Texas Firestone 550K Thoughts

There is something about Indycar at Texas Motor Speedway that just spells out excitement. Between the promotional skills of Eddie Gossage, the skill of the Izod Indycar Drivers, racing under the lights, and the wheel to wheel action, Texas is a must see each year, and very rarely does it dissapoint (2009 is the exception).

The race Saturday night saw 11 lead changes, multiple challenges for the lead, and slicin' and dicin' from 6th through 20th for most of the race. Anyone who complained about Texas last year (everyone) and Kansas this year (me) could not complain about the 550K this year. This race had drama, suspense, danger, and excitement all bundled up into one.

But can someone explain why Ryan Briscoe decided to ruin the Izod Indycars potential big night? Texas is one of the highest rated races asides from Indy the entire year, and is about as red, white, and blue as you can get in the USA. What a night for an American (specifically named Ryan, Marco, or Danica) to pull out a big "W" in Texas. With Danica and Marco in the running, as much as it pains me to say this, having a Danica/Marco 1-2 finish would had been a huge night for the series and Versus.

On a side note, did anyone else notice the roar from the crowd when Danica flew past Briscoe on his out lap? I guess they still like her in Texas.

However, it was good to see Briscoe bounce back from his Indy mistake and show the Captain he should no be replaced by a certain Graham Rahal. Briscoe was in contention all night and pulled away at the end, proving the Penske clan (along with Target Chip Ganassi) still has the best equipment, no matter how close Andretti Autosport gets.

I don't really want to get into the safety team screw up as it has been covered everywhere else already, instead, I'll simply link you to 16th and Georgetown's article on the matter. He did a great job explaining the situation, much better than I can do.

Back to racing matters, how about Alex Lloyd?! 3rd or 4th at Indy (depending on who you ask) and now an 8th place finish at TMS! Can I just remind everyone that Alex is no longer running for Chip Ganassi, but is instead running for Dale Coyne Racing. No offense to Dale, but his chances of putting in good performances occur on the twisty road courses where driver skills take precedence over aero. For Alex and Dale to be running in the top ten on ovals is a big step up for them, and I'm very happy to see it happen. Now, imagine if they were running a competent driver in the second car?

Next up on the radar for the Izod Indycar Series is the Iowa Corn Indy 250. That track has taken some time to get racey since they started going there, but it is by no means a boring race track. The 7/8 mile super-speedway as some drivers call it makes for a different view on short track racing, and usually provides tight finishes, and Hideki Mutoh sightings near the front.

As for the Texas Firestone 550K, I will give it 8.5 Robbie Knievel jumps out of 10.


Indy 500 is Over, Slackin' is Over

Yea, I know, I've been slackin' at this blog. Now that the Indy 500 is over, some things have caught my attention. This blog is slightly time consuming in the long run, but a couple of things have brought me to post this today, a couple things that make you think, not on a massive level, but a couple of things that make you appreciate the opportunity you have.

First of all, Jeff Iannucci over at My Name Is IRL has decided to put his writing on hold for personal reasons. For those of you that do not know, Jeff was one of the first Indycar bloggers, and one of the more famous ones (if you can call it famous, perhaps acknowledged was a better term). He posted for years on the subject of anything IRL informing people about smaller details and offering his opinion on the big picture while throwing in his witty humor along with it.

Jeff is the first Indycar blog I followed when the merger happened. I needed a place to get news asides from the Indycar website, and his blog provided that. In fact, often times, either his blog, or one of the blogs on his "sidepod" would report the news before the IRL would which was the best of both worlds.

After reading his blog for months and months, and really getting into the new Indycar Series, it was his humor and wit, along with the way he went about his writing that convinced me to start "The Other Side".

Unfortunately I do not have the humor and wit of one Mr. Iannucci, I think the only person to rival him in the blogging community is Pressdog. But when this blog is in full power mode, I do my best to provide the public with the information you guys seek, and the opinions you folks (for some reason) seem to care about.

Now that Jeff has left the circus, at least for now, it sort of gave me that jolt, that sense of being needed. Between all of us bloggers, we have to step up and try to fill the hole that Jeff and My Name is IRL has left so that you all can be kept up to date with the shenanigans and goings-on of the Indycar Series and all American Open-Wheel Racing.

The other thing that made me think today was a quote on Indystar.com from IRL CEO Randy Bernard regarding the 500.

"I didn't really hear any complaints, although I don't know if that's people just being polite when they talk to me,'' Bernard said. "That's why I like reading the blogs to find out what fans are saying. They're going to say the things you don't want to hear. So I'm going to make a point of reading what they're saying.''

It really makes you think, when you have the leader of a massive American institution claiming he wants to read blogs to find the opinions of fans. I mean, we have the opportunity, all of us, through my writing and your comments to perhaps make an impression on the man who leads the series we love (and hate).

Where else do we get an opportunity to influence any one of great power really. I think the closest thing you have is a politician who listens, but does not hear.

Mr. Bernard gives us that opportunity to create a positive influence and to have a stake in what we love. That is what made me realize I cannot continue to leave this blog sitting here idle any longer, and hopefully you folks will continue to trickle over here to catch some news and opinions, and maybe, just maybe, have your voices heard by the powers that be in AOWR.
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