Today is the final day of the fiscal year and Free Agency Eve for the National Hockey League. You may not be interested in that, but I am. So it is with great difficulty that I tear myself away from the looming soap opera that will be crashing down on top of me and the other racing peeps who follow hockey (I'm looking at you, Pat, Steph, Karina, etc.!) to deliver this week's collection of Paddock Pulse links.
Fortunately for you, there's plenty of non-hockey goodness in these links, so click the jump to check them out before I drop the gloves and earn a five for fighting.
Q&A With James Hinchcliffe [16th And Georgetown]
You know what I love about James Hinchcliffe? The way he adds "Hinch" to everything. Like, he drove the Hinchmobile to the Hinchstore to buy some Hinchbeer and a few rolls of Hinchcharmin to put in the Hinchbathroom. I'd do the same thing, except it's a mouthful to say PopOffValvePreparationH.
Randy Bernard Continues to Impress [Drive Hard, Turn Left]
I think Randy Bernard is so popular among most (but not all... see below) fans of IndyCar racing right now because he brings a... wait for it... WAIT FOR IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT... "no bull" approach to his job. See, it's funny because Randy used to work for the PBR. And they have bulls. And guys who ride them. So it's, like, a pun. CRIMINEY, DO I HAVE TO EXPLAIN EVERYTHING TO YOU PEOPLE?!?!
The Iowa Corn Indy 250 could spark a bullring boom in the IZOD IndyCar Series [ESPN/Oreovicz]
I have to say this - I have never considered the New Hampshire Motor Speedway a "bullring." It actually looks more like a carabiner from the air. Which would make for a lot more awesome puns - "This race will be a long climb if we are to reach the summit of victory," and so forth - than anything you could think of having to do with bullrings. Plus, the place is paved. No dirt. And that would just play havoc with those poor animals' hooves.
IndyCar filling major hole with Northeast expansion [Indy Racing Revolution]
You know when IndyCar knows it has hit the big time in sports reporting? When they can scream, "EAST COAST BIAS!!!!!!!" Which is why it's a good thing that the two newest races on the IndyCar schedule are in New Hampshire and Baltimore. Next thing you know, there will be IndyCar headlines in the New York Post, to wit: "DARIO AND MARIO DRIVING THEIR CARIOS!" That's why East Coast journalism is the class of America, folks.
"Rick Mears – Thanks" [Oilpressure]
Who on Earth would have expected a superficial, typo-ridden fluffed-out biography of Rick Mears to come from Gordon Kirby's pen/typewriter/word processor/cave paintings? Not George - no way, man. But George is too nice a guy to say that the book is an overhyped paperweight whose only saving grace is the presence of many pretty, pretty pictures. At least, I think he is. Either that, or he didn't mean to say that at all. Hmm. I'll have to follow up on that.
What Does Soccer And The IRL Have In Common? [You Don't Know Jack]
After I got over my English major outrage at the headline (it's "What DO Soccer and the IRL Have in Common?"!!! PLURAL! GAAAAHHHRRRRGHH!!!!), I thought to myself, "Self, I totally did not see the comparison between soccer and IndyCar coming." I mean, the brief pop culture bump at the biggest event, the inability to name more than one or two heavily hyped stars, the difficulty in pulling fans... seriously, they're totally dissimilar! Sheesh.
2012 [SPEED/Marshall Pruett]
Marshall Pruett calls this article a "Hail Mary of final ideas for the 2012 car." Wait, I thought we just compared IndyCar to soccer, not football. But hold on - the rest of the world calls soccer "football." So it still works! It's like "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." Hmm... Marshall Pruett, Marshall is a character in "How I Met Your Mother," which also stars Neil Patrick Harris, who hosted "Saturday Night Live," which was also once hosted by... KEVIN BACON. Oh. My. God. DESTINY!!!
Golfers Still Waiting for Taylor Made R9 to Work Its Magic [The Silent Pagoda]
Why is this article about a golf driver one of the most epic blog posts in the history of epic blog posts? Not just because at one point it compares a tee shot to buggery, or that it is written from the point of view of a man for whom glue fumes are the Stargate that leads to enlightenment. No, for the proper context, you must read this entertainingly questionable treatise first. Then it will start to make sense. Which, concerning anything written by Roy Hobbson, is a frightening thought.
You may have noticed a distinct lack of pressdog or Planet-IRL links in this week's collection. That's because Bill keeps churning out way too much good stuff to summarize in one paragraph, and Paul and company at P-IRL frustratingly put so much of their goodness into podcasts, for Pete's sake. So I implore you to click on the links and just browse the sites on your own so I can be lazy and unhelpful. Thanks.