Friday, June 3, 2016

Day of Racing 2016 (late post lol)

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I hate watching races with my dad and his friend.  They ramble on the entire time about one thing or another, and most of the time it's unrelated to what's happening on screen.  Then they miss things because they're so involved in their conversation, and meanwhile I'm just trying to watch the damn race.

My dad in particular seems to have fallen so in love with DVRs that I don't think I'll ever get to see an event live again.  That's why I don't tweet about races much anymore, because by the time we're actually watching them, the race is already over.

So, anyway.  Memorial Day weekend is always host to three auto races, spaced out so nicely for us in the US that you could call them the breakfast, lunch, and dinner of auto racing.  I always refer to it as The Day of Racing, just because.

Formula 1 Grand Prix of Monaco

In the morning, there's the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Monaco, an iconic track for a variety of reasons, and also one of the most difficult to pass on.  This year's F1 season has been kinda boring, to fix it, just remove Mercedes.  Then we'll have real races with actual competition and whatnot.  It rained between qualifying and race day, which made things interesting just because there's always that point you reach where it's time to switch from full wets to inters or from inters to dry weather tires, or in Hamilton's case, just say "fuck it" and stay out on full wets until it's time to change to dry weather tires.  A dubiously legal blocking maneuver by Hamilton and a pit stop gaffe on the part of Daniel Ricciardo's team sealed the victory for Hamilton.  Ricciardo wasn't terribly pleased, but Sergio Perez scored a podium for Force India and was pretty happy overall.  Hamilton managed to work his signature "blessed" thing into the post-race interview, just after he shared the victory champagne with Justin Bieber.

Indianapolis 500

The Indy 500 has way too damn much pre-race.  I know it's an event with a lot of history, and being held on Memorial Day weekend means it ends up with a bunch of pre-race events honoring war veterans and whatnot.  Then there's the national anthem with the flyover, the singing of Back Home Again in Indiana, the releasing of the multi-colored balloons, then the most famous words in motorsport, and then about twenty minutes of parade laps later we finally get racing.

Things stayed pretty civil this year, no completely bonehead maneuvers to speak of, except for pit stops during yellow flags.  For whatever reason people were ignoring the fact that there's two lanes to the right of the pit boxes and just darting straight towards the rightmost one on exit, without any regard as to whether anyone's already there.  Thankfully, they were vigilant about handing out the penalties for it.  The first one to get hit with a penalty was Will Power, which basically put him on a sub-optimal alternate strategy that ended up seeing him go a lap down at one point.  Cue sad trombone and picture of the room of those who care.

My eternal pick to win, Tony Kanaan, was in the mix as always and led a few laps, but ultimately had to stop for fuel with nine laps to go.  As could be expected, fuel basically dictated the race win, and Alexander Rossi pulled off some amazing fuel savings by coasting on parts of the last lap to win, only to run out of fuel during the victory lap and have to be towed back to the pits.  He did a few races of last year's F1 season with a backmarker team, so perhaps having an Indy 500 win under his belt will increase those prospects a little bit.  After all, Jacques Villeneuve winning the very first Indy 505 kinda kick-started his F1 career.

Coca-Cola 600

I'm always on my own for the Coke 600 because my dad is an old man and just wants to have a martini (made with gin, as one correctly makes a martini), and go to sleep. I went to B-Dubs like in previous years, except that this year some Florida baseball game had priority and they were playing music instead of TV audio, so it was a silent NASCAR race.  NASCAR apparently re-branded their "phantom debris caution" as a "Competition Caution", which came out early in the race.  Partway through the race, by coincidence, a friend of mine showed up just to get something to eat, so at least I had someone to talk to.

I missed good portions of the race due to the lack of TV audio, but it was mostly a missable race.  No huge wrecks or anything (that I noticed, at least) and Truex led 392 of the 400 laps, making this NASCAR race more of a parade than the Monaco GP was.  I was making jokes the entire time about how if the Jimmy John's car wins, the first sentence of the post-race interview should be "Man, this Jimmy John's car was Freaky Fast™ tonight." and how it should be Jimmie Johnson driving the Jimmy John's car.  But Johnson didn't win lol, and neither did the Jimmy John's car, so it's all a moot point, I guess.

The food I had was pretty good.  I got a chicken wrap with the Parmesan Garlic sauce, with a side of chips and salsa, eight boneless Thai Curry wings, and a tall Yuengling.  Later I had some Dr. Pepper, which I wasn't even charged for.

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