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IndyCar - Motegi race


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#1 Bumper

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 20:19

With this weekend being essentially a AOW doubleheader in an extraordinary situation, with points earned in both races, IndyCar will head off first with its race at Motegi on Saturday. This thread will be the IndyCar thread, for CC/Long Beach please use the other thread (which IMO deserved a more graceful introduction, it being the last CC race and the end of an era, but alas).

Driver entry list for Motegi:

Car Driver Hometown Car Name Entrant Race Strategist
2 A.J. Foyt IV Hockley, Texas Vision Racing Vision Racing Tony George
3 Helio Castroneves Sao Paulo, Brazil Team Penske Team Penske Tim Cindric
4 Vitor Meira Brasilia, Brazil Delphi National Guard Panther Racing John Barnes
6 Ryan Briscoe Sydney, Australia Team Penske Team Penske Roger Penske
7 Danica Patrick Roscoe, Ill. Motorola Andretti Green Racing Kyle Moyer
9 Scott Dixon Auckland, New Zealand Target Chip Ganassi Racing Target Chip Ganassi Racing Mike Hull
10 Dan Wheldon Emberton, England Target Chip Ganassi Racing Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chip Ganassi
11 Tony Kanaan Salvador, Bahia, Brazil Team 7Eleven Andretti Green Racing George Klotz
14 Darren Manning North Yorkshire, England ABC Supply Co./AJ Foyt Racing A.J. Foyt Enterprises A.J. Foyt
15 Buddy Rice Phoenix Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dennis Reinbold
17 Ryan HunterReay Boca Raton, Fla. Rahal Letterman Racing Team Ethanol Rahal Letterman Racing Scott Roembke
20 Ed Carpenter Indianapolis Menards/Vision Racing Vision Racing Larry Curry
23 Townsend Bell San Francisco Dreyer and Reinbold William Rast Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Robbie Buhl
24 Jay Howard ® Basildon, England Roth Racing Roth Racing Jeremy Milless
25 Marty Roth Toronto Roth Racing Roth Racing David Cripps
26 Marco Andretti Nazareth, Pa. Alpine Andretti Green Racing Paul Harcus
27 Hideki Mutoh ® Tokyo Formula Dream Andretti Green Racing Kim Green
77 Roger Yasukawa Los Angeles Interush/Wellman Racing CURB/Agajanian/Beck Motorsports Greg Beck

All cars use Dallara chassis, Honda engines and Firestone tires.

Current top 5 driver standings after St Petersburg:
1. Helio Castroneves 72
2. Scott Dixon 62
3. Tony Kanaan 59
4. Graham Rahal 53
5. Marco Andretti 53

The race will start at 1pm local time on Saturday. ESPN2 will broadcast live from midnight/early morning Sat, in the UK Sky Sports 2 will provide (delayed full) coverage from 17.00-19.00pm. I don't think there'll be live streaming on indycar.com this weekend, it should be back for Kansas next weekend. EDIT: live streaming for both Motegi and Long Beach on indycar.com will be available.

And finally a strong rumour suggests Paul Tracy is currently finalising a deal with Vision Racing to enter a third car for Indy, but possibly for the rest of the season and less possibly starting as early as this weekend at Motegi, depending on whether Forsythe will allow him to race in Long Beach or not.

A polite request for the haters to stay away from this thread, it's about time we focused on the racing again.

Practice sessions start in a few hours time, with qualifying on Friday.

Bring it on :)

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#2 IOU 16

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 20:28

When is Milka going to be running the car of Townsend Bell at Dreyer and Reinbold again?

#3 Bumper

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 20:41

Her website is saying:

"Duno’s next scheduled race is at Kansas Speedway, Sunday, April 27." god help us

EDIT: by the way IOU16, any news on Star Mazda and Atlantics, do you maybe have any more info on the status of those series at the moment and who they will be aligning to as support series?

#4 IOU 16

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 21:03

Originally posted by Bumper
Her website is saying:

"Duno’s next scheduled race is at Kansas Speedway, Sunday, April 27." god help us

EDIT: by the way IOU16, any news on Star Mazda and Atlantics, do you maybe have any more info on the status of those series at the moment and who they will be aligning to as support series?


You'd think with her experience on road courses, she's race those over the ovals. But the money goes where it goes.


Star Mazda is already an IMSA Sanctioned series, so it would probably remain as it is. The Mazda ladder is still there. Starting in Skip Barber National Series, then to Star Mazda, and then to Atlantics. Both already are running with the American LeMans Series or Grand Am. Atlantics will race at Edmonton with the League, but it will only be for 2008, as the series has no connection and is not wanted by Tony George.

Tony George has the Indy Lights (using the imagination there I'd say), so the IRL is I guess set. Start the kids in the 300hp rockets :rotfl: from 120hp Skip Barber cars or Formula Ford 2000's.

#5 Bumper

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 21:20

Thanks so much for that information, lots of people have been wondering about that.

Yes I very much wish Mazda/Atlantics would have replaced IPS as a ladder system, but unfortunately reality got in the way.

#6 IOU 16

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 21:30

Originally posted by Bumper
Thanks so much for that information, lots of people have been wondering about that.

Yes I very much wish Mazda/Atlantics would have replaced IPS as a ladder system, but unfortunately reality got in the way.


I'm going to break your haters rule, but the guys at Champ Car sold out the series to Tony George. The Atlantics were not included as Gerry Forsythe never agreed to the deal fully. He still owns the Atlantics. Tony George wants no history of Champ Car with his series. He is the savior of open wheel racing in America and I bet you he would rather have the Atlantics die a death.


Mazda got the bad end of this deal and probably will never look at major open wheel racing again.

#7 Bumper

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 21:45

I know, and I wish things had played out differently. I still think though Gerry could have played his cards better if he had put his emotions to one side and focused more on the business side of the negotiations?

And discussions are always welcome on this thread, I just wanted to avoid the name calling, shouting and pettiness that have poisoned other threads. I realise this whole unification thing is steeped in deep emotion for both sides, including myself.

#8 IOU 16

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 22:00

I think what Gerry did was right at this point. He is rumored to come in next year or 2010 anyway, so give him time to adjust. All the other teams adjusted on the fly and have seen alot of troubles within their orgainzations.


Just a tidbet on the 2007 edition of the IRL race in Japan. According to the US Nielson TV Ratings, the IRL scored a 0.0, one of the few that have done so. That 0.0 relates to really anything under 100,000 viewers, which is close to only fanatics watching the race. Even F1 in the US score higher than that.

I do not think PT will drive a "crapwagon", unless it was with a team that'd promise a legit shot at winning and Vision has no shot, and never will. Only joining Penkse or Ganassi, but they already are set, with Ganassi having a driver under contract in Alex Lloyd and no money to put him in a seat. Plus, Ganassi might loose Target as a sponsor after this season, moving full time to two of their Nascar race cars.

#9 Bumper

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 22:13

Yeah, the ratings were crap but I don't think you can compare 2007 IRL with 2008 IndyCar.

PT has expressed his strong desire to get an IndyCar seat this year, but only for a competitive team. Don't underestimate Vision though, they were nowhere last year but this year have made a LOT of progress (never mind their illegal set up for St Petersburg where they were sent to the back of the grid, they still finished impressive). I was hoping PT would get a third car drive with Penske for Indy but it now sounds like Hornish Jr is gonna get the seat.

#10 ColdHeart

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 01:41

Originally posted by IOU 16
I think what Gerry did was right at this point. He is rumored to come in next year or 2010 anyway, so give him time to adjust. All the other teams adjusted on the fly and have seen alot of troubles within their orgainzations.


Just a tidbet on the 2007 edition of the IRL race in Japan. According to the US Nielson TV Ratings, the IRL scored a 0.0, one of the few that have done so. That 0.0 relates to really anything under 100,000 viewers, which is close to only fanatics watching the race. Even F1 in the US score higher than that.



The Motegi race was broadcast at midnight on a Saturday night.

#11 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 02:04

Originally posted by ColdHeart
The Motegi race was broadcast at midnight on a Saturday night.


I guess FTG can sell huge interest if he hits 0.1 then.
Any guesses on what Long Beach can get?


#12 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 05:09

Slightly better, but mainly due to TV schedule and not cars/drivers.

#13 mapguy

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 22:01

Originally posted by Jim Wilke



The Motegi race was broadcast at midnight on a Saturday night.


And St Pete's got a .4 on a Sunday afternoon. The only people watching this 'league' are the same 'place' fans who think the world revolves around the Marion County 500, think that FTG has a brain and has the opinion that crapwagons are state of the art.

#14 CWeil

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 22:17

Interesting to see Yasukawa back.

#15 IOU 16

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 22:23

Originally posted by CWeil
Interesting to see Yasukawa back.


Japanese ancestory (he was born in L.A.) in the only race in Japan. They needed a field filler to get 18 cars.

BOOM! Perfect fit for the series and race.

#16 Bumper

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 22:45

I feel the love on this thread (as in the other one) :p

Oh what the hell, this weekend will be totally insane of course and I will watch Motegi, and then watch Long Beach with a tear in my eye, attended that race a couple of times with great memories. Hopefully (and expected) it will be added to the calendar next year. And re ratings, realistically the only way is up from here face it, it couldn't get much worse last year for both parties. I like it though that indycar.com will bring live streaming for both Motegi (including 3rd practice/qualifying) and Long Beach this weekend, much appreciated for those in Europe without coverage of LB. Hopefully not just a helicopter view this time...

Tomorrow Friday (well a few hours time from now in Japan) will bring third practice and qualifying for Motegi, with as you know rain expected all day there. If qualifying gets rained out, grid positions will be based on current standings.

Second practice:

Pos Driver Speed Time Laps
1. Kanaan 200.842 27.2453 58
2. Dixon 200.390 27.3067 56
3. Wheldon 200.250 27.3259 55
4. Castroneves 200.032 27.3556 27
5. Carpenter 199.737 27.3960 50
6. Andretti 199.675 27.4046 59
7. Briscoe 199.244 27.4638 39
8. Patrick 198.870 27.5155 55
9. Bell 198.005 27.6356 30
10. Foyt IV 197.736 27.6732 35
11. Manning 197.656 27.6844 47
12. Mutoh 197.455 27.7127 55
13. Hunter-Reay 197.129 27.7585 45
14. Rice 196.961 27.7822 59
15. Meira 196.495 27.8480 54
16. Roth 196.070 27.9084 54
17. Howard 192.840 28.3758 31
18. Yasukawa 189.547 28.8688 17

#17 potmotr

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 22:49

Big Dix looking strong again.

#18 Bumper

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 22:56

'Big Dix'? :D

'Nose Kanaan' too.

#19 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 23:57

I see Danica is strongly running mid pack with the same car/team that is running quickest.
:clap:

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#20 IOU 16

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 01:02

Originally posted by whitewaterMkII
I see Danica is strongly running mid pack with the same car/team that is running quickest.
:clap:


No! She has a legit shot at winning. All the cars could crash out and she could come back from 2 laps down to win. Well, maybe not, as she'd be the one to crash all the cars out.


I do not think Yasakawa should be allowed to race. Look at that? 3 mph down to last place. Over 10 mph to the top guys.

Good job for Townsend Bell. I like people with funny sounding names.

#21 CWeil

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 04:21

They should pick up time as the weekend goes on- it's probably more so the team than him.

It could be worse- it could be Duno.

Wasn't Fisher planning to start running soon?

#22 Bumper

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 08:54

However fast/slow people were going in practice, as it happened third practice and qualifying were rained out as fully expected, and the grid will now be formed according to current point standings. Therefore, the grid for Saturday's race will be:

1. Helio Castroneves Penske
2. Scott Dixon Ganassi
3. Tony Kanaan Andretti-Green
4. Marco Andretti Andretti-Green
5. Dan Wheldon Ganassi
6. Danica Patrick Andretti-Green
7. Ed Carpenter Vision
8. AJ Foyt IV Vision
9. Hideki Mutoh Andretti-Green
10. Ryan Hunter-Reay Rahal-Letterman
11. Buddy Rice Dreyer & Reinbold
12. Darren Manning Foyt
13. Vitor Meira Panther
14. Jay Howard Roth
15. Ryan Briscoe Penske
16. Townsend Bell Dreyer & Reinbold
17. Marty Roth Roth
18. Roger Yasukawa Beck

#23 F1Fanatic.co.uk

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 09:11

Any new of chance of rain disrupting race?

#24 Dudley

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 09:25

Originally posted by mapguy


And St Pete's got a .4 on a Sunday afternoon. The only people watching this 'league' are the same 'place' fans who think the world revolves around the Marion County 500, think that FTG has a brain and has the opinion that crapwagons are state of the art.


Friendly warning, people here tend to expect a higher level of debate than you're clearly used to over at CCF.

#25 Bumper

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 09:45

Originally posted by F1Fanatic.co.uk
Any new of chance of rain disrupting race?


No weather info on indycar.com or the Motegi circuit's site but weather.com is saying for Sat "overcast with rain showers at times. High around 55F. Winds NNE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 50%." Hmmm.

#26 aportinga

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 12:45

Originally posted by whitewaterMkII
I see Danica is strongly running mid pack with the same car/team that is running quickest.
:clap:


She's the next Fangio with tits!





No wait - she has no tits :wave:

#27 Josta

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 12:56

Originally posted by whitewaterMkII
I see Danica is strongly running mid pack with the same car/team that is running quickest.
:clap:


LSM: Look at this motor car. A BEAUTY, isn't it? It's got twenty
years happy motoring ahead of it - or has it? Here comes a woman!

[PAS walks up to the car]

LSM: Which side's she getting in? The driver's side! Oh, dear - the
WRONG side.

[PAS is now behind the wheel, bouncing around, talking directly to
the camera.]

PAS Gosh! What lovely comfy seats!

LSM Yes, but this isn't a DRAWING room, my dear. It's a complicated
motor vehicle, based on the principles of the internal combustion
ENGINE. A machine FAR too complicated for you to understand.

PAS: But I know about embroidery and kittens - won't that suffice?
Oh, blow it - I'm going to have a try!

[PAS cranks the engine, selects a gear, then shoots off backwards
straight into a brick wall]

PAS: Oops!

LSM: See? NOW look what you've done. Your pretty little mind simply
can't COPE with the motor car.

[PAS looks suitably chastened. A caption appears which LSM
helpfully reads out]

LSM: WOMEN: FOR PITY'S SAKE, DON'T DRIVE!

#28 jonpollak

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 18:04

Originally posted by Bumper
This thread will be the IndyCar thread, for CC/Long Beach please use the other thread (which IMO deserved a more graceful introduction, it being the last CC race and the end of an era, but alas).


Yeah..I know, totally self serving I was ..
And after all that they put it on indycar.com, bless em.

I would be happy to delete that thread as it is all the usual DUCK SEASON/RABBIT SEASON rubbish.
Just gimme the word and presto ...it's gone.

Mind you by the looks of the standard vitriol here..things ain't gonna change cuz of a lovely and well crafted salute to, what was at one time, a wonderful series.


I remember, back when they ran F1 at LB......
no maybe not...perhaps some other time.

Now..
Motegi..went to this race when it was C/C in 2000...rained at the circuit for the entire time I was there.
They ended up running on Sunday. It seems the hills around the track create a shroud and the clouds just sit.
That was with 25% chance of rain in the area. Sat is 50% chance and Sun looks similar

What is the scenario for a 2 day rain out?


I had a thought...
If Motegi is blown out as both Sat and Sunday look dubious and Graham does well at the beach and is a bit auspicious in Kansas...
He could be leading the IndyCar Championship going into the 500.
Can you imagine the beneficial press garnered by this unexpected aberration?

Win/Win I say

Jp

#29 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 18:06

Thats an interesting one. If it rains for a week, you could have Motegi canceled. Normally no harm no foul, except a bunch of guys just got free points in Long Beach. The smart thing then would be to declare LB a non-points result.

#30 jonpollak

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 18:15

Knowing the way things work in Japan they really only have Sat and Sun to get the race in.
If they are not packed up and on the way to Narita airport by Monday it would adversly effect Kansas next week.

Jp

#31 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 18:47

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
Thats an interesting one. If it rains for a week, you could have Motegi canceled. Normally no harm no foul, except a bunch of guys just got free points in Long Beach. The smart thing then would be to declare LB a non-points result.

Wouldn't that be known by race time at Long Beach?
That would be great, why even take the grid if that is the case...

#32 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 18:59

Only allowing one group of drivers/teams to score points would, rule wise, be even more contentious than Indy F1 05.

Though it would somehow fit the birthing pains of merging these series :lol:

#33 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 19:19

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
Though it would somehow fit the birthing pains of merging these series :lol:

Yeah, three races in and they have this pop up, sounds like someone at 16th and Georgetown didn't think this one through. Surprise, surprise.
Awful as it sounds that a scenario like this might occur, I wouldn't doubt that it turns out that the Motegi race gets a rainout. That would sure make the fact that Honda wouldn't budge on moving the race seem like a stroke of bad karma.

#34 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 19:29

Well apparently that's caused by the rest of the schedule. If they do it in the fall it's too close to the Japanese GP and it breaks some FIA law about other races too close to GPs. It's why the FIA would never approve the China Champ Car races, they always wanted to run too close to Shanghai F1.

#35 ColdHeart

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 19:29

Honda/Motegi were willing to move to a date in the fall but the only ones that were open were too close to the Japan GP and the FIA would not approve the switch.



#36 ColdHeart

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 19:31

Originally posted by jonpollak
Knowing the way things work in Japan they really only have Sat and Sun to get the race in.
If they are not packed up and on the way to Narita airport by Monday it would adversly effect Kansas next week.

Jp


50% chance of rain today, 20% tomorrow, clear the next. They will get this race in.

#37 IOU 16

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 19:33

Originally posted by CWeil

Wasn't Fisher planning to start running soon?


She started a team, and is supposed to start at Indy, and finish the year. I really doubt it will last thorught Indy, if it even gets that far.

#38 CWeil

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 22:17

And what do you have to inform that opinion? There are plenty of former Indycar staff/teams that could be ripe for the picking to form a team with. There are certainly plenty of cars around out there!

#39 McGuire

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 22:22

Originally posted by whitewaterMkII

Yeah, three races in and they have this pop up, sounds like someone at 16th and Georgetown didn't think this one through. Surprise, surprise.


As usual, this whole deal is going straight over your head. How does Long Beach get a field unless ICS awards points for the event? This was done for the benefit of the Champ Car series, its former teams, and the LBGP. And you are complaining about it -- it's too funny.

As Ross said, if Motegi rains out there is an easy way to fix the points disparity: declare the points cancelled for LB too. Even steven. That is a totally fair solution. So where is the big problem?

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#40 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 23:51

Did I say it was a problem?
I just think it's funny that Ross comes up with a solution before the irl did.

#41 ColdHeart

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 23:56

Solution to what? The skies have cleared, the track is dry, the race will start in about 4 hours.

#42 ColdHeart

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 23:56

Webcam is here:

link

#43 Crazy Canuck

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 02:44

Originally posted by ColdHeart
Webcam is here:

link


Looks dry. Lets race.

CC

#44 xflow7

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 04:10

Ha! More gratuitious SI footage. :lol:

#45 Pikachu Racing

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 05:20

Nice camera shots of the weepers at turn 4.

#46 milliepuppy

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 05:25

..... so far, the most suprising thing about the race coverage is the disclosure that dan weldon has got engaged ... cant say im buying it if you know what i mean !!! ... and he has had dental work done ... and i have to say he looks like a total ****.,. they're too white and too big ... he looks like a beaver ... which is ironic given the fact i doubt if he has ever seen one ... :lol:

#47 Ricardo F1

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 05:33

So Danica did SI Swimsuit and we all rejoiced.

If she keep running midpack will she do Playboy just to keep sponsors happy?

#48 Buford

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 06:00

Split Beaver Monthly.

#49 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 06:11

To quote Juan Pablo Montoya


Oh Deer.

One step closer to a collision. Pull Up. Pull Up.

#50 Dudley

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 09:37

Originally posted by McGuire


As usual, this whole deal is going straight over your head. How does Long Beach get a field unless ICS awards points for the event? This was done for the benefit of the Champ Car series, its former teams, and the LBGP. And you are complaining about it -- it's too funny.

As Ross said, if Motegi rains out there is an easy way to fix the points disparity: declare the points cancelled for LB too. Even steven. That is a totally fair solution. So where is the big problem?


Because you've effectively forced people to run a non-championship race? because their race was fine, why should they be punished.

In fact, I suspect if the CART teams sued, they'd win instantly to get the points restored for LB.