Monday, January 29, 2007


Originally uploaded by indyjay42.
Thank goodness ESPN is going to be back in the NASCAR TV business this year. Don't get me wrong - Speed's wall to wall coverage is generally enjoyable and Bob Dilner knows his stuff. But PLEASE no more lowest common denominator coverage - who in the world doesn't know what push and loose are after all this time, and why did announcers the last couple of years think they had to show & tell us every single week? And yes pit stops are important, but I got fed up with all the single car shots, and the field rundowns where they would talk incessantly about how each guy was doing as though they were the only car on the track.

My hope is that ESPN will get back to showing RACING. Cars in packs. Wheel to wheel action regardless of position. Sometimes the best racing is at the back but we rarely saw it the last couple of years. So if someone has to fight their way to the front, then please show how they get there for goodness sake! Let's not have NASCAR forget how they got big in the first place either - Bob Jenkins and Larry Nuber et al bringing the Cup races into our homes every week, long before the series became a media juggernaut. And don't get me started on the Chase either. It's a worthless handicap system that artificially props up the series for marketing purposes only IMO.

I will miss BP though - God rest his soul.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Al Unser Junior Finds Trouble Again

Have we seen the last of "Little Al" in a race car? Indy 2006 was supposed to be a grand return to the Speedway for the two-time 500 winner, but he never really looked competitive to me. And now, he's in trouble with the law again and seems to be battling John Barleycorn as well, based on news reports out of Nevada about his arrest for a hit & run incident on the highway and then failing field sobriety tests. Of course we know he's been there before, with an admission of alcohol related problems as far back as 2002, although last May he seemed in great spirits and living a sober life. Anyone that follows the 500 will remember Al's tearful victory lane comment in 1992 after holding off Scott Goodyear: "You just don't know what Indy means."

I personally hope he remembers what sobriety means before he hurts himself or someone else. This may yet be the toughest race Little Al has ever had to run. Here's hoping he gets the help he needs.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Eric Gordon & Indiana University Basketball

It's no wonder that basketball fans at the University of Illinois are upset that Eric Gordon will play for Indiana. I have seen him play many times in high school but last night against Lawrence North was something special. He rallied his North Central Panther team from a deficit in the fourth quarter with 20 points in the last seven minutes hitting shots from everywhere and icing the game from the free throw line after several unstoppable drives to the bucket where all LN could do was foul. He ended up with 37 points (one scorebook I saw had him with 40). I'm sure this win was sweet for NC since LN had beaten them recently in the Marion County basketball tournament. Most people around Indy are well aware of what Eric can do since he's done it routinely since he was a sophomore, but he was a man among boys last night and it's also no surprise that Calvin Sampson worked hard to change Eric's mind about college since he can score from anywhere, he can sky with anyone, and he is a demon on defense. I imagine this is what David Thompson might have looked like as a high schooler. I'll have more pix up at soon.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dirt Track Racing In Tucson

What a great way to end 2006 - off the plane from Indy and straight to the race track for the Roger McCluskey classic at the 3/8 mile clay oval of United Sports Arizona's USA Race Park! I want to know where they got the clay! It was a very nice facility with good local modified racers working preliminary heats and their own feature before USAC style non-winged sprint cars split the air with dust and noise. And not a watering truck in sight, quite unlike dirt tracks here in the Hoosier state. But boy did it get slick! Hard tire compounds were the order of the day for the right rear and they were still smoking them off the rim by the end of the sprint feature which was won by Jesse Hockett (#2) in a hard fought race over teammate Cassie Shuman (#12), Ronnie's son. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree now, does it? Jerry Coons Jr, (#77) was third followed by Jon Stanbrough (#79) and Jeremy Sherman (#75). Happy New Year dirt track fans! It will be months before we see them around here. Go to, hit Explore, People and search for indyjay42 to see my pix from the last race of the year.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It's a beautiful day for motorsports racing!

This is the first of hopefully many posts about racing so we'll see how it goes. I have a small website up already but the storage space is limited and I've been looking for another way to get my photography out there for wider consumption. I'm also working on linking photos to this blog through flickr so please consider all this a work in progress. If you go to and search for indyjay42, then you should be able to see what I'm posting. I had my busiest racing season in years on 2006 and it looks like 2007 is shaping up in a similar fashion. I was fortunate to be able to work for the Indianapolis Star and the American Motor Journal newspapers, Stock Car Racing magazine, and drivers Michael McDowell (ARCA), Shane Lewis (Rolex Grand Am) and Scott Wimmer (National Sprint Tour) as well as contribute to the National Sprint Tour website. I hope to recap my 2006 experiences here with photos and then refine the process through 2007 as my schedule firms up.

And you know, I may have an occasional bad day at the racetrack, but those are still better than good days a lot of other places!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Welcome to Indiana-ville

While on a recent road trip through the great Hoosier state, I began to wonder about our founding fathers and their penchant for naming towns that end in "ville". Especially after living in the "City of Indiana" for most of my life! So I got out the handy AAA map and started looking further.

I counted 175 towns with a "ville" ending - from A to Z. Around Indy alone there's Allisonville (the town is gone but the road remains), Brookville, Mooresville, Noblesville, Shelbyville and Zionsville. And that's just for starters.
There's Alfordsville -were Steve's ancestors from there? There are two Clarksville's and two Lewisville's. There's a Collegeville with no university that I know of. There's Evansville and West Evansville. Lot's of "villes" with people's first names: Mary, Jason, Bruce, Craig, Dan & Dale, Eliza, Frances, Ida, Judy, Kirks, Lees, Rex and Waynes. and more with last names: Gentry, Calvert, Coates, Burns and Burnetts, Perkins, Perrys, Pike and Lincoln, plus Wades, Martins and plenty more. Rhyming towns like Millville, or working villes like Carpenters, Farmers, Porter and Butler. And in case you get lost, there's Centerville, Westville and Russiaville. There's a Pleasantville but (thankfully) no Amityville. There's the royal communities of Knightsville and Queensville. You can stake a claim in Deedsville but probably not in Freelandville, and you might have to stay awhile in the ville of Folsom unless you can sing the blues. I wonder if women are welcome in Manville? I'll bet they are in Mixerville. Colorblind? No problem - there's a ville for you too: Browns, Grays, Whites, even Plain if you have a pattern issue.

By far my favorite though is east of Muncie on the way into Ohio. Those settlers must have really had something against city folk and the urban life when they named their town "Antiville". Could it really be that bad? Are Hoosiers that unimaginative?

I wonder how many "burgs" there are?