No. 919
October 18, 2017
 

About The Autoextremist

@PeterMDeLorenzo

Author, commentator, influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established Autoextremist.com on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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Tuesday
Jul272010

FUMES

July 28, 2010



Bush-League Bullshit, courtesy of the IRL.

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

Detroit.
Okay, so I've watched the replay from the Edmonton IndyCar race at least a dozen times. With three laps to go, Helio Castroneves takes the green flag with Penske teammate Will Power right on his exhaust pipes, and they go steaming down to Turn 1. Helio jukes once, Power goes wide to make a move and they manage to get through Turn 1, with Castroneves a car length ahead. Only Power gets the worst of it, slides wide in the marbles, and gives up second place to Scott Dixon in the Target Chip Ganassi entry.

And then it got weird.

As Dixon slipped past Power into second place, race chief steward Brian Barnhart immediately called Castroneves for blocking his Team Penske teammate. The black flag call was radioed to the No. 3 car, but Castroneves failed to take the drive-thru pit lane penalty. Following the race, he was penalized 20 seconds and placed at the end of the lead lap, in 10th. A black flag cannot be appealed, according to Indy Racing League rules. So Dixon was declared the winner of the 95-lap race on the 1.973-mile, 14-turn City Centre Airport circuit, Power finished second, Dario Franchitti was third and Ryan Briscoe ended-up fourth.

This just in: "Judgement Calls" suck in racing. And this one was particularly offensive. Brian Barnhart blew it, pure and simple. I really don't care if he made a big deal out of the "no more than one move" blocking rule at the driver's meeting, or not, because this clearly wasn't an example of whatever point he was trying to make. It just simply didn't apply in this situation. Helio made one move, then set-up for his entry into Turn 1. Hell, I bet if any of you armchair aces out there were leading the race on a re-start with three laps to go, I would have to believe that you would make damn sure that you weren't going to get passed going into Turn 1. Remember what Coach Herm Edwards said: You Play To Win The Game. And Helio was well within his right to do what he had to do to keep Power behind him, and he went wide to make Power work for it. Too bad for Power, and that, as they say, is racin'.

I'd like to remind everyone out there of when Cleveland was on the CART/Champ Car schedule. Remember? Great races marked by chaotic starts and re-starts with the full-width of the airport runway used going down into Turn 1. As a matter of fact it was not uncommon to see the field fan-out ten-wide going into Turn 1, with boneheaded moves galore and the resulting chaos leaving the announcers/drivers/owners/crew chiefs having to explain that it was "just one of them racin' deals." Going by Barnhart's skewed logic, half the Indy car field at Cleveland would have been black-flagged on the re-starts.

The Bottom Line? Castroneves was robbed and IndyCar looks foolish. And judging by all that's going on - or not going on as the case may be - in the racing world these days, IndyCar can't afford to look foolish for one more minute.

 

 

Publisher's Note: As part of our continuing series celebrating the "Glory Days" of racing, we're proud to present another noteworthy image from the Ford Racing Archives. - PMD

(Courtesy of the Ford Racing Archives)
Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, June 18,1967. Jim Clark in his beautiful but purposeful No. 21 Lotus 49-Ford at speed in the Belgian Grand Prix at the magnificent Spa circuit. Clark rocketed away from the pole and led the first 11 laps, pulling out a 20-second lead over Jackie Stewart (No 14 BRM) and Dan Gurney (No. 36 Eagle-Weslake V12), only to have to come into the pits for a spark plug change, which cost him a full two minutes. Stewart then cruised to a sizable lead, as Gurney dived into the pits for 20 seconds with fuel pressure issues. But Stewart's lead was short-lived as his gearshift was causing him problems. We now, of course, know the rest of the story. Gurney charged after Stewart setting a new race lap record on his way to the win, becoming the only American in history to win a F1 race in a car of his own design. Gurney also broke the existing Grand Prix average speed record when he averaged 143 mph for the race. Stewart ended up second followed by Chris Amon (No 1 Ferrari), Jochen Rindt (No. 29 Cooper-Maserati), Mike Spence (No. 12 BRM) - who was 1-lap down - and incredibly enough, Jim Clark, who after giving two minutes away to the field in the pits finished a remarkable sixth. It remains one of the most memorable days in racing history.


Publisher's Note: Like these Ford racing photos? Check out ford.artehouse.com. Be forewarned, however, because you won't be able to go there and not order something. - PMD

 


 

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