What’s Michael Andretti Thinking Now? Or, Andretti’s Always Alarming Approach

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IndyCar’s loosest lipped loose cannon – and that’s saying something – makes more dubious decisions.

You know those tortured guys with the prolonged, seemingly perpetual mid life crises? The ones who share their problems liberally with the rest of us? That’s our Michael. Without erratic owners like Mario’s eldest son, there’d be precious little to write about in the off season. Speaking of precious little . . .

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Takuma Sato – the all time leader in most crashes per win – will replace Carlos “Speedy” Munoz at Andretti Autosport. Considering Sato’s dismal record of a single win in seven IndyCar seasons coupled with nearly a decade of F1 futility, one has to again wonder what Michael’s thinking. After all, a late career renaissance for the soon to be forty year old Japanese jockey’s highly unlikely. It’s not as though his record at Indy‘s any better, with a best finish of thirteenth and several high profile crashes.

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Taku finished seventeenth in points in 2016, near the bottom of the full timers. He’s made a hundred eighteen starts, yet achieved only twelve top five finishes. Tellingly, he failed to finish forty four of those races, or a whopping thirty seven percent. Continue reading

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Celebrating Our Second Anniversary

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IRR celebrates two years of providing unique, unabashed views, racing news and laughs covering IndyCar racing.  It’s been a lot of fun emphasizing the foul-ups, foolishness and frivolity of the sport we love, as well as its riveting beauty. In essence, IRR is to IndyCar coverage what Ted Cruz was to the RNC convention in Cleveland.

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The hardest working racing site on the web, we’ve churned out over three hundred and thirty articles and posts over the last two years. The best part? It’s all free. Reviewing races and adding some humor to a serious and highly dangerous sport is our mission. We’re delighted to report it’s an ongoing one.

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It’s been quite a ride, from skewering the untalented though beautiful Danica Patrick and needling her less than entertaining NASCAR series to championing young American IndyCar stars to leading the charge for Mark Miles’ dismissal. Continue reading

What’s Wrong With Juan? An IRR IndyCar Inquiry

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To the chagrin of many IndyCar aficionados, the unpopular, immodest and crotchety Colombian repeated at St. Pete after doing so in last year’s Indy 500. So what’s wrong with this prickly Penske provocateur who spends a few weekends every year as a pilot?

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Juan Pablo Montoya’s a man who’s becoming legendary as of late, whether you like it or not. Or to cite his standard throwaway quote, “you know?” He missed taking the 2015 championship on style points to Dixon, with the consolation of winning the world’s greatest race, again. From the Brickyard to the beach, fans of artistry on wheels are aware of JPM, if not exactly celebrating him.

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His first Indy 500 win way back in 2000 was truly tough to watch for non-Juan fans, as he dominated the entire race, leaving little room to realistically root against him. Continue reading

What’s Michael Andretti Thinking? Or, Michael’s Murky, Muddled Mind

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Winner of forty two open wheel races and 1991 Champ Car champ, Michael Andretti unquestionably has lived up to the lofty Andretti IndyCar reputation, certainly more so than his son Marco. As for the supposed curse, the fifty two year old Andretti has won the Indianapolis 500 as an owner, but never did in sixteen starts as a driver.

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Despite his ownership success, including championships at Andretti Autosport and Ryan Hunter-Reay’s 500 victory last May, since then our concern has grown for Mario’s eldest and most famous son. Due to some highly dubious recent statements and actions we feel compelled to ask, what on earth is Michael Andretti thinking?

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We’re Thankful For IndyCar

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We’re thankful for IndyCar and all its glory,

For Helio and Will’s tight championship story.

We’re grateful for speed and artistry on wheels –

And AJ’s recovery, in hopes that he heals. Continue reading

I’m Ecstatic NASCAR’s Finally Over

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I’m Ecstatic NASCAR’s Finally Over,

That interminable, mindless season –

It stretches from Cali to Dover,

And lasts ten months for no reason

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IndyCar News Week in Review: The Not Dead Yet Edition

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A.J. Goes Under the Knife: Four time Indianapolis 500 winner and racing legend A.J. Foyt underwent successful triple bypass surgery Wednesday in Houston, Texas. The seventy nine year old has been recovering at Baylor Saint Luke’s Medical Center and likely causing the doctors, nurses and staff a Texas-sized amount of grief. A.J. had suffered chest pains recently and already had stents inserted into his arteries a few years ago, according to his team’s website. Foyt’s survived numerous brushes with death in his nearly eight decades, including multiple racing accidents during his storied career, many surgeries, a staph infection, a bulldozer rollover and even a killer bee attack on his ranch. Now it’s his ticker. We wish the feisty near octogenarian a speedy recovery, as May at Indy wouldn’t be the same without him.

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Silly Season News: See possible, potential, rumored return of a foxy former series driver below.

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Brazilian Bikini Botch?: Warning flags regarding holding a race in Brazil have been raised on this site before and with good reason. Brazil is a third world country with numerous problems, far beyond attempting to host international soccer matches and races. Coming as no surprise to our readers, there appears to be a snag in the renovations of the circuit IndyCar plans to run the season opener at in March. Meanwhile, perfectly fine ovals in the United States go unused by the series. Mark “mini” Miles, are you reading?

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F1’s Broker & Loonier Than Ever: As we noted in “Czar Bernie’s Against New Ideas and Reforms,” F1’s Bernie Ecclestone opposes new ideas and reforms, just like the imperious Czars of old. This week he royally rejected one team’s innovative approach to funding shortfalls in his ludicrously over-priced series “no one can afford” according to the Telegraph. Caterham, facing bankruptcy and unable to field cars in the last few races, turned to web based crowd funding to make ends meet and rather impressively raised over half a million dollars so far. Czar Bernie thinks this way too radical and doesn’t give his official seal of approval, sneeringly referring to the effort as “a begging bowls” approach. Perhaps Bernie could open up his own royal coffers and be generous with his billions for the good of F1 as we near the holiday season. Nah – never happen.

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Swiss Miss Back At IMS?: Speaking of IndyCar’s foreign sister series featuring even funnier accents, F1 wash out and former IndyCar pilot Simona de Silvestro’s back in the headlines albeit through a second hand source. Crazy ol’ Curt Cavin reports that IndyCar honcho Derrick Walker says Simona’s desirous of a return to the series. The twenty six year old speedy siren supposedly said at the U.S. Grand Prix that it was a mistake to leave IndyCar and chase F1. Since she never started a race in Czar Bernie’s glamorous, overpriced series we’d have to agree. Heck, we’re so welcoming of Sim’s return to the States we’d even let the fast, foxy fraulein bunk with us.

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NASCAR Runs Amok: No additional riots, fights or domestic assaults have taken place down south in NASCAR-ville, at least in the last couple of days. This subject already has been covered here lately more than we’d like to admit in “NASCAR: ‘A Clockwork Orange’ Series.” Here’s an idea – maybe King France could schedule a race in or near Ferguson, Missouri, the St. Louis suburb plagued by recent NASCAR-esque violence and mayhem of its own. We’re certain that hell hole of a track Gateway Speedway nearby is available. They could invite the rioters to a post-race mixer in the infield with Busch and the boys. Imagine the ratings that smack down would generate for NASCAR. And the revenues.

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NASCAR: ‘A Clockwork Orange’ Series

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With Kurt Bush being investigated for domestic assault, brawling becoming commonplace on NASCAR pit lane and Tony Stewart’s accidental killing of young Kevin Ward, 2014 has provided a chilling look into the bleak future of racing, much less society. It is American society that is the target audience of this madness and of course a certain segment eats it up to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year. While many movies may come to mind when pondering the troubling state of NASCAR – Rocky, The Jerry Springer Movie, or even Idiocracy – it seems compellingly clear instead that NASCAR has morphed into ‘A Clockwork Orange’ series.

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Kurt Busch Under Investigation for Domestic Assault

Fox News is reporting that NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is being investigated for domestic assault in Delaware. Dover police have confirmed the incident under investigation took place with his ex-girlfriend in his motor home at Dover International Speedway in September. Busch denies the allegations. NASCAR is not commenting at this time. Just as the NFL is putting such ugly incidents behind it, now NASCAR seems to be in for its turn.

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Busch has a history of violence and verbal outbursts, having been fined and punished repeatedly by NASCAR. It’s appropriate that Busch drives for Stewart-Haas Racing, as Tony Stewart has had his own tragic off NASCAR track issues this season. It’s also fitting after last week’s post-race pit-road brawl in Texas that violence is once again in the NASCAR headlines.