2010 Carb-Day Band (non) Announcement

I have the skills of a master detective.  Actually more like approximately 65% of the average skills found with the average TV detective from the 1970s…  less the cool car. 

What I do have that resembles a 1970s TV detective, besides the penchant for bars with dark wall paneling and 11 mpg sport sedans, is a friend who survives below the radar that provides me with helpful information from time to time. This friend sourced to me two major places to go to find clearinghouse information on musical acts and their schedules: Pollstar and Tourtracker.

Armed with my latest research weapon, I perused and pursued any combination of search tag scrap that would produce a result.  I now don’t mind sharing these with everyone since the secret of the Carb Day band for 2010 appears to be on lock-down in a maximum security computer at IMS and (much like my favorite 70s era TV detectives) I lack the true ‘juice’ or contacts to elicit such information. My research therefore has been sufficient only to produce data for deductive reasoning, eliminating the acts who are already committed to the May 28, 2010 dates.

This I share with you so that the first person with any correct information you may have that leads to the confirmed band or bands to play the 2010 Carb Day, prior to the official IMS announcement of such concert, will garner you full and commensurate honors (a free premium beer or alcoholic beverage) at the campsite of yours truly for the 2010 Indy 500 weekend.  Here is the official list of those acts currently on tour who shan’t be performing Miller Lite Carb Day 2010:

Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum, Black Eyed Peas, Bullet For My Valentine, Tim McGraw, Asleep at the Wheel, Angels and Airwaves, Eli Young Band, 3OH!3, Dave Matthews Band, Pavement, Steel Pulse, Michael Buble, Daughtry, Oak Ridge Boys, James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Bret Michaels, Little Big Town, Godsmack, Kiss, Coheed and Cambria, Wilco, Heart, CS&N, Elvis Costello, Montgomery Gentry, BoDeans, Bela Fleck, Mark Knopfler, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Carole King, David Gray, Lifehouse, Joe Bonamassa, NKOTB, Three Dog Night, ZZ Top, Barry Manilow, Diana Ross, Tesla, Deep Purple, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, moe., Steve Miller Band, Chevelle, Umphrey’s McGee, Indigo Girls, OK Go, Living Colour, Buckcherry, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Manhattan Transfer, 1000 Foot Crutch, Barenaked Ladies, Gov’t Mule, Reverend Horton Heat (damn.), Saliva, The Glitch Mob, Cracker, Dark Star Orchestra, Steve Winwood, George Benson, David Sanborn, Gaelic Storm, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Good Charlotte, Proclaimers, Pendulum, Paul Weller, Garaj Majal, Natalie Merchant, Duke Tumatoe (crap.) Cinderella, Sammy Kershaw, Dangermuffin, New Pornographers, The Damned, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Stone Sour, The Yardbirds, Naked Eyes, The Wailers, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Eve 6, Rusted Root, America, Buddy Guy, annnnnnnd (perhaps most disappointingly) AC/DC.


 Please note there are many others left off the list that I couldn’t recognize as any band of note and judging by their venue, not big draws anyway.  So there it is, the unofficial, non-announcement of Carb Day band for 2010. Sorry. What else is there to do for off-week, non-NCAA day of non-sports-news?

Race One, Race Won

Sao Paulo is in the books and despite the myriad many obstacles conspiring to obfuscate, the race itself was quite enjoyable to watch. I will summarize my fave part of the race and issue yellow flags (issues of concern), red flags (lowlights), and green flags (highlights) for other points of note.
It’s no secret that I am an oval fan primarily, but I was particularly impressed with the amount of actual passing and racing going on the track itself. The drivers and fans by most all accounts seemed to have the same opinion, leaving me with no choice but to be more open to street courses (properly done) as a viable venue for IndyCar. I much prefer the rolling and scenic nature of the road course to city streets, but not always are roads the best option for tracks that turn right as well as left (I will say that I plan to maintain great disdain for airport circuits, when American classics like Road America or Laguna Seca are not employed).
As for the track action itself, many interesting stories emerged, but to me the defining moment of the race was when 2nd place Ryan Hunter-Reay and 3rd Will Power (who was fighting to overcome severe hand blisters) applied enough pressure on leader Ryan Briscoe to lapse slightly in concentration and slide into the tire barrier at the end of the long back straight. Hunter-Reay lead for several laps following and then it was Power’s turn to make a classic pass under late braking for the lead with 2 laps to go.

Yellow Flags:

– Mario Moraes not coming out and admitting his mistake right away.
– Subpar TV production quality (some things out of VS control I understand, others like announcers talking over each other, not).

 Red Flags:

– Jack Arute trying to be funny. Just analyze, don’t try to be all things.
– Pop-up terrential thunderstorms.
– No back up power systems for race control.
– First lap, first corner wrecks.  Come on people.

Green Flags:

– Simona DeSilvestro leading for several laps.
– Seeing 7 different teams in the top 10.
– Brazil’s fans supporting and enjoying the race.
– Brazil’s track people working to grind the concrete deep into the night
– Everyone racing cleanly (from what I saw).
Enjoyable street race? Yes, I guess it was. 
Race won on the track and not in the pits? Awesome!
Mind opened slightly again? Yes.
The older I get, the less I realize that I know.

Fortune Favors the Bold

Times are changing and, with regard to the IndyCar world, it is no less apparent than on the cusp of this new 2010 season, with new League Title Sponsor IZOD fully activating itself all over the IndyCar landscape. This momentous season will begin on another continent, in another hemisphere (Brazil) and with an other-worldly story playing out concurrently with the racing: this season will see the developing changes to the most identifiable element of the sport itself – the Indy Car.

Tweets, blogs, articles, and message boards have been energized with the recent preliminary chassis designs by four manufacturers and one… designer(?), all of whom will vie to become the next IndyCar chassis slated for 2012. Much debate has already occurred since the early days of February when Dallara (incumbent chassis manu), Delta Wing, Swift, Lola, and finally BAT all had turns at revealing their preliminary concepts. 


Then, there’s Maude:

Unveiled at the Chicago North American Auto Show, this stunner seemed to leave mouths agape and searching for proper descriptors, of which few were found. To many, this potential design was neither ‘IndyCar’ nor attractive. Infuriating and repulsive to a web-vocal bunch, yet supported by those who would actually be responsible for the purchase and use of such machines. I’ll admit my skepticism was running high at first blush, until I put away the emotion and became interested enough to spend some time reading ‘Why?’. The factors and criteria which led the Delta Wing team to this point became more illuminated after reading the method behind the madness. With so many comments and thoughts swirling around IndyCar at this point, I doubt I’m saying anything that has not already, however, it is my opinion, as a fan of well over 30 years, that this opportunity, at this time, will be the defining moment of the sport’s survival or plummet into obscurity.

As a longtime fan, I’d rather not see such a great American institution as the Indy 500 and the sport, with a storied lineage so rarely found in this country, lost at the short-sightedness of a few. The time is right for something as truly inspired as the DeltaWing. The time also is right for inclusion of multiple propulsion systems. Vast freedoms of propulsion, with the limits set by efficient use of power, not by sheer power itself.

This opportunity has presented itself to be something new, exciting, and relevant. Right here, right now. Draw a bead and pull the trigger IndyCar, before something else draws faster. You can only be too late, never too early.

100 days

Despite the ever-increasing depth of snow outside my window today, chassis-related events coupled with our first planning meeting last week have stirred the spirit to more firmly focus on ‘the trip’. 

100 days sounds like a big number but, in truth, isn’t. It’s just barely enough time to coordinate the elements necessary for a proper trip. This being the 7th trip with this group, the planning has become a bit easier, but each year poses its own obstacles which must be overcome. The primary needs, however, are firmly trenched into the budget: location (Speedway camp lots), lodging (campers), beverages (water – for when the beer runs out), and of course food (primo grilled meats to be exact).

Everyone has their favorite camp food, but ours is not simple fare.  Burgers, brats, dogs and potato salad are generally eschewed for a more civilized palate.  The menu is annually given extra attention and love with a grilling phenom and our very own 4-star chef. It’s not uncommon to find this on our plates at Indy (less the expensive linens and flatware, of course)… 

Budget variables such as ‘entertainment’, ‘sundries’, and ‘hospitality’ can often be the death of our budget, but also have historically provided some of the more priceless (albeit confidential) moments of the Indy trip.  I’ve found that the more organic and spontaneous those spirited events are, the better, so planning and budgeting for those is right out.
Now with mind distracted by furthering the details of the upcoming trip, I must put away this blog. 100 days is seeming like about 50 too few, but 50 days ago would’ve had me making lists, calling friends, and discussing budgets… on Christmas.
Ah, well, so it goes every year, time to grab another gear…

Just Tryin’ To Be Helpful…

It’s becoming clear to me that one of two things is happening regarding the Carb Day concert announcement: One, it is SOOO awesome that to avoid a raucous and potentially dangerous stampede of people overrunning the ticketing office, they just can’t release the band name until proper security and safety preparations have been set; orrrr, Two, they haven’t found a ‘suitable’ act yet.

Being in a somewhat pessimistic mode regarding the Speedway’s leadership, I tend to think the latter is the odds-on favorite of being closest to the truth.  In my typical way, I would like to assist by humbly submitting some possible acts for consideration:

1.  The Who.  I realize they’re coming off a less-than-stellar appearance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show.  I realize they’ve lost half of the originals.  Their best days are clearly behind them.  As a fan, I am well aware of all of this.  They are in their mid-60s after all and still can kick ass so I just want them to do one, nice, tight, generation-spanning, show of ass-kicking rock-n-roll lasting one glorious hour (not that halftime medley crap).  Six songs; My Generation, I Can’t Explain, The Real Me, You Better You Bet, Baba O’Riley, Who Are You, and finish with of ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’.  I want to hear Roger scream, live, one last time.  What could have you more amped up for the rest of the weekend than that?  I can’t imagine short of something that involves ‘pharmaceuticals’.

2. There isn’t a #2.  The Who is it for 2010, end of.

PS Whether you like Queen or not, if your neck hair doesn’t stand up starting at the 4:15 mark of the SOOO awesome video link, you likely wouldn’t appreciate 33 cars roaring down on Lap 1 of the Indy 500 (be sure to click the option to watch “Lap 1” in 720HD), Just sayin’. 

The Hallowed Grounds

Winter provides an unusual opportunity to see the speedway in its dormancy.

Part of a work-related responsibility is to travel to Indy four times a year and at least three of those trips will involve a waypoint through the Museum and gift shop.  In typical fashion yesterday, I had stopped through on my way out of town and, despite missing the museum closing time, visited the recently remodeled (and very nice) gift shop.  The staff was typically friendly, helpful, and even chatty.  I enjoy this little interlude while perusing the new stock and looking for kids gifts (that they don’t already have).

On my way out of the building, I noticed traces of snow on the track, near the walls in turn 1, the south chute, and turn 2.  I stopped in my tracks, struck at how I had never noticed this before.  Maybe I’ve never see it with snow present.  Very odd indeed I thought with some melting areas recalling the infamous weepers that would crop up nearly every race weekend in turn 3.  I also thought of a promotion photo used on the IMS website a few years ago with the still gorgeous old #32 Marmon Wasp on the snow-covered, front straight and how unusual that seemed. 

It also got my thoughts turned to the warmth of May and what lies ahead.  As I drove out I recalled that Al Unser once said he got chills every time he drives under the tunnel entering the track.

I got them entering and leaving.

An Open Letter to the Ownership and Executive Adminstration of Hulman and Company

Dear Board of Directors – Hulman and Company:

As a native Hoosier and lifetime Indy 500 fan (primarily and Indycar Series supporter second despite them being close relatives), I track with great passion the sport’s changes as how they may affect the Indy 500 first, and the remainder of the sport next. Mr. Tony George’s resignation from the board is the final shovel of “not good” that has tipped the scales for me from optimist to pessimist regarding the future of IMS and the Indy 500.

This recent bit of news is troubling to me, because I am optimistic by nature, but I now have an insurmountable fear that no one is left who has the passion, vision, and desire to carry it forward in a manner which allows it to not merely survive, but thrive. Surely, your privately-owned, family business must realize it has generations of a vast public who personally identify with (and in some cases even gave their life for) this event, it’s history, and the grounds. The staggering popularity of The 500 and it’s history certainly are evidence of that. I understand I own precisely 0.00% of the company’s stock however I am mentally and emotionally invested in the place which is worth more than a little.

From this meager platform, I ask the board to please give us, loyal ‘lifers’ some sort of idea what the heck your plan is for this place.

It is yours in ownership.  It is also mine in heart and soul.  Understand me, your loyal fan, and do NOT toy with it.  What I bring to you shows up as positive numbers on your Balance Sheet if that is all you understand.

If you can understand the above, then understand these concerns:
– Who will be the passionate visionary to energize and elevate this place?
– Who among you is dedicated to the 500 to your very core?
– Who will be the talisman with tireless diligence to an entity whose value as a national treasure is far greater than the sum of its parts.
– Who is next?

You will note that I do not address the ‘How’ or ‘What’ is next, but ‘Who’ is next.  This is by far the most critical component in my opinion.

Who is next?

My concerns are growing, my patience wearing thin.

Instead of a lifetime of dedication from me (your most loyal fans), you must know that you have now relegated yourself to a year-by-year basis.

I strongly advise not screwing it up.



One small suggestion to those that run the Indy 500


I’ve been going to the Indianapolis 500 for many, many years now and almost nothing about Indy and it’s changes have caused me any angst.

Nothing except for one seemingly small but ignominious detail, which I humbly submit for reversion back to its previous form, for your review…

There are precious few truly outstanding and hallowed moments in all of sports and the 30 minutes preceding the drop of the green flag of the Indy 500 is one of them.  Much like the reverence given the Masters grounds, or the call to post of the Kentucky Derby, those final moments leading to the command to start engines is truly stuff of American legend and should be treated as such.  The herky-jerk schedule of today does a disservice to one of the greatest traditions in all of sports and is only, I presume, due to the television’s coverage demands for last-minute commerical inserts before the green flag.  This, to me, is simply appalling.

It is in the spirit of the highest traditions that I submit to revert back to the days (as recently as the late 90s) when the television coverage did not dictate the flow of those traditional proceedings: The National Anthem, America the Beautiful (lets shelve the God Bless America for now, please), the Invocation, the playing of Taps, the Flyover, Back Home Again in Indiana (long live Jim Nabors), Balloon Release, and “Start Your Engines” (merely typing this recalls goosebump-producing moments of Indys past).

There always was an order for these events which created a palpable crescendo of anticipation, nerves, and excitement that culminates in the sensory overload of 33 cars screaming by on that first lap.  It’s almost as if summer itself waits reverently for this moment before signaling the official end of spring.

I propose that any schedule be continuous as in years past and that should live TV coverage desire to catch all the aforementioned grand moments, that it be commercial-free from The National Anthem through at least the first 5 laps or so.  

TV, you must rethink your desire to dictate for it is not you that made this tradition, you are merely one of its witnesses.  You do not command the proceedings and I submit the Masters TV coverage as the example the Indy 500 should follow – even if for only 30 minutes.

Also, please remove the unnecessary pit road exit booth.  I sit on Pit Road each raceday and the mad rush to remove the staging, lights, booms, and talent after the command and prior to the green flag is both ridiculous and unnecessary.

Dear TV, when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway asks you to do the aformentioned, humble yourself ever so slightly and show proper reverence for this great American tradition and its grounds by complying.  Your fans and your public (and thereby your advertisers) will thank you.

Favorite Indy cars III

1970 – PJ (Parnelli Jones) Colt – Johnny Lightning Special
Perhaps the most styled and colorful of all modern eras at Indy, 1970 saw varied chassis designs and bright colors like never before.  Of those designs, one stands out for me which is also the race winner that year: Al Unser’s #2.
The last of the non-winged cars to win at Indy, this car repeated it’s feat in 1971 with Unser at the wheel again.  1972 saw the allowance of ‘bolt-on’ wings (not integral to the chassis shape) which vastly increased cornering speeds while limiting drag.  This Colt chassis was sponsored by Johnny Lightning, a toy car manufacturer was styled based on the company’s logo.  To quote Al Unser, “Hey, that’s perty!”

For just a dollar a day…

…you too could be going to the Race of all races – THE Greatest Spectacle in Racing – the one and only 2010 Indianapolis 500 , if you start today!

Don’t you think you owe it to yourself to, at least once, go to this esteemed American sporting event?

I do.

With only 175 or so days left until that glorious weekend, don’t put off until spring what you can begin today.  There can never be sufficient time to fully plan your traffic/parking/tailgating/debauchery strategies so I implore you to start right now, you won’t be sorry!

If you cannot attend, please consider finding and sponsoring a unfunded young race fan the ability to see it in person – it is a truly life-changing event for many.

Here’s my Dollar A Day plan if you start today…
– Raceday ticket – $80 (Pit Road terrace – the best value in all of sporting events),
– Fuel to travel from within a 500-mile radius of Speedway, Indiana – $50 (in a reasonable vehicle – assumes no Abrams M1 battle-tanks or ’74 Cadillacs although I have seen the latter abandoned and in flames on the infield in my time),
– Parking in some Speedway entrepreneur’s resident’s yard – $20,
– Food on the grounds – $12 (that’s if you stuff yourself),
– Souvenir program and starting grid – $10 (must have).
– One adult admission to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum – $3 (again, a ridiculously low price for what you get).

If your funds permit, I highly suggest the following upgrade options to the above plan…
– Fuel to return home – $50 although the afterglow of the race itself will have you considering a permanent move to Indy.
– One 12-pack of aluminum-canned American-brewed lager, preferably one of the ‘Light’ variations. – $7. (caveat: Under NO circumstances shall you purchase or attempt to purchase a styrofoam cooler for an additional $.99 for carrying said beverages – you will be better off carving 3 pounds of ice space from your 5-pound ice bag).  Even if you don’t drink, you’ll have the ability to easily befriend those ill-prepared imbibers seated around you with your generous sharing of adult beverages – truly a value which cannot be underestimated.
– Sunblock – $4 (always be prepared),
– Folding plastic rain poncho – $5 (doubles as seat cushion),
– Goodwill and high spirits – free,
– Singing ‘Back Home Again’ with Jim Nabors and 250,000 of your newest friends and racefans,

Absolutely Priceless.