Somewhere, there is a Dreamland where everything is perfectly clear. There is sufficient and essential information, but not too much information, and the language used to express it is crystalline and eloquent and truthful. In that Dreamland, we are informed, enlightened, and more richly entertained because we take the time to savour the richness of it all. Savouring the richness of it all, after all, is the reason time even exists.
Unfortunately, the world we live in is naught that Dreamland. The signal to noise ratio has become precariously askew. The is too much information that is increasingly superficial and ultimately uncommunicative. It all become mere verbiage. It is a frightening prospect…to dive into a morass of verbiage where depth that does not exist. There is so much of it everywhere…from the fascism of Facebook to the puerility of Twitter to the constant thumbing of text-message jargon to the increasingly hysterical infotainment that masquerades as journalism. Words are everywhere, pretending to communicate, but falling so far short of their quixotic notions that someday I’m afraid words will lose their power to communicate, and more frighteningly, words will lose their charm.
I suppose I’m guilty of this as well, but I try very hard not to be guilty. I joke about never letting the facts get in the way of the truth. But I hope I’m broadcasting a clear signal. And I hope that you can seize back the time that our world is constantly stealing from you. Time is all you have and if you don’t take that time to savour the world around you, if you constantly hurry from one little thing to the next little thing, if you are too busy to take the time, then you will lose and may have already lost, more of the wonderful world around you than will ever accomplish in it.
The only real place were speed is needed is at the racetrack. So step on the brakes…ease off on the throttle….slow down, in other words. Welcome to Dreamland. The speed limit here is strictly enforced, by RADAR!! 26 miles an hour, chumplin. No faster.
In the Dreamland of Helio Castroneves, he won the Honda Indy at Edmonton last Sunday. After all, he crossed the finish line in first place. From the look of it, he won the race, won it fair and square. And if it were NASCAR and naught the IRL, his victory would be in the record books, his team-mate Will Power would have finished second, and his owner Roger Penske would be happy as a little girl with two of his three drivers atop the podium.
But this is not NASCAR, but the IRL. And the rules for passing and blocking are quite a bit different. Blocking is not allowed…and with open wheel racing that makes sense. And as for passing, the inside line is the passing line…a driver attempting to pass on the inside has precedence over the driver ahead of him. In this case, on lap 93 on turn 1 , Will Power made a move to pass Helio for the lead by taking the inside line, but Helio also took that inside line preventing the pass. According the IRL rules, that’s a violation, and Helio was black-flagged for it. As the entered turn 2, Will had to back off to prevent a wreck and slipped to third as Scott Dixon went by. Helio was supposed to take a pass-thru penalty down pit road, but ignored the black flag and went on to, in the mind’s eye of HIS little Dreamland, win the race. IRL, however, penalized him 20 seconds…the time he would have lost in the pits. Helio was scored finishing 10th and not first. Team-mate Will Power who still leads Dario in the IRL standings, took second.
Will Power should have won that race. But his team-mate blocked him. Will Power said so himself, and the video evidence while cloudy to the NASCAR mind, is pretty conclusive. Helio was justifiably penalized. But Will Power was unjustly penalized, had a win stolen from him, by his own teammate no less.
But wait!! There’s more!! After the race, an irate and enraged Helio Castroneves confronted a few IRL officials and grabbed one of them by shirt and gave him a shake or three. Now if THAT shit went on after a NASCAR race, well…Mike Helton and the boys would have fined Helio a ton of cash, put Helio on on probation for the rest of year, and likely set Helio’s ass out for a few races as well. You just don’t lay a hand on officials and referees and umpires. But IRL has not ruled on THAT obvious infraction as I type this. Helio is pleading for leniency, but I’m sure that will fall on deaf ears.
Speaking of speeding in Dreamland….oh wait, that was last year. But anyway, in Juan Pablo Montoya’s Dreamland, he has won the Brickyard 400 two years in a row.
Last year he had it won, by 5 miles at least, but a speeding penalty of pit road cost him an easy win. Yahhh!! Whatta chumplin!
This year, on what most assumed would be the final pit stop after debris brought out a caution on lap 139, Montoya was in the lead going in to the pit. His crew chief Brian Pattie called four 4 tires, which on the surface of it seemed fairly reasonable…even if he dropped back a few positions, there would be enough laps to overtake those drivers who took only 2 tires to gain track position. Montoya left the pits in 7th place. His team-mate, Jamie McMary, whose crew chief Kevin Manion called for 2 tires, took the restart in 1st. McMary held the lead for 4 laps and was passed by Harvick. Montoya, despite having 4 fresh tires, was struggling regain his track position. Finally, on lap 147, all hell broke loose for him, as he and Junior wrecked in turn 4. And that was the end of the dream. A left turn into the garage, and an angry stroll to the hauler.
But the good news is that after the final pit-stop, McMary came out of the pits with the lead. After the restart he pulled away and there was no denying him. Honestly, I don’t think even in Jaimie McMurray’s Dreamland, he saw himself winning that race, at least not at lap 138. But there it was. Jamie McMurray, Kevin Manion and crew, and owner Chip Ganassi, kissing the bricks at Indy. For Chip Ganassi it was especially sweet since he became the first team owner to win the Triple Crown of motorsports in the same season…the Daytona 500, the Indy 500, and the Brickyard 400 were all won the Ganassi drivers…two of them by McMurray, and the Indy 500 by Dario Franchitti.
But for Montoya, it was a Dreamland from which there was no escape. If he hadn’t been speeding last year….if crew chief Brian Pattie hadn’t called for 4 tires this year….if and if and if…. It reminds me quite a bit of the end of Charles Bukowski’s novel, FACTOTUM:
“…Darlene fingered her naked breasts, showing them to us. Her eyes filled with the dream, her lips moist and parted. Then suddenly she turned and waved her enormous behind at us. The beads leaped and flashed, went crazy, sparkled. The spotlight shook and danced like the sun. The four man band crackled and banged. Darlene spun around. She tore away the beads. I looked, they looked. We could see her cunt hairs through the flesh-coloured gauze. The band really spanked her ass.
And I couldn’t get it up.”
In the Dreamland known as Formula 1, the rule these days clearly states that a team can NOT give orders to one of their drivers to give way to a team-mate so said teammate can win the race. For example, if Felipe Massa is leading the race with several or a few laps to go and his team-mate Fernando Alonso is right behind him in second but challeneging for the win, Massa’s team can’t tell him to give way to Alonso, so Alonso, who is higher in the points than Massa, can win the race in his stead.
Oh wait a minute! That just DID happen, didn’t it. At the German Gran Prix.
I’m sure the $100,000 fine that F1 slapped on these birds will give THEM nightmares, yes?
Heh. What flummery. Massa was told three times over the radio to move aside and let Alonso get the win. A clear breach of the international motorsports code.
The case of the Ferrari team has been referred to the World Motor Sports Council.
Whether Alonso was faster than Massa or not, is irrelevant since if Alonso was indeed faster, then like any other race car driver, he should show that based on his own merits. Pass your teammate within the bounds of the rules and win fair and square. And if you can’t, then take the position you deserve not the one handed to you.
The shame of it is that Massa was robbed of win that would have greatly boosted his morale on a day that marked the anniversary of his horrifying wreck last year in practice for the Hungarian Gran Prix. It’s really miraculous that he’s alive, let alone racing. Yeh…Alonso winning is better for the team, but Massa winning would have been better for the man, and by extension, mankind. That’s a fairly unreasonable pronouncement, I suppose. But I think you know what I mean when I say that.
How Alonso can look at himself in the mirror, or at his team-mate after Hockenheim, I really don’t know. But it’s definitely a different sort of Dreamland.
In about 18 hours and change as I type this on my Adler J-5 typewriter, the 2010 edition of the Hungarian Gran Prix will tee off with the Red Bull Gang at the top of this grid. Once again Vettel has the pole, with Webber in the 2 hole. The aforementioned Ferrari boys are 3 & 4. Current F1 points leader Lewis Hamilton rolls off in 5th. “Have at it, Boys!”
NASCAR, McMary, Montoya and company are at Pocono tomorrow for the Pennsylvania 500. Tony Stewart tees off from the pole position. But hey, guess what…Juan Pablo qualified 2nd (McMary rolls off in 9th). Does he have a shot to win? My magic 8-ball says: Reply Hazy, Try Again. My gut feeling though, is that somehow, for Juan Pablo, the Pennsylvania 500 will be transformed into the Transylvania 500 by the time all is said and done.
And speaking of time, thank you for taking it. I hope this was time well spent. I’ll cue up the music, and then, it’s off to the races.