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WHAT WE LEARNED: "Baghdad Brian" thinks we're all pretty stupid

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Incredibly, this wreck involving Tony Kanaan on his lid was not the biggest disaster of the weekend. (Photo: LAT Photo/
Incredibly, this wreck involving Tony Kanaan on his lid was not the biggest disaster of the weekend. (Photo: LAT Photo/

I'd like to say that watching someone flat-out lie on national television is a rarity. Unfortunately, when Brian Barnhart bald-facedly "shaded the truth" at the end of the 225 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, he was just following a tradition of a long line of spin doctors, politicians, celebrities, and pundits who have turned television into a cesspool of twisted facts that makes Wikipedia look like the world's most trustworthy information source.

I'm actually surprised Barnhart hasn't received calls from one of the Republican or Democratic election committees thanks to the ballsy way he looked into the eyes of America (or that tiny subset of America that made up the IndyCar broadcast audience) and said that he and Race Control had no idea that there was any issue with going back to green on a racing surface with the traction level of Crisco.

Okay, so maybe he wasn't lying; but then if that's the case, he becomes the most incompetent man in the history of Race Control for totally ignoring - or worse, neglecting to procure - direct feedback from drivers and teams. The context of a wet restart aside, the idea that Race Control is separated from the first-person accounts from those in the driver's seat by layers of middlemen is appalling. Such a setup is absolutely ridiculous and criminally negligent and, if it's truly the case, needs to be rectified post-haste.

Hell, in NASCAR if a driver breaks wind waiting for his turn in driver introductions, there is a NASCAR official radioing that news to Race Control. Big Brother? Certainly. But then, that's why it's called Race Control.

You'd think that a guy who is so anal-retentive about how drivers defend against passing or whether the leader actually gets to lead going into turn one in Indianapolis would have every driver and team utterance over the course of a race weekend delivered to him in painstaking detail. So if he's telling the truth about not knowing that the IndyCar drivers and teams were screaming their heads off to avoid a restart on wet asphalt, then it's a titanic oversight and a staggering display of incompetence.

Otherwise, he's a straight liar.

Not the most savory of choices, is it?

Ah, but don't mind me. I'm just a blogger. I'm just a fan. In theory, my attention span is so short that I will find something else to bitch about next race, all the while still watching and proving my complaints to be empty threats and blowing off steam, right?

Not this time. When someone lies to my face, I tend to remember it - especially when the person thinks I'm so stupid that I won't notice.


  • Ryan Hunter-Reay was extremely strong - almost Dario-like - in the late stages of the New Hampshire race. He deserved to win.
  • Will Power got out of NHMS with a significant leap in the points (thanks to the "Ooops, my bad" reset of the running order from Race Control), but his greatest accomplishment was to give public (and awesome) voice - and fingers - to the gripes everyone has had with IndyCar Race Control all season. The people volunteering to pay Power's potential fine for flipping off Brian Barnhart on national TV include his team owner Roger Penske, who said that Power was essentially speaking for everyone in the paddock. Ouch.
  • Oriol Servia was the consensus choice for the guy who should have won the race. The Spaniard has kept people wondering all season - wondering why he didn't get a full-time ride before now.
  • Good runs for James Hinchcliffe (4th), Danica Patrick (6th), Takuma Sato (7th), and Ryan Briscoe (8th).
  • Tomas Scheckter made waves passing on the outside early in the race, catapulting himself up to the front of the pack in a handful of laps in the treacherous outside groove. He had people salivating over his skill, his savvy, his entertainment value...


  • ...until one of his top-groove three-wide moves contributed to the scariest wreck of the day, ending up with Tony Kanaan upside down and knocking over a port-a-john. Sorry, TScheck, no Tire-Riffic Move of the Race vote from me.
  • Dario Franchitti was called a "princess" by Will Power earlier this year. He fully earned the tag yesterday when, while watching the replay of his incident with Takuma Sato that clearly showed the Scot crossing across Sato's nose, he had the balls to wonder why Sato would dare to come up on him and race him so close. Not like Sato was racing him for the lead - oh wait, he totally was. Wonder if Dario is gonna block Sato on Twitter now.
  • Graham Rahal has got to be wondering what he did to piss off karma. Another race, another DNF for Robin Miller's unofficial PR client.
  • EJ Viso. Again.
  • Marco Andretti really was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I hope he got away from the track quickly enough to miss the incredibly embarrassing display his dad Michael put on. The elder Andretti's high-pitched, arm-waving tantrum was the stuff of legend, made all the more hilarious when less than two minutes later he was smiling and happy celebrating Ryan Hunter-Reay's victory. Bipolar much?
  • New Hampshire Motor Speedway really needs to look into doing SAFER around the entire perimeter and interior of the track. I know that the road course entrance from the backstretch hill goes right through the backstretch wall, but let's be honest here - this flat oval has hurt or killed too many people in its short lifetime to downplay the need for the SAFER Barrier there.