Archive for Auto Racing
What? It’s probably true.
Well, isn’t it?
Flying around a tight corner at an estimated 80 mph, rally driver George Miedecke, a NASCAR driver who was racing his father’s classic 1970 Ford Capri Perana only because of his old man’s back injury, flew off a cliff and crashed into the water after being unable to navigate the curve.
Miedecke’s father, Andrew, a local racing legend, reportedly had two simple instructions for his son prior to the race held in Tasmania, Australia: “Don’t crash and don’t come in second.” Unfortunately for the younger Miedecke, he was unable to follow up on either of his father’s simple and explicit caveats.
Now I’m not the most gifted person when it comes to reading into people’s feelings based upon their facial expressions – if I were, I probably wouldn’t have gotten myself into what I refer to as “The Staring Contest Turned Harassment Restraining Order Incident,” but this one has all the appearances of a no-brainer. Pictured above is a photo of Miss Danica Patrick standing on the 103rd floor of the Empire State Building, which is the observation deck on the 102-story building. According to this site, the 103rd floor observation deck is not open to regular folks like you and I – only celebrities and other assorted bigwigs get the chance to take a gander of the New York City skyline from that particular vantage point:
The normally off-limits 103rd floor is usually only seen by 30 to 40 celebrities each year, and more prosaically, people working with its television and radio transmitters and antennas. If you clamber up the narrow staircase behind the unmarked, locked door on the 102nd floor — and venture past the signs warning of high levels of radio-frequency radiation — you find yourself on a walkway encircling the small room. It’s wide open to the elements, with no fences and only a knee-high wall separating you from the void. It was fortunately calm on the day NewYorkology visited — clinging to the wall in a stiff wind would be scary.
Patrick was at the Empire State Building earlier today, along with fellow drivers Dario Franchitti and Helio Castroneves, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, which Patrick qualified for on Sunday, despite inclement weather during what is referred to as Bump Day.
But the big race is small potatoes compared to standing on that walkway. As you can see by the abject horror on Patrick’s face (take a look at what she looked out at from where she was standing – chilling), it was not a pleasant experience for her. Nor would it be for me. I’m terrified of heights. I’m getting the heebie-jeebies just looking at that photo. When I was in Seattle and visited the Space Needle, I couldn’t walk to the edge of the observation deck and that thing was completely enclosed by a series of chain link fences. Yes, I’m a total wuss. But I’ll have you know I have developed the will and courage to climb up onto the fifth step of a ladder. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.
Crikey! Due to a massive explosion, the oft-referenced Australian saying, “Let’s throw another shrimp on the barbie” nearly came to fruition, only in this case, the shrimp was Australian Touring Car driver Karl Reindler and the barbie was the burning remnants of his race car. Unbelievably – but thankfully – Reindler is on the mend and counting his blessings after surviving a horrific explosion which occurred during a race in Perth, Australia on Sunday when another driver, Steve Owen, rammed Reindler’s vehicle from behind. Both cars were set ablaze, but miraculously, Reindler only experienced second degree burns to his hands and minor burns to his face as a result of the inferno. Holy moly.
Incredible video follows.
Awesome much? In an incredible publicity-generating stunt that has instantly transported me all the way back to my days as a Hot Wheels-obsessed wee lad when kids actually played with real toys (sometimes outside, even), officials at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have announced that just prior to the racing of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29th, an unnamed driver will attempt to break the world record for the longest jump by a four-wheeled vehicle, utilizing a life-sized version of the Hot Wheels V-Drop jump. Man, is that going to be cool as all get out.
A 100-foot door, located at the fourth turn of the historic race track, will be visible to spectators throughout the buildup to the race and will be connected to a ginormous replica of the trademark orange ramp.
Via an AP report in The Washington Post:
“It is a feat of engineering, and it’s a jaw-dropping sight when you see it,” vice president of marketing Simon Waldron told The Associated Press.
There’s no doubt the stunt will grab attention.
Organizers plan to suspend the large door, which will include a huge replica of the brand’s so-called V-Drop off the door. It will take three weeks to put everything in place.
I state the following opinion without any hint of hyperbole whatsoever: this will without a doubt go down in history of one of the coolest stunts ever attempted in the history of mankind ever. While the jump will not be made over any cars, motorcycles or other objects, if the driver nails it, it will count as a world record, breaking the current mark of 301 feet by Johnny Graves. And if doesn’t work the first time, officials have said additional attempts will be made, time permitting. I can see that. To take the time to create a stunt of such magnitude and have it fail would suck. Screw the race. Let the guy keep trying it until he nails it.
Now that I have Hot Wheels on the brain – I am giving serious consideration to purchasing this bad boy today – how about we enjoy a video featuring some pretty bad ass Hot Wheels jumps? Enjoy.
Oh, and for the uninitiated – like myself – allow me to add that the Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 is a convertible which will reach speeds upwards of 140 mph. I mean, can you imagine the kind of whipping and swirling and flopping Donald Trump’s hair will be doing on Sunday, May 29th, when the centennial edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” is held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway? I’m not sure if that mop has the structural integrity to hold up to that kind of wind velocity.
Evidently, it occurred to both reporters and Trump himself because it turned – not surprisingly, I suppose – into a topic of conversation at the official announcement that The Donald will be driving the Chevrolet Camaro convertible pace car, which was held Tuesday in the lobby of Trump Tower.
Trump said he was honored to have received the invitation and that he does know how to drive.
“It’s a great honor,” Trump said. “I do (have a driver’s license.) I consider it a great luxury to drive.
“Of course, the hair was a key question, especially because the pace car is a convertible that will go up to 140 mph.
“It is my hair, and I don’t really mind,” Trump said. “But I’ll probably wear a hat.”
A hat? Come on, Trump: give the public what it wants: a freakishly enthralling display of unfettered insanity courtesy the sight of your gnarly head of hair whipping about to and fro and up and down at over 100 mph. Now that would be a sight. Better yet, have Larry King ride shotgun with you.
Obviously, the entire hair angle of this story needed to pointed out, but in a way, Trump’s hairdon’t has been kind of played out. Maybe I should have got in touch with The Situation for some Donald Trump-themed zingers.
‘The Donald’ Thrilled To Drive Indy 500 Pace Car [TheINDYChannel.com]
Some higher-ups at IndyCar appear to be poising the racing circuit to seize the moment and capitalize on the aimless television viewing meanderings of lost and embittered NFL fans this fall if in fact the lockout continues and there is no 2011 season, or a delayed one, for that matter. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard is reportedly in talks with Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage to possibly stage a Monday night Izod IndyCar Series race at the track. Hank Williams, Jr. is already re-working the lyrics to that blasted song in eager anticipation.
“It’s all pie in the sky at this point, but I’m a firm believer that when one door closes on someone another one opens for someone else,” Bernard said. “We’re ready to do anything and everything we can do to reach more mainstream, and I know the press will be hungry for more to cover if they’re not covering football.
“(Gossage) is aggressive and likes to try these kinds of things.”
While I admire IndyCar’s initiative and foresight, I just don’t see auto racing ever becoming an accepted replacement for prime-time NFL football. Although I would love to watch Ron Jaworski break down race film and hear Jon Gruden go over the top in his praise of the moxie and compete level of individual drivers, as well as cars. “Now THIS CAR. THIS CAR has got it all. And THIS DRIVER sure knows how to OPERATE it by STEERING AND SHIFTING. But if THESE TWO want to win this race in the INDYCAR FOOT—er, RACING LEAGUE, it’s going to require TEAMWORK and they’ll have to step up their PREPARATION and probably make a pit stop or two for more FUEL.”
Or something like that. Still, I don’t see it happening.
If games are lost in NFL lockout, IndyCar might fill void [IndyStar.com]
Yeah, I thought so. Evidently, this is Danica Patrick checking out the intimidating track at Bristol Motor Speedway in advance of her participating in the Nationwide Series’ Scotts EZ Seed 300 on Saturday. She looks impressed, or amazed, or…terrified. Either way, I’m not going out on a limb here to suspect the expression on Miss Danica’s face is a reasonable facsimile of her O-Face.
At least her stated goal for Saturday’s event is modest (via USA Today): “It’ll be interesting. I just hope to finish.”
Ha. Hope to finish. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard a woman say that…
No, man: I used to be quite the accomplished amateur female marathon trainer…statements similar to Danica’s simply go with the territory.
Danica Patrick has a modest goal for Bristol: Finish the race [USA Today]
And that’s saying something, because if I had a nickel for every headline I have read about an upcoming reality show that features auto racing and a dyslexic comic, well, I don’t have to tell you about all the jingling and jangling you would here emanating from my pants pockets.
It is a shame, though, that the dyslexic comic waitress herself, Susan Dale, will never be able to enjoy this particular article about her. You know, because she doesn’t subscribe to The Oklahoman. That’s a shame.
Worst. Go. Daddy. Ad. Ever.
I don’t know whether to praise the fine folks over at The Slanch Report or curse them to eternal damnation for bringing to light this nightmare fueled photo of Danica Patrick, the greatest barely average auto racer of this time or any other, and how it depicts how she agreed to sign a young man’s sizable moobs. Thanks for the mammaries, I guess.
I mean, jeez, get a look at how Cletus is able to take a generous scoop of man-breast flesh in each hand and squeeze them together. Chilling. It’s almost enough to induce the activation of one’s gag reflex. But does his milkshake bring all the boys to the yard? You know, the yard littered with auto parts, soiled couches and broken kitchen appliances.
[H/T The Slanch Report]