It's time once again for the greatest moment of your work week: The Paddock PulUSA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!
LANDON DONOVAN IS AN AMERICAN HERO!
Hey! Stop messing with my Paddock Pulse for soccer updates! Sigh. Anyway, non-futbol links after the jump...
Danica Patrick pleased with her Indycar Series Iowa finish as she turns her attention to the Nationwide Series at New Hampshire [ESPN]
It's good that Danica Patrick is happy with a top-10 finish at Iowa. You know what that means? It means that the NASCARization of her brain is proceeding smoothly! "Yay! We got a top-10 finish!" Of course, finishing 10th out of 25 cars is like a top-20 finish in a NASCAR race, but apparently even THOSE are good news thanks to the top-35 points lock. It's all part of the racer's required transition to mentally change "Meh" to "A-meh-zing!" KEEP IT UP, DANICA!
New Hampshire: Randy Bernard Strikes Again [Oilpressure]
George jumps on the "Randy Bernard is AWESOME!" bandwagon after learning that the IndyCars will be heading to New Hampshire Motor Speedway next season. But what he doesn't realize is the ADDITIONAL awesomeness about going to Loudon: proximity to LEGAL SEA FOODS, bayyyyybeeeee! The greatest clam chowdah in the world!! Totally getting credentialed now.
Firestone says they are open to manufacturer competition [Planet-IRL]
Apparently Firestone has decided that having Goodyear or Hankook or Pirelli fight for some market share in the IndyCar series would be boffo for biz. Which fits right in there in the same "Terrific... I Guess" news category as "Arni Sribhen Elects to Change Anti-Perspirant Brands from Right Guard to Speed Stick." Go with "Cool Breeze," Arni. That's the stuff. Yeah.
Randy Bernard May Actually Want to Make Money [pressdog.com]
I have a hard time with Randy Bernard wanting the series to go where people will promote IndyCar most energetically. What if the fans don't LIKE those tracks? What good is a well-attended, well-publicized, masterfully-staged racing event if the die-hards at TrackForum don't like the venue? Are we willing to risk their wrath? Are great events worth the flame threads that might lie ahead? (Answer: Come on. Really? Yes.)
Odd Man Out [You Don't Know Jack]
Jack "Leatherman" Arute weighs in on the Milka Duno controversy. But although I love his blog and think he's a good sport, I would much rather see him express these thoughts through props. After all, following the bowling-ball-attached-to-the-head stunt with a cheese grater and marbles has cemented Arute as the premier performance artist of the IndyCar paddock. Imagine - JUST IMAGINE - what sort of props Jack could use to describe Milka Duno... FCC BE DAMNED!
Willy T. Ribbs Report: Iowa [The Silent Pagoda]
What's better than this Tony Kanaan homage from Hobbson? The fact that TK actually READ it and thanked Hobbson on Twitter. That's right! RACE DRIVERS READ ROY HOBBSON'S BLOG! You'll pardon me for being jealous. Actually, not jealous, per se, because I don't think "jealousy" describes the gaping maw of emptiness and anguish that envelops my innermost soul because people who drive cars for a living don't find me interesting enough to exchange inane social media banter with. AW CRAP, LOOK WHAT IT'S DONE TO MY GRAMMAR! *weeps profusely*
The IZOD IndyCar Series announced that they will be returning to Loudon, New Hampshire for a race next season. That's great - adding another DRIVING oval to the circuit is always a good thing.
But I would caution you that the race fans in New Hampshire and the surrounding areas are hard to please. They're as hard-bitten, grit-eatin', and tough-assed as any USAC dirt tracker fans, but instead of watching midgets, sprints and Silver Crown cars all their lives they've been watching what they consider to be the true expression of open-wheel racing - Modifieds.
Modifieds combine all the cool features of NASCAR racing - drafting, wheel-to-wheel action, and thundering turn-your-guts-to-jelly engines - with a lack of fenders. And Modified racing is as ancestral to these East Coasters as the sprinters are to the hardtack aboriginal grits of the Midwest.
So the IndyCar guys had better put on a great show and do some serious outreach when they get to Loudon next year. New Englanders aren't impressed easily.
On the plus side, there's a Dunkin' Donuts on every street corner. So there's that.