Category Archives: Weekly Picks 2010

Cafe do Brasil Indy 300

I have a friend who used to say I always had his attention when I started stories with, “So I was in the shower the other day…”

As such, I’ve decided to start all future posts that way. Alright, maybe not. That’s just utter exploitation and the race gIRL does not condone such things.

So I was having a pillow fight with a girlfriend the other day. And we were discussing the fact that… wait, are you even listening? If your mind started to wander just then, there’s only one thing to bring you back…

What… in the name of Zeus’ manparts… IS that? What’s with this series and its phallic-shaped obsessions? I think with the demise of the Delta Wang, we had a hole to fill. (See what I did there?) So in comes the God of Speed on his (18th century) unicycle to bring victory to all the land. Or… one person in the land. Now hold up, all ye “art” supporters. I’m not bashing the originality or the concept. I actually think, overall, it looks rather… mighty. But can someone – anyone – explain why there’s a triumphant kickstand on this gentleman? What does it symbolize? Why is it erect? What the hell is he reaching for? These are the hard-core questions that we, as fans, need to know. Or maybe it’s just me.

And I won’t even touch the fact that he appears to be bald, yet with long, flowing locks in the back. If scary-ass trophy dude wants to rock a mullet, who are we to judge?

Let’s talk about who’s going to take home this glorious gem, shall we? I have no choice but to go with Will Power for the win this weekend. He deserves it and you know it. Sure, Dario deserves it too… just less. And let’s be honest – no one wants to see that. So I’ll go with Franchitti for second and – ahh, what the hell – TK for P3.

Before I go, let’s make one thing clear. A green-to-checkered race without yellows is not wonderful. Can someone relay that message to the field before the race? Wait. KV is still running? Nevermind then. We’re all set.

I’m just kidding, Mr. Kalkhoven. Enjoy the race.

Indy Japan 300

As much as I’d like to be headed to Japan right now, I’m not sure how well I’d fit in there. No, I don’t mind eating on the floor and yes, I prefer my massages to have a happy ending. However, my language is limited to “Toyota,” “sushi” and “everybody Wang Chung tonight.” And I don’t think that would get me anywhere near the racetrack. So Versus coverage it is.

It’s probably better that I stay here anyway, to continue my Milwaukee Mile celebration. I haven’t stopped drinking since last Friday. I’m tipsy and my liver is doing the running man but hey, that’s how we do it in Wisconsin. Cheers.

I’m really not sure whose bright idea it was to have an all-road-course schedule leading up to the 500, with Brazil immediately preceding, but survey says… FAIL. Not that the snooze-fest in Kansas was a great lead-in this year, but Brazil is ballsy. And while I’m excited about the double-header in Texas, part of me thinks that dividing the points and calling it two races makes more work than sense. We shall see. And I heard a rumor today that there’s talk of a Saturday-road-course-Sunday-oval season finale in Las Vegas. I dare you to mention that to a crew member and see the look of horror at the mere thought of flipping that setup overnight. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, I do enjoy the schedule and look forward to a splendid 2011.

Let’s finish 2010 first though, hmmm? It was about this time last year that Mario Moraes went from pinball to professional. I was impressed. But if you think that means I’m going to pick him this week, you’ve thought wrong. KV is on the fast track to purchasing the entire Dallara plant and I wouldn’t bet on those odds even if Roger Penske was writing the check. I’ve seen the crash count, but lost track of how many times I’ve been present to witness this: BAM. Shit. KV? Yep. Shocking.

Huge congratulations to Ed Carpenter for an amazing weekend in Kentucky. Can’t imagine a single fan in the stands who was rooting against the Fuzzy’s car in that race. By the way, I don’t know what the crap happened with the Firestone Tire-iffic voting, but I understand. Helio definitely deserved to win over Carpenter. And Kanaan’s drive from last to fourth wasn’t anything to write home about. Plus, Penske can really use the extra $10,000. FACEPALM.

On to the picks. Not gonna lie… I’m stumped this week. On one hand, you’ve got your top five in points – all Penske and Ganassi. Power seems like an obvious choice but his fuel debacle in Chicago and eight-place finish in Kentucky tell me otherwise. Then you’ve got Helio who won on a fuel strategy over the Vision/Panther brigade, which – despite my picks – I honestly didn’t expect THAT would happen. Dixon won at Motegi last year but hasn’t shown up on the last two ovals. I’d like to see an Andretti Autosport victory but sweet Jebediah, don’t let it be Nascar’s own Danica Patrick. So you see the pickle I’m in.

Here we go: Franchitti, Briscoe and a surprise performance by Hideki Mutoh. Done. Now please excuse me whilst I brush up on my Japanese. “California roll, edamame, shrimp tempura…”

Kentucky Indy 300

Last year, this race was called the Meijer Indy 300. So either their marketing team didn’t see Marco’s commanding performance last weekend, or we’re not doing our job as fans and buying more random homegoods. We’ll wait while you go out and get some stuff. I recommend a new recliner, a bird feeder and a package of brats. And if you’re feeling really saucy, one of those fountains of a kid peeing. Go.

We’ve found ourselves smack in the middle of Ovalville and I likey. Chicagoland Speedway – as always – put on a hell of a show. Which is why it makes sense to take it off the schedule completely. See this cake, fat kid? It’s delicious. You can’t have it. I completely understand. In marketing, history shows that not giving people what they want is the key to success. FAIL.

Here’s my dilemma for this week’s picks: I can’t decide whether to follow my head or my heart. Since it’s the 200th race of the IndyCar Series, it’s okay to get all nostalgic and smooshy, right? So my heart says this…

First pick is Kanaan. He has a strong record here, including a pole/victory in 2007 and a podium finish (3rd) last year. He’s been strong on the ovals this year – with a win in Iowa – and seems to be getting back into his old groove, despite the fact that his bitter-meter is just about topping out. TK is a fan favorite, and to hear him say that he didn’t enjoy racing in Chicago was a tough pill to swallow. But then again, he has to work with Danica. You do the math.

Second pick: Ed Carpenter. Raise your hand if you want to see Ed on the podium this weekend. If you didn’t raise your hand, we can’t be friends anymore. Carpenter finished second last year at Kentucky. And it wasn’t your average second-place finish. He and Briscoe BATTLED IT OUT til the checkered flag dropped. In fact, I’m pretty sure if you look up “barn burner” in the dictionary, there’s an image of the photo finish. Maybe.

Finally, my third pick goes to Alex Lloyd. I haven’t picked him yet this year, but until now, it didn’t make much sense. He’s been strong, but not a contender… until now. Despite a series of incidents throughout the race at Chicagoland, Lloyd looked strong and confident in his car. I think this season, his problem has been in securing a good qualifying position. If he can do that in Kentucky (which could be foiled if the rain comes and they grid according to points), I’m expecting great things.

So that’s what my heart says. My head says Power, Briscoe, Castroneves. You make the call.

Peak Antifreeze & Motor Oil 300

[Deep, movie-announcer dude voice]

In a world where Will Power is unstoppable… where the mere sight of the IZOD Trophy Girl makes men inexplicably retarded… where KV Technology can rebuild a car faster than you can say, “Brian Barnhart must be sleeping with someone at Dallara”… where you could bet your kids’ college tuition that Milka would finish last…

Until now…

Just when you thought nothing could possibly be slower than the 18, along came…

Frankenstein Dracula. Frangelico Dramamine. What the hell is that guys name? Ahem. Francisco Dracone. HOLY BALLS.

Now I’m all for trying new things. Hell, Wheldon decided he might try a new, inverted maneuver to shake things up a bit in Sonoma. But Dracone brought a whole new meaning to the words “shit show.” At which point, Conquest did the right thing and brought in a new driver. This is the point in the show when I would normally draw an obvious comparison between Dracone’s fate and Milka’s, but you’re a big kid. You can do it. I saw a tweet this week saying that making fun of Milka is no longer funny. To which I say… FALSE.

And so we welcome Scheckter back to the festivities. T-Scheck, orange is not your color, but I’ll take it. Honestly can’t say I saw that coming, but it can only mean one thing – silly season is right around the corner. Insert weird clown-car horn.

It took all of one lap here at Chicagoland for me to remember why I’m an oval girl. Crank up the hurdy gurdy cuz we got four ovals to end the season – two under the lights, no less. Christmas has come early, kiddies.

For my first pick, I’ll take Ryan Briscoe. The defending champ was fastest in the first practice and he’s got a pretty stellar track record on the ovals.

And now for a little déjà vu. I’m feeling strongly about the Andretti Autosport squad again this week. The AA cars ran P4 (#26), P5 (#7), P6 (#37) and P7 (#11) in the first practice. I can’t bet against that. However, I have a feeling that Marco is going to get too anxious too soon, so my second pick is Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Finally, my dark horse pick this week is E.J. Viso. I had several in mind but the tiny stallion ran eighth in practice and let’s not forget that he finished third at the last oval (Iowa).

I leave you with a friendly race gIRL public service announcement: Did you know that “epic FAIL” has a sound? It does. It sounds just like the NASCAR Truck Series. My ears are bleeding. Hide your wives and children. You’re welcome.

See you under the lights!

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…

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.

Honda Indy Edmonton

Well, shoot. That Toronto sure was a shit show, wasn’t it? Let me let you in on a little secret: If you’re actually going to attend that race next year, the ONLY place to sit is turn three. I’d like to apologize to all of the dudes around me for the excessive gasping and pointing that went on. And I’m sorry about your knees – I’m sure that some random chick grabbing them is probably not what you needed.

I’d also like to give a big thumbs up to Tags and Scheckter, but I don’t have big thumbs. I’m impressed with your child-like attitudes and frustration levels that make Mel Gibson look like a yoga instructor. Boys, I salute you. For you are what makes the IZOD IndyCar Series fun. And I’m sure yo mommas was proud when they saw your post-race interviews all over ESPN. Which can only mean that Edmonton should be the bearer of beautiful things. Let the madness ensue.

No, I still won’t give you my thoughts on the 2012 chassis. It’s coming. It can’t happen now because everything that happens now, is happening now. What happened to then? We passed then. When? Just now. We’re at now, now. Go back to then. When? Now. Now? Now. I can’t. Why? We missed it. When? Just now.

In case you were confused just then, you should know that no blog is truly complete without a Spaceballs reference. I knew it. I’m surrounded by assholes. Okay, I’m done.

Sweet Jebediah, can we please get back to racing? I’m going to go out on a LONG limb here and call a complete Penske/Ganassi domination in Edmonton this weekend. That would be shocking, no? Ugh. Make it STOP already. I’m tired of choosing red and black so much that I feel like I’m playing Connect Four. Who won at Toronto? POWER. Who was on the pole and won at The Glen? POWER. Who was on the pole and won last year at Edmonton? POWER. Last week, I banned myself from picking him on sheer principal. This week, I say, screw the principles. I’ll take Power.

Secondly, I’ll take Justin Wilson. Did you see that performance last week? Not only was he smokin’ the rest of the field on his black tires, but after the late-race debacle that put him way back in the pack, he managed to work his way up in the last few laps of the race to finish seventh. It was a spectacle.

Finally, simply for the fun of it, and because I refuse to pick another Penske, I’ll take resident evil Paul Tracy. He’s somehow whined his way into my heart and I’d like to see him finish well for the Canadian fans. Man, do they love that guy up there. I saw grown men acting like 14-year-old girls at a Justin Bieber concert. Obnoxious? Yes. Heartwarming? Eh, sort of. But you can’t argue with hometown pride. Just ask the Iowa corn-growers. Those are some crazy sons-of… older corn-growers.

Let the Canadian frenzy continue. I miss that place already. And let me know who YOU guys think will take the podium this weekend. This is, after all, your world. I’m just visiting…

Honda Indy Toronto

Welcome, race fans, to the first international race gIRL blog post, coming to you from the beautiful city of Toronto. Beautiful is the understatement of the season. This place is the shizz. It’s funny – I always imagined Canada to be like a giant arctic glacier. Like it could be sunny and 80 in Detroit, and then you cross that bridge into a winter wonderland. A place where Santa and his elves work 51 weeks out of the year, but then during that one week in mid-July, they exclusively make Hot Wheels and other IndyCar-related goodies. You thought the same thing, didn’t you? I hate to break it to you, but it’s not like that at all. It’s better. I think maybe I was born to be a Canadian. Maybe not. Whatever.

It is with great pleasure that I raise my LaBatt Blue and tell you that I am not – I repeat, NOT, going to talk about the 2012 chassis just yet. I have 712,634 thoughts about it all vying for position in my brain. I’m trying to sort them by choosing one main, core thought and then using the others as options. Oops, see what I did there?

Before we move onto this week’s picks, can I just say… Will Power, man – WTF? Seriously, dude. You rock. This is your world and we’re all just visitors. Now SIMMER DOWN. Thanks. Smooches…

On to the picks. This just in from the Department of Are You On Crack, I have temporarily banned myself from picking Will Power (for further explanation, look up “cheating” in the dictionary). I’m starting to feel like from now on he could be my cut-and-paste first pick, and I know I said I wasn’t talking chassis yet, but for the LOVE OF GOD, I hope this new “strategy” helps to move the series away from Penske/Ganassi domination. The two Andretti Autosport wins so far this season have been encouraging, but not enough.

Ahh what the hell? It’s been awhile since I’ve picked Franchitti and since he was on pole AND won it in Toronto last year, I’ll take him for my first pick. Safe. Shhhh.

Secondly, I’m combining my dark horse and token Canadian pick. I like to call it the “dark Canadian.” Sounds kinda like a French Zorro, eh? I’d love to go with PT but I just don’t have the same confidence in him this season as I did last year. So I’m going with Tagliani. He hasn’t been showing up as of late but I feel like he was rockin’ something at Indy and if he can stay focused here on the home soil, I’d love to see him finish on the podium.

Finally, I’ll take Briscoe for pick number three. You saw how close I was to picking him for The Glen and didn’t… and should have. So there.

And this week, I am proud to announce that for the rest of the season, I will also be choosing… drum roll please… a weekly Firestone Indy Lights driver! I’m doing my best to keep an ear to the ground with the FIL series, as hopefully we’ll see some of it’s drivers making their way into IndyCar in the future. So for my inaugural race gIRL FIL pick, I’m going with James Hinchcliffe for the win in Toronto. Don’t let me down, Hinch. I’m sure your victory will be sweet, but this is about something so much bigger than that. Like me batting 1000 in FIL picks. That would be HUGE. I kid,  I kid.

That’s all from Toronto. Off to have some Poutine and ketchup chips. See you all in the states!

Iowa Corn Indy 250

So Dan Wheldon says, “there’s not much to do in Iowa.” Pfft. Shows what he knows. There’s…

I mean, you can…

Well, the locals like to…

Apparently there’s not much to do in Iowa. So let’s go racing, shall we? Honestly, this is one of my favorite tracks. I like Iowa Speedway like I like my men – short, fast and… wait. What? Clearly I’ve been sniffing a little too much of the ethanol. That’s corn ethanol this week, boys and girls. Normally, I compete with sugar cane ethanol. Sweet Lord, make it stop. I can’t get that damn commercial out of my head. Is it fair to say that ‘sugar cane ethanol’ is the new ‘everything’s gonbee alright?’ Yea, you diehards know what I’m talking about. High five. If you didn’t get it, let me introduce you to a little thing I like to call the IZOD IndyCar Series. We talk about it quite a bit here. It’s nifty.

Best description I’ve ever heard about this track came from the Alex Lloyd interview on this week: Iowa is “like flying a jet fighter through a gymnasium.” Holy balls. I mean really. Last year, I brought my best friend to this track. It was her first (and last) IndyCar race. It may have been that the first 50 laps were a parade. Or that she kept getting poked in the eye with the red, white and blue Mohawk on the random dude sitting next to her. Or the three-hour wait to get out of the parking lot. Lot? Field. Huge field of nothingness. Personally, I don’t understand what’s wrong with any of those things. Okay… I could have done without the 50-lap parade, but the rest is just racin’. If the track is as fast as it is, you gotta expect it. Imagine the levels of concentration and strength that go into this track. Oof. Can’t wait.

Time for the picks. By the way, did anyone notice that I picked two of the top three finishers at Texas? You did? Liar. But thanks for humoring me.

First, I’m going with Castroneves. Coming off a disappointing finish – or lack thereof – at Texas (anyone shocked that Mario “The Pinball” Moraes is back to his old tricks?) I think he’s due for the podium. Solid on the ovals, pole-sitter last year, get ready for some fence climbing…

I think I’ll take Wheldon as my second pick. For the most part, I like what I’ve seen from him this season. Coming off two top-ten finishes and starting/finishing fourth at Iowa last year, I’m watching for a podium finish this year.

Oooooh… internal struggle. I want to pick TK, but he’s never finished a race here. And I’m getting a TREMENDOUS amount of pressure from certain family members (ahem, my newly-converted-IndyCar-fan brother) to pick Alex Lloyd. Family is important. But the race gIRL cannot be bribed. Except with chocolate. NO. I cannot be bribed. However, I’m beyond impressed with one car on the Dale Coyne team this year (HINT: you shouldn’t need a hint), and I’m fairly certain it will be in future picks if this streak continues.

I’m going with RHR for my third pick. Partly because I’m just thankful he’s in the car. Partly because he’s the only non-Penske/Ganassi driver to win a race this year. Mostly because I hope I’m right. Would love to see another victory for the pretty IZOD face. No, I don’t mean the girl. Speaking of, does anyone ever wonder WTF she’s always laughing about? She’s constantly in the background of the post-race interviews giggling… with herself. Does IZOD give her a check and say, “Go on out there and pretend that Scott Dixon said something entertaining?” We all know he didn’t. Just be normal, IZOD girl. Grab an ear of corn. You’re gorgeous. Own it.

One more thing… if you’ll be in Iowa this weekend, let me know. I definitely won’t be standing next to the IZOD girl (I prefer not to put myself in situations where I’m known as “the funny one”) but chances are, there won’t be much to do. I’m aiming to change that.

Firestone 550K (Texas)

“After Indy we go to Milwaukee.”

Milwaukee. Not Texas. What seems to be the problem here?

I’m not bitter.

Before we start the boot scootin’ boogie, I have to tell you about the greatest spectacle in FAIL. It’s been my tradition – and it should be yours – to attend the Indy 500 and then watch the broadcast later that evening. And as of the last few years, I’ve DVR’d it. You know, because watching it forty-two times in a row is necessary. So I watch the live race. Then I watch the broadcast. Then I watch the recording. You get the picture. So we’re on phase three of this jolly adventure…

Three laps to go. Then two. Out comes the white flag. Conway hits the wall. The announcer says, “We’ve got a crash. Wow – it’s a wicked crash.” Annnnnnd… the recording stops. No replay of the crash. No post-race interviews. Nada. I sat and stared for a good two minutes, refusing to admit that THAT just happened. Then I scream in agony, in much the same way as I did when I found out the Mile wasn’t on the 2010 schedule. I’m not bitter.

Sooooo… the stars at night, are big and bright, (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas. Everything I ever needed to learn in life came from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. I already knew there was no basement in the Alamo, but I understand that Pee Wee had to learn the hard way. And that tour guide lady didn’t need to be such a bitch.

Is this the race that Randy Bernard has been looking forward to most? Has he been like, “Yea, that Indy 500 is cool but let’s hurry up and get to the mother ship?” You betcha. Well, Mr. Bernard, it’s time to make a b-double-e-double-r-u-n cuz we ain’t goin’ down ‘til the sun comes up. Okay, that’s quite enough of the country music references. I just annoyed the crap out of myself.

First pick – I’ll take Marco Andretti. I remember being fairly confident in Marco this time last season because he favors the high line, especially at this track. He finished fourth at Texas Speedway last year (which I’m almost certain was his highest finish of the 2009 season) and I think his momentum will be strong after this year’s third-place finish at Indy.

Secondly, I’ll go with Ryan Briscoe. A few reasons – I like him on the ovals, he started and finished second last year, and well, he drives for Penske, so can you really go wrong with a red team pick? It’s safe… and I know it.

Finally, I’ll take Scheckter as my dark horse. Due to the unfortunate crash involving Mike Conway and RHR at Indy, Scheckter has been asked to fill in for DRR at Texas. I don’t like the circumstances, but I’m excited about the outcome. And this may be my last chance to pick him this year (knock on carbon fiber), so let’s hope we see something spectacular. BTW, did anyone notice that going into the last 15 laps at Indy, Scheckter had yet to use any of his push-to-pass? I don’t care what Davey Hamilton says – he never ceases to amaze me.

Try and find me at Texas. I won’t be there, but it will be a fun little game. However, if our paths happen to cross in Vegas this weekend, don’t tell anyone. For what happens in Vegas… should be happening in Texas, cuz I wish I was going there. Yeehaw and God Speed. Enjoy it while it lasts, because next year after Indy, we go to Milwaukee.