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« Collete Davis Urges Girls to Rev Up Their Brain Power | Main | TV Ratings for IndyCar Race at Barber Slide 26% »

April 01, 2012


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Helio's real name: Helio Castro Neves.

Kayla (kiki85)

I was really surprised that they didn't throw the yellow both for Sato and the piece from Newgarden. Very unusual.


Looks like the Medical Centre handed out free massive testosterone shots before the race & a third of the field showed up for them.

Loved it. Just loved it. Thanks NBC/Jenkins/Versus or whoever you are now.

That was a huge breath of fresh air on all fronts....

One shot though, Tags could have pulled off in any number of places where he would have been safely off the track. Instead he stops IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRACK. Thanks for the full course yellow you bozo. Randy/Beaux .... a 20 position grid penalty at the next race for mon ami SVP.


Outstanding and hilarious as always Pdog. This was one of the best twistie races in a LONG time.

H.B. Donnelly

Watching today's race, I thought of two audio clip additions to the recaps: Whoever it was that kept saying "HE'S BLOCKING ME!!" (I think Wally) had me cracking up each time; A Bob Varsha "Mr. Director" comment, as I had a few moments where I was shouting like a TV producer at some of the broadcast decisions.

Oh, and outside passes, over-unders, passing in turns where no one thought passing was possible....mass hysteria, indeed! Not sure how well this will translate to Long Beach, but I can't wait!


In My Opinion... America won't care that the passing wasn't for the lead. They'll care about all that darned ACTION.
If this is the future of Indycar, I somehow got even more optimistic!


I didn't realize they'd gone back to the fuel KNOB either, Dog. Maybe they'll get rid of it when they put back push-to-pass later in the year.

I liked the big difference between reds and blacks a lot--but I've never saw it affect the set-up of the car so that it drove so much differently (re: Hinch and RHR complaints.) Not sure if that's good or not.

I feel like the racing is going to get better and better. With these good drivers and new cars, I don't think it's asking too much that twisties could actually be competitive and exciting--even for the lead.

Bourdais, Rubens and Pagenaud are welcome additions. Barfield did a good job, Hinch's crew sorta screwed him, Power's leap is sorta weak, is Simona running poorly because of the engine? NBCSports did a great job and Barber does look beautiful. Good job, Dog. (not one clown stamp!!!)


Great notes, great sense of humor, and always one of the best Fan Views of the sport. The clowns are putting out resumes this morning.

REALLY encouraged by the great show at Barber.

Broadcast: Gets an "A," especially when graded on the curve (NBCSN crushed ABC's coverage; lots of strategy, car tech, and pit report gems, plus great job capturing much of the overtaking - and explaining it. Note to ABC: Racing happens ALL THROUGH THE ORDER, not just P1-3 like NASCAR). Also, Wally and The Beek seem genuinely excited, interested, and you get the feeling they're truly enjoying themselves; ABCs crew comes across like they're maybe calling a game of chess...

Race: Gets an A, hands down one of the 'raciest' road races since CART/Champ Car heyday. Overtaking was GORGEOUS. Strategy was GORGEOUS. I'm told that Lake Lady actually blushed when Bourdais made his final pass, such was the animal magnetism of the RACING.

Rules/"IHJ": The direction seems to be Let The Drivers Drive, 'Cuz Pretty Sure They're All GrownUps. And it WORKS! The multitude of road/street races on the sched may lend itself to this working better than it could have other years. Ovals will be a test for the new Race Control and new rules.

Fuel Knob: Right idea to bring it back, could help reduce the # of "fuel strategy" races (fuel strategy = "slow down and don't pass" = Zzzzzzz).

DW12: It turns! It brakes! It takes a lickin and keeps on tickin! Sending Dallara an Edible Bouquet.

Lotus: As a Mario Andretti F1 fan from my young days ('78!), I SO want Lotus to be the Cool Kid again. But it's agony watching the REALLY talented teams and drivers (Bourdais, Servia, DeSilvestro, Tags, Legge) who committed to Lotus Before Lotus Is Cool struggling, crapping out, haulin a$$ to change punk engines 10min before the show, 5-6mph slower on straights. Enough with the excuses, Lotus. As Sean Connery said in The Rock, "You'll 'try?' 'You'll TRY!?' Losers 'try'; winners go home and (...ahem...let's say, "date") the Prom Queen."

Bourdais: Absolutely CLASSIC drives, both St. Pete and Barber. Could probably get a Smart Car into the Top 10 through late-breaking, reading his opponents lines, and massaging the throttle juuuuust under the rev limitor. Do NOT play poker with this man; he'll figure out your "tell" in 0.2 seconds, and use it to crush you...

"Defending Your Position": Again, this rule will get slippery on ovals, but the current direction of letting drivers DRIVE makes for a great show.

Tom G.

Best comment of the race coverage?

"I'm standing next to the Dallara guys, and they're pissed because they aren't selling any spare parts"(Paraphrasing) - Robin Miller

Indycar = Great Drivers + Exciting Cars + Action

If America doesn't like that, screw it, I'm moving to Canada.

Simon Dick

Indycar = Great Drivers + Exciting Cars + Action

If America doesn't like that, screw it, I'm moving to Canada.

There aren't enough Americans in cars, to make America give a rats ass about Indy Cars. Doesn't make any difference how "great" the drivers are or aren't or how exciting or dull the racing is. The drivers are the show. And with so few Americans, its just an impossible sell to the public...which the TV numbers point out race after race after race.

IndyCar36 doesn't follow a race car around or a car owner or a race track around. It follows the driver. That's what sells and puts asses in front of TV sets. Maybe slowly, the braintrust in the ICS will understand that.


The racing was definitely improved. That said there wasn't much passing in the top 3 and for the lead, all the lead changes came from pit road stuff. So it's hard for me to classify it as a "great" race with that. The fact I was watching 3 races at the same time (SuperBikes at Imola, NASCAR at Martinsille, Indycar) may have some impact on that. The leaders checked out in a big way.

But, the racing was improved and we saw some real passing from a lot of drivers in the field (Bourdais, for instance). The two big differences seemed to be tires (soft and wore down) and the enclosed wheels. With the enclosed wheels drivers can go in side by side and not be as likely to crash like in years past.

The question is when will we see good racing in Indycar and when will we not? Is it that the new car preforms well on road courses but not street courses? In the past St. Pete was a better race and this year they swapped with Barber. With Edmonton being an airport track and Mid Ohio being a better track than Barber, those two races seem to have a shot at producing good racing.

Roger T

I miss Derek Daly too. "Grandma's in the whiskey!"

The Speedgeek

Thanks for weighing in, Mr. Dick, but I think you're categorically wrong on that front. There's a little team in my neck of the woods that is insanely popular, among people of ALL walks of life and ALL economic backgrounds:

That's 27 players. 8 of them are Americans. Nearly 10 of them are not just foreign, but foreign with names that I probably couldn't spell given 15 chances each. I work in a decidedly blue collar workplace, and I have yet, even once, to hear someone complain about all of the foreigners with goofy names on the team, though I do hear a lot of conversations about how great last night’s game was. In fact, if you go to games, you’ll even see that people go so far as to buy sweaters for players whose names consist of 16 consonants and one vowel (people get around it in conversation by giving those guys cute nicknames). So, with that being the case, I’m supposed to believe that nobody in the US will ever buy a shirt that says “Dixon” or “Barrichello” or “Franchitti” or “Power” or “Castroneves” or “de Silvestro” or “Pagenaud”?

The problem is not "foreigners" or "foreign ride buyers" (both of which we have less of now than at any time in the last 10 or so years, anyway, and prospects look to be getting even better with some of the young Americans in Star Mazda and USF2000 right now). The problem is that there are some 320+ million people out there who have yet to sample the product. It’s not like we’re getting 300 million people tuning in and then changing the channel at the first mention of something called “Viso”, we have a huge number of people who simply just don’t know that IndyCar racing exists. If you were to ask ESPN’s Sports Guy Bill Simmons (or any American who watches at least 2-3 stick and ball sports year round) “who are the guys winning in IndyCar right now?”, I’d lay you odds that the response you get wouldn’t be “a bunch of foreign guys I don’t like”, it’d be “what’s IndyCar? You mean 'NASCAR', right?”

If we see an uptick in numbers (i.e. people actually tuning in and taking a look for the first time) and then the numbers going back down to the 0.5-0.8 range (i.e. people tuning back out), then I might start to buy your argument. But, until then, I'd like to see more proof of that point that you keep trying to make, rather than something that sounds like your personal opinion substituted in for the will of the American public at large.

The Speedgeek

Oh, and good notes, 'Dog. Glad folks seemed to enjoy the race on TV as much as I enjoyed it in person. There was a distinct lack of pork products on the premesis, but I'll give Barber a pass on that one.

[See what I did there? Yep. I'm quite the wordsmith.]

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A little pot is soon hot. @.@

Eric Karashinski

DRINK,ye CRAZY DESPOT BASTARDS. Easily in contention for line of the year!!!!

John S

P-Dog Good work here. I am tuning in less this year, really don't get it when it comes to twisties. I did watch Indy 36 - TK. I noticed it said fiance Lauren. Surely this is Lauren Bohlander ? How have I not heard this? Wow. Good work Tony. P-Dog needs to get the scoop on this deal.


Oh sure, John S., Tony and Lauren have been an item for a couple years.

Ron Ford

I went through every line of these notes twice and could not find a single "festival of carbon fiber" (or fibre) Were the clowns at a birthday party? I know I watched the right race because the trees and grass were gorgeous, but two wide starts and no crashes??!! Marco: "Excuse me Ryan, I feel the need to pass you". Brisco: No problem and do you have any grey poupon?"

This could add years to Clint Eastwood's career: "I'm going to be all over you punk, like gorgeous on Barber!"


Another fine recap, P-Dog. I second Eric Karashinski's nomination of "DRINK, ye DESPOT BASTARDS!" for line of the year. And Speedgeek, thank you for your commentary -- always insightful, sharp, respectful and delivered with a bang and a sense of humor. Please update your blog more often.

A fine race. I'm eternally optimistic when it comes to Indycar, usually for no apparent reason. Hopefully there are reasons now.

Michel S.

I reckon they noticed at St. Pete's that those rear bumpers make minor rear-end collisions mostly harmless, and so given a road course with ample run-off areas, overtaking suddenly becomes much less scary than in previous years.

Between this added robustness and the change in balance throwing some drivers off, I say we should bring this innovation to F1 as well!

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