Friday, July 29, 2022

INDYCAR: Catching up on IMS Road Course Double Header weekend

As I’m guessing that Will Power takes over the Points lead this weekend…


And I wrote that Before Marcus Ericsson’s Mechanical Malady relegated Him to (P25) last in Qualifying.


Obviously by now, Y’all know the events following Sunday’s Iowa Race-2 which Josef Newgarden seemingly Had in the Bag! Having led a Monstrous 148-laps and cruising towards His fifth win of the season before calamity Struck on lap 235!


While I Heard the Post-accident interview with Josef who sounded fine, albeit somewhat in Shock since He Didn’t have a Clue over what had happened? What followed later that evening is of far more significance to Mwah than the outcome of the race!


As Newgarden fainted in the Bus lot and Hit his Head on the Pavement, which He apparently suffered a cut to His Head in this unexpected Fall! And while it seemed like many were trying to  make it sound extremely severe. IndyCar just prudently Airlifted Newgarden to a nearby Hospital for further evaluation due to the fact that it was a 45mins drive, and that the Ambulance would need to navigate thru the departing Blake Shelton Concert traffic.


Although I must say, and I’ve been loathe to scribble this but; now that Newgarden’s Fine, and Cleared to Drive the rest of the event. It did make me think of another former Penske Driver named Mark Donohue…


Thus I think we All knew about thee Great Santini’, aka Santino Ferrucci being signed by Team Penske as a potential substitute driver for Newgarden if He Failed His Thursday IndyCar concussion Protocol test. As I Don’t know ‘bout Y’all, but I spent much of Thursday checking thoust Intrawoods’ for any updates upon Josef’s prognosis.


Meanwhile, one more piece of the 2023 IndyCar Silly Season was publicly confirmed as we All awaited the latest news on Newgarden’s pending Mother Speedway’s road Course race status.


Although Racer’s Marshall Pruett had already claimed this in His latest July silly Season Update. Nonetheless it’s great news that Callum Ilott will be staying at Juncos Hollinger Racing. With JHR signing the talented Englishman to a long term contract extension, whatever that means?


According to The Pit Window’s Mike Silver, Illot signed a two year extension, which I guess in this day and age is considered long term, Eh?


But I take that as a clear statement during Palou Gate to Keep your Grubby Mitts Off Our Driver! As now All we wait for is who’ll be driving JHR’s expected second racecar next year? For which I say that Ferrucci would be a perfect fit. Although Marshall’s also floated current FIA Formula 2 driver Marcus Armstrong’s name here…


Finally late afternoon, I learned that Newgarden had passed His Concussion Protocol Test and was Provisionally Cleared to take part in Friday’s practice session. Then He’ll be tested one further time in order to be cleared for taking part in the rest of the weekend’s IndyCar activities, i.e.; Qualifying and Race.


Thus Ferrucci goes back to His “day Job” of driving the #26 Sam Hunt Toyota in the NASCAR Xfinity series, which also races on Mother speedway’s Road Course Saturday, following the IndyCar race.


As I loved the interview IndyCar Radio Network’s Ryan Marin did with Santino during the IndyCar practice session, asking how did the phone call come about, and what was it like seeing that strange number on your phone? To which Santino said Yeah, there was a bit of a missed call. And then I almost dropped my phone after He said this is Tim, tim who? “Oh shit!” Hello Mr. cindric! As you could just Hear the enthusiasm in Santino’s voice gushing over how insanely exciting it was for Him to be mentioned in the same breath as Team Penske!


Well I see you’re wearing your Sam Hunt Racing Toyota Shirt, tell us what it’ll be like driving a Stock Car around here? Ferrucci Giggling said Oh Man, My Heads still in IndyCar as I’ve gotta tell myself instead of Braking at the 350 board, I need to be Braking at the 850 Board! Yes, I think I deserve to be in Indy Cars Fulltime and Hopefully Team Penske asking me to be Newgarden’s Backup will Open some Other Team Owners eyes…


Ferrucci also said while technically He was still on Standby for Josef. He’s a Big Guy and I’ve got No Doubts He’ll be just fine and in the car for Qualifying. And with that said and Newgarden finishing P2 in IndyCar’s lone 90mins Practice session, I’d say “E’s Back!”


Meaning Newgarden will be able to contest winning His potential third IndyCar Series Championship Crown, lying just a svelte 34 points behind Marcus ericsson. Although He’ll have His work cut out for Him, since the Indianapolis Road course seemingly is Penske teammate Will Power’s Playground! Since Power’s won five times and is the defending race winner. Along with having won six Poles including this May’s Indy GP, 50% of the 12 Road Course races run prior to this weekend…


And are we really surprised that both Newgarden and Power made it to the Fast Six Shootout? Although I don’t think anybody saw Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix rosenqvist, Remember Him Y’all? Winning the Pole, which the Swede’ politely pointed out was His second Pole upon the IMS Road Cours. In what could be AMSP’s IndyCar lineup next year? With Alexander rossi and Pato O’Ward second and third. Followed by Power in fourth, Newgarden fifth and Christian Lundgaard sixth.


While Thar’s the Scuttlebutt about How Mikey a’ may be looking to make a change of Drivers for His #29 Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport entry currently chauffeured by Devlin DeFrancesco. So Thar potentially could be two “Big 3” IndyCar Teams racing seats up for grabs next year, i.e.; Palou’s and DeFrancesco’s?


Although I really cannot see Ferrucci in either the #10 or #29 seat next year, although it would be great fun for us Fans watching the Fireworks between Santino and Romain Grosjean, Eh? Although somehow I think Mikey A’s Not looking for any more Headaches next year, Hya!


While Santino would probably totally “toe the line” at CGR, I just Don’t think He’s the Championship calibre driver Cheep’s looking for…


But I do think that Ferrucci would be a great fit for the potential second Juncos Hollinger Racing entry, especially since Santino’s definitely No slouch on Ovals, which is the team’s “Weak link” for Callum Ilott right now…


So who needs A Real Housewives of F1 Reality TV Show, eh? 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

INDYCAR: Ganassi v Palou

As why does this make me think of the TV Show Family Feud and Survey Says?


Where’s Good ‘Ol Derek Daly to tell us to “Hang onto Your Hollyhocks!” As it’s about to get real Bumpy folks!


Naturally, since this is  a developing story, and Only the Players truly Have an idea of what’s really unfolding. As a lowly Basement Dwelling blogger, I can only react here upon No Fenders to what I’m able to learn via the Media.


Hence this latest “Wrinkle” was just announced publicly yesterday, following my initial No Fenders post about the Alex Palou Gong show. Which I learned via Racer’s Marshall Pruett.


For which the gist of Pruett’s article states that (CGR) Chip Ganassi Racing LLC Has filed a Civil lawsuit against Alex Palou and Alpa Racing SL; presumably Palou’s Management? And that CGR is seeking an expedited Court Hearing prior to the end of August. Along with wanting their request for written discovery from All Parties involved, including McLaren within 14 Days of request.


As I won’t attempt dissecting All of the Mumbo Jumbo legal-ease in Marshall’s article, since it’s way too convoluted for a lowly blogger! While you’ve gotta wonder why before the end of August, Eh?


For Mwah, this is unprecedented territory, since I’m Not a Historian, nor am I checking into a Holiday Inn anytime soon, Hya! As where’s D-Squared’, aka Donald Davidson when Yuhs need Him?


Since Palou’s expected to race the No. 10 NTT Data Chevy this Saturday at Mother Speedway and the final four races, with CGR firmly stating that Palou’s under contract thru the end of 2023. But I don’t know how this isn’t extremely Awkward and How either party can continue like “Nothing’s” going On!


Ironically, Cheep’ just so happens to have The Dude’, aka Ryan Hunter-Reay signed as CGR’s Reserve Driver. Since Hunter-Reay’s the last driver I can rmember in a “Heated” legal fight with His Team Owner.


Although it was Hunter-Reay taking the legal action against Paul Meathedz’ Gentilozzi who’d broken His Contract when unceremoniously Kicking Hunter-Reay Kerbside’ during the 2004 Champ Car season. When Rocketsports inserted somebody named Michael McDowell into Ryan’s seat. Hmm, perhaps Y’all have Heard of Him? Can You Say 2021 Daytona 500 winner?


As Gentilozzi simply removed Hunter-Reay from the cockpit for the season’s final two races with Hunter-Reay ultimately taking legal action against Gentilozzi, who ultimately lost in Court! Which I scribbled ‘bout Here on No Fenders awhile ago…


Now I don’t expect the same outcome for Palou, who’s “neatly” inserted Himself into a messy legal tussle, which makes me think of Formula One’s need for a Court of Arbitration, I.e.; the FIA Contract Recognition Board to Handle F1 Teams and Drivers treating their Contracts like pieces of Toilet Paper! Which I really do Not want  IndyCar going down this Avenue!


But it now sounds like Palou’s headed for sitting out next year upon the Sidelines unless Zak Brown and McLaren Racing give Chip Ganassi a  really Big Cheque!


Although now having re-read my No Fenders story (link) above. It’s worth noting that Alex isn’t the first driver to try Jumping ship! Since ex-Formula 1 and Sports Car Driver Gianmaria Brunia decided He no longer wanted to drive for la Scuderia (Ferrari) in order to jump to rival Sports Car manufacturer Porsche in the FIA World Endurance Championship instead.


Whilst How could I forget another of my favourite IndyCar Team Owners Jay Pissenbootz’ Penske’s unceremonious Sacking of Thy Leggy Juan’, aka Katherine Legge over Valentine’s Day weekend nearly a Decade Ago…


Thus it All seems to boil down to the Fact that Alex Palou signed a “Bargain Basement” Driver Contract with Chip Ganassi at least thru 2023, and that Cheep’ simply isn’t willing to let Bosom Buddy Zak Brown get Off easy for attempting to Poach another of His Drivers… 

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Alex Palou Gong show

C’mon Down Alex, You’re the Next Contestant on Let’s Make A Deal!


As usual, I find it Uber Hilarious that once again I missed out upon another total Firestorm Shit show, Hot Topic issue on No Fenders. Which Arse-sumedly has Cooled Down a little by now?


Having already put my four part Paul Newman: A Life book review into the Hopper, Y’all have had to wait for my two Pesos worth over Indy Cars current gong Show.


All of which made me think of another time over a decade ago when I was caught Flat Footed, having gone on Holiday and posting a tribute to the late bill Muncey following the weekend of Dan Wheldon’s Death. Which presumably won’t be the last time I fall Afoul of this Mateys…


And even if you’ve been living Underneath a Rock or in a Hidey Hole lately, you’ve certainly Heard the News over Alex Palou’s being signed to presumably drive for two rival IndyCar teams next year.


As Racer’s Marshall Pruett has laid out the Bare Facts. Noting that Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) had inked Palou to a two year contract with at minimum, a Team Option for 2023, and possibly 2024? Which CGR simply exercised said option for Alex’s services in 2023.


Yet the Affable Spaniard apparently feels He’s Not being rewarded for winning a Championship last year, and deserves more money from Cheep’. Which Ganassi obviously Doesn’t feel He needs to do so, since Alex already signed a Bargain Basement “Rookie” Contract with His IndyCar Organization. While Palou quickly made His intentions known following the CGR announcement.


Meanwhile, I love the Quote Colton Herta provided the Indianapolis Star’s Motorsports Beat Writer Nathan Browne. As the young American said regarding Zak Brown: “He’s a total cut Throat, He’s a Businessman! Although Herta believed Zackery would “shoot Straight” with Him while Colton was busy making His Debutante test aboard McLaren’s Formula 1 MCL35M chassis during a two day (TPC) test at Portimao.


Ironically  not only prior to the Toronto IndyCar race, but the Shit Show that erupted that week’s apparent Tug ‘O War between CGR and Arrow McLaren SP. (AMSP) Although I suppose it’s worth noting that the pursuer’s Press release came from McLaren Racing I believe…


If we Arse-sume that Zak Brown gets His way with Palou, interestingly the McLaren Racing Organization will have six known “Heavy Hitter” Drivers on it’s books between IndyCar, f1 and Formula E, since only Brown knows who the other Formula E Driver will be.


Whilst I feel confident we can leave out McLaren’s Extreme E operation, and presumably also Brown’s association with Michael Andretti’s Supercar’s outfit Down Under.


Although I know that the Powers to Be of the Supercars Championship would be thrilled to welcome DannyRic’, aka Daniel Ricciardo as a Supercars competitor driving for the Walkinshaw Andretti United team that’s owned by Mikey A’ and Zak Brown’s United Autosports…


We know that Lando Norris has a Deal thru 2025 to remain a McLaren Formula 1 Driver, and that Alexander Rossi’s already been announced to be moving to AMSP’s IndyCar operation next year on a Multi-year Contract. 


Part of what I enjoy about Pato O’ward, who seemingly is locked into an IndyCar contract thru 2025? Is His Honesty, havig Quipped previously that if any driver tells you He Doesn’t want to race in Formula 1, then He’s Lyig! As the young Mexican finished fourth behind Nyck de Bries, Liam Lawson and Oscar Piastri during His maiden F1 outing during last winter’s F1 Young Drivers test at Abu Dhabi.


Meanwhile, current AMSP IndyCar driver Felix Rosenqvist comes across to me as a driver who’s resigned to the fact that He’ll be racing in Formula E next year, even if He cannot “Contractually” say so. While doing His best to make this move look awkward after His current resurgence in Indy Cars, including His first podium finish at Toronto, where He banged wheels with Rossi.


Which just leaves us with current Mclaren F1 driver Ricciardo, who’s already publicly stated He plans on seeing thru His contract to drive in Formula 1 for McLaren thru next season. Having stated he’s currently working His Arse Off to improve the car and His position in the Drivers Championship.


Look, I get the Siren song call of Formula 1 for any aspiring Open Wheel Racing Driver, and that part of McLaren’s potential wooing of Palou was the caviot of getting to test a McLaren Formula 1 chassis, which Ganassi cannot offer. But if I’m reading the Tea Leaves correctly and Arse-suming Palou’s a McLaren Racing entity next year. Then there’s potentially four known drivers, i.e.; O’Ward, Ricciardo, Herta and Palou All vying for a single McLaren F1 seat.


And that doesn’t rule out the prospect of reigning FIA Formula 2 Champion Oscar Piastri, currently on “Ice” as an Alpine and McLaren F1 Reserve

Driver this season. As I tend to believe I read somewhere that McLaren F1 CEO Andreas Seidl was quite “High” upon Messer Piastri and that the Australian would possibly be taking part in McLaren’s Testing of Previous Car (TPC) programme, where F1 Teams are allowed to test Non Formula 1 Drivers in a year old F1 Chassis. Along with each team now required to run an aspiring F1 Hopeful in two Free Practice sessions this year.


As I know I’ve also Heard how cagey Piastri’s Manager Mark Handlebarz’ Webber is, meaning a move to replace Ricciardo next year is a possibility

, especially since Zak Brown’s previously mentioned there’s “Break” clauses in Ricciardo’s contract.


Although I’m left wondering if Piastri will more likely wind up at Aston Martin as ‘lil syd viddle’s  replacement next year instead? And why would AMSP Hire Palou as a “Stop Gap” one year IndyCar driver to have to go thru the whole process of filling their team’s third seat again in 2024?


All of which means, we’ll probably Not know anything definitive until at least the Indy Cars season’s end in early September, or even later this year. Or possibly not until after the Holidays, in early 2023?


While who needs a Real Housewives of F1 Reality TV Show when Indy Cars has Alex Palou driving for two potential IndyCar teams next year!


As ultimately, it sounds like Palou signed the wrong Contract with Cheep! But who knows if Alex’s Management Team had any Bargaining leverage at All to get some sort of incentives clause written into His Ganassi IndyCar contract? Or that Cheep was willing to be Flexible at All? 

Monday, July 25, 2022

Ahead of the Curve. Or Falling a Further lap Behind?

As what’s that saying about Bloody Turnups?


Perhaps it’s part of what others on Ye Blogosphere denote as the Dreaded Post Indianapolis 500 Blues? Since if you’re one of my loyal No Fenders readers, then perhaps Y’all have noticed my tendency of not scribblin’ anything about either of the world’s two predominant Open Wheel Racing series lately.


And like Marshall Pruett said on His July 14th Podcast with Leigh Diffey, who ironically was on His way to nearby Eugene, Oregon to cover the World Athletics Track & Field Meet for 10-days, Did something Happen in Indy Cars? Joking how Firestone had announced a new rear left tyre for Toronto, Hya!


As I’ll confess that following another very enjoyable 500 mile race at Mother speedway, I simply fell into a funk, and really Didn’t miss Formula 1 in the least over the month’s Hiatus I took from “Watching,” Err listening to any F1 races following the Miami Gardens Oscars Show! Whilst certainly Monaco would be another Snoozer…


Actually, it was 10 weeks between the Miami and Canadian Grands Prix that I skipped, since the Montreal race was on at a very pleasant West coast time. Although I could have done without the extra Fluff Danica Patrick interjected!


As I’ve found myself questioning How Formula 1 can call itself the Pinnacle of Motorsport since the beginning of this season, when All that anybody was talking about was the insanely Stupid Porpoising caused by the new Ground Effects regulations. As I just find this Uber Embarrassing! Especially since Ground Effects were pioneered by Lotus and Colin Chapman some Gory 44 years ago, and Formula 1 cannot “Fix” this unseemly Bouncing phenomenon until 2023, Say What?


Not to mention the Farcical nature surrounding this year’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix, which did everything possible to replicate thee Principality in a Parking lot where the NFL Miami Dolphins play their Home games! For which I did point out the obvious how Porpoising is what Dolphins Do!


And then there was that Faux Lake Miami in the Parking lot, which I’m told was complete with not only Landlocked Pleasure Craft on a Sea foam Blue Tarpaulin. But Mermaids “sunning” themselves on the Baking Hot Rocks surrounding the “Harbour” in the oppressive Heat of Miami!


Couple this with the fact that Liberty media is Hell Bent upon pushing the amount of Grands Prix to an insane 25 per season, in what appears nothing more than trying to Bleed the Sport Dry of as much Cash as they can carry away! Which for Mwah, appears to be doing nothing but Oversaturating the Market in this Money Grab, along with ruining the Soul of Formula 1 by Discarding it’s Historic events in order to go to Oil Rich, Oppressive events instead. Can Y’all say goodbye Spa?


Not to mention that supposedly the ridiculous Upswing in popularity Stateside, Liberty Media’s most important market is solely due to The Real Housewives of F1 Netflix series, where Fans are caught up in Reality TV portrayal of the Drivers and Team Managers, Seriously?


As I began my F1 Odyssey Wayback in 1986 largely due to F1 having the Coolest racing cars on the Planet, and definitely the most technologically advanced! And that was years before the Zenith of the Active Ride Electronics era…


Yet whilst we should be marveling over today’s amazing Hybrid technology racecars that arrived in2014, everbody just complains they’re too complex and only wants to know what Herr Gunther has said about Mick Schumacher instead…


Thus, while I still enjoy a good Formula 1 race these days, with the British Grand Prix totally recharging my Batteries, I easily tire of needing to rise at Oh Dark 30 on the West Coast since I’m Blind and cannot operate a DVR! Not to mention getting Bored over the Usual Suspects winning weekly!


Hence I find myself far more interested in Indy Cars these days, and although Not being Fanatical about it, I’ve managed to “Watch,” err listen to every single race, along with Half of Qualifying after discovering I can simply listen to it via IndyCar Radio network, which I far more prefer over NBC’s current cadre of Talking Heads.


Yet it’s funny how IndyCar is perceivably suffering from a lack of “Viewership” since Nobody cares about Good, Competitive Racing. Instead, if you don’t have a Netflix Infotainment series to promote you, then Nobody Cares! Although Heavens Forbid IndyCar do anything to try promoting it’s Drivers…


Alas, if I thought Miami was bad, I completely Shudder over the Shit Show, Err Three ring Circus event next year’s Las Vegas Grand Prix is going to be! As what’s that ‘Ol Virginia Slims saying about we’ve come a long way from Caesars Palace, Baby? All of which makes my Debutante F1 race, the 1989 Iceberg Grand Prix look really Quaint!


While How Much will everybody’s Cable TV Bill be going up next year, since Liberty Media’s decided they need to squeeze as much profit out of their new U.S. TV Rights winning Bidder, with reports saying it’ll be as much as $75 million if Liberty gets it way! Which is like a 1300% increase, Oh Never Mind! 

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Diving into Paul Newman’s Racing Career

As slow ‘N Steady Wins the Race for this gentlemen Driver…


Following the 1969 movie Winning, Paul Newman bought himself a brand new Corvette Stingray. In 1970 He set out from home in Westport, Connecticut and drove to Lime Rock Park Raceway, where once a week, anybody could test themselves and their own cars on it’s racetrack. As Lime Rock Park was built on the site of a former Gravel Pit and comprises of 325 Acres.


Yet Newman didn’t wish to embarrass Himself, so He asked the track’s Manager for a few “Pointers.” Newman was then introduced to bob Sharp, a Racing Driver, Auto Dealer and Team Owner who had No Clue who Newman was, which made Paul Happy.


Initially when in California for work, Newman took his first laps around Ontario Motor Speedway, (OMS) a sister track to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Before returning to OMS  during the spring and summer of 1970. Doing so while on location in Oregon filming some Kinds of Nothing, Paul took time going Back and forth to Ontario Motor Speedway and driving Ontrack, even becoming a Board Member along with Kirk Douglas and Dick Smothers.


Newman and a veritable Who’s Who of “leading Men,” including James Garner, Steve McQueen, Robert Redford, dick Smothers, Robert Wagner and Pancho Gonzalez competed in a Charity race at OMS that year.


Newman continued striving to improve at Lime Rock and by 1971 had reached agreement with bob Sharp, father of some Indy Racing League driver named Scott Sharp… To lease a Bob Sharp prepared and maintained Datsun 510 racecar in local SCCA competition the following summer.


Sam Posey was less than impressed by Newman’s driving in ’72, saying the Guy’s totally Oblivious to Anybody around Him Ontrack! Although Newman was just taking it Slow ‘N Steady, which had been his successful method towards Acting…


Newman continued racing at Lime Rock and elsewhere, including Nelson Ledges and Qualified for the 1973 SCCA National Championship runoffs at Road Atlanta, where He Spun Out in practice and finished ninth in his Class.


Newman competed poorly in the  final International Race Of Champions (IROC) inaugural IROC I event on February 18, 1974. Held  on Daytona International Speedwa’s Infield road Course with 12 identically prepared Porsche 911 RSR’s.


Admitting He’d gotten in Over his Head! As Newman Spun Out at the first Corner, then caused another competitor to spin out before ultimately Detonating his Porsche’s Flat Six lump’ on lap-6!


As ‘Ol SuperTex’, nee A.J. Foyt, one of the race’s competitors was so unimpressed with Newman’s driving that He took to calling Newman Steve! As Foyt’s dig was in reference that Steve McQueen was a better driver than Paul! As I can only surmise this slight was slightly less annoying than another racing driver being called Coogan’ by Foyt, Yikes!


In September 1974, Paul unwisely agreed to be part of a Driver Quartet including Graham Hill attempting to break 17 existing Land Speed records aboard an N.A.R.T. (North American Racing Teams) Ferrari sponsored by Ragu Spaghetti sauce. To which Newman said was like Driving On the Moon! Since He’d Never driven on the Salt flats, where the course was simply noted by sticks with ribbons on them, compared to normal racetracks. As the car suffered mechanical failure and only five records were broken…


Newman continued racing every chance He got, and soon his movie schedule revolved around his racing schedule. Continuing to improve his driving, Bob Sharp had Paul join his race team, and in 1976, Newman raced in the SCCA Runoffs in two classes. Finishing third in a Datsun 510, and winning his Class in a Triumph TR6 and being awarded the President’s Cup for Overall Excellence by the SCCA.


In 1977, He took the year off from filming and solely raced cars. Returning to Florida for that year’s 24 Hours of Daytona, his first Endurance race, musing how He’d never raced at Night before. Co-Driving a Ferrari 365 GTB/4 with Elliott Forbes Robinson and Milt Minter. With the Ramsey Ferrari/Medina Sports Car entry finishing fifth Overall.


Then in 1979 as we All know, P.L. Newman in a Porsche 935 Co-Driven with Team Owner Dick Barber and Bad Arse Sports Car Ace and ex-formula 1 Driver rolf Stommelen finished runner-up to the Whittington Brothers and Klaus Ludwig at that year’s 24 Heurs du Mans! As Newman was 54years old, but far from done racing.


In 1982 at Age 57, Newman won his first professional race. Winning that year’s SCCA Pro Racing Trans Am event at Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota.


As Newman won driving a Datsun 280ZX, the last year of the Datsun Brand Stateside, switching to it’s Nissan Brand today. While the Trans Am series was Dominated that season by Elliot Forbes-Robinson claiming five wins Overall, including four in-a-row aboard a Pontiac Trans Am Firebird. Handly Beating series runner-up doc bundy in a Porsche 924.


Between 1985-1986, Newman won his third and fourth SCCA National GT1 Championships Consecutively  behind the wheel of  Bog Sharp Racing Nissan 300ZX’s. Paul also won his second SCCA Pro Racing Trans Am race at his Home track Lime Rock Park in ’86, also behind the wheel of his Bob Sharp Racing Nissan 300ZX.


Newman was Shocked when fellow competitor, good friend and Trans Am teammate  Jim Fitzgerald Died at Age 65 during the season finale St Petersburg Trans Am race in 1987, after crashing Head-on into a Jersey barrier at over 100mph! For which Newman was unable to continue after the race had been paused…


In 1995, Newman made History as the Oldest Driver to win a major Auto race, winning the GTS Class behind the wheel of a Nasty Roush Racing Ford Mustang emblazoned with Nobody’s fool upon it, which just so happened to be Paul’s latest movie.


Newman’s Co-Drivers were Michael Brockman, a Connecticut Pal’, Mark Martin and the other TK’, aka Tommy Kendall.


Paul was hesitant during practice and the start of the race, before getting into the Groove after his first hour behind the wheel. Paul ran a total of six hours at the Keyboard, including a Double Stint during the Night.


With 90mins remaining, Newman exited the car with genuine relief. Thinking He’d finished driving and told Jack Roush how relieved He was that was Over! To which thee “Cat in the Hat” (Jack Roush) said No it’s Not! You’re getting back in the car for the final 45mins Paul! Which Newman did, taking the Chequered Flag third overall…








While I also tend to recall the Crawford prototype racecar the ‘Ol Fox was driving with the #79, matching his age being adorned with flames on it’s nose after it had caught on fire during practice! And I remember le Hamburgular’, aka Sebastien Bourdais who was then driving for Newman Haas Racing’s IndyCar team being one of it’s drivers at that year’s Rolex 24.


Newman had a slight incident at Daytona in 2000 when crashing at 180mph and injuring His wrist! Along with Crashing during a test lap with Kyle Petty in the passenger seat at Watkins Glen. As Newman confessed “Father Time” was catching up with Him and his reflexes! But his worst crash ever was on a public road in one of his Souped Up Volvo Station wagons when a car Side-swiped him! Breaking off the side mear along with breaking his Hand, which was in a Cast for several weeks. Which His wife Joanne Woodward said Paul was the most Distraught about of All of His Crashes!


Whilst Comedian Adam Carolla has somewhat “Quietly” captured the market upon ex-Paul Newman racing cars, which I read awhile ago in this Car and Driver Magazine article. When the Car & Driver Magazine articles Hadn’t been Goobered Up on my Newsline telephone service… 

Monday, July 18, 2022

Paul Newman’s lasting Entanglement with Go fast leading Men

As Cool Hand Luke’ moved in a Pretty Big circle…


C’mon ‘Ol slowhand’, Sing it! As Y’all know the words to Eric Clapton’s great Colour of Money’s movie intro theme song It’s In the Way that You Use it…


“It’s In the Way that You Use It, It Comes and It Goes,

It’s In the Way that You Use It, boy don’t You Know,

And if You Lie You’ll Lose It, Feeling will Show,

So don’t You Ever Abuse It, Don’t let It go…”


Trying to Squeeze everything in from the enjoyable (2009) Paul Newman: A Life Biography by Shawn Levy, I decided to attempt splitting it into Three parts, or is the number Five? Or thou number shall be Four? Uhm, better make it 6, Oh Never Mind…


Early in 1954, Newman did a Screen test for a role in the film adaptation of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, with a shorter male actor who casually tosses a pocket knife during the test and ultimately wins the role. As the “Shorter Fellow” was somebody named James Dean!


As Dean’s Death in 1955 would have lasting effect upon Paul’s movie career, directly leading to his getting the role in Billy the Kid and his Breakout Film Somebody Up There Likes Me in 1956. Since both roles had been intended for Dean.


As any motor racing Aficionado knows the irony of Dean’s passion for racing and Newman’s later becoming a racing driver Himself, intertwined with two more leading Hollywood Men…


Another famous actor who was ultimately bitten by the racing bug, after his penchant for Fast Cars and Motorcycles first worked with Newman on Somebody Up There Likes Me, credited then as Steven McQueen before their paths crossed again in the late 1960’s.


Like All of His various movie roles, Paul Newman, who’d learned to play trombone, banjo, etc. for various roles, learned the basics for racing when being paid $1.1 million for the film Winning. At the time the Highest amount paid to an Actor for a film.


As we know, from Bondo’, aka bob Bondurant’s recent Death. His first two students of his High Performance Driving School were Newman and Winning co-Star Robert Wagner. As Bondurant began by driving his pupils around track explaining why He was doing what, before they began driving in Datsun 510’s. Progressing to faster  cars before Newman actually lapped Mother Speedway at 143mph! Although the Director told Paul the cameras couldn’t distinguish anything over 120mph, Paul just said He felt Good in the Car!


Filming commenced in 1968 and included locations such as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Road America and Riverside. Although the Film’s actual Far-away racing footage was from bobby Unser’s car during the 1968 Indy 500. While the Close-in shots were Paul driving behind the Film Car driven by Roger Ward, who also was hired to instruct Newman on the finer points of racing.


Paul enjoyed taking some of his former U.S. Navy Pilot Buddies for a few “Hot laps” around Elkhart Lake’s legendous’ road America track. Noting having to wrench Thar Hand off of the Rollbar. And Cackling loudly He’d scared the Crap outta them!


Winning was the first film produced by a new company set-up between Newman’s former Agent John Foreman and Himself, called Newman Foreman Productions. As Foreman had wanted to become a Producer, which was considered taboo for Agents…


Their second motion picture was the acclaimed Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, for which Newman initially planned on playing the younger Sundance Kid character, before the Director convinced him He was Butch.


They approached Steve McQueen for the Sundance role, but McQueen who was Jealous of Newman’s Star Power and more importantly earnings, demanded First Star billing for which Newman said, I Don’t do billings! And Flatly said No to McQueen’s proposal, who subsequently “Walked!”


As we All know, the role instead went to Robert Redford, then 32 years old, who’d failed so far to have a major Hit after ten years in the business. As it was Paul’s wife Joanne Woodward who suggested Redford for the part, thinking He’d be perfect. And as We All know, the rest was History! Since I’d argue this was the film that set Redford on the path to Stardom…


As Newman had Boasted one day on Set to Redford, How’s it Feel to be working on a $40 million Film? Which was Newman’s estimate on how much the movie would Gross, even though to that point Paul had Failed to work on a movie that had Grossed Half of that! Yet Newman had woefully underestimated the final Box Office Gross that this run away success would receive. With Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid ultimately Grossing an astounding $102m as in Millions in 1969! For which I did the following Math to try putting it into perspective…


$1 million in 1969 is worth Approx. $7,660,708.45 today! Thus equaling Over Three Quarters of A Billion Dollars in today’s values, i.e.; $781,392,262 Freakin Greenbacks, Shiesa!


I find it interesting how such leading Men in Hollywood such as Steve McQueen had created His Solar Productions company, first used on the Mega Hit movie bullitt, and then on Le Mans released in 1971. While Paul had His Newman Foreman Productions company.


Prior to turning Newman down over Sundance’s role, McQueen had introduced Paul and his brother Art Jr. to motorcycle riding in the Desert. And the two would work together in one Hollywood film several years later, when both starred in 1974’s Towering Inferno.


Yet McQueen’s jealousy towards Newman remained strong, with Steve making sure He had First Star billing over Paul, along with having more “lines” in the Film. Although I Don’t think Newman cared, since He was paid his usual $1 million salary for this film!


Initially McQueen was annoyed with the thought of having to “Wet Nurse” Newman’s son Scott on the film. As Scott Newman plays a young, traumatized Fireman. But McQueen actually took a liking to Scott and got him a few more lines in the film…


Afterwards, McQueen, then the Highest Paid Actor in Hollywood took the next four years off from Filming. Returning to the Stage in 1978 before His final two Films were released in 1980. As McQueen Died at the Age of 50 on November 7, 1980 from a Heart Attack while undergoing Surgery for Mesothelioma related Cancer in Mexico.


At age 61, Newman made another memorable film, the only one I think I actually saw at a theatre. When He reprised the role of Fast Eddie Felder from the previous film The Hustler in 1986.


The Color of Money also starred a young, rising Star named Tom Cruise, Hot on the Heels of Top gun. As it would be Newman who introduced Cruise to Competition Driving during filming that summer, when the two Stars went off for a weekend of High Speed Driving. Which makes me think this was the impetus for Cruise doing that fabled Dazes ‘O Blunder’, nee Days of thunder movie… 

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Paul Newman’s A Life Book Review

As How can one Adequately Chronicle His life?


I first “Read,” Err listened to the very enjoyable Biography of Paul Newman on ‘Ol School CD Audiobook format Wayback’ in February, 2020, and actually wrote Hand written notes for a future No Fenders story. But Alas, Due to my continually faltering eyesight, Have I mentioned I’m Blind lately? I can No longer read my own “Chicken Scratchings.”


As the following Book review of Paul Newman: A Life by Shawn Levy isn’t intended to be a complete year-by-year recanting, just some of the portions of what I found most interesting in what I found to be a great book after re-reading it a second time early 2022. Beginning just a week before Indy Cars went racing at St Pete, and had intended posting during the Month ‘O May…


This is Your life…

Paul Newman’s life in Films lasts some 50 years, with just some of the films I can remember being listed in the book’s beginning as Cool Hand Luke, The Hustler, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, The Sting, towering Inferno, The Color of Money, Absence of Malice, The Verdict and Cars.


Yet for Mwah, it’s Newman’s second career that I’m most aware of, and draws me to Him. That being first a racing driver, and then team owner. As Newman won four SCCA Amateur National championships and two professional SCCA Pro Racing Trans AM series races. Runner-up in the 1979 24 Heurs du Mans and Oldest winner ever at age 70, winning the IMSA 24 Hours of Daytona’s GTO Class!


While his imponomous Newman Haas Racing Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) IndyCar Team won a prestigious eight Championships and 107 IndyCar races.


As I began re-listening to the CD Audiobook some two years later, it completely nagged at me that somebody else famous was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, musing that I thought it was whom I prefer calling el Capitano’, nee Roger Penske, who indeed was born there on February 20, 1937…


Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 26, 1925, presumably in cleveland, Ohio. Since contrary to everythingy’ I can find on Ye Good ‘Ol Intrawoods’, nee Zed Internets, Paul wasn’t Born in Shaker Heights. As the Newman family moved there  in 1927 when Art Jr., Paul’s older brother was three, and Paul was two. As Shaker Heights was an affluent suburb of Cleveland, and at the time, just a Trolley ride away.


Paul’s father Art was the younger of the two Newman Brothers who made up two thirds of the Newman Stern Sporting goods store, the most successful Sporting goods store of Cleveland during it’s time.


Paul’s older brother Art Jr. was quite rough upon Paul. As both played all types of popular sports, for which Paul was never very good. Although Paul played Center for his Junior High School and was a ferocious “Hitter.” He needed a waiver at 5-foot 3-inches and 98lbs in order to not be kept playing with the Sixth Graders!


Just shy of his 18th Birthday, Paul enlisted with the U.S. Navy, as his brother Art had opted for the Army. Awaiting “call Up” from the Navy, Paul enrolled at Ohio University, where He jokingly claims his major was Beer Drinking! But He auditioned for a part in a play called the Milky Way and landed a lead role. As Paul’s Mother had first enrolled Paul in Theater School at age 11, along with a few singing and acting roles between 5-7 years old. And then in January , 1943, Paul was told to report to the Navy’s Air corps.


As Newman like most young men wished to be an Airplane Pilot. But upon taking the routine eye exam, Paul was diagnosed of being colour blind, which in part gave him those esquisite emerald blue eyes He later became famous for. As Newman’s Dream’s of being A Flyboy’ were over, and the Navy didn’t know what to do with him. So they tried putting him into Officer Candidate training but that didn’t wash either! So they ultimately made him a Radio Operator, third class.


With Newman flying in the rear turret of Grumman TBF Adenger Torpedo planes! Which Newman later confessed He was a lousy Gunner, with his revolving rear turret having a 30-calibre machine gun, but said He was a pretty good radio operator, although He couldn’t read instruments very good. As his pilot would be Guffawing over the radio when Newman thought the Altimeter was claiming they were 200-feet underwater!


As Newman served aboard various Aircraft Carriers in the Pacific, with his pilot getting an earache the night before reporting to the USS Bunker Hill, which got wiped out by a Kamikaze Attack! Then served out the remainder of his three year Navy Stint at Bremerton, Washington before being Honourably Discharged in January, 1946.


Newman then transferred to Kenyon University, where after He was Kicked Off the Football team as a reserve, finally settled upon Drama, and starred in nine plays during his Junior to Senior years before graduating in 1949.


After Graduation, Newman did some Summer Theatre Work in various Plays and got married to his first wife Jackie Witte in 1949. Shortly after marrying, their first child Alan Scott Newman was born in 1950. Followed later by their first daughter Susan.


Paul’s father Art Died in 1950, with Newman,  Jackie and Scott returning to Shaker Heights where Paul reluctantly returned to working at the Sporting goods store as a Salesman. But his Heart wasn’t in it, with Paul growing restless before packing up his family to go to School at Yale in it’s Masters of Fine Arts (MFD) programme in order to be able to become a Arts Teacher. Spending a year at Yale in 1951.


Yet the Siren song of New York called at Paul, who decided to leave Yale and give Acting a chance instead. After some brief success, enough to support his fledgling family, with a daughter on the way. He informed Yale He wouldn’t return to finish his degree, before finding his way to the Artist Studio in 1952.


During this time He landed what turned into his first  Feature role in the upcoming Play Picnic, where it just so happened that the Understudy for the character Madge that Paul was trying to seduce, was named Joanne Woodward. Who’s Mother had named Her after Her favourite Actress Joan Rivers…


Newman signed what then was a standard movie contract by Warner Brothers in 1954. guaranteeing a minimum of 10 weeks work at $1,000 per week and two movies a year and an option for a third. Along with the Studio’s right to loan him out to other Studios, plus work one First rate Broadway Play up to nine months per year for five years. As Newman’s debut movie The Silver Chalice in 1954 was Dreadful! And for the rest of Paul’s movie career He would steadfastly claim He’d already worn a Cocktail Dress once and would never do so again!


Paul and Joanne who had first spent considerable time together in 1953, although nothing romantically due to his marriage, reconnected on The Long Hot Summer movie in 1957 where they Co-Acted together, with Paul getting divorced from Jackie in 1958. Then marrying Joanne Woodward the same year, a marriage that lasted until Paul’s Death in 2008.


As Paul ultimately had six kids, Scott, Susan and Stephanie with his first wife Jackie. And Nel’,  (Elanor) Melissa and Cleo’ (Claire) with Joanne.


In 1968 Paul was worried about the War and how to protect his 18 year old son Scott from having to go to Vietnam. Not to mention being disalusioned with LBJ. Thus Newman took to actively supporting Eugene McCarthy, and went on the Campaign trail with Him.


In New Hampshire, a Jaguar Dealer loaned Paul a car for a few days. Upon returning it,  Newman discovered that it would next be loaned to Richard Nixon. So Paul left a note on the Dashboard reading: You should have No problem at All driving this car, It has a very Tricky clutch



The Hole in The Wall Gang Camps idea came to Paul One day when He was thinking of what His next Philanthropic project could be. Presenting it to Joanne and his Good Friend and longtime neighbor, the renown Author A.E. Hotchner who immediately said He’s In! They found a 300 Acre parcel that was mostly flat, being ideal for Wheelchairs that included a 47 acre lake!


Funding was the key issue, since Newman’s Own which was pledging $7 million had to be met Dollar for Dollar for Tax purposes. Although Anheiser Busch, a longtime sponsor of Newman’s racing endeavours gave $1m for the facility’s main building. It was the meeting of a Saudi Arabian who secured a $5 Million Donation from His Government that ultimately Paid for this Camp.


In the first two decades of the 11 Camps existence around the Globe. Nearly 120,000 Children from 31 U.S. States and 28 countries, including eight children from Russia afflicted by Chernobyl Nuclear Radiation Fallout have attended Hole In the Wall Camps at No cost to themselves… 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Paul Newman: Philanthropist, Movie Star and Human

As a Man of Many Faces, I’m most impressed with His tireless Philanthropic endeavours…


What do Y’all think of when you hear the name Paul Newman? Is it one, or many of his 58 movies Filmed over his 50 years Movie career?


For many years previously, I only drank Newman’s Own lemonade, for which I’m dually impressed that in the first 25 years of existence, Paul donated over $250 million dollars! And later bequeathed his share of the company, estimated at another $120 million. Reportedly, as of 2021 Newman’s Own has Donated over $570 million to Charity, Aye Karumba!


Not to mention his tireless, unselfish dedication to his Hole in The Wall Camps for Disadvantage Kids originally just with Cancer, before expanding the types of Illness’s qualifying deserving Children admittance to these amazingly therapeutic Camps!


For which now I feel a tad bit Sheepish knowing I once Mocked thee Big Unit’, aka Justin Wilson running his Newman Haas Lanigan Racing car with it’s sidepods adorned in Hole in The Wall Gang Camps livery! Since as much as I’m impressed with Newman’s Own amazing monetary contributions to Charity, I’m even more impressed now, after “reading,” Err listening to the Book Paul Newman: A Life a second time with the Hole in The Wall Gang Camps instead! Which was a Nod to the Desperados Gang in Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid movie.


As my favourite Quip from the entire book is the part about one of Paul Newman’s many unannounced visits to one of the Camps, presumably the original camp in nearby Ashford, Connecticut. As one of the Kids attending tugged upon Paul’s pant leg. Asking Him, Are you A movie Star? Yeah, I did a couple of movies. Were you in cool Hand Luke? Yes,

I did Cool Hand Luke. Boy, Movies sure make You look Young!


As Newman’s Mega Philanthropy efforts are how I wish to remember the Movie Star, Political Activist and Racecar Driver…


But I Don’t want Y’all to think I’ve Drunk Newman’s lemonade and that it was a Fairytale Celebrity life that Paul lived. As three major items in His life make it painfully aware that He was Human like All of us.


Newman was a life long Alcoholic, beginning his Drinking “Career” as early as High School? Not to mention Joking often that He’d majored in Drinking at College. And was notorious for having a beer in his hand in almost Any setting. Not surprisingly, Anhieser Busch was a longtime personal racing and race team sponsor with it’s Budweiser brand, which I believe also supplied Paul with All of the free Budweiser Beer He could Drink.


Whilst Paul’s most tragic moment of his entire life occurred on November 20, 1978.


On Sunday, November 19, 1978, Paul’s only son (and firstborn) Scott Newman spent the day watching the LA Rams with a friend, beginning by having a bunch of rum Drinks. As a Hollywood Stuntman and having crashed his motorcycle recently, Scott was in much pain. So a friend gave him some Valium’s. And then Scott went back to drinking rum.


Then later on, Scott took some more valium before contacting his Psychiatrist, who gave him a bottle of some different Pills. Making a long story short here, Scott continued mixing Drugs before calling it a night. And then Scott was pronounced Dead shortly after 1AM November 20, 1978 at Age 28.


And while Paul and his second wife Joanne Woodward enjoyed a long and presumably mostly Happy Half Century of Marriage. Paul probably regretted one of his Quips regarding Joanne, once telling one of the numerous Reporters always Hounding Him, regarding temptation: Why would I go out for Hamburger when I’ve got Steak at Home?


Yet apparently that’s exactly what befell Paul on the set of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. Since the Book claims it was a well known secret what Paul and Nancy Bacon, a Hollywood Reporter were up to. With the Cast often joking that Paul Doesn’t go out for Hamburger, but Does Bacon! As the pair reportedly had an On Again, Off Again Affair for One and a Half years before Nancy finally ended it, claiming that Paul was Always Drunk.


As Nancy Bacon was either married, or partners with Don Wilson of the Tacoma, WA Instrumental Rock Band The Ventures, since I Don’t remember now. As the couple had a Daughter before they Split up.


As The Ventures biggest Hit Song was Walk, Don’t Run, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Charts, whilst I was unaware they were also responsible for the original Hawaii 5-Oh TV Show’s “Intro” song…


As Nancy would Tell All first in interviews and then later in a book that I believe was titled Stars in My Eyes, Stars in My Bed. While it’s worth noting that the Newman’s, i.e.; Paul and Joanne Never Disputed Nancy’s Accusations over Paul’s Infidelity. Instead Paul just recommitted himself even further to Joanne and they lived together for the rest of his life, quietly celebrating their 50th Anniversary the same year Paul Died.


Thus Paul Newman, Mega Movie Star was Human after All, just like the rest of us. But what impresses me most about the late Actor is when asked about His doing Philanthropy work. Newman told said Reporter, His Only problem  was with those Who didn’t!


Whilst I felt it Karmic, Apropos or Symbiotic that just after I’d finished reading the book the first time in February 2020, I came across Paul’s longtime neighbor, Friend, Fishing Buddy and Co-Founder of Newman’s Own. The Author A.E. Hotchner’s Obituary in The New York Times, who Died at the remarkable age of 102…