Notes taken during the ABC broadcast of the Milwaukee 225, Milwaukee Mile on June 19, 2011.
Happy Father's Day. pressdog® Beer of the race is Lakefront IPA from Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee, WI.
Green Bay Packers defensive back Charles Woodson gives the command from the back of the two-seater. Nice touch. We assume he will lead the pack in the two seater. Either that was NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS or I was flipping back to the NASCAR finish.
Trackside Online starting lineup. Trackside is such a freakishly good bargain it's hard to overstate, even herein the Land of Overstatement. $22 for a calendar year of reports from all races and many major tests. Patrick was in the hizzy at Milwaukee all weekend kicking out original material reports for subscribers three and four times per day. BAM. You can also choose to get all the news releases from the teams through Trackside if you want. RUSH THERE NOW and subscribe.
Cue the HAT (running order across the top of teh screen). ESPN recently overhauled their hat and I think it's an improvement.
1. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 170.841
2. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 169.999
3. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 169.582
4. (82) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 169.365
5. (5) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 169.308
6. (59) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 169.082
7. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 169.014
8. (6) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 168.598
9. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 168.456
10. (2) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 168.320
11. (24) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 167.863
12. (38) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 167.674
13. (22) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 167.621
14. (19) Alex Lloyd, Dallara-Honda, 167.162
15. (7) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 166.779
16. (06) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 166.558
17. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 166.248
18. (4) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Honda, 166.070
19. (77) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 166.031
20. (27) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 166.003
21. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 165.592
22. (14) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 165.375
23. (18) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 164.814
24. (34) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Honda, 164.440
25. (67) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 163.304
26. (78) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, no speed
Simona crashed during qualifying. Got the outside and inside wall. They fixed up her car (Pork Chop) and she was checked and released from the hospital (after a few hours there), but still we got a very sore driver driving a frankencar. Tension City there.
Milwaukee crowd looks to be half the main grandstands. Hard to say on TV. Since actual attendance figures are NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, we can only guess. Lots of lamentation about $80 choice grandstand tickets. They went to a two-for-one deal the week before the race. Desperation? Maybe, maybe not. If the race is back on the schedule next year, I guess it was good enough. If not, it wasn't. STAY TUNED. If the race is axed for next year it will, of course, be ... the customer's fault! Fans should 1) just hand over their money and 2) SHUT THEIR CAKE HOLES. That seems to be the approach of some businesses. Some FAILING businesses. WEEEE shall SEEEE.
Let's light this cheesy candle. We're ... green-green-green
No, we're yellow yellow yellow. RHR is ass around and into the wall before we complete a lap. Just went around on his own. Briscoe has to go to evasive maneuver Tango Charles Sierra to avoid the wreck. Many replays and shout outs for Briscoe's emergency driving skills.
Danica GoDaddy commercial featuring the female cop crawling on her car. Actually my fav Danica GoDaddy commercial because she's funny in it in the extended online version. "THAT is a safety issue." Beverage spew! Danica is a natural on camera, which is a big part of her sponsor appeal.
Simona pits and gets air. Car is nooooot sooo goood. Rick DeBruhl, pit guy, says given the adversity, Simona's nickname should be the Iron Maiden. Holy Bogart."Iron Maiden" nickname for Simona was first floated by Nathan Gruenholz aka @fleshwound_NPG. In fact, here's Nathan's Salute to Simona posted Monday.
Ed Carpenter and James Jakes also pit, but it's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS since they didn't roll it in qualifying.
Lap 6 -- (a relatively brief 6-lap caution) GREEN -- Dario jumps to hyperspace. (Marty Reid voice) Let's reset the fieeeelllldddd ... Dario, Helio, Dixon, Tony, EJ, Sato, Briscoe, Marco, Servia, Wilson.
Lap 12 -- Power and Tag two wide. Power ... CLEAR.
Lap 15 -- Simona is out. Pork Chop (her car) was an ill-handling PIG. She's done for the day. Close-up. Can see the hand scars as she pulls off the helmet, etc.
Booth guy Marty Reid says "side-by-side" so DRINK, ye BASTARDS. Tag is pigging out. Festival of inhalation. Gets passed by about nine cars in five seconds on camera. Marty says he's getting "freight trained." Not so good at a one-mile track.
Lap 22 -- Dario, Helio, Tony, Dixon, Sato, Viso, Servia, Marco, Briscoe, Wilson.
Lap 25 -- Dario lapping people. Jamie Little with RHR. Not sure what happened. Lost the rear. Says "unfortunate" twice. This is a word that drivers often use when they screw up. It's unfortunate. Milka Duno appears and says "if you are going to drive like that, check your mirrors before you go 360, cabrón."
Lap 33 -- Lapped Saavedra ain't gonna stinkin' lift for P2 Helio, who is trying to get around him. Shrewd move on Saavedra's part because he at least gets SOME air because of it. Dario up by 5 seconds.
Marty says "we go side-by-side" .. DRINK, bitches.
Lap 42 -- Dari, Helio, Tony, Sato, Dixon, Viso, Servia, Marco, Briscoe, Rahal.
Lap 43 -- Jakes gets over for the leaders. Class move. Props. Briscoe inhales TK.
Power is P16. Marty goes into championship numbers. If they finish like this, the championship points will be ... It's race 7. Kind of early for doing that end-of-the-year championship points math, isn't it? Marty obviously has a "story line" he's gonna stick with.
Will and Danistar get air. Not a lot of air for Danica since her standard pre-race interview. Marty says cars may need to pit for tires before they need to pit for fuel. Interesting comment. Viewing enhanced.
Lap 50 -- Replay. Rahal goes under Briscoe, "left him (Briscoe) no room" per Scott Goodyear. That would be discourteous, Scott, and I doubt Mr. Rahal is ever discourteous. Look for a TWITTER WAR later.
Lap 52 -- Marco uses Ed Carpenter as a pick to get a spot. Dirt tracky. Ed is not flying today. Sarah Fisher Racing did not have it dialed in for Milwaukee. Maybe in Iowa.
Lap 55 -- Dario almost has a moment with JR Hildebrand as he is lapping him. Tension. Dario has lapped to P16.
Lap 63 -- Vince says Helio is stronger late in the stint.
Lap 64 -- Bia is trying to stay on the lead lap. Only a matter of time. Bia goes waaaaaaay high and brushes the wall. Yellow yellow yellow. Weak. She brushed it. No debris, continues on, no damage apparent, this is a "any excuse for a yellow" yellow. Sets off a festival of pitting.
Cue the circus music! We got a tire bounding down the pit lane like a puppy freed from all day in a kennel. Dixon is having trouble. Radio: "That was (F-bombing) Sato." F-bombs launched on air! One of my Twitter followers asked a good question here: If there is an F-bomb on TV and nobody is watching, is it still an FCC crime? Discuss.
Replay: Sato tire bounding. Looked like Sato tried to pit in Dixon's pit at the same time Dixon did and ... three ... two ... one ... CONTACT. Then Sato pulled into his pit, and the crew didn't look ready for him, and he totally bashed into his left front changer, who was holding the tire, and hurled it up in the air as a result of the impact. Luckily it didn't come down on Sato.Landed sort of on the car's left sidepod then bounced free. Tire changer appears to be OK. Got back up and did his job, etc. Honey Badger-ish.
A tiny bratwurstmobile pulls up and 19 clowns with air cannons jump out and fire brats into the crowd.
Vitor Miera is out. Was he ever in? Kidding. I kid. Video of TK saying double-file restarts are working. Only hitch is, yellows are longer because they have to sweep the track ahead of double-file starts. This will be a 13-lap yellow for a no-debris wall brush. Keep in mind laps on a mile are shorter time than on a 1.5, but is it worth 13 laps of yellow to sweep for a two-wide start? Discuss.
Lap 73 (under yellow) -- Dario, Helio, TK, Servia, Viso, Andretti, Danica, Rahal, Hinch, Wilson.
Lap 79 -- Green. Holy FUBAR. There are cars on the warm-up lanes by the start-finish as the green comes out. Like they were coming out of the pits. I hear something about those cars are the wave around cars. Dude. Fugliness breaks out. 23 clowns in leper masks dance on pit wall.
Lap 80 -- Yellow yellow yellow. Saavedra and Lloyd are "together" but not in the Biblical sense. Their cars are bashed together. Alex loses it on the start, goes ass around and collects Saavedra. Perhaps Alex was blinded by the fugly helter-skelter randomness of the start.
Replays. Briscoe has to go to evasive maneuver Bravo Foxtrot Zulu AGAIN to avoid the wreck.
Lap 83 -- Marty says "we go side by side" so DRINK, ye bastards.
Jamie with AJ Foyt who says the car was ill-handling. Trouble. Points are about the same for P12 and back and it don't pay any more so they brought it in. That's so AJ-ish.
Lap 92 -- Goodyear says "get the power down." That's usually a Robbie Buhl DYB phrase but ... I'LL ALLOW IT. DRINK, ye BASTARDSSSSS.
Lap 96 - Viso P5. Satan shops for woolen underwear.
Lap 100 -- Dario, TK, Servia, Helio, Rahal, Viso, Marco, Hinch, Danica, Dixon.
Servia given the Stealth Award for highest car with very little air. Rahal under Viso .. push 'em up, push 'em up, waaaaay up. Much grunting in the booth. (I think this was a replay of Rahal inhaling Viso lap 98ish).
Lap 102 -- Dario has led every lap so far. Awesome. TK is 3.4 back. Marty does the championship math again, here in race 7. Dixon is up to P10 after getting mashed by Sato. The contact damaged Dixon's front wing. Good job by ABC showing it, etc.
Lloyd with DeBruhl. Not sure what happened. Sorry for taking out Saavedra.
Lap 106 -- Dario has lapped up to P15. Someone brush the wall, quick, we need a yellow. Danica is up to P9 with very little air. This will not limit the amount of accusations that ABC Loves Danica the Most! however. Danica gets some air, inhales Marco after a multi-lap battle.
TK around Dario for the lead ... CLEAR. Televised pass for the lead. Maybe Dario is saving fuel. Marty says may be fuel. I think Dario let him go. 100+ laps to go, after all.
Lap 120 -- Power is about to go a lap down. Someone brush the all, or just drive dangerously close to it, or lob a brat wrapper on the track, so we can throw the yellow! Power lapped would definitely blow Marty's championship math buzz.
Yellow yellow yellow. JR Hildebrand is into the wall. Shades of Indy! Cue the inevitable Indy 500 finish replay. Goodyear says he may have gone too high to let TK through. Goodyear says "you're just a passenger." Celebratory finishing of the drinks (ye bastards).
Goodyear is on roll and says maybe John Barnes is getting a little bit tired of JR rolling cars. Dramatic video of Barnes racing off on a scooter. Hmmmm. Insert dramatic music here.
Danica pits. Gets air. Brsicoe gets FIVE spots in the pits. BAM. Penske perfect!
Cue the circus music! Replays of Dario hitting Power's right front tire (which was laid out in the pit box behind him) as he comes in. The changer was standing on top of it to get out of the way and Dario still hit it. Power came in a few seconds later. Is that a penalty? I say it should be. Tire was clearly WELL inside the pit box. Twitter erupts with many people calling for snipers to open fire on Dario due to this egregious infraction of the rules.
My immediate reaction was it should be a penalty, but I also thought there was about as much chance of me spontaneously losing 30 pounds and growing dark brown hair again as there was that Dario, who was in the lead, and a Chip car, who had whined relentlessly about the random draw last week, would be penalized for something that doesn't rise to the severity of second-degree manslaughter.
Go figure. No penalty! A tiny car pulls up and 16 clowns wearing dark classes and waving white canes get out and expertly navigate around the pit.
The IHJ's seeing-eye dog Sheba didn't bark, therefore NO PENALTY. James from the blog 16th and Georgetown deployed himself to get an official explanation of the no call. Copious tears for James' READER SERVICE. I won't bogart it, just direct you to rush to read the "why no call" HERE.
Lap 134 (after an 11-lap yellow) Green -- Danica and Hinch battle. Speaking of phantom. Hinch is relatively air-less (although I'm pretty sure he got some love later) Danica gets a little dirt tracky. Danistar, you know I love it when you put it sideways. I'd pay noticeable money to watch Danica drive a sprint car on dirt. Cue Woman of pressdog® and dirt track hero Erin Crocker!
Lap 139 -- Dixon and Power battle for P11. Dixon may be channeling his Sato rage. Emma Davies-Dixon (the wife!) tweets that Dixon's car is "poo." This causes me to chortle. Marty does the math again. If it finishes like this, the points will be ...
Lap 143 -- Dario leads. Did I miss the pass? I may have missed it. I was spacing off a little here. TK uses Ed for a pick to get around someone. Ed is this race's Honorary Power Forward who Takes Up Space. Pick me! Pick me!
Marty says another "side-by-side" in here. I have lost the will to keep track of them now. The Beer of the Race is long since drained.
Lap 159 -- Briscoe around Rahal.
Lap 165 -- Yellow yellow yellow. Viso is TOAST. Replays. Went around on his own. Briscoe AGAIN has to go to evasive maneuvers Gulf Robert William to avoid being entangled. That'll get Briscoe the pressdog® Honey Badger award for tenacity for crazy phat evasive maneuvers skillz to avoid someone else's carnage.
Lap 167 -- This might be the last pit stop of the race. TK lost two spots. Briscoe lost SIX. Replay. Briscoe car air jack gets stuck. Sha. Before we throw the pit crew under the bus, recall they gained him FIVE on one stop earlier.
Lap 172 -- Helio leads. Danistar is P6. I can tell by the sparkle of her tiara on my TV.
Lap 173 -- Jamie with JR. Struggling. Weightjacker was broken or something. Got too high. Jamie says JR is on his way to the infield care center for a drug test. Holy Schneikies! (Routine random drug test. Simmer down. Pay no attention to the clown in the police uniform asking Hildebrand "how many fingers?")
Jamie with EJ. Jamie looks to be a FOOT taller than EJ. Good for EJ because he is safer from the man-killing ponytail! EJ says it's unfortunate or something similar. Sheepish. Maybe terrified by the ponytail.
Lap 175 -- GREEN. Another car was coming back onto the track when they started. WTF with that? Car in the warm-up lane or something as they go green. Seems like an accident waiting to happen to me. It was the wave around car I guess? NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Wouldn't be surprised if the booth guys are perplexed by it too. Kind of random looking.
Lap 178 -- Helio, Tony, Dario. Marty says IN THE MIX, so drink if you are still conscious. (Have someone pour it down your throat if you are not.)
Helio has a tire going down. Jamie says Helio may be losing air in the left rear. Jamie is on it. Dramatic video. Left rear looks paunchy for sure. Video flash back of 2007 when Helio's rear wing collapsed (while he was leading, I strongly believe).
Yellow yellow yellow. Tony Kanaan is ass around and toast. Festival of groaning. Like watching Luke Skywalker fly into a tower as he prepared his trench run. Looks like TK just brain locked all alone. Helio pits under yellow for the tire. Tony later admitted he screwed up.
Power is P3 now. Marty does the math again.
Lap 205 (after a 10-lap yellow) -- GREEN. Danica is P5. Sato is P7 even after the drive through for biffing his own crew guy.
Lap 208 -- Danica gets some air. Helio's tire was FLAT. Briscoe is P9 and inhaled by Helio and Wilson.
Lap 212 -- Dario P1 and should win barring air strike. Death Star hovereth.
Lap 216 -- Dario, Rahal, Servia, Power, Danica, Hinch, Dixon, Sato, Helio, Wilson.
Lap 218 -- Goodyear pulls out the "catching them is one thing, passing them is another" chestnut. Drink whatever you got left.
White ... Dario wins. Rebel alliance put up a good fight this time but still, Dario wins ... again.
Chippy interviewed. NEVER GETS OLD. Chip does not complain about the lack of penalty for hitting a another car's tire inside the pit. Wait, it was HIS car who did that. Never mind.
Power. With Vince. Good to get Verizon car up there. Power drove a hell of a race coming from starting P17 to finishing P4. Dario. Winner's circle. One of the reasons Power is pretty beloved, especially for a Death Star driver, is he doesn't whine on camera. And when he does kind of complain, it's funny.
WTF? W. T. F? Who is this woman in Cameron's place in pit lane. I saw the pony tail and said "what the?" There's another woman in the IZOD Trophy Girl's firesuit. An INTERLOPER. I'm enraged and despondent all at once. Cameron did not make the trip and she was ... substituted for. Insert unfortunate utterances here. Cameron says she'll be back at Toronto. No Iowa. Wonder if they will have a local stand in again. Meanwhile, I need to figure out who to email about this travesty.
Dario out. Accuses Helio of blocking (subtly, of course). I am shocked -- shocked I say! -- to hear this. Helio block or drive wide or subtly break rules to keep a lead? NEVER. (That's sarcasm. I know it's hard to tell. Helio is notorious for making himself wide.) Dario continues to endear himself to the 193 people who are still watching by complaining about something -- while standing in the winner's circle. If this man won the lottery, he'd complain about traffic on the way to pick up the check, I swear.
Trackside Online finishing order --
IZOD IndyCar Series
WEST ALLIS, Wis. - Results Sunday of the Milwaukee 225 IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 1.015 mile Milwaukee Mile, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (1) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
2. (12) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
3. (10) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
4. (17) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
5. (15) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
6. (16) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
7. (3) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
8. (5) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
9. (2) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
10. (13) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
11. (8) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
12. (20) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
13. (9) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running
14. (21) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 224, Running
15. (23) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 223, Running
16. (25) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 223, Running
17. (11) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 222, Running
18. (19) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 196, Running
19. (4) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 194, Contact
20. (6) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 163, Contact
21. (18) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Honda, 120, Contact
22. (14) Alex Lloyd, Dallara-Honda, 79, Contact
23. (24) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Honda, 78, Contact
24. (22) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 69, Mechanical
25. (26) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 11, Handling
26. (7) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 0, Contact>
Winners average speed: 117.390
Time of Race: 01:56:43.5877
Margin of victory: 1.4271 seconds.
Cautions: 6 for 62 laps
Lead changes: 5 among 3 drivers
Lap Leaders: Franchitti 1 - 115, Kanaan 116 - 134, Franchitti 135 - 153, Kanaan 154 - 167, Castroneves 168 - 198, Franchitti 199 - 225
Point Standings: Power 271, Franchitti 271, Servia 198, Dixon 195, Rahal 176, Kanaan 171, Briscoe 165, Tagliani 147, Sato 142, Patrick 141.
Graham Rahal is your pressdog® B-Feature Winner for highest finishing Non Death Star driver.
Final thoughts from Milwaukee. Not as Death Star Dominating as I thought. Thankfully, some random crap is happening to the Death Star TIE Fighters (Ganassi and Penske drivers). Puncture for Helio in this race, Ganassi losing fuel math calculation abilities at Indy, etc. That gives the non Death Star teams a chance, but there's no room for implosion, kids. Still, end of the day same guy (all Death Star drivers start to look alike to me) won, which is a buzz kill.
Attendance actually looked better than I anticipated, but I'm one of those guys who assumes the worst and is usually pleasantly surprised. I heard stories of goofy pricing, fan-hostile actions at the gate, etc. A two-for-one offer is OK, but not late in the sales cycle, UNLESS you send a refund to someone who bought their tickets at full price. Maybe that happened.I don't know.
Actual attendance numbers are NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Monday did some real reporting and said the crowd was weak, and put the event's chances of being on the schedule again at 50/50.
The story also says "It's also possible, though, that the series will go back to Joliet, Ill., at the request of title sponsor IZOD." Read it HERE and HERE. Insert me weeping here because Chicagoland was my favorite race (yes, including Indy), so I'd love to see IndyCar go back after a one-year hiatus. BUT, in fairness, the crowd at the 2010 Chicagoland event, which I attended, was putrid.
The IHJ managed to get himself into another scoring controversy over a no-call on the Dario hitting a tire deal. I guess that's a "judgement call." It shouldn't be. Make it more of a black-and-white rule -- like pit lane speeding -- and enforce it. Did he hit the tire? Yes. Was it WELL inside the pit box (not half inside due to a team trying to draw a penalty)? Yes. Penalty.
Dario's complaining in victory lane is tedious. I encourage him to speak his mind, even to complain, but I find it lame and makes me root against Dario. That's all part of sports fan-ness, though. End of the day, I'm ALWAYS glad to hear the driver's true thoughts, even if I disagree with them. IndyCar needs MORE not less of that.
Finally, ovals are almost always better races in person, and that's even more true for short tracks. Because there's stuff going on ALL over the track, and if you're in the stands, you can watch, say, Ed Carpenter and Justin Wilson have a knife fight back in P17 and be very entertained.
That's it from Milwaukee. I'll be LIVE at Iowa Speedway. Join us there are tune in to VERSUS, Sat. June 25, 8 p.m. Eastern.