This week is a special Paddock Pulse. We only have one link for your perusal.
This is not to say that there isn't a bunch of great post-Indy 500 stuff for you to read - check out our links sidebar and there will be plenty of bloggy goodness to consume. But on occasion something happens that tends to dwarf everything else, and this is one of those times.
Hit the jump for the news...My letter of resignation [My Name Is IRL]
No, that's not a misprint. That is, in fact, Jeff Iannucci announcing the semi-permanent end of the road for MyNameIsIRL.com.
Keen-eyed readers of MNII have noticed a marked absence of Da Newch lately, although Dex and Dale and the rest of the supporting cast have filled in ably. There's a good reason for that absence, but it's not a story that Jeff needs to tell publicly.
What does need to be said publicly is that Jeff Iannucci is one of the good guys. He and I live on opposite ends of the Phoenix metro area so we don't get to meet up much. But we've met often enough that I know he's a quality individual, and while quality individuals often encounter a run of bad luck, they almost always come through it with flying colors. I have no doubt that Jeff will do the same.
I owe a lot to Jeff, because after 2007 I had resigned myself to the idea that I was never going to write about racing again because of a multitude of factors, the largest of which being the fact that my collaborator Earl Ma had recently died. But time changes everything, and last year I started getting the itch that anyone who writes for a living can identify. And when I decided to scratch that itch, Jeff was the first guy to offer me MNII as a platform.
I feel bad about the fact that my time at MNII was so short, and that my writing was definitely not up to Jeff's level. Jeff deserved better than a rusty hack trying to get back into open-wheel after a decade of NASCAR writing. But I'm grateful that I had the opportunity because without it I wouldn't be here at SBNation.
Still, no matter what happens here at POV, MNII will always be the first, best IndyCar blog, and it's almost entirely because of Jeff Iannucci's unique voice and his keen powers of perception. The combination of those two things made MNII must-read content, and that's a rare thing for blogs. Quite without realizing it, Jeff and MNII became an IndyCar institution - as evidenced by the fact that his site was read closely by everyone from Tony George and Randy Bernard to team owners to drivers to fellow "legit" journos and word butchers to the fans in the stands.
MNII was an IndyCar blog when IndyCar blogs were still out of fashion. Now that the sport is showing signs of hope for the first time in a long time, there is a lot of new content out there (present company included). Some of it is good, some of it is average (present company included) and some of it is barely worth the pixels on a computer screen. But we all owe a debt to Jeff and MNII for carrying the torch for so long and for being the example that almost every IndyCar blog is modeled after.
For the record, I've offered Jeff and his staff the open invitation to write here at POV if they so desire. I know that Jeff won't be interested in writing for a while. But hopefully someday that will change, and if it does I intend to repay the great favor he offered to me. IndyCar can't afford to be without Jeff Iannucci for long.