Danica + Ed at Indy: Extremely Strange Bedfellows

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IRR unearthed some highly disparaging comments Carpenter made about the female phenom when they were erstwhile competitors in the Indy Racing League.

By now everyone’s heard that Danica has landed at Ed Carpenter Racing for her swan song 500 in May. Lots and lots of niceties have been written about Danica‘s long overdue departure from motor racing, mostly centering on her solitary win at Japan in 2008 and more recently her accidental “slip” team reveal regarding Indy. Oopsie daisy!

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None of the innumerable articles written recently dared to mention this beauty we came across in our exhaustive research, though. The quote is from July 2006 and sprang forth fully formed from the mouth of Danica’s new owner, Ed Carpenter. It was in response to a question about her potential in NASCAR, still years in the future at that point.  Continue reading

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About Those IndyCar Penalties, Or Under-Officious Jerks

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Seems to us IndyCar’s iron fist of justice has turned a bit well, limp lately. The faceless, mysterious and secretive force known only as “race control” has obviously changed direction this season, taking a delayed approach to penalty enforcement – if bothering at all. Remember black flags? Drive through penalties? Disqualifications? As we all learned in government class and more recently in Ferguson, Baltimore and movie theaters everywhere, lax enforcement leads to disregard of the rules, which in turn leads to chaos. IndyCar’s chaotic enough without adopting Russian mob rules.

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In taking a wait and see approach to penalties, IndyCar is bucking the long standing tradition of penalizing drivers for infractions during the race in which they committed them so as to affect the offending drivers’ outcomes. IndyCar has three stewards and new, supposedly state of the art video equipment, so why not use them? Instant assessment of penalties not only discourages bad behavior and rule breaking – both of which are occurring this season – but also eliminates the speculation, whining and questioning that inevitably lingers long after the incidents themselves. Seen Twitter lately? After all, when it comes to officiating it’s an issue of basic fairness.

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Little was written or said about the Milwaukee winner’s misdeeds as the series ploddingly plowed its way into Iowa. Bourdais‘ team Continue reading

Iowa Race Review: Sage Gone Wild

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Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay won Iowa for the third time Saturday night, but twenty year old rookie Sage Karam stole the show, swerving and chopping his way to third for his first IndyCar podium finish. Clearly on a roll the last several races, in short Sage went wild. Josef Newgarden led much of the latter stages of the frantic race only to finish second while Graham Rahal led another charge from seventeenth to fourth making it an American sweep in the heartland. Andretti Autosport’s Carlos Munoz rounded out the top five in a favorable night for Andretti‘s team.

Jul 18, 2015; Newton, IA, USA; IndyCar Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay (28) reacts after winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-230374 ORIG FILE ID:  20150718_lbm_ad1_319.JPG

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Sparks flew throughout the last half of the race as intense racing and hectic traffic around the tiny oval led to drivers being either exhausted or enraged or both. Karam enjoyed another rocket ride to the front in the number eight car. Were it not for a slow right front tire change during his last pit stop he might have fared even better. At one point Sage simultaneously showed his immaturity and fearlessness, screaming about Jack Hawksworth on the radio. “Dude, I’m alongside him and he won’t back out!” Ed Carpenter appeared high on the list of drivers Karam managed to offend on his charismatic, choppy charge as the veteran gestured repeatedly from the car and then confronted the Ganassi driver immediately after the race.

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Ambling angrily down pit lane with cameras following, IndyCar’s only owner-driver animatedly got in the youngster’s face and loudly lectured him about “respect.” Continue reading

IndyCar News Week in Review: Karmic Wheels Edition

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New Winner Newgarden: Twenty four year old American Josef Newgarden took his first IndyCar win in fifty five races at Barber last Sunday to the joy of many race fans. Seems as though the racing gods were smiling upon him in Bama. Graham Rahal advanced from eighth starting position to second for an all American 1-2 finish. The race was highly entertaining as Barber shocked many with its raciness, let alone its result. It was a popular event and both Josef and Graham deserve some good karma.

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99th Indy 500 Approacheth: There’s been some Greatest Spectacle in Racing news since our last Week in Review. Continue reading

N@$C@R Predictions: Feisty Fontana

IRR’s crystal ball crew has been busy celebrating our stupendous success in last week’s prognostications, nailing the race winner and several other lesser predictions. So if our offerings are a bit meandering you’ll understand why. This week the series goes to Southern California, a place the Stranger in “The Big Lebowski” described as “high in the running as one of the laziest places on earth.”

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SoCal’s vibe doesn’t really mesh that easily with NASCAR. It’s tantamount to the Dude attending a cock fight, or even a goat swap. As a consequence, lots of empty aluminum will be on display today in the spring California sun.

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If you’re a regular reader then you know we’re not picking Kurt Busch to win. Continue reading

France’s Series in Phoenix: Feh

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In unspectacular fashion, Kevin Harvick won his fifth race of the last six at PIR just as we predicted. In a bit of a yawner, there were only three leaders the entire race and as expected Harvick pulled away for an easy victory at the end. Surprisingly, we also foretold a crash fest at Phoenix as well as Danica, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart all doing poorly. The race had a total ten cautions with Tony Stewart involved in two of them while Danica’s ass-around spin appropriately caused another.

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“Smoked” Stewart crashed twice and to our knowledge didn’t make any post race ISIS references or announce his conversion to Islam. 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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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

So Sim’s In – Can She Win?

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In the latest installment of “what’s Michael Andretti thinking?” Switzerland’s own Simona de Silvestro has been named driver of Andretti Autosport’s fourth humpback Honda, at least for the season opener at St. Pete. The Swiss Miss has been desirous of a comeback for months, publicly saying leaving IndyCar and testing in F1 last year was a mistake. Her wish now granted, she’ll test the tri-plane inspired, cheese grater appearing Honda aero kits for the first time on March 16-17 at Barber.

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The talented twenty six year old from Thune has no IndyCar wins through four seasons, though she was on a bit of a hot streak in her last several races. Continue reading

NASCAR Visits Vegas: Vegetative Tedium

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The racing again on Sunday was better off without Busch and we fervently hope it remains that way. Frankly we didn’t watch the Las Vegas race except for the last forty or so laps and happily it doesn’t appear as though we missed much. NASCAR‘s version of race killing turbulence called  “aero push” made another appearance at Las Vegas Motor Speedway making passing difficult and watching the race even more so. It’s a real shame IndyCar no longer races at LVMS after the aborted 2011 finale that tragically claimed Dan Wheldon’s life. Unlike NASCAR, which by the way enjoyed a huge crowd Sunday, open wheel cars put on a hell of a show in the desert.

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A predictably tedious NASCAR race, we bet on boring and it turned out to be the smart money. There were a total of five cautions over the four hundred miles, though not in the early going as long stretches of green flag racing and “aero pushing” set the tone. Surprisingly there were no debris cautions or flags at all for that matter late in the race, which Kevin Harvick dominated. Continue reading

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

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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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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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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