Monday, October 22, 2007

The's The Aftermath...

A quick shout-out there to my buddy (and one of my three regular readers) Pablo. Thanks for the comments, dude. As the resident Spaniard reader, I was very interested to hear that he was actually rooting for Lewis Hamilton, and not Freddy Alonso, as I'd have thought would have been required by Spanish law. It's been no secret around the Speedhouse that I'm a borderline Hamilton stalker, and have been since about a third of the way through his year in GP2, so I'm pleased that Big Lew is actually reaching across national lines to grab some folks who I know used to be Alonso fans. Lew did press too hard early in the race, and it cost him, so perhaps I should not have said what I did about learning from the mistakes made in Shanghai. Oops. As for Alosno, I've been a bit perplexed by the reaction of the Latin press, and their insistence that Fernando is not to blame for his troubles at McLaren. Frankly, I've thought he's handled the whole thing like (to quote the brilliant lads at "a massive baby." And today's post-race reaction by Alonso to McLaren's protest of Williams' and BMW's non-penalty is some extra fuel to that fire (no pun intended). I used to be an Alonso pseudo-fan (i.e. I was tired of Schumacher winning every year), but those days are long gone. Once you've crossed the line of racing jackassery (see also: Tracy, Paul; Harvick, Kevin), you're dead to me. I shan't be drafting you for my All-Racing Fantasy League team next year, Fred, and I hope you're stuck on two championships as long as you continue in F1.

With that said, I'm happy to see Kimi actually win a championship. He deserves it, after years of rotten luck in F1, and I'm only bummed out by the fact that I won't be anywhere near Finland for the next four months, or about as long as the party is likely to last.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

One last post before race time:

1) Big ups to my boy Eric Langbein, and his 7th place finish in Formula Ford at the SCCA Runoffs this year.

2) Yeah, at the heart of it all, I'm still a racing fanboy. Go Big Lew!

Happy Big Race Weekend!

Good weekend on tap, everybody. ALMS finale from Laguna, Champ Car from Surfer's, and of course, the F1 Finale (capital F there) from Brazil. Of course, two of those races have already happened before I got the chance to write this, but they're still on the DVR and unwatched at this point, so I'm pretending I'm just watching 9 straight hours of live racing today. The SpeedGal has theoretically agreed to let me have the TV for the day, since I've been preparing her for this for over a month, but we'll see if our marriage survives the day.

Anyway, there's basically no championship drama for the ALMS and ChampCar races, which makes up a bit for the fact that there's a dizzying amount for the F1 race. Oh, I've just been told that Justin Wilson can still be eligible for the championship at Mexico City, though he has to win and Bourdais has to finish outside of the top-12, and theoretically, the GT2 championship is still up for grabs, though the Flying Lizard Porsche has to win the race, with the Risi Ferrari not completing 70% of the laps for anybody but the Risi guys to win that. It's almost too bad you can't run a teaser at one of the Council Bluffs casinos on a Seabass clinch parlayed with a boring Laguna race/Risi clinch.

On the other hand, there's that F1 race today, too. You can call me nuts, but I think that with the lessons learned at the Chinese GP, there's no way that Big Lew doesn't win the championship today. Freddy Alonso needs to win (unlikely, given that he's starting 4th, and on the dirty side of the grid), with Lew in 4th or worse (could happen, but not at the same time as an Alonso win) for Fred to get the title. And I'm not too worried about Kimi figuring in much, unless the McLaren guys absolutely lose their heads and crash each other out (most likely to happen with Alonso taking out Lew). Any way you slice it, though, it's going to be an extremely interesting race, and since it's the last time to see these guys in action until March (plus it'll be the last chance to see Alonso in a McLaren and the last chance to see Ralf Schumacher in anything but a touring car), enjoy it while you can.

Oh, also NASCAR is at Martinsville. I'm already getting drowsy. By the way, to clarify some remarks I made in my last post, the CoTs are extremely racy on the big tracks, as we saw in the last few laps at Talladega. Unfortunately, they did an excellent job of putting everybody to sleep for the first 450 miles. That was absolutely a horrendous race too watch for the first 2 1/2 hours. I'd almost feel bad for the fans who paid to see it in person, but they were likely mostly hammered by green flag time. Good for them. I, on the other hand, was sober and dozing off by lap 20. Luckily, I'd woken up by the end, which was excellent, though scary. I still think there will be a gigantic pileup at Daytona, with NASCAR needing to take measures to string the cars out (yeah, I know, I mean even more precautions than they've taken over the last 5 years) before the spring Talladega race. Handford device, maybe? Have everybody race their rental cars?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Boy, has it been a couple of weeks since I've posted? Didn't think so.

Many things to talk about, but I just finished watching the Talladega Cup race on the TiVo, and couldn't wait to write a giant catch-all post.

1) Apparently, there is now something in stock car racing known as "draft lock." I know this because Rusty Wallace used the phrase roughly 854 times during the telecast. Has this always existed, and have drivers actually used this term before, or is it something entirely made up by ESPN for the broadcast? Yeah, I thought so.

2) Listening to Rusty freak out with 15 laps to go because "guys need to start making moves, or they're going to run out of time to get to the front!" is the highest of comedy. Sure, Rusty. Pulling out of the draft with more than a dozen laps to go is how you won all of those restrictor plate races, huh? How many did you win by the end of your career? 15? 20? Oh, right...

3) The CoTs are actually TOO racy on the plate tracks, or maybe it's that guys have gotten cocky since they've gotten spotters. Drivers were all over the place those last 8 laps, changing lanes three or four times per straightaway, sliding into holes that were one car length plus two inches long, jostling, etc. Good thing those cars are so much safer than the previous cars, since with driving like that, there's sure to be a 92 car pileup at Daytona next year.