Random Thoughts On St. Petersburg

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To use an old saying – the more things change, the more they stay the same. Such was the case with the Verizon IndyCar Series season-opening race at yesterday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Amidst all the offseason chatter regarding some driver movement, Honda’s aero kit mulligan and a new-look Race Control; the results at the top were pretty much the same as last year. Juan Montoya passed Simon Pagenaud on the Lap 57 restart of yesterday’s race and never looked back. Even with a faulty steering arm, Montoya cruised to his second straight victory at St. Petersburg.

Also like last year, Team Penske drivers occupied three of the top four finishing positions. Had Will Power been able to drive and not been sidelined with a concussion as a result of Friday’s practice crash, you wonder how much would have been different. Based on the way Montoya was driving yesterday, I’m not sure anything would have changed at the top. But now that we know that Power was already feeling the effects of his concussion, that makes his run for the pole even more impressive.

Team Penske could’ve at least duplicated last year’s feat of placing four cars in the top-five. But we’ll never know. That’s one of the beauties of racing – replaying all of the what if scenarios. You have to feel for Will Power. His standing at the bottom of the points total is secondary to concerns about his health. If the recent years in the NFL have taught us nothing else – we’ve all learned that you don’t mess around with concussions. Here’s hoping Will gets well soon and is in fighting form when the series resumes in three weeks at Phoenix.

Hats off to Simon Pagenaud, who looked unbeatable in the first half of the race and drove to a strong second-place finish after not being able to hold off his teammate, Montoya, on the restart. Helio Castroneves could have made it an all-Penske podium, had Ryan Hunter-Reay not passed him for third, relegating the three-time event winner to fourth. An unlikely Mikhail Aleshin made the most of his full-time IndyCar return, after spending more time in the runoff areas than any other driver this past weekend.

Overall, you have to think that Scott Dixon feels lucky to have finished seventh, after having a very unremarkable race and a lengthy pit stop near the end to clean out his radiators. In fact, three of the Ganassi cars had similar overheating issues in the late stages of the race. That wouldn’t be so noteworthy if other Chevy teams suffered similar problems. It makes you wonder why it was so specific to the Ganassi cars.

There were other top drivers who suffered problems early on. Before Lap One was complete; James Hinchcliffe, Josef Newgarden and Takuma Sato all had issues related to early contact and had to pit. All three drivers were effectively out of contention at that point, but Newgarden’s day went from bad to worse. He finished dead last and completed only forty-seven laps due to electrical issues.

But frustration totally boiled over on the Lap 57 restart as the middle of the pack approached Turn Four. As usually occurs on a street course restart – cars were slowing down and things got crowded. The field would’ve probably made it through with only some incidental contact had Carlos Muñoz not come barreling through with little regard to what was just ahead. He plowed into the back of a helpless Graham Rahal and a melee ensued.

Altogether, there were nine cars that were stuck and unable to move. All cars were eventually restarted and able to get underway, with Rahal’s car sustaining the most damage. Ironically, the highest finishing of all the cars involved was, you guessed it – Muñoz.

Once the mess was cleaned up, the race restarted on Lap 64 with rookie Conor Daly leading. That didn’t last long as Montoya passed him in Turn One. Still Daly held his own and was able to hold off Simon Pagenaud for sixteen laps until Daly pitted on Lap 80. A slow pit stop put Daly back in the pack. He was understandably disappointed to finish thirteenth.

Had this race occurred in the middle of the season, we would probably be talking about how boring it was. While it wasn’t a nail-biter, it served it’s purpose. It got us out of our winter doldrums and was a welcomed sight as the offseason has officially come to a close.

Congratulations to Juan Montoya, who drove a commanding race – especially considering he was driving a car with faulty steering. I’ve never been a huge Montoya fan, but my respect for his ability grows with every race. You have to wonder where his career would have gone had he not spent those years in NASCAR. His foes will have to wonder if he is going to be stronger than ever this season.

TV Coverage: The teams and drivers were not the only ones knocking off the rust this weekend. But I thought ESPN turned in a decent performance for the first race – if you can ignore the fact that Eddie Cheever was in the booth.

Darrell Waltrip is the best thing that ever happened to Eddie Cheever – otherwise Cheever might be known as the biggest buffoon in motorsports broadcasting, after yesterday’s performance. Never have I heard such a random collection of clichés and statements of the obvious. I’m not sure how many times I heard Cheever say that Montoya’s win was building the foundation for the Indianapolis 500. I realize that ESPN does not carry another IndyCar race until May, but there are three pretty important races between now and May. He then proceeded to muddle through most of the race broadcast as if he were either asleep or hung over.

Cheever made sure everyone noticed key points like “Pagenaud has a really fast car”. Cheever saw it has his duty to make sure no one overlooked the fact that “…Montoya is a very experienced driver”. Just when I thought he had mastered pointing out the obvious and had used his allotment of racing clichés, he brought out this gem; “catching Montoya is one thing, passing him is another”. Come on, Eddie – Don’t just mail it in. You’re better than that.

Aside from Cheever sleepwalking through the telecast, ESPN actually did a decent job. I thought Scott Goodyear had one of his better races. Allen Bestwick continued to show what a pro he was by persevering through an obvious cold and giving a solid effort. You would never know that Bestwick had never called an IndyCar race before the 2014 season. He has acclimated himself well into this form of racing.

I’ll also give a tip of the hat to ESPN’s new on-screen graphics. The scroll at the top is much smaller, cleaner and far less obstructive than the ones they’ve used for the past few years that were so intrusive, you had the feeling you were watching the race from under a hood. These graphics are out of the way and far less noticeable, but easy to read when you want to.

I’ll also repeat something I’ve said several times over the years. Jon Beekhuis does a great job as a pit reporter. But I feel strongly that his talents are misused in that role. When NBCSN had him in the booth, I thought he added so much more value to the listening audience than most of the talking heads in any booth. He thinks very well on his feet at analyzing pit strategy and no one can explain engineering concepts to those of us not so inclined like Beekhuis.

Closing this segment out on a negative note, though – they needed a different person doing voiceover going in and out of commercials. The sultry voice telling me that the telecast was being presented by Firestone sounded more suitable for introducing a porn movie than a race telecast – or so I’ve been told.

Throwing away a good finish: No one in the Verizon IndyCar paddock exemplifies the phrase can’t get out of his own way, like Marco Andretti. After a poor qualifying run forced him to start the race from the fourteenth starting spot, Marco quickly moved up through the field to seventh place. But he threw those efforts away by making an amateurish move, trying to go inside Luca Filippi in Turn One on Lap 46 – less than halfway through the race.

Marco spun and brought out the first caution of the day. He later spun on the Lap 64 restart. He stalled the car on both spins and had to wait for the Holmatro Safety Crew to reach him and re-fire his engine. The onboard camera showed Marco’s eyes where he appeared to be incredulous at how long they were taking.

Granted, I’m taking the liberty and acting only on my opinion of what I saw. But the way Marco was flailing his hands around and repeatedly banging the steering wheel, he sure seemed dissatisfied with the safety crew. Had he been on fire or injured, I feel quite certain that they would do what it takes to get to Marco. That’s what they do and they do it well. But the Holmatro Safety Team is not going to put themselves in harms way, just because a driver made a bone-headed blunder and is now frantically waving his arms. That’s not what they do. That sense of entitlement that Marco exudes is what has made it hard for may fans to embrace the Andretti family over the years.

Marco is starting his eleventh full IndyCar season. He obviously has talent, given how quickly he moved through the field. But you would expect an eleven-year veteran to show a little more patience than what he showed yesterday. That was a move I would’ve expected from one of the four rookies in the field, not someone with as much experience as Marco.

Rookies do themselves proud: Speaking of the rookies, all four did pretty well. Some showed flashes of brilliance, while all four made rookie mistakes – but none of them were devastating. The lowest finishing rookie was Max Chilton, who finished one lap down in seventeenth after starting sixteenth. We hardly heard his name all day. For a rookie – that’s a good thing.

The highest finishing rookie was Alexander Rossi for Andretti Autosport, finishing twelfth after starting eighteenth. His cockiness aside, Rossi showed me something by not putting a wheel wrong (at least none that I saw), keeping his nose clean while advancing all day. He comes from Formula One, but this is a much heavier and different car than he’s used to. Spencer Pigot did very well in his part-time role with Rahal Letterman Lanigan, starting twenty-first and finishing fourteenth.

Probably the most celebrated rookie of the day was Conor Daly. He led fifteen laps, many under yellow – but he held his own up front in second place, sandwiched between the two Penske cars of Juan Montoya and Simon Pagenaud. A Dale Coyne car keeping pace with the top finishing Penske cars says something to Daly’s ability.

This is one of the most talented rookie classes in a while. I’ll go out on a limb now and predict that one IndyCar race this season will be won by a rookie.

His back against the wall: Not to minimize Will Power’s health issues, but assuming he fully recovers from his concussion – he suddenly finds himself in a huge hole to start the season. He left St. Petersburg with one point in hand – for winning the pole. He now trails his teammate by fifty points with fifteen races to go. Is that insurmountable? No, but this has to be Power’s one big hiccup for the season. He can ill-afford any low-finishing DNF’s for the season. We’ve seen Power squander big leads in the championship and hold onto a lead in 2014. Now we’ll see how he handles the adversity of starting the season in a hole.

On a lighter note: You have to feel for Curt Cavin of The Indianapolis Star. His paper ran a story he wrote Saturday morning, then attached the following embarrassing misspelled headline.

Star

The bad thing for Curt is, most people don’t realize that someone else with the newspaper always writes the headlines – not the reporter that wrote the article. He’ll catch a lot of blame for this when he had nothing to do with it. My posts are rife with typos, but no one pays any money to read what I write.

Newspapers of today have fallen on hard times. The Star is owned by Gannett, the same penny-pinching group that owns my local Nashville paper, The Tennessean. This type of gaffe is an everyday occurrence with The Tennessean. They’ve done away with their copy desk and apparently leave proof-reading and editing to entry-level employees. I guess this a Gannett-wide policy. The worst thing is that the correct spelling of Kanaan is right there on his fire suit and in the caption. Poor Kurt Kavin.

All in all: Was this a race for the ages? No. But it sure was good to see IndyCar racing after a long offseason that began before Labor Day. The best thing was, we got a glimpse to some of the answers we had been seeking.

Honda showed that they made the right improvements to their aero kits. Was it enough? I think so. Four of the top eight cars were Hondas, with Ryan Hunter-Reay finishing best in class in third. Looking at the results doesn’t tell the story, because even if Honda and Chevy are exactly even – it won’t show on the score sheet because the two best teams in the business both run Chevy’s, accounting for eight cars. Even if Honda had the superior package, the deck is stacked against them for that reason alone.

Would Montoya maintain his focus after letting last year’s championship slip through his fingers? From what we saw yesterday, I’d say so. Would Pagenaud fold under the pressure of going winless last season? The jury is still out. He didn’t win, but he sure showed a lot of speed. How will the rookies do? From what we saw yesterday, they accounted for themselves very well.

The 2016 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will not go down as a classic, but it wasn’t really a snoozer either. Perhaps it’s good to ease into the season with a race that is not edge-of-your-seat competition. Remember, as Eddie Cheever says, we’re building a foundation towards the Indianapolis 500 – or something like that.

George Phillips

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40 Responses to “Random Thoughts On St. Petersburg”

  1. George, I used to carry The Indianapolis Star when I was a youngster and it was a world class newspaper under the Pulliams. I moved away from Indy in my 30s for 15 years and when I came back I couldn’t believe what it had devolved into: a piece of crap that I haven’t read since. It’s a crying shame.

    Anyone remember the expensive looking ad during the broadcast touting ABC’s upcoming coverage of the Indianapolis 500? The one with the sultry woman voicing it? Did anyone hear what I heard when she declared the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was “hollowed ground?” I came outta my chair at that one, not a good thing for someone who had a quintuple bypass surgery like I did a week ago. Will it ever end, or are we slouching towards idiocracy more and more every day?

  2. Ron Ford Says:

    I don’t have a problem with Eddie Cheever because I never listen to him. I hit the mute button for all ABC races and I don’t feel I am missing much. After the restart, the producer-who is looking at screens for each camera angle-seemed to be unable to switch to any other action than Montoya riding around in another time zone from the rest of the field.

    With internet connected TV you can switch back and forth from ABC to IndyCar timing and scoring and radio.

    Early in the race Marco was passing everybody in sight with bold, well-executed passes. As Cheever might say: He had a fast car. Granted, the pass attempt that took him out of contention later was ill-advised. I will pose this question for my blogger friend: When a driver-particularly a Italian driver- is sitting in a stalled car, no doubt totally frustrated and angry with himself mostly, and desperate to get back in contention……..what is the protocol for body language? Is arm flailing not the proper etiquette? Do we want robots driving these cars?

    My local ABC channel gave the IndyCar results with a little footage, right after showing the Nascar photo finish. The other network channels only showed Nascar news.

    It seemed to me that the Hondas still lack straight-line speed.

    All in all, it once again was fun to see bright shiny things going fast in a beautiful setting. And speaking of beautiful sights…..a brief shout out for the Cooper Tire Trophy Girls.

    Now for some dry heat.

    • Waving of arms IS the correct protocol. Pounding the steering wheel in disgust is not. Again, this is MY opinion of what I saw. And no, I don’t want robots. That’s the one thing I do like about Montoya. He is not a corporate automaton that reels off sponsor names at the drop of a hat.

      Giving Marco the benefit of the doubt, I have been guilty of a little road rage myself, once or twice in my life. Immediately afterwards, I realized that it was not my finest moment. Hopefully, Marco looks back on yesterday and realizes the same. But after eleven years, you have to wonder. – GP

      • Sometimes those in car cams pointed at the driver can be pretty revealing. If I were a driver, I sure would not want mine turned on during certain frustrating moments. Viewers would get the unfortunate experience of witnessing a part of my personality that was not becoming. Is there a little red light on those cameras letting the driver know they are being recorded ? Not that they would see them, but it would be helpful for them to know in certain situations.

      • Ron Ford Says:

        What are some other examples of the “sense of entitlement that Marco exudes”. He comes across as a rather shy person, something that Curt Cavin, Robin Williams and other confirm. I don’t recall him doin’ a lot of that exudin’ stuff.

        • Er, um Robin Williams hasn’t been confirming much for awhile now, as he won’t be down for breakfast.

          You mean Robin Miller?

          Just giving you the needle Ron. 😀

          • Thanks Phil. Pretty embarrasing. I should not be allowed to post here until I have had my breakfast.

  3. Mike Silver Says:

    Honda is better but still not quite all the way there. Ron is right, Hondas are still lacking straight line speed. Montoya just blew past Daly.

  4. “hollowed ground” hahahahahahaa. I think people are getting dumber.

    Now, Cheever was awful. No energy. He was completely unintelligible regarding the changes for push-to-pass. Bestwick had to try and mop that mess up. Now, Scott Goodyear. I’m a fan of the driver but not the abilities in the booth. He doesn’t provide energy.

    Beekhuis is great in the booth. He could replace both Goodyear and under-a-Cheever. Trying to remember a driver who was injured several years ago and was up in the booth for a few races. He was great. Who was that?

    And we are left with two of my biggest pet peeves with the series and I’ve been a fan since the Unser brothers. No on-board starter and going to tracks that don’t have at least two very good passing zones. The only thing worse than watch a parade is watching a parade under a bunch of caution laps because drivers have stalled. It’s also frustrating if the stalled driver is a favourite and goes down a lap waiting for assistance.

  5. My favorite moment was the leadup to the big accident of the day. I was watching and said to myself “no way they all make it”, ABC decides to cut away from that for some reason only to go back some 15 seconds later and say whoopsie, something happened. Better get back to Montoya pulling away!

  6. We don’t have to wait for the middle of the season, this was a boring race at the beginning of the season

  7. DZ-groundedeffects Says:

    Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down:

    Up = Bestwick, City of St. Pete, Firestone, on-track drama, Daly, Aleshin, JPM, new ABC graphics, Beekhuis, DeBruhl,

    Down = Cheever (and his incessant attempts to directly link St Pete to Indy), ABC commercials, ABC production missing many mid-pack battles, Munoz, Marco, Newgarden’s electronics, unknown penalties assessed.

    In all, a standard Indycar street race. Moments of racing drama, and moments of lockstepping. Ultimately a decent race in a good venue and a good start to the season.

    • 我们有我们的点心经验和许多大拇指上升清香可口

      • DZ-groundedeffects Says:

        Ohhh Tsong, my friend! It’s been too long!
        随着经验的积累来的智慧。有了智慧来自一个安全的距离看蛇坑妇女。简单而快乐地享受啤酒,并填补了金色的低谷。

  8. I wish I would have streamed IndyCar radio instead of listening to ABC. When I saw it was Cheever and Goodyear I just sighed. Brand new season, 1st race of the year, excitement brewing, and first shot is Cheever in the middle and Goodyear to his left (Bestwick is fine). Those two can take the air right out of a closed airport in a bay on the Gulf of Mexico. Cheever comes across as a very intelligent guy to me, Goodyear as well but those two seem to rest on their laurels. They are not nearly as prepared as Bestwick as they rely on their racing experience in IndyCars and they think they can get by with that alone. I am to the point where I would rather have anyone in the booth than those two. Cheever calling the tunnel at Monaco, “a nuisance” after referring to St. Pete as “IndyCars Monaco” has no relevance to what is happening on the track. Meanwhile all they are showing is the lead car as usual. I don’t want to hear that crap. He comes across as so arrogant like he has been there and done that as he reminices about his good ol’ days as a driver instead of keeping his eye on the damn race. Goodyear was better. Wait for the “these cars travel the length of a football field in less than a second” it will happen I guarantee it for the Indy 500. Do we get this duo for the Indy 500 this year? Bestwick was the best and he is not a driver. Hmmmm.

  9. Good commentary, George. I would only point out that I’ve seen so many drivers wave their arms frantically and pound their steering wheels and yell at the corner workers to push start them (which they are not allowed to do, I might add). I’ve seen everyone from Al Unser, Jr to Bobby Rahal, to Juan Montoya, to Andretti do the same routine. Though I agree, that a little more poise and self control is preferable; I have been there myself and have screamed at the top of my lungs like a mad man because the car is stalled or something goes wrong. It’s the emotion of the moment. The adrenaline coursing thorough the veins. Sometimes it gets the best of us. Personally, I give drivers, including Marco Andretti, a pass on this kind of behavior, because I have been there and have acted the same as well. Not proud that I did, but I understand.

  10. billytheskink Says:

    Typical street race, and I would have liked to have seen Pagenaud run down Montoya at the end, but I enjoyed it. It’s just good to be back racing, and that probably colors my opinion today.

    I do think this race gave us some interesting early-season storylines to follow. Can Power climb out of the points hole he now finds himself in? Will Kanaan’s pace return? Will Ganassi’s overheating troubles continue? Can Helio better manage his tires going forward? Just how much does Carlos Munoz have invested in carbon fiber futures?

    And to be fair to the Indy Star’s headline writer, they may have confused Tony Kanaan with Philadelphia 76ers guard Isaiah Canaan who is also a racer. A Murray State University Racer…

    • Maybe, but we are in INDIANAPOLIS for crying out loud, and Kanaan is treated like a hero here, even folks who could care less about racing know and like him around this town. He does “500” sports TV packages daily through May with the local ABC affiliate and they are usually quite funny while being informative. Not to mention the incessant commercials for a local car dealer he does every May.

      I think it is more likely to do with the influx of Gannett personnel the Star has had to endure since it was sold. Mostly know-nothing USA Today types who only cover our sport when the Hulman Co. PAYS THEM TO. 😀

  11. It was good to see AJ Foyt’s team have a good weekend, from Friday to Sunday. I felt bad that Newgarden and Hinchcliffe had their troubles and never really got going. Hopefully Power can get healthy, it will be fun to watch him battle back all season long.

  12. I thought that Race Control had ample opportunity to hand out a few penalties for tire-flattening, blocking causing damage, causing wrecks etc but unless I snoozed through it, I don’t remember any calls at all. Maybe we’ve entered the ‘Have At It Boys’ era.

    • billytheskink Says:

      Munoz was given a stop-and-go penalty for his dumb move (which didn’t wind up hurting him all that much), but no other penalties for on-track incidents were given out.

      Indycar lists penalties in the “box score” that they publish after each race. The main race recap article on indycar.com will usually include a link to it. Racer and other sites that cover the series will often link to it as well.

    • Bruce Wdaine Says:

      Actually Race Control did hand out several penalties – four.

      The Official Box Score of the INDY Car Series made the following calls and resultant penalties:

      Car # 19 – Luca Filippi = Entered a closed pit on lap 56. Penalty restart at the back .

      Car # 7 – Mikhail Aleshin = Entered a closed pit on lap 56. Penalty restart at the back.

      Car # 41 – Jack Hawsworth = Entered a closed pit on lap 64. Penalty a drive-through.

      Car #26 – Carlos Munoz = Avoidable contact. Penalty Stop & go.

  13. hey George. I agree with you on cheever by far his worse performance. down right annoying. the over all race was dull for st pete.

    I cant hardly tolerate Montoya lets hope its not a make up for the championship he lost to scott Dixon. his ego is huge enough as is.

    two rookies were impressive. daley and pigot impressed Chilton as he always does did nothing.

    felt bad for newgarden, Andretti and even power ( who im not a fan of) for the bad starts to there seasons.

    at least our season has started. now onto phoenix and hopefully a beter race.

  14. ps, I forgot to mention alexander rossi who impressed as well.

  15. At this rate, I think its fair to consider this an all-in-all average performance by Marco Andretti. Starts off with a racy car, doesn’t qualify particularly well with it, overachieves a little bit through the first stint or two, makes a boneheaded move or gets slapped with some Andretti luck (one in the same most days), finishes mid pack or worse, mumbles disaffectedly through the post-race media. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    This is his 11th season. he’s got 2 wins and 4 poles. He’s podiumed 19 times. He’s finished top 5 points in a series season just once. He averages 9th or so in points, and 12th in race position.

    When can we just drop our expectations of him and realize that he’s an average or marginally above-average driver in the Indycar series, at best? I mean, it’s good theatre to expect podiums from him every week and then watch the wheels fall off the wagon and all (sometimes literally), but when should we stop being surprised at races like yesterday?

    • I’m with you. Unless they are racing at Indy, or on a short oval, this is a pretty typical performance from Marco.

  16. “Poor Kurt Kavin” – *rimshot*!

    Somewhere Pressdog is spewing a drink, and Hobbson is… sleeping under an El Camino.

  17. I was kind of disappointed by the race. There was some excitement early and the Daly thing was fun while it lasted, but otherwise it was pretty much just follow the leader. The fact that Daly, Hinchcliffe, Newgarden, Rahal, AND Marco all got taken out of contention really did not help my enjoyment of the race.

    I watched NASCAR after this, and what was most striking to me (and granted this has been an issue for awhile) is the lack of basic competency with some of Indycar’s smaller teams when it comes to pit crews and race strategy. Some of that is the difference between oval and road racing, but you don’t see Furniture Row or Roush Fenway always lose races due to pit stops. Gibbs may have the fastest pit crew in NASCAR, but that doesn’t do as much for them as the gap between Penske, Ganassi and Andretti vs. the field. There’s also a basic strategy competency issue which doesn’t seem to impact Coyne as much, but does seem to cause problems for other smaller teams (Fisher and Newgarden circa 2013/2014.) While I’m sure the really weak NASCAR teams have poor pit crews, the majority of the field seems to be able to competently pit and plan their race strategies without the major failures that we see plague some of the smaller teams in Indycar.

    I honestly think part of the problem is Indycar pit stops are too fast. They’re shorter than NASCAR pit stops and when you’re expecting a 7 second pit stop, the cost of getting it done that quickly is going to be high. We talk alot about cost savings in Indycar when it comes to the cost of cars, tires, and other parts but perhaps rules about pitting (IE: limits on crew size or equipment) might actually save more money?

    I hope Phoenix is more interesting. I really enjoyed Indycar last year after Texas and before Pocono, but I have had a really hard time getting excited for 2016. St Pete did not help me build excitement.

    • I’m not sure about Ganassi, but I’ve heard that Penske practice Pit Stops every day, either in the shop or at the track. Even if they are static ones with the car parked.

    • ecurie415 Says:

      A few years ago, I had a seat on a shuttle bus at Sonoma with one of the KVSH crew. They were in contention to finish in the top 10 with Kanaan, and they blew it. When I asked what happened, he said that the team screwed up its tire count and had nothing left late in the race. Penske would never make that kind of error, nor would Chip’s squad.

  18. Eddie Cheever’s obsession with the Indy 500 is weird

    • Olderfan Says:

      Well, considering that it’s pretty much the only thing he’s won ( and thanks to Tony George he barely had to beat anyone with talent), it shouldn’t be that surprising.

      He’s been able to parlay that one win into a broadcasting career, of sorts. Wouldn’t you be obsessed? Do you think Cheever would have any relevance at all, otherwise? And would anyone listen to a thing he had to say?

  19. ecurie415 Says:

    On the typo, having done some newsroom work and having been screwed by a copy editor who did not understand that Stanford are “the Cardinal” (singular; based on the color) and not “Cardinals” (the bird), this is a direct result of (1) a copy editor not knowing the subject matter and thus changing the proper name to a better-known biblical reference; and (2) not reading the copy, the correct spelling is in the caption. Not having a dedicated sports copy editor would be my guess.

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