Sour Grapes Power & His Buzz Killing Crew

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Image from Indy Race Reviewer

If you thought “Mad” Will Power was agitated after his contact and crash with Takuma Sato Saturday, you should have seen our editorial board’s reaction when he uttered his over the top “crazy” comments during the race. Power’s outburst was completely uncalled for and we at IRR were absolutely livid that he, Kanaan and Montoya – the three stooges of IndyCar – would make such negative comments about their sport, not to mention so publicly and matter of factly.

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Photo from dailytelegraph.com.au

No fans of Will Power going back years, Kanaan and Juan also just made our list after their god-awful, over wrought and extremely emotional display at Fontana. We felt precisely the same as owner/driver Ed Carpenter who – although his perspective didn’t make NBCSN’s air – said, “I just hate that the first thing that guys do is get out and slam the sport.”

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Photo from indystar.com

You don’t see such lambasting from participants of other sports – certainly not going to the extreme of repeatedly evoking death, for goodness sake – and the whole hideous display got us to wondering. Was their upset over Saturday’s classic race at Auto Club Speedway due simply to sour grapes? After all, American Graham Rahal driving a Honda won the 500 mile race, doing so over all the rest. Power’s rarely won on an oval in his career and it’s been almost a year since Kanaan won anything. JPM‘s the obvious exception, but his success doesn’t lessen the sting of his “too stupid” comments, ‘you know?’ If anything, it made them less palatable.  Continue reading

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Fontana Race Review: Shut Up And Drive Edition

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After the most compelling IndyCar race in many years Saturday at Auto Club Speedway and before an almost completely empty house several drivers embarrassed themselves by bitching about “pack racing,” going so far as repeatedly calling the race “crazy.” The phrase “pack racing” is the newest pejorative in the sport and was oft used in relation to the MAVTV 500. This gratuitous hurling of abuse was unfair in our eyes, not to mention unhelpful and ungrateful. In fact it was a superb record setting race with a stunning eighty lead changes among fourteen drivers, an American winner and relatively few incidents. After all, no one was killed or even injured other than another of Dale Coyne’s crewman, and with a constant rotation of drivers for the shoestring team that’s par for the course. Listening to some drivers after the race though you’d have thought a massacre had just occurred on national television.

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Photo from indycar.com

Graham Rahal gained an amazing eighteen spots to win the race which ended under yellow, leading our pick Tony Kanaan to the line. This occurred after a red flag stoppage of the race to clean up an earlier incident caused by Takuma Sato, which we also predicted. It’s Rahal’s second win and first on an oval track in nine years of racing. He overcame a dangerous incident in his pit when his fueler inexplicably shoved the fuel buckeye back into the car as it dropped off the jack and sped away. The fuel hose broke, spilling fuel everywhere on pit lane and the yellow was soon displayed. Oddly, race control opted to fine and dock Rahal points rather than issue a drive through penalty. The thus far unexplained and controversial call ended up affecting the outcome of the race.

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Photo from indystar.com

The ghosts of Dan Wheldon and Las Vegas were even evoked in a truly sad display of professional whining by athletes who are well paid to race closely while side by side and entertain fans. They are not paid to degrade the product or to take a giant dump on a classic display of riveting oval track racing, yet that’s precisely what they did. It was an outrageous display of complaining the likes of which we at IRR have never seen in decades of closely following the sport.  Continue reading

Fontana Predictions & Prognostications: ‘Estimated Prophet’ Edition

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Photo from ap.org

“Rainbows end down that highway, where ocean breezes blow.”

IRR estimates good things at Auto Club Speedway, including a full five hundred miles of ecstasy inducing oval racing on Saturday. IndyCar – when not fouled up by over-officious, busy-body race stewards in the interest of “safety” – provides lots of passing, side by side racing and an edge of your seat, scintillating show. Since it’s California, happily there’s no chance of a rain out in the only place on the planet enduring a years’ long drought that still releases millions of gallons of fresh water into the ocean annually. Only the land that gave us the Grateful Dead could inspire such wondrously wacked “Estimated Prophets.”

“California – a prophet on the burnin’ shore.”

Back to racing and a special prediction we have for this week’s glorious oval race. In honor of California’s own late great Jerry Garcia who famously had his own brushes with the law, we prophesied lots and lots of penalties in SoCal. This season’s been rife with infractions, fines and even double secret probation being handed out by IndyCar’s iron fist of justice, also known as race control. Drivers throughout the field are feeling the heat both literally and figuratively and Saturday’s gonna look like the parking lot at a Dead concert. With twice the usual amount of racing and only five races to go at its conclusion, the MAVTV 500 should keep Brian Barnhart and company busy enforcing all afternoon long.

Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske Chevrolet, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda and Sebastien Bourdais, KVSH Racing crash

Photo from motorsport.com

“Still I know I lead the way, they tell me where I’ll go.”

Pole position – which means less in this race than perhaps any other on the schedule – Continue reading