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Thread: Bball's Indy 500 Photos and Comments (2009)

  1. #26
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bball's Indy 500 Photos and Comments (2009)

    ...Of course... there is the constant drumbeat to bring back innovation to the cars.... I'm right there with that drumbeat. I remember a few years back when Scott Sharp's team developed the 'soft limiter' which gave him an advantage to keep him out of the momentum killing 'hard limiter' and ultimately saw him win the pole that year. The media immediately jumped on this tiny innovation almost like they did with the Penske push-rod Mercedez. It became a story itself. I've long advocated opening the rulebook more for the Indy 500. .
    Just to clarify... My point wasn't that the soft-limiter was such a crowning achievement. Instead, it was how starved the media and fans are for innovation that something as relatively simple as the soft-limiter created such a buzz at the time.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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  2. #27
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bball's Indy 500 Photos and Comments (2009)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    Additional comments:

    Does anyone remember when Penske was 'the bad guy'? T-shirts that said "Anyone but Penske" weren't unusual. But at some point it all changed. Sure, there were fans too... and fans of his drivers... But there was always that "Anybody but Penske" undercurrent too.

    Was it Rick Mears? Giving Al Unser Sr the ride that got him his 4th Indy 500? Did it change in '94 with fan favorite Little Al's 2nd win? In '95 when Penske's team didn't even make the race showing they were human after all? Maybe it was a view of the landscape without Penske during the split? Is it Helio?

    Maybe it's all that rolled up into a realization that Penske has gotten where he's gotten by "playing the right way". Hard work, good character, and more hard work. He's not just throwing more money at running his team, he's throwing more effort at it. He's surrounded himself with quality people, and people that have a healthy respect for the Indianapolis 500 and open wheel racing.

    Whatever the case, the Penske haters have all but disappeared.... and that's good. You have to respect what Penske has been able to do. 15 Indy 500 wins does not just 'happen'.

    Congrats not only to Helio but all of Team Penske as well. They set the bar high for everyone.
    As a Rick Mears fan, I was surprised to go to the track on race day in the early nineties and discover all the anti-Penske feelings. Penske does more than any other person (including Tony George) to keep the Indy 500 at the top of the list.

    I think that became obvious during the late-90s and when Penske returned earlier this decade.

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  3. #28
    The New Gold Swagger travmil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bball's Indy 500 Photos and Comments (2009)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    She finished 20th and 13 cars fell out. There were 33 cars starting the race.

    She was the only car on the track still running that did not to finish on the lead lap.

    There were several laps of yellow and also the yellows seemed rather evenly timed (I haven't looked at the numbers so that is just the feeling I got from being there). That helps keep the rabbits from lapping the slower cars.

    It's not always about hitting the wall and taking yourself out. Sometimes it's about a lack of consistency with your speed and line. It's about forcing drivers to take evasive actions due to that inconsistency.

    A driver has to deal with a driver like Milka differently than other slower cars due to the lack of consistency.

    If you listen to Milka's radio it is scary how much coaching goes on. It's not just 'spotting', and it's not just encouragement. It's a constant barrage of "Hold your line" "Let him go and then get right up on him and catch the draft" "Stay with him" "Watch your line in the corners" "You're __insert doing something wrong here__"

    Eventually, you hope she 'gets it' but even race experience doesn't seem to be sinking in very quickly (although Buhl says she's made improvements).

    She might not be wrecking, but that might be a product of how conservative she's driving the car and the downforce on it. But the question is how many wrecks, almost wrecks, and changes of position happen because she forced a driver out of his rhythm while she's tip-toeing around the track?

    Foyt IV has had his moments of being a rolling chicane as well and driving inconsistently. Ask Helio how he lost his chance at 3 Indy 500 wins in a row. Even now he had his grampa questioning him why his speed was going up and down so much during the race. Hunter-Reay (on his radio) blamed Foyt IV for his crash although the replay I saw didn't start far enough back to confirm it. RHR said Foyt IV slowed in front of him. His television interview didn't sound as accusatory though.

    In any case, Milka's reputation has been earned but maybe she is improving.

    Let's hope so...
    I can appreciate all of that. But the fact remains that she didn't make the same mistakes that many of the drivers behind her did, and therefore had a much better day. She was running at the finish and they were not. Again I ask, if you had given her car to the drivers behind her, does that car do better? Or do they crash it on lap 1 like Marco, or yet again crash out of Indy like Kanaan?

  4. #29

    Default Re: Bball's Indy 500 Photos and Comments (2009)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    Instead, it was how starved the media and fans are for innovation that something as relatively simple as the soft-limiter created such a buzz at the time.
    That's what a spec-series will get you. Being more creative than the rulebook used to mean you had an advantage until 1) other teams figured it out or 2) they wrote a rule against it. Now, you're not in line with the rulebook, you're DQ'd.

  5. #30
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bball's Indy 500 Photos and Comments (2009)

    Quote Originally Posted by travmil View Post
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    Let me ask this: If you put any of the drivers behind her in her car, is the order of finish different for that car? Can someone explain the hate?
    Since teammates John Andretti and Mike Conway finished a lap ahead of her I think it's reasonable to assume that several of the drivers behind her would've fared better in her car.

    Some are out because they had cars capable of winning and played their hands a little too aggressively. Maybe in a second tier ride like Milka's they don't drive quite so aggressively. Some of them are out because Milka is the car that broke their rhythm and caused them to get out of the groove and into the wall. Last year's Rookie of the Year Hunter-Reay claimed to have a car with gremlins that his team couldn't figure out... and that his teammate confirmed wasn't just RHR's imagination. Assuming Milka's car felt better to him, I could see him doing better with it.

    Oriel Servia's car fell out with a mechanical (or electrical) gremlin... I easily could see him doing better in her car.

    Vitor would certainly have done better and it's really hard to assign blame to him for the accident he was involved in.

    Tony Kanaan's car had something break to put him in the wall. He easily would've been in a position to do better in a car that didn't break on its own.

    Just because a driver made an aggressive move in a car capable of being aggressive doesn't mean they'd make that same mistake in a car that wasn't quite as capable.

    Last year Buddy Rice drove a D-R car to 8th place at the 500 so that's another sign the team can prepare a Top 10 car if the driver can do his/her part (Milka drove for D-R).

    BTW- How is it Buddy Rice, a recent 500 winner, couldn't get a ride? If Tony George is looking for something to 'fix' he better look at that scenario fully. Does the IRL have a program to help drivers find sponsorship? Maybe they need one.

    Maybe they need a program where an Indylights team is qualified for some type of IRL funding if they put a veteran 500 driver in a one-off Indy program. Utilize some of the track corporate sponsorship opportunities to fund that program.
    Last edited by Bball; 05-26-2009 at 01:02 PM.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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