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Home / Author Archives: Huston Ladner

Author Archives: Huston Ladner

Huston Ladner
Promoted to editor this season, Huston works through some of the site’s biggest columns while writing one of his own: Happiness Is… (Fridays). “Stranded” on the islands of Hawaii, the aspiring college professor also helps anchor our IndyCar and Formula One racing coverage while coordinating Pace Laps, our multi-series news update (Mondays) each week.
Open Wheel Wednesday: Is Will Power the un-likable Favorite?

Open Wheel Wednesday: Is Will Power the un-likable Favorite?

Will Power somehow extended his lead from four points to 39 over Helio Castroneves at Milwaukee.  Somehow?  Well, Power has frequently struggled when racing on oval tracks, something he has frequently admitted.  At the Milwaukee Mile, however, he displayed a rare sense of calm and confidence, earning the pole and then leading for much of the race – only pit stop strategies seemed to take him out of the lead. Now, with two races left, Power sits in the prime ... Read More »

Pace Laps: Jimmie Johnson Success, First Time Nationwide Winners and Powers’ Power

Pace Laps: Jimmie Johnson Success, First Time Nationwide Winners and Powers’ Power

Sprint Cup: A normal race at Michigan for Jimmie Johnson usually means that he runs out of fuel in the final laps after leading for most of the day and having the best car.  Johnson, however, did the other Jimmie Johnson thing at Michigan.  That usually means falling way back in the field and then seemingly arriving like a magician in the top ten as the race comes to its conclusion. Sure enough, Johnson started in the back, then had Chad Knaus put ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Napping, the Fight for the Chase & Cheese and Beer

Happiness Is… Napping, the Fight for the Chase & Cheese and Beer

Ugh. Yep, that’s the best opener that Happiness Is could deliver to start the column. The tenor of the past week has been deflating.  The Tony Stewart-Kevin Ward, Jr. incident has loomed large over auto racing, finding itself a continual headline in the news outlets.  Even Yahoo had coverage of Ward’s funeral on its homepage Thursday. What is to be made of all of this stuff? Too difficult to tell, and the one person that could bring any clarity – ... Read More »

IndyCar Preview: ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest

IndyCar Preview: ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest

It’s the beginning of the end. After a weekend off, the IndyCar Series is primed to resume – and in doing so will bang out three weeks of rather varied kinds of racing.  When looking at the schedule and some of its silliness (double race weekends, double points for select races), it’s easy to question aspects about the series.  With that being noted, there’s reason to embrace the end of the IndyCar season.  Short track, road course, big oval.  Three ... Read More »

Pace Laps: Settling Safety, Farewells At Watkins Glen

Pace Laps: Settling Safety, Farewells At Watkins Glen

Sprint Cup: Watkins Glen Odds & Ends - One of the things that makes Formula One racing successful is the commitment the series expects from its viewing constituency.  Races typically conclude in a two-hour window, and when it seems that might not be the case, due to weather, an accident, or some other issue, F1 switches to a timed format.  Might this kind of practice be suitable for NASCAR? The airing of the Cup race at Watkins Glen seemed to last ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Indifference Darian Grubb & The Glen

Happiness Is… Indifference Darian Grubb & The Glen

Well, Pocono was fun.  Or something. At one point it seemed more like bumper cars at 200 mph than actual racing.  Then again, who ever expected the Big One to happen at the triangle, a track long considered one of the most boring?  The overall culmination felt like a disjointed mess of a race, which means it’s not all that surprising that the ratings once again equaled those of a daytime re-run of Covert Affairs. No need to harp on ... Read More »

IndyCar Breakdown: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

IndyCar Breakdown: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

In a Nutshell: The race began with a bang as drivers eager for the green flag got a bit excited as they hit the gas.  The wreck brought about a rare caution for IndyCar at Mid-Ohio.  Scott Dixon cruised home for the win, his fifth at the track in the last eight races.  Polesitter Sebastien Bourdais earned second, followed by James Hinchcliffe, who got his best finish of the year.  Carlos Munoz took fourth, and Graham Rahal followed in fifth, ... Read More »

Pace Laps: Pocono Oddity, Iowa Adventures, Ohio Excellence, and More

Cup: Strange Results from Pocono It’s not a surprise that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won at Pocono.  He raced with the leaders all race long and his crew chief, Steve Letarte, made a brilliant strategy call that put him in the best position to win. But what about the rest of the field? Kyle Busch completed just 23 laps before his engine lost its song and he parked his car. And in Jimmie Johnson‘s case, is Chad Knaus testing out some ... Read More »

Happiness Is… A Storybook Career, Sigh of Relief & Those Open Wheelers

Happiness Is… A Storybook Career, Sigh of Relief & Those Open Wheelers

Sigh of relief. Everyone can thank Jeff Gordon for putting a stop the Ford juggernaut.  The win streak, of four in a row, was getting out of hand and some other manufacturer needed to be represented in victory lane. There’s a couple interesting things about the string that Ford had just put together, with the first being that it had taken so long, the last being in 2001.  Perhaps lurking beneath that is how average Toyota has been this year, ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Hot Head Stevens, Statistics & Making an Entrance

Happiness Is… Hot Head Stevens, Statistics & Making an Entrance

More weeknight racing, please. Other Frontstretchers have asserted that nighttime races aren’t as good as the daytime events.  That’s fine, and Sunday afternoons have their place, but maybe not every week, and Wednesday’s truck race showed how likeable mid-week racing can be. As NASCAR continues to stick its head in the sand about making any schedule changes that might excite the fanbase, weeknight racing seems to be one of the coolest ideas that gets overlooked.  During these summer months, when ... Read More »