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Showing posts from May, 2012

Unofficial Results for 2012 Indianapolis 500

These are your unofficial Indianapolis 500 results. Driver — Laps completed — Status 1. Dario Franchitti — 200 — Running
2. Scott Dixon — 200 — Running
3. Toni Kanaan — 200 — Running 4. Oriol Servia — 200 — Running
5. Ryan Briscoe — 200 — Running
6. James Hinchcliffe — 200 — Running 7. Justin Wilson — 200 — Running
8. Charlie Kimball — 200 — Running
9. Townsend Bell — 200 — Running 10. Helio Castroneves — 200 — Running
11. Rubens Barrichello — 200 — Running
12. Alex Tagliani — 200 — Running 13. Graham Rahal — 200 — Running
14. JR Hildebrand — 200 — Running
15. James Jakes — 200 — Running 16. Simon Pagenaud — 200 — Running
17. Takuma Sato — 199 — Running
18. EJ Viso — 199 — Running 19. Michel Jourdain — 199 — Running
20. Sebastien Bourdais — 199 — Running
21. Ed Carpenter — 199 — Running 22. Katherine Legge — 199 — Running
23. Ana Beatriz — 190 — Running
24. Marco Andretti — 187 — DNF, Accident 25. Josef Newgarden — 161 — DNF, Mechanical
26. Sebastian Saavedra — 143 — DNF, Me…

Dario Franchitti Wins the Indianapolis 500, As Takuma Sato Hits the Wall

Dario Franchitti has become a 3-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 after an exciting finish that saw Takuma Sato claimed by the same Thin White Line that claimed Marco Andretti just moments before. Sato got loose on the white line and plowed into the wall, ending what was a very exciting race.Dario, who is sporting #50 (because it's Target's 50th anniversary), celebrated by putting on Dan Wheldon's white sunglasses and then hoisting the winner's wreath over his head. It was a very touching moment when I saw him don Dan's glasses.Dario choked up (and so did I) when he dedicated the race to his friend Dan Wheldon. The man is a class act and I always enjoy watching him race. He said the thing he is most proud of is having his face on the Borg Warner trophy next to Dan Wheldon's.

Rookie Josef Newgarden Out With Engine Problems

Rookie racer Josef Newgarden is out of the race with engine problems. He got on the radio, said he had problems with the engine just quitting, and has pulled off into the infield. He's getting checked out, and will have a tow. No one knows for sure whether he'll make it back in.At this point in the race, he's 24th with 161 laps, while Ana Beatriz is still running in 25th with 154 laps complete. Assuming they don't hit the Fix It button on Newgarden's car, Ana Beatriz will eventually pass Newgarden and take over 24th.Beatriz is having the kind of race I was hoping Jean Alesi and Simona de Silvestro would have had, but unfortunately, they were saddled with the Slotus engines, and were black flagged after 9 and 10 laps respectively.

Sebastian Saavedra Stalled On Warmup Lane, in Pits

Sebastian Saavedra has stalled on the warmup lane, and was towed into the pits. We're waiting to see what the diagnosis is, but right now, he has completed 143 laps, and is sitting in 25th place.Ana Beatriz is 5 laps behind him at 138 and is still driving. If she can hold on, she will pass him in just a few minutes.

Ryan Hunter-Reay Out After Suspension Problems

Ryan Hunter-Reay was being picked by some IndyCar fans as a possible winner, especially given his 3rd place position on the starting lineup. So it was more than a little disappointing that RHR had to bring it in to the pit and shut it down after experiencing some suspension problems. He didn't seem to have any contact, something just broke on his car. He finished in 27th place with 123 laps.

Ana Beatriz Hits the Wall in Turn 2

Ana Beatriz went into the wall in turn #2 after some oversteering. She didn't seem to bash into it too hard, so she may actually be able to get some work done and get back out on the track. They're towing her right this minute.Ed Carpenter was actually riding behind Beatriz, and very nearly T-boned her as she came out of the spin, but with some lightning fast reflexes, he dodged left and missed her completely.Beatriz was on lap 88, and she is the second woman out of the race, leaving only Katherine Legge.

Mike Conway, Will Power Involved in Accident

Mike Conway and Will Power have ended their day after an accident that appears to have been caused by bad track conditions. Going into turn #1, Conway got a little loose on his rear wheels — after coming back onto the track after a penalty for hitting a couple of his crew members — and was hit by Will Power from behind. Power drove under Conway's car, which lifted him up into the air.Conway found himself flying ass-first along the wall, head toward the wall (although he never hit it), while Power managed to get down to the infield.Later replays showed Helio Castroneves finessing his way into the warmup lane to avoid one of Conway's tires that had been rolling down the track. He bumped the tire, and asked for a new tire and for a quick look at his right front wing.Luckily everyone was okay, and Conway and Power were both able to get out of the car under their own power.

Jean Alesi and Simona de Silvestro Pulled Black Flagged

Jean Alesi and Simona de Silvestro were black flagged from the race for not enough speed. Alesi had completed 9 laps, de Silvestro had completed 10. This is a very disappointing finish, because de Silvestro was looking at a good 500, and Alesi came out of retirement from Formula1 to race.Lotus Engines needs to be completely embarrassed by this turn of events, because they provided sub-par engines to two world class racers in the biggest race in the world. Alesi and de Silvestro had hoped for a power boost to their engines, but they did not get any help.I hope these two drivers return next year with better engines from a much better engine manufacturer. Lotus needs to apologize for providing them with the auto racing equivalent of a windup toy.

Starting grid for the 2012 Indy 500

1. Ryan Briscoe2. James Hinchcliffe3. Ryan Hunter-Reay4. Marco Andretti5. Will Power6. Helio Castroneves7. Josef Newgarden8. Tony Kanaan9. EJ Viso10. Rubens Barrichello11. Alex Tagliani12. Graham Rahal13. Ana Beatriz14. Charlie Kimball15. Scott Dixon16. Dario Franchitti17. James Jakes18. JR Hildebrand19. Takuma Sato20. Townsend Bell21. Justin Wilson22. Michel Jourdain23. Simon Pagenaud24. Sebastian Saavedra25. Sebastien Bourdais26. Wade Cunningham27. Oriol Servia28. Ed Carpenter29. Mike Conway30. Katherine Legge31. Bryan Clauson32. Simona de Silvestro33. Jean AlesiAlesi and de Silvestro are at a distinct disadvantage, because they are using the slower, more suck-filled Lotus engines. They tried to get IMS to allow Lotus to remove some of the suck from the engines, but with no luck. The only way they're going to do well is if they are far enough back that they avoid some of the early race accidents. Alesi is also a top-notch Formula1 driver, and so his experience should give him an…

You Shouldn't Have to Repeat Your Wedding Vows

You Shouldn't Have to Repeat Your Wedding Vows
Erik is out of the office this week, covering the Indianapolis 500. So we are running a column from 2005.

How badly do you have to screw up your wedding vows so you need to do it all over again?

The diamond industry is hoping you did. And that you have to buy another expensive ring while you're at it.

The latest marketing campaign from the diamond industry and ADiamondIsForever.com is their "I Forever Do" commercials, where a guy asks his wife to marry him all over again. It's not as funny as the Family Guy parody ("She'll Pretty Much Have To"), but it's nearly as entertaining. I've seen two versions: a shorter commercial that most people have seen, and the longer one with more twists and surprise endings. You can find the longer one at the ADiamondIsForever.com website.

In the commercial, a husband and wife are in London on a family vacation. It's just the two of them, so either they have n…

Zero Tolerance Bullying Withers Under Scrutiny

Zero Tolerance Bullying Withers Under ScrutinyZero Tolerance is a festering mold that's destroyed when its putrid nature is exposed to the disinfecting power of the sun.

We saw that festering mold destroyed this past week here in Central Indiana, after an outrageous suspension of more than 50 high school students was lifted, following protests, laser-guided media scrutiny, and national mockery of the situation.

This past Tuesday, in the town of Clayton, west of Indianapolis, six Cascade High School students were suspended after a prank of decorating their school with 11,000 Post-It Notes the previous night.

District superintendent Patrick Spray, who has apparently forgotten what it was like to be in high school, was outraged — OUTRAGED! — that students would pull such a prank. So he suspended the kids, including the valedictorian, salutatorian, and senior class president, for trespassing, entering the school without permission, and for being unsupervised while on school grounds.

A…

Schools Cancel Bake Sales, Fun

Schools Cancel Bake Sales, FunSchool after school are overstepping their bounds, interfering in people's personal lives and liberties, practicing the dark art of behalfism.

Behalfism is when a small vocal group tries to speak on behalf of another group that really doesn't want or need it.

In this case, schools are canceling their bake sale fund raisers, because administrators are concerned about childhood obesity. According to a recent story on National Public Radio, schools are so concerned about childhood obesity, they think that if they can cancel their once-a-year bake sale, they can somehow overcome it. In fact, schools in California, Texas, and New York are limiting bake sales to only healthy food.

Because if there's one thing parents want to buy to help their child's school, it's a low-fat vinaigrette salad and organic gluten-free organic soy milk muffins. With raisins.

Before I go on, let me say that I recognize the seriousness of childhood obesity. I'm…

Dead Man Inside Bag May Have Been Killed

Dead Man Inside Bag May Have Been KilledRegular readers know I don't hold British government officials, especially town councils, in high regard. My reason for my attitude was reaffirmed this past week, after a British coroner was accidentally allowed out of her basement to speak to the media.

In a prayer offered to the patron saint of the blindingly obvious, coroner Fiona Wilcox has declared that a British spy, Gareth Williams, whose naked body was found inside a padlocked sports bag was likely "killed in a criminal act."

Let that sink in for a moment. It wasn't an accident. It wasn't a suicide. It wasn't one of those crazy things that British spies are known for, like flying to space stations on a stolen shuttle, or killing an entire Russian army battalion with a small pistol.

No, a naked spy who was folded up into the fetal position, arms folded across his chest, and keys to the padlock on the outside of the bag resting under his butt, was "probably u…