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INDYCAR: The Paddock Pulse (September 22 Edition)

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Paddock Pulse Splash
Paddock Pulse Splash

We're facing a canyon of time between this past weekend's Motegi race and the season finale at Homestead. A veritable abyss. A chasm. A crevasse! A HEART-STOPPING GAPING MAW OF TICKING MINUTES!


Anyway, it's gonna be a while before we're back talking actual racing, so I'm going to try to keep the snark dialed down to 3 or 4 to conserve some for the stretch run. LIKE FUEL STRATEGY!

Pick up this week's blogosphere greatness after the jump...

  • Willy T. Ribbs Report: Motegi [The Silent Pagoda]
    So I spent a little time in the Live Chat with Hobbson and his pals, and I've gotta tell you - now I know why Hobbson hits the psychedelic tree frogs so hard. That chat almost gave me a grand mal seizure. It was like a mob scene of people who have to make snarky comments or else be instantly dismembered by a giant slavering mud beetle. I eventually escaped to Twitter to restore my sanity. Yes. I just typed that.

  • Dale Coyne Racing: Damon Sturrock, Crew Chief, #19 [More Front Wing]
    I must say, I'm disappointed in "More Front Wing," the butterfly that emerged from the disintegrating chrysalis that held the "Planet-IRL" caterpillar. Why? Because they're doing all of this mediocre INTERESTING stuff instead of relying on the kind of half-assed, snarky, 84% incorrect postings that keep my site in business. Of course, by "in business" I don't mean FINANCIALLY. Hmm. I wonder if those two things are related.

  • Helio Castroneves – Too Little, Too Late [Oilpressure]
    Poor Helio. He's won the Indy 500, like, a billion times... he risks suffering bone-shattering falls when he climbs fences after he wins races... he took on Security Chief Charles at Edmonton and LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT... and he won Dancing With The Stars. And George says that he ain't "all that" unless he wins a championship??? Tough crowd. Maybe Helio's just wary of hearing someone use the words, "Lock up the title..." after all that business with the courts. DID YOU EVER THINK OF THAT???

  • From the Track, to the Truck, to Your TV []
    Be afraid, Arni Sribhen. Be VERY afraid. This latest Bhagavad Gita of an epic multi-volume work by Pressdog is clearly a shot across your bow. BILL IS GUNNING FOR YOUR JOB! I suggest, Arni, that you speak to my friend Vito. He does favors for people. He makes offers that your enemies can't refuse. Someday - and that day may never come - he may call upon you for a favor. FREDO! DON'T EVER TAKE SIDES AGAINST THE FAMILY AGAIN! (*gunshot*)

  • Franchitti Very Proud Of A.J Foyt Oval Championship [Versus/Olson]
    So Frico Suave won the A.J. Foyt Oval Championship. At least, that's what Jeff Olson claims. Me, I'm not buying it, because if that had been true then Ashley Judd would have pranced out onto the hot track after the checkers at Motegi wearing a kimono and giant Mothra wings, doing an interpretive dance and screaming like Godzilla. I didn't see any of that, but maybe that's because I was nearly comatose with fatigue after staying up until the wee hours to see the end of the race. So it could have happened.

  • Last Man Standing [You Don't Know Jack]
    Ol' Jack is worried that the IndyCar season finale will be "A battle that will finish with few caring souls to cheer the outcome!" He goes on to point out the college football games and other sports that will vie for the attention of sports fans on that Saturday. For some reason, he doesn't bring up the fact that the IZOD IndyCar Series officials basically make up address labels for the IICS championship trophy for Penske and Ganassi a year in advance. Then again, I saw Jurassic Park 11 times in one week in college, so maybe people DO like seeing the same story over and over.

  • Super Friendly Fans [Official Blog]
    Japan is a strange land for many IZOD IndyCar Series folks. And it's not because of the pancreas-liquefying jet lag or the prospect of toilets built into floors or eating raw fish. It's because THOUSANDS of people seem interested in non-Indy 500 oval racing over there. And they seem to be interested in drivers other than Danica Patrick. But then, who can guess their motivations - they also created "Hello Kitty," after all.

Final Thoughts

One of my pet peeves in sports reporting is the penchant that a sport's personalities display for condemning "normal folk" for their opinions based on a perceived lack of insider dope or expertise.

In other words, the "Are you an expert?" approach.

The worst incarnation of this is when the complainers are people who are involved in the sport at its fringes - say, a motorhome driver who picks up tidbits of info while he's grilling barbecue or polishing hubcaps. These folks, who have as tenuous a grip on celebrity as I have on credibility, take these tiny scraps of self-importance and lord them over the rabble as if they were members of the anointed class.

Today on Twitter, a NASCAR spotter rather loftily accused fans of being "self-appointed experts" on the question of why NASCAR's ratings are trending lower. That's the bad news. The good news is that the same Internet that gives people license to act like total choads to others also can be the conduit for rejoinders whose brevity makes a point better than the longest ranting screed. One of my favorite "tweeps" who has been in racing for as long as I can remember, Donna Richeson, answered the spotter thusly:

@donna_richeson: #clearclearclearallaround #stilltherestillthere #profound

Bravo, Donna - you have made my day with your ninja hashtags!