I’m starting something new here at CrimsonCast, a post race column after every INDYCAR race, utilizing flag communication to make each of my points! So come back after every race for The Second Victory Lap here at CrimsonCast. (I got a bit of a late start with this first try, but in the future this will be posted 1-2 days after the race)
Yellow Flag – Coming into the race, I was not sold on the format, but the VS crew sure is. They spent much of the pre-race coverage acting like someone in a terrioist video being told what to say while someone had a gun pointed at them off camera. I can’t image that Bob Jenkins is THAT excited about twin races that he needs to mention it 458 times during the pre-race. Wait, is that Randy Bernard off to the side of the camera glaring at Bob and doing the “slit the throat” move?
Green Flag – Dan Weldon. Just 3 short weeks ago, I really didn’t like this guy. Then I went to Burger Bash and my wife said she thought he was really cute. (Somehow this is fine, but when I mention that Pippa Man is cute, I get an evil look from the wife) But even after I found out that my wife might become Mrs. Weldon, I started to come around, because Dan was genuinely engaging at the Burger Bash. Then hearing him talk about how much Indy meant to him after he won, raised his stock even more.
Now hearing him on the telecast, the man is a natural for TV. He was funny while also being insightful about what is it like to drive in this series. Hell, we might need to worry about ME becoming Mr. Weldon at this rate!!
Loved his comment during race #1, “Takuma Sato is a guy you gotta give a lot of space to”. Someone, please find out how the SAFER barrier can make more space for Mr. Sato.
Dan also had some great jokes about Helio running into his own teammates.
Green Flag – Texas Motor Speedway looks like a FANTASTIC facility. Really want to go there next year. Seems like they have a great day of events planed on race day with the Drifting event before the INDYCAR race.
Red w/Yellow Cross Flag – Noticed on the side of Davey Hamilton’s car was a sponsorship from Fiesta food market. I remember Fiesta fondly from my days living in Houston. The only place where you could go to the back and buy a live snake, goat head’s and a fake green card. That is why I normally shopped at Randall’s.
Green Flag – The Winner of the Shop Honda Fastest seat in racing was James Hall from Bloomington, Indiana, my hometown! I want to win that contest. I even tried to throw it into the negation when I was buying my wife a new CR-V a few months back. (Yea Dan Weldon, you can come in looking cool, but can you buy the wife a new CR-V?)
Green Flag – Always love seeing sparks at the night races.
Yellow Flag – So JR Hildebrand has to go wide on Charlie Kimball and eats the wall in turn 4 to lose the Indianapolis 500. The next race, he hits Charlie Kimball in turn 4. JR needs to stop breaking mirrors, walking under ladders and taking pennies out of wishing wells. You would think that all this bad karma is going to break sometime. Right? Just don’t ask Tony Kanaan or Michael Andretti, who never seemed to be able to break their bad karma at Indy.
Blue Flag w/Yellow Stripe – Porkchop, the name for Simona de Silvestro’s back-up car turned primary car, is a sled. She is in for a long year. Maybe she can petition to drive a Delta Wing car for the rest of the year just for shits and giggles.
Green Flag – I am SHOCKED that Takuma Sato didn’t wreck out half the field driving that close to people all night. Maybe he and TK switched cars at the last minute, since TK dropped like a stone in the first race.
Black Flag – I wish I was a Dario or Ganassi fan, because it seems that 90% of the time they just dominate to the point that it isn’t interesting. They dominate the way the Heat should be dominating the NBA, if everyone on the team had Wade’s heart, that is.
Black Flag – Here is the problem with this whole format, it totally sucks for the driver and team that wins the first race. They kept on stressing that it is just the same as winning any other race, except there was no time to celebrate. Once they got into victory lane, everyone was tapping their watches. Can you imagine if Dario had taken as long to get out of the car as Dan Weldon did at Indy? They might have started the second race without him!
I’m not a Dario fan at all, but it did suck that he had to get out, do a quick fist pump, then high tail it out of there so he could get on stage and spin a tire with Cee Lo pumping in the background.
Black Flag – Along those same lines, I know that Will Power won his first oval race. But it sucks for him, because if he goes 2-3 more years without another oval win, people are going to start saying the only reason he won was because it was a shorter race and he picked a good starting spot, etc. This will pain me as I defend Danica, but it is just like how, as we get further and further away from Danica’s only win, you hear more about how it was a fuel strategy win and not a real racing win.
If you win on fuel strategy, it’s a legitimate win, but just isn’t the same as winning when you are driving all out. Same goes for this set-up. Will Power does have an oval win, but the fact that he really needs another to silence the critics shows that winning 1/2 a twin doesn’t count as a full win in people’s minds.
Black Flag – Andretti Autosport had another horrible showing. Maybe they should try to hire Chip Ganassi away from his team and replace Michael Andretti, instead of messing with engineers!
Green Flag – Where is Milka Duno when you need her. Can you imagine the hilarity that would in sue if she was in the tire spinning contest and pulled a top row spot. You might as well just start have the field crushed into the SAFER barrier.
While we are on the topic of this tire spinning game. Next year, let’s change up the format and do the game from the Price is Right where you punch out the hole and pick your spot. You could do a different game show format each year. Plinko in 2013. Deal or No Deal Briefcases in 2014. Drivers dressing up like Salt & Pepper shakers a-la Who Wants to Make a Deal in 2015.
Checkered Flag – Overall, I was not a fan of the format. It seems like the races were not up to Texas standards this year. It could have been an off year, but I feel that it was mostly due to the stunted nature of the races.
I hate that I have to agree with Dario, it’s like agreeing with Darth Vader, but he was right to be pissed, because he did get screwed. But Will Power also got a bit screwed, because if he doesn’t win another oval race, this won’t silence his oval critics, since they won’t consider it a “real” win. So in the end, the winner of each race, left Texas with a bad taste in their mouth, and it wasn’t from something they got at Fiesta. I say that’s not a great night. Next year, leave Texas alone. Why not mess with one of those crappy street courses in Canada? This would be like HBO trying to add viewers by adding Tyler Perry as a guest star on the last season of The Sopranos, yet refusing to mess with the show John from Cincinnati.
Dear Randy Bernard – your oval tracks are your most exciting races. If you need to do stunts to bring in new viewers, I understand that. Please do it at those street course races that are not exciting and need the additional viewers. Leave Texas and the Bada Bing alone!