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Monday, July 21, 2008

Indycar catfight highlight of Cup off-week

The women of Indycar (yes, there is more than one) apparently aren’t getting along very well.

A mostly uneventful off week for the Cup series was livened up by an interesting encounter between Danica Patrick and Venezuelan driver Milka Duno. Duno, who is slow every time she competes, apparently pulled some blocking moves on a clearly faster Patrick during a practice at Mid-Ohio this weekend and hot-tempered Danica went over to have a word with Duno.

The ensuing argument was a moment of hilarity not seen in Indycar since Danica’s angry walk down the pits and threats against Ryan Briscoe at this year’s Indy 500.

The highlight of the video was Duno responding to Patrick’s “bad words” by throwing a towel at her -- twice. Though Duno’s English is pretty hard to understand, my favorite quote from the video is Danica saying, “It’s not my fault that you’re slow.”

Many people don’t like Danica in part because of these tirades she has, and would argue it wasn’t appropriate for her to confront a driver over something like this happening in practice. But that’s probably the best insult I’ve heard a racecar driver give in a long time. Come to think of it, that would make a great bumper sticker.

Duno later made comments that, “She can push the guys because they cannot do anything to her, but she cannot push me.” Perhaps Vince McMahon can set up a match at Wrestlemania for these two. And based on what I saw of the race on Sunday, this incident was a lot more exciting than what happened on Sunday.

Formula 1 near-shocker

For a series that’s usually quite predictable, 2008 has been an interesting one for Formula 1. It was beginning to look like a typical, boring, take-the-lead-on-lap-1-and-never-look-back F1 win for Lewis Hamilton at Hockenheim, when a bizarre screwup by the McLaren team dropped Hamilton back in the pack. Then, a one-stop strategy by usual backmarker Nelson Piquet Jr. put him in the unthinkable position of leading late in the race, with a chance to win. In the end, Hamilton did come back to win, but Piquet -- son of a 3-time Formula 1 champ -- got his first-ever podium finish by taking second. There is a four-way battle for the points lead … that’s more than I can say for any NASCAR series except for Trucks.

Moss off to good start
The debut of the Randy Moss Motorsports team co-owned by NFL star Randy Moss was impressive, with a 15th-place run by Willie Allen. The Truck series is very competitive, but Allen was 2007 Rookie of the Year in the series, so Moss and his partner may make some noise before the season is done.

Speaking of Trucks, the points battle there is excellent, with the top 3 drivers separated by 5 points. Mathematically, the entire top 10 could win the title. Looks like they don’t need a Chase in that series.

Pit stops in the dark
I’ll just come right out and say it: Watching Carl Edwards (or Clint Bowyer, or any other Cup driver for that matter) win a Nationwide race is like kissing your sister -- there’s no enjoyment to be had. Joey Logano finished second, and continues to show he’s ready for Cup. After 5 starts, he has 1 win, 4 top 10s and 3 top-5s … and he crashed out of the fifth race. Without the dozen or so Cup interlopers that show up most weeks, Logano and Brad Keselowski would be duking it out for the win each week, with other young guys like Landon Cassill right behind. And the fans would actually get some enjoyment out of the junior series.

The humor at Gateway came when there was a power outage just before the start of the race. As the race began and the cars got going, there were still no lights on pit road. The teams were actually going to wear something that looked like miner’s hats with lights on them and lighted gloves to do their jobs. The lights came back before that was necessary, but the thought of pit stops in the dark is so funny I almost wish I could have seen it.


Anonymous dawg said...

This was the biggest missed opportunity of the entire IRL season.
Just think about this, as fans, we have been force fed Danica. Until we are absolutely sick of her.
She seems to have let all the hype go to her head. Feeling a sense of entitlement, both on, & off track.
I'm sure that as much as she is resented by a large segment of the fans. It's nothing compared to what the other drivers feel.
Anytime she gets in a snit, she wants to push a physical confrontation. Knowing full well that it's going to be totally one sided.
Milka, on the other hand, had the opportunity to have mopped the floor with her. While the other drivers stood & silently cheered.
She has been unable to gain any respect on track, & she just missed her golden opportunity, to have gained tons of it off track. Doing what the majority of male drivers long to do, but can't!
Just think what the media could have done with that.

July 21, 2008 at 8:26 AM 

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