Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Day Late

Damn, damn, damn. I just had to go check speedtv.com before coming here to post today. Seems Robin Miller already wrote a post-Milwaukee column, so I'm gonna look a little dumb and amateurish here. I mean, even more than normal.

Anyway, I did get around to watching ChampCar at Milwaukee on the TiVo last night. I fell asleep for a good bit of it, and did not bother to rewind. The Lap 2 dust-up between Bruno (poor guy), Mario (idiot), and Tracy (innocent bystander, for a change) was as good as billed, down to PT making thinly veiled derogatory comments about Mario on the air. Good times. All we missed was a live radio feed of Paulie Walnuts calling Mario a bleeping bleep-head without the bleeps. There will be a pit lane fight between the two of them before this season is over, and Bruno will probably drop by to hit Mario with his back brace, just for kicks.

Seeing Katherine lead somewhat comfortably for a time was fun, even if it was ruined somewhat by Derek Daly wishing that Bourdais would "just let her lead for a while." OK, #1) that's a dumb thing to say, #2) he was just unlapping himself, and #3) there's no way she keeps Seabass behind her under any circumstances at this point in their careers. It was another tour-de-force by DD and Benjamin, with mis-identified drivers, self-interrupted thoughts and stories and non-sequiters galore. How do these guys keep getting work? And why did we have to wait until 18 minutes into the broadcast to find out why Tags was a non-start? How is that acceptable?

Anyhow, as bad as the telecast was, the worst part of the whole thing was that I finally focused on how desperate things have gotten for ChampCar this year. When a crash happens that takes out two of the top guys, or Dominguez forbid, three or four, the rest of the field is horrendously depleted. Having six (or nine, if you count the PKV guys, er, uh, birds, plus Tagliani) frontrunning seats with only five qualified drivers (Seabass, Bruno, Wilson, A.J., Tracy) is bad, bad, bad for this series. The only way we get interlopers in the top five is when one team nails a setup (like HVM did with Ryan Hunter-Reay's setup from two years ago for Philippe, who I still don't believe in) or there's carnage at the front. Fully eight of the drivers in the series are no-hopers right now, though Andrew Ranger, Will Power or maybe Charles Zwolsman could win races someday in the right equipment. (And don't bring up da Matta at Coyne; that's not working, especially when you get interviewed for 8th place and have to beg for sponsorship on the air as Cris did in Monterrey.) Everyone else should stay home. Including the fans. A merger is never going to happen unless it really comes into focus for Kevin Kalkhoven what is going on. Let's just say that I'm not going back to Cleveland this year to bake in the sun and watch Nicky Pastorelli and "Sh***y" Dan Clarke crash into each other.

Wow, didn't mean to get quite so negative today, but apparently this has been building for a while. But, who knows? Maybe Memo Gidley, Alex Barron, Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty will all get offered rides from Portland onward to take the place of all of these current guys who I've never heard of before this season (and I still don't know where you came from, Jan Heylen), and we'll get Patty Carpentier back from Montreal onward. Also, I might be fielding a Formula 1 team next year out of my garage. It's about as likely to happen.

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