Well the race weekend is upon us, with practice for the Indy Lights starting at 11am EST. I woke up after a nice sleep in, and hopped over to indycar.com to watch some of what I figured should be the ICS practice. I got there, opened up the Timing & Scoring with the video feed in the background, and wait for it, wait for it, any second now cars should be screaming down Shoreline Drive. What do I get? Lauren Bohlander and another Up To Speed episode (mind you, the Up To Speed graphics are largely improved from last year and a nice touch).
So I'm sitting here thinking to myself why the practice sessions aren't online. I decided to restart both T&S and the live feed, and still nothing. Great, something must have happened. It's almost 11am and the cars aren't on track. Is there a riot? Maybe cows on track? Perhaps the Celebrity Pro Race practice caused Alex Trebek to forget about Final Jeopardy?
Then I realized I was being stupid and it was only 8am at Long Beach so the cars shouldn't be anywhere near the track.
Great, so I'm still sitting here bored. I read through IRL-O-Rama's warning to MyNameIsIRL to kill sometime. I read through my daily forums to see what people were chattering about. Lots of crazy stuff going on there, someone saying Milka is only doing ovals with NHL (which could explain why Arctic Ice is still on Graham's car, a sponsor Milka supposedly brought with her). Not a lot of chatter regarding the Helio case though which people thought would be the biggest storyline this year. I'm somewhat surprised there isn't much on the case and the situation that surrounds it with Will Power at Penske, I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles.
Seems like Justin Wilson got the results he needed at St. Petes to get Z-Lines to sign back on with DCR for the rest of the season. JDub is now driving the number 18 Z-Lines car instead of the number 19 Sonny's BBQ car as he did last weekend. This opens up the Rockstar Energy Drink/Tomas Scheckter to Dale Coyne Racing possibility, and gives Dale the ability to run two cars whether Rockstar shows up or not. Hopefully we see Dale Coyne Racing run two cars from the I500 on.
Speaking of Dale Coyne, I sort of wish he would start up a FIL team. I would think they'd have great success running an Indy Lights team with their resourcefulness, and it would give his extra men a place to work if needed to. Sorry to bring this up, but I just like Dale Coyne Racing and the character that team produces.
Well, I've just reopened the Live Feed from Indycar.com to see the FIL cars are on track. Series leader Junior Strous just caused a full course caution by running into the run off area without any contact. Strous has to be considered a favorite here with 2 wins in St. Petes and he is one of the most experienced guys at Long Beach.
Boy, looking at that track as the cars go by reminds me of why it's such a wonderful race. The scenery from on board shots is awesome, and just remembering seeing some of those old CART races where guys are battling down to the wire like this 1998 Long Beach race.
I love seeing the cars slide around like that, the control the drivers had to have back then. I hope when we move to a new chassis/engine combo we can get back to some of those 'driving on the edge' moments.
Anyways, back to the FIL practice, Junior Strous just caused another full course caution. Maybe I should change my favorite to James Hinchcliffe who does have more experience at LB then Strous, and hasn't caused 2 full course cautions in the same spot today. Hinch is also ontop of the timesheets at the moment by .2 seconds. It seems that Long Beach experience is going to help the FIL drivers as the top 4 at the moment and 6 of the top 10 all have prior experience at the track. I wonder if that will cross over to the big boys or not, or whether the extra 30 minutes of practice for rookies/drivers not in the top 10 will rectify that.
I must say, there is no audio asides from a terribly annoying continuous beep. It caused me to turn off the audio, it's been doing it for a while now.
Anyways, I will wrap this entry up as it has gotten pretty long. ICS practice later today!
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