Random Thoughts On Iowa

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A few weeks ago, I was chastised for being so negative about the double-header at Belle Isle. Chances are, some will claim that I am a cheerleader for the Verizon IndyCar Series for what I am about to say about Saturday night’s Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. If you didn’t like that race, you may want to stop reading now because I will say nothing to reassure you that you were right.

As much as I liked Fontana and Milwaukee, the race at Iowa topped both of them. Some may call this blasphemy, but this was my favorite race of the season, thus far – and that includes the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500.

From what I saw from my couch, I can only come up with one negative for the entire weekend. At the end, I was pulling for our local Nashville hero, Josef Newgarden, to overtake eventual race-winner Ryan Hunter-Reay. That’s not to say I was pulling against Hunter-Reay, but I’ve been a longtime Newgarden fan.

But Hunter-Reay winning is a great story in itself. After winning the championship in 2012, and an Indianapolis 500 win in 2014; Hunter-Reay has had a nightmarish 2015 season. It speaks a lot for his character and determination that he went into the weekend with so much focus. As I said on Friday, this was Hunter-Reay’s last real shot at a win this season. But I thought he had justifiably checked out for 2015, and who would have blamed him. He has been saddled with the slower Honda aero kit and has even been the slowest car on his own team throughout most of the season. But he put it all together and fought hard to come up with his third win in four tries at Iowa. Good for him!

And good for Andretti Autosport! They extended their streak at Iowa to six in a row and seven in nine years. That type of domination defies explanation. Even Michael Andretti seemed to be at a loss for words when trying to explain their success at Iowa.

But as impressive as Ryan Hunter-Reay was in salvaging his season, that was far from the only storyline from Saturday night.

Juan Montoya started things off by crashing hard into the Turn Two wall on Lap 10. Montoya has led the points since the opening race at St. Petersburg. Although he started the race with a fifty-four point lead ahead of Scott Dixon, it looked as if the points leader was about to have his lead chiseled away significantly. Dixon and Helio Castroneves seemed primed to eat up most of Montoya’s lead in the early stages as they were both battling with each other near the front. But on this night, being strong in the first half of the race meant nothing. Helio finished eleventh and Dixon was eighteenth. Ultimately, Montoya dodged a bullet and lost only twelve points off of his lead.

Graham Rahal was another storyline that seems to be a continuation throughout his magical season. By earning another Top-Five finish and taking advantage of the misfortunes of Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves; Rahal woke up Sunday morning second in points, only forty-two behind Montoya, with only three races to go. All it takes is for another race where Montoya has problems early and Rahal has a podium finish and they are practically even. As much moaning as we’ve heard from the Honda teams about how disadvantaged they were, wouldn’t it be ironic if Rahal won the championship in a Honda?

Among the many other plots that emerged Saturday night, probably the biggest one involved the driving and behavior of Sage Karam. Unfortunately, more people may have been talking about Karam after the race than Hunter-Reay.

Ed Carpenter gave Karam the one-finger salute in the late stages of the race. Then he marched down pit lane to confront the twenty year-old Karam immediately after the race. I’m guessing the microphones were purposely turned down because you could still pick up a couple of F-bombs and BS’s from Carpenter. Even so, you could still hear Ed deriding Karam for not respecting others on the track and he finished it off with telling the young Karam that he needed to grow up. Karam, meanwhile, acted like the twenty year-old that he is and just sat there as if Ed was talking in the Charlie Brown teacher voice saying “blah-blah-blah”. Too many times, I saw that same face from my own son at around age fifteen. It’s exasperating.

The Sage Karam debate is an interesting topic that I plan to explore much further on Wednesday.

Aside from the Karam-Carpenter saga, there was action all over the track all night long. This is one of those races that there is no way that TV can do it justice. There are too many things happening at all points of the track. Television cameras can focus on only so much. This is why Iowa is on my short list of tracks to visit one day.

TV Coverage: After a so-so week at Milwaukee, I thought NBCSN was back on their game Saturday night. By giving us a shot from the stands where they followed few cars for several laps, they showed that they were aware of the shortcoming I mentioned above that there was just too much to cover on one screen. It’s not a knock on them – no one could possibly do it.

But I thought they acquitted themselves nicely after stumbling a bit at Milwaukee. It was good that all of their A-Team was there. Leigh Diffey in the booth with Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy is a good combination. Kevin Lee is flawless as a pit reporter. Jon Beekhuis gives excellent technical insight and Katie Hargitt, while not perfect, showed significant improvement Saturday night. Give her time and she’ll be fine. She has raced in USAC and knows her stuff. I even enjoyed Robin Miller’s grid-run. It’s very fun and enjoyable when served in small doses.

The best part of the pre-race show was with Sébastien Bourdais riding in a vintage Corvette with Paul Tracy driving. The introduction showed the two physically sparring during their competition days when they clearly disliked each other. To listen to the two of them discussing their racing days amicably was fascinating. When it was over, Tracy was serious and almost philosophical in describing their conversation about what their individual motivations were. You could tell that it was an almost cathartic exercise for Tracy.

But Townsend Bell sort of spoiled the moment (for me, anyway) by making a joke out of it and suggesting that Tracy was running for Mayor. Tracy looked genuinely miffed at Bell’s callous take on the piece. I thought it made Bell come off as somewhat of a jerk.

The only real gaffe I saw was when NBCSN opted to go to another commercial break just as the race entered the window for the first round of green-flag stops. Although this was a break with the “Non-stop” window to the side, it was still disheartening to watch pit stops taking place while enduring another Tirerack.com commercial.

It’s a Mystery: This could have easily been mentioned in the TV discussion, but I’m not sure that this was NBCSN’s fault. What exactly happened with Tony Kanaan? He was running up front all night, then inexplicably pulled into the pits on Lap 189. He was heard on the radio to ask “What’s going on?” as the crew told him to shut it off as they moved about his car at a very leisurely pace.

Kanaan was later seen getting out of his car and forcibly shoving his helmet onto a tool case. He stormed off and was never seen or heard from again. Unless I missed something, there was never an explanation as to what had happened to bring such a good run to an abrupt ending.

The Needed Villain? For years, everyone has been saying that IndyCar needs a villain. NASCAR has had several over the years with Dale Earnhardt, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Jimmy Spencer and even Tony Stewart. Some of these had as many fans as enemies. Others just had enemies. IndyCar hasn’t had a villain or even a rivalry since, well – I don’t know when.

The Tracy/Bourdais rivalry may be the closest real rivalry in the twenty-first century. Foyt and Andretti from the sixties was the fiercest. Now, all the drivers seem to get along a little too well – at least until Saturday night.

Sage Karam has made a lot of enemies on the track this season. It’s not a new story that a young hot shot ruffles the feathers of the old guard. Sometimes, they blossom into a winner and the next great thing. Other times, they flame out and fade into obscurity. Karam has lots of fans and plenty of enemies. It’ll be curious to see how his career plays out – but regardless, IndyCar will benefit from this newly discovered villain. I do too, because it has already given me food for thought for Wednesday’s post.

Where was Will? While many were lamenting the fade of Helio Castroneves in the latter stages of the race, not much has been said about Will Power being practically invisible for the entire evening. Power started sixth and was never a factor throughout the race. He led only two laps, as green flag pit-stops cycled through. Heading into last Sunday’s race at Milwaukee, Power was in second place in points. He is now fifth and based on Saturday night’s performance, doesn’t seem to be a threat.

But even if he maintains the status quo over the next two races, the finale at Sonoma pays double points, and Power has won three of the past five at Sonoma. Don’t write off the defending champion just yet.

Tightened Points Battle: Although Juan Montoya only saw twelve points whittle off of his lead after crashing early Saturday night, the battle for second is extremely tight. It sounds impressive to say that Graham Rahal is now in second, but he still trails Montoya by forty-two points. Conversely, positions two through five are separated by a mere thirteen points.

While Montoya is still firmly ensconced in the lead, there is sure to be a lot of jockeying for position for the rest of the Top-Five.

The Crowd: As I said last week, I’m not good at estimating crowds on television. I saw a few empty seats, but for the most part – the stands looked full at Iowa. From what I can tell, the fans in Iowa may be some of the most knowledgeable IndyCar fans anywhere. I also hear the food at the track is some of the best you’ll find anywhere on the schedule.

In short, the fans at Iowa have been going to the track for nine years now but they seem to have a reason to keep going back. I just wish the series could find a way to duplicate what goes on at Iowa at about fourteen other events on the current IndyCar schedule. Whatever they’re doing at Iowa, they are doing it very well.

Interesting Stat I: Before the race, Kevin Lee mentioned a very interesting stat regarding Helio Castroneves starting from the pole. While Lee acknowledged it was nice to start up front, it certainly did not guarantee a win. He noted that the average starting position for winners this year has been tenth. Saturday night didn’t change that much as Ryan Hunter-Reay won from the ninth starting spot.

Interesting Stat II: Just before the start of the race, NBCSN flashed a fascinating graphic, while talking about how Juan Montoya has led the points since the opening race this season. Since 1956, only five drivers have won the championship while leading the points battle the entire season: Sébastien Bourdais, 2006; Sam Hornish, 2001; Johnny Rutherford, 1980; Al Unser, 1970; and AJ Foyt in 1964. If Montoya pulls off that feat at the end of the season, he will certainly be in rare and dignified company.

All in all: There will be those that will say that they did not care for Saturday night’s race. That’s fine. We all have different tastes and opinions. But it’s my opinion that this was the prototypical weekend for the Verizon IndyCar Series. This should be the norm for IndyCar racing. I’m fine with a few natural terrain road courses and a few temporary street courses in large metropolitan areas. After all, it’s the variety and diversity of the tracks that sets this series apart from all others. But count me as one that would prefer ovals to make up slightly more than half of the tracks on the schedule.

The last three races – Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – have been very enjoyable to watch, with Iowa topping them all. The crowd looked tremendous and enthusiastic. Best of all, they had a great show to watch. There were a few crashes and near-misses, but no one sustained injury to any more than their pride. There were six cautions altogether – interspersed enough to create interesting restarts and bathroom breaks, but not so many that fans grew restless.

If every race was like Saturday night’s race, IndyCar would not be facing so many of the problems they now have. But racing is filled with “ifs” and “buts”. But it’s good that this Monday morning, we’re talking about what a success a race was on the track and in the stands instead of leading off with what IndyCar failed to do this week. Call me a cheerleader if you want, but these are the conversations I prefer.

George Phillips

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26 Responses to “Random Thoughts On Iowa”

  1. Agree, good racing in Iowa Saturday! I took some heat for my opinions elsewhere but I will say this again, the prerace is very drawn out. I had some people over this weekend and the race started at 8pm EST. I have been busy this week, I have a family, so I had not seen anything on the subpar Indycar.com about the actual start time. So when 850pm rolled around, my company had moved on to other things.

    Prerace is cool but code it on the TV as such, don’t mark the race as 8-11 when it starts at 9. I found that to be frustrating and it wasn’t enough to keep my group of friend’s attention. As a diehard, it was good but otherwise, didn’t do much.

    As I said this though on other sites I was put down and lashed out at. Which to me, if I was a new fan, would say, “oh look, these fans really are bougie and don’t think I belong as a fan of this series”.

    Ed, well, he is really just frustrated and it shows. I remember in, what, 2001, when he was coming up, Robin Miller said “the 500 will now have 32 positions and a 33rd guaranteed for the owners kid”. He did good to surpass that notion but this season, he is erasing any good by acting like the spoiled owners kid that no one wants to play with but HAS to play with.

    • I actually agree with you about the length of pre-race. Even for this die-hard, it’s difficult to sit through sometimes an hour plus of non-racing stuff, and I’d think that it’s pretty frustrating for somebody just getting interested in the sport. I think that the 30-35 minute target is right about at the sweet spot, as the NBCSN (and Speed Channel before it) guys have shown with their F1 coverage.

    • billytheskink Says:

      While this does not solve the issue of your cable box combining the pre-race and race in their on-screen guide (which would be nice, I agree), you can get a pretty good idea of when the green flag will actually fly by looking at the “weekend schedule” pdf document that Indycar publishes on their website before every race, accessed by clicking the “download weekend stats and info” menu on the right side of the page. It usually lists a time period for both the TV window and for the expected duration of the race itself.

      For example, the Mid-Ohio schedule is posted on Indycar.com now and lists:

      CNBC Broadcast Window: 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM Eastern
      Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio: 2:07 PM – 4:15 PM Eastern

      This doesn’t do much for the casual or new and less-informed fan, but hopefully it helps you in the future.

  2. madtad1 Says:

    I thought it was excellent racing overall; good driving, good strategies on track, and not dominated by tire choices and fuel strategies. This really was a driver’s race.

    Having said that, for the most part, I thought Sage drove well. Very aggressively, but well. Compared to the first part of the season, where he temporarily lost his ride to Savaadra, he came back with what I think is a better attitude and skill set. Is he a very good driver yet? No. Is he a better driver? Well, obviously yes, he did finally make his first podium on a day that saw the rest of his team pretty much retire from the field.

    Sage is still a kid; he’s barely 20 years old. He’s on a team of ‘grizzled veterans’ trying to soak in their knowledge and experience, not wreck his ride, and make a good showing so he can keep his ride. Talk about “living the dream”! You’re 20 years old and driving for Chip Ganassi, for goodness sakes.

    In Iowa he saw he had a chance to podium, he raced very hard and I thought rather cleanly. Yes, he did drift up on Ed, but I think that was the tires going off than anything else. I didn’t see him doing anything more aggregious than most any of the other drivers were doing. Plus, if Dixon and TK think he was wrong (Chip too, I’m sure), you best believe they will let him know.

    The weirdnesses continue: Penske again has a WTF moment with JPM having a suspension component break on lap 10. Not lap 210, but lap 10. [Head scratching] Maybe IndyCar needs to start mandating some standardized EOL for parts or maybe X-ray testing?

    Pippa again stuck with what appears to be a sub-par, virtually uncontrollable car, to the point that even the announcers commented on it. She again was forced to retire early during the race. Not a fitting result for one of IndyCar’s best ambassadors.

    Again, very good race!

    • There are mandated EOLs and NDT intervals for some parts, as far as I know, and the better-funded teams do it more often than mandated.

  3. Good one George, my feelings as well. I really like that little track in Iowa and I would love to be there for a race weekend. A big congrats to RHR and Andretti for putting together a fabulous week.

  4. Indycar schedule for next year:

    St. Pete, Iowa, Long Beach, Barber, Iowa, Indy Road, the 500, Iowa, Boston, Milwaukee, Austin, Ft. Worth, Iowa, Iowa, Iowa, Cleveland, Road America and then the finale at Iowa.

  5. One thing George: those Corvettes are not vintage, they are brand new but look vintage. I saw a couple during the SVRA event at the IMS in June. They are brand new cars but have vintage looking body parts. I’ve always wondered why cars had to look different every year and why a car company didn’t use old moulds for body parts. These ‘Vettes are from a fabricator very near Des Moines, and they are absolutely fantastic looking in person.

  6. Honestly, a big factor in the success at Iowa has to do with the track being perfect for the car. Brian Barnhart, of all people, gets credit for that. Rusty Wallace said that he got input from Barnhart when designing the track and tweaked the progressive banking to make it more suitable for IndyCar as well. It’s like a miniature superspeedway and the fans respond to that. Glad to hear Geroge say it was the best race of the year, because I always think that, but then again I’m Iowa Boy. Also, honestly, Iowa benefits from less competition for eyeballs on any given weekend than other venues. Credit Dan Wheldon for that revelation. I live in the Des Moines metro, and while we’re not hick central like some would think and there are plenty of options on any given weekend, we don’t have the entertainment options of MKE and LA, obviously, so the race is a bigger deal here and therefore a little bigger draw. Iowa Speedway has done a great job of reacting to lamentations from me and others about the lack of depth of activities at the track on race day. Not only were the feeder series races on Saturday, but there was a beefed up off-track offering. That’s all in response to fan input. IA Pres. Jimmy Small gets it. Knoxville and Iowa’s many dirt tracks makes for a lot of fans hereabouts. I saw all kinds of NASCAR and Sprint Car and IndyCar shirts on fans at the race. A guy sitting in front of me even had a Kyle Petty motif going. Seriously. IndyCar should look for more mid-size cities like the Des Moines/Newton area to get into. Too bad there aren’t many of them. And of course I agree repeatedly with others that IndyCar should look beyond IMS for growth. Right now it seems like 95% of their effort and focus is IMS and 5% spread around to other tracks. Try 80/20 and see what happens.

    • B Waine Says:

      The % mold does appear set in stone (aka Indy bricks).

      After the 2016 INDY 500, what do you anticipate the percentage ratio ………………. 99.99 % IMS and 0.01% spread around the other tracks?

      Perhaps a bit too generous…… Sorry.

      Should be 99.999 % IMS and 0.001% spread around to other tracks………….. :o)

    • Ron Ford Says:

      Nice to get the local perspective. Good points Bill, particularly about less entertainment options for Iowa.

  7. Best race of the season so far. God I love Indycar. I also love these short ovals. Wish to God someone would build one here in Minnesota. Also wish I could have been in attendance at Iowa again this year. Amazing little track; terrific fan access, great food, friendly folks, and some of the best racing anywhere.

    It’s been great watching Newgarden blossom this year. I wonder how long before Penske picks him up.

    Rahal just keeps impressing me. Fighting back from 2 laps down at one point was impressive, and his on track agression has been fun to watch. He is driving the wheels off of that Honda, and keeping his mouth shut on Twitter. Hurray for both.

    What has most impressed me about Hunter Reay this year has been his maturity. Despite a nightmare season he has always come across as positive and personable in his interviews this year. A big step forward for the RHR we saw 3-4 years ago.

    Which brings me to Ed. Yeah he’s had a rough year, but he has shown none of the grace and maturity we would expect from a veteran. He should take his own advice to Karam and “grow up”.

    Not getting into the Karan thing here though, I’ll save that for Wednesday.

  8. Pretty much agree with most of what everyone has said. It was a very entertaining race. Lots to watch. Lots of drama. Thought the TV coverage was pretty good. Leigh Diffey is excellent, IMO. He seems very prepared before he enters the booth.

    I grew up watching the Unser brothers compete. After a while I lost interest as it seemed IndyCar/CART was more interested in temporary street courses where passing was pretty much non-existent and a simple stalling of an engine would require 10 minutes of caution to attend to.

    Finally watching more races the past couple years and like a lot of them. The Fontana race was insane. It reminded me of the old Texas races. Milwaukee was Ok but Iowa was a treat. Great hard racing where if your car was good enough and you were brave enough, you could get to the front. Can’t ask for anything more than that.

  9. J Shell Says:

    I was there Saturday night, after finally getting tickets AND a clear weekend to go. The crowd was really into the race – and the track made it fun to be there. Even the parking shuttles & traffic were smooth. Lots of sponsor love as well – a free sweet corn feed at the Chevrolet booth was well-attended. There was a lot of enthusiasm from all kinds of fans as P-Dog noted above. Several (winged) Sprint Car fans, but a surprisingly large number of IndyCar-specific driver & team shirts, hats & stuff. There was a large group of Colombians there with their flag and having a great time. Were visibly upset by the Montoya wreck, but happy about the good showing from the other Colombian drivers. Iowa Corn had about 2500 Iowa corn farmers there, and they were all decked out in black shirts (which probably made it look like empty seats on the TV).
    The full day of track action (starting with qualifying for all series, then Mazda pro, then Indy Lights and then the main IndyCar event) made it a ridiculously good entertainment value – the sensation of speed & tight racing made it fun for our whole group. Two racing guys (F1, sprint cup and IndyCar fans), me, and a guy who’d never been to a race before. You should’ve seen the smile on his face when the engines lit up and the cars were going.
    The Speedway is a gem – hardly a bad seat in the place. The food was excellent and not ridiculously expensive. This must be a night race – the cars were spectacular in the lights. The #5 car, Ryan Briscoe’s machine, was painted black & gold and was beautiful in the lights, almost sparkling.
    The racing action was some of the most amazing I’ve ever seen, including my trips to Indy. TV really doesn’t do it justice – there were so many passes, challenges and driving action you couldn’t catch it all on TV – truly an experience that was way better than being at home on my couch. If only there were ways to get more tracks like this one on the schedule!
    I’m sold – hopefully I’ll be at Iowa every time IndyCar runs from here on. It’s that good.

  10. Ron Ford Says:

    Another great race at the little track that could. More cowbell, more Iowas…………please!

    One of the things I enjoy most about small tracks like Milwaukee and Iowa is that one can see all the action all the time.

    I think it shows how starved the IndyCar series is for a bit of controversy that an otherwise ordinary dustup between two drivers becomes grist for the mill. It will soon become the upstart kid against the crafty veteran. Tom Cruise vs Paul Newman.

    Folks are already beginning to put Newgarden in a Penske seat. I hope he stays put speaking strictly from a fan’s perspective.

  11. billytheskink Says:

    What a fun race. Unless your entire mood rises and falls with the performance of the Penske and/or Ganassi cars, I don’t see how a racing fan could not have enjoyed it.

    Speaking of that, while Chip’s guys (sans-Karam) were all snakebit, the Penskes simply disappeared when the sun went down. What little pace Power and Pagenaud showed appeared only early in the race and Helio dropped like such a rock that the broadcast team speculated that there was something wrong with his car, only to be told that there wasn’t. Very strange. Stranger still is how Rahal continues to walk under ladder after ladder only to find a four leaf clover on the other side of each one.

    Another important note, though they couldn’t match Chevrolet’s qualifying pace, Honda won this race straight up. No rain, no possibly equalizing mandated downforce levels, just Hunter-Reay outrunning the rest. Kudos to Honda for their hard work.

  12. Ron Ford Says:

    Over thirty paragraphs here by a guy who is not getting paid by the word. Well appreciated. Thank you George.

  13. jhall14 Says:

    Great race Saturday evening. These 3 ovals show the excitement, in different ways, of what IndyCar is all about.

    As AJ said, when the kids do a little sheet time, the respect will come. Not until. All these guys are brave, but the respect factor is not there for the time being, by 1 in particular.

    Another great run for Graham. That team continues to fly the flag for Honda.

    Lastly, it really bothers me with all the Hulman-George/IndyCar brass bashing. This series is coming back. Honda is very close to signing again thru 2017. This series is moving in the right direction. TV ratings continue to climb, not great but in the right direction. Apparently this track (Iowa) gets it, by listening to the fans from previous years and making adjustments. Milwaukee is coming. Date equity will help Milwaukee as well as Fontana. I do not take for granted for what we have, but momentum is on IndyCar’s side at the moment. If that is the Hulman-George/IndyCar brass problem, then I am all for it.

    • Ron Ford Says:

      As you have stated, Mr. Mo Mentum is on IndyCar’s side at the moment. The only significant complaint I have with IndyCar brass is that soon Mr. No Mentum, Mark Miles, will say: “Seeya in the spring fans.”

  14. Ryan Johnson Says:

    I was able to attend the Iowa race for the first time and the television coverage of the race doesn’t even come close to doing the race justice. Just unbelievable racing to see in person. ALWAYS some passing happening and you get a great sense of who is strong with certain lines in the turns etc. The food and apparel selection was better than any race I’ve been to. Overall, the whole weekend was great and they take great pride in that facility as they should. I believe what showed how strong Rahal is was when he caught that yellow towards the end and he, along with three or four other drivers, came in to put on fresh tires… However, with the exception of maybe Andretti, Rahal was able to just rocket through the field on the outside until he was caught behind the side by side battle of Carpenter/Karam… While the leader’s tires weren’t that old, I expected more from those four or five cars, yet only Rahal took advantage and piled up that many more points for the championship. Great drive

  15. I really did not enjoy the first half of this season, but since Indy every race except for Texas has been good. I’m really impressed and happy with Newgarden, Karam, and Rahal. Amazing how much more fun Indycar is when Penske and Ganassi aren’t winning.

  16. HB Donnelly Says:

    George, et al.: go catch an Indycar race at a small oval!!! When the field spreads out, it’s like watching the inside of a tornado go ’round and ’round. Not only that, but the closeness of the cars to the stands lets you see every little dip, dive, and wiggle. Even the old car was a fun watch at Richmond!

  17. I have to admit I want to go to Iowa too someday soon. Am heading out to Pocono next month, as I am so hooked on the ovals.

    Good review, George

  18. Randy Holbrook Says:

    In regards to Indycar having a villain – If so then I think it should be Ed Carpenter. I’ve never understood his popularity. He has always struck me as being on the arrogant side and tends to whine a lot and blame someone else for everything. I get that he is frustrated but to go from suggesting some drivers should maybe retire if they don’t like the way they are racing to trying to bully a young driver who had the nerve to actually race him puts the black hat squarely on Ed in my eyes.

  19. 67,000 fans were at Lambeau Field to not watch a football game Saturday. Fans of the Milwaukee Mile have to be sick.

    I loved the Iowa race. Too bad no one closed the gap to Montoya enough to take things to Sonoma.

    See you all at Mid-Ohio. I suspect Graham Rahal fans will finally give him the home edge there for the first time.

    • Ron Ford Says:

      If Bret Favre was drivng at Milwaukee, even on his lawnmower, there would be 67,000 fans in the stands.

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