Sunday, October 31, 2021

Ten Years later, Trick or Treating on IndyCar’s Past

But let’s Not forget the late, Great Justin B-I-G Unit’ Wilson…


Although DannyBoy Spike’ Wheldon perished 10 years ago this October 16th, it’s kinda Sad and Funny that what I recall is that prior to watching the events of the Who’s Your Daddy Sweepstakes Spectale live on ABC that Fateful Day, and knowing almost immediately that Wheldon was Dead! Certainly long before it was publicly announced., which I just Deduced from several unspoken Clues.


Like Paul Tracy’s flatness in his tone when he simply said “It’s Not good” before Stoically walking away from the Cameras eye. Or the total lack of not Hustling the Emergency Helicopter away from the Pad,  as it casually warmed up it’s engines before a normal takeoff. While the Talking Heads just kept us occupied going round in circles awaiting News upon wheldon’s Condition…


No, I just recall that I’d already put to bed my upcoming week’s Canned No Fenders stories since I was flying off to The Valley of The Sun two days later for a week’s plus vacation. And when everybody in the IndyCar’s Universe’s Blogsites and Websites were simply “blowing Up!” Instead I was celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Bill Muncey’s Death instead…


Hence, I waited a few weeks afterwards before posting the following No Fenders tome upon my thoughts on the Stupid, Wasteless Death of Dan Wheldon, for which I still hold true to today, even after having just read Marshall Pruett’s excellent two part retrospective 10 years later on, denoting Randy Bernard’s Critics, for which I’m still one of! As this race should have never Happened! Regardless of the need to Spice up the Indy Racing League’s, Err IndyCar’s then dismal TV Ratings which Randy “the CandyMann” Bernard was so Hell Bent upon…


While lest we forget? Today’s also the Anniversary of Greg Moore’s Death at Fontana’s California Speedway 22 years ago…


As you can read what I posted here on No Fenders two years ago about a Different Hoser’, The Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’, aka James Hinchcliffe’s ties to Moore, along with a great Racer video interview celebrating this unfortunate milestone with fellow IndyCar racers Dario Franchitti, Max Papis and Paul Tracy.


Or my No Fenders tome on the 20th Anniversary of Moore’s Death, which includes links to my long ago 2009 Trek to Ye Great White North, when paying Homage to the Fallen (CART) IndyCar Star by visiting the Greg Moore Gallery, in commemoration of then the 10th Anniversary.


Or lastly, Y’all can check out a long lost Post from that fine Kuhnaidiun’ lass Meesh’, who’s sadly left Ye IndyCar blogosphere awhile ago…


As sorry for All of the Hyperlinks Folks. But I was just trying to present some Treats from the past for Yuhs, whilst thoust Trick is thanks to being blind! Your Humble No Fenders Scribe can No longer adequately See to Highlight these links upon having been forced to upgrade to a Super bitchin’ 24-inch High Def Monitor. Since Not Always is Wider, Err Bigger Better for the Blind, but I digress…


Salute Dan, Greg, Justin and All the Others! 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

RETRO: Rolex’s, Richard Mille’s, Pardon Mwah, Do You Have the Time?

As once again, your Humble Scribe Tomaso’s Stumbled Down another Wabbit Hole, and what’s that ‘Ol Chicago song ‘bout Does Anybody Really Care What Time It Is? Does It really matter?


Yeah, I know it happened over a Gory month ago, or is it two now? But it took me that long to put it All together Folks! Even though I typed the name Richard Mille Racing last year, I just finally made the connection between it and Lando Norris’s Miss-adventures at this year’s euro 2020 Finals at Bloody Wembley Stadium…


Y’all remember when the 21yr old Briton had his custom Richard Mille wristwatch stolen off him when trying to leave the stadium after England’s defeat to Italy. Reportedly when getting into his McLaren Supercar in the Stadium’s parking lot!


And although it’s not as Gory expensive as I first Arse-sumed it was, nevertheless I still wonder what a 21yr old’s doing with a 40,000 pounds timepiece on his wrist? Which I suppose is the perks of being a McLaren F1 Driver, not to mention driving a Company Car, Righto?


As the watch in question worth some $55,000+ Greenbacks’ (U.S. Dollars) at the time of it’s forceable removal from said owner is rumoured to be an RM 67-02 custom 1 of 33 Richard Mille timepieces exclusively made in the teams colours of papaya orange and blue.


And what is it about Formula 1 drivers and Thar desires for Bloody expensive wristwatches? Since I tend to recall having previously scribbled’ a story about the late Jules Bianchi having his custom watch taken from him in France…


Lally’s Timepieces…

Yep, this No Fenders story is way Outta’ time, especially  since I keep forgetting to wind It’s Hands. But what better time to finally post it, since I’ve Oh, So cleverly managed to place it back onto thoust No Fenders Sun Dial, Hya!


As it’s been ah-Naggin’ at me ever since February, when I discovered I’d made another foopah, and thus a la Der Heindenmeir’, nee John Hindhaugh said on occasion during this year’s now presumably long forgotten 24 Hours of Daytona’s race Radio Broadcast, “A Bit ‘O Housekeeping” is sorely in order.


Having once again tried putting together another No Fenders story too fast, whilst Ye Bloody Knucels’ got in thoust Gory way! Or was it from not fastening thou Rolex’s Wristband securely, Hya! When I mistakenly noted how many Rolex wristwatches Andy Lally had accumulated from his various wins at Daytona International Speedway.


Since everywhere I looked upon Ye Intrawoods’, aka Internet claims that although Andy Lally was indeed the current winningest driver in this year’s Rolex 24, he only had five Class victories beginning twenty years ago in then Grand Am’s SRPII (P2) category aboard a Lola B2K/40 Nissan V-6 Prototype. Andy then took another three GT Class victories in 2009, 2011-12, all aboard Porsche 911’s. Before claiming his latest Class Honours in 2016 behind the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS in the GTD category.


Thus five class wins plus three Grand Am Champions Rolex time pieces would only equate to the eight Messer Lally casually mentioned during his latest Speed Freaks interview, which hopefully I’m managed to find the same interview I heard when listening to them several months  ago in the following link, since Thar website is totally 100% Non Screen reader Friendly, Sigh!


Scooter’s Rolex Collection

Meanwhile, and Nah, originally I wasn’t gonna do any Corny Stephen Colbert QuarantineWhile’ Jokes here, But! Seems like we’re headed back that way, Eh? Oh Never Mind, Tick tock!


So I know I’ve also scribbled somewheres’ in thoust Voluminous No fenders Archives about Scotty  Scooter’ Pruett casually discussing his Rolex 24 Winners timepiece collection with the Freaks, but of course cannot find it.


Actually, I found the link I was looking for in another No Fenders story title Scooter returns to Daytona, which isn’t with The Freaks, but Pruett’s been on Thar Show countless times over the years


But Guess What? Rightly so, Pruett has more coveted Rolex 24 Winners Rolex 24 watches than Lally does! As Pruett has a Mega twelve at minimum, since he cleverly got Rolex to “gift” him one for his 1992 Class victory aboard a Jaguar XJR-12 finishing Runner-up Overall, (1st in GTP) when Rolex’s were only awarded to Overall Winners And that doesn’t even include his apparent 10 Class victories!.


Naturally I cannot discern when Rolex began giving out Thar coveted Daytona models to All 24 Hours of Daytona Class Winners, since Pruett didn’t receive his first “proper” Rolex winner’s timepiece until 1994.


But we know this change occurred sometime between 1994 and 2001, since Lally received his first Daytona watch in 2001. So I’m Arse-suming it began in 2000, when the inaugural Grand American Road Racing Championship (Grand Am) was held opposite the American Le Mans Series Championship which claimed the 12 Hours of Sebring as it’s series Marquee event.


Scott is tied with Hurley Hayood for most Overall Rolex 24 wins at five apiece. Plus Scooter’s amassed a further six Rolex watches for winning a Mega six Grand Am Championship titles. And then unbeknownst to Mwah, he received a twelfth Rolex for being the race’s 2019 Grand Marshal, not to shabby, Eh?


As Y’all may enjoy the accompanying Motor Trend article I found when trying to solve my Tick Tick Tick, Ah-Wonderin’ how many Rolex watches Scott Pruett has, who’s an avid collector of the iconic brand who once again showed off part of his Rolex 24 watch collection at Daytona then… 

Monday, October 25, 2021

LE MANS: le Femmes, 2021 Encore

Although how many even remember this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race now?


Presumably only Hard Core 24 Heurs du Mans Aficionados will remember that last year's Le Mans event made history with the advent of two 100% Le Femmes Drivers line-ups, one LMP2 Prototypes entry, and one LM GTE Am Tintops' "Saloon."


As the Prototypes entry was the No. 50 Richard Mille Racing Team Alpine A470/Gibson V-8 with Columbia's Tatiana Calderon, then contesting Japan's Super Formula series being the only name I recognized of this  trio of drivers. Due to her being a former FIA Formula 2 Driver and a Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Test and Development Driver.


Calderon was partnered with Co-Drivers Sophia Florsch, then a German 19yr old  Teenager contesting her Rookie season in the FIA Formula 3 championship where she finished 29th out of 35 Drivers Overall. Along with Netherlands Beitske Visser who finished runner-up in the 2019 (Women's) W Series at it's controls. With the trio finishing 13th Overall, and 9th in Class.


For 2021, Calderon, who recently tested an A.J. foyt Enterprises IndyCar at Mid Ohio following the series race, and favourably impressed the Foyt team during her 87-laps outing, remains an Alfa Romeo F1 Development and Test Driver. Along with continuing splitting her time between Super formula and Sports Car racing this year.


Twenty-year old Florsch has switched this year to Tintops racing by moving to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) Championship, driving for ABT Sportsline, aboard an Audi R8 LMS Evo in her Rookie campaign alongside team-mate Mike Rocky’ rockenfeller.


Following the cancellation of last year’s Women’s W Series, Visser made her LMP2 Prototypes debut at the 2020 Four Hours of Spa as Thy Leggy Juan’, aka Katherine Legge’s replacement at Signature Team after Legge suffered multiple fractures in a testing accident. Beitske remained with the team for the rest of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) Championship.


Beitske is once again contesting this year’s W Series and recently made the Headlines at Spa Francorchamps. As perhaps you heard about the Massive six car Pile-up during their Qualifying session, which included two of the drivers being sent to Hospital for further evaluation, with one of them being Visser. As both Drivers were later released,  with the Dutchi’ Visser being sore from Back and leg injuries and Did Not Start (DNS) the season’s fifth of eight races, further denting her Championship standing.


Visser sat 12th with 18 points vs. Series leader Alice Powell’s 109 points, with reigning Champion Jamie Chadwick tied with Powell, albeit Powell held the tie breaker. As they’ll decide the Championship at the just concluded final two rounds at Circuit Of The Americas as part of the Formula 1 race’s Support Series.


As it took quite a Bitamyte’ of energy, and time to discern that the Signature Team was renamed as Richard Mille Racing for the 2020 ELMS season…


The Femme Fatale trio  is contesting this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) for Richard Mille Racing aboard it’s No. 1 Oreca 07 Gibson V-8 LMP2 entry.


As it’s Funny how I didn’t put together who Richard Mille was until learning of McLaren F1 Driver Lando Norris having his timepiece, a limited edition 1 of 33 Me Thinks? Custom Richard Mille $55k wristwatch in McLaren’s Papaya Orange and Blue team colours stolen off his wrist at the Euro 2020 Finals!


But as they say, it All went “Pear Shaped” for the No. 1 team in the sixth hour when Florsch crashed in the Dark during one of the multiple Rain Storms that popped up unexpectedly, frequently during the event. As Sophia went Offtrack and I’m not sure if she either tangled with the #26 G Drive LMP2 or was taking Avoiding action? Since they were both involved in the initial incident.


But then it got even Stranger when Florsch was trying to reverse out of either the Tyre barrier or “Kitty litter” and the #74 Racing Team India EurAsia LMP2 didn’t see her in the Flashing Yellow lights/Flags and Plowed into her!


As I Don’t recall who said it on the Radio Le Mans Broadcast, perhaps John Hindhaugh? But I recall whomever saying that the Track Marshals were knocking on the roof while Sophia was on her Cell phone to tell her to exit the car, since the collision with the #74 had triggered the In-car Medical Safety Alert, meaning Florsch needed to go for a mandated Medical Check-up, with the No. 1 ultimately being retired.


Meanwhile last year’s Gran Torismo entry was the #85 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GTE Evo chariot in the "lower" tier GTE Am (Amateur) category driven by Rahel Frey, Manuela Gostner and Michelle Gatting. They finished 34th Overall, and 55-laps behind the winner.


An as I’ve mentioned before, Frey's name sounded vaguely familiar to Mwah, before learning that she was part of an All Swiss le Femme's Driving trio Wayback in 2010. Aboard one of Matech Competition's Ford GT1's that I've previously scribbled bout here on No Fenders in a story titled Swiss Misses invade Le Sarthe…


Italy's Gostner cut her teeth in regional Ferrari Challenge series, as her family’s name is synonymous with Ferrari’s, along with reportedly being an ex-Professional volleyball player. While Gatting is another Dane' cutting her teeth in Sports Car racing - wishing to follow in the Footsteps of Christina Nielsen, a Two-times IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship GTD (Daytona) Class Champion.


Thanks to Raymond Hando’s For the Love of Indy’s Le Mans preview, as ‘Ol Hobbo’, nee HobbsCapp’, aka David Hobbs would say that Boy’s got eyes Sharp as Rats, Hya! I learned that this year’s #85 Iron Links LM GTE Am Ferrari 488 GTE Evo entry was sporting a new Driver lineup.


Whilst Frey and Gatting remain, Belgian Sarah boby replaced Gostner as of the previous six Hours of Monza round, where she made her FIA World Endurance championship debut, an thus Has  just made her 24 Heurs du Mans debut this year.


At one point in her racing career, former Belgian Formula 1 Driver Thierry Boutsen took her “Under His Wing” to help Sarah develop as a race car driver as part of his Boutsen-ginion Team, in GT, silhouette and Touring Cars. This followed Sarah’s Single Seater debut in the Renault 1.6 Belgium series before transitioning to “Saloons” in an On Again, Off Again Sports car career due to lack of funding…


Boby was confirmed as one of the inaugural W Series Reserve Drivers and made three starts in 2019, beginning at her Home race at Zolder where she failed to start due to technical issues. She claimed her best finish of 12th at Misano and finished 19th at the Season Finale at Brands Hatch after a first lap incident.


As No Clue on how Thar race went, other than by my unofficial counting, they finished eighth in Class, listed as 36th Overall, +39 laps to the winning Toyota. 

Friday, October 22, 2021

F1: The Andretti Factor

Hurray, Hurray, Hurray folks, This is a limited time Offer…


Perhaps it’s just Mwah? But I find All of the Noise having been made over Mikey A’s proposed Takeover, Err Merger, Uhm Purchasing of a controlling Shareholding in the Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team a bit confounding…


As think it was a Fortnight ago now when “Broke” the News regarding Michael Andretti’s upcoming meetings in Austin at Circuit Of The Americas, (COTA) when Formula 1 visits for this year’s U.S. Grand Prix on October 24th.


Firstly, why would you bother to “leak” News about your impending negotiations? Other than I can only Arse-sume in order to put pressure upon one party or the other, since usually aren’t these types of Acquisitions done Privately?


Since the last Formula 1 Team sold was Williams F1 Racing, but that was on their terms, with Sir Frank and his Co-Deputy Director, Daughter Claire making public the need to sell their team due to Financial woes.


Whilst I Don’t know of Longbow Capital, the owners of Sauber AG who own the rebranded Alfa Romeo concern ever publicly decrying their need to sell? Which leads me to believe this PR “Stunt” is only intended to drive the price up.


Secondly, can we please Stop All of the Sillyness over Colton Herta going to Formula 1 to drive for Mikey A’s Alfetti’ concern. As the first I heard of this is when the Indianapolis Star’s Motorsports Beat Reporter Nathan Browne discussed All of the rumours suggesting this, Huh? Hadn’t heard a Bloody thing until you wrote about it Nathan!


Then Racer’s Marshall Pruett, who I’m totally a Fan of published his Open letter to Colton Herta, Begging him to Not go to F1! For which All I can think is that Marshall’s having Fun at our expense teasing us, since if he’d read Messer Browne’s article, then he'd know that Colton won’t be able to muster up the mandatory minimum number of points required to acquire the necessary FIA Superlicense anytime soon! So Game Over, you don’t get to pass g-O or collect your $200 gory Dollars Marshall!


Or is this just another honest mistake by Pruett a la his not knowing that only Full Season IndyCar Teams are eligible to collect the Leaders Circle Fund provided they contest All races and finish in the Top 22?


So if Michael Andretti does buy a controlling Shareholding in Alfa Romeo Racing, then good for him, but it’s just one more sign of his wealth, and his intentions of capitalizing on the perceived future increased value of said F1 “Franchise,” Uhm Property.


Since the F1 Fraternity and the FIA have instituted their version of a Poison Pill buy requiring any new F1 Constructor to pay an Insane $250m as in Millions entry Fee, in order to cover their potential lost revenues from the FIA’s Prize Fund, instead of doing what’s best for the sport, by having New F1 Teams come onto the Grid and Bulk Up to 24 cars from the paltry 20.


After publishing this, I finally got round to reading Grizzled F1 Journo’ Joe Saward’s Green Notebook from Sultanbeyli. (Oct 12) Where Joe as typical dropped a few tidbits worth mentioning.


As Joe, who after all Knows F1 notes that Sauber is Definitely Up for Sale, and that Z deal with a U.S. Based consortium could possibly close at the end of 2022?


Whilst claims that some rumours in Istanbul claimed that Michael Andretti had already acquired an 80% Shareholding in presumably Sauber AG, but who knows what’s really going on beside whomever the Playah’s are?


Joe also opines Thars a possibility of Alpine financing a new Formula 1 concern, including paying the $200 million Entry Fee! Instead of the apparently erroneous $250m figure I mentioned above.


With joe claiming Alpine would be keen on doing this in order to not only develop a “Customer” B-Team a la Scuderia AlphaTauri in order to give it another Power Unit customer, but also could aid in Renault’s development of the next generation 2026 PU’s. (Power Units) Along with helping it’s logjam of Development drivers finding seats on the F1 Grid.


Joe also claims that Alpine Academy member Christian Lundgaard is headed Stateside to fill the third #30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing IndyCar seat for 2022… 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Texas Does Country, And Western

As where’s those Osmond’s to sing about being a little part Country, and a ‘lil bit Rock ‘N roll?


So it’s Funny how just a fortnight ago, Racing Drivers were getting Cranked up on two Continents…


In years past, even though “Everything’s Bigger in Texas!” I bothered checking and notice that Texas Ain’t hosting the RASSCAR’ Roundy Round and Formula 1 race on the same weekend, which unwisely they’ve done in the past. Since this year NASCAR ran at TMS the week prior to F1 at Circuit Of The Americas…


But who knows how the Fireworks will progress in the Lone Star State over these two weekends? Or is Thar still a Burn Ban on?


Since Arse-sumedly we ain’t seen the last of Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliot’s Spat, albeit notice the Media’s calling it A Feud! As I’d be surprised if Eddie Gossage didn’t play up “the Feud” when it comes to Texas Motor Speedway October 17th, since Gossage, the Maestro of Promotions will Hope for nothing less than Harvick and Elliot getting into I-T once more!


As I only learned about this since I bothered turning Thy Telie’ back on after “Watching,” Err listening to the Turkish Grands Prix Encore presentation for some “Soothing” Background noise when eating lunch. Although Don’t know how I didn’t get indigestion, Eh?


Then I must have been desperate since I turned the Charlotte roval’s  race back on an Hour and A-Half later for the final 14 laps, when Chase Elliot was racing his way back to the front and was getting ready to pass the #19, the only car between him and his Bosom Buddy Harvick, who suddenly ran wide into Turn-1 and Crashed outta Duh race, Yeehaw!


Meanwhile (two weeks later) Lewis Hamilton’s still trying to persuade anybody who’ll listen that he wasn’t Furious at his team during the Turkish Grand Prix. Seriously Sir Lewis? Like we All heard your Potty Mouth over the In-car radio thanks to the International TV Feed.


Even though the Turkish Grand Prix was an overly dull affair, with Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas leading Flag to Flag on a one lane “Greasy” racetrack, Golden child kept me quite amused! In fact Golden Child’s petulance over the radio with his Frothing tirade was so Obvious how Furious he was over Not getting his way, that All I could think of was Kimi Raikkonen’s wife’s famous Quip “If You’re gonna Cry like A Girl, then may be You should take up Ballet!” Yeah, she’s talking to you Lewis! Uhm, what’s that Mate? You say just Leve it Alone, Man?


Thus am I the only person still wondering why Sir Lewis tried so mightily to Cover His Derriere, Err Backtrack so massively the day after the race? And try downplaying that anything had happened, or the fact that He’d Shot Himself in his Own Foot by Challenging the Team’s Orders to Box-Box-Box previously, when he wouldn’t have Hung Himself Out to Dry?


Since at least Chase Elliot was Man enough to Not waffle or Flip Flop, since I just Cracked Up when during the Charlotte Post-race interviews Elliot said dryly in regards to Harvick wrecking and being out of the Playoffs Chase: “I wish him A Merry Offseason and A Happy Christmas!” Fa la la la lah! No X-Mas Cards Thar…


And it’ll be interesting to hear how Austin’s overly lumpy track surface effects the Formula 1 race this weekend? Since when MotoGP just raced there, the riders noted how Horrible the Bumps were! With MotoGP Points leader Fabio Quartararo calling it a Joke!


As it was two years ago when Golden child said the Bumps were so Bad at COTA that it gave him A Headache! Which I’m certain that’s exactly what Max Verstappen will be hoping for, ore more! And it things don’t go exactly 100% Sir Lewis’s way or expectations, Y’all know he’ll be Crying like Uhm, You know What over the radio once again… 

Monday, October 18, 2021

RETRO: McQ - The Man, The Movie and The Myths

As where’s ‘Ol Marty mcFly’s time Machine when Yuhs Needs it?


As a Blind Automobile and Racing Enthusiast, for which Y’all know Heavily centers round Open Wheel Racing, i.e.; formula 1 and IndyCar, like Ye sub title of thoust “Award Winning” No Fenders Blog denotes. Along with Sports Cars, predominantly the Blue Ribbon Round the Clock Endurance events, Obviously it’s Hard to know what any of today’s vehicles look like! Be that on the road or racetrack…


Thus I’m just reduced to my memories of years, Err Decades past when I was able to truly See what I was looking at or watching on TV, and it’s still pretty funny to think that I once held a valid Driver’s license for nearly two decades, especially now since I’ve long eclipsed my “Driving Time” since Surrendering said license…


Have to say I’ve never been a Fan of the late John Wayne, for which Family lore claims that “The Duke” used to visit my Grandparent’s upstairs tenants of the Duplex they owned whenever he was visiting Seattle, but I suppose everybody’s got some Crazy, Zany, Wacky Mythical story like that, Righto?


As recently I was listening to The Bob and Sherry Syndicated Talk Radio Show here on Ye Isle ‘O Nofendersville along thou Oregon coast and Bob Lacey went down another Wabbithole’ about The Duke whilst waiting in the Checkout line at some Home Improvement store.


Noting that The duke who was a prolific Chain Smoker, smoked Seven Packs a Day! Which I believe equates to 140 Cigarettes Daily, Holy Puffing Chimneys Batman!


This sent me down my own Wabbithole’, as the only John Wayne movie I carry round memories of from Wayback’ when, since I’ve only ever seen it on television long after it’s debut, is the long forgotten, and arguably either Obscure or totally Unknown 1974 movie simply titled McQ, for which Y’all can watch a Smidgen in the Youtube video Teaser below.


As John Wayne, who plays Detective Lon “McQ” McHugh  drives a 1973 Brewster Green Pontiac Firebird Trans Am in the movie, although I’ve got Zero Clue if it was one of the ultra rare (1973) SD 455’s or Not? Which reportedly there were only 252 total built with only 72 being four speed manual transmissions!


As “SD” reportedly is revered Pontiac parlance known for Super Duty for it’s most Beefed Up engines. And the 455 denotes the 455cubic inches (7.5-litre) Big Block displacement V-8 lump propelling the General Motors 2nd Generation F Body platform vehicle, which it shared with it’s Bowtie’ “Kissing cousin,” the Chevrolet Camaro.


Reportedly the Brewster Green body colour was only available in 1973, and if I recall correctly from another No Fenders tome about the late James Garner; ‘Ol Jimmy Rockford preferred the 1973 Trans Am model over the ’74, presumably due to it’s looks, since in 1974 Government mandates required uglier “Crash” protective front and rear bumpers to All vehicles.


Whale’, at least I had the Pontiac Firebird part right. But the Rockford Files car in question was actually the 1978 Pontiac Firebird Esprit instead…


While Indianapolis 500 Aficionados will know that not only did Garner drive the Pace Car three times, but also that the Pontiac Trans Am paced the race twice. First in 1980 with a Turbocharged variant with Johnny Parsons behind the wheel. And then  in 1989, when the 20th anniversary Trans Am was chauffeured by Uncle Bobby’, aka Bobby Unser. But that’s entirely another story for a Nutter’ day…


The main reason I carry this virtually unknown Film in my own “Movie Vault” is because of it’s Seattle locale as the “backdrop” for the film. Although I only seem to have two fleeting memories of the movie today. As I think it opens with either McQ or somebody else roaring up ‘N down the deserted Freeway of Seattle? Since my memory says it always cracked me up how there was Zero traffic on presumably (Interstate) I-5, since I tend to believe it showed the backdrop of the entire Downtown Seattle on a brilliant sunny Day! For which both of are rarities! And I’d say it’s almost impossible to not encounter traffic on any major thoroughfare today, especially thru the choked Arteries of roads thru Downtown Seattle!


Also for some weird, strange reason think Thars some Automotive footage upon the now demolished Alaskan Way viaduct? But not sure now…


And although I never picked up on the fact that Wayne was wearing a toupee, since after all he’d just turned 66 if I did my math correctly when filming one of his latter movies. Instead I seem to recall that he had a ridiculous looking pencil thin Clark Gable mustache that looked totally outta place to Mwah! Which I now think matched the colour of his toupee? Although the more I think of it, I do think I recall his toupee since his hair seemed a tad too dark for his age…


Reputedly the required Car Chase scene in McQ was inspired by the legendous’ Steve McQueen’s 1968 Bullitt chase thru the streets of San Francisco, albeit when reading about the movie, it claims the chase scene took place on a beach instead. So I don’t know it that’s where it ended, after having started in Seattle or what?


Interestingly, the Stunt Man who was the very first to use a black powder Cannon charge to flip the leviathan trans Am without ramps was the legendous’ Hal Needham. As I can only wonder if this use of the ’73 Trans Am with it’s smallish “Flying Chicken” hood Deckel’ (Decal) led to another movie starring Burt Reynolds in a later model Black Trans Am?


While one of Wayne’s best lines in the McQ movie comes after his Trans Am has been Squashed by two Semi Trucks in an attempt upon McQ’s life. Where he tells one of the On-scene Police Officer’s while trapped in the wreckage: “I’m Up to My butt in Gas!”


According to one Los Angeles Times Movie Critic, the Film has a similarity to Clint Eastwood’s Magnum force, albeit Wayne’s McQ Blustering and Bombastic as always character shows more Humanity. While Eastwood’s Film just shows violence for violence’s Sake.


Reportedly Wayne regretted having turned down the Dirty Harry role, with Magnum force’s early drafts utilizing Seattle before switching to San Francisco after Eastwood took the role instead… 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Where Will Kyle Kirkwood land?

Or will another Indy Lights Champion be left High ‘N Dry Kerbside…


So as they say, whomever “they” are? Let The Games Begin!


Nearly a Fortnight ago, 22yr old Floridian Kyle Kirkwood won the 2021 Indy Lights Championship for Andretti Autosport as a Rookie. Kirkwood did so impressively, equaling the late, Great Greg Moore’s single season tally of 10 wins during the 1995 Season.


Kirkwood is the first Road to Indy Graduate ever to win All three RTI rungs; the 2018 U.S. F2000, (12/14) 2019 Indy Pro 2000 (9/16) and 2021 Indy Lights Championships )10/20) as a Rookie No less! And he’s racked up an most impressive tally of 31 Wins out of 50 Races in those three series alone, Aye Karumba!

(Wins/Races Series Tally in Parenthesis)


So you’d naturally think it would be Automatic that he’ll be racing Fulltime in Indy Cars next year, Righto? Not so fast, even though his Boss Mikey A’ says he’s really Keen to Keep Him. Uh Duh, No shit Sherlock!


Yet currently Andretti Autosport theoretically already has a Full House, with Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi and Romain Grosjean announced. While we’re All Ah-Waitin’ Breathlessly the confirmation of fellow Indy Lights Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport Rookie Devlin DeFrancesco, who finished a distant sixth Overall to be the new Chauffeur of the team’s No. 29 entry next year.


As DeFrancesco finished as the Meat in an Andretti Sandwich with fellow team-mates Danial  Frost 5th and Robert Megennis P7. With Devlin finishing 211 points adrift of Kirkwood and the team’s third placed Rookie behind Kirkwood and Frost…


My initial thought was that Kirkwood could become Top Jimmy’s (Vasser) and James Sully’ Sullivan’s future IndyCar team driver after spending his Debutant IndyCar season at Thar Dale Coyne Racing Co-Op? but obviously Michael Andretti won’t wish to let go of such a gifted driver, especially to a rival team, Righto!


As I just logically made this “conclusion” due to the fact that Kirkwood’s been racing in IMSA Sports Cars for Vasser Sullivan Racing’s (VSR) Lexus GT Daytona team during Endurance races recently. But I’m not so Hot upon this scenario anymore, since I doubt that Vasser and Sullivan want to train him just for a single season, if they truly decide to start their own IndyCar team in 2023?


Since if we’re All ah-Drinkin’ Ye Kool Aid over Toyota becoming IndyCar’s third engine manufacturer, and I’m reading thoust Tea leaves correctly? As Thar just so happens to be a Jimmy Vasser Toyota of Napa Dealership, not to mention Vasser and Sullivan run the Factory Lexus RC F GT3 Squad and Viola! Why wouldn’t they be the Japanese Auto Manufacturer’s Kickoff IndyCar team? Which surely Andretti and Honda would be loathe to lose him to a rival Manufacturer…


Thus, a more likely scenario to me now tends to be that Kirkwood could fill the vacant “lead” #51 Coyne-Ware Racing entry, (CWR)As Vanna, I wanna buy a Vowel! Since I’m getting extremely tired of typing out Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing! With Kirkwood on “loan” instead from Andretti Autosport, who could sweeten the pot by including a talented Engineer to Boot. Since Romain Grosjean’s CWR Engineer Olivier Boisson is also moving to Andretti with him next year.


Although Scuttlebutt still suggests that Takuma Sato is the most likely candidate for this seat next year, due to his strong, longtime Honda backing. Although Dale Coyne’s gotta be enjoying everybody trying to guess what He’ll do next year?


Then possibly a seat would open up in 2023 either at Andretti Autosport or Gasp, Meyer Shank Racing, (MSR) since I think Rossi’s contract expires next year? And if Rossi has a third unfulfilling season with Mikey A’, who knows what will happen? Even though I want Rossi to finally win a Championship, it’ll be tough Sledding next year.


Meanwhile, how much longer will MSR wish to keep an extremely long in the Tooth Helio Castroneves? Since after all, they are an Andretti Affiliated team, and I’ll go out on another tree branch and predict Hulio’ will Not be successful in his vaunted “Drive for Five.”


Obviously the easiest move would be for Andretti Autosport to restart Marco’s defunct fifth team entry next year. Yeah, I know, it’s All about that Budget thingy’.


But didn’t Marco somewhat Quit his Fulltime drive due partially to missing the cut on the 2021 IndyCar Leaders Circle Fund? Which Kirkwood is guaranteed to bring his $1.3m (Million)  Indy Lights prize fund to whomever next season, which I believe is more than the Leaders Circle Fund pay out.


As I know that winning the Lights Championship doesn’t Guarantee you a Full season ride in Indy Cars anymore, if it ever did? But it’ll truly be a Crime if Kyle Kirkwood doesn’t get to compete for IndyCar rookie Of the Year next season in a Fulltime ride!


Having just completed his Debutante IndyCar test outing at Sebring’s Short course alongside Devlin DeFrancesco, it sounds like Kirkwood was Quick immediately and is still Miles Ahead of DeFrancesco…


And I really Don’t like the idea of Michael Andretti keeping him on “Ice” next year by “Squirreling” Kyle away in some other series like Gasp, Formula E. Or even worse yet, either in Andretti Autosport’s Extreme E or IMSA LMP3 programmes.


And please do Not even Hint at Formula 1 if Mikey A’ does really become Alfa romeo’s largest Shareholder, ACK! Since I’m 98% certain that Kirkwood Doesn’t have the required Points for an FIA Superlicense.


As Kirkwood’s simply too talented to not be given the Ful Season IndyCar seat he Deserves next year, and it’ll absolutely be a Crime if He doesn’t land a Fulltime Gig’ for 2022! Or has his chance to Bag Rookie of the Year Honours whenever possible… 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

MotoGP’s Austin Autumn Harvest

Where thou King of COTA continued his Reign…


So it’s pretty weird to know that MotoGP just came Stateside for the first time in a Gory 903 Days! Having last raced on April 14, 2019 at Circuit Of The Americas, nee COTA,. Making  it’s Debutante Fall outing this October 3rd vs. it’s traditional April calendar date after essentially a two and a half year’s absence.


Obviously much has changed since the world’s preeminent Ash-fault’ Kneedraggers attacked COTA’s “lumpy” tarmac Wayback then.


As it was somewhat Funny hearing The Voice of IndyCar’s Leigh Diffey doing the Pre and Post Race reporting live from COTA, so may be that’s really why IndyCar Quit Thar season so early this year? But it was nice hearing him talk briefly to Kevin Schwanz along with his Mate from Down Under.


Won’t even attempt giving a rundown on everythingy’ that’s changed, other than to say some Old Faces were in New places, notably in the Yamahopper’ ranks.


As Thee Doctor’, nee Valentino Rossi at Age 42 made his Swan Song MotoGP outing Stateside upon the Satellite SRT Petronas Yamaha outfit. Where somewhat strangely, past Ducati rival Dovi’,, aka Andrea Dovizioso partnered him.


As Dovi’ returns from the Wild in preparations to return Fulltime in 2022 whilst Rossi retires at season’s end.


And although this year’s two MotoGP Championship protagonists occupied the grid’s first two places, with Ducati’s Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia on Pole ahead of Yamaha Points leader Fabio Quartararo, All eyes were upon that “Masked Man” in P3.


And for good reason, as Thee Pinball Wizard, nee Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez sublimely Shot past his front Row competitors, led into Turn 1 and never looked back, Nor relinquished the lead!


As I must admit it was a pretty Dull race  with Marquez stretching his lead each lap, whilst Quartararo was quite content to sit in second, since he was only interested in increasing his large points lead to speed up his coronation as this year’s MotoGP World Champion. As Mission Accomplished as he ultimately added another four points to his lead, now 52 markers Ahead of Bagnaia.


AS the two biggest “Story lines” of the race, or most interesting during the fairly processional event were the battle for who’d ultimately take the Podium’s final step, along with how would Ducati corse Factory Rider whom the TV Pundits call Thriller Miller, aka Jack Miller perform after his disappointing Qualie’ outing.


As Miller had appeared to be the only rider able to match times with Marc Marquez during the practice sessions, with the Spaniard claiming the Aussie’ was still his biggest “Threat” in the race.


Miller made what ultimately was the wrong decision by making a late grid change to be the only rider on Michelin’s Hard compound in an attempt to help his chances of progressing forward from his “lowly” 10th place starting position.


Miller made it as far towards the Sharp end as P4 before his tyres faded, and he politely let Ducati team-mate Bagnaia by in order for the Italian to take his turn at attacking those ahead, especially since Pecco’ needed to somehow rebound from dropping rearwards at the start and somehow magically pass Quartararo.


Yet the final podium place should have gone to the Duc’ Pramac Racing Satellite rider Rookie Jorge Martin, who ran a great  race withstanding massive pressure from first Suzuki’s Alex Rins, then Miller and finally Bagnaia!


But it wasn’t to be, as the young Spanish Phenom finally Cracked unper this relentless onslaught, first running wide somewhere to see his nearly two second gap over Bagnaia basically disappear. Then Martin was penalized for a Track limits violation and given a Long-lap penalty, effectively handing the podium spot over to Bagnaia, who passed him Ontrack before Martin reluctantly served his penalty. As Martin’s delay would cost him a further position to rins and ultimately wind up a dejected fifth.


Meanwhile, it’s now obvious that Father Time has firmly caught up with the Ageless Valentino Rossi, who came home a quiet P15. While it was another Italian Youngster instead who impressed me. As Rookie Tnea Bastianini, who’s riding on a two year old Ducati for Sky 46 Esponsorama Racing, starting 16th came home an impressive sixth. One place ahead of eventual finishers Miller and Suzuki’s Joan Mir, the reigning MotoGP Champion who collided on the final lap.


Taking Nothing away from Marquez, who claimed his seventh out of eight victories at Circuit Of The Americas, with the TV Pundits firmly proclaiming the King of COTA had regained his Crown. I’ve heard somewhere that this was one of the three race circuits Marquez had circled as his best opportunities for winning. With All three circuits being Anti Clockwise, since he’s stil trying to recover from his Mega Accident in 2020 that severly damaged his right arm, which apparently still isn’t at 100% Fitness…


As Marquez won at the first track on his list, the Sachsenring in Germany, and now has claimed his second victory of the season at COTA. Where the Werks’ Honda’s Horsepower seems to enjoy stretching it’s legs in the Lonestar State.


But reportedly Quartararo was almost as Happy as Marquez on the podium with his runner-up finish, since he’s now securely got one hand upon the title, wwith just three rounds remaining. While Bagnaia in third probably just looked on in dismay? 

Monday, October 11, 2021

A Different Darrell Makes History!

And it’s Fantastic News, even if NASCAR’s moved onto the Next race…


Nah, I’m Not talkin’ about Mr. Boogity-Boogity-Boogity’, aka ‘Ol DW’, or simply known as Darrell Waltrip. And certainly Ain’t even remotely thinking ‘bout his brother Mikey Aw Shucks! Waltrip, FOX Sports Court Jester! Nor am I referring to those other Wallace Brothers, i.e. Kenny and Mike…


Nope, I was pleasantly surprised when perusing my NFB Newsline for The Blind telephone service late Monday evening (October 4th) to Hear the News that Darrell Wallace had won the rain shortened Talladega NASCAR race!


As I really enjoyed ESPN’s ryan McGee’s article completely explaining how this was a moment of Joy! And that Wallace, who’s nickname is Bubba Doesn’t have Any time for any of the Detractors or Social Media Trolls, nor the former President of the United States!


Hmm, isn’t that Strange how that Ex-President only had Eyes for Berating Black Athletes like Colin Kaepernick and Darrell Wallace?


But Darrell was simply celebrating his maiden NASCAR race victory instead! And that Wallace’s motto is Love should Always Stand Above Hate!


As McGee was the first to inform Mwah that his Full Name is William Darrell Wallace, Jr. who just so happened to be giving himself an early Birthday present, since he turned 28 years old this past October 8th.


And I find it overly Rich that it occurred in the Deep South at Talladega No less, since Wallace was instrumental in getting the Confederate Flag Finally Banned from NASCAR, Yeehaw!


Since I’m not a Roundy-Round RASSCAR’ Fan, I didn’t have Thy Telie’ switched on to witness the History making moment, as make No mistake, Wallace Drove his way to the lead before the race was curtailed due to rain!


And it’s somewhat Shocking to learn that it’s been 2,040 races since Wendell Scott became the first African American to win a NASCAR race Wayback in 1963! Although it took a few months to actually declare him the winner of the race, solely due to Racial Segregation.


For which I’m Not overly impressed over how NASCAR managed to Drag it’s Heels for nearly some 58 years before finally giving the Scott Family Wendell’s winners Trophy, which apparently the did quietly some two months ago.


As it’s a Banner year for Black Drivers, since earlier Myles Rowe, the Rookie Driver of the U.S.F2000 #99 Force Indy racecar won his maiden Road to Indy Single Seater race at New Jersey Motorsports Park on August 30th, in the Sunday morning race.


But this is supposed to be All about Darrell Wallace’s major Stock Car accomplishment! While perhaps one day soon Myles Rowe can accomplish his own History by becoming the first Black Driver to win an IndyCar race…


Congratulations Darrell Wallace! 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

2022 IndyCar silly Season: Volume 2

Looks like Honda’s ready to Dominate the Grid once again with 15+ entries…


Now that the 2021 IndyCar season’s over, I suppose all that’s left is who’ll end up where when we begin racing again at St Pete on February 27, 2022. Which at least it’s only a five monthsOffseason this time, compared to our typical 6-7 Months Snoozers!


Alas,  here’s what us lowly Bloggers do during the dreaded Offseason, we Madly Gesticulate like All Bench Racers do! As this is just an attempt of updating what I’ve previously scribbled here upon No Fenders in early August…


As we All know, two of the worst kept secrets have since been confirmed. One a week prior to Long Beach when Ryan Hunter-Reay was dismissed from his long tenure at Andretti Autosport to make way for Romain Grosjean. And the other announcement at Meyer Shank Racing, confirming simon Pagenaud as Helio Castroneves team-mate just some 36 hours after Long Beach as the departing Jack Harvey’s replacement.


Thus continuing on with my No Fenders 2 Part Harmony, Here’s a quick rundown on what’s been Confirmed Driver-wise for 2022 so far.



(2) Arrow McLaren SP: #5 Pato O’Ward, #7 Felix Rosenqvist; (2) Ed Carpenter Racing: #20 Ed Carpenter, #21 Rinus VeeKay; (1) Juncos Hollinger Racing: #77 R-Callum Ilott; (3) Team Penske: #2 Josef Newgarden, #3 Scott McLaughlin, #12 Will Power.

(R = Rookie)



(3) Andretti Autosport: #26 Colton Herta, #27 Alexander Rossi, #28 Romain Grosjean; (4) Chip Ganassi Racing: #8 Marcus Ericsson, #9 Scott Dixon, #10 Alex Palou, #48 Jimmie Johnson/Tony Kanaan; (2) Meyer Shank Racing: #06 Helio Castroneves, #60 Simon Pagenaud; (1) Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: #15 Graham Rahal.


Hence by my very Quick, Unofficial count, this gives us 8 Chevy and 10 Honda runners equaling 18 entries currently confirmed. Out of the presumably minimum 27 Car count next season, leaving us with nine Seats available. Which I’ll just Jot my remaining first impressions below.


Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

(1) #29 TBA

It seems a foregone conclusion that The Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’, aka James Hinchcliffe Has left The Building, i.e.; Departed Andretti Autosport’s IndyCar team, and we’re All just ah-Waitin’ the next glossy, Snap Happy Press release announcing that fellow Hoser’, Err Kuhnuck Devlin DeFrancesco who’s just concluded his Rookie Indy Lights campaign will move up to IndyCar’s for 2022.


Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan

(1) #18 TBA

I’ll stick with my earlier speculation (For the moment) that Kyle Kirkwood, having  now won the 2021 Indy Lights Championship will fill this seat. Even though Mikey A’ (Andretti) has said he really wants to keep Kirkwood who’s “The Real Deal!” Uh Duh, Mikey! Who holds an Option on him following his Indy Lights campaign, even though He Doesn’t have any IndyCar seats available for the Yank. But it’ll be a Crime if Kirkwood Doesn’t get a Full Season ride in Indy Cars next year!


On an interesting Sidenote, Don’t know if Y’all saw the recent conjecture over Toyota possibly becoming the long sought after third IndyCar engine manufacturer beginning in the 2023 2.4-litre V-6 Turbo Hybrid era? As could a future Vasser Sullivan Racing IndyCar entity be the Kickoff team to launch such an effort, Who knows? And surely Andretti, and more importantly Honda wouldn’t want to lose the services of Kirkwood, Righto?


Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing

(2) #51 TBA, #52 TBA

With No Disrespect towards Taku-san’, aka Takuma Sato, who I’m a Huge Fan of! Why would Dale Coyne and his Assorted Cast ‘O Merrymen choose the 44yr old Japanese driver over the younger 34yr old Kuhnuck’ James Hinchcliffe? Other than I suppose Sato’s name has more “star Power” due to his being a Two-times Indianapolis 500 winner, not to mention his Honda ties. But it’s just a Stop Gap move at best, unless Dale Coyne’s truly Happy with his never ending revolving Merry Go Round Driver Factory model, eh?


No idea if the No. 52 with Co-Owner Rick Ware’s son Cody, who’s supposedly focusing upon his Journeyman RASSCAR’ Career will return to the cockpit again next year? But I think they want to check off some ‘lil ‘Ol Oval race at 16th and Georgetown. Or if somebody else will make limited appearances aboard it?


Oh Shit! As I really need to Stop thinking about this! But two more names for CWR’s “lead” No. 51 car just came to thoust Tip of Thy Tongue. Since Dale Coyne seems to fancy European lads’, why not either Linus Lundqvist who just finished third Overall in Indy Lights, or perhaps “Poach” Christian Lundgaard?


Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

(2) #30 TBA, #45 TBA

This is probably one of the more coveted seats on the grid that we’re All Ah-Waitin’ to “See” who fills RLLR’s third No. 45 entry. As it seems only a matter of time until Jack Bloody Nige! Harvey’s confirmed as Takuma Sato’s replacement in the No. 30, currently the team’s second entry.


Believe that Hy-Bee the Midwest Grocery Chain that’s also the title sponsor of the forthcoming Iowa Double Header will be the #45’s primary sponsor. And I’m left wondering if it’s essential for them to have an American Driver onboard?


Since after all, once again, wouldn’t Hinch’ be the perfect fit for this seat? Even though I’d like to see Oliver Askew land the ride, not sure he or Thee Great Santini’, nee Santino Ferrucci have done enough to close thou Dealio?


And now pretty sure I just heard IndyStar’s Nathan Browne note that Ferrucci’s claimed he’s no longer in the Frame for the ride…


And Thar Yuhs Have it Ladies and Germ! For the previous 2022 Bowtie Brigade Silly Season Volume 2 edition, please visit the following No Fenders link.