It's Milwaukee, so how about a Laverne and Shirley intro montage? 1976 sitcom set in Milwaukee, redid the intro to the series with video from the race. Cast of characters. Shout out to ABC/ESPN. Best montages in the business. ABC/ESPN are beating CBS and Champ Car with the montage stick. pressdog's beer for the race is Miller High Life, Milwaukee, Wisc., U.S. A., baby.
It's Milwaukee, so how about a Laverne and Shirley intro montage? 1976 sitcom set in Milwaukee, redid the intro to the series with video from the race. Cast of characters. Shout out to ABC/ESPN. Best montages in the business. ABC/ESPN are beating CBS and Champ Car with the montage stick.
pressdog's beer for the race is Miller High Life, Milwaukee, Wisc., U.S. A., baby.
Welcome to Milwaukee. Right into a Nashville montage. Tony Kanaan radio "I have no power." Dario "16 is blocking; where's the black flag." Danica: "Please don't let Jeff (Simmons) get by me. If there is anything you can say ..." Is that Danica asking for some team owners to keep Jeff from showing her up? Naaaaa. Couldn't be.
Jerry Punch, M.D., with Dixon. Dixon: Car isn't so good this week. Try to get some points.
Jack Arute with Sam Hornish Jr. Last week is last week. (He DNF-ed last week.) We can't change anything we did then. Move forward. Comes down to people making the least amount of mistakes so that needs to be us.
Jamie Little (get her in a car!) down with Penske. Jamie is going without the pony tail today. Loose hair in the back. She's getting NUTTY. Points are tightening up, what's the deal? Penske: Ganassi has a real tough team. Qualified well here. Told the guys it's about points and the championship.
Marty Reid, Rusty Wallace and Scott Goodyear in the booth. Can't talk to Chip Ganassi right now because his private plane had trouble. (Maybe Danica was blocking him on the takeoff.)
Rusty - -thinks Ganassi drivers are in good shape. Qualified back in the field but thinks they will be running up front after a couple of pit stops. Rusty has major faith in the ability to tweak the cars during pit stops. A pig is a pig, Rusty, no matter how many stops you give it.
Marty -- Last year at Milwaukee Sam took out Helio. 2004, 2005 Ganassi Milwaukee montage! Ganassi cars hitting the wall all over the place. Darrin Manning, Ryan Briscoe and Dixon smacking the fence. Shots of Ganassi with the WTF look on his face.
Down to Punch with Dan Wheldon in his Fuji Film race suit and white shades. He's gotta have a contract to wear those shades. Key to Milwaukee is handling. Run as much wing as you can. Expect good things from the Fuji colors. Someone took a picture of me using FU-gee film. (show's the photo) "I was at the ESPYs and my good friend Jamie Little brought good things on me so we'll see if that can continue. Hopefully she can give me some good luck today." Hmmm. We've come a long way since Danny did the old stop-touching-me Arm Rip thing when Jamie was trying to interview him at Texas. Jamie and Wheldon may have resumed their tightness. Danny, baby, nice shout out for the Fuji sponsors. The pressdog uses Fuji film exclusively. I'm an old-school film guy and Fuji has better color than Kodak, IMO. I'll grab some Fuji shots of the field when I'm in Chicagoland.
Danica/Dario blocking. Dueling sound bites of blocking. The Root. Allegations of blocking. Dario, what's your position? Dario: looked at the tape, talked to Brian Barnhart a bit. Definition of blocking is coming off your line to impede the progress of someone else. Felt she blocked twice. Talked to her after the race. Had a very civil conversation about it.
The Root: Let's check in for the other side of the coin with Jamie Little and Danica -- Jamie gives Danica a pass! Doesn't ask her about blocking but asks her how great was it to finish 4th. Holy soft ball! Very non Jamie-esque. Can't believe she gave her a pass on the blocking controversy.
Jamie -- Danica has gained 33 positions this year more than any other driver.
Rusty -- Blocking. I went and talked to Brian Barnhart (the Iron Hand of Justice). Explained that if a guy accelerating up on you and you pull over to block him off while he's trying to make that pass that's blocking. So he explained a lot to Rusty. So, you know, what did Rusty think blocking was before he talked to Barnhart? I mean, blocking is blocking. Rusty didn't say what he thought blocking was before he talked to Barnhart and after he called for more blocking in the IRL last week. It's a blocking definition epiphany for Rusty.
I AM MINDY montage.
Miera with Punch. Miera is 5th in points. Six career second-place finishes. What it take to get to winner circle (can we ask Vitor this question more often). Consistency. Have to be a little on the edge here. Being on the edge is how you have fun.
Season recap montage complete with "Cheever -- is an idiot" from Danica at Watkins Glen.
Jamie with Helio Catroneves -- Helio is on the pole. Man with the most poles in Indy Car Series history.
Marty -- five races to go, what do points leaders have to do. Rusty -- Keep doing what you are doing. No bumping and banging. "Be careful but yet they gotta be aggressive." (Be bipolar, in other words). Marty -- That sounds bipolar to me. Goodyear -- you can't get careful because your rhythm goes off and you get in trouble. Rahal Letterman, Andretti Green start getting in there with nothing to lose and might start banging.
Jack with the cut-away car. 5000 pounds of downforce. Rear wing close up. Three-tiered wing. "Here today if you get a car up on the roof here if you could keep it up at 90 mph it would never fall down." (??? I have no idea what this means.)
Punch with AJ Foyt. Super Tex ran here 45 times. Why so tough to drive? "Very good race track. Fast race track. Very tricky race track. Gotta be heads up all day long. First time you relax you end up in the wall."
AJ gives the start engines command: "Boys and girls, start your engines."
Onboard with various drivers, including Marco Andretti's Nose Cam.
Jerry -- Jeff Simmons in the Ethanol Posse are rocking. Jeff has best two races of the year last two, finishing 7th at Nashville. Best starting position of the year this race (6th). Jeff took over ride when Paul Dana was killed in a track accident at Homestead. Milwaukee almost two years ago to the day when Paul Dana got his first and only win in Infiniti Pro Series. Ethanol team hopes Jeff gets a win today. Everybody go out and tank up with 10% ethanol blend gas. Stick it to the oil man! Buy ethanol. Made right here in the pressdog's home state (Iowa).
Arute -- Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon had some words last week. Everything is fine now. Door is open by Team Penske to get back in it.
Starting lineup: Helio "President Bush Doesn't Like Me" Castroneves, Sam Hornish Jr., Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, Jeff Simmons, Ed Carpenter, Tomas Scheckter, Brian "World of" Herta, Scott Dixon, Dan "White Shoes" Wheldon, Dario "Throw the Black Flag!" Franchitti, Buddy Rice, Danica "What Am I Offered?" Patrick, Kosuke Matsuura, Jeff Bucknum, Scott "Lookin' " Sharp, Ryan Briscoe. 18 cars. Fire marshal huddles up with IRl and decides the track can, in fact, handle the crowd of 18 cars.
Let's light this candle. Green green green.
Tony Kanaan jumps from 4th to 2nd on the start. Booth twittering about it. He's moved up TWO WHOLE SPOTS. Zowie! Two spots!
Goodyear -- track is about consistency.
Lap 6. Vitor around Simmons.
Rusty -- today's race is all about handling.
Jack -- Team Revive set the car up to go around the outside.
Rusty -- stock cars run right down at the bottom but Indy Cars would be a lot slower going around that way.
Lap 10 -- Helio, Kanaan, Sammy, Marco, Scheckter, Vitor, Simmons, Dario, Ed Carpenter, Herta. Dancia 13th (just three DNFs in the field from another top 10).
Lap 11 -- Rusty -- Vitor is great. He's tremendous. He's passing people. Rusty reminds us that Vitor is 0-55 in Indy starts. What would it mean to get the first win? Video of Vitor -- feel great for a lot of people including family and friends. Doing all we can to do it and one day it's going to happen.
Lap 21 -- lapping. Lap 23 -- Briscoe is now 13 laps down. Must have been in the pits. He's going (seriously) 145 mph. That's NASCAR slow. 14 cars still on the lead lap. Buddy Rice is the next to be lapped. Briscoe is now 14 laps down.
Lap 30 -- Rusty -- Briscoe is struggling with handling. Looked freaked out in the driver's meeting. Briscoe into the pits. Dead. Done.
Goodyear on why AGR gets special testing. It has nothing to do with the continuing bitchslapping being laid down by Ganassi and Penske. Goodyear says if you have an Indy Pro Series team you get to bring your pro driver to a track and let him or her test. Oh and the IRL driver gets a half a day to test as well. Reward for having an IPS car.
Marty -- Kanaan leads. Hasn't led since Watkins Glen. Only led 22 laps coming into this race. Shout out to Marty for some perspective.
12th place car gets major air. Follow it around the track. 12th place? Why? Wait a second, it's Danica. Never mind. Watching Danica while Rusty is talking about Kanaan. Rusty doesn't realize that this race is about Danica, apparently.
Arute -- Dan Wheldon complaining about understeer. Dixon and Danica fighting for position. Finally Danica's engineer Ray Lito "took the whip to his driver" and told her to get around him.
Simmons and Franchitti for seventh. Goodyear gives Simmons a shout out.
Sharp is very slow. Being passed by everyone.
Lap 44 -- Someone in. Matsuura maybe.
Lap 50 -- Kanaan, Helio, Marco, Vitor, Sam, Dario, Scheckter, Simmons, Herta, Ed Carpenter. Danica 12th and plucky.
Lap 51 -- Wheldon and Dixon lapped. Rusty -- Team Ganassi having a "terrible day today." 10 on the lead lap.
Goodyear -- AGR testing helped a lot. Rusty -- Test sessions open a lot of guys' eyes as to whether to get involved in the Indy Pro Series or not. Let's ask DRR if they want to get into the IPS. No, they really want to find enough money to have lunch instead.
Punch with Briscoe -- Briscoe says the team did a ton of changes overnight. Rear was getting really loose middle of turn. Changed spring early in the race. Nothing helped. Briscoe will be back for Infineon. Punch "Also hearing rumblings that Sarah Fisher may get a chance to run this car or another one next week at Michigan. Wouldn't that be a story?" More like a miracle.
After watching Briscoe go 145 in this car, Sarah may be running for the hills. She's engaged to Andy O'Garza, son of the DRR team manager Johnny O'Garza, so, you know, don't diss the inlaws I guess.
Rusty -- "I've never heard in a long long time of a team pulling off the track because handling is so bad." Rusty, seriously? Did you watch the last race? Bucknum ring a bell? Were you at the Indy 500 where some cars were parked due to handling by lap 20 or so?
Rusty -- Miera is great.
Jack -- Vitor had no ride at start of season. Cut a deal to run stock cars in Brazil for Helio. Now he's passing Helio on the track. Irony savored.
Onboard with Vitor. 23-second laps. Mike Ford is the spotter talking Vitor around the track. Doing a nice job. Goodyear gives him a shout out.
Lap 70 -- Pitting. Marco, Helio, Vitor. Jamie -- Helio struggling.
Lap 74 -- Marty -- No yellows yet. Rusty -- AGR has all its cars running great. Testing sessions helped. (This week's Rusty Obsession: Testing.)
Down to the Root who is waiting for the "first lady of racing" to come into the pit. Shirley Muldowny, pull over! Danica is the First Lady of Racing.
Hornish in -- Jeff Simmons LEADS! Lap 77. But wait! Jeff comes in at a screwy angle. Has to get pushed back so he can straighten out in his pit box. Holy Screwed Race. He's cooked. And after he was in front of Danica. Last year it wouldn't be an issue since they had the steroidal Hondas, but this year he's done. An extra lap down.
Goodyear says he's going to lose "many positions." Simmons comes out in 13th. Simmons replay shows he's coming in too close and tries to turn and gets nosed into pit. Lost 15 to 18 seconds.
Dario almost gets into the rear of Marco coming into the pits. Dario was a little hot. Jamie says maybe Marco saved Dario from going too fast into the pit. Did Dario a favor of checking up in front of him. Thank God for Marco!
AGR is 1, 2, 3 and 5. Marty says "tell me testing doesn't do you any good." Marty is on the Testing Bandwagon. Welcome aboard, Marty.
Lap 90 -- Race recap. Helio wins fourth pole. Kanaan takes off and takes lead early. Marco is moving up. Miera is steady. Ganassi is in a world of hurt.
Rusty is treating the pit reporters like his staff. "Dr. Punch, what are they saying in the Sharp pit?" They're saying he has no grip.
Lap 95 -- Matsuura is out. Maybe handling. That will be the second time Rusty has seen that in his life.
Lap 95 -- Kanaan, Marco, Dario, Vitor, Herta, Helio, Scheckter, Hornish, Wheldon, Danica.
Yellow Yellow Yellow. Debris in turn 3. The booth guys tell us what the yellow is for! Shout out to the booth posse for looking out for us viewers.
Rusty -- TK is good. Every week he thinks TK can win. A little while back Tony went to Indy (to team HQ, apparently) and hung with the team. Got with the engineer. Played baseball with the team. Showed them some love.
Yellow pitting -- Jamie. Marco in and out. Punch. Herta in. Herta has his best car of the year. AGR 2 cars in and 2 stay out. Rusty says he would have pitted for tires.
Jack -- Vitor tried to "snooker" the others by showing he would pit and then staying out. Nobody bought it.
Lap 101 -- Six on the lead lap now. Time for Rusty to go on the C.B. to Vitor . Vitor, you got us? 10-4, Rusty. I am here. Vitor -- the car is awesome. Better on long runs. See if we can catch those guys. Best in corners 1 and 2. Able to overtake more people in three or four, where most people are having trouble.
Hornish in -- Jamie. Hornish said we need fuel. Penske says come on in. Not going to run him out of gas this race.
Lap 106, 107 -- Danica pitting. Full stop. Lap 108 one to go to green.
Green green green. Kanaan gets passed by Scheckter who gets back on the lead lap. He lets him go. Dario around Simmons.
Lap 111 -- Yellow yellow yellow. Ed Carpenter and Helio get together. Helio left front. Carpenter right rear. Helio out of his car. Much gesturing toward Carp. Goodyear says the replay looks like Carp had the line and wasn't driving screwy. Helio is pissed. Much gesturing, etc. Rusty says Ed could have lost the front end a little.
Tomas has no radio. Bust out the pit board.
Jamie with Helio. Chasing him! Jamie says never seen him this frustrated and upset. Helio didn't want to talk (and yet they are chasing him, 60-Minutes like). "Helio, are you OK?" Helio nods but he's going to his trailer. Not going to stop and talk to Jamie. Jamie has never seen him like this. Maybe Jamie should have put a soccer tackle from behind on him.
Lap 116 -- Green, green, green. Rusty -- tires are key. Rusty calls tires "Mr. Feel Goods."
Jack -- Vitor's people say "remember it's crazy Marco behind you." Marco driving crazy? No way. It's Cheever! Cheever is making him drive nutty. Wait a second. Cheever isn't in the race. Never mind.
Down to Punch Ed -- I had the restart. Helio tried to go by Wheldon in 1 and 2. Lost momentum. Helio lifted like he was giving me the corner. Next thing I know he ran into me. Thought he knew I was there because he lifted. His left front hit my right rear, so that's a tip as to who had position.
Rusty -- I can't imagine Helio turning left and driving into his right rear tire. (Helio is incapable of mistakes, I guess.) Just a racing accident. Goodyear -- Carpenter got the whole race car in front of Helio, hard to blame Carpenter.
Rusty -- I'm not a chicken afraid of making a call, that's for sure.
Punch -- Tomas's radio is trash. Joey Baird is deployed with the pit board. Video of him getting it ready.
Lap 125 -- Dario, Kanaan, Vitor, Marco, Herta, Scheckter, Hornish, Danica, Wheldon, Simmons.
Lap 138 -- Yellow yellow yellow. Vitor in the wall. Marty: "Oh no!" Pass out the tissue in the booth. Rusty -- that's too bad. Kind had a great run going. (Maybe if he tested more ...)
Speculation that Vitor and Marco got together. Let's go to the tape. Nope, Vitor is all alone and lost it.
Shout out for the SAFER barriers which Rusty calls "soft walls." NASCAR using them as well. Rusty says soft walls take 40% of the impact off the driver when they hit the wall.
Pitting -- everyone in. Get ready with some Pit Circus Music. Everyone in. Everyone out. No circus music. Sam gets out in front of the leader so he'll get his lap back. Marco runs over a hose! 7-11 guy dances out of the way. One of Kanaan's air hoses. Supposedly a penalty, but don't hold your breath for Marco to get penalized. Goodyear says the hose should have been pulled out of there. But the air hose was clearly inside the box. Again, let's not hold our breath.
First DNF for Vitor since Homestead.
Lap 138 -- Helio is back out. Rebuilt. Playing for points.
Holy Lucky Dog! Sam and Danica got their lap back and are on the lead lap again.
Lap 146. Green green green.
No penalty for Marco. Color me shocked. Rusty -- pit hose was out in the middle of the race track.
Lap 150 -- Dario, Kanaan, Marco, Herta, Scheckter, Hornish, Danica, Wheldon, Simmons, Dixon.
The Root -- Helio is back out with a new upper wishbone. 33 laps down.
Rusty -- Milwaukee Mile oldest track in the U.S. 1903 is the first race. Rusty and Goodyear play trivia for a minute here. Rusty asks when first race at Indy was. First race, or first 500?
Marco on Milwaukee -- It's a driver's track. Always see AGR drivers at the top on tracks like this.
Vitor and Jack. Vitor -- Turned into three. Same way done all day. For some reason it just snapped around. Will find out why when we look at the telemetry.
Lap 161 -- 7 on the lead lap. (Danica is last one on the lead lap.) What's up with Buddy Rice. Booth crew gives him no love. He's way back in 12th, behind Bucknum.
Hornish working on Wheldon. Wheldon lets him go. Shout out to Wheldon for not being Marco about it and racing with a leader when you're a lap down.
The Root -- Chip Ganassi had plane trouble. Private jet is broken down. Watching on ESPN today.
Rusty -- tough sport. Great highs and great lows. Ganassi 1 and 2 last week (high) now are driving pigs this race (lows).
Lap 172 -- Jamie -- Marco. Mike Andretti sweating it out. Hornish on a different fuel strategy. Jack -- Danica trying to make fuel mileage but going to be about 4.5 gallons short of going distance.
Lap 179 -- Sam working on Herta. TK around Marco. Marco fights a bit. Some serious dirt-track steering.
Sam is sixth. Penske tells him via radio to work on fuel. Sam went to the White House. Sam's hometown of Defiance, Ohio is having a parade for him this week. He'll have 250 family and friends at Michigan next week. Photo of Sam in front of the White House where he went last week. Rusty: "He looks like Elvis." More stills that are hard to see. The entire team got to go, which is cool.
Lap 188 -- Dixon in. Sam is 4th now.
Lap 190 -- Kanaan, Marco, Dario, Hornish, Herta, Danica, Sheckter, Simmons, Wheldon, Dixon.
Lap 197 -- Dario working on Marco.
Lap 199 -- Kanaan, Marco, Dario, Hornish, Herta, Danica, Scheckter, Wheldon, Simmons, Dixon.
Lap 200 -- Yellow Yellow Yellow. Bucknum into the wall. Got into the marbles and up into the wall. Radio: "So sorry, guys." Bucknum keeps it up against the wall and parks it right under the flag stand. Good job of keeping it out of someone else's way.
Danica radios that she has a very bad vibration. Asks if everything is OK.
Lap 205 -- Sam is 4th. Dario says there is a lot of marbles on 1 and 2.
Helio is out. Parked it. He's 24 laps down with 22 to go, so might as well park it.
17 to go. Green green green. Hornish into third. Passes Dario.
Jamie -- Last yellow, Marco asked about Sam. Start the theme from Jaws, because he's coming.
13 to go. Hornish blows by Marco into second. Sets course for Tony.
Lap 215 -- Kanaan, Hornish, Marco, Scheckter (!), Dario, Hornish, Danica, Wheldon, Dixon, Simmons.
Scheckter around Marco. Michael Andretti Cam activated! Mike gets air. First time in about a year. Penske Cam activated!
6 to go -- Tony leads by 3.2 seconds. May be driving with his knees.
5 to go -- Scheckter working on Sam. Sam cooled off. Can't close on Tony. Jack -- Sam reports a vibration. Sam was one lap down at Lap 120, now up to second.
White flag. Tony is gonesville. Hornish holding off Scheckter. Kanaan wins. The Penske/Ganassi curse is broken. First time a non-Penske or Ganassi team has won this year. "Well done, boys!" Kanaan on the radio: "That's for you, guys!"
Michael Andretti Cam. Kanaan does the obligatory AGR donuts and almost backs it into the wall.
Jerry with Sam. Sam -- had to monkey around with fuel because had a different strategy to get back on the lead lap. Vibration. Last restart vibration. Not sure what that was about. Slick track. Tough going. Stayed there and hung around.
Jamie -- Tony Kanaan. Gets a hug from Marco (Tony gets the hug, not Jamie.) Tony: Happier today than at the end of 2004 (when he won the points championship). Great battle with Marco. Teammate and my boss's son (I think Tony actually said 'My son's boss' but we get the drift). Can't really take him out. Win together, lose together. Mentally stronger team than when we won it in 2004.
Danica -- Back to back 4ths. Overcame bad qualifying. Finally able to go back to shop and get things under control. Not running around. Now car's good. Let's make it fast. Figure out what we need to do and figure out the car.
Tomas -- Gives shout out to sponsors. Danica never mentions her sponsors. I've never once heard her say "Argent." Hmmmm. Scheckter said he wanted to pass Sam. "I was sideways, doing everything I could." My tires were good and I wanted to go to the front.
Jamie with Marco. NYC car definitely was hooked up. Marco says "hooked up" upwards of eight times in this interview.
Points update -- Sam is in the lead. Dixon is 30 back. Helio is 32 back. Danica 9th and 133 back.
Schedule montage. Recycled montage from the opening of the race. Must have a lot of extra time.
Jamie with Mike Andretti -- First air time since 1999, I swear. Jamie asks him about the whole father vs. owner of Kanaan's car emotions. Tough. Marco did really well. Proud of him. Tony did very well. Proud of him. Happy for the 7-11 team.
The Root with Wheldon - Difficult day. Doesn't take away from the effort from the team. First time had this (being two laps down) in three years. Sensible result for the points. Can't wait until Michigan. I wish it was tomorrow. Wheldon says he has nothing to lose. It's simple, he had to win "at all costs" to have any shot at the title.
Herta with Doc -- Fuel saving. Picking up understeer and vibration at the end. Michigan -- Herta rocked it a year ago. Go back and see there. New ballgame.
Rusty thinks Wheldon, Hornish, Dixon, Helio will again dominate at Michigan which is more of a horsepower track.
Tune in to Michigan July 30, 3:30 eastern on the Mothership (ABC).
Sarah Fisher at Michigan. Sarah? Sarrraaaaah. Come back to us, Sarah.
Latest reports say it's very doubtful unless the money fairy shows up
at the DRR hauler. Either that or the car count shrinks to 17. Even
easier to get a "top-ten."