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June 20, 2011


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The Speedgeek

Thought it was a pretty good race yesterday, even if I'm still a little aggravated about Dario not getting a penalty. I've backed off from "incensed" to "not happy" about that since yesterday afternoon, having seen James's rundown on, and I do get that it's a judgement call (one I'm actually pretty happy to not have to be the one making), but I still think there probably should have been a drive through. When Taku gets a drive through for hitting one of his own guys, you'd think that Dario might get one for clipping laid out equipment for another team. Guess not. Whatever. On to Iowa!

Savage Henry

Great job, as always, Pressdog. I too was taken aback by Jamie Little's height advantage on EJ Viso. She's gotta be 6 feet tall, right? I also still strongly believe that they need to develop a halter top firesuit just for her.

The Dario non-penalty is extemely discouraging. That needs to be black-and-white rule - hit something in the pits and you get a penalty. No judgement needed. Who else would have gotten away without a penalty in that situation? Maybe Power? I can't think of anyone else that gets that kind of special treatment. Even Helio gets called now and then.

It was especially brassy for Dario to be bitching about Helio blocking after he was given the gift of the non-penalty. I used to be a fan of his, but his whining and apparent sense of entitlement has ruined it for me.


Was it my ear, or did Chip call Vince Welch "Mitch" in the post-race interview? Funny. Not worth enough to bother to learn the ABC crew people's names!

Or maybe he Vince "Mitch" Welch. Regardless, I hearby dub him that anyhow.


Not much I enjoy more during a Monday lunch hour web surf than Pressdog race notes. Well done once again, sir. I posted a long comment regarding my race experience at the Oil Pressure blog (not to mention, I should really get back to work), so just a few quick comments.

1. Lakefront IPA. Excellent choice.

2. Being my home track, I've been to some 20-ish Indycar/IRL/CART/Champ Car races there since I was a kid, but this time I got a pit pass for the first time, which was fun. At one point I had a nice walk 'n' talk with the "Alternate Cameron." She was quite charming and seemed pleased as punch to chat with me for several minutes, something that model-type women don't ordinarily do, so naturally I was smitten. I asked her where Cameron was, she didn't know but said she'd be back later in the season (but then she didn't seem to be aware that there were several races still to go before Vegas, so go figure.) She is no Cameron, to be sure, but a very engaging woman nonetheless.

3. Regarding the 2-for-1 deal: For already-purchased tickets, they allowed people to bring another person for free, although they may not have been able to sit with you, making waiting a better deal (as you could then buy all your tickets together), which is unfortunate. Maybe some kind of Early Bird Special for early advance ticket buyers would be effective.

4. Most people in the public eye tend to use promo pictures that make them look much more attractive than they are in real life. Not so Woman of Pressdog (R) Shannon McIntosh, whom I met briefly. Attractive in promo pictures, but stunning in person. It's great to see so many women in racing these days, and I wish her great success in climbing the ladder. If she can prove herself as a driver, she will make a fine "new Danica" (not that Simona or Pip won't be, but let's face it, many mainstream American race fans prefer their drivers to be American) a few years down the road.

5. Speaking of the Women of Pressdog (R) keep an eye out for .25 Midget driver Mandy Chick. She's probably all of about 10 years old, but a name (and nickname -- Mandy "The Cool" Chick) like that = Star Power.

6. I listened to the alleged F-bomb after the Sato incident several times, and even after repeatedly rewinding it, it actually sounded like he may have said "Takuma Sato" instead of "That f***ing Sato." They kind of sound alike. Then again, I had just spend three days listening to race cars all day, mostly without earplugs. It's a wonder I can hear at all.

All in all, I think the promotors did a decent job, but with a few noticeable hiccups. The weather killed walkup, and the June Sprints at Road America an hour away no doubt drew a bit from the gate totals. Hopefully the small crowd won't be enough to keep Milwaukee off the schedule next year, and they'll be able to learn from the mistakes and make some changes for the better. My suggestion, which will never happen of course: allow coolers in, like at Indy. If nothing else, it would be quite a party.


I think Dario is basically a wee whiny girl most of the time, but I think it was great that he nipped the Penske tire perfectly (and, yes, I think it may well have been intentional). The Penske crew was dicking around and playing games in that tire placement even if it was in their pit box, and they got tagged - literally. Bet that RF tire guy won't stand on a tire anymore! Rules? Rules are for sheep and lemmings.

I'm afraid Simona may be loosing her nerve. I hope not, but she's getting awfully banged up and that has got to take a physical and psychological toll. Why is it taking so long to get her primary tub fixed or replaced?

I felt sorry for Hildebrand after Indy, but now I think he's just stupid. Is he ever going to understand that you can't go much off line in the turns on an oval, especially a flat oval?

Why does Viso still have a ride?

The interloper taking Cameron's place seemed like a nice girl next door type, except that I want Cameron next door. Doing yard work, on a hot steamy day. But, I digress. This is not acceptable. P-dog, you're solid with Cameron, investigate this, please!


That was a stereotype of a Dario win. He completely lucks into a win because Helio's tire punctured, Kanaan crashed, and TGBB didn't give him a drive through despite hitting Will Power. And he spent the whole weekend whining about something, whether it's Texas, restarts, or Helio. I do believe Dario deserves in the Indycar hall of fame, if it's ever built, simply because he is the luckiest Indycar driver in history, as I don't think anyone else can claim to have lucked into so many wins, 500's, and championships. Wish he'd stayed in NASCAR, I enjoyed watching him parade around in 30th, when he didn't DQ. As for the race, it was good until Kanaan crashed. That kind of ruined it for me, because it looked like we were going to see the Red Cars fall again, only to see Kanaan crash and hand the win to the worst of the Red cars. A Rahal or Danica win would have been huge, whether they lucked into it or not. Instead it just had to be Dario... As for Servia, I think he and Kanaan have the best chance to beat the Red cars for the rest of the year, as they're fast on both the ovals and road courses.


Good things: Servia, KV Racing, Daniker, Hinch, Kanaan, passing for the lead, over-taking in the pack, comedic pit show, a flat mile oval. The news that S. McIntosh is better looking in person. Pressdog race notes.

Bad things: Simona! KV Racing. Racing surface. Red car victory. Dario complains again (even while winning.) Lack of butts in seats. Lack of butts in front of tube. Fake Cameron. Cheap trophy. EJ Viso's continued love affair with walls. WTF-RHR.



Ironic your Beer of the Race was Lakefront IPA, as Mrs. mmack and I toured the very same brewery Saturday afternoon. Had you befriended the Fabulous Mrs. mmack on that Facebook doo-hickey, we could have grabbed you a twelve-pack or two and a pint glass and shipped direct to Des Moines, but alas . . . .

We were actually in the stands (and if the camera panned up, you could have seen the two of us, me with my BRAND SPANKING NEW IZOD Indy Car series hat, headset tuned to IMS Radio Network, and attired in a very stylish 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 T-shirt and blue jeans combo, and the Fabulous Mrs. mmack in a tres cute blank and white ensemble). The track was about 1/3rd full, which was the most disappointing thing about the whole day, next to the rain. As I mentioned above, we made a weekend of it in Milwaukee, coming up on Saturday afternoon and leaving this morning. On Sunday morning a pretty nasty band of showers came in and the rain really didn't stop until about 11:00 AM local, and I was hard pressed to be optimistic that a race would be held. We were lucky the rain forecasted for Sunday afternoon held off until later in the evening/early this morning. It's sad to think that killed the walk-up crowd like others cite, but realistically it was a two hour drive from our house near Naperville, IL to the track. I could see people in the Chicago area seeing the weather at home, the weather for Milwaukee, and saying "forget it". That doesn't really explain the lack of a local crowd though, as turning on the TV would have shown good enough weather to hold a race.

For the race itself, I actually thought it was a good race, perhaps not as good as 2008 or some earlier races I attended in person, but not as bad as 2009. Dario could run off and hide when the track was clear ahead of him, but in traffic any advantage he had was negated and my goodness, the Wee Scot had to actually RACE when he was pressed in traffic! I think the rain screwed up a lot of team's set-ups because some of the rubber laid down was probably washed off. Plenty of cars (not just JR, Ana, and EJ) went WAAAAAYYYY wide in four, and knowing ABC, you probably didn't see it. At one point Briscoe Inferno had a heart stopper where he had to get off the throttle too.

Also agree that the "wave around" issue on lap 79 and 175 as a major "What The?" moment. At first I thought the crash on lap 80 was related to letting cars out of the pits into the path of the entire field as it restarted. Had to wonder if someone in race control stepped out for a Genuine Draft as the flag fell.

Regarding Dario and his post retirement plans to open a vinyard, as he's been serving some fine home made whines in victory lane: The biggest cheers on Sunday were when TK took the lead, and when Helio was leading. I sat next to possibly THE ONE Dario fan in the stands, and she looked none-too-happy when I cheered TK taking the lead. Lots of people in the stands around us were down hearted when Tony spun and lost it, and when Helio fell back from having to pit.

"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."

Let's be honest: You're angling for another post race free breakfast cooked by Mrs. mmack. :^)

"BUT, in fairness, the crowd at the 2010 Chicagoland event, which I attended, was putrid"

Thank the BRILLIANT idea to schedule the race on a Saturday night in '09 and '10. BTW: Want to see a putrid race crowd? See if you can get a tape of the CTS Truck Race from earlier this month at Chicagoland. You could have pointed 21 howitzers at the grandstands, fired them point blank, and not hit anyone.

Great recap once again!


Wait a second ... hold up .. I turned down Mrs. mmack on Facebook? Certainly not. Are we sure? Inadvertent at most. Please re-friend. I thought we were Facebook BFFs. Not? I'm honestly surprised.


Bill, I'm teasing. :^P


BTW: If you liked the IPA, try the Eastside Dark Lager or the Fixed Gear American Red Ale from Lakefront. (I speak from experience) And if you find yourself in Brew City USA, stop by the brewery for the tour. However, you are limited to four six ounce pours before and during the tour. ;^)


Those fantastic Firestone tires did another impression of cheese on a grater and turned yet another oval track into a one groove affair within 10 laps.
Indy, Texas, Milwaukee.....all screwed up and Iowa is next on their list.

I swear Firestone must have controlling rights to the Dallara repair parts chain.

The Speedgeek

What? A "one groove affair within 10 laps"? How did TK get by Dario twice, then? How did those midpackers find the space to pass and re-pass each other a bunch of times all day long, then?

Marbles have been a big problem several times over the course of this season, but outside of J.R.'s accident, I didn't think Sunday was such an occurrence.

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