Category Archives: Uncategorized

THIS JUST IN… I have a face for radio

Stuff has happened. Adventures are happening. More things will happen.

At the beginning of 2014, I picked up a new client (for my company, http://www.242MPH.com) and entered a new world called… NASCAR. I now work with an awesome driver named Parker Kligerman. If you haven’t heard, we co-host a radio show each week called “Kickin’ it with Kligerman.”

What’s it about? Racing. All kinds of racing. F1, Global Rally Cross, IndyCar, NASCAR, V8 Super Cars… you name it. But not only that, it’s just a bunch of fun nonsense. Fitting for me, since it’s also charmingly inappropriate.

We just recorded the newest show this morning, featuring an interview with NASCAR driver Ryan Truex. Interested? Here’s the link: http://www.parkerkligerman.net/weeks-podcast-12-features-ryan-truex-driver-83-borla-exhaust-camry-nascar-sprint-cup-series/

In fact, here are the links to the first 11 episodes, in case you have 11 hours to kill.

Episode 11 (featuring interviews with 11 Indy 500 drivers): http://www.parkerkligerman.net/weeks-podcast-11-features-eleven-drivers-2014-indianapolis-500-one-third-entire-starting-grid/

Episode 10 (featuring Kurt Busch): http://www.parkerkligerman.net/weeks-podcast-10-features-special-guest-kurt-busch-driver-no-41-haas-automation-chevy-ss-stewart-haas-racing-nascar/

Episode 9 (featuring Matt Hardigree from Jalopnik): http://www.parkerkligerman.net/weeks-podcast-9-features-the-famous-guy-heard-of-matt-hardigree-immensely-popular-car-culture-website-jalopnik-com/

Episode 8 (featuring AJ Allmendinger): http://www.parkerkligerman.net/wweeks-podcast-8-features-special-guest-aj-allmendinger-driver-no-47-chevy-jtg-daugherty-racing/

Episode 7 (featuring Parker’s Swan Racing announcement): http://www.parkerkligerman.net/weeks-podcast-7-features-full-interview-parker-kligerman-weeks-swan-racing-announcement/

Episode 6 (featuring iconic rapper 50 Cent): http://www.parkerkligerman.net/weeks-podcast-6-features-50-cent-50-cent-grammy-award-winning-artist-founder-sms-audio-g-unit-records/

Episode 5 (featuring Kyle Larson): http://www.parkerkligerman.net/weeks-podcast-5-features-special-guest-kyle-larson-driver-no-42-target-chevy-chip-ganassi-racing-nascar-sprint-cup-series/

Episode 4 (featuring Simon Pagenaud): http://www.parkerkligerman.net/weeks-podcast-4-featured-guest-indycar-driver-simon-pagenaud/

Episode 3 (featuring Austin Dillon): http://www.parkerkligerman.net/weeks-podcast-3-featured-guest-austin-dillon/

Episode 2 (featuring Alex Bowman): http://www.parkerkligerman.net/kickin-kligerman/

Pilot episode: http://www.parkerkligerman.net/kicking-parker-kligerman/

 

Or you can search “Parker Kligerman” on iTunes and get them all there. Let me know what you think!


The Aftermath: Your Turn

It’s been a week since the Randy Bernard announcement and what a week it’s been. I wrote a blog post on Tuesday with my viewpoints on the current situation at INDYCAR. Consider this a follow-up post, looking for some answers from you.

Note that I wrote this yesterday (Saturday) morning and was undecided on whether or not to post it. Yesterday afternoon, I read another blogger’s post and it was the ‘aha moment’ I needed to go ahead and post, with the hope of gaining clarity and working toward a solution.

From all the comments, tweets and conversations I’ve observed this week, two complaints were most prevalent:

  1. The fans are upset about Randy Bernard being fired because people liked him. He was described in Marshall Pruett’s article as a “rockstar” and many fans felt like they had a direct line of communication to him.
  2. INDYCAR is not being transparent. The fans need more information about what’s going on, in addition to feeling like they’re appreciated.

I had an enlightening conversation the other day with one of the people I respect most in this sport. This man, who has followed INDYCAR since he was five years old, said that he follows the sport for the racing, which is the best its been in years. He remarked that a majority of INDYCAR fans don’t care (or don’t even know) who the CEO is, and that that shouldn’t affect the on-track product.

He ended with, “I love this sport and I certainly don’t need a giant thank you sign for going to the race or watching it on tv.”

It made me step back and think about the other sports that I follow. I’m not involved professionally in any other sport, so I feel that I can look at it objectively. Take football, for instance. I’m a fan and I watch for the game, the players, the rivalries and the fun.

There are two things I don’t expect:

  1. I don’t expect to be told why the NFL makes staffing decisions.
  2. I don’t expect them to thank me for watching the games.

So why is INDYCAR different for the fans?

I think back to my first INDYCAR experience, falling in love with this sport the second I heard those engines fire. My first race was so amazing that I knew right away that I wanted to be more involved. But not once did I ever wonder why the head honchos weren’t thanking me for being there.

I wonder if INDYCAR’s super-access nature makes people feel like they’re so “in the know” that when there’s a staff change, it feels like they’ve lost a family member? Is that a bad thing? (I’m asking, not telling). I wonder where the “show me you love me” mentality comes from? And are the two complaints connected?

Also, I wonder, whether the new CEO is a fan favorite or not, if he should have a full-time “fan liason” that the fans have a direct line to and who responds like Randy did.

The blog I did earlier in the week was met with lots of positive feedback, but there were a few people who misread my point, and assumed I was saying “good riddance” and that it doesn’t matter if we lose more fans. That couldn’t be more opposite than how I feel. If you think I’m not conscious of the fans and how important they are, then you don’t know me, or what I do and you clearly don’t understand my passion for wanting this sport to succeed.

This post is basically a fact-finding session, to help clear the confusion and figure out the bottom line. I understand that the timeline/PR/etiquette of Randy’s dismissal are all under fire but let’s put that aside.

I just want to know: Ultimately, what do YOU want? When you say, “they don’t care about the fans,” what are you looking for? If you were writing a letter to the CEO and you knew he/she was listening, what would you ask for?

NOTE: If you’re going to comment here, please be polite and productive. I’m asking this of you because I’m truly listening and I want work towards a solution. And I’m a nice person.


I Call Your Bluff

After the big Randy Bernard announcement last night, I received a tweet that went a little something like this: “Thoughts on today’s events?”

So for the tens of people who care to hear what I have to say, thanks for being here. From the beginning of this website, I’ve played it safe. Despite the numerous innuendos and a plethora of charmingly-inappropriate comments, I think I’ve done more asking for opinions than giving them.

It was all about the entertainment. But this… THIS… is serious.

Four score and seven years ago, our forefathers… okay, our fathers… got their IndyCar news from the newspaper. They sat quietly in their houses and when a story broke from 16th & Georgetown, they read it. Then they set down their paper and pondered quietly to themselves. Perhaps they called a friend to discuss.

Today is a whole ‘nother ball game. Where did YOU get the RB news last night? Twitter? Facebook? The IndyCar website? No matter what channel it reached you through, it was most likely surrounded by the opinions of hundreds of other fans. The “presented without comment” method is no longer an option.

Such is the age of social media, where it only takes one person to scream “THE SKY IS FALLING” as they share the story, and everyone else just covers their head and waits for the inevitable disaster.

It’s quite obvious that I’m a fan of social media, however the mob mentality is a ridiculously vicious downside.

If you’ve gotten this far into the post, you’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned how I feel about Randy Bernard leaving IndyCar. And if you keep reading, you won’t find that opinion here either. It doesn’t matter what I think about the situation because this is bigger than that. It’s about the sport and its future.

I know why the fans love Randy. He listened to new ideas and he gave people a direct line of communication. For that and several other reasons, I can see why there’s so much fan support.

With that said, is it possible to be optimistic that an even bigger fan favorite might be next in line? Is it possible that other parts of the IndyCar community (drivers, teams and even the fans) can be part of leading a positive charge into a new era? Is it possible that the success of this sport might not rest solely on the shoulders of the IndyCar PR department?

Here’s a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “For every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.”

It was entertaining to watch the abundance of ‘screw this, I’m done being a fan’ responses last night. It’s equally as entertaining to see all those people still posting on twitter today. Now I’ve been known to push the #TeamPositivity charge pretty hard, and don’t get me wrong, I completely understand everyone’s frustration. It’s confusing, it’s unexplained and it don’t seem to make no damn sense.

But for those of you who say you’re done, mark my words: I call your bluff.

You’re not done. You’re not leaving the sport. And here’s why: You love it and you want to see what happens. Whether Randy’s replacement is amazeballs or whether it’s a Milka-esque disaster, you want to see it. You might pretend to look away, but you’ll still have one eye on the web and one finger scrolling through twitter.

It’s drama. And it’s the same stuff that fuels the rivalries (on and off the track) that you like to read about. Yes, the racing is the best in the world. But the “show” that surrounds the racing is just as interesting in its own right. Think about it: There’s no racing in the off-season, but you tune in to the silly season stories, don’t you? Do you completely tune out IndyCar from Sunday night to the following Sunday morning? Nope. It’s the stories and the drama that feed your desire to know, ‘What’s going on?!

Why do I know this? Because I am a die-hard fan. Just like you, like your father, and our forefathers too. I love this sport and want to see it return to the forefront of motorsports. Am I sitting here, just like you, wondering WHY all this is happening? Absolutely. But I know one more thing:

People know stuff. They’re not saying it right now and there are probably very few of them who are completely in the know, but every minute we spend on negative speculation is a minute of happiness we’ll never get back.


“Give me… a keg… of CHEER”

(Editor’s note: The title of this post is an obscure Teen Wolf reference, for all of you who weren’t awesome enough to get it on your own. At least my mom thinks I’m funny.)

I have a confession to make. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I had a reason for doing it. On Saturday of this past weekend, I… watched a NASCAR race.

*hangs head & kicks the ground*

It went against everything in my belief system but I focused on the task at hand in order to cheer on Alex Tagliani. In the end, the Villenueve make-contact-and-never-lift maneuver (or the “Villain-maneuver,” if you will) reminded my why I don’t watch this sport on a regular basis, but nonetheless, I enjoyed watching the guy I was cheering for.

That night, I went to the Indy Mile for the AMA Flat Track Nationals. Another confession: I’m a flat track virgin. I agreed to go because I like speed. And also, the deep fried Twinkies served just outside the track at the State Fair. Can’t really say which one I love more.

At first, I just watched in awe at these guys keeping their bikes upright at that speed… on dirt. It was incredible and I was having a GOOD time. But it wasn’t until they announced No. 31 that I was having a GREAT time.

No. 31 is Dan Ingram, a 47-year-old, Clermont, IN native who had a massive motorcycle crash during a flat track race in 1993, and decided to come back to the sport he loves after 19 YEARS.

After hearing that story, how could you not cheer for this guy? Another fan favorite was Shayna Texter, the first female in AMA Grand National history to win a GNC Pro Singles Main Event. The fans loved her, but as a rule, I don’t cheer for a female just because she’s a female in a male-dominated sport. Oh you do? Good for you. I don’t. Set down your glass of Hatorade and let’s move on.

I know what you’re thinking: What is she getting at here? All this NASCAR nonsense and flat-trackin’ has a point, and the point is this: That day, I watched two events that are outside of my sports arsenal and enjoyed both because I had a REASON to CHEER for SOMEONE.

Back in the day, I attended my first Indy 500 simply to cross it off my bucket list. Before I ever heard the ‘Start Your Engines’ command, I had no intention of ever returning to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But as luck would have it, I watched the race with my dad, the man who could probably give Donald Davidson a run for his money. The man who told me everything I needed to know as those cars went round and round. The man who gave me REASONS to CHEER for those PEOPLE.

I say “those cars” and “those people” because that’s all they were to me, at the time. Random people under a helmet driving in cars that went really fast. But by sharing their stories – rivalry, comedy, history – my dad helped me to choose the ones I would cheer for and more importantly, made me want to watch more races.

From that day, my first race day, I was hooked. And that day is what I focus on whenever I meet an IndyCar virgin at the racetrack or talk to a new fan through social media. I try to remember that although I love this sport, to them it might just be a bunch of people in helmets driving really cool cars really fast. They need someone to cheer for. They need a reason to watch the next race, a reason to come back next year. They need to have a GREAT time instead of just a one-and-done GOOD time.

As a side note, I was tweeting about the whole flat-track experience on Saturday night. The following morning, Jeremy DeRuyter, the owner of Thirty4 Racing (one of the flat track teams) tweeted at me and asked if I had a good time. I was stunned… and taking notes like a good little PR person.

Thank you to Jeremy for giving me another person to cheer for when I go to my next flat track race (Go Thirty4 Racing!)… and I will most definitely go to another flat track race. Thank you to Tag and Dan Ingram for emphasizing the importance of “telling the story.” And thank you to everyone who realizes the power of “just one more fan.”


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

There’s nothing like the Greatest Spectacle in Racing to make someone come out of (nonexistent) writing retirement. And apparently, there’s nothing like the Greatest Spectacle in Racing to make people turn on the sport, bitch up a storm and condemn everything in site.

Welcome to the month of May, race fans.

It’s been almost a year and half since I’ve written a race gIRL blog post. I really thought I was done. For the most part, my posts have been carefree race weekend picks that were tracked by no one and revered by less than tens of people.

This one shall be different. Parental warning: Explicit lyrics. I feel very strongly about this topic and therefore present to you a little post that I like to call…

QUITCHERBITCHIN’

I saw the following question on Curt Cavin’s blog recently:

“When do you think IndyCar packs it in and stops operations? Thirty-two cars? That’s like three horses showing up for the Kentucky Derby.”

I stared at this question for what must have been five minutes. In my head, I went all Roadrunner, pulling out a giant gavel, picturing this Mr. Joe Fan dude as Wyle E. Coyote, and whacking him. HARD. (Note: The old race gIRL would’ve made a “whacking him hard” joke here. Carry on.)

This, boys and girls, is a classic example of what is technically known as “absolute bullshit.” Maybe you know someone who suffers from this travesty. From real life, from a tweetup, or from the comfort of their anonymous profile on twitter, facebook or TrackForum (aka Where Negativity Goes to Fornicate).

I’m sure that YOU are not one of these Negative Nancies, because the race gIRL readers are badass. But if you know someone who matches the description above, I encourage you to ask this “fan” the following three questions:

  1. Are you effing kidding me?! (Okay, maybe skip to #2)
  2. Do you feel that your complaining is helping to solve the problem?
  3. What are YOU doing to be part of the solution?

From the very first time I heard those magical words: “Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines,” this sport has hooked me and I’ll never look back. (I’m quite confident that you can relate because, as I mentioned, you’re badass.) I’ve learned over the years that this sport isn’t perfect, but not once have I ever even considered saying some of the things that these so-called “fans” are putting out there.

Yessir, packing it in IS the answer. Let’s just throw in the towel and go home. 32 cars?! Dear God… this must be the end. There will never be another “glory day.” Every race is boring now. What are the people in charge doing? Let’s never again experience the magic of the Indianapolis 500. We need to stop the balloon launch cuz balloons are for kids. Pork tenderloin is yucky and puppies aren’t cute. Damn kids, get off my lawn.

EPIC. FAIL. Grumpy bastards.

One final question for our friends who love to hate: Do you have all the information? If you do, then please feel free to continue telling the world how things should be done. Let everyone know the secret: who should be doing what, when, where and why. We’re all dying to know because then our beloved sport, which would be doomed without your apparent knowledge, will be able to thrive again… like most of us are excited (and hopeful) to see. But we can’t do it without you, so thanks in advance for your help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*slams gavel*


Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

The hills are alive… with the sound of horsepower. Yodel-ee-i-odel-ee-i-odel-ee-i-hoooo.

Before we go any farther, we have to talk about the block heard ‘round the world. It’s taken a few weeks and I’m finally ready to talk about it. Partly because I wanted to let it sink in, but mostly because it took that long to stop laughing at the image of Mr. Castroneves’ tiny little hands embedded in the 4XL polo of one Sir Charles de Securidad. I don’t know what Helio was thinking – aint that the $60,000 question – but I can tell you for damn tootin’ that it’s just what the IICS needed. Can you feel that, NASCAR? Your era is over. There’s a new sheriff in town, and the 7.2 seconds of coverage on ESPN is proof. I remember it fondly – SportsCenter came on. Half the nation turned to their neighbor and said, “What is this IZOD IndyCar business and who the hell is Helium Castroneeevus?” And I thought, “Yessss. We made ESPN.”

The best part of that whole debacle actually had nothing to do with Helio. And the Oscar goes to… Scott Dixon for doing the post-race interview as if he actually deserved the win. Congratulations, Dixie. Normally your interviews are just boring, but this time you managed to look like a douche. You can pick up your award in Barnhart’s office.

You want my opinion? A car that’s blocking makes a sharp cut. A car that’s moving out to turn in looks a lot like the #3 car during that restart. With that being said, I agree that the call followed the rules. I just don’t agree with the rule. In addition, I think a drive-through penalty for a block is sometimes (but not always) excessive at any given moment in race. But to TAKE AWAY THE WIN is… well, it’s… supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I learned as a kid that that’s a word to say when you don’t know what to say. My parents would be proud. But I can’t let it go. Mom and Dad – cover your ears. The call was effing bullshit. [Insert innocent schoolgirl smile.]

In summary, I can only hope that something just as breathtaking happens here on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Something that makes the IndyCar nation blow up Twitter like it did on that fateful day. Something that has us all talking and debating until Sonoma. Something that makes the non-fans (hereby known as “the uncool” or more specifically, “jackwagons”) sit up and take notice.

Wait a minute. Shut the front door. Just happened: some dude just did a farmer blow on the hill here at Mid-O. I wish I was making this up. The hills are now alive with the sound of my giggles. So glad you guys are indirectly sharing this moment with me. For the sake of my faith in men, I’m going to pretend that did NOT just happen. Moving on…

Let’s do picks… really quickly. Let’s do something unprecedented, shall we? Just so that I can say I didn’t pick Power and Wilson again, I’m doing a 3rd, 4th and 5th place pick this week. Sometimes my brilliance is hard to fathom. Third – I’ll take Helio. Revenge. Bam. Fourth – Ryan Hunter-Reay. Fifth – Marco Andretti. Aaaaaaand… go.

By the way, thanks for your concern. My chassis-licious blog is coming. Keep your pants on.


In Case You’re Confused: Brickyard Edition

A funny thing happened on my way to nowhere yesterday. I hopped on the treadmill, which I hate, but it was hot as Satan’s nipples in Indy. Usually I turn on ESPN but as I flipped channels, I happened to catch a local news station’s pre-race coverage of the Brickyard 400. Lucky me. In the hour that followed, I was privy to some of the most breath-taking nonsense this side of the Mississippi.

And so I bring you… the top three interviews that make you proud to be an IndyCar fan:

Interview #1: The women of NASCAR.
I can only imagine that this story idea went something like this:
Dude 1: “We need some story ideas.”
Dude 2: “What? I wasn’t listening. There are girls here.”
Dude 1: “Here? At the Brickyard?”
Dude 2: “Yea. Weird. Let’s go talk to them.”

So here’s the premise for the story: The reporters went around asking women at the track about why they were there. The questions ranged from “How long have you been coming?” to “Who’s your favorite driver?” As you can imagine, in true redneck fashion, the women were beautiful. And none of their answers made them sound like flippin’ idiots. Psych. It was a modern-day marvel.

The women liked the drivers because they were cute. They didn’t really enjoy the racing but the cars were “cool.” And then, low and behold, came my personal favorite. When asked about brand loyalty, and whether the advertising mattered at all to them, not one of the women said it did. ARE YOU HEARING ME, MARKETING DIRECTORS? For the thousands of you who are spending millions on advertising in the NASCAR market, the decision-makers of the house are tuning you out. Compare that to the extremely brand-loyal, higher-educated, higher-tax-bracket demographic of the IZOD IndyCar Series and let’s see some of that money roll in the right direction. Just sayin. Man, this soap box is high. Can someone get me a step stool?

IndyCar – 1, NASCAR – 0.

Interview #2: When beer is more important than your friends…
So we move on to the next interview, which takes place in what can only be described as a regular-tent-turned-beer-tent. The shot is of five or six lonely-looking people who have about $750 worth of ribs cooking on their grill. The backdrop is 40+ cases of beer, neatly stacked as if they were building some kind of Coors Light compound. Pfft. Your first mistake is the Coors Light. When building a beer fortress, always go with imports. Rookie mistake.

Anyway, here’s the theme of this gem: These people used to have a HUGE group of party comrades who united at the Brickyard each year to drink and enjoy the race (really, just drink… let’s be honest). This year, because of the economy, most of their friends just couldn’t afford it. Three things that come to mind: 1) Racing (despite the fact that it’s NASCAR, which I’m willing to forgive) is life. If your friends don’t recognize that, get new friends. 2) I heard that general admission Brickyard 400 tickets are $40. You can get into the infield at the 500 for $20. Something is wrong here. 3) You losers have clearly spent more than a grand on meat and beer. You couldn’t have donated some of that money to your poor friend’s outreach program so they can be there too?

IndyCar – 2, NASCAR – 0.

Interview #3: If your perception of reality is THIS far off, you might be a redneck.
The bad news is that I never caught the name of the guy in this last interview. The good news is that he’s so far removed from reality that it doesn’t really matter.

The reporters seemed excited to be able to introduce this guy, who appeared to be one of the higher-ups in the NASCAR executive team. However, he said he was spending his day going from suite to suite, encouraging people to keep coming out. They already have people to do that, sir. They’re called beer girls.

Best part of the interview: When asked about the Brickyard 400 and whether or not there had been talks of adding a NASCAR road course race, he says, “The Brickyard 400 is the crown jewel at IMS,” but there have been talks about the possibility of another race. Crown… effing… jewel. This just after they interviewed the traffic lady who said, “Surprisingly, the roads are all clear. Feel free to come on out – you shouldn’t have a problem. Or you can watch it on tv from the comfort of your couch and not have to worry about heat and dehydration.” That’s one way to advertise. Well, lady, if you put it that way…

And thus, the result was 150,000 fans in attendance (a generous estimate, according to the Indy Star’s Curt Cavin). Yes, clearly the 350,000 fans that come out for the Indy 500 are missing out on this “crown jewel.” How silly of us.

In comparison, Randy Bernard was asked almost the same question at the Carb Night Burger Bash this year. When the possibility of adding an IndyCar road course at IMS came up, he simply stated that it wasn’t likely, as he didn’t want to take away from the prestige of the Indy 500.

IndyCar – 3, NASCAR – 0.

Well, that about does it for this edition of “Why NASCAR Blows.” To sum up, you should be an IndyCar fan. Thanks for tuning in. Stay classy, San Diego. Back to you.


Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen

Watkins Glen. The Glen. Glen Beck. Glen Gary Glenn Ross. I got nothin’.

There are two things I know about Watkins Glen: #1 – A friend of mine said there’s Black Widow spiders in the public restrooms. #2 – I’m not going. Note that #2 has nothing to do with #1, although I’d like to offer some advice to my NY-bound friends: Pee quickly and carry a big stick.

Let’s talk about something else cuz I’m bitter that I’m not going. Maybe bitter is too strong a word. I’m on suicide watch. Shall we chat chassis?

Has everyone requested off work on July 14? Have you laid out your design sheets neatly for side-by-side comparison? Have you concluded that the Delta Wang is the most ridiculous POS you’ve ever laid eyes on? Maybe it’s just me. But don’t rule it out… it’s all about the “concept.” Riiiight. And when it comes to tracks, it’s all about the “facility.”

Maybe we should change the subject. I try not to talk non-racing biznass around these parts but I just want to say thanks to all several of the race gIRL readers. It’s officially been a year since the site was created. I’ve had an absolute blast doing it. (That’s what she said). Your comments and feedback are always appreciated and you guys make it fun. So thanks. Tear. I said I wouldn’t cry.

So, helluva race in Iowa, hey? Told ya. Take heed, oval-haters – you will be converted. Embrace the left turns and super-speeds. Alright, alright, I’m over it. I realize we’re heading into road course month and I gotta say – I don’t hate the twisties as much as I used to. Calm down there, chief. Don’t read too much into it. I’m just beginning to appreciate the balance of variety. Of lefts and rights. Of walls and chicanes. Of concrete and nature. Spoken like a true tree-hugger. Moving on.

First pick. If you think I’d go with anyone other than Justin Wilson, you’ve hopped on the train to Wrongsville. Come on back. J-DUB is the reigning champ and after the Iowa debacle, I’d love to see him defend his title.

Initially, I was leaning toward Briscoe for my second pick, but after much deliberation, I’m taking Slick Willy P. You just can’t go wrong with Power this season, so it’s a safe pick but hey, a darn good one.

Finally, I’m going with Sato as my 穴馬 – that’s “dark horse” for all of my Japanese-challenged friends. His F1 experience would indicate a better success on the road courses, and I like what I saw from him in Iowa, minus that pesky wall-stuffing part.

Let’s recap. You know what? Let’s not. Now, I’m not one for drunk tweeting… hahaha. I almost got through that with a straight face. But this weekend when I’m missing the Glen and crying into my Bacardi… watch out now. Between the tears, the fireworks and the liquor, we’ve got ourselves a paaaaartay. Join me, won’t you? Then on July 14, we can look back and say, “Remember that time, ten days ago, when we were all scared that the ICONIC Committee wouldn’t pick Swift?” Then we’ll raise our glasses and chuckle one more time at the notion that people actually thought the DW could even be considered an open-wheel car. Good times it will be. Happy 4th of July. And God Bless America.


Roadrunner Turbo Indy 300 (Kansas)

My sparkly red shoes are packed, I’ve stuffed my tiny-ass dog into a tiny-ass basket and I’m off to Kansas. If you know me, there’s no need to tell you that I’m psyched out of my mind about the upcoming stretch of ovals. If you don’t know me, then how the hell did you wind up here?

Since our last rendezvous, the IRL announced a new multi-title format for the 2010 season. As I understand it, the goal is to have an overall season champion as well as two “division” champs – one for ovals and one for road/street courses. It’s kind of like giving medals to all of the kids on the third grade soccer team, instead of just the ones who played well. I kid.

I actually like the new format. I think it will add excitement, as well highlight the diversity of talent among the drivers. Plus, not only will we be able to look forward to an exciting fight for the title in Miami, I imagine now Sonoma and Motegi will offer the same spirit of competition. Although I kinda wish Chicagoland was after Japan. But beggars can’t be choosers.

In addition, props to Randy Bernard for just trying something different. Even if it doesn’t have the desired effect immediately, who cares? At least the league is trying. It’s been speculated that this is an attempt to give some more bling to the “face of IndyCar,” miss Danica. I personally don’t think that’s the reason behind the new format, but if it is, it won’t work. First of all, she actually has to win it, which I’m quite certain she won’t. She might be decent on the ovals, but there are quite a few other drivers who are decent…er. Wait… what? And I’d be willing to bet on Simona over DP based on what I’ve seen so far.

This week, I even saw reports of Patrick being a favorite to win at Kansas. Are you guys yankin’ my chain or what? Don’t get me wrong – I like Danica. I do. If you want to know how I really feel, check out last season’s blog, In Case You’re Confused: She’s a Driver, Not a Savior. Why does it fire me up so much? Because if one more guy I meet finds out I like IndyCar and says, “So you like that Danica girl?” I might start dating women. At least they listen. Calm down… I’m kidding. I thought when I moved to Indy I’d be rid of this nonsense, but not… so… much.

On to the picks for Kansas. This will be quick so try and keep up. First, I’ll take Dixon because he won it last year and he’s due. Second – Kanaan because I can’t seem to stop picking him and well, he’s TK. I can’t wait to see what Andretti Autosport has in store for the ovals and a back-to-back AA win would be like a little slice of heaven on earth. Third – dark horse pick – Mike Conway. Write it down.

Don’t forget – the Kansas race coverage is on ABC this weekend. So for those of you looking to miss all the action and witness the greatest spectacle in “what the eff just happened,” make sure to tune in. Otherwise feel free to send me an email. I can almost guarantee that by the time you send it and I respond to it, ABC still won’t have told you what’s going on. Fine. I do think it’s cool that there’s a race on ABC on May 1, which should help to build some momentum for the 500, but let’s call a spade a spade. We can count on Versus. The same can’t be said for ABC and that is truly unfortunate. Someone needs to tell ABC to step it up. And since I know they’re among the millions of people who read my blog, I’m doing it. So click your heels together, IndyCar nation, and repeat after me: “There’s no place like Versus…


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