Tuesday , September 30 2014
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Huston Ladner

Pace Laps: Congenial Richmond, KyBu Nationwide, other stuff

Pace Laps: Congenial Richmond, KyBu Nationwide, other stuff

Cup:  The Race That Wasn’t – No one did anything surprising in the race at Richmond.  Well, that’s not correct.  The idiot who climbed the catchfence in turn 4 surely did something surprising.  While many people have done idiotic things at a race track, it’s doubtful that anyone anticipated a fan climbing the fence bordering the track and using it as a perch.  Aside from the unbelievable asininity, if you look at the photos, the idiot was so bored he ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Drama, Not Fighting & Intelligence

Happiness Is… Drama, Not Fighting & Intelligence

One race to go until the Cup playoffs begin. That seems like a mismatched sentence, putting together autosport and hockey, but alas, that’s how things are now.  This whole season has seemed like one big Chase storyline, beginning with Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s Daytona 500.  Almost immediately after he crossed the finish line, it felt like everyone could breathe easy because he was locked into the Chase. The Chase, the Chase, the Chase.  Each race with a new winner conceded to ... Read More »

Open Wheel Wednesday: Andretti Amiss, Ganassi Strong, Power Prevails

Open Wheel Wednesday: Andretti Amiss, Ganassi Strong, Power Prevails

Matt:  So, just to start off, can we all agree that Fontana in its current state is pretty much the perfect IndyCar track? Toni:  I certainly agree. I think it’s such a great way to end the season too. A great 500-mile event. Huston:  Interesting way to begin…but yes, the match between the cars and the track is excellent.  It makes you wonder why they’re toying with the idea of NOT concluding the season in Fontana Toni:  I don’t know, I ... Read More »

Pace Laps: Kahne In, Harvick Cruises, IndyCar Adieu, and More

Pace Laps: Kahne In, Harvick Cruises, IndyCar Adieu, and More

Cup: Sweet Relief for Kahne          By racing for the Cup juggernaut Hendrick Motorsports, there are high expectations for Kasey Kahne.  That his brethren at the organization have all earned three wins apiece makes his season look all the worse.  In fact, with only two top-5 finishes in 2014, Kahne was looking like a second-tier driver and one who had to be glancing over his shoulder at the upstart Nationwide and de facto Hendrick development driver, Chase Elliott. ... Read More »

IndyCar MAVTV 500:Will Power Clinches First Championship

IndyCar MAVTV 500:Will Power Clinches First Championship

The MAV TV 500 from Auto Club Speedway In a Nutshell: For the ninth consecutive year, the last race of the season determined the IndyCar champion.  This time, Will Power, three times a runner-up, hoisted the Astor Cup by finishing ninth.  Tony Kanaan held strong all night, seemingly in the top five the whole event, and passed Power with 53 laps to go to hold on and win his first race of the season.  With Kanaan’s victory, eleven different drivers ... Read More »

Castroneves earns Pole, Power 21st; Other Post-Qualifying Thoughts

Castroneves earns Pole, Power 21st; Other Post-Qualifying Thoughts

The qualifying session for the IndyCar series race at Auto Club Speedway took place in the heavy heat in the middle of the day in Fontana, California.  Helio Castroneves, going out last, earned the pole position with an average of 218.640 mph.  The track temperature during the session hovered around 136 degrees. Qualifying was based on the average of a two-lap run. Juan Pablo Montoya went out early and laid down an average of 217.621 and then held on as ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Denny Hamlin, the Schedule & Tony Stewart’s Return

Happiness Is… Denny Hamlin, the Schedule & Tony Stewart’s Return

The schedule came out this past week and it gave everyone who follows NASCAR something to gripe about.  In truth, all the criticisms are valid because NASCAR, due to the way the business is run, is unable to make serious changes that would make people feel happy, though that can be a moving target. The one big positive is that the Darlington race, has once again moved back to its fabled spot on the calendar: Labor Day weekend.  In discussing ... Read More »

Open Wheel Wednesday: Thoughts On The IndyCar Finale

Open Wheel Wednesday: Thoughts On The IndyCar Finale

The Verizon IndyCar championship will be decided this weekend.  The race, being held at Auto Club Speedway, on Saturday night, is likely to be captivating, with a battle down to the end between Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves.  Should they both find a banana peel on the racetrack, Simon Pagenaud is lurking, sitting just out of the main picture. Last year I went to the finale with a confounded mind and it’s one that will accompany me again ... Read More »

IndyCar Recap: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

IndyCar Recap: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma started under rather inauspicious circumstances, as a massive earthquake nailed the Napa/Sonoma area around 6 am.  The IndyCar series let it be known that the event would go on as scheduled.  Hence, as the on-track festivities began, with the IndyLights race and the air show, one would never know that Napa was digging itself out of the rubble and looking at the damage that had been done. But as the adage states: the show ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Bristol, the Pole & Another Soap Opera

Happiness Is… Bristol, the Pole & Another Soap Opera

So, let’s rewind for a moment and go back to Michigan. OK, that may not be the best way to put it, as most fans are happy to put Michigan in the rear-view mirror and look toward Bristol, where the hope is that the track might restore some of its past flavor and produce some good ol’-fashioned dust-ups and some angry drivers. But the Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan deserves one quick moment of review. Brad Keselowski bounced off ... Read More »