Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzsnort... Hey! Sorry, I didn't hear you come in.
Yep, it's the off-season, and like almost everyone else I've been in a state of virtual hibernation with regards to IndyCar stuff. I say almost because there's still plenty of good stuff to read out there despite the fact virtually nothing is going on in the IndyCar world right now (except this, which is actually quite awesome).
So, like a good and loyal fellow, I present to you another edition of the Paddock Pulse, featuring content from bloggers who aren't using the off-season as an excuse to do mundane things like getting in extra sleep, going job hunting, or building model IndyCars out of toothpicks in the basement (I SAID I'D BE UP TO TAKE THE TRASH OUT TOMORROW, WOMAN!).
Links after the jump...
An off-season manifesto [More Front Wing]
My favorite Canuckistanian Steph weighs in with this epistle on positivity that had me thinking of "Daily Affirmation with Stuart Smalley," which is a Saturday Night Live skit that is actually older than some of the young up-and-coming racing stars in the IndyCar ladder. What this means is that the humor I got out of imagining Steph in front of a mirror repeating the positive-thinking mantras at the end of this article will be totally lost on a disturbingly large number of our readers. MINION, BRING ME MY GERITOL.
Should Drivers Ever Be Suspended? [Oilpressure]
As I'm writing this, George is at the doctor's office with an IV in his vein waiting to undergo a "procedure," so I'm not going to get snarky at his expense. You don't kick a man when he's down, and particularly not when he's wearing an open-backed hospital smock because if you kick him in the wrong spot... well, I don't even want to think of it. Give the man his dignity! (We'll take it back after he's back from the doctor's.)
IndyCar Season Review: Alex Tagliani [Open Wheel America]
I post this for two reasons - first, because my favorite IndyCar PR lady, Pat Caporali, now works for Tags and the FAZZT team, and second, because Chris "Simba" Leone is determined to slug his way through the ENTIRE driver lineup with this increasingly long season review series. You've got to admire his persistence, and you've also got to admire the fact that he's named AFTER A LION. C'mon!
Back to racing... iRacing [Official IndyCar Blog]
If I had Tuesday nights off, I would be racing with the 16th Street Racing League in a heartbeat. I've already turned laps with them in a couple of open practices, and what I've learned is that Larry Foyt is capable of kicking my ass (laptime-wise) at any point and without provocation. Then again, they have open setups, and since the IndyCar guys can ask their engineers for setup tips and I only have my cats as consultants, it's understandable that I'm going to be back-marking. (Ed. note: You keep on telling yourself that, hotshot.)
Who Would You Pick For Your Fantasy Driving Team? [Versus/Olson]
I'll tell you who I would pick - nobody. I'm already playing fantasy hockey, and I've discovered that I am the kiss of death for anyone I dress on a particular night. Let's put it this way: Marty Brodeur, sure-fire NHL Hall of Famer, has sucked ass in every game he started except one, where he got a shutout. Guess which games I used him as my starting goalie and which game I benched him. So you racers out there should feel pretty happy that I don't play fantasy racing - my absence is like an extra SAFER barrier.
I want to give a shout-out to SBN's newest racing blog, NNSRacing.com - featuring the always-awesome Lee Montgomery. Motorsports is still somewhat at the lower end of the SBN totem pole, so go check it out and give Lee some page views. You'll thank me later.
Also - please keep Shane Hmiel in your thoughts. He's still got a long way to go.