Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Ramblin' and raving

Just a few thoughts about the past weekend in racing:

The IRL added a last minute rule Wednesday concerning the total weight of the car with the driver. According to the rule, as far as I understand it, weight will be added to cars with lighter drivers to make them more even in total weight with cars that have heavier drivers. Danica (my personal St Patrick) Patrick's temper flared at the news, and she claimed that the rule targeted her and her only, as she weighs in at no more than 100 lbs. This rule is only fair, concerning the cars of the IRL are so light in the first place, and a little weight can make a big difference in the top speed of the car. Danica finished her tirade by declaring that she will overcome the handicapping rule by winning anyway, and we have to believe that she can do that.
This is an issue brought up by Robby Gordon in 2006, when he claimed that women in the IRL had an unfair weight advantage, but we also have to wonder if the weight handicap might have been instituted to lure self-described "fat man" Tony Stewart to the series. Only time will tell if it will be refered to as the "Danica Patrick Rule," the "Robby Gordon Rule," or the "Tony Stewart Rule."
My take is that the rule has been in effect since last year, and was only publicized now to drum up interest in the series, something IRL stars such as Patrick and Tony Kanaan, and rock star Gene Simmons have been working on for a while.

Danica's apparent ability to levitate because of her light weight may have been instrumental in implementing the IRL's weight handicapping rule. Photo credit:

If the IRL really wants to drum up publicity, perhaps they should talk to Jack Roush, who has created the "Partsgate" scandel that has nearly overshadowed every bit of racing news from around the world. Hardly. The accusations, which started last Wednesday on ESPN, began on a mysterious note, with reports that a "propriety part" had been stolen from the Roush-Fenway Racing team by a "Toyota team." While much speculation was going on as to what part it was, and which "Toyota team" was responsible, Jack Roush himself first tried to get NASCAR involved. NASCAR refused, citing that it was between the teams, and therefore was not within their jurisdiction. So the Cat in the Hat threatened to take legal action against Toyota.
While most of us were scratching our heads, wondering what the hell this was all about anyway, Jeff Gordon had a good laugh. while MWR was found to be the "culprit." My thoughts were, the swaybar, which the part turned out to be, wasn't doing anybody any good anyway.
As it turned out, it was no more than an elaborate April Fool's prank, or so it seemed, when Roush-Fenway Racing's President Geoff Smith announced Sunday that Roush-Fenway would not press charges against Michael Waltrip Racing. He blamed the entire incident on Lee White:

Team president Geoff Smith said the issue would not have surfaced at all had Toyota general manager Lee White not insinuated that Roush's team of Carl Edwards intentionally cheated at Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, FIA president Max Mosely, was caught playing NAZI Slave Master with five prostitutes. Talk about one-upmanship!

I have raved about Trouble in Turn 2 before, and in my opinion, that blog's Mike Maruska is one of the best writers on the web. I'm not just saying that because he has featured me in an interview for his "Know your NASCAR Bloggers" series. I feel very honored that he chose me to be included in the very prestigious list of bloggers he has interviewed. But don't go there just to read the interview, for he has many interesting, well thought-out, and well written articles that are entertaining as well as informative. If you haven't read anything on Trouble in Turn 2 before, your first experience will be a good one, and you will probably want to stay there a while.

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