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May 28, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Driven to. Lined up.

Palm tree leaning into blue sky with clouds and vapor trail line (© image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, all rights reserved)

A line to be crossed. (© image)

Danica Patrick has gone over to the Dark Side.

A fiery competitor who more than once bailed out of her race car to angrily confront another driver who displeased her on the track, now sits at the Indy 500 sports analysts’  desk.

Had sort of expected to see her in a T-shirt, baseball cap, and one of her dogs at her side.

At first glance Sunday, wondered who picked her outfit. The low V-neckline was quite elegant and face framing – a neckline at home on any dressy occasion, but as the shortest sitting as an authoritative, sports expert on the panel offering insights and expertise? (“Don’t lean forward, Danica.” Seemed like someone yelled in her Minnie Mouse headphones)

She’s lovely, stylish – and perhaps wanted to show young women you can be a tough competitor in a man’s world and still be beautiful – if she picked it from herself, fine. If network picked so as to have some eye candy, hmmm. (Oh, well, she worked for Go Daddy, so she got a handle on it.)

Danica had said she might have to temper her comments on the desk, but would not be afraid to say what she thought.

Which turned out to be interesting-ish when one driver in too big a rush into the pit gave more than a little nudge to a car in from of him – shoving it sideways.

When she mused there was “perhaps a miscommunication” or a “little poor judgment”, I kept waiting for one of male anchors to lean back, look at her, and ask “What if that had happened to you?”

You do what ya gotta do.

Shadow lines (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Got a line on this one. (© image)

Indy 500 has something in common with sailing: long periods of dull punctuated by moments of sheer terror.

Nothing like huge tires and car parts flying unexpectedly around the track, drivers, and towards the stands after a wreck. (One reason, I’m perfectly happy sitting in the AC on the couch at home.)

I’ll watch the “start your engines” and first couple of laps, (checking back occasionally to catch expected multi-car pileups) then wander off until the last 15 laps or so when the driver determination/desperation usually punches in and it gets wild usually with a last minute crash or two.

Indy 500 race car driven by Danica Patrick 2006 ( USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

And there’s Danica Patrick in 2006. While fans like to see the drivers, next year a mandated Aeroscreen developed by Red Bull Advanced Engineering will offer the cockpit protection from flying debris.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

This year a good part of the craziness happened in the pit area.

  • Alexander Rossi pounded on his steering wheel yelling when the fuel hose for some reason just refused to cooperate. He was furious at another delay.(Bottom Video)
  • While heading into pit road, Hélio Castroneves ran into James Davison spinning his car around and sending waiting tires rolling out. (Top Video )
  • Will Power came flying into the pit where his car totally locked up and the crew had to push it into service position. From another angle, you can also see one of his crew got hit…maybe a foot run over…the guys was in pain, but doing his job.(Second video)
  • Jordan King actually hit a crew member on the way in. Taken off on a stretcher, but the guy’s in fair condition. (Third video)
  • There were other incidents, too with drivers bouncing off walls, tires flying and rolling, fuel lines tossed – the basic stuff.
  • One driver, forgetting the open mike, when informed he would be severely penalized for his bullying antics on pit road exclaimed “WHAT? If I’d known it was that much, I’d been more careful.”

So polycarbonate screens may not be the total safety solution.

Well, that’s the line on this year’s Indy 500.

Actually safer, more organized, and more polite than most major freeways at the end of a holiday weekend.

(We only wish milk was the choice of the winners in those fast lanes, too.)

Drive friendly, y’all.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Roses and flowers (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Summer’s officially started. Roses are happy, but this July heat already is a tad annoying. Calm before the storm as hurricane season official opens next weekend.(© image)

16 Comments

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  1. shoreacres / May 28 2019 7:20 am

    We used to have the Indy 500 on the radio or tv every Memorial Day weekend, but that was a long time ago, in the sixties. It’s been so long since I’ve paid any attention to auto racing, I had to stop and think who Danica Patrick might be. Strange to realize I’ve missed an entire career. Ah, well.

    You’re certainly right about the roads at the end of the holiday, though. I was thinking about heading down the refuge yesterday, and then I thought about coming home on roads filled with people who were either hung-over, still drunk, mad about the weekend ending, or up to here with those kids! Better to wait it out, and do the laundry.

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 28 2019 9:19 am

      I have this old image of Danica (as she was on the road to “gaining some respect”) flying out of her car at the end of some race and flailing away at some driver still his car as one of her team was trying to grab her and haul her back – she was yelling all the time. Annie Oakley would have been proud of her? Even Steve McQueen, too. (One driver was wearing images of McQueen all over his helmet in tribute)
      Luckily Sr Staff who can sit and be mesmerized by circling vehicles forgot there was the Gran Prix on right afterwards or Molly would have been even more grouchy that “Dog Whisperer” or “Lucky Dog” wasn’t on.
      We really wanted to go somewhere also – even in this awful heat, but the thought of the traffic. UGH. (Brazoria wisely closed their beaches to vehicles due to rip tide, and current. Probably smart. No matter how many times people are told, sadly, some never hear.) Thanks for folding in a comment here

      Like

  2. Kate Crimmins / May 28 2019 8:03 am

    Sure hope they don’t make her the “Barbie” at the desk. A driving family lives near me so there is always a lot of publicity about the Indy. Sadly most of it is boring to me. I always hope that everyone comes out alive and yep, it’s just like driving home on a holiday weekend.

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 28 2019 9:27 am

      Gads, that was my first thought. (You have some interesting neighbors!)
      Sr Staff here is one who would love to go and be in that pit area “to hear the engine noise and smell the grease..” OK, I’ll just wait here in the AC doing stuff. Please remember to duck flying car parts…just not my thing either. The people side of it is pretty interesting though. (Rossi was pretty angry at the end of the race making comments about “some drivers”…with that seething, there’s probably some off stage drama later.) Always for the underdog teams – like the one which was struggling for sponsors.
      Better to watch on tv than go – out on the roadways on holiday weekends, that is. Thanks for parking a comment here.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. susielindau / May 28 2019 10:25 am

    That’s Danica Patrick’s brand! She all sexylike. I’m sure she has a stylist who chooses what she wears although I didn’t see the broadcast. It might have been distracting, but I bet the ratings went up. LOL! My son’s girlfriend is a stylist in LA.

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 28 2019 10:42 am

      She’s always been the diamond on the track. (Cute clothing line – what an entrepreneur…and dog lover.) She laughed about Go Daddy’s reputation enough. Always walked a thin line between being a female equal and a “babe” for the sport (and did that extremely well). Her choice or theirs, it was probably a win. (It would have been better with a little taller chair, though…you know how the men are always wearing taller shoes or in an elevated chair to not look small or lesser. No doubt she’s done debriefing on herself)
      Can’t wait for the next episode (and will she continue to cut slack for those drivers that are her amigos)
      Thank for pacing a comment this way
      (Hey – one nephew and wife also out there. Started in producing commercials/specials years and years ago – like for Dog Whisperer, now running production studio. What a fun life, right?)

      Like

      • susielindau / May 28 2019 10:47 am

        I’m not a Nascar person, but I’m sure she’ll make adjustments, figuratively and literally!
        Cool! Here in Boulder?

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        • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 28 2019 12:07 pm

          Actually Danika does open car driving. Started in Kart racing, then Formula JR, then drove in Indyrace car series (won 2008 Indy Japan) in then went to Nascar/stock car racing (which many thought was a step down to a different sort of spectators/fans, but she was successful) but returned 2018 to Daytona and Indy 500 before retiring. Wasn’t the only woman driver, the most successful and the one tough as well as stylish to be focused on by the sport (something with has irritated some male drivers) A cheer leader who dropped out of school, she’s been called the anti-Mulan walked into who a strongly male arena while staying strongly ( and fashionably) female. I always like this 2017 quote about her in a Brit article: “she is an instrument of male and female fantasy, the sports pinup who grinds harder for feminism, day-to-day, than the great Billie Jean King ever could.” What a firecracker. (Repeatedly fined for not taking guff from male drivers and responding in like verbally and with “gestures”/flailing fists. Bound to be videos of those confrontations. Real humans stay up for themselves!
          And she has dogs (one a Siberian husky miniature) and works with dog charities. Gotta love that kid (the dog has a twitter account / Danica does pod casts)
          (No – they are some of those LA people) Their mom used to have a house on the Hill there, though – everything goes through/ends up in Boulder, right?) Stay cool up there (feels like 100F here…dog is so not happy)

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  4. The Hook / May 29 2019 6:14 am

    A company I used to work for once had a group of catering trucks that we took to the Indy 500 one year.
    What an experience.
    Racing culture is fascinating to behold.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 29 2019 10:30 am

      What an adventure that must have been.
      Now that’s worth a post sometime.
      Thanks for parking that comment within the lines here

      Like

  5. RKLikesReeses / May 29 2019 12:48 pm

    Ahhh! A car-culture unto itself! I watched it a few times with a guy I knew (who collected Corvettes & occasionally turned them into station wagons). But after a couple of years of scratching from fiberglass (ugh) we broke up and that was that. I’ve heard of Danica Patrick but never saw her in action. Here’s hoping that she retains the right to behave naturally – it’s awful when employers try to dictate everything.
    The traffic? SO BAD. :: shivers::

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 29 2019 1:17 pm

      Ha! We think the Callaway Corvette AeroWagons are cool – much more room for a dog! (but they still scrape bottom when trying to go out of the post office here – so probably not one for us
      https://www.corvetteforum.com/articles/closer-look-callaway-sc757-corvette-z06-aerowagen/
      Car culture has a lot of similarities to small racing sailboat culture….oh, that fiberglass and need for smooth for speed..
      I get intrigued by people who know who they are, stand up for themselves, and are doing stuff – Danica certainly fits that.
      Thanks for adding to the traffic here – blog traffic the only good kind HAHA!

      Like

  6. LordBeariOfBow / Jun 10 2019 1:26 am

    I’ve never been able to see the point in car racing and all the stuff that goes with it is ludicrous; every ones driving the same way around a track nothing can come from the sides or opposite direction,

    Where’s the fun or sense in that?

    I do believe that the spectators actually go in the hope of seeing a spectacular pile up and cars exploding bodies flying every where.so they can go home and say ‘wow you missed a great race should have come!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 10 2019 4:53 pm

      I always wonder if oval track drivers have on. arm bigger than the other from steering in a circle. I thin you’re right about why people go – usually it’s the cars/drivers that suffer – not the pit crews. That was appalling.
      How about a mini Cooper in a rally race? Now that would be a drive worth doing! (Not Isle of Man…that one’s a bit too dangerous – sometimes even for observers!
      Thanks for putting the brakes on long enough to chat

      Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 10 2019 4:55 pm

      I always wonder if oval track drivers have on. arm bigger than the other from steering in a circle. I thin you’re right about why people go – usually it’s the cars/drivers that suffer – not the pit crews. That was appalling.
      How about a mini Cooper in a rally race? Now that would be a drive worth doing! (Not Isle of Man…that one’s a bit too dangerous – sometimes even for observers!
      Thanks for putting the brakes on long enough to chat

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordBeariOfBow / Jun 11 2019 5:25 am

        I did go to a car race meeting in Melbourne Victoria, not Florida, must have been late 50’s or early 60’s, whenever it was that the Mini Cooper S came out, Funny sort of race, big cars small cars all mixed in, and I recall that there were great big Chevvy’s roaring around, but when it came to the bends they lost out to the Cooper S’s, which just burned into the corners on 3 wheels, the Chevvy;s would have flipped for sure. It was great fun something I did just the once, which was enough for me

        Like

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