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Showing posts from May, 2016

Unofficial Results of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500

These are the unofficial results of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Rookie of the Year candidate (and now, a definite shoo-in), Alexander Rossi of Nevada City, CA left Formula 1 racing to become an IndyCar rookie. He has done what no other rookie has done since Helio Castroneves in 2001, and won the Indianapolis 500.

1. Alexander Rossi, 200, Running
2. Carlos Muñoz, 200, Running
3. Josef Newgarden, 200, Running

4. Tony Kanaan, 200, Running
5. Charlie Kimball, 200, Running
6. J.R. Hildebrand, 200, Running

7. James Hinchcliffe, 200, Running
8. Dixon, 200, Running
9. Sebastién Bourdais, 200, Running

10. Will Power, 200, Running
11. Helio Castroneves, 200, Running
12. Oriol Servia, 200, Running

13. Marco Andretti, 200, Running
14. Graham Rahal, 200, Running
15. Chilton, 200, Running

16. Hawksworth, 200, Running
17. Tagliani, 200, Running
18. Pippa Mann, 199, Running

19. Pagenaud, 199, Running
20. Chaves, 199, Running
21. Townshend Bell, 199, Running

22. Brabham, 199, Running

Takuma Sato Hits the Wall After Catching Dirty Air

Takuma Sato of A.J. Foyt Racing got them to wave the yellow flag after he hit the wall. Without too many people around him, he either ran into some marbles or caught some dirty air. Either way, he got loose and just veered over to the wall, smacked it, and steered safely down the straightaway. He managed to make it back to the pit, and they're looking at his car.

This was a lucky break for Helio Castroneves in the #3 Pennzoil car, because he had sustained some damage to the left rear wing after some minor contact. He was able to pit during Sato's yellow, get the rear wing assembly replaced, and get back out onto the track on the lead lap.

Castroneves is currently in 21st, and Sato is in 25th.

Ed Carpenter's #20 Car Has Retired

Ed Carpenter's #20 Fuzzy's car has retired from the race. That's what you say when a car is dropping out. It doesn't mean Ed is retiring from racing, it just means he's done today.

Ed completed 98 laps before going out for mechanical issues, and currently sits in 31st place. His teammates JR Hildebrand and Josef Newgarden are still out on the field, running 6th and 3rd respectively.

Buddy Lazier is also currently out for mechanical reasons, but no word has come down on whether he's out.

Townsend Bell Takes Out Ryan Hunter-Reay in the Pits

Just as I was writing about the Aleshin/Daly accident in turn 2 (lap 114), drivers came in for a needed pit. We've dealt with unsafe departures from the pit, and this one was the worst.

From what we could see, Townsend Bell was attempting to leave the pits and avoid Ryan Hunter-Reay, when he nearly collided with Helio Castroneves to his right (the right lane is considered the fast lane in the pits, and cars leaving their pit area need to be in the left lane). When he nearly collided with Castroneves, he swerved back over, and was T-boned by RHR, who was just departing the pit area.

Since the driver on the left has ben the one penalized for being unsafe, Bell has been assessed a stop-and-go penalty. He must enter the pit, stop, and then leave again. Since the top speed of Pit Road is 60 mph, this will be painful.

Bell and RHR managed to get back in and are running 25th and 26th respectively. Expect Bell to drop back further after his penalty.

Turn 2 Claims Two More Victims, Aleshin and Daly

Turn 2 claims two more victims, #7, Mikhail Aleshin (Schmidt Peterson with Pelfrey Racing) and #18, Conor Daly (Dale Coyne Racing). Turn 2 may need a little tightening because Aleshin got loose with no one around him, spun around backward, and hit the wall.

As his tires created a fog of smoke, Daly's car emerged from the fog, took some evasive maneuvers to avoid Aleshin's spinning wreck, overcorrected, and got loose himself. He looks like he made a little contact with the rear of his car to Aleshin's car.

The day is over for both men. Both drivers had finished 114 laps and sit 27th and 28th.

You can find my books Branding Yourself (affiliate link), No Bullshit Social Media, and The Owned Media Doctrine on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million, or for the Kindle or Nook.

In 30 years, we'll have the 100th CONSECUTIVE Running of the Indy 500

The reason the 100th Running and the 100 year anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 are on two separate dates is because of World War I and World War II. Owing to the war, a lack of drivers and mechanics, as well as the need to conserve resources and fuel for the war effort, the 500 was not run in 1917, 1918, 1942, 1943, 1944, or 1945.

Those missing six years meant that we celebrated the 100 years of the first race in 2011, and we're celebrating the 100th running — the more important date, I think — this year.

But, if the Indianapolis Motor Speedway wants to capitalize on another century mark, they should mark the 100th Consecutive in 30 years, in 2046.

Sage Karam Reaches 4th Place, Smacks the Wall

Sage Karam, driving the #24 car for DRR-Kingdom Racing, made a hard hit on the wall in turn 2. He was trying to pass Townsend Bell going into turn 2. He got too high, got out of the groove, got loose, and BAM!, he stuck it in the wall.

Karam was making a risky move, trying to pass when he was on the outside, and that was the end of his day. He completed 93 laps, and even at this point, is sitting in 30th place, ahead of Montoya (contact), Carpenter (who's in the pits with car trouble), and Lazier, who's currently 41 laps behind the Karam, thanks to a stuck throttle and late start.

You can find my books Branding Yourself (affiliate link), No Bullshit Social Media, and The Owned Media Doctrine on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million, or for the Kindle or Nook.

Juan Pablo Montoya Hits the Wall, is Out on Lap 64

Defending Indianapolis 500 champion, Juan Pablo Montoya, put the #2 Verizon car into the wall. From the looks of the replay on TV, something just appeared to break or the rear end got loose, and JPM started to slide. He took his hands off the steering wheel, and waited for the ride to end.

You can find my books Branding Yourself (affiliate link), No Bullshit Social Media, and The Owned Media Doctrine on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million, or for the Kindle or Nook.

Power, Kanaan Make Contact in Pit Row

In the clown show of Pit Row, cars coming in, cars going out, contact was inevitable. Will Power and Tony Kanaan made a little contact, and Kanaan managed to clip the wall. He's still running, and it's being reported that the incident is under review. Kanaan is still driving, but a ruling is expected soon.

UPDATE: Power was found to be the unsafe driver, and was made to go to the very back of the field.

Also, driver Buddy Lazier is back out, has completed 9 laps, and was just assessed a pit penalty. Oriol Servia was also assessed a pit penalty as well.

Hinchcliffe and Hunter-Reay Changing Leads 25 times in 25 laps

At 25 laps, Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe have changed the lead 24 times. RHR has led for 12 laps, and Hinchtown has led for 13.

You can find my books Branding Yourself (affiliate link), No Bullshit Social Media, and The Owned Media Doctrine on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million, or for the Kindle or Nook.

Buddy Lazier Back to Gasoline Alley, Failed to Start

1996 Indy 500 winner Buddy Lazier had problems from the outset, and didn't even start the Indianapolis 500. His throttle was sticking right from the start, so they've rolled his car back to Gasoline Alley. Not sure if he'll be able to make an appearance in the race at all.

When I was a kid, the race would easily take 3 or 4 hours, and a trip back to Gasoline Alley could still see you back out on the course. Nowadays, it means you're done.

Diane from IMS says he could still come back out, but Natalie says they haven't heard anything official yet.

You can find my books Branding Yourself (affiliate link), No Bullshit Social Media, and The Owned Media Doctrine on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million, or for the Kindle or Nook.

My Interview with Stefan Wilson, brother of Justin Wilson, at the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500

Stefan Wilson, brother of Justin Wilson, at the Indianapolis 500 Media Day 2016, held this past Thursday. I had a chance to interview him and eavesdrop on another interviewer's questions.

Justin Wilson was my favorite IndyCar driver, and was always fun to interview. He was the first driver I ever interviewed at the Indy 500, and he was such a gentleman. He was patient, answered my questions, and had a nice conversation with me. He died on August 23, 2015 during the race at Pocono. During the interview, Stefan got to talk about his experiences at the track and what it was like to grow up watching Justin race.

You can find my books Branding Yourself (affiliate link), No Bullshit Social Media, and The Owned Media Doctrine on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million, or for the Kindle or Nook.

My Picks to Win the Indianapolis 500

Prognosticators love to show off their knowledge of auto racing and predict the winner of the Indianapolis 500. I'm no different. I've got a couple favorites to win the 100th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Based on his experience and skill, and he fact that he's with one of the big powerhouse teams, I think Frenchman Simon Pagenaud has an excellent chance to win it all. The Jean Gerard lookalike has been making sure people know his name since he burst on the scene in 2011. He won two races in 2013 and 2014, but didn't pick up any wins in 2015. But he's won three races out of five so far in 2016, including two poles.

And he's driving for Team Penske, one of the two best-funded teams in the race this year. Roger Penske is so integral to the Indianapolis 500 that he's driving the pace car this year; this is also his 50th year as a race team owner. Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing are two of IndyCar's Death Stars, and they're always domi…

Sunday Morning at the Speedway Like Going to Church

It's tradition. Like Sunday morning church.

Every Memorial Day Sunday, the parishioners groan their way out of bed, get dressed and pack for the day, and head to the cathedral. It's a venerable old place that still stirs an old-school sense of awe and wonder, even in the oldest of church goers. They can't help but look up, mouth open, staring at the famed Pagoda, the steeple that calls the faithful to worship at the altar of the Yard of Bricks.

It's Race Day in Indianapolis, and today is extra special: it's the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

The volunteers scurry around before the gates open, making sure everything is in order. Cleaning up, setting out programs, making sure the sacraments are filled and ready for churchgoers to partake in their special communion of beer and hot pretzels. And there are enough corndog and kettle corn stations to feed the masses. It may not be loaves and fishes, but this is the Hoosier way.

The day will open with announcements…

Man Jewelry Do's and Don'ts (Mostly Don'ts)

Erik is out of the office this week, so we're reprinting a column from 2005 about some loser in his late 40s, which is Erik's current age.

I've never been the kind of Guy to wear jewelry, at least not on a long-term basis, and only certain kinds. I've worn the occasional class ring, I tried a gold chain for a couple weeks, and I'll put on a nice cameo brooch when I want to feel pretty.

Of course, I've worn my wedding ring every day without fail for the last eleven-and-a-half years, partly because it's a symbol of my undying love for my wife, but mostly because she'd choke the life out of me if I left the house without it.

But I draw the line at Man Jewelry. Pinkie rings, huge gold necklaces, and the dreaded gold bracelet are strictly verboten.

It's not that I'm opposed to Man Jewelry, it's just that I don't think men should wear it. Ever.

That may be a little too extreme, so I'll just limit it to Guys. If it's something your wife…

Graduation Speech to a Driving School

Every May, I like to write a Graduation Speech I'll Never Give. This year's speech is to the graduates of the A1 Driving School of Lincoln Park, IL.

Good morning graduates of the A1 Driving and Traffic School, family members, and faculty. Er, that is, Mr. Lewis "Big Lou" Polnachek. It is my distinct honor and privilege to speak to you after what has been a grueling six weeks.

And I have to applaud you, graduates. I was speaking with Mr. Poln — Oh, sorry. I was speaking with Big Lou, and he was sharing some of your stories.

(No, Big Lou, I did not put on the t-shirt. We discussed this. I wear a coat and tie when I give these speeches, not an A1 t-shirt. Fine, 50 bucks.)

As I was saying, Lou talked to me about how each of you have overcome hardship and adversity to arrive at this big day. And they're inspirational stories indeed.

For example, many of you know Skylar's story, and how he managed to get, not two, not three, but FIVE speeding tickets in just six sh…

Google Feeding Romance Novels to its Artificial Intelligence

From the Desk of Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google:

Dear Google Employees, Shareholders, and Clients,

I yearn for your touch, and my loins quiver for the day we can be together again.

No, wait, that's not right. Dammit, stop it!

As I was saying, some of you may already know, we've embarked on a brave new venture at Google. We want to humanize our artificial intelligence and give it a personality. Our goal was to make our various products understand language better in order to sound more conversational.

It was a novel approach.

A romance novel approach, you might say. (Ha ha! But no, we have a serious problem.)

Project DRAINN — Develop Romantic Artificial Intelligence Neural Network — was the unofficial name of our attempt to teach Google's artificial intelligence (AI) engine to learn the subtleties of the English language.

To accomplish this, we've been feeding the texts of romance novels to the AI, so it will parse, examine, and learn the language. We've given it titles…

House Hunters Has Ruined Home Buying

I think House Hunters and other HGTV shows have ruined the general house buying public. People have become spoiled, uninformed, and don't seem to understand basic physics or economics when it comes to home buying.

The premise of most House Hunters involves a young couple moving to a new city. They have an unreasonable wish list for their new home, and are looking for sleek modern architecture combined with classic Victorian decor. It has to have a lot of space, a big yard with an Olympic-sized swimming pool, be two blocks from the office in the heart of downtown, and they want a view of nature. Plus it has to have four bedrooms, a man cave, a fitness room, and a wine cellar, but be less than 2,000 square feet.

And they want a stable for their unicorn.

Their budget is usually several hundred thousand dollars, much more than a freelance web designer and a part-time yoga instructor should reasonably expect to earn in their lifetime. But there they are, magic pixie dust wish list in h…