Dan Wheldon Didn’t Have To Die

Posted in IndyCar, News, Racing Coverage, Rants & Raves by Kurt Ernst | October 17th, 2011 | 4 Responses |

Dan Wheldon at the White House in 2010. Image: Jim Greenhill

By now you’ve heard the news about two-time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon’s death at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and you’ve seen the videos on the news or on YouTube. There’s no sense in re-hashing the facts of the accident, since enough sources have already done that; instead, I’m here to argue the case that Dan Wheldon didn’t have to die. Read More…

World’s Most Expensive Tweet: Castroneves Fined $30k

Posted in IndyCar, Racing Coverage, Rants & Raves by Kurt Ernst | October 2nd, 2011 | 4 Responses |

Castroneves in better days, 2009. Image: Manningmbd

IndyCar star Helio Castroneves isn’t having a good year. The Brazilian fan favorite hasn’t won since the Motegi race in 2010, which has many fans wondering if he’ll be back driving for Roger Penske in 2012. Worse, the federal government won’t let charges of income tax evasion drop, and the IRS is after Castroneves for another $6.21 million (on top of the $5 million he’s already paid). As if that wasn’t enough drama, Castroneves recently found out how expensive it was to question the judgement of IndyCar chief steward Brian Barnhart on Twitter. Read More…

IndyCar’s Season Ender Defines ‘Fail’

Posted in FAIL, IndyCar, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | September 15th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

In a move that was always more hype than substance, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard made a bold offer to drivers from competing series’: climb into an IndyCar and win the last race of the season, and we’ll pay you $5 million. The move was supposed to illustrate that IndyCar drivers are among the best in the world, but instead it hammered home this point: no one cares enough about IndyCar to throw their hat in the ring, even for a potential $5 million payoff. Read More…

Will Power Learns That Flipping The Double Bird Can Be Expensive

Posted in IndyCar, News, Politics, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | August 27th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Will Power on a calmer day. Image: Manningmbd

IndyCar’s return to Loudon, New Hampshire was far more memorable for crashes and bad officiating than it was for the actual race itself. By the time a passing shower caused officials to throw a yellow flag in the closing laps, it looked certain that the race would end under yellow. That may be the safe way to do things, but it isn’t the exciting way to end a race, so IndyCar decided to throw a green flag despite a wet track and steady rain. Read More…

Danica Patrick To Quit IndyCar For NASCAR’s Nationwide Series

Posted in IndyCar, NASCAR, News, People, Pop Culture, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | August 4th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

Patrick wins at Motegi, Japan, in 2008. Image: Morio

In a move that will surprise absolutely no one, underachieving IndyCar driver Danica Patrick will switch to a full time ride in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for 2012. Patrick will race a full schedule for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his JR Motorsports team next year, although she’s expressed interest in competing in the Indy 500 on Memorial Day weekend. Preparation for the 500 race generally takes the entire month of May, which would conflict with three scheduled NASCAR Nationwide events. JR Motorsports is eager enough to sign Patrick that they’re willing to work out a solution agreeable to all. Read More…

Travis Pastrana Rolls The Dice On $5 Million

Posted in IndyCar, News, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | July 25th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Image: Brwetter

When the 2011 IndyCar season winds down in Las Vegas, five drivers from other series will have the ability to win a $5 million grand prize. In theory, at least, since none of the 26 drivers who’ve expressed interest have been approved by IndyCar officials, and no IndyCar teams have stepped up to field “guest drivers.” That said, one of those 26 drivers is Travis Pastrana, who IndyCar would love to have in a seat during the Vegas race. Pastrana has a huge following of potential IndyCar fans, so even a single race appearance would help to boost series ratings. Read More…

IndyCar CEO: ‘I’ll Quit If The Last Race Ratings Are Bad’

Posted in IndyCar, News, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | July 9th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

And so the tragic melodrama that IndyCar racing has become continues. Series CEO Randy Bernard recently told the Toronto Star that he’d quit his job if ratings for the last race are poor. Last year’s season ender, televised on Versus, drew in just a .3 share. This year’s season finale is on ABC, which almost guarantees more viewers, but Bernard was adamant, saying, “If we do a .3 rating on this, I’ll quit. Right there on the spot. I’ll literally quit on the spot. If we do a .8 rating, I will quit. On the spot.” Read More…

Dan Wheldon Lands A Job

Posted in IndyCar, News, People, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | June 30th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Dan Wheldon at Indy in 2007. Image: Chuck Carroll

Dan Wheldon won his second Indianapolis 500 in May, and took the IndyCar series championship back in 2005. Since 2005, he’s gone from Target Chip Ganassi Racing to Panther Racing to the unemployment line, an odd place for a driver who never finished outside of the top ten in series points (top five with well-funded teams). Even after winning this year’s Indy 500, Wheldon couldn’t put a deal together to run additional races for the 2011 season, so he’s transitioned into a new role as commentator for Versus television. He’s good at it, but he’s still got too much talent to call races from a booth. Read More…

Tanner Foust’s World Record Jump

Posted in Event Coverage, General, Hoonage, IndyCar, Racing, Racing Coverage, Stunts, Videos by MrAngry | May 31st, 2011 | 4 Responses |

Tanner Foust World Record Jump

332 feet; that’s the in-flight distance that Team Hot Wheels Yellow Driver Tanner Foust covered this past weekend when he set a new world record at the Indianapolis 500. The stunt was performed this past Sunday before the running of the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 and featured a 10 story ramp that was constructed to look just like the old pieces of Hot Wheels tracks that we grew up with as kids.

“As a kid playing with Hot Wheels I could only dream of experiencing something as outrageous as a life-sized V-Drop track set, and today it became reality,” said Tanner Foust. The three-time X Games gold medalist, host of Top Gear USA, two-time Formula Drift champion, and Hollywood stuntman also stated, “There’s a lot that goes into being on Team Hot Wheels and the training and testing leading up to the jump gave me the confidence needed to push the mechanical and mental limits of the challenge and land the world-record title.”

The jump is simply spectacular to watch and will help bring back some memories to all of us that grew up in the 1970’s with those long orange tracks covering our bedroom floors. Click through for the video.
Read More…

Weekend Racing Recap: Wheldon Takes Indy, Vettel Wins In Monaco

Posted in Formula 1, IndyCar, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | May 30th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Dan Wheldon and crew. Image: Andrew H., Bryan Herta Autosport

The Indy 500 is always unpredictable, but no one could have seen this year’s finish coming. With five laps to go, rookie J.R. Hildebrand had the victory all but wrapped up. Thanks to a conservative fuel management strategy early in the race, Hildebrand, who drives for Panther Racing, was able to turn laps north of 217 miles per hour. Dario Franchitti, running in second place, was clearly in danger of running out of fuel, and his speeds dropped from 208 miles per hour down to 204 with only a handful of laps remaining. It wasn’t enough to hold off the advance of Dan Wheldon and Graham Rahal, both of whom had enough fuel to go the distance and easily passed Franchitti. Read More…