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.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wheldon dead.....five lap tribute coming up....

(crapwagon.com 10-16-11)

I think its a damn shame what the the series did to Dan. He wins their biggest race and has no ride. So because of his love for racing, he decides to do race commentating and test the new car. Then because Ropin' Randy couldn't find any takers for his $5 million dollar challenge, he drags Dan along for the gimmick and then they prop up the field with 34 crapwagons along with some guys who had no business racing out here. Ropin' Randy has a lot to answer now considering the mainstream media are beginning to pick up this story and will be asking the tough questions. (CHAMPCAR1)

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I don't think I've posted in a few years - haven't followed Indycar much at all... but this is tragedy still touches. RIP Dan Wheldon... he didn't deserve any of this.

Hopefully Indycar will finally learn... there have been so many close calls, and now this. (JL1)

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this very same thing could have happened at TMS every single IRL race,,
IRL been playnn' Russian roulette with high bank NASCAR ovals since beginning of leeeeeeege
IRL formula & mission statement been flawed since 1996,,
me thinks blood of today's tragedy not only on Bernard, but also Tony George...

CART got it right Texas, (DirtDevil1)

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Sigh
34 cars on the track... a number of inexperienced drivers... a questionable car formula/track combination...

It is extremely sad and while we all barked up Champ Car's tree for the Texas debacle... highly preferable to losing a driver.

Very saddened today and this reminds me of why I haven't ever watched an IRL race. (Achilles)

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The bastards got "The Big One" they were looking for. You happy now you sons of bitches?

God bless Dan and those he left behind. So sad and so unnecessary. (Mr Vengence)

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Too bad for Dan. He loved racing and not just Indycar. Said he had two little kids also. They had no business running 34 cars on that track. Bad series with poor managment. No wonder no one watches it. (Adam Baum)

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POS Dallara crapwagon claims one more driver before its exit.
Tony Renna
Paul Dana
Dan Wheldon
This POS car with a propensity to take off like a plane made one final spectacular exit. Only thing about this incident we can take solace is that the IRL was unable to cover it up like they did wth the Tony Renna and Paul Dana accidents. This happened live in national TV and the mainstream media managed to pick up the story. (CHAMPCAR1)

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PT (Who Wheldon went airborne over from the stories I read (and the video on youtube seems to show) when PT slowed down to avoid getting involved in, and I think Wheldon simply didn't see it from the angle he was coming at) just tweeted the following:

paultracy3 paul tracy
Sadness turning to anger now , indycar needs to put the 5mil in a trust for dans kids !!!!


I agree 100%... (pinkertonfloyd)

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Ropin' Randy has blood on his hands...it was all fine and dandy when they were harmless gimmicks, but now this promotional gimmick has costed a competitor his life. I doubt the IRL even had 5 million dollars to begin with as it was probably an insurance policy. What will probably end up is that this ends up in litigation and the IRL ends up settling with the Wheldon estate over his death.(CHAMPCAR1)

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FTG's goal was (I will say it again) Nascrap type racing without fenders on Nascrap tracks. a total disaster in philosophy in the first place.
I'm sad that this -RIP DAN-this is what it took to prove that failed philosophy. (manny)

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RIP Dan.

About all I can add is that I worked the last CC car race in Vegas and when they found out they were changing the banking there is no way they were ever going to race there again. Thus the street race. Too bad the earl thought they knew better. (Laguna Tuna)

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I've been on that oval. There is no way in hell any open wheel car should be racing on it. No way to describe it other than it looks and feels completely retarded and is lined with cheesegrater. One little mistake and you are taking flight into cheesegrater. Dallara Darts and cheesegrater don't go together. (mountainstar)

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My prayers are with Dan's two small children. Such a tragic loss, yet still lucky that there was only one fatality in this mess.

How many more drivers and/or fans need to die before this madness stops? (bennybigb)

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I'd like to put Scott Brayton and Sam Schmidt on the list as well.

I know their cars were different, but they are also victims of the stupid IRL and FTG.

I'm afraid Dan died in vein. Nothing will stop the IRL freight train except a car getting into a packed grandstand. (bennbigb)

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The day Tony George basically outlawed the 1996 CART/Champcar vehicle and decided to keep the 1995 formula intact to break track records of more legitimate events, was the day this league chose the path it was on - to the culpability of several Champcar teams and Ford, who provided cars and engines for the First Ever 497.5.

The day the "brain trust" decided that designing a car as opposite to a CART vehicle as possible, to "prove a point" - the only thing they proved is that they will and did go to any length to not be us, even at the price of a higher risk of danger. Dallara, G-Force, Oldsmobile, Infiniti, everyone who decided to be in on that project set the stage for what has happened on October 16, 2011.

At this point it's absolutely pithy to ask "was it worth it." The answer is so blindingly obvious now. (TheStranger)

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(crapwagon.com 10-17-11)

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I get irked sometimes think about how Bobby Rahal basically sacrificed Mauricio Gugelmin's career a decade ago in that poorly-arranged situation in Fort Worth, but in the end, sanity trumped greed. Didn't happen yesterday, with tragic consequences.

I've brought it up repeatedly over the years - including today and on Sunday - but what Emmo did standing up for racer safety in 1975 at the Spanish Grand Prix...that should've been a beginning, not a one-time event that has been swept into the dustpan of history. (TheStranger)

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I think many in the league thought what is the problem with pack racing. They did it at Kentucky and Texas, and they didn't have a problem. The problem with Las Vegas is that it is remotely possible to run 3-4 different lines around that track, which is a receipe for disaster. People said the speed of this track wasn't a problem, after all they do those speeds at Indy. The Indianapolis Motor Speed's unique track design forces the drivers not to run in a higher grove, as the track is really too narrow for that.

I kept telling people that if you want to see a high speed oval done right, take a look at the CART Michigan races between 1998-2001. (weRnutz1)

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Just got back from a long weekend and heard the news last night.

RIP Dan, thoughts are with your loved ones and your family. Sick to my stomach.

My hatred for the IRL goes well beyond my own political leanings. I had a conversation with a friend of mine prior to this race and made the point that with the rebanking of that track, the historically dangerous Dallara and their asinine attempt at creating a story by putting 33 cars on a 1 1/2 mile oval, the recipe for disaster borders on complete humanitarian irresponsibility and a rational disregard for safety and human life. All in a desperate attempt to create a gimmick, something real fans of this sport never want to see to begin with.

I've been done with the HURL for a long time because I don't recognize it as a legitimate representation of the sport that I love. The tragedy at LVMS is a testament to that. *** U IRL. You need to go away for everyone's sake.

RIP Dan Wheldon (chisox06)

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An understood point, but where the objection to the crapwagon design has been made for many, many years is that the cars LIFT up (and towards the fence) - as illustrated with Mario Andretti's infamous 2003 flight at Mindy - which a modern race car isn't supposed to do.

Even NASCAR figured this out and put in the roof flaps in the late 90s.

Champcar's vehicles from 1979 to the end had ground effects so while wheel-to-wheel contact always risked flips and air - as is the case for any and all open wheeled vehicles - object-to-object lift was very, very rare.

Mario flipped after running over a piece of debris from I think Kenny Brack's vehicle, not another car's moving wheels.

In the replays, it appears that Wheldon went flying after t-boning another car and getting lift from that car's massive sidepod. Definitely a step back in applied car physics, to state it very mildly.

This is one of the reasons the EARL should have never existed, because that type of vehicle should have never been allowed in the first place. What happened yesterday was not the first time.

Champcar racing on ovals had its issues at times - sometimes track related, as early-80s Michigan demonstrated, sometimes car-related as with Piquet's accident at Indy in '92 - but there was always a sense of adjusting to new circumstances and fixing whatever might have been an issue, so that they could at least have exhausted every possible avenue to making the speedways manageable and the risk minimized.

The EARL demonstrated zero urgency in getting rid of the Dallara, and it shows. (TheStranger)

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Sorry it's been so long folks. The old ticker can't take much racing in the form it is now. I still read from time to time, but haven't gotten used to the new format enough to post. But I do want to say I am truly sorry to hear about Dan Wheldon and sad to think of kids growing up without a Dad that obviously adored them. This train wreck was horrifying and it doesn't feel good for any of us that believed one day an incident of great magnitude like this would occur. What bothers me is all the talk of how racing is dangerous and drivers know the dangers. The problem is, that like all other dangerous professions, it is supposed to be a calculated risk, in a controlled environment and with the highest level of safety equipment that can be produced each year. This is where the IRL/Indycar failed. Each year, it used to be about a new car being developed to the best level, and that was as much part of the competition as who drove the best or had the best crew. IRL has long been about keeping these ancient trash cans out as long as possible and getting as many drivers out there - qualified or not - safe or not. They did not perform as they should have for the drivers and they know it: they might not say it out loud, but team owners to pit crews know it. It is a vastly different sport now because of the lack of vetting the venues for the equipment, vetting the drivers, and upgrading to new technology every year. If they couldn't afford to do that, they should have allowed someone else to do it that could. (PoplarPal)