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Old 05-26-2017, 09:07 PM   #1
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Default Big Race Weekend!

I was in meetings this week with a bunch of technerds (said affectionately) and was asked the question: "You going out of town for the long weekend?" as people I work with know we head out almost every long weekend.

"Oh hell no, this is race weekend!"

"Oh, you're racing?"

"No, not me, it's Indy 500 and Monaco Grand Prix weekend! A pair of the biggest races of the year!"

"Really? You're going to stay home to watch on TV?"

"Sort of... we have local stuff to do - graduations and the like - but yes, will be watching them shortly after they start on the DVR." (I usually delay watching it for at least 15-20 mins so I can FF through the commercials.)

"Really, you're that into it?"

"Wellll, let me put it this way.... would you ask a diehard ball sports fan if they're going away during the Super Bowl or Whirled Series?"

They give me a vague look of, "that's so boring and lame."

Motorsports people are apparently greatly misunderstood.

===========

So, anyone wanna call win-place-show for Indy?

Not sure I'd want to because it's a whole different ball game - so to speak - this year. The tides have turned...

- Honda's got some serious engines this year and they have the best aero for ovals, particularly for Indy. If you look at the starting grid, this is borne out big time! Compare it to last year and wow.....

- The usual top team, Penske, just sucked in qualifying with their top qualifier a snail's pace 9th on grid where the usual hard luck Andretti team characteristically sit.

- And speaking of Andretti, they're occupying top tier slots at 3, 4, 5, and 8 and 10?! Whoa, how'd that happen? But related to Andretti Motorsport, the biggest news to me is 2-time F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso! Not the mere fact that he's here to race; but qualified 5th in his first time in an Indy car?! Dayam. I enjoy that a lot because it DOES help to support my argument that it's "driver skills first".

- And another exciting thing is that perhaps-my-favorite driver of the "regulars" is sitting on pole for Ganassi. Listen, I dislike and get bored seeing Lewis Hamilton or anyone win an F1 GP from flag-to-flag but in this case, would totally enjoy seeing Scott Dixon go flag to flag or "from the pole to the milk bottle."

Anyhow, just had to vent all that because I have no one in which to "talk motorsports" with in my family and circle of friends. When it's football or baseball season, guess who has to sit in a corner by himself to get away from the ball mania?

Sidenote (that emphasize that "Life IS Good.") I've been to F1 GPs and Indycar at Long Beach, then last year went to two separate F1 races in Europe but have never been to Indy!! Bucket list. But check this out... my wife told me last week that "WE NEED TO GO!!! You plan it and I'll pay for it for your birthday present." No wonder I married her.

We'll bench race Indy and Monaco on Monday.
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Old 05-27-2017, 05:38 AM   #2
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Fyeah! I need to do the same and watch one of the races. We'll see how the weather holds out for us here in Minne-snow-tah, but if it's nice out then I have a hard time staying in to watch TV.
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:08 AM   #3
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Fyeah! I need to do the same and watch one of the races. We'll see how the weather holds out for us here in Minne-snow-tah, but if it's nice out then I have a hard time staying in to watch TV.
Well, truth be known, I'm NOT staying in just to watch. There's a party at a friend's place for their daughter's grad.... and they serve only primo single malts and name brand bourbon.

But it's really hard to avoid anything online or on TV that gives the results of the biggest race in the world. I'd have to be marooned (5?) on Gilligan's Island to avoid seeing results before I watch.

On that note, anyone wanna take bets that they'll have the results of the Monaco GP flash on screen during the Indy 500 broadcast? Which means I gotta watch the F1 race BEFORE Indy. Psh.... I already ruined the taped qualifying session by simply looking up the time of the Monaco GP. Ehhhh.

Move over, Gilligan...
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:54 AM   #4
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Can I come to the party with you? I promise to be entertaining.
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Old 05-27-2017, 08:19 AM   #5
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Can I come to the party with you? I promise to be entertaining.
Absotively!! Be here by 4. My wife is DD. Oh wait, I did say whiskey didn't I? Ooops, guess I'm DD today. Dammit.

Oh was just watching Monaco GP qualifying. All I can say is "someone" didn't quite make it out of Q2.

Ha.

Ha.

Ha.

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Old 05-27-2017, 01:09 PM   #6
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I'm with you Mic...this one is one of my favorite weekends of the year. 3 days off and 2 AWESOME races. Hamilton is my man but unless something crazy happens and the first 13 guys crash out he's got no chance to win so I think I'll just cheer for Kimi...or Jenson to win Monaco...ha ha

My main two guys in Indy are Marco Andretti and Tony Kanaan. I've always felt Marco is a great racer that has shitty luck...and his attitude hasn't always been the best either....but this year he seems to have turned a corner with that and I feel he's got a legitimate shot to win.(His rookie year loss to Hornish JR. KILLED me....I always hated Sam Hornish...just seemed so SMARMY). Hell...just about ANYONE can win as long as they don't crash out. Sometimes it's just survival in that race that counts. And I'd be happy to see TK win it again...he's my old guy racer. My son and I met him at Sears Point(showing my age here) 4 years ago....such a grounded and nice guy...it was the year Barichello ran in Indy too so we got to see him as well briefly.

And one great thing about both races is that even if you watch both live(which I will) you're all done before or right at noon....still plenty of time to do other stuff for the day. My alarm and the coffee maker is set for 5am....can't wait!

Shawn
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:39 PM   #7
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I'll be tuning into Monaco and looking for Vettel to lock it down. It's nice seeing Ferrari back in contention.
I wonder if the billionaire Canuck will finish?

I dig the Indy cars too, been to Belle Isle and Tar-on-toe many times, open wheel is my thing ....But I just can't stay interested in circle track races
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Old 05-27-2017, 07:14 PM   #8
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Memorial Day weekend has been a traditional date for the Colorado region SCCA Majors race. While my recovery won't allow me to drive, I still signed up to work at least part of this event. I hold a technical inspection license and went to Pueblo Motorsports Park yesterday to help "tech" drivers and cars after Friday night registration. Saw a lot of racing friends from around the country as I worked with the tech crew on Saturday. Hard to watch, rather than race today, but it was a pleasure to see some good drives and some cool cars come through the impound area.

Saturday weather was a bit of everything: started cool, then turned warm and finished with driving rain before I cried uncle and headed for home. At least I didn't have to play guessing games with rain tires as the clouds rolled in. Still, both me and my Z missed being out there dicing with the Porsches and BMWs.

Ah, and put me down for a Monaco finish that mirrors the qualifying of today. I hope the Kimster can get through from pole, with Seabass second and Bottas taking third after a hard fought race. Indy? No idea, but I hope Alonso does well with in the orange McLaren entry. Wouldn't that be a story if he won as a rookie?
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Old 05-28-2017, 04:33 AM   #9
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Memorial Day weekend has been a traditional date for the Colorado region SCCA Majors race. While my recovery won't allow me to drive, I still signed up to work at least part of this event. I hold a technical inspection license and went to Pueblo Motorsports Park yesterday to help "tech" drivers and cars after Friday night registration. Saw a lot of racing friends from around the country as I worked with the tech crew on Saturday. Hard to watch, rather than race today, but it was a pleasure to see some good drives and some cool cars come through the impound area.

Saturday weather was a bit of everything: started cool, then turned warm and finished with driving rain before I cried uncle and headed for home. At least I didn't have to play guessing games with rain tires as the clouds rolled in. Still, both me and my Z missed being out there dicing with the Porsches and BMWs.

Ah, and put me down for a Monaco finish that mirrors the qualifying of today. I hope the Kimster can get through from pole, with Seabass second and Bottas taking third after a hard fought race. Indy? No idea, but I hope Alonso does well with in the orange McLaren entry. Wouldn't that be a story if he won as a rookie?
Alonso for the win? Nahhh, second.... after my brutthuh Takuma. (Or at least I'd like to see that.) But I also wouldn't mind if Mister Courtney Force (Graham Rahal) won.

But yeah, just like Marco Andretti being one of the hard luck Andretti drivers, Sato now has an absolute chance to challenge. Shawn mentioned Tony Kanaan and I'd agree that he would be a great winner too.

In any event, going to be an interesting one.

Now, off to go turn on Monaco. Ought to be enough time elapsed to enable me to skip commercials.
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Old 05-28-2017, 11:53 AM   #10
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No, I'm not gonna be the one to bust anyone's "WHO-WON MONACO AND INDY?" cherry but...

But how about that Cobol Wehrlein? (sic)

That was freaky.

And, good on you, David.... easin' back into the driver's seat through track work.

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Old 05-28-2017, 12:54 PM   #11
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I was forced to work this weekend.. Gotta love postal life. Good thing they're being recorded.
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Old 05-28-2017, 03:50 PM   #12
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Hats off to all the drivers for strapping themselves into those missiles and hitting it wheel to wheel - It really is amazing...We've come a long way since steam.
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:36 AM   #13
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I can't believe I went the whole day and more amazingly, through an entire evening with friends and didn't know who won the 500 until I just watched it.

First off, way bummed for Fernando. He seriously contended for the W. To go out with a mechanical but with cheers from the crowd, well, mixed emotions. He showed what being a world champion really means.

By the end of the race, my wife was awakened by me practically standing on our bed cheering for Sato!! (And if the 2nd place driver, Helio, did manage to catch and pass at that late juncture, I'da been disappointed for Takuma... but at least it woulda been one of the nice guys of the sport and a match record fourth win for Helio, putting him amongst an elite group.)

But.... today belonged to Takuma Sato at Indy. Told you he could seriously challenge this time around! My hats off!!

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Old 05-29-2017, 06:22 AM   #14
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Yes, congrats to Sato for becoming an Indy 500 champ! For a racer who first came to prominence as a Super Aguri F1 driver and has spent a long time in Indycars, his day finally came and he took it with both hands. Great finish! But as good a day as this was for Takuma, Andretti racing and Honda, it was disappointing for Alonso. He led a few laps as a rookie and would have been in the mix for a win, but for ANOTHER Honda engine failure! As good as Honda has done in their Indycar motor program for 2017, it just doesn't look good when Fernando has to endure another blown unit (it happens all the time in F1 after all).

One storyline not given big exposure after Monaco is that Ferrari now leads the F1 Constructor's Championship for the first time in several years! After their 1-2 Monaco finish, they now lead the Mercedes in both the drivers and builders title races. And as much as I was cheering for Kimi to maintain the lead, I think Seb earned this win with the overcut by cranking out some smokin' laps before his pit stop. But Mercedes is far from done and I think they'll have some race wins in their future to tighten things up.
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Old 05-29-2017, 07:32 AM   #15
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Yes, congrats to Sato for becoming an Indy 500 champ! For a racer who first came to prominence as a Super Aguri F1 driver and has spent a long time in Indycars, his day finally came and he took it with both hands. Great finish! But as good a day as this was for Takuma, Andretti racing and Honda, it was disappointing for Alonso. He led a few laps as a rookie and would have been in the mix for a win, but for ANOTHER Honda engine failure! As good as Honda has done in their Indycar motor program for 2017, it just doesn't look good when Fernando has to endure another blown unit (it happens all the time in F1 after all).

One storyline not given big exposure after Monaco is that Ferrari now leads the F1 Constructor's Championship for the first time in several years! After their 1-2 Monaco finish, they now lead the Mercedes in both the drivers and builders title races. And as much as I was cheering for Kimi to maintain the lead, I think Seb earned this win with the overcut by cranking out some smokin' laps before his pit stop. But Mercedes is far from done and I think they'll have some race wins in their future to tighten things up.
As much as I applaud Sea Bass on his win at Monaco, I feel bad for "Mister Hardluck" Kimi Raikkonen, guy just never seems to get a break. Seems he's doomed to play the bridesmaid role. And it's written on his face. Sure, they call him "Ice Man" but is it because of his driving or his perpetually unsmiling face? Hahaha.

Even though Honda powered Sato to the win at Indy, they seriously need to fix whatever is plaguing their engines that are hand grenading at an alarming rate.... Alonso, Hunter-Reay, Kimball, all out for what looked/sounded like identical failure.... ehhhhhhh. And a few weeks ago there was the total elimination of Andretti cars due to failed powerplants. Psh.

They're making incredible power this year but boy, they sure need to make them more reliable, like an Accord engine.
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:45 AM   #16
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I was really pulling for Kimi, but don't really feel too bad for him. After all, he won the F1 title for the Scuderia back in '07 and that, by itself, gets him into a new Ferrari anytime he wants for life! He's also had the opportunity to earn millions (again, courtesy of his first Ferrari contract) while exploring WRC and even NASCAR truck racing. That he made it back to F1 is a story in itself; a miracle achievement. I still hope he wins some races this year and quiets those who say he's lost his skills.

As for Honda, can you imagine the potential PR disaster that awaits the company when Alonso gets back to McLaren and has yet another F1 "power unit" give up on him? At least in Indycar, they've had a power advantage- not so in F1, where one of the world's best drivers languishes in a car that lacks BOTH power and reliability. With a McLaren-Honda contract expiring next year, you have to wonder where he'll go next?
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:09 AM   #17
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As for Honda, can you imagine the potential PR disaster that awaits the company when Alonso gets back to McLaren and has yet another F1 "power unit" give up on him? At least in Indycar, they've had a power advantage- not so in F1, where one of the world's best drivers languishes in a car that lacks BOTH power and reliability. With a McLaren-Honda contract expiring next year, you have to wonder where he'll go next?
Indycar.

Yes, I joke. But only sorta. After his performance this weekend, I think he could bring some more international flair to the series. Pretty astonishing thing I didn't think about in the Indy pre-show..... "12 different countries represented at the 500".

Off to do some mental exercising....I'm gonna try and see if I can name all 12 from memory. See you in a couple of days.

My poor wife.... it'll be 3am tomorrow morning and she'll be awakened with, "OH YEAH!! BRAZIL!!!"
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:18 AM   #18
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Even though Honda powered Sato to the win at Indy, they seriously need to fix whatever is plaguing their engines that are hand grenading at an alarming rate.... Alonso, Hunter-Reay, Kimball, all out for what looked/sounded like identical failure.... ehhhhhhh. And a few weeks ago there was the total elimination of Andretti cars due to failed powerplants. Psh.
I went to the 500 this year... it was awesome. We were cheering for a repeat from our local boy: RHR. Given their race pace it was pretty clear an Andretti car was going to win, then they are started dropping like flies. When Alonso blew up it seemed all hope was lost, then Taco starts mixing it up with crowd favorite Helio. The whole race was great, amazed Dixon walked away from that insane launch. Just glad the weather held up. The rain chance was 80% and the heavens opened up just as we were getting on our bus back to the hotel about 45 mins after the checked flag waved.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:38 AM   #19
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I went to the 500 this year... it was awesome. We were cheering for a repeat from our local boy: RHR. Given their race pace it was pretty clear an Andretti car was going to win, then they are started dropping like flies. When Alonso blew up it seemed all hope was lost, then Taco starts mixing it up with crowd favorite Helio. The whole race was great, amazed Dixon walked away from that insane launch. Just glad the weather held up. The rain chance was 80% and the heavens opened up just as we were getting on our bus back to the hotel about 45 mins after the checked flag waved.
Awesome.... might go next year! Looking into it now.

But ya, that crash was horrific. They didn't show it as it happened (as I recall), I just remember watching the aftermath and seeing Dixon get out of the car under his own power (which relieved me greatly!); THEN, when they showed it in its entirety (all thousand times after), my jaw hit the floor and I kept muttering, "How the hel...??" "Holy shid...." and on and on. More amazing than watching Bourdais drive straight into the wall and lived to talk about it; albeit with a broken everything.

Thank you Indycar, for being at the forefront of racer safety AND a big round of applause for the Holmatro Safety Team!! It's amazing to see the help vehicles rolling WHILE the accident(s) were still happening!!

Helio is a class act. He was most surely disappointed following the race - and rightfully so - but when he talked to the reporter at the post-race very shortly following the end, he was gracious and his reference to Sato as "Tako-san" was the epitome of the gentleman racer he is. I totally want to see him get his fourth win to put him up in that rarified air with the select few who have won 4.
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:19 AM   #20
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Awesome.... might go next year! Looking into it now.
If you go I recommended staying thru Tuesday this way if there is a rain delay you will not miss anything. If Sunday goes as planed then you can hit up the museum on Monday. Tickets were affordable ($150 for turn 1 apex lower section for us) it was the hotels that jack their rates to the moon.

While the 500 is amazing the other IRL events are better for driver interaction and checking out the pits. We did St Pete last year and you could really get up close and personal with the teams. Plus they have the stadium trucks and GT Challenge cars running during the weekend to keep you entertained.
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