Archive for December, 2008

National Geographic To Air Indianapolis Motor Speedway Special

Posted in Uncategorized on December 29, 2008 by James

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The National Geographic channel is set to re-air a 1 hour special on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on New Years Day (Thursday) at 10:00 am EST, and if you feel like getting up a little earlier, they are also airing “Need For Speed” at 9 am.  Not quite sure what the latter is about  so be warned it could be about the N-word.  But I’m sure the special on IMS will be a must see, and help us get through an entirely to long off season.

2 Steps Forward 1 Step Back: Detroit GP “Postponed”

Posted in Uncategorized on December 19, 2008 by James

UPDATE:  In todays Indianapolis Star Curt Cavin reports that the date could be filled another race and has a quote from John Griffin, League Spokesman:

“That’s a pretty valuable weekend for us.  Memorial Day, Labor Day and the Fourth of July weekend are very inportant race weekends”

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Although not the most exciting race on IRL schedule, I hate to lose any event and according to the Indianapolis Star the IRL has scaled back to a 17 race schedule for 09′ after losing Belle  Isle.

  • “This is a real economic time of distress for everyone. We couldn’t sit here and count on a lot of things happening (from a sponsorship standpoint) that we knew weren’t going to happen knowing that (Detroit) is so distressed with unemployment and all the things going on.”-Roger Penske

On top of the tough economic times, the Michigan race fans lost the Michigan race after 07′ and now the Detroit GP is gone after just 2 races.  Although it is a hit for the Indycar Series, you really have to feel for the fans in Michigan.

IMS To Tear Down Hotel

Posted in Uncategorized on December 16, 2008 by James

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The World famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway hotel that was featured several times  in Paul Newman’s “Winning” has been closed immediatly and will soon be torn down.  The 108 room Motel built in 1963 has hosted many celebrities and drivers over the years, including Clark Gable and the world famous Beatles who stayed in rooms 228,230,232 and 234 during there Indy stay on there first North American tour.

“We do this with a heavy heart. These are all good employees but it is also a sign of the economic times,”  – Fred Nation Executive VP of Communications at IMS

The site has been looked at by several developers but a final decision has yet to be made of what is to come of the historic site.

100 Years Ago Yesterday

Posted in Uncategorized on December 13, 2008 by James

Where were you 100 years ago?  Well, probably not here (and if you were here, congrats) but yesterday, December 12th, marked the 100 year anniversary that the land that IMS sits on was purchased. 

In Autumn of 1908 IMS co-founder Carl Fisher discovered an 80 acre plot of land up for sale that was then in the middle of nowhere.  Although not big enough for Fisher’s origanal 5 mile track, it would be the perfect size for there revamped 3 mile plan.  Unfortunently for them, the 3 mile track would have fit a little to perfectly, not leaving any room for stands.  So the 2.5 mile “oval/rectangle” that we all know today, with a bunch of renovations was born.

UOWWBA Response

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2008 by James

The Latest UOWWBA question goes like this:

” You have just been appointed to be the new “talent scout” for the IRL. Your first mission is to bring 5 drivers to the series. These can be former drivers from Indycar or from any other series. Which 5 would you pick and why?

Here’s my take:

Tony Stewart: A huge talent who left the IRL way to soon.  He’s a great driver and would bring a much needed personality to the series, and after he’s finished behind the wheel, he would make a great owner.

Lewis Hamilton: Still incredibly young with many years ahead of him, Lewis would bring some more diversity to the series along with a world wide known name.  OOOO, and did I mention he’s one of the best drivers in the world?

Sebastian Bourdais: Although he has thrown the IRL under a bus, car, truck, semi, and a train, you can’t deny the talent.  After winning 4 consecutive Champ Car titles with American open-wheel split, I would love to see what he could do now that everyone is together.

Paul Tracy: Not only would he bring a ton of Champ Car fans to the IRL but did you watch the Edmonton race?  Need I say more?

Valentino Rossi/Nicky Hayden: I couldn’t make up my mind between the two.  Hayden would add another young American with a great personality to the series.   On the other hand Rossi has an already established humongous fanbase around the world that would fallow him where ever he went.  Plus I would love to watch the 2 wheel to 4 wheel transition but I won’t be picky, either would do.

All 5 are highly unlikely, but hey, a guy can dream!!

500 Movie In The Works

Posted in Uncategorized on December 6, 2008 by James

Written By: Speed Tv’s Robin Miller

Movies about auto racing have always fallen into three categories: laughable, passable or forgettable. Aside from Grand Prix, Winning and The Big Wheel, most were hokey, horribly-written and poorly-acted cartoons like Driven and Days of Thunder.

But a home-grown producer who grew up listening to the Indianapolis 500 on a radio is in the process of trying to make a film on the inagural race in 1911 and how it went from an idea to iconic status.

And he’s enlisted the two creators of Hoosiers and Rudy – Angelo Pizzo and David Anspaugh – to tell the story.

“Angelo has already written the screenplay and he and David will be the co-producers,” said Justin Escue, who owns the Indy-based My First Bike Productions. “So the next step is to find the proper financing.

“One of the biggest hurdles is that movies about racing are usually horrible and nobody wants to touch them. But this is a racing movie like Hoosiers was a basketball movie. And their track record certainly doesn’t hurt either.”

Roger Brummett, associate producer on the project, says the story revolves around three people.

“It’s about Carl Fisher, Ray Harroun and Ralph Mulford,” said Brummett, who took Escue and Pizzo to meet Tony George last year at the IndyCar race in Kansas City. “It’s Man vs. A dream, which was Carl’s idea to have this amazing track and this race.

“Then it’s Man Vs. Machine, with Harroun being involved with the design of the Marmon Wasp because he knew he needed a superior machine to beat Mulford.  And the Man vs. Man, Mulford against Harroun.”

Escue, who grew up in Indianapolis listening to the race with his grandmother, logged his time as a production assistant before deciding to start his own production company.

“I knew I wanted to do my own projects and I’ve already done a couple of independent films,” said the 33-year-old graduate of Ball State and Indiana University. “I always wanted to do a race film and I think it is important to make it in Indianapolis.

“Mickey Maurer had helped me with my first two films and when I pitched the Indy 500 idea to him, he said he thought Angelo would be perfect. Angelo had just moved back to Indiana when I met him and he loved the idea of this movie.”

Global Hunter Securities of Houston is trying to secure the financing, estimated by Brummett from $35-40 million, and a tract of land in northern Indianapolis is being looked at to build a replica of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as it looked in 1911.

“I want to make this movie outside the studio system and then distribute it inside the system,” continued Escue. “We want to make the film, put together a good package for our financers and then sell it to a distributor like Disney or Warner Brothers.”

Obviously, the desired release date would be 2011 to coincide with the Speedway’s anniversary.

“We think it would be a great thing,” said Fred Nation, IMS vice president of communications. “We’ve had conversations with a number of people during the past couple years and let’s hope it happens in 2011.” –Robin Miller

80rayharroon21So, If the movie does come to be, Who should play Ray Harroun?  You can give your opinion by leaving a comment.

Its Official: Bob Jenkins Will Lead Versus Broadcast

Posted in Uncategorized on December 2, 2008 by James

As heard straight from the horses mouth.  Bob Jenkins has confirmed what you may have read on my site last Wednesday, that he will indeed be the “play by play” man for the 13 race Versus schedule next season alongside 2 other booth guys and 3 pit reporters.  After an auditon and 2 months of waiting, Jenkins was told by Speedway officials that he is the guy.  Although the deal is not done, he has been confirmed.  He may also return to turn two for the IMS radio network at the 500.

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