A long time ago, at a Speedway far, far away, we said farewell to the 2009 season. We cried ourselves to sleep. We bitched about the offseason. We even went so far as to watch NASCAR. It was that rough.
But miraculously, a new day has dawned. Suddenly, but with nearly six months to prepare, the 2010 season is upon us. The open wheel gods have seen us suffer long enough – so long, in fact, that many of us can tell you what happened at this year’s Daytona 500. It’s heartbreaking. It’s unforgivable. It’s all we have.
Twenty-seven days left until Brazil. I’m not counting. Okay, I’m counting. I mean, it’s not a big deal. You think that just because I’ve given up Metallica and Jay-Z to workout to “I am Indy” on continued repeat means I’m excited? Because I drive through Speedway, Indiana just to “see what’s going on?” Because I moved to Indianapolis solely because it’s the racing capital of the world? Because I occasionally yell out drivers’ names in my sleep? Fine, I’ll give you that one.
As the countdown clock winds down and the excitement grows, I figured I’d cook up some thoughts on the offseason delicacies. If you picture me doing this whole recap in the super-fast Hot Wheels voice, I’d really appreciate it. That would be so cool.
The OFFICIAL Top Five Offseason Moments When I Thought I Was Being Punk’d:
#5 – The Pagoda is told to be Silent. Crickets chirping. Didn’t feel right about posting this nonsense until all was resolved, which appears to have happened. But if you don’t let The Silent Pagoda speak his mind, the IndyCar nation loses. And I mean bad. Like if Milka… okay, I promised myself I’d get through one post without bashing her. Moving on.
#4 – Up to Speed is cancelled indefinitely. If I haven’t said this before, Lauren Bohlander is my hero. That girl rocks. And I thought that BEFORE I saw the blooper reel. Tiny girl crush – not gonna lie. I truly looked forward to seeing her and Arni do their thang each week. Here’s hoping they’ll be back soon.
#3 – Tony George’s freefall… and the end of Vision Racing. I don’t like to think about the moment when I saw that fateful tweet about Vision Racing closing its doors. Nor do I ever want to read “FML: The Tony George Story” whenever it’s published. Can someone help me get up on this soap box? It’s really high and I’m kinda short. I’m about to throw down, so deal with it or move on. Say what you will about TG, but I admire his passion for this sport. I can’t even begin to speculate on what has happened in the inner circle of that family or the thoughts that are running through that man’s head. But nevertheless, when I see someone with a fire burning like he has, I can’t help but step back. Pit stop for a moment: About a month ago, I had the unbelievable fortune of meeting Michael Andretti. I was like a kid in a frickin’ candy store. I stumbled through the introduction and composed myself enough to get to my car and call my dad, who had no idea what “DADYOULLNEVERBELIEVETHISIJUSTMETMICHAELANDRETTI!” meant until I calmed down enough to explain what had just happened. Get to the point, you say. My point is, I don’t ever want to lose that excitement. I don’t care which driver it is… which crew chief… which chassis design… which seat at the 500… pick any aspect of this sport and my goal is to never lose the goosebumps. I think Tony George knows what I’m saying. And it scares me to death that he might have lost that lovin’ feeling. And it’s gone… gone… gone… whoa-oo-whoa-o.
#2 – The IRL announces new CEO, Randy Bernard. Special thanks to MyNameIsIRL for stealing my angle about Andy Bernard from the Office. Well played. Great minds… and all that crap. Seriously, though, I’m still uncertain as to how someone from the elite world of professional bull riding can mosey on over to the open wheel arena. Scratch that. And hold the effing phone. I’m more uncertain as to how someone who has NEVER ONCE attended an IndyCar race can fill this position. And I would pay an exorbitant amount of money to sit with that guy for his first race. ‘Mr. Bernard, unlike yourself, we know a thing or two about this sport. This ain’t our first rodeo, cowboy.’
#1 – The unveiling of the Delta Wing. Ground control to Delta Schlong… commencing countdown. Engines on. Houston, we’ve got a problem. And it appears to be a phallic-shaped chassis. Somebody call Vaseline Man Lotion. They’re going to want to see this. I can’t stop. You want my honest opinion? It looks like a Transformer’s penis. I would like to ride it. I mean, ride IN it. Wait… jeepers. This is a family show. Is it hot in here? Seriously, the marketer in me loves the fact that it has generated some attention for the Series. It has united the fans (albeit through absolute hatred – strong enough to have generated a facebook page in revolt). It’s new and it’s different. But in my humble opinion, it’s not an open-wheel car. In fact, I hardly consider it a car. HOWEVER, I like what I’ve seen from Swift, Dallara and Lola. Still forming opinions. More to come.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m fairly certain Ashton Kutcher is around here somewhere…