Sunday, May 27, 2007

Indy 500 - A Slice Of The American Pie

Tux the penguin, the mascot of the Linux kernel – Image Credit: Tux 500, as drawn by Larry Ewing

Indy 500 - A Slice Of The American Pie

As we ramp up to what many believe is the greatest auto racing spectacle in the world today, here is a story that is a little slice of the “American Pie”.

One of the sponsors is a software operating system that really has no single corporate backing in that it is an Open-Source operating system code that runs on platforms that also run Microsoft Windows, known as Linux.

The driver is famous for being a substitute driver for many of the teams who race in American open-wheel racing series and was once a driver of note in the former CART Series before it split up into two different formulas – Indy Car and Champ Car.

This week it is all about Indy Car for both Linux and Robert Moreno, a Brazilian who recently applied for US citizenship.

Image Credit: TUX 500 website

This from the TUX 500 website -

The TUX 500:
A Community Linux Powered Marketing Program
Linux® is a trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Marketing Linux® has always been a tricky proposition. As a community, we have relied on corporations who have a stake in the Linux operating system to market Linux to the world at large. Today, we have an opportunity to change that, and make Linux marketing as much a community effort as Linux development. That effort begins with the Tux 500 project.

Our goal is simple: we want to collect community donations to enter a Linux sponsored car in the 2007 Indianapolis 500. We need your help! If less than 1% of the Linux community donates $1, this will happen... will you do your part?

Reference Here>>

WE are Linux! - TUX 500 promotional video posted on YouTube

So far, only about $16,000 of the $350,000 goal has been donated for the advertising enterprise effort.

Item #2 from Tux 500 website -

It's Official! We're in the Indy 500!
Sunday, May 20 2007 @ 06:16 PM MDT - Contributed by: Bob Moore - Views: 2,757

I just got back from the track... and what a day for Chastain Motorsports... what a day for Roberto Moreno... what a day for the Linux community!

For those of you who missed it, with less than 1 hour remaining in qualifications for the 91st Indianapolis 500, team owner Tom Chastain made a bold decision. Rather than take a chance on being bumped late in the day, he pulled their already qualified car to see if they could qualify with a higher speed. The idea being that they would put more pressure on the unqualified teams.

Roberto Moreno took the track, and put together the best 4 lap average since the day began... 220.299 mph! This put the car safely in the field, and sits us on the inside of row 11 for the race next weekend!

Roberto Moreno talks with reporters after qualifying run. - Image Credit: Bob Moore

Roberto was in tears as he was interviewed by television crews, newspaper reporters, and snapped by countless photographers. The crew members hugged each other... Tom Chastain gave his wife Carol a kiss. It was a very emotional moment.

As for the Linux community, tonight we can, and should feel a great sense of accomplishment for what we've done! But we're not done yet... tomorrow, we need to start working to reward this racing team which has put us in the middle of a great story... and has rewarded us with some wonderful moments this weekend! And remember that we still have time to make the Linux presence on the car even bigger!

p.s. For those who watched on TV, did we get good screen time like we did for Saturday's qualifications? I haven't been able to check my MythTV yet.

For helios' take on it, check out

Also, there were two qualification shows on ESPN2 yesterday, an early one and a late one. I only got a recording of the early one. If anyone has a recording of the late broadcast, which had our qualifying run in it, I'd greatly appreciate a copy!

Reference Here>>

This from the Auto Racing Daily -

91st Indianapolis 500 Bump Day Post-qualifying Quotes - Roberto Moreno
May 21, 2007 - Roberto Moreno (#77 Chastain Motorsports Panoz/Honda/Firestone):

About Bobby More decal on side of car:

“Well, I’ve turned in an application for my (American) citizenship. On the form, it says there, you can choose a different name if you want to. So I went with Bobby More. I just need to get the accent right. I have not figured that one out yet. ”

What did you go through to get up to speed? :

“Basically yesterday, I asked to change the car. We were going in direction quite good. Then we changed the car and got a bit lost. Then people started to get in line (for qualifying). We didn’t have time to trim and fix the car. So we decided to try and qualify with the car as it was. Just in case it decided to rain (Sunday). What if it were to rain tomorrow? The car was really difficult to drive yesterday. We had lots of wing, and it was still difficult to drive. Today, we went back to what we had initially yesterday. We worked on that. My engineer did a great job. He focused really when we needed and he was right on. The car was good today. I was doing 217.1 with race downforce. Then they said it is time to “trim. ” I was a little unsure. But as soon as we trimmed, the car felt good. We trimmed one more step. Then they said lets trim two more steps. I said, ‘No, no. ’ We are quick enough. We had just gone over 219.6, which was good. So we went ahead and trimmed one more step. The car wasn’t really good, so I said to the guys lets go back one step on the trim and go into line (qualify). We did two more laps before qualifying at 220. I said, ‘That is good enough; let’s get in line and qualify. ’ I’m so glad that I got this opportunity. Stephan (Gregoire) is doing well. He will be back racing again. Thank you to the Chastain family gave me this opportunity. It’s an honor. One day, you are nobody sitting at home. Some people think I am too old and I don’t have any more left. But do not forget my spirit. It is so young, my strong desire to succeed. I am 48 years old, and today I feel great. I did it. We got in. I love this place. ”

Reference Here>>

Now even techno-geeks have something to root for in America's greatest automobile race.

UPDATE 5-27-2007:

Lap 37:
Yellow for contact in T1 by #77 Roberto Moreno.
2007-05-27 13:42:45

Lap 38: He got too high coming out of the turn.
2007-05-27 13:43:01

Lap 38: Moreno is out of the car and into safety vehicle.
2007-05-27 13:43:24

A live update report from the track indicates that Roberto Moreno is complaining of back pain and will be transported to the hospital.

TUX hits the wall on lap 37 - Image Credit:

... notes from The EDJE.

(ht: MAXINE)