Hamilton scoring maximum points.


Valtteri Bottas had pipped his team-mate Hamilton by a slim 0.069 second for the pair to line up in that order on the Front Row for the second Farcical Sprint Qualifying Race, with Wolff once again Hypocritically waxing over how He Didn’t like issuing Team Orders, since they were Racers at Heart. To which All I could Bellow Outloud when reading this Cockamamy Fluff was then Don’t Stick the Knife in Valtteri’s Back Again, Toto!


And although I’m totally rooting for Max Verstappen to knock Lewis off his perch of perpetual World Champion, albeit Figuratively, Not literally! For which I didn’t watch Sunday’s race; part of me was wishing for this exact scenario to play out in order to expose the Sham of this Contrived Qualifying Format! Since although it’s perfectly in Any F1 Team’s right to do such a thing as Ordering who Finishes where in a race and now Sprint Qualifying, this is Not what true Pole position is All about! Not to mention doling out points for the Top Three Finishers.


Even worse, Formula 1 Mouthpiece, Err Director Stefano Dominicali is trumpeting the case for having seven or eight of these Ridiculous Sprint Qualifying races next year. Ok, go ahead and continue Mucking round with F1 Liberty Media, but if you’re gonna do so, then Please do Not classify these results as Pole positions! As you’re tarnishing the Sport severly! As when will the first manufactured Team Orders Sprint qualie’ Finish occur and end up in the record books as Pole?


After All, notice how Red Bull sacrificed Verstappen’s Wingman Sergio Perez during Friday’s Pre Sprint Qualifying Qualifying, giving the Dutchman a Tow in order to ensure Max would be starting up front vs. the Mercedes on Saturday…


Also, which I notice nobody’s talking about at All is how the Fans as Always once again are taking it on the Chin, and in their wallets. Since the Sprint Qualifying weekend format reduces the amount of actual Track time, i.e.; what Fans Pay for when buying a Grands Prix ticket. As a Hour and 15mins time is cut off on Friday and a further 15mins is Nipped on Saturday, but somehow I’m guessing ticket prices aren’t reduced, Righto?


As the only change in position Saturday was Hamilton Muffing his start and dropping to fifth place behind the two McLarens that jumped ahead of him on their softer rubber Pirelli compound tyres, and then we settled in for a procession to the Chequered Flag, 18 laps later, Yawn!


As Verstappen was quite willing to follow Bottas home since the Pole winner would be starting near the rear of the grid due to having taken an unapproved Power Unit change. And thus if you’re just reading the Box Scores, you’re gonna be Confused over what happened to Bottas who “won” Pole?

So what’s next? Reverse Grid Starts, Oh Never Mind!


Afterwards, FIA Motorsports Director Ross Brawn tried explaining how even though they’ve now had two Duff Sprint Qualifying races, He still wants to wait until the final experiment at Sao Paolo, Brazil later this year before making any Judgements on it, and what possibly to do to improve it; Saying “They” Don’t want Any gimmicks or Contrived “Outcomes.” To which I immediately Screamed Then Get Rid of the Bleepin’ Qualie’ race Format!


As Knock this Shit Off Liberty Media!