Monday, March 16, 2009

Racing Bits & Pieces

With the IRL season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg Florida now less than three weeks away, the teams will head to Barber Motorsports Park for a test session to fine tune their road course packages. Ryan Hunter Reay has been confirmed for the test in addition to the 21 or so other car-driver combinations that ran the Homestead test. Too bad Rahal Letterman won't be there...

Alex Lloyd will be back at Indy with Sam Schmidt Motorsports as the Ganassi junior team in May to take another swing at the most famous trophy in racing. Looks like Raphael Matos will campaign for The Luczo Dragon team of Jay Penske so it is nice to see a couple of Indy Lights guys make their way to the top series. The TV coverage on Versus is heating up as well since the remaining Saturdays in March will continue to feature one hour programs devoted to the IRL. I'll have to get my DVD recorder fired up since the St. Pete opener is the same day I will be shooting the ARCA stock cars at Salem's high banks. I'd rather be in FLA but them's the breaks - I'm saving for Texas in June! That will be enough of a treat and a chance to go to a track I've never been to before.

For now, I'm wondering what the heck NASCAR and Lowe's Motor Speedway are thinking about. Nature Boy Rick Flair as honorary anything at a Cup race makes the naysayers happy, I'll bet. The series already catches enough flack for being "scripted" like wrestling - can you say "competition yellow"? Now they bring in a washed up old wrestler to help sell tickets. Are you serious?

Then I'm wondering what USAC has up their sleeve with a new Gold Crown series with front engine tube frame cars that will test next year and run on ovals and road courses in 2011. Methinks the test is just to see if anyone will buy the equipment. Remember the "new" Silver Crown car? It all sounds vaguely familiar. That went over real well, now didn't it? Don't get me wrong - I love USAC racing and the short track action in the midwest is second to none. You can keep your wings but give me the slideways midgets and sprints any day. And the Silver Crown cars on dirt one-miles like the Indiana State Fairgounds or DuQuoin in Illinois are a sight to behold. But Gold Crown on pavement? Ovals and road courses? That I will have to see. Should be some interesting photo ops.

Finally, I'm wondering why I signed up for Facebook, as if I don't have enough web stuff to manage. First it was Flickr, then this blog, then picasa, now Facebook and soon enough a page on so I can link with American Motor Journal readers. What the heck. Two years ago this time of year, I didn't even have a job after being laid off at the start of the housing crisis. That's all behind me now and employment sure beats the alternative. I can't exactly do the races in the style to which I would like to become accustomed, but at least I can go and capture some great memories in megapixels. I don't even really care if no one reads this blog but the creative outlet is priceless and has saved my sanity many times the last couple of years. Thank goodness I have an assistant to accompany me at some of the races! See you there.

Here's my links for the week:


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