Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma

If ever there was a moment to need a glass of wine – or seventeen – this is it. Perhaps then I could begin to accept the memories of what I learned in Mid-Ohio:

1.    It is a possibility that during practice, Ryan Briscoe forgot just how tall Justin Wilson is. But I will never forget the sight of JW rising slowly – all Frankensteiny – out of his car to tower over Briscoe as if to say, “Um, what was that? I couldn’t hear you all the way up here.”
2.    Mid-Ohio dudes: Under no circumstances are cutoff jeans and a half t-shirt acceptable as attire. This is not debatable.
3.    Screens are a necessity at any non-oval track. Contrary to popular belief, even people like God and Roger Penske don’t have the ability to see every angle on the track. And even the temporary street courses have grasped this concept. But not Mid-Ohio. It’s more of an “everyone scrunch together around the one tiny screen” mentality. Precious.
4.    As part of KV’s effort to break the all-time record for wall stuffs and general car part replacement, it was no surprise that Sato cruised off track in the esses. But it’s only in seeing the replay from Dixon’s on-board camera that you realize just how effing hilarious that maneuver was.
5.    Mid-Ohio parents: If your children are large enough to carry thirteen hot dogs by nestling them against their fat rolls, you might want to consider setting some limits.
6.    Being at the races is just not the same without my partner-in-crime. Who else am I supposed to point out the violations mentioned in #2 to and then curl up in bed with at night to slather ourselves with a ginormous piece of carrot cake? I’m JUST sayin.’
7.    Some tracks have people walking around yelling stuff like, “Beer!” and “Peanuts!” Mid-Ohio has dudes on golf carts selling Dominos Pizza. Mid-Ohio FTW.
8.    Justin Wilson would be having a fabulous season if his luck would stop getting in the way.
9.    Milka Duno would be having a fabulous season if her driving would stop getting in the way.
10.    I don’t even remember who won the race, (I’m kidding, Franchitti. Simmer.) but I know I woke up that morning and said, “Boy, it’s been a long time since Penske or Ganassi won. I hope THAT happens today.” Sigh.

One can only hope that Sonoma offers such great life lessons. We shall see. If not, plan B is double-fisting the wine. You know, six in one hand… Here are my picks:

First, I’ll take Franchitti. He won here in 2009 and was fastest in the first practice today. If there’s anyone to beat the almighty William Power (throwing arms in the air), I guess it will have to be Mr. Judd.

For picks two and three, I have a good feeling about Andretti Autosport this weekend. Not Danica… oops, I mean, “NASCAR’s own, Danica.” Barf. I’ll take TK for my second pick. Despite only running a few laps in the first practice, he looked solid.

Andretti or RHR? Hmmmmm. It’s like a hot boy conundrum. I’ll take Andretti for my third pick. You know when you go to your buddy’s house and his wife says, “I like the Detroit Lions cuz their uniforms are pretty?” And then you tell her that the Lions were 0-16 two seasons ago, but that means nothing to her? You’d think I have a point here, wouldn’t you? I don’t. I’m just excited for football season.

So I raise my wine glass(es) from Infineon Raceway, a track ranking extremely high on the list of “gorgeous facilities,” which Pressdog will tell you can only mean that the racing will be good. Here’s to a great race, good friendship throughout the IndyCar nation and the realization that after this race we are finally… finally… back to ovals. FINALLY. Cheers…

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