Long Beach Predictions and Prognostications: Damned Statistical Edition

statsIRR

IRR lets readers in on a sizable statistical secret.

A significant part of the reason we’ve been so successful in our IndyCar predictions the last few years is simple mathematics. Or – more precisely – damned statistics. It’s a pity we haven’t been putting the information to better use by wagering boatloads in Vegas.

“There are lies, damn lies and statistics.” – Benjamin Disraeli

No, we’re not a stats site as our readers well know. It being tax time, we’re particularly afraid of figures at present. Lord knows there’re enough purely statistical destinations out there and – other than this article – stats and humor go together about like NPR and Alabama Slammers. They’re just too damned different in their purposes.

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Photo from timeout.com

This week’s special prediction for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is another Penske pavement party. The team’s won a majority of races going back years – not to mention poles, championships, et cetera – with defending champ Newgarden’s win at Phoenix merely serving as the most recent example. When it comes to pole, semi-retiree Helio started first in SoCal the last three races. By anyone’s calculation, the team’s peerless.

Pole sitter admittedly is a toughie as we discussed in the preview, but even with Helio out of the picture odds overwhelmingly point to one particular three car team. Statistically, Continue reading

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St. Pete Predictions and Prognostications: Kinks Edition

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Florida’s experiencing not a British invasion this weekend, but rather an IndyCar one. Tired of waiting? Us too. At long last, it’s time for sexy cars and rock ‘n roll – all day, and all of the night. Warning: some may consider our peerless prognostications – kinda like The Kinks – to be slightly deviant.

The series hits a high note with the start of a brand new tour Sunday. It’s at one of the kinkiest courses on the schedule and in a spring break hot spot, with all the accompanying decadence you’d expect. Speaking of kinky, there’s little straight about the circuit at St. Pete, though there is plenty of narrow. Despite the trashy track, when the new chariots’ engines finally do fire, it’ll be music to our ears. So on this sunny afternoon we offer up some of our ever popular power chord predictions.

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Photo from autosport.com

Our special prognostications for the race involve the new cars and plethora of untested drivers. Due to the virginal inexperience of over a quarter of the field, expect a first lap pileup that’ll make the inelegant Indy GP look tame by comparison. Needless to say, this’ll prove to be a destroyer for the hopes of several. And don’t be surprised when crews are forced to work out various kinks in the unproven equipment. There’ll be no L-O-L-A Lolas on the grid – or any other chassis – only updated Dallaras.

For pole we’re going with experience, a turned on team with proven performance. In keeping with our overall theme, Continue reading

St. Pete Preview: My God – It’s Full Of Rookies!

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The cold, dark and vast vacuum of IndyCar’s off season is finally about to be penetrated – ironically, not on Florida’s space coast, but rather in the western city of St. Petersburg. Spinning, revolutions and centrifugal forces will be on full display during this important inaugural mission of 2018.

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No, you’re not tripping. The Firestone Grand Prix will see the most colossal class of rookies since the dawn of man. Aping the veterans, they’ll be strapping into brand new rocket ships for the first time next weekend. An asteroid sized chunk of the field has never raced an IndyCar in anger, much less in the unforgiving confines of St. Pete. These FNGs’ race odyssey begins in earnest with the blastoff of a new age in IndyCar.

Most of this generation were in diapers in 2001, as were their parents in 1968 when Kubrick’s mind blowing film 2001: A Space Odyssey debuted in theaters. Considering their boundless inexperience, let’s just hope come Sunday they don’t forget their friggin’ helmets.

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Image from redbubble.com

In the hostile space that is the streets of St. Pete – where the zero gravity toilet is in fact one’s driver suit – Continue reading

Detroit Grand Prix Predictions and Prognostications: Double Down Edition

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Photo from usatoday.com

Our expectations are rolling high for the first race on Saturday afternoon as it’s forecast to be wet.  With heavy thunderstorms expected, there’s the feeling that it could be one of those Houston 2014 double header weekends with all sorts of surprises. Considering it’s in Detroit, rain’s as good as it gets on the coma inducing street course giving the gamblers a better shot at beating the house.

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 28:  Carlos Huertas of Colombia, driver of the #18 Dale Coyne Racing Dallara Honda, celebrates with Miss Grand Prix contestants after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race #1 at NRG Park on June 28, 2014 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Photo from Getty Images

It could be the magical kind of weekend where a group like Carlos Huertas and Dale Coyne beat Penske and Ganassi to win defying all the odds. Luckily for race fans, IndyCar in its infinite wisdom has doubled down on Detroit at a time when nearly everyone else has fled.  All this, right there on an international border that’s now one giant casino.

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Photo from crunchyroll.com

The special prediction for the weekend is lots of losers – wet fans, most every gambler and once again the Honda teams. Andretti Autosport’s Continue reading

Indy 500 Predictions and Prognostications: Humble Edition

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The Indy 500 remains the most preeminent event on the American racing calendar, whether most people know it or not. Indy represents the high point of the IndyCar season and will be watched by several hundred thousand people at IMS and millions more on television around the globe. Disturbingly, for the first time in many years there exists real doubt surrounding driver and fan safety in the world’s biggest race. It’s a humbling thought, isn’t it?

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We’re tempted to predict rain for the race on Sunday the way IndyCar’s year has gone so far. Let’s recap the first third of the season – a canceled opener in Brazil, an injured fan due to flying debris and a couple other races that nearly bored viewers to death. Now there’s the somersaulting car problem and most recently Hinch‘s serious injury, both troubling issues indeed. In reality a rain postponement – it’s in the forecast – which would bring out a smaller crowd and shrunken press coverage may be the safest outcome for a series in the midst of another crisis, humbled once again.

James Hinchcliffe, of Canada, hits the wall in the third turn during practice for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Monday, May 18, 2015.  (Jimmy Dawson/The Indianapolis Star via AP) ORG XMIT: ININS101

Photo from sports.usatoday.com

Conventional  wisdom holds the 500 will be a crash-fest – particularly if practice has been any indication – and it could well be. But we think not. Continue reading

IndyCar Barber Predictions and Prognostications: Bike Wreck

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The less said about the Long Beach edition of predictions the better. Happily we did at least accurately foresee that no fans would be grievously injured by flying aero kit debris. With only one caution all race, that proved to be prescient. Unfortunately little else we published was as Montoya managed only second. That’s why they call it prognosticating, after all.

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Image from Indy Race Reviewer

The series heads south for a visit to Alabama and we can confidently predict repeated references by commentators to the “beauty” of Barber’s “gorgeous facility.”  While that assessment may be accurate, it certainly doesn’t mean the track provides entertaining racing, because it doesn’t. Little passing and strung out fields are hallmarks of IndyCar on this motorcycle track in the woods, and this year’s race will be no different.

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Photo from beyondtheflag.com

Don’t expect many cautions at Barber either as teams are still short of parts like $20,000 front wings, particularly KV Racing. Thank you Stefano Coletti. With numerous driver changes taking place already this season – at Coyne, Ganassi, and Coyne – the pilots will be on their best behavior again on Sunday. Continue reading

IndyCar NOLA Predictions and Prognostications: All Wet Edition

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How’d our crack crystal ball division do predicting last race, you ask? Fairly well. We accurately predicted the pole winner as well as the winning team, if not the winning driver. Also that there’d be a surprise winner, which JPM sort of was. Stefano “faster than Andretti” Coletti was a bit of a disappointment, but after all it was only his first IndyCar race.

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Photo from tripadvisor.com

Obviously New Orleans is likely to be wet, as the race is being held in a swamp in April. If you’ve ever visited Louisiana, then you know that the entire southern half of the state’s one giant mass of menacing, brackish swamp water so some amount of discomfort will come as no surprise. Plus there’s rain in the forecast. This week’s out of the ordinary prediction is that a local gator makes a surprise appearance at the track, so be sure to mind those hands and feet! Also, lots of those hilarious, James Carville-awful Cajun accents will be on display so it won’t be an entirely joyless race.

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Photo from indycar.com

The couple hundred thousand viewers who bother to tune in to the race will notice the difference in coverage from ABC, assuming they have the “No Body Can See Network.” Continue reading

N@$C@R Predictions: Phoenix Felonies Edition

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Notice: Due to poor recent performance, IRR’s NASCAR soothsayers have been permanently reassigned to much harder and less desirable positions. Please excuse the mess while our crystal ball is being polished. Nevertheless, we persevere. The “BUFF” cars visit Phoenix this week, site of Superbowls, sandstorms and one tough Sheriff, so here are this week’s prognostications –

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Photo from sports.yahoo.com

Kurt Busch won’t win, therefore all RV walls and any WAG who unfortunately happens to be around him should beware. Of course he won’t be prosecuted either, as KB enjoys special privileges and immunities his lowly fans do not.

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After offering shocking support of terror group ISIS last week in a possible high profile case of Stockholm syndrome, Tony Stewart Continue reading

N@$C@R Predictions & Prognostications: Lost Vegas Edition

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Image from Indy Race Reviewer

Our cracked crystal ball crew takes another stab at divining NASCAR’s near future in the “Lost Vegas” Edition. Why lost? NASCAR’s visiting Sin City, the most garish place on earth and location of one of our favorite books and films, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” If you’re familiar with the story then you know why it’s lost Vegas. If you’re not, then rush out for the Terry Gilliam directed classic starring Johnny Depp now.

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The irrepressible Hunter S. Thompson – a true inspiration as the original Gonzo journalist – “covers” a chaotic motorbike race in the desert while destroying hotel rooms and partying on and off the Strip. And all NASCAR has to offer is Darrell Waltrip bleating on about two ton, sub-200 mph glorified safety cages on Fox.

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Photo from nydailynews.com

IRR’s divining division looks a lot like the hotel room in “Fear and Loathing,” with their recent NASCAR predictions in somewhat of a shambles. So with the assistance of a beery, dusty, hazy Vegas stupor – and before hotel management shows up at the door – here goes our latest roll of the dice. Mind you when it comes to many of the following prognostications, we wouldn’t bet on it.

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Image from Indy Race Reviewer

Kurt Busch will still be watching the weekend’s festivities from his Walter White style meth cooking RV, only this weekend his undisclosed location will be much nearer the actual racing. Look out, ladies of Las Vegas.  Continue reading