Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Texting Your Race Needs

This is kinda cool: Fans at the Richmond SunTrust Indy Challenge race will be able to text their needs to the track staff.

Medical emergencies are the obvious use. But how far will this go? "Bring me a beer"? "Neck massage please"? "Pleez telz the bald fatty in front of me to siddown soz I can raxor teh hawt blonde"?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Onward Iowa!

As the Indycar worlds shifts it's focus to the waving cornstalks and flatulent cattle of Iowa (see, I knew I could get both stereotypes into the first sentance), Danica has made her big announcement:

She's not deciding anything until after the 2009 Indycar season.

You know, if I was her I'd do the same thing. Might be smart to see how those NASCAR tires do at the brickyard before your throw your lot in with that group.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bunnies and Rainbows to DANICAR, Episode 428

Before we get started... DANICAR. You like that? Back off, jackals, you heard it here first. It's Copyright 2009 Racemind Inc. (Or at least it would be if such a corporation existed.)

Anyway, I just took a quick poll of a few very knowledgeable racing fans to get their take on the Danica-to-NASCAR media hyperventilation, and the results are unanimous: no way. Regardless of how you slice it, along lines of dollars or publicity or competition, it's a bad move. To use the NASCAR vernacular, "it just don't make no sense at all."

Which is why she'll probably do it.

On the other side of the coin: Pressdog correctly points out that she will have exactly zero chance to win in DANICAR, and sees her going to Ganassi instead. MyNameIsIRL posted an entry entitled Danica And My Crystal Balls (oh dear) where he goes a step further and predicts Danica running HER sponsorship in that third Ganassi car.

I think it's simpler than that; Target subcontracts their Ganassi sponsor space to products they carry in exchange for better store placement. Motorola (and now presumably the Boost people) have always been rather happy with Danica. So we just need to ask this question:

Who sells Boost phones?

Perhaps Boost Mobile and Target make sense together already. Danica at Ganassi with Boost... It could work.

Monday, June 15, 2009

How To Start a Tomas Scheckter To NASCAR Rumor

Tomas Scheckter to NASCAR? Naw, not to my knowledge -- but if you're looking to start a rumor, here's how you can back it up:

Scheckter is tweeting about how much he loves the new Palm Pre. The Pre, mind you has gotten lukewarm reviews, so why would Tomas like it so much?

Recall Scheckter's post-race interview after at Kentucky in 2003, when he impetuously exclaimed that Sam Hornish, running the Chevy Gen IV engine, won the race with "that Ford Cosworth". Now fast-forward a few short months, when Hornish had moved up to Penske and Scheckter suddenly found himself in Hornish's old ride at Panther -- which Scheckter suddenly felt was powered by a Chevy once again.

It was an amazing change of opinion, was it not? There he was in his Chevy hat, making sure his Chevy bowtie lapel was on-camera, complementing the Chevy power when he won at Texas. Not so much a Ford anymore, was it Tomas?

As much as he may cringe at the memory, Tomas has always been able to adapt to the cards he's delt. Which brings us back to the Schecker's much-praised Pre. The Pre, carried exclusively by the Sprint network. The Sprint network, series sponsor for NASCAR. Exclusive wireless carrier of NASCAR. You see where I'm going with this.

Of course, any hypothetical rumor arising from this can be easily debunked: Perhaps he just likes the Pre.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Saturn Now in Orbit Around Penske

As the auto industry makes room for another Sheriff in town, the media lets the speculation fly: What will Roger do next? What does this mean for future Saturn cars? How many ways will Roger Penske win?
  • U.S. Today declares that Penske may strike gold. Of course, anyone that been paying attention to the Indy 500 the last 30 years won't be surprised.
  • breaks out the numbers: 350 dealerships and 13,000 jobs saved.
  • delves into the manufacturing options on Penske's table, including Chinese or Indian production lines.
I expect that the dealerships will carry more than just Saturn. Look for a European make like Renault at at Saturn dealership near you.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Pair of Tickets: $74
Track Beer: $9.50
Danica Trinkets for the Kiddies: $29

Indycar Series: Riceless.

In a season full of good news about increased sponsorship, better TV coverage, and higher car counts, the most baffling question of all remains: Why is 2004 Indy 500 Champ Buddy Rice without a ride?

Maybe Paul Tracy's hamburgers and hot dogs don't cut it for him either, and he's holding out for steak. Maybe he doesn't bring a gift-wrapped sponsor. Maybe he smells funny, wears his lid too straight, or has funny facial hair.

Or maybe he's just a dang fine racer who's getting overlooked.

I've asked around to find out if there's a knock on this guy, but I'm not hearing anything but praise. So what gives, team owners? If you have a decent budget and you're tooling around in the back-half of the field, don't you want to get your sponsor some camera time near the front?

I'm not looking for Penske to hire Rice: Roger looks for drivers struck from a certain die. And I'm not sure that Andretti wants to reunite Danica and Rice again, that didn't work out too well the first time. But What about you, Jimmy Vasser, Carl Haas, John Barnes?

The Racemind Take: If Andretti loses Danica, hiring Rice is by far their best option (as it stands today). And if Panther loses Wheldon in the silly season shuffle, Buddy's the guy they need.