Saturday, May 10, 2008

Obama's journey

It's easy to forget now, but really, Barack Obama should NOT even be here. In so doing, he will vanquish the Clintons.

Though I hope he doesn't dwell on Keating Five too much.

Gee, Never Saw That Coming!

Err, well, Pole Day actually went as predicted.

Congrats to TCGR & Scott Dixon for the pole run. Obviously, they were already favored by some (ahem), and this won't change that. Other thoughts:

Biggest surprise- Pole speed was only 226.3. Perhaps a nicer week, with less wind today would have made a difference, but as it is, I still thought a 227. Didn't happen.'

Second surprise: Given their recent performance, I'd say the run for Vitor Meira and Panther Racing was a pleasant surprise.

Dumbest gamble: Why in the world did Luczo Dragon run Scheckter again? Rahal's chances were slim to overtake him, but he ran again anyhow... losing speed. Yes, he still got in, but...

Biggest unforced error: Newman/Haas/Lanigan (NHL) might be new to the ICS, but they are an ELITE team in all of American open-wheel racing. Forgetting, in the mad dash created by Luczo Dragon's stupidity, to put new tires on Graham's car to give him one more shot was not their finest moment. Not that it would likely have mattered b/c, while I admired the kid's confidence, I doubt that car had 223.4 for 4 laps in it. But he wasn't too far off, either.

As expected the CC teams were shutout, with Rahal getting oh so close to pulling off the miracle. They're just too far behind in horsepower (a good 4-5 mph top end). Worse yet, tomorrow looks HORRIBLE weather wise, so they won't even get in until next weekend likely.

The next great Mideast conflagration

is, again, Lebanon.

The Cedar Revolution is but a distant memory.

I remember that many of us who thought the Olmert Government in Israel made a grave mistake by the scale of their '06 invasion were considered naive peaceniks or even anti-Israel.

As predicted, it only made Hezbollah stronger, a fact that puts Israel in a perilous spot.

Friday, May 9, 2008

PT's final shot?

With Penske? Well, sort of, but the irony of RP helping PT is, ummm, delicious.

Put it this way, the two didn't exactly end on great terms.

Reminder: This Is Still Open-Wheel Racing.

What, you were expecting a smooth operation? Well, think again!

All the two-car transition teams have four tubs and the one-car efforts are supposed to have a pair of Dallaras. The catch is having enough parts to assemble all your cars.

Pfft. Details, minor details!

As for why this is, in fact, a problem, this via T&S:

Yellow for contact near pit exit by #96 Mario Dominguez. He spun coming out of the pits.

Ooops. Then again, despite having some ability, that's not the most surprising incident ever.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hillary Goes Back to Her Roots

Her Goldwater Girl* roots, that is. Look, the Clintons have no shame. Their oligarchy/dynasty is on the line, and ruling families don't abdicate unless they are forced to.

If that means she must go from Wellesley grad to Annie Oakley in one campaign, so be it. The Clintons, contrary to what was once the narrative, were never all about "radical leftism." No, they have one "ideology" only: Clintonism, whatever it takes for their own betterment. That, ultimately, is why their legacy will be one of irrelevance.

*This is very unfair... to Barry Goldwater. It was actually Nixon who exploited the "Southern Strategy." Yes, Goldwater voted against the Civil Rights Act, but he did so for very Federalist reasons. Nixon exploited race. It's just that Hillary started as a Goldwaterite.

When It Rains, It Pours

That must be the sentiment of all IndyCar teams, esp. those coming from Champ Car, in Indianapolis. Wednesday's practice was rained out, and today's certainly will as well. Valuable practice time is being lost, which will really hamper the new (er) teams that need all the track time they can get. Tomorrow, Fast Friday, might be good enough, weather wise, to run. If so, expect a busy track, as teams will want as many laps as they can. Pole Day is Saturday.

Meanwhile, Ridebuyer has some tips for waiting out the rain. I have one more: Watch silly political parodies of movies!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The End

In his unique way, John Cole says it: It's over. Somebody tell the Clintons before they embarrass themselves even more.

After all, if Drudge says it...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

First full day of practice- Indy

Full numbers here. Thoughts:

Nice runs by Power and Wilson. Rahal above 222 also. Still behind, but solid speeds. But can they make more gains?

AGR 1-2, with Marco on top. Impressive, but not all that indicative... YET.

Other than the likes of Duno (here's to hoping she gets bumped), a ton of 220's and higher. Stronger field certainly.

Also, the NHL boys ran a bunch of laps, 67 (tops of anyone) for Wilson and 64 for Rahal. Smart. The more they run, cleanly, the better.

Month of May preview, Pt. II

Q: Gee, you're actually ready?
A: Hey pal, do you want answers or not?
Q: Fine, let's go back to on-track issues.
A: Fine by me.

Q: So, seriously, favorites? No stalling this time!

A: Well, as I was saying last night, this is not as simple as it sounds. Take last yr., for example. Early in Week 1, the Ganassi boys were clearly the fastest in the field. But by Pole Day, they had lost it, and never got it back.

Q: So, you got nothin'?
A: Look, on an elementary level, it's obviously a battle between AGR, Penske and Ganassi, the three superteams in the IRL. As always, they SHOULD dominate the month.

Q: Among those, who do you like?

A: Well, Kanaan is always quick at Indy. Truth be told, he had the fastest car on race day last year, but rain and strategy ruined his chances.

Now this will surprise folks, but watch out for Marco Andretti.

Q: But isn't he still making mistakes?
A: Yes, but he has FINALLY shown consistent oval speed this yr. If he stays smooth during the month, look out.

Q: What are your thoughts on Ryan Briscoe?
A: Hmm, is Nicole Manske around? Kidding, Nicole (wink). Look, he's in a Penske, so no doubt he has a shot. While in US Open-wheel racing, he's shown speed... and a knack of finding trouble. If he keeps it off the wall, he's got a reasonable shot.

Q: What about Danica?
A: Yeah, what about her?
Q: Look, pal, I'll ask the questions here.
A: Geez, alright! Anyway, she seems to do well at IMS and she's with AGR, so, yes, I don't dismiss her chances.

Q: Thoughts on those coming from Champ Car?
A: Good question.
Q: I know.
A: Don't flatter yourself. Anyway, they have a mountain to climb, esp. when you understand that AGR, Penske, and Ganassi have a FIVE-YEAR head start with these cars.

Q: You'd agree with Robin Miller (SPEED) that they have "no chance" at victory?
A: In spirit, yes, but totally ruling them out seems foolish. Sure, they won't beat anyone on raw speed, but given the whole month, I think NHL, KV Racing and even HVM (VisoMania!) could be close enough to make some noise.

Q: In the end, who wins?
A: Luck aside, I come back to Dixon. He's too good not to win one, and Chip has got be hungry for an Indy win.

Q: Final subject. Darkhorses?
A: Well, all the Champ Car guys fit this bill, and I think a select couple will surprise. Top of my list is Ryan Hunter-Reay of Rahal-Letterman. Alex Lloyd should be quick too.

Q: OK, that's it.
A: Thank God.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Month of May preview

So, here we are. The Month of May at Indy is already underway. To preview it, how 'bout a Q&A?

Q: So, what's it like to have a unified field?
A: You know, not bad. For those of us following it, the "new" teams add many more stories to follow. How will Will Power, Wilson, Rahal, etc. progress?

Q: Cool, so Indy's "back?"
A: Err, no. Is it better? Yes, but NASCAR dominates everything. Kyle Busch tapping Dale Jr. will dominate headlines for weeks. In reality, few people care about the 500 anymore. Only time, wisdom, and luck will fix that.

Q: Dude, real downer there.
A: Damn the truth!

Q: On to on-track stuff, who ya got? Favorites?
A: This is a no-win situation. Two months ago, I thought Scott Dixon. Now, he's been quickest all yr. long, but a black cat must be all over the guy b/c his luck is terrible.

Q: No chance then, right?
A: Ahh, but luck is a fickle thing. It could smile on him in an instant. And we know he should have decent speed.

Q: You're stalling!
A: Right you are. Answers coming... tomorrow!