Ten Worthless Opinions – Time Trials Edition
You would think after spending the last three days at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I would have more than ten WO’s (worthless opinions) to give you. I assume you expect only the best in WO’s, so I have culled the herd, so to speak. I will just be trotting out the best selection of trimmed USDA Prime opinions. Just don’t look in the back room where the cutting occurs. In no particular order, here are this week’s Ten Worthless Opinions.
- The Social Media Garage (yes, I am shilling again) has been a hit. Tons of Twitter followers have come through and the elite, select, top-notch bloggers (I may be exaggerating) have had a great time. Go to the Social Media Garage and follow Zack Houghton, Eric Hall, Mike Knapp, and Johnny Montona (real name is Chris…long story) on Twitter and bookmark their blogs. They are great writers with interesting perspectives. The staff has been wonderful, and the access has been unbelievable (did I mention the credentials?). Again, I can be bought. I am without shame or conscience in these matters.
- I do miss the very unique appellation “Time Trials” over the more pedestrian “Qualifications.” If you have something special to your brand, don’t just keep it, market it.
- I have never met a nicer professional than Pippa Mann. If you need a model on how a racer should interact with fans, then watch her. She’s gracious, friendly, and accessible. Pippa had agreed to show up in the Social Media Garage on Saturday afternoon. Moments before she was to arrive, she got the news that any possible deal to race at Indy was gone. We would have completely understood if she had passed on the Social Media Garage. Not Pippa. She showed up, smiled, and took questions from the bloggers and the audience. She let her emotions show as she spoke about what Indy means to her. She gets Indy. She made some new fans, and I’m one of them.
- I had a chance to interview Wade Cunningham, and the result is posted on his rookie diary on YouTube. Cats, rugby, and A.J. Foyt were discussed. He was a great sport, and now has another new fan. That’s the benefit of being a blogger: I don’t have to be impartial. With that said, I may be partial to the Canberra Raiders in Rugby League. Wade is an Auckland Warrior fan. The Warriors do have a cooler logo, though. The Maori symbolism rocks. Give us the Haka, Wade. 
- Love the music selection on the PA at Indy. I noticed some Lynyrd Skynyrd  on Bump Day. I guess they are warming up the crowd for Carb Day. Good idea. We discussed Lynyrd Skynyrd in the SM Garage. We wondered what demographic the marketers at Indy were after. It seems a departure from Kid Rock, Stone Temple Pilots, Staind, and Papa Roach. It seems closer to the ZZ Top choice two years ago. Skynyrd was popular in the mid-70’s. I guess the older crowd will show up to hear songs from their youth, and the younger crowd will show up to hear “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird.” In any case, wouldn’t you like to listen to the suits in marketing discuss who they are going to bring to Carb Day. It makes me smile.
- And there was more music at Indy. Here Come the Mummies  played on the Pagoda Plaza after Pole Day and they KILLED it. The have a great horn section and play dirty, undead funk. I had to shout, “Play that funky music, dead boy!” And the lead singer Java is one sick dude, you know, for a dead guy. You MUST see this band.
- Pack racing may make me incontinent. The cars sliced and diced all week in practice and REALLY chopped on Sunday evening. Wow. Let’s hope the car is as safe as it seems because if they race like this on May 27, then someone is saying hello to the SAFER Barrier. Will Power and two other drivers were VERY displeased with James Jakes taking a Sunday drive in the groove in Turn 1 on Bump Day. Say hello to my one fingered friend, James.
- There were a number of feel good stories. Bryan Clauson, the local boy from Noblesville, Indiana, came back from a hard hit in Turn 1 on Saturday to qualify for the race. The SFHR team did a great job getting the car ready. The same can be said for the ECR team after Ed Carpenter hit hard in Turn 2. Fuzzy’s Vodka Bloody Mary’s all around tonight, boys.
- The DW12 is still ugly, but it has done its job. It may rotate on contact but it did not get airborne after three hard hits that took the cars off the ground. If that’s the case, I can live with ugly. I know that because I look in the mirror every morning and am still able to walk out the front door.
- We have pissed and moaned for years about competition and good racing. I’m glad Lotus is in the race. We need as many marques as we can get. Steve Wittich (@stevewittich) did a guest post for New Track Record on Thursday called “Honda: Checkered Past to Checkered Flag” that followed Honda’s rise to the top of the heap. Give Lotus time.
There they are, my “Ten Worthless Opinions – Time Trials Edition.” So grab your knickers on Sunday, May 27 because my opinion, worthless or not, is that we are going to be highly entertained. Once again, it’s going to be the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
1. Here’s the link to Wade Cunningham’s Rookie Diary on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6memYAIUhe8
2. I tried to convince Wade to intimidate his opponents with this New Zealand Mauri original. The Haka rocks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHW1K2LeQXE
3. Dig the dinosaurs! Her’s a link to Lynyrd Skynyrd. http://www.lynyrdskynyrd.com/
4. Party with the undead. Check out the Mummies site. http://www.herecomethemummies.com/