No Fenders - Formula 1, IndyCar and A Whole lot more..
You’ve found No Fenders, an eclectic collection of Rantings, Reflections and Random Thoughts primarily about Formula One, Indy Car and Open Wheel Racing, with a moderate sprinkling of Rally, Sports Car racing and Moto GP thrown into the veritable “Spin Cycle.
As ironically, it was this very same Stuntman whom I began my long running association of following The Freaks on Sunday Evenings now over a decade ago, which I've previously Thrilled Y'all with here in Nofendersville with the following yarn...
As Travis Pastrana's been crazy enough to jump out of a perfectly good Aeroplane without a Parachute! And is probably best known for his Daredevil Feats, such as being the first to successfully land a Double Back flip upon a Motorcycle in the X-Games, along with winning multiple Gold Medals on both Motorcycles and Rally Cars in the X-Games. Or his many extreme Red Bull sponsored record attempts upon New Year's eve, like jumping a Rally Car onto a stationary Barge!
By now, Y'all are aware of the fact that Ford is curtailing it's Ford GT racing programme, first with the just concluded World Endurance Championship (WEC) completion of its 2018-19 "Super Season" at Le Mans, and then at season's end in Americre' at the Petit Le Mans.
As reportedly, us FoMoCo' Aficionados have the FIA and ACO Sanctioning Bodies to Blame, albeit not sure which one more? Since they've been wrasslin' over the apparently Stillborn 2020 Hypercar Formula.
Although cannot say I'm overly impressed by Ford either, since once again, an Auto Manufacturer seems to be holding Thar participation over thou Sanctioning Body's Heads. Although I understand Ford's reluctance to sink millions of Dollars into what arguably could be a veritable "One Off" racecar.
Yet is it just Mwah who find's Ford's Heavy Handedness over future regulations not being "Green" enough smacking of Hypocrisy? Since currently the Blue Oval seems to be leading thou way in Gas Guzzlin' SUV and PickemUp' Trucks production, having shunned Sedan building completely, with the exception of the gas sipping Mustang...
As it would be nice to see the ACO, FIA and IMSA All be able to Play together once again, which certainly would be beneficial to the Auto Manufacturers, not to mention The Fans!
While I Don't see the benefits for somebody like Ford or BMW simply being content with winning Class Honours, since isn't it the Overall Winner who gets the Headline News?
And perhaps the ACO and FIA should scrap the current GTE Pro/Am' Class structure in favour of the Pro category becoming a Beefed Up GT3 class, and the lower Amateur category being comprised of the GT4 ranks? As it's just an idea from a very tiny Thought Bubble, whilst I'll leave thou Heavy lifting for Smarter Minds to Decide What's Best for Sports Car racing Internationally ...
This year, as I've already lamented, I've been busy with company and enjoying Thee Great Outdoors. Hence I didn't even begin perusing this year's 24 Heurs du Mans entry list before less than a Fortnight's time prior to thou Tricolour waving.
Alas, this will be a somewhat, hopefully Chirp-Chirp, Bueller? Shortened version of my typically eclectic No Fenders Circuit de la Sarthe previews.
And as we all know, Toyota was finally victorious at Le Mans after Decades 'O Frustration, albeit Thar win is somewhat Hollow due to the lack of any true Competizione...
For this year, the 87th edition's entry list has swelled to a Mega' record 62 entries, reportedly with two extra temporary Pit Boxes being added. Now slightly biased in favour of the Gran Torismo "Saloons" categories, which is evenly split with 17 entries apiece in the GTE Pro & GTE Am ranks.
Whilst the second tier LMP2 Prototypes outnumber Thar Bigger Bro' LMP1 competitors two-to-one, which I suppose means theoretically one could sneak it's way upon the overall podium?
As once again, Toyota will be the only Factory backed Hybrid LMP1 chassis in the field, it's Driver's line-ups intact from last year, led by Fernando Alonso making his World Endurance Championship (WEC) Swan Song as the reigning Le Mans winner about the No. 8 entry.
As the LMP1 field is a virtual carbon copy of last year's with the exception of the Demise of the Short-lived CEFC-TRSM Racing Ginetta/Mecachrome chassis to be campaigned by Manor Endurance Racing affair, seeing eight cars competing instead of ten.
Along with Bloody Jense', aka Jenson Button being replaced by fellow ex-McLaren Formula 1 Protégé Stoffel Vandoorne at SMP Racing.
While once again Thars' plenty 'O other notable Drivers progress to track in this year's event. From the likes of Sky Sports F1 Pundits 'N Presenter's ANT', nee Anthony Davidson and Paul di Resta racing in the LMP2 category, which also sees Yank DPi Prototype's Driver Ricky Taylor Moonlighting aboard the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing alongside Jordan King and David Heinemeier Hansson.
Along with noticing Pastor Maldonado's name, and Nico Jammin and Uhm, Guido-the-Dutchman', nee Giedo van der Garde anchoring an All Dutch LMP2 Squad.
With the likes 'O FishyFellah', aka Giancarlo Fisichella and Edward Cheever III once again bolstering thou Prancing Horse's ranks, both piloting Ferrari 488 GTE entries being just some of the multiple competitor's names I recognize...
Although I totally expect this year's Le Mans, now on the renamed MotorTrend Network, which according to my Zap-2-It' TV Guide begins at Bloody Freakin' 5AM Pacific,, which I certainly will not be getting up for!
ARSE-Sumedly with an Hour's Pre-amble before thou Tricolour waves? Since MotorTrend's FIA Le Mans TV Coverage is slated to end at 6:30AM Pacific, the following day, albeit I'm expecting the race for Overall Honours To be another Dud, with the Toy-Yoter's once again waxing the entire field; YAWN!
Will the Ford GT in its various Throwback Retro liveries be victorious in its class one last time this year? (Image source: speedcafe.com)
As once again this year, the IMSA's Weathertech SportsCar Championship will be well represented at arguably the world's premiere Sports Car race, the legendary 24 Heurs du Mans.
As it appears from a very quick glance, that Thar will be eight cars from Americre' competing, or is it Thee Number Nine? Led by a two-by-two pairing from Corvette, Ford and Porsche respectively. Along with Risi Competizione sending its lone Ferrari 488 GTE ride, all contesting the top tier GTE Pro category.
And this doesn't include other Drivers from various IMSA Teams Moonlighting aboard various other Le Mans mounts.
Meanwhile, a fifth Ford GT will make its competition debut in the GTE Am category, when Ben Keating's No. 85 Wynns liveried machine, with the sponsor celebrating its 80th Anniversary takes to the Circuit de la Sarthe's tarmac this weekend.
As apparently I missed noticing the #62 Weathertech Racing's Ferrari 488 GTE contesting this year's GTE Am category.
Whilst sadly, this year's epic 87th running of Le Mans will be the Works Ford GT's final appearance in the World Endurance Championship, as Ford is effectively pulling the plug upon its four year Factory effort on both sides of Ye proverbial Puddle by season's end.
Although hopefully the door will be left ajar for it to continue racing as a Privateer; Err Customer entry a la Keating Motorsports next year?
Thus FoMoCo' will send off its four car Ford GT Armada in fashion by paying Homage to its iconic Ford GT 40's of Yesteryear - With four distinct Throwback Retro liveries between the two Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) WEC entries, No's 66-67.
And the two CGR IMSA runners No's 68-69 with IndyCar "Ringers" Sealmeister B', aka Sebastain Bourdais and Scotty "Thee Iceman 2.0" Dixon behind the Keyboards.
Momma Mia! Did the Race just become Inconsequential for Mwah? And was Dudley doowright in the Steward's Box Sunday?
Certainly everybody who watched this year's Canadian Grand Prix has an opinion over Thee Call! When the Race Stewards handed 'lil syd Viddle', aka Sebastian Vettel a 5-second time penalty for his momentary Off-track Grass Mowing excursion, and subsequently impeding Golden Child', nee Lewis Hamilton's Overtaking Opportunity.
Now I'm Not saying that Vettel wouldn't have immediately keyed his radio button if the roles were reversed, but my only issue with Lewis Hamilton's subsequent Mea culpa over Not wanting to Win this Way; Butt! You cannot have your Cake 'N Eat it too; El Correctomundo?
Since did anybody suffer thru that overly Annoying fluff piece with Ham-Ham' pre-race where he told some Kid he Always wants to Win, be it Ping Pong, Racing, etc. He Hates Losing!
While I'm still 86% certain that the Formula 1 International TV Feed immediately played us Hamilton's In-car Radio saying Vettel had "Broken the Rules!" Following Thar impending dust-up on Lap-48.
and whilst the Outcome of the race upon Thee Circuit Gilles Villeneuve upon Il Notre Dam certainly made me feel Ill! I couldn't help from being slightly Bemused over Sebastian's Post-race Antics, which made him seem very Clownish; Ja Volt!
Yet a large part 'O Mwah couldn't help but feel this was simply Divine Retribution for All of Vettel's previous On-track Shenanigans! From Crashing Out Red Bull team-mate Mark Handlebarz' Webber in Fuji to Thar infamous Multi 21 Spat!
Not to mention telling Charlie Whiting to Go Fuck Himself repeatedly in Mexico City! Or attempting to Turf Off Hamilton in Azerbaijan two years ago...
which are just a few examples of Vettel's rancid Behaviour, since He's Never Wrong! Nor will admit that Hamilton's totally got his Number, as Seb seems to almost inevitably crack when Lewis Dares challenging him for victory...
As interestingly, news now comes that paints Vettel's race penalty in a different light. Claiming the German was actually checking his mirrors and steering right towards Hamilton whilst mowing the grass! In a move reminiscent of his predecessor Michael Schumacher. Or as 'Ol Hobbo', aka David Hobbs would say, Skewmacher...
Then Bad Arse Yank' GP2 Pilote' Alexander Rossi briefly Chatting with Tomaso at Will Buxton's Bigtime Charity Bash in Austin, preceding the 2014 USGP. (The Tomaso Collection)
As everyone still remembers this year's Indy 500, El Correctomundo? Although Alexander Rossi surely was feeling Deja Voo-Du' as 'Ol Yogi Berra would say Saturday Nite at Texas Motor Speedway...
Once again everyone, ah, Thee life of A Blind Word Butcher...
Having had company visit once again, I've decided to throttle back a Wee bitamyte' on poondin' out riveting BLOB' Stories for Y'all. Especially since I feel like I've Bashed my Brains out for several weeks now trying to provide copious material for thou Month 'O May for your reading pleasure. Yet my No Fenders blog traffic seemingly Dropped by 50%; WTF?
Thus with the arrival of Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen, her trusty Navigator Pixie-the-Wonderdog; WUF-WUF! Plus Harriet Jean. Along with said Drop in Blog Traffic in what should arguably be thoust No Fenders busiest month, it seemed like the perfect time to go on Daily Walkabouts' on thou nearby Beaches, for which Thee Oregon Coast's Ah-Wash in Mateys!
Whilst thou remaining vestiges 'O my treasured Diecast collection sits strewn about Thy Bungalow By-the-Sea in various rooms in Thar moving boxes, which with Mary Ellen's assistance have finally migrated from the garage indoors...
Yet in true Blue (Oval)- Ford Cosworth XB) Diehard Racing Aficionado fashion, I made it abundantly clear that I would be busy listening to the Indy 500 Sunday morning, provided the Doomsday Weather forecasts Didn't wreak Havoc upon Mother Speedway!
Although Mary ELLEN kindly said you'll just have to wait 'N see how it plays out!
Yeah, I said listen since that's exactly what I'd planned upon, since I simply cannot stomach listening to Queen Danica (Patrick) Pooh-Pooh her Greatness, especially for 4+ FREAKIN' Hours!
As I found it Freakin' Hilarious that the camera's close-up "tight" shot was zoomed so close-in that not only could I S-E-E Danica on-screen, but her head filled Thy entire TV Screen!
Also was able to see (Townsend) T-Bell's entire Cranium, including his full head 'O Hair filling thou entire Telie' as Thee Talking Headz' were filling 4.5hrs of Rain Delay!
Having tried listening to her on NBC's riveting Boomp Day'; Err Elimination day coverage 'N shrieking out loud SHUT UP DANICA! Almost spewing my morning's Tea when hearing her Boast 'bout when I was leading the Indianapolis 500!
Henceforth found myself immediately hitting the Mute button each 'N every time Dan-Dan-Danicker' began speaking! Especially when being all Chummy with Marty Snidely Whiplash! Snyder. Which made me hope I'd be able to pull-up the IMS Radio Network Broadcast on Race Day instead!
Thus I was quite Happy when I found that 1070 The Fan's (WFNI ESPN 107.5/1070 The Fan) Webpage was Screen Reader Friendly. Can You Hear Me Now Indy Cars? Who still REFUSE to make the Play Button "Tagable" on Thar Rinky-Dink Live Timing & Scoring Webpage; But I Digress!
Instead being able to have "My Gal" Lucy', my ARSE-Steamed Screen Reader simply read to the bottom of the 1070 The Fan's page 'N actually open the "readable" Text Friendly Click to Listen link, and Viola! Thars' Mark Graveley' James, Thee Viking! (Anders Krohn) and thou legendous D-Squared', aka Donald Davidson talking to Mwah via Zed Internetz!
Not to mention enjoyed hearing Jake "Thee Riddler!" Query and Nicky Salt' Yeoman once again. Whilst Michael Young for once wasn't Screaming at us ARE YOU READY! While always enjoy the soothing sounds of Dave First, and think Ryan Marie's becoming my favourite Pitlane Reporter. With NO Disrespect to Rob "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll!" Howden and the others...
Although Sadly, most likely won't Hear any of them again this year, unless 1070 The Fan plays all IndyCar races? Since it's so much easier for a Blind Word Hack to navigate.
And Thanxs NBC, Really? You needed to Add another half hour's worth 'O Stinkin' Commercials? Since Purdy G-Damn Sure last year's race went Green round 12:16PM ET, which is another reason I chose radio vs. Thee Danica & 'lil E' Show; BARF!
Cannot say the first half's plus of the race was mesmerizing, since "Symone," nee Pageantry, aka Simon Pagenaud simply took off like a Scalded Cat! As I must confess I was far more interested in Alexander Rossi's progress instead, who I wanted to win.
As best Quip of entire race came courtesy 'O Mark James, when noting how Rossi had reported he was Angry and Hungry after the Botched Refueling during a Pit stop. To which James Dryly said, that sounds like Anders Krohn around 5PM each day; Hya!
And is it just Mwah? Or did Team Penske simply take a page out of Andretti Autosport's Playbook? When Kyle Moyer told Pagenaud to let Josef Newgarden lead to break wind in order to get better fuel mileage.
Since Pagenaud was getting the worst mileage of anybody with his Balls to the Wall lead Dawg' mentality. Typically needing to pit first amongst the lead pack.
But I was more impressed by Rossi's ability to run down Pagenaud for the lead and arguably had him covered on fuel mileage if that other Frenchman Sealmeister B', aka Sebastain Bourdais hadn't wrecked five cars; YOUCH!
As I didn't have any Problema with throwing a Red Flag to clean up the Carnage, but I thought the whole point of going red was to clean All Debris, send the Sweepers out and have a Race ready Track when resuming action, instead of trundlin' round another six laps under caution, El Correctomundo?
As I sat Yelling at thou Confuzer's speakers Get Him Rossi! G-O Rossi for the final 13-14 laps! And semi Shrieked in excitement when I thought Alexander had pulled off the W' when retaking the lead, albeit it was too soon to celebrate in my mind, since it seemed like he'd gone one lap too early.
Hence I was not elated when Pagenaud took the Chequered Flag first, and was actually fairly disappointed with the outcome, albeit like Conor Daly said afterwards, where'd Taku-san' come from? As Takuma Sato finished a very respectable P3 and was my Darkhorse pick to win the race.
Around 2PM Pacific the door opened and Mary Ellen said Hello, and I enjoyed her take upon the ending of the race, which she followed via her Smartfone' while waiting for Harriet Jean grocery shopping. Saying she'd pulled up the CBS Feed which was quite Hilarious when giving a lap-by-lap account. Rossi leads. Pagenaud leads. Heavy Breathing... Rossi, Pagenaud?
As she asked was I Happy? And who was I rooting for? Telling her I was conflicted at the end because Pagenaud once was one of my favourite drivers but I wanted Rossi to win! Which she said I thought so.
As Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for Simon's sake that he gets to keep his Team Penske seat awhile longer. As it's ironic that my former No's 2-3 Favourite IndyCar Drivers William Power & Pagenaud have won the last two Indianapolis 500's in that order, but!
Boo Hoo-Hoo El Capitano!
Yo Roger, Cry me a River! Seriously? You need guaranteed starting spots to insure you win another Stinkin' 500? SPEW! Hence partially why I was rooting for Rossi to win, along with it would have certainly silenced the critics who say he lucked into his first Indianapolis 500 victory!
As SHIT! Four races All being Top-10's, with three of the four being Top-5's; Aye Karumba! Having now finished P1-7-4-2, which is nothing short of remarkable! Especially for an ex-Formula 1 Pilote', Righto?
While I didn't listen to the entire Post-race ceremonies, especially since Mary Ellen said, should we go to the Beach? As it was a glorious day outside, perfect Beach Walking weather. As Mary Ellen joked it's the perfect time to go when I informed her that Duh RASSCAR' race in good 'Ol Charlotte was probably just Crankin' Up.
Alas, being in such a Bubbly Mood from such an enjoyable day, I didn't even consider staying up late to watch the Formula 1 re-run Sunday evening from the Streets of Thee Principality.
And was very satisfied the next morning when I finally decided to find out who'd won, as YAWN! Ho Hum Golden Child won again. As sorry Lewis, but you'll never earn the respect that Niki Lauda had! So Quit Fooling yourself!
And I'm totally content with missing the Duels in Detroit and snapping my streak of IndyCar races watched, since I was on a Mini Roadtrip; Err weekend getaway instead, as it seems somewhat wrong to have to go race on Belle Isle immediately after Indianapolis...
Print of Ivan Capelli's Leyton House March F1 Chassis, presumably the March 881-Judd V-8 model acquired at Phoenix, Arizona's 1989 Iceberg Grand Prix. (The Tomaso Collection)
But how many remember that? Were there or Care?
As I began trying to Madly type away some new verbiage regarding the long lost Iceberg Grand Prix, whilst having Zero Clue where I'll be this June 4th. North or South? Warshington' or Oregon? Butter, Parkay?
along with thinking of how I always construe it with some Bloody Bird that enjoys sticking it's head in the sand when remembering this Grands Prix...
Not sure why, but I suddenly thought of that 'Ol Classic Rock Song by Robin Trower, perhaps you've heard it before, Eh? Ostriches, Eagles, Get It? Oh Never Mind!
Since it's nice to know I'm not completely Bonkers over remembering how an Ostrich Festival in Chandler, AZ massively out-drew a Freakin' Formula 1 race in Thee Valley of The Sun many, many Moons ago. Which F1 Grizzled Journo' Joe Saward's just related earlier this year in his fine Fascinating F1 Facts series.
While I've already scribbled labourisly 'bout these long forgotten U.S. Grands Prix run over three years between 1989-91 on the Downtown Streets of Phoenix, AZ previously.
It's somewhat nice to know that I managed to remember bits of it still. Although more Funny Ha-Ha I suppose? That I've gravitated towards the same tact, presumably since the F1 Class of 1989 was so Stellar...
Did someone say Stella? As in a Stella Artois Mates? Hya!
Close-up view of Ayrton Senna's Marlboro McLaren MP4/5 Honda V-10 racecar at the Iceberg Grand Prix. (The Tomaso Collection)
Alas, of those 39 Drivers participating over that very Hot weekend, four would ultimately become Formula 1 World Champions, led by four times titlist Alain Prost, en route to his third and final F1 title with McLaren that year.
"The Professor's" (Prost) Bitter Nemesis, and Arch Rival McLaren team-mate Ayrton Senna was the reigning F1 Champion, and would ultimately win three titles, all with McLaren.
Nelson Piquet had already reached his zenith, and was still basking in the Afterglow of being a triple World Champion, whilst good 'Ol Bloody Nige', "Red 5" or "Il Lione," aka Nigel Mansell would need to wait a further three years before becoming F1 World Champion for Team Willy', aka Williams Grand Prix Engineering in '92.
There were also ultimately eleven Grands Prix race winners on the grid, led by the four F1 World Champions above. Who were joined by the likes of Michele Alboreto, Rene Arnoux, Gerhard Berger, Thierry Boutsen, Johnny Herbert, Alessandro Nanini and Riccardo Patrese.
Whilst other such future "luminaries" from that overly Hot Day in 1989, which I still recall being 104-degrees Fahrenheit! As a much younger Tomaso recollects quenching his thirst with a Fosters "Oil Can," Mates!
Were three future motor racing Pundits, or is that Presenters? As ironically two Bloody Brits, Martin Billybob' Brundle, who was racing for Brabham is now Sky Sports lead Colour Commentator; Err, Uhm I meant Presenter. While Johnny Herbert, then a Benetton F1 Pilote' is also a sky sports F1 Pundit.
And thanks largely to the Heat causing much attrition, American Eddie "Thee Mouth!" Cheever, known for many years simply as Underachiever', who'd go onto become an ABC Colour Commentator for IndyCar races, scored his final F1 Podium, a third place that day on the Streets of Phoenix three decades ago, Karmically the very same city Eddie was born in.
As Cheever currently holds the record for most starts by an American F1 Driver with 132 starts between 1978-1989, en route to scoring nine podium finishes.
Whilst I'll try not repeating Thyself to much further over the Dizzying Cadre of Stats' from that Class of 1989, which also included five 24 Heurs du Mans winners, a CART (IndyCar) Champion and Indianapolis 500 victor, since I've chronicled it All before now in another Award Winning No Fenders tome five years ago.
And although part of what drew me to Formula 1 initially was its Machiavellian Polemics', the 1989 Iceberg Grand Prix will forever be indelibly intertwined with one of Humanity's Worst Days ever, albeit as a young lad watching motor racing's Freakin' Coolest Cars on the Planet! I had Zero Clue that China was Massacring innocent Civilians that very same day in what's simply known as Tiananmen Square!
Which I find even more Disgusting that china's still making Civilian Dissenters "Disappear" three Bloody Decades later, all in vain of its population not being reminded of this Atrocity.
Front cover of 2013 IMS Program adorned with multiple (18?) Drivers 'O Yesteryear's Indy 500's Autographs, including the late Herm Johnson's collected on Legends Day. (The Tomaso Collection
Unfortunately, for A-L-L of us, Father time steadily marches on; As just think, Juan' Day this 'lil No Fenders BLOB' will disappear for eternity; Chirp-Chirp, Bueller... Or perhaps Y'all will rejoice?
Per Tipicali here upon thou Isle 'O Nofendersville, although I know we're off to Detroit's Belle Isle for some Duelies' Action, but! For Mwah, I still think Indy Cars should be stopping next at Thar traditional week's after Indy's venue, Thee Milwaukee Mile. Which Dovetails nicely with thou overtly languishing No Fenders story.
As Milwaukee was the site of where now forgotten IndyCar racer Herm Johnson cagedly pulled off his most famous caper. As what's that 'bout Caution, Objects May Appear Closer in your Mirrors?
As Herm has a pretty good sense ‘O humour; having painted on the back edge of his rear wing for the 1982 Rex Mays Classic at the Milwaukee Mile:“rick, if You can READ this, you’re too CLOSE!”Which was in deference to Rick ‘The Rocket Mears having bumped into him in the pits on L183 in the preceding race - the 66th Indianapolis 500!
Which is even funnier since that’s the race that Mears lost by a whisker to Gordon Johncock, not to mention being the reigning CART champion en route to winning the title once again that year.
Since could this be the unknown reason of why Rocket Rick came up Oh, So Short that May? Inquiring Minds wanna Know...
Whilst Y'all may enjoy this Freakin' Flashback interview recently re-released on Speed Freaks with the Man himself!
Thus, I had NO idea this was the same "Just Herm" helmet painter who I believe I used to see adverts weekly for in the back of my "Autoleak" )Autoweek) magazine with picture of whom I learned the nickname of Eddie "Underachiever "Cheever, who I've taken to calling Eddie "The Mouth!" Cheever's helmet alongside it during the first time I briefly met Herm. Garnering his John Hancock during the 2011 Legends Day outing.
Following my return from that most enjoyable and mesmerizing Twenty-eleven Indianapolis 500, I began susing out the various Drivers whose autographs I'd obtained at Thee (2011( World's Largest Autograph session.
As one of them was the then obscure (to me) Herm Johnson - with the top internetz link regarding Herm I discovered being about him being injured in a car crash in Brainerd, MN, roughly sometime that fall around September 22nd. With said article last stating he'd been upgraded to Fair condition.
Yet Robin Miller was kind enough to let me know that Herm was indeed Alive 'N Kickin', does have a Wicked` Sense 'O Humour and was a great Artiste to Boot Wayback in early May, 2013.
Thus Karmically, I'd meet Herm one final time, during the 2013 Legends Day outing, which this time I asked him if it was true about his personalized message to Rick Mears he'd personally painted? To which he assured me was absolutely true! To which my Handler Carpets' and Mwah had a good Chuckle over.
Yet sadly, Herm took thou proverbial Chequered Flag on December 10, 2016, at the way too early age of 63. Apparently suffering from Kidney and Renal failure.
As I'll let Ye OLD-est IndyCar Blogger Geo. Phillips regale Y'all instead, with another of his typically No Nonsense Yarns regarding the man who preferred Just Herm, Please...
Otay, so Not to burst the Euphoria of some little 'Ol Oval Race, especially since Thar are some in thou Blogosphere who say we shouldn't scribble 'bout Political matters on Racing Blogs...
Although I already had learned the News this January, when he was promoting his film on Netflix Me Thinks? Simply titled Hurley during the 24 Hours of Daytona, for which he's got a total of five Rolex's for.
Nonetheless it was nice hearing Hurley Haywood once again re-iterate that he's Gay, recently on The Guardian Newspaper. Which made me immediately wonder how many of the 36 Drivers who competed to race in this year's Indianapolis 500 are possibly Gay?
As Seriously? Hurley's the only Gay Driver to race in Indy Cars? Preposterous! As it's really Sad that it's still Taboo for Racing Drivers and Pro sports Athlete's even today...
While Kudos to Ashley Welch and Haley McDermott, Thee Better Half's of Team Penske's Josef Newgardn and Simon Pagenaud respectfully, for calling out the Disgusting Absurdity of our Male Dominated World for trying to Quash Women's Rights by wearing Pro Choice T-Shirts during this year's Indy 500 Qualifying weekend...
1994 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra Indy 500 Pace Car. (Image source: mustangspecs.com
As have Y'all seen a Ford Pacing the field at Thee Brickyard lately?
since Bob's your Uncle after all, Righto Mates? Uhm, perhaps You've heard 'bout some Cool Cat fondly known in Nofendersville simply as superMario', nee Mario Andretti having just celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his lone Indianapolis 500 win, Eh?
Or the fact that El Capitano', nee Roger Penske was celebrating the 50th Anniversary of contesting his Debutante Indy 500? Whilst ironically, it was the 45th Anniversary of the Works McLaren IndyCar team's maiden win with Lonestar JR', aka Johnny Rutherford, which seems somewhat symbiotic with this year's McLaren Racing's failure to qualify for the race.
But instead, how many of Y'all recall that it's Thee 25th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra being the official Indianapolis 500 Pace Car, with none other than 'Ol Rufus Parnelli Jones at the wheel. Which sadly, is the very last time a FoMoCo' product paced the Indy 500.
Whilst I've just realized when poondin' away on this story, it's also the 25th Anniversary of Mario's Arrivederci' IndyCar Retirement Tour...
Recent Indy 500 Pace Cars
(16) Chevrolet Corvette: 1978, 1986, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2004-08, 2012-13, 2015 and 2017-2019.
(9) Chevrolet Camaro: 1967, 1969, 1982, 1993, 2009-2011, 2014 and 2016.
As it's sad to learn that General Motors has had a Stranglehold upon Mother Speedway for the past 22yrs consecutively now, beginning with Thar Oldsmobile Aurora pacing the 81st running of the Indianapolis 500 in 1997, with then Celebrity Pace Car Driver Johnny Rutherford at the Helm.
Whilst 'Ol Johnny Mellonheadz' ex-wife Elaine Irwin drove the last non Chevrolet branded vehicle at the Speedway in '01, which always Cornfuzes Mwah since it was actually a 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada. As the Auto manufacturers enjoy promoting new products this way...
Having just learned that Roger Penske was behind the wheel of a 2017 50th Anniversary Camaro SS during the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016, when scourin' Zed Internetz' for what I thought would have been a 2016 Camaro...
Yet this story is supposed to be about Ford Motor Company's third and final Indy 500 Pace Car pacing the field at Mother Speedway a Quarter of A Century ago, arguably the prettiest of the three Mustang Pace Cars, and definitely my favourite!
Which makes it even sweeter that I got to ride in one of the 1,000 "Ruby Red" Mustang SVT Cobra Pace Car Replica's Wayback in the mid-to-late 1990's around my true Hometrack, nee Pacific Raceways, which began as Seattle International Raceway for Mwah.
As this came about during one of my frequent outings to the SOVREN Historics races, which are forever known as Hystericals' Thanxs to Cammee'. Which I've already scribbled somewhat in detail 'bout the '94 Mustang Pace Car in the following No Fenders tome.
As it would be nice to visit Tacoma, Warshingtons' America's Car Museum again...
While how many remember that it was Benson Fordat the controls of the very first Mustang Pace Car in 1964, which arguably was a 1964-1/2 production model modified for track duty.
Although I certainly didn't know the name of Benton Ford above, nor can I seem to find out which Ford he was?
Or that Thee Wee Scot', JYS, Sir Jackie, nee Jackie Stewart was the celebrity driver behind the keyboard of the 1979 Mustang Pace Car, with those running Horse Deckles' on its Flanks. Being the only T-Top roof Pace Car model, with the other two Stangs' being Convertibles.
And the timing of Ford's Mustang being chosen for Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Honours couldn't have come at a better time, possibly the zenith of my Breathing all things Blue Oval, since not only was the Ford Cosworth XB Kicking Tail in CART! But I can still recall the nicely done Mustang Corral inside Portland International Raceway's Paddock (that year) that I spent liberal time Droolin' over during thoust yearly Trek to PIR for IndyCar races.
along with having picked up several posters featuring said Mustang Pace Car on the speedway's tarmac, with the old scoring pylon in the background? As I had one pinned-up at my Desk at work for a few years, and now believe it's somewheres' in my myriad 'O poster tubes...
Dorsey Schroeder Tom Gloy Trans Am Mustang "Hero Card" from Portland International raceway during the 1990's. (The Tomaso Collection)
Along with making me Flashback to the fact that I've also got two identical 30th Anniversary Ford Mustang Racing posters tucked away also. Since I can still recall Dorsey Schroeder glaring at me when having to autograph both posters, which also have Boris Said and John Gooding's John Hancock's upon them. As this trio 'O Drivers were Driving for Tom Gloy Racing, an 'Ol Racing Driver himself who actually competed in the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) era.
As I'd hoped to get the other Mustang TA Driver's autographs on said poster, albeit the six Drivers were split into two different time sessions, but I'd hoped at the very least to garner Thee Original TK's? As think Tommy Kendall came to prominence before TK' Follow-your-Schnoz!
Kanaan, well at least for Mwah. As Kendall was then Kicking Everybody's ARSE in the SCCA Pro Racing Trans Am series in his ultra Nasty Roush Racing All Sport Body Quencher Mustang!
While Ford was busy celebrating the Mustang's 30th Anniversary, appropriately by introducing the "Gen-x"; Uhm, the Fourth generation Mustang, i.e.; 1994-2004, known internally as the SN-95 platform. As these 4X Stangs' were ultimately powered by Ford's first modular engine, the 4.6-litre V-8. As it's hard to believe that Ford just celebrated the Mustang's 55th Birthday!
Since I Don't know 'bout Y'all, but C'mon IMS! Let somebody else have a turn. As I for one am ultra tired of the yearly Chevy Corvette-Camaro Tag-Team Pace Cars! since the last non GM vehicle to Pace the Indianapolis 500 was the '96 Dodge Viper GTS Coupe; YIKES!
As wouldn't it be Cool seeing one of Dodge's Narly Challenger or Charger SRT Hellcats leading the way round Mother Speedway? Or one of Ford's latest Mustang's. Perhaps the Bullitt' or any of the other stellar limited edition models, or Hell! The latest Shelby GT 350 or GT 500 incarnations! And that doesn't even take into consideration the Uber Bad Arse Ford GT!
And after All Honda's done for Indy Cars, including powering the entire Indy Racing League (IRL) grid, I'd love seeing an Acura NSX pressed into Pace Car duty.
Uhm, somehow, since we're still Making Americre' GURR-Reat again! I highly doubt that's gonna happen... While I sure hope General Motors is paying Hulman & Company a Boat-load 'O Greenbacks for having the exclusive rights to pacing the field. Which is too bad, since there's so many other worthy vehicles deserving Indy 500 Pace Car duty...