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The Paddock Pulse: August 18 Edition

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Paddock Pulse Splash
Paddock Pulse Splash

Between Tony Cotman being hired as the new rules czar and Texas Motor Speedway turning one of their IndyCar events into a weak-sauce version of the NASCAR All-Star Race (or the annual Daytona Twin 125s), it hasn't been the usual totally boring off-week that we usually get. Oh, sure, there was plenty of the same "Guess where I used the bathroom last!" and "What a MONSTER workout I just had, time to go relax in my jacuzzi full of Benjamins" stuff on Twitter, but my point is that there was some substantive news out there in the vast non-race-week wasteland.

But since this site is a blog and this article is the Paddock Pulse, we'll have nothing to do with all of that substantive news business today. Just the best of the blogosphere from the past week to warm and comfort you in the way only blogs can!

Hit the jump to begin your warm-and-comforting journey...

  • The Importance of SMI to the IndyCar Series Moving Forward [Drive Hard, Turn Left]
    I'm not going to go round and round on this topic. It has so many twists and turns that it could reach an apex of confusion. LET'S STAY ON TRACK! (The preceding was brought to you by the National Archive of Punnery, Tasteless Innuendo, and Moribund Entertainment. Remember, for the best in terrible humor, your best bet is NAPTIME.)

  • Graham Rahal Pens Screed, Denounces IndyCar’s Boorish Behavior of Late as Unbecoming & Unwanted [The Silent Pagoda]
    Because Twitter-fighting is something anyone can do, Graham Rahal took to his SPEED blog to call out his fellow drivers. Because, see, not everyone has a SPEED blog - just certain part-time drivers with personal Ferraris and famous mustachioed fathers. That's a PEDIGREE, dammit. Page views! Unique visitors! INTERNET MANNA FROM HEAVEN! Graham straight, baby!

  • What Does A Contract Mean, Anyway? [Oilpressure]
    Imagine if NFL football players had the possibility of losing their spot on the team if a lesser player walked up to the coach with a big checkbook. I don't know about you, but for me that would make the NFL at least 750% more awesome, because then they'd be forced to play well all the time or else be sent packing by someone with more money. See? Racing CAN make the world a better place!

  • More speculation on the 2011 schedule [Planet-IRL]
    Steph isn't the only one speculating on next year's schedule. In fact, plenty of folks are desperate to see what race lands where. Me? NO WAY. I don't roll like that. I show up on race weekends totally shagged out and bedraggled, having discovered the time and day of the race only a couple of days previous and catching the reddest-eye flight possible to get there. Then I mooch off of friends for living space, food and drink, and toilet facilities. I'm not very popular.

  • Texas Motor Speedway's Over-Hyped "Historic" Changes []
    Did you know that Eddie Gossage was part of the ICONIC committee? ENOUGH SAID. Well, unless you like things spelled out in gnawing, irritating detail, in which case you should know that the Texas Motor Speedway announcement that their annual 500k IndyCar race would be split in two like a pair of Siamese twins went over just about as well as the blustery 2012 IndyCar announcement. SEE? All things are connected in IndyCarWorld. THE CIRCLE OF LIFE. IT MOVES US ALL! (*massive bass drum*)

  • Wine Wars??? [You Don't Know Jack]
    The Leatherman bringing the SNARK, baby! YEAH! BALLA! See, I told you he was hanging around Hobbson too much. Next thing you know, he's going to show up on a VERSUS segment doing Eric Idle's Australian Table Wines bit. Although with so many Aussies in the paddock, he shouldn't have a problem finding a good bottle of Cuivre Reserve Château Bottled Nuit San Wogga Wogga. Ask Kevin Kalkhoven, Jack - he's got EVERYTHING.

Final Thoughts

So this whole Texas Motor Speedway announcement had about as much shock value as IZOD Girl showing up in victory lane. I mean, wow, they're going to run two races in one night. THAT NEVER HAPPENS! Oh, except for at just about every racetrack and every type of racing everywhere that isn't a "top line series."

Seriously, it's hard to be overwhelmed at the prospect of a "twin bill" like this when there isn't even any additional promotional hook attached to it. Why not run one race in daylight and one at night? At least the second race won't look as much like a rerun of the first, right? Or why not figure out some way of running one - or both! - of the races CLOCKWISE? Sure, it's a logistical nightmare, but it's also UNIQUE.

Instead, what we have is the old "Winston" concept from NASCAR only without any of the massive wrecking and car contact that was the only thing that ever made the NASCAR All-Star concept worth anything whatsoever.

Look, I'm really glad that the IndyCar folks are trying desperately to think outside the box. But the incremental and hesitant "baby steps" image that most of the "innovation" has taken really hasn't shocked the socks off of anyone. Instead of Delta Wing, we got Dallara Wing. Instead of engine innovation, we got Hondagemony. Instead of something that would make us crap our pants with astonishment, we got the Texas Two-Step that probably will result in a fart at worst - and not even an eye-watering SBD at that.

Sorry, but color me unimpressed, folks.