Like most American kids that grew up in the 80's I watched the Indy 500 every year and became interested in motorsports thanks to that race, but I didn't really get hooked until I started watching Formula 1 racing in the late 90's. My favorite era were those years with the great Mika Hakkinen/Michael Schumacher battles. (I was a Mika Hakkinen fan) So my fondness for Formula 1 waned once Mika retired and Schumacher started winning everything, even at the expense of his teammate Rubens Barrichello. My interest in F1 has only been lukewarm since.

Then I turned to Champ Car racing here in the US for my motorsports fix. However that was quickly extinguished once Champ Car and Indy Car merged and we were stuck with Tony George and his many foibles. (It was entertaining to watch the Hulman/George drama I'll admit.) My interest has been less than lukewarm with Indy Car lately, even without Tony George at the helm.

Over time however, the excitement I once had for motorsports has slowly gone. Maybe it has to do with my age, I don't know. But I think I will pour my efforts into my Trooper and my interests in the outdoors to add excitement to my life.

Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it. I will still post racing news when I find something interesting or noteworthy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

224.7 mph -- in initial Las Vegas practice

(by Dave Lewandowski 10-13-11)

Andretti Autosport made a splash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with all four of its cars in the top 10 of the initial practice session.

Danica Patrick, who'll be making her final IZOD IndyCar Series for the forseeable future in the Las Vegas Indy 300 -- the Oct. 16 marquee event of the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented by Honda -- topped the speed chart with a quick (emphasize quick) lap of 224.719 mph on the 1.5-mile oval.

"It's friggin' fast here," said Patrick, driving the No. 7 Team GoDaddy car. "Almost a 225 lap is like Indy speeds. The track is nice and smooth and we’ll be three-wide out there, which will be exciting. The race is going to be crazy and the crashes will be spectacular.

"Nothing would let me turn the page better than winning here."

Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay (223.888; third), Mike Conway (223.558; fifth) and Marco Andretti (223.509; seventh) joined her in the top 10. The top 15 cars were separated by two-tenths of a second.

Oriol Servia (224.026 mph) was second quick, and Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon (223.689) was fourth. Team Penske's Helio Castroneves (223.519) and Ryan Briscoe (223.482) also were in the top 10.

"It is so fast; the fans are going to get a great show," said Servia, driving the No. 2 Telemundo Newman/Haas Racing car.

Dario Franchitti and Will Power, the IZOD IndyCar Series championship contenders, were 10th and 14th on the chart, respectively.

“We have some work to do on the Target car," said Franchitti, who takes an 18-point lead into the 200-lap season finale. "I wasn’t happy where we were to start today. Lots of work to do to get the car where we need it to be for the race on Sunday.”

Said Power: “We still have some speed to find in the Verizon car but it was a decent start for us today. It’s good to get some laps in here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and we’ll be working hard to get the most out of the car in practice and qualifying."

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