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

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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

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

N@$C@R Predictions & Prognostications: Sherman Through Atlanta Edition

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Urgent note from IRR’s Editorial Board – Emergency Session: Snowed in, beyond bored and suffering the effects of cabin fever, our cracked soothsaying division implemented a hostile takeover of the editorial room and insisted these NASCAR predictions be published. We do so very much against our will. They made us do it! Rest assured, this site remains dedicated primarily to IndyCar, but extreme times call for extreme measures. The current situation certainly constitutes that. Need some good news? Feel fortunate you aren’t being held captive in an office building by a bunch of crazed fortune tellers this weekend.

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Now for a word or two on NASCAR. First, a stolen race car?! Come on, fellas. Hire a security guard when you’re in Atlanta, for goodness’ sake. The Friday night fiasco “qualifying session” saw the inspection line resembling Black Friday at Wal-Mart with a number of cars disqualified and unable to post times. Instead they were ordered by owner points. THAT’s what the paying customers want.

Jeff Gordon called the ordeal “embarrassing.” Smoke, who didn’t turn an official lap, Tweeted “Frustrating!” It’s clearly no way to run a circus, even if there are new qualifying rules for 2015. We found the whole ordeal amusing. Our friends at Autoracing1 could hardly keep straight faces while Tweeting about it. Predictions published below were done so under duress –

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Kurt Busch Continue reading

IndyCar: It’s About Time

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After an unprecedented seven month sabbatical, it’s about time the 2015 IndyCar season began. For fans of artistry on wheels, it’s also about time in a larger sense of the word. Two significant events in recent history – Brazil’s abrupt and embarrassing cancellation of IndyCar’s season opener and a thoroughly critical viewing of NASCAR’s – caused us to look at racing in a new and timely way.

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The old adage remains true – time is precious, valuable and fleeting. IndyCar features shorter races than NASCAR, in part a factor of much faster race cars – as much as thirty miles per hour, or some 15% speedier. A casual viewing of races from both series illustrates NASCAR’s timed tardiness, even on television and with certain commentators attempting to obscure the facts.

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Pit stops, pit in laps, pit out laps and lap times in general are all considerably quicker. Continue reading

IndyCar News Week in Review: The Poor Decisions Edition

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Fisher Leaves Retirement, Goes to Oklahoma: In the questionable call of the young year, ever emotional Sarah Fisher will return to her midget racing roots next week in OK nearly five years after retiring from a winless IndyCar career. The ‘Chili Bowl’ – Tulsa’s annual indoor midget races that take place in mid January – contains an extra dose of spice this year with Fisher’s participation. Bring your own spoons; NASCAR’s supplying the cheese and crackers. In light of Tony Stewart’s disastrous experiences in 2014, we seriously wonder if the 34 year old mother of two’s decision to race is a good idea.

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Andretti Autosport Poaches Veteran Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Employee: Continue reading

IndyCar News Year in Review: Top Fourteen Stories of 2014 Edition

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1. Pags to Penske: The hottest free agent available this off season signed with the often froggy and widely reviled Team Penske. This is easily the biggest story of the year as well as the most unsettling for other teams. Plus there’s the fact that Pags is a likeable Frog, or was until turning coats to the dark side. IndyCar needs more villains, so the Frenchman’s foreign legion service for the Captain will be entertaining to watch.

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2. An American Actually Wins America’s Biggest Race: Continue reading

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.