Random Thoughts On São Paulo
I cannot tell you how tough it was to purposely stay away from any outside communication at work yesterday, in order to avoid hearing any race results. That way I could go home and catch the DVR recording of Monday’s race and watch it as if it were live. Some people find it odd that I do that, but it makes it much more enjoyable. I’m sure my boss appreciated my staying off the internet yesterday.
Had I succumbed to curiosity and checked the internet, I would have assumed it was another ho-hum Will Power runaway. When I watched it last night however, it was anything but status quo. Robin Miller summed it best when he talked about the cruelties of this sport. He pointed out that Marco Andretti drove his best race of the season, yet ended up fourteenth. Although the pass of the day was made when Takuma Sato passed Will Power for the lead on a re-start, he had to settle for eighth when he had to pit late.
For a race that was shortened by almost a third and took two days to run, it was entertaining. A tip of the hat goes to Tony Kanaan, Danica Patrick, Helio Castroneves and Simona de Silvestro – those that were taken out in the first lap on Sunday. Their cars were repaired, but they woke up Monday morning knowing they were starting nine laps down to the rest of the field. It would have been tempting to take a Sunday night flight out of Brazil and call it a weekend. Yet, being the professionals that they are, they all did more than just show up. They all drove hard throughout the race and Simona even set the fastest lap of the day.
TV Coverage: I had already decided that no matter what happened, Versus should be given a pass this weekend. With only Kevin Lee on site, the booth guys a continent away in an Indianapolis studio and being at the mercy of a Brazilian television feed – those would be tough conditions for any network to perform under. That being said, I thought that Versus did an outstanding job.
Special recognition should go to the hardest working person in sports – Kevin Lee. There is a reason why they usually have three pit reporters at most races, so that they can adequately cover about eight to nine cars apiece during a race. Kevin covered all twenty-six cars flawlessly, both on Sunday and Monday. His equipment didn’t work too well in the rain, but he handled it like a pro. His reward was to catch a quick flight so that he can spend the rest of the week manning the microphone for two hours every night for the rest of the week – first on Trackside with Curt Cavin, then The Talk Of Gasoline Alley with Donald Davidson. Kevin, will have certainly earned his paycheck by the time May is over. I guess he should be grateful that the Pacers are out of the playoffs.
I cannot over-emphasize what Robin Miller brought to the booth this weekend. Is four too many in a booth? I liked him better with the three regulars than I did in his normal role, trackside behind the pits. His personality has been sorely lacking from open-wheel telecasts for decades. He is the most candid broadcast voice since Bobby Unser – only more so.
IndyCar Open Wheel Weekly: Don’t forget to tune in or record the debut of IndyCar Open Wheel Weekly. I am assuming that Kevin Lee will make it back for the first show, which also features Robin Miller and Lindy Thackston. It will run every Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 Eastern on Versus. Supposedly INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard will be a guest with some news about the 2012 chassis.
Facebook woes: My first foray into Facebook didn’t go well. I wanted to have it as a racing site and be called Oilpressureblog. What I didn’t know was that I had to set up a personal “George Phillips” site, then create an off-shoot site called Oilpressureblog. Most people (some I’ve never heard of) went to the personal site. So far, my impression is that there is a reason I never did Facebook. I’ll give it a while, but I am not yet a fan.
All in all: As I opined earlier, this season of stretch runs for each discipline gets a little old. After four straight road/street courses, I think everyone is ready to hit the ovals. We start out with not just any oval, but the Indianapolis 500. It’s good for Will Power that he was able to stretch out a fourteen point lead heading into four ovals. Although everyone is trying to say that he has learned them – I still see the ovals as the weakness in his game. Until he is able to win at least one oval, I’m going to be skeptical of his being able to win an overall championship. Due to the fact that he is on Team Penske, he will be considered one of the favorites at Indianapolis – but not THE favorite. Although he may not be my pick as we get closer, right now you’d have to consider Dario Franchitti as the favorite to drink milk four weeks from this past Sunday.
Whoever can win on ovals and road courses consistently will be the one winning the championship in October. Right now, my money is on Franchitti.
But now is not the time to talk about the championship or new cars. The Month of May started with a street course. We have that behind us now. It’s now time to focus our attention for the next four weeks to that plot of land at the intersection of 16th and Georgetown. It is my favorite time of the year. I can’t wait.