4/29/09

CSI: AGR

Well with the recent news about Danicker's car being stolen (the finger puppets did it), and the clips being put out by AGR, I'm on the case to determine whether this happened or not.

Evidence #1




Well, this seems like a seemingly normal cell phone video of a cop and someone outside of the AGR shop. Clearly there is no evidence proving this is a fake, but no real evidence this isn't a setup either.

Evidence #2




Well this supposed surveillance video will show the car actually being taken out of the AGR shop and put into a trailer. However, it is a hell of a coincidence that the trailer was backed up to just the right spot so that it was pretty well centered in the picture. On top of that, the robbers didn't seem to have any issues getting into the shop or getting the car onto the trailer which you think would be a bit tricky for a bunch of crooks who have probably never loaded a ICS Dallara onto a trailer. But hell, if you really want, you can push this one and say that the stars lined up to make this all work for this video, sort of like what would have to happen for Danica to win without fuel strategy.

Evidence #3




Well considering this news cast looks very fake in the first place, and there is a pretty obvious edit near the beginning (let me know if you can find it), the baseball scores are a few days old. Since this is the newest video out there, you would think they would be last night or even todays scores, but they aren't. They are atleast 2 nights old. That, ontop of the fact that I can't find a station name anywhere on there, and that they call themselves Action News, leads me to believe this is a fake.

Anyways, it's not really my decision, what do crime stoppers have to say? Leave me some love in the comment section.

4/28/09

HVM Hurtin'

Now, at the beginning of the year, I figured HVM was pretty well off. Sure they were a one-car team, but they were a one car team with some dough behind them. PVDSA has been funding E.J Viso's Indycar career for '08 and '09, but this year, with the added engine bill ontop of everything they had last year, there seems to be a bit more of a budget crunch.

Before the first race of the year, there were whispers HVM was hurting for some coin. Mike King said they were going to have difficulty answering the bell and making it through the season. Well, so far, he has an average finish of just over 20th, and 2 of them have been mechanical failures, which can sometimes have connections to the lack of money (teams trying to make things last, not buying the best parts etc...).

How we are coming up on the month of May, and while HVM might be expanding it's team to two cars for the I500, it isn't expanding the amount of chassis' it has kickin' around. According to Is It May Yet (who seems absolutely giddy that it's that time of the year), the addition of Nelson Philippe to the HVM stable has come at the expense of Monsieur Viso's 13 T-car. HVM will instead run solely cars 13 and 31 with no T-cars entered for the race.

Well I'm sorry, but running through the month of May with two cars, hoping neither crashes, well... You'd better be liked by the big guy in the sky, especially if you consider who the driver of the #13 car is. You'd have to assume HVM is making some money off of this endeavor to help fund the rest of Viso's season, otherwise this risk would seem almost stupid. I mean it's nice to get two cars out of them for May, and it's nice to see Nelson Philippe out there, this time in an IRL sanctioned race, but come on, there must be another reason they are doing it, and I'm guessing it's money.

So I guess the rumors at the beginning of the season were true regarding HVM's money, or lack there of, and with a string of ovals coming up, this is where we'll see that lack of money hurt the most. Hopefully they can come out it relatively well at Indy and Mr. Excitement can provide some excitement for us all.

4/25/09

Hemelgarn and HVM announce I500 drivers

Hemelgarn has apparently finalized a deal with Buddy Lazier for the I500, according to the FIL online broadcast of morning practice. Buddy drove for Hemelgarn last season at Indy, qualifying 32nd (on bump day if I recall) and finished 17th.

HVM will field a second car, a carbon-neutral car, for Nelson Philippe. Philippe is a former CCWS race winner at Australia. Philippe is an awesome person and a great personality. Some of you may recall over the off-season that the Philippe family was rumored to be buying the Roth Racing equipment to run the '09 season, but that never came together.

Indianapolis Rumors from Cavin.

  • Servia and Rice at RLR
  • Townsend Bell to the third KVRT car.

Other notes.

  • Terry Angstadt visits China to check out a possible new track. Has also been down to Brazil a few times lately. (per Cavin)
  • PDM is trying to run Jimmy Kite at the I500.
  • Sarah Fisher says her second entry into the 500 is basically dead as the deadline has passed.
  • Expect a possible second Z-Lines car at Indy from DCR, without Bruno at the helm.
  • Jason Tyner to be traded to A.J. Foyt Enterprises for the Month of May. In fact, the Detroit Tigers will pay A.J. Foyt to take him off their hands.

4/21/09

The Other Side - Poll of the Week

Alright, after neglecting my weekly poll function the last few weeks, mostly due to my horrific exam schedule, I've decided to throw up a new question. I'd appreciate it if all you fine folks throw down your opinion. This weeks question is about the affects of Helio's freedom, the affects it has on the media circus called Team Penske. Basically, Ryan Briscoe and HCN are both safe through the end of the year at minimum, but now Will Power could possibly lose his ride, while sitting second in the point standings, the highest placing Penske driver in points.

Now, we know Penske has entered WP in the 500, but he hasn't committed to anything else involving WP. The latest rumors are that Verizon will be coming on board as a sponsor with the IRL, and will stay on with WP for atleast selected events, but this is not confirmed at all.

So basically, I want to know what my readers think. Scroll down the page and find the poll on the right and vote, and if you feel like it, leave a comment about the situation in the comment section. I'm interested into hearing what you guys think will happen.

4/20/09

Official Indianapolis 500-Mile Race Entry List Revealed

Ladies and Germs, the official list has been released by IMS and the IRL for the 93rd running for the Indy 500. Here is the Adobe file -> 93rd Indianapolis 500-Mile Race Entry List

In total, I counted 40 primary cars entered. However, the odds of some of them making an attempt are slim.

RLR has a car entered, but they've said they were having problems getting the funding for the 500 even.

Sarah Fisher has 67, 67T, and 68 entered. No T-car for the second entry.

Conquest, Dale Coyne both have two cars entered.

KVRT has entered 3 cars, Paul Tracy, Moraes, and TBA. TBA should either be Servia or Townsend Bell according to Cavin.

Roth Racing has two cars entered, however he is not listed as the driver. Both are TBA.

Team 3G only has 1 primary and T-car entered for Stanton Barrett, so you can assume Tomas will land elsewhere.

AJ Foyt has 3 primary/T-car combos entered

  1. 14 Vitor Meira - ABC Supply Co. - A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  2. 41 A.J. Foyt IV - ABC Supply/Foyt-Greer Racing - A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  3. 48 TBD - A.J. Foyt Racing - A.J. Foyt Enterprises



Dreyer & Reinbold have 23, 24, 43, 44 entered. 23 and 24 are TBD (Best guesses are Roger Yasukawa, Milka Duno, or Darren Manning) while John Andretti and Davey Hamilton are running the 43 and 44 respectively.



Vision has a third car under the Bryan Herta Motorsports banner. I hope Mr. Herta runs the car himself as it would be fun to watch, plus another American won't hurt.



I'm sort of hoping Sarah another girl to run her second car. I think that might be her best way to attract some sponsors as well, maybe throw Ana Beatriz into the car?



Anyways, don't expect all these cars to make it to the grid. Unless a miracle occurs, I wouldn't expect RLR to make it or one of the Roth Racing cars. Some people get it in their heads that because they see 40 primarys on the entry list, that 40 primary cars will attempt to qualify when that is barely ever the case. Whether we get 40 to attempt a run, or 35, it will still be a fun month at IMS for everyone involved.

4/19/09

Tweeting for Long Beach

Myself, and many other of the esteemed IRL Bloggers will be tweeting during the Long Beach race. Check out Twitter.com for the fun live chatter about the race. Come join me on Twitter for some fun. Just check out @ChamooTOS.

Also, MynameisIRL is running a live blog, as well as a few other bloggers.

4/17/09

Updated 93rd Indianapolis 500-Mile Race Entry List

I've decided I will update the entry list I did for the Question of the Week a little while ago relatively often so that you lovely readers have something to keep you occupied. Here is what I have come up with today after all the hoopla and announcements.

Full Season Cars (21)

#2 Raphael Matos - Luczo Dragon Racing
#3 Helio Castroneves - Team Penske
#4 Dan Wheldon - Panther Racing
#5 Mario Moraes - Kalkhoven Vasser Racing Technologies
#6 Ryan Briscoe - Team Penske
#7 Danica Patrick - Andretti Green Racing
#9 Scott Dixon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing
#10 Dario Franchitti - Target Chip Ganassi Racing
#11 Tony Kanaan - Andretti Green Racing
#13 E.J. Viso - HVM Racing
#14 Vitor Meira - A.J. Foyt Enterprises
#19 Justin Wilson - Dale Coyne Racing
#20 Ed Carpenter - Vision Racing
#21 Ryan Hunter-Reay - Vision Racing
#24 Mike Conway - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
#26 Marco Andretti - Andretti Green Racing
#27 Hideki Mutoh - Andretti Green Racing
#34 Alex Tagliani - Conquest Racing
#98 Stanton Barrett - Team 3G
#02 Graham Rahal - Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
#06 Robert Doornbos - Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing

Partial (Including Indy)/Indy Only Confirmed (7)

TBD Alex Lloyd - Sam Schmidt Motorsports/Target Chip Ganassi Racing
#12 Will Power - Team Penske
#15 Paul Tracy - Kalkhoven Vasser Racing Technologies
#16 Scott Sharp - Panther Racing
#43 John Andretti - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Richard Petty Motorsports
#44 Davey Hamilton - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Kingdom Racing
#67 Sarah Fisher - Sarah Fisher Racing

Announced, but skeptical (1)

TBD - Top Cover Racing

Expected but not announced (5)

#18 TBD - Dale Coyne Racing
#23 Darren Manning/Milka Duno - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
#36 TBD - Conquest Racing
#41 A.J. Foyt IV - A.J. Foyt Enterprises
TBD Tomas Scheckter - TBD

Possible, but Less Likely (14)

#8 Townsend Bell/Oriol Servia - Kalkhoven Vasser Racing Technologies
#17 TBD - Rahal Letterman Racing
#25 Marty Roth - Roth Racing
#76 TBD - Sarah Fisher Racing
TBD TBD - Bryan Herta Autosports
TBD Franck Montagny - Andretti Green Racing
TBD TBD - Walker Racing
TBD Jeff Simmons - A.J. Foyt Enterprises
TBD Robby Gordon - Robbie Gordon Racing/Richard Childress Racing
TBD TBD - Rubicon Racing
TBD TBD - Hemelgarn Racing
TBD Junior Strous - PDM Racing
TBD Takuma Sato - de Ferran Motorsports
TBD TBD -Vision Racing

So right now we are at 28 confirmed, and if the 5 I have down as possible confirm, we are guarenteed 33 which is good. I'm trying to figure out where guys like Robin Miller and Curt Cavin are coming up with their numbers though. I believe them, but I just can't figure out where they would come from.

Paul Tracy/Geico to KVRT for I500


Paul Tracy has been announced by KVRT to run the I500 with Geico sponsorship. He will be driving the number 15 KVRT machine with extensive Geico signage.
Max Papis was on hand at the announcement in Long Beach as a Geico driver. Due to Max' past efforts at Indy, you would have to wonder if Max would jump into PT's T-car if PT makes it on the first weekend of qualifying.


Helio Acquitted of Tax Evasion

Helio has been acquitted of Tax Evasion, but the jury is still hung on the Conspiracy charge.

On the live feed during practice, the announcers are talking about them setting up a third car for Helio for this weekend. There is a press conference being organized.

Here's the article.

It's Race Time, Sorta

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!

4/14/09

It's A Big Week

Well, turns out I was right and PT will be announced in on friday. Damn good thing I was right or I would had been in the tire wall and looked stupid while doing it.





This week we just got an announcement from Rubicon and Conquest announcing what had already been announced, that Rubicon Racing would become Rubicon Sports Agency and that they will oversee the commercial side of Conquest Racing. Maybe that means a second car for Conquest with Buddy Rice in the seat, or maybe that means we see some LifeLock sponsorship on Tags car for the rest of the season. Whatever the case, this sounds like the team will be a little more stable, and you can probably pencil in Tags for the remainder of the year at Conquest.

We also just found out today that Tomas Scheckter won't be at Team 3G. Cavin reported this earlier today. Stanton Barrett will drive Team 3G's sole entry at Long Beach. Apparently they are still working towards running Tomas at Kansas and for the remainder of the year, but nothing is done yet. Rumors also have Tomas looking at Coyne with his Rockstar Energy Drink money.

The I500 entry list will be coming out very soon, and will have Paul Tracy at KVRT as one of the entries. I have updated my 93rd Indianapolis 500-Mile Race entry list here. This should add a bit of pizazz to the upcoming Long Beach Grand Prix as it will just us bloggers and the media a bit more to talk about.

Another name that might or might not end up on that list is Helio Castroneves who very well could find out his future this week. Either he'll be wearing wearing a shade of orange, and possibly a nice suit covered in sequins. Hopefully for all involved, he manages to get out of this one and he'll be ready to go by Long Beach. But will Helio be ready to race at Long Beach if he is found innocent? We have heard stories of how mentally drained he is, and if he is found innocent on thursday, would he be ready to race on Sunday? I doubt it.

And to end the week off, we have the first IRL sanctioned event at Long Beach. If last weeks results were any indication, it should be a fun time indeed. Long Beach will probably shake up the order once again as the old CCWS drivers and teams will most likely be more prepared for this track then any ICS team. This will give drivers like Alex Tagliani and Justin Wilson another shot to put one past the big guys, and will give NHL Racing another chance to prove they belong with the Big 3.

Also, expect to see some Z-Lines signage on the Dale Coyne Racing car by Long Beach. If the deal comes together, then this should help them get to two cars from the I5oo on.

It should be an interesting week, and by the way, DanicaFan is already proclaiming Danica Patrick this weekends winner on the streets of Long Beach. I whole heartedly disagree with this. She will be lucky if she finishes ahead of Stanton Barrett in my opinion.

4/11/09

Possible Driver Announcement on Friday at LB

I'm hearing from a couple of sources that there will be a Driver Announcement on Friday at the Long Beach Grand Prix. Details are slim at the moment, but there are whispers out there. Let me break what I know (which isn't much) down.

Possibility 1) This is just announcing Tomas Scheckter as the Team 3G second driver for the remainder of the year. I'd say this is 50% likely.

Possibility 2) Conquest announces a second car after merging with/hiring Rubicon Sports Agency. This is about 20% likely.

Possibility 3) One source has some connection to Paul Tracy and is leaving the door open for PT to be announced either full time or part time with someone. I'll put this one at about 15%.

Possibility 4) Someone that isn't even on the radar comes in and lands a ride somewhere, or Milka is announced for the ovals at D&R. Probability equals 8 percent.

Possibility 5) This is just all bull shit, and people are wrong. Maybe 7% for this one.

Personally, I'm hoping it is something about Paul Tracy however, however, any driver adding to the car count is a good announcement. Let's just hope we aren't being led astray like a blind fish.

Edit #1: Just a note, I believe this is seperate from anything related to Davey Hamilton formally announcing his Indy 500 ride at LB.

Edit #2: The more and more I hear about this, the more and more I want to say it will have to do with Paul Tracy. Up PT from 15% to 25% and drop Tomas Scheckter from 50% to 40%.

Edit #3 Monday: TSN in Canada is reporting PT will be in the 500 with KVRT and several other races.

4/10/09

33? UOWWB QOTW

Well, the Indy 500 is creeping up on us. The race itself is 43 days away, while the track opens up May 5th, 25 days from now. Indycar teams have these dates scheduled on their calendars, and so do many of us fans. And early next week, we get to figure out who will be attempting to run the 500, as the entry list comes out. Now, I'm pretty sure we'll have a surprise or two in the entry list when it does get posted, which is usually one of the fun parts of May. Anyways, here is this weeks UOWWB question of the week.



"With the lack of cars, how many cars do you expect at Indy this year?"
There have been rumors lately about a lack of parts for the Dallara's lately, specifically Team 3G running into issues to find a car for Tomas Scheckter to run. Another rumor had Robby Gordon and Childress getting together to run a car for the 500, but could find an actual car to run. Whether there is a shortage of cars or not, in Curt Cavin and Steve Ballard's latest article at Indystar.com Brian Barnhart believes 35 or 36 cars will attempt to qualify for The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. However, Cavin also writes about ways the race could get to 40 cars this year. So let's go through this and see what I can get to. Don't forget, this is the entry list, not nessicarily who shows up.

Full Season Cars (20)

#2 Raphael Matos - Luczo Dragon Racing
#3 Helio Castroneves - Team Penske
#4 Dan Wheldon - Panther Racing
#5 Mario Moraes - Kalkhoven Vasser Racing Technologies
#6 Ryan Briscoe - Team Penske
#7 Danica Patrick - Andretti Green Racing
#9 Scott Dixon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing
#10 Dario Franchitti - Target Chip Ganassi Racing
#11 Tony Kanaan - Andretti Green Racing
#13 E.J. Viso - HVM Racing
#14 Vitor Meira - A.J. Foyt Enterprises
#19 Justin Wilson - Dale Coyne Racing
#20 Ed Carpenter - Vision Racing
#21 Ryan Hunter-Reay - Vision Racing
#24 Mike Conway - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
#26 Marco Andretti - Andretti Green Racing
#27 Hideki Mutoh - Andretti Green Racing
#98 Stanton Barrett - Team 3G
#02 Graham Rahal - Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
#06 Robert Doornbos - Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing

Cars trying to do the full season (1)

#34 Alex Tagliani - Conquest Racing

Partial (Including Indy)/Indy Only Confirmed (7)

TBD Alex Lloyd - Sam Schmidt Motorsports/Target Chip Ganassi Racing
#12 Will Power - Team Penske
#15 Paul Tracy - Kalkhoven Vasser Racing Technologies
#16 Scott Sharp - Panther Racing
#43 John Andretti - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Richard Petty Motorsports
#44 Davey Hamilton - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Kingdom Racing
#67 Sarah Fisher - Sarah Fisher Racing

Announced, but skeptical (1)

TBD - Top Cover Racing

Expected but not announced (5)

#18 TBD - Dale Coyne Racing
#23 Darren Manning/Milka Duno - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
#36 TBD - Conquest Racing
#41 A.J. Foyt IV - A.J. Foyt Enterprises
TBD Tomas Scheckter - TBD

Possible, but Less Likely (13)

#8 Townsend Bell/Oriol Servia - Kalkhoven Vasser Racing Technologies
#17 TBD - Rahal Letterman Racing
#76 TBD - Sarah Fisher Racing
TBD TBD - Bryan Herta Autosports
TBD Franck Montagny - Andretti Green Racing
TBD TBD - Walker Racing
TBD Jeff Simmons - A.J. Foyt Enterprises
TBD Robby Gordon - Robbie Gordon Racing/Richard Childress Racing
TBD TBD - Rubicon Racing
TBD TBD - Hemelgarn Racing
TBD Junior Strous - PDM Racing
TBD Takuma Sato - de Ferran Motorsports
TBD TBD -Vision Racing

As far as I can drum up, we will have atleast 33 guarenteed trying to qualify. We get bump day from the less likely teams that end up putting together deals to run. I think with the tough times money-wise, and the shortage of parts, I think making 33 guarenteed between the full season, part timers/one-offs, and the expected cars is pretty good. Obviously we will see some surprises, and hopefully 3 Penske cars either way. Maybe Penske pulls Sam Hornish Jr. out of the taxi that weekend to try and vault the number 77 car up the owners points standings and throws him into a Dallara for the 500?

So either way, I am not worried about hitting 33 cars. I'm excited to see who does end up showing to the race and to see who ends up making the field. We should see between 35 and 38 cars actually attempt to qualify which is good for the race and for the competition.

Edit 1: Moved Scheckter to expected but not announced.

4/8/09

Bad News Bears

It seems we ran into a slight problem this past weekend. Rumor has it that the TV ratings for the Versus run St. Petes GP dropped off from last year, and when I say dropped, I mean like, Humpty Dumpty falling off a wall and shattering. Through Chris Estrada at Indy Racing Revolution, we have a report that the ratings for the St. Pete's GP dropped 60% in viewership from last year, and as the season opener, it dropped 79%. Mind you, he does say he isn't too sure about the source (An Autoracing1.com article, who is quite anti-IRL, or atleast pro-CCWS/CART, was posted on Trackforum) being quite true.

It seems everyone has had an opinion about the subject. Some argue that they were in tough with the season opener going up against the Texas Nascab race with two of the biggest names in the circus battling for the win.

However, the common denominator among any excuse is that Versus is only available in about 3/4 of the homes ESPN and ABC is. And just because it is available, doesn't mean that people get it. Mr. Iannucci claims both he and pressdog had to pay extra to subscribe for Versus in the states. I assume many americans couldn't be bothered to pay the extra dough to get Versus whether it's for the IRL or not. So let's say, of those 70-75 Million homes Versus is available in, only 40 to 50 million actually get the channel either through getting it as part of their current package, or through paying for the extra package. 50 to 60 percent drop in homes equals out to about the 60 percent drop in viewers for the St. Petes race.

So it isn't really that people didn't want to watch it, they just didn't want to watch it enough to spend the extra money on Versus. Unfortunately, it seems that unless something major happens, that won't change.

Maybe the IRL can take the money it is being paid for the TV rights and pay people every person 5 bucks to watch the race? It could be the new marketing campaign, encouraging people to film themselves watching the IRL race, and upload it to youtube, then they will be sent a crisp 5 dollar bill in the mail. Seems logical to get viewership up. In this tough economic time, some people wouldn't mind watching an IRL race, if they are getting paid for it anyways.

I have to agree with Defender of the IRL though, the sky is not falling. The IRL has a strong marketing strategy in place and I think we should give it some time for this strategy and Versus to figure it out and up the ratings a bit. However, the sky is not being held up by a whole lot right now unfortunately, and unless this picks up, the sky might just well tug on those strings and fall pretty fast.

And I'd love to know the numbers for the IRL's feed online. Since up here in the great white north, I don't get TSN2 (the IRL has to realize that Canada can be a strong ratings generator as well), I had to watch pieces of the race online. I'm not sure if I'm the only who had this issue, but the video feed was terribly late, 3 or 4 laps behind, it had no sound, and was terrible quality. If they intend for the webcast to be a quality option for people to watch if they don't have Versus, they need to improve this product quickly. I ended up clicking off the webcast and opened up the IMS radio feed which was my only and best option really. They do a good job, but I wish I could had watched the race properly.

Anyways, until I see the firm numbers from a reputable source, I won't make any of this stuff official, but I feel pretty strongly that AR1 is pretty spot on for this one.

4/4/09

Rahal On Track For Success

Well, unfortunately I missed qualifying to do some work for my lacrosse team helping a young players clinic. What I come back to shocks me.
  1. Graham Rahal on Pole
  2. Scott Dixon not in the Fast 6
  3. Justin Wilson/DCR in second?
  4. Tags and Manning 7th and 10th respectibly
  5. 3 AGR in the top... I mean bottom 7?


Graham Rahal seems like he is ready to break out this year I think. Last years rain soaked St. Petes GP was more luck then anything. But now it seems like, on the road and street courses, Graham Rahal has shown he is ready to roll this season and I like it. I'm impressed with his ability to put the NHL car on pole ahead of IRL Vets like Franchitti and Kanaan and Briscoe. This is a shot across the bow of the Big-3 and I hope NHL and Graham sink them this weekend.



As for Dixon, I expected him in the top 6 for sure. I know most of his wins came on the ovals but I still expected Dixon to compete for the pole here based on the team he is with and how his teammate did. But maybe it was just a rough session for them, but I think the competition will be gunning for him and will make it tough for him to do well as often as last season.



Anyone else notice that Justin Wilson picked up second place? Is it a typo or did DCR really step it up over the off-season? I know Robin Miller made it seem like Dale Coyne was ready to spend some of his coin to step up the ladder a bit, but this seems a bit far fetched to be competing with the Big 3 at St. Pete's. I doubt they will find this success on the ovals, but it is nice to see them start up front. Hopefully this means Paul Tracy will change his mind on turning down the offer for the second car at DCR.



The 2 last minute replacements did very well considering they finished ahead of most of AGR while Manning also finished in front of his teammate in the qualifying session. Tags best time was actually faster then Will Power's time in the Fast 6. Hopefully this will encourage some sponsors considering taking the plunge to hop on board the Conquest train.



Is it personnel or is it drivers? We all know AGR has all the parts and pieces for their Dallara's available so you have to wonder why they are so far back in the field for qualifying. I don't actually remember the last time an AGR driver aside from TK qualified for the Fast 6 session. Personally, I actually enjoy seeing Danica and Marco in the bottom half of the field because I don't like either of them while I'm null on Mutoh. Atleast Kanaan is near the top as I do enjoy him even though he is driving for AGR. The problem with Danica and Marco in the bottom of the qualifying order is that they are the drivers that the IRL needs to have near the top of the time charts to get the Americans who cheer for Americans back watching the series. It's a good thing one famous racers son has the ability to do that.



Anyways, with the field so spread out talent-wise (the top 19 are less then a second apart), it should make for an interested race. There will be some good battles for position and I'm hoping Versus covers it well. This is their first big test so we'll get to see how it goes.

4/3/09

For All You Twits

For anyone who is interested, I've joined the trend of bloggers on Twitter. You can find me under @ChamooTOS for updates and chit chat regarding the IRL and life, but usually the IRL. Make sure you follow me for The Other Side updates.

For those of you who haven't been on Twitter, many IRL personalities have Twitter including Vision, HVM, Conquest, Bryan Herta Autosports, KVRT, Rubicon, Curt Cavin, Danica Patrick, RHR, Mario Moraes and others.

For quick updates from teams and drivers during race weekends and off-weekends, sign up for Twitter and check out the site.

4/1/09

Tagliani to Conquest at St. Petes

As reported by Conquest via Twitter, Alex Tagliani will be driving the number 34 car in St. Petersburg this weekend with sponsorship from Northlands and the Rexall Edmonton GP.

Other drivers possible for this ride were Jaime Camara and no one so this is not a big surprise, but it is good to know someone will be occupying the seat for the weekend and Tags is my favorite of the two.

Tags ended the season with Conquest subbing for Enrique Bernoldi for the last three races and provided some of Conquests best finishes of the year. Tags is well known for his feedback about the car and will provide the engineers with plenty of information regarding the car for 2009.

Manning and Scheckter

Curt Cavin and Trackside Online are both saying Darren Manning will be driving for D&R at St. Petes this coming weekend.

Manning was let go by the A.J when Vitor Meira became available and is definately an upgrade over Milka Duno and in my opinion, probably a tad bit better then Townsend Bell, the two drivers who occupied that car in '08. D&R has gone through an off-season overhaul picking up Dad's Root Beer to sponsor Mike Conway, while releasing all three drivers from the '08 season.

However, this is still unofficial until the announcement this afternoon.

With a second car from D&R, that makes the entry list for St. Petes 22 cars with the only TBA as Conquest's sole car, who will most likely be Alex Tagliani.

Update: Curt Cavin is reporting via Twitter that Tomas Scheckter says he will start 2009 at Long Beach with Team 3G. No news if that is a 2 car team or if Stanton Barrett is out after St. Petes.

Dreyer & Reinbold Announcement Today!

Dreyer & Reinbold will be making a driver announcement today during the IRL Teleconference. Just received an email regarding the matter from the IRL PR media relations office. Also on the teleconference will be Bob Jenkins (play-by-play for Versus), Jeff Goldberg (VP Programming for Versus), Terry Angstadt, RHR, and the unannounced D&R driver.

So.... Now we get to play the guessing game. Who will be the unnamed driver?

Well logic dictates that Tomas Scheckter has the inside track with Curt Cavin announcing via Twitter he was close to a ride somewhere. But another possible driver is Milka Duno who is without a ride once her Citgo money fell through with NHL Racing. I'm really not sure if there are any outsiders possible here. Maybe Buddy Rice or Townsend Bell? I guess we'll just have to wait and see with this one.

Oh, by the way, I'm back from England and had an awesome trip. Definately enjoyed a few brews on the trip and had an awesome time playing lacrosse and making friends.


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