Sunday, July 25, 2010

WLSR 2006 Honda RA106 "Bonneville 400" Sells For £51,000

Nose art on the Honda-BAR Formula 1 "Bonneville 400" which was a Formula 1 car specially prepared to exceed or hit the 400 km/h speed mark for a measured mile going in a straight line over a seven mile course [ctrl-click image to launch a Dutch language YouTube video of the effort and record-setting event]. Image Credit:

World Land Speed Record Formula One 2006 Honda RA106 "Bonneville 400" Sells For £51,000

Line Item: Bonhams Catalog for Silverstone Classic Auction held July 24, 2010 -

114The Formula 1 Land Speed Record-holding, 2006 Honda RA106 'Bonneville 400' Monoposto Chassis no. to be advised Engine no. to be advised£51,000

The Formula 1 Land Speed Record-holding, 2006 Honda RA106 "Bonneville 400" as pictured in the Bonhams catalog - On the first two days of running, Honda get astonishingly close to their 400km/h (248.56mph) target but just missed out. Image Credit: BBC

That's $78,667.2837 in today's Bonneville Salt Flats dollars.

Not much attention has been paid to this historic sale. The listing of this unique piece of Motor Culture history only became posted on the web a couple of days before the auction in a post by Arman Barari in Motor Ward (a Blogger site from England).

To add perspective to the achievement of this open-wheel racing car ... in 2006, this top-of-the-art car went to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah during Speed Week and set out to post a World Land Speed Record for a car of this type, traveling over a measured mile on two passes, within a one hour time period.

Driver, Alan Van Der Merwe as he climbs into the cockpit of the "Bonneville 400" at the Salt Flats during Speed Week 2006. On day three, the Honda did average 400km/h for a mile, but the aggregate over two runs is under that at 393.61km/h. Image Credit: BBC

This excerpted and edited from a Bonhams Press Release appearing in Motor Ward -

The record attempt got under way on Monday 17th July 2006 in the best possible manner; Alan van der Merwe achieving an average speed of 220.571mph over two runs through a measured mile on the seven-mile straight to set a new record for a Formula 1 car. By the time a damaged differential (caused by driveshaft failure) brought proceedings to a halt on the Thursday, van der Merwe had broken his own record, leaving the mark for the flying mile at 246.908mph (397.03km/h) and that for the flying kilometre at 246.983mph (397.481km/h). Although the average speeds just missed the 400km/h target, the team at least had the satisfaction of seeing it exceeded on one of the runs.
Reference Here>>

The speed attained on this controlled run - on a salt flat surface in a specially prepared car caught me by surprise - remember, 246.983 miles per hour.

Auto Club Speedway (Formally California Speedway) track configuration. This is the site that holds the world land speed record for a closed course. Image Credit: Will Pittenger/Wikipedia (2008)

The speed records for the fastest qualifying and the fastest "at race" lap speeds at the Auto Club Speedway (formally the California Speedway in Fontana, California) are not too much removed from this mark. On October 28, 2000, during CART qualifying, Brazilian Gil de Ferran, driving a Penske Racing prepared Reynard with Honda engine, set the track record for fastest lap at 241.426 mph (388.537 km/h) ... this was also a world speed record for the fastest lap of a closed course.

Moreover, Canadian driver, Greg Moore during the 1997 Marlboro 500, driving a Forsythe Racing prepared Reynard 97i with a Mercedes engine, posted an "at race" speed record of 236.38 (380.416735 km/h). A rumor had PacWest driver, Mark Blundell posting a 237.00 mph plus mark during this same race, but no evidence could be found.

The "Bonneville 400" as it sails into the sunset - Since 2006 the Honda record-breaker has not been run and still bears salt stains in places. The transmission remains un-repaired and thus the car is sold as a non-runner. Runner or not, this is a uniquely historic Formula 1 car, worthy of a place in any motor museum or private collection. Image Credit: BBC

These records were set on pavement, yes ... but with corners - and the "At Race" mark was set with other cars on the track competing in the race. The "Bonneville 400" is really not too impressive ... but this photo and the selling price (it was only expected to fetch between 10,000 and 20,000 Pounds as opposed to the actual auction selling price of 51,000 Pounds) certainly are.

I don't suppose any one has an old 2000 de Ferran/Penske laying around somewhere?!!!

... notes from The EDJE

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Driven To Race" Screening In Pasadena At The Action On Film Festival

Driven To Race - A feature length, documentary film, Driven To Race follows ambitious, young male and female drivers (and engineers - pictured, Kate Gundlach - now fulltime with the Star Mazda racing series) Peter Dempsey who struggles to find enough funding to stay in the race - even as he’s winning races; 17 year old American John Edwards, the youngest person ever to win an open wheel race in North America (at 12 years old!); JC and Kristy Kester - the only brother sister team in professional racing; and 28 year-old Charles Hall who was on the verge of a promising career in Europe before a major auto accident kept him out of racing for nearly 2 years. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

"Driven To Race" Screening In Pasadena At The Action On Film Festival

Cargo Productions, in concert with MAZDASPEED Motorsports, have created a documentary style film depicting the process, competition and commitment of drivers, teams, sponsors, and culture displayed through the course of a 12 race season in an open-wheel automobile racing series.
Nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Sports Documentary, Driven To Race is screening at Action On Film Festival. 9:45 PM on the 24th at the Regency Acadamy Theatre, 1003 East Colorado Blvd (@ Catalina) in Pasadena, CA 91106. Tickets are 10.00 at the door or 8.00 if they purchase on the Action On Film website. Here's a link to buy tickets in advance HERE>>

For the record - Cargo Productions produced the film independently and had complete creative control. Mazda USA and MAZDASPEED Motorsport was pleased Cargo Productions chose one of the many racing series Mazda has a commitment to for automobile technology and driver development, but did not fund or influence the film. It is largely due to this distinction, Driven To Race stands on its own as one of the best documentaries about a competitive pursuit, any competitive pursuit, ever made.
The "Premiere" screening was held for a select group of invitees to the 2010 MAZDASPEED Motorsports pre-season media gathering held at the The District @ Tustin Legacy about a month ago to rave reviews. The evening was introduced by Mazda Sr. VP Robert Davis who gave an update as to what was new and expectations for the 2010 racing season and the famed MAZDASPEED Motorsports ladder series development and participation.

Joel Miller, one of the racers featured in "Driven To Race" and whos mother was credited with the title of this excellent docu-film effort. Image Credit: Andersen Racing

One of the key players in the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear 12 race season featured in "Driven To Race", was upcoming driver from Hesperia, Joel Miller. Joel drove at Long Beach last April in the next rung up the ladder for open-wheel motorsports, the Firestone Indy Lights Series ... this is first season on this platform toward his ultimate goal of getting a fulltime ride in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Some of the most notable reactions to Driven To Race are as follows:

This excerpted and edited from Automotive .com -

Movie Review: Driven to Race by Mazdaspeed Motorsports, Cargo Productions

Posted March 15 2010 04:18 PM by Joel Arellano

The film showcases what happens to each team as they compete through the requisite twelve races. Director Brian Spillane breaks the two hour film into bite-size chunks, each focusing on a particular driver or aspect of racing. Hall, for example, had been involved in a horrendous non-racing auto accident that shortened his legs. Driver John Edwards, on the other hand, enters the series one race short.
In my opinion? Cargo Production did a bang up job in providing an insider’s look into the little documented world of “grassroots” racing. I found the film entertaining, highly educational as well as absorbing. Both serious racers as well as the general public will enjoy the film.
Reference Here>>

This excerpted and edited from The Motorsports Report -

“Driven To Race”

... or The best Documentary that every wannabe Race Driver should see
By Dicken Wear - The Motorsports Report - Thursday, March 11, 2010

“Driven To Race”, is by far one of the best documentaries ever made about open wheel racing, and where the world finds these new up and coming drivers.
Many movies, some with major stars and multi-million dollars budgets, have failed to covey to the viewer what this great independent film has accomplished, on a budget that most productions would have spent on “Craft Services” (snacks) .
The people at Cargo Productions hit the nail on the head. You only hope it will be this good, but above all else, this is the real story of what it takes. Luck, Money, Talent, Desire and Dedication.
Reference Here>>

For our money here at The EDJE, we could not have become more informed or entertained about all of the surrounding aspects of what it takes to be a part of the disciplined pursuit of motorsports competition.

Driven To Race is a must see (and when it is available on DVD or Blu-Ray), must have film to view and share over, and over as it is the best effort of its type to ever be produced ... a hallmark of honesty, information and entertainment!

Again, Driven To Race is screening at Action On Film Festival. 9:45 PM on the 24th at the Regency Academy Theatre, 1003 East Colorado Blvd (@ Catalina) in Pasadena, CA 91106. Tickets are 10.00 at the door or 8.00 if they purchase on the Action On Film website. Buy tickets in advance HERE>>

... notes from The EDJE

Sunday, July 18, 2010

NASCAR In Portland: ALMS & History Are In The Mix

The Garage/Paddock of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Bi-Mart Salute to the Troops 125 at Portland International Raceway. Image Credit: Kevin W. Green/NASCAR

NASCAR In Portland: ALMS & History Are In The Mix

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Bi-Mart Salute to the Troops 125 at Portland International Raceway was a stock car race for the ages. For only the second time since 1986, a NASCAR sanctioned automobile race was held on the dragstrip straightaway and Festival Corners of Portland International Raceway this last weekend on Sunday, July 18, 2010. Twenty-Seven former NASCAR "Cup" (not to be confused with the Car Of Tomorrow) and Nationwide Series specification full-bodied 600 HP stock cars took the 12 corner, 1.98 mile road course for what turned out to be a very historic and eye-opening race that ended in a NASCAR "Green/White/Checkered" rule Yellow Flag parade.

David Mayhew after he won his second straight Coors Light Pole Award at Portland International Raceway Sunday, topping his own track record with a lap of 75.426 seconds (94.503) around the 1.98-mile road course. This was Mayhew's third pole of the season and fifth of his career. He held the previous mark at Portland with his pole time of 76.328 (93.386) last year. Image Credit: NASCARHomeTrack

As for history, one could not overlook the fact that Hershel McGriff showed up, qualified, and ran the complete scheduled 125 mile/63 lap (extended to 65 laps on the G/W/C) race as he had in 1986 (where he won the race), 2009 (where he defended his championship finishing 13th and set the record for the oldest person to compete in a NASCAR sanctioned event), and now in 2010 where he re-set the NASCAR record for the oldest person to compete in a sanctioned event at 82 years of age.

Hershel McGriff climbs out of his K&N Pro Series West Park Corporation Chevy after 65 laps of strong competition at Portland International Raceway. Image Credit: NASCARHomeTrack

Hershel did not qualify all that well at P23 in a field of 27 cars, but this did not stop him from working his way up through the field of drivers who could have been his grandsons. The race featured four caution periods for collisions, oil on the track for transmissions letting loose, and stalled cars but by LAP 32, McGriff worked his way up nine positions through to P14 where he was ready to pass and exceed his previous race finish of P13. This would have been the case if it were not for a right-front flat tire on LAP 38, after a Green Flag Restart on Lap 36, bringing Hershel into the pits and dropping him back to P17 where he held station throughout the rest of the race.

Patrick Long (45) leads David Mayhew (17) and Blake Koch through the corner. Image Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images - Clairity Media

As for the American Le Mans Series influence on this NASCAR event, one could not miss the standout performance of the red #45 Speed Wong Dodge, once fielded by Chip Ganassi's NASCAR Sprint Cup team, driven by Patrick Long.

Long is best known for his teammate skills driving for the Flying Lizard Motorsports team behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3-RSR against exotic sports cars of the American Le Mans Series. What is he doing in a Dodge? ... let alone shaking down a field of stock car specialists with a dominating performance that actually had a few heads turning in that he looked like he was in a different class. It was reminiscent of watching Tiger Woods, in his heyday, ripping through a field of top class golf pros in a major tournament.

Green/White/Checker ... Yellow Flag finish for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Bi-Mart Salute to the Troops 125 at Portland International Raceway. Image Credit: NASCARHomeTrack

At one point, on this somewhat short, 1.98 mile course, Patrick Long pulled away from his P2 starting position and led the track record breaking pole-sitter, David Mayhew - 75.426 seconds (94.503), by over 10 seconds (10.98 seconds) before his first pitstops. At one point, Long was shuffled all the way back to P15 during a Yellow Flag caution period ... and on the first lap of a LAP 36 Restart, Patrick pulled the red #45 Dodge up nine places in just one lap!

Patrick Long showed off his road-course expertise, dominating the BI-MART Salute to the Troops 125 at Portland International Raceway Sunday. Image Credit: NASCARHomeTrack

“I wanted to have a really good balance in the car,” Long said of his No. 45 Speed Wong Racing Dodge. “We went very different, or unconventional, in our set-up. I think it was really the edge that we needed. With that, we had unbelievable tire wear. That Speed Wong car [owned by Daryl Wong who also fields cars to race in the ALMS from his shop in Orange County] was just hooked up.”

Post-race tech commences on David Mayhew's car with the tire Brian Wong's Speed Wong Racing #89 car (race winner Patrick Long's team mate) in the foreground at the BI-MART Salute to the Troops 125, Portland International Raceway. Image Credit: NASCARHomeTrack

It is not known which 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series race Patrick Long will race in next but the win earned Long, who led a race-high 51 laps, a secure starting position in the postseason NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.

As for the ageless Hershel McGriff, he is expected to show up with his blue Park Corporation #04 Chevy Impala SS, qualify, and race in the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, the weekend of September 11-12, 2010.


Hershel and his son (as owner/crew chief) finished ahead of another 11 drivers in the race held at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. He finished ahead of some pretty notable drivers including the Portland race ringer/winner, Patrick Long, Joao Barbosa, and Brandon Davis.

2010 Toyota / NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge - RESULTS
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race number 10 of 12 - Sunday, September 12, 2010 at Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, UT - 36 laps on a 3.048 mile road course (109.7 miles)

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: American Le Mans Series, Hershel McGriff, KandN Pro Series, NASCAR, Patrick Long, Portland International Raceway, The EDJE

Thursday, July 15, 2010

IZOD ICONIC Decision For 2012: From Hot Cars ... To Haute Cars

General view of the IZOD IndyCar Series chassis strategy announcement at the Indianapolis Museum of Art on July 14, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Image Credit: Michael Hickey/Getty Images North America/Clarity Media

IZOD ICONIC Decision For 2012: From Hot Cars ... To Haute Cars

The decision for the future platform and competition in the IRL starting in 2012 was a PUNT. Nothing new here than the Ol' Boys Club sticking together without disturbing the apple cart that has been around 2002 on the manufacturer side.

This excerpted and edited from Pressdog -

Random Reaction Quotes Pushed Out by IndyCar

By - July 14, 2010

From IndyCar PR --


INDIANAPOLIS (July 14, 2010) – Quotes from selected IZOD IndyCar Series drivers, team owners, manufacturer representatives and other officials about the 2012 car strategy unveiled by the IZOD IndyCar Series (in alphabetical order):

“The ICONIC group has come up with a smart way of bringing diversity and a new look to the 2012 IndyCar while keeping longtime partner Dallara, who has the expertise and an incredible amount of knowledge of the technical specifications of the IZOD IndyCar Series. Obviously as a team owner, I will have a lot of questions regarding this new concept, and I want to be reassured that the new rules around this car will guarantee a good operating cost control and a good open competition in between teams. It is also good to see that the state of Indiana is behind the project.”
-- Eric Bachelart, Owner, Conquest Racing, IZOD IndyCar Series

“Everyone at IZOD is very excited about today’s announcement because the chassis decision encompasses all of the characteristics that attracted us to the IndyCar Series as a title sponsor. The design represents innovation, speed, technology and performance, all of which are attributes of the IZOD brand. The new car, with the extra 100-horsepower push-to-pass capability, will create even greater moments of speed and competition, which is unbelievable. And the fact that they were able to accomplish all of this while keeping the costs contained and the drivers safe is a real tribute to the ICONIC committee and their forward thinking. We think this will bring the sport to whole new level of competition.”
-- Mike Kelly, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Phillips-Van Heusen, parent company of IZOD brand

“This is a great day for all of us in the IZOD IndyCar Series. I couldn't think of a better manufacturer than Dallara to make the Safety Cell, and, of course, make that product in Indiana. Add to that the fact that there will be development around that cell is fantastic. It's what fans and competitors alike have been wanting, and in 2012, we will have exactly that but at a much lower cost than what we are running now. In most aspects of life and business, it costs more to get what you want, but somehow the ICONIC committee has managed to achieve the right product at a substantially lower price. I can't wait for 2012.”
-- Alex Lloyd, Driver, Dale Coyne Racing, IZOD IndyCar Series

“A lighter car is more nimble, makes it easier to pass people. With the turbo engine, you can increase that power to pass a lot, and make for better racing anyway, and more horsepower makes it tougher to drive. There’s more mistakes, more opportunities to pass. You couldn’t have asked for anything better. We have a one-make chassis now, and now we’ll have a common tub, which is safe. And you’re able to design your own bodywork.” (Can you imagine going 240 mph at Indianapolis in a car like that?): “I love competition, I’m not sure that it’s necessary to go 240 again. This year, gee, we were going 228, and it’s getting up there. I think it’s something you have to wait, see and watch it develop and see what horsepower works best where, because with a turbo you can adjust that. The thing I like is it will take its own direction with the design because it’s open.”
-- Will Power, Driver, Team Penske, IZOD IndyCar Series
Reference Here>>

My favorite quote came from Tony Purnell,, a member of the committee that formulated the new rules, as he summed up the decision in a challenge to those various participants: "So come on, Ford. Come on, GM, Lotus, Ferrari. Come on, Lockheed. Come on, Boeing. Come on, you engineers working in small technology businesses. We want you to rise to the challenge." Yea, right ... General Motors is still a government operation, and the others really would not want to put lipstick on someone else's frame (pig). It would be hard for any of them to develop "skin" in the game.

Basically, the IRL is looking to create a fashion show reality series entitled "Dress This Italian Pig" (I thought this was to be an American open-wheel racing series with the development of drivers and technologies originating on this continent). The only competition will be between Target and Penske being able to continue to sell the other teams ... last year's dress.

CTRL-CLICK Image to launch video of mushroom buster explanationImage Credit: Swift Engineering

Swift Engineering, a California corporation known for its work since 1983 in aerospace, aviation, automotive and motorsports engineering and design, had this "Spec" thing thought out right. Create a car that would be true to the concept of Open-Wheel racing ... unlike the Delta Wing/Lawn Dart ... yet work the aero package to reduce the effects of the after-draft air "mushroom" and allow the cars to run safely, and more closely nose-to-tail. This "Mushroom Buster" concept, first introduced to the IRL in Concept #66 with the final version in concept #70, would increase competition on the track and allow drivers to do what we watch them do ... win through skill.

At least this decision to allow anyone to dress up a Dallara chassis matches up to the sensibilities of the title sponsor ... IZOD, a fashion icon brand. This does not, however, increase the driving competition on the track ... the "Mushroom Buster" concept would never be able to be applied consistently. If I were a driver, I'd want the car following my car to be able to be booted off of the track due to the Mushroom Effect when it was following me at 15 miles per hour (if not 14 mph). In this regard I see the decesion by the IRL ICONIC — Innovative, Competitive, Open-Wheel, New, Industry-Relevant, Cost-Effective — Advisory Committee as promoting chaos when a specification series is what they have ... given the fact there is only one chassis manufacturer

One of the major problems with very small, light automobiles is that they can be unsafe in a collision. The Smart solution is the Tridion steel safety shell. Image Credit: ©1998-2006 DaimlerChrysler via How Stuff Works

This decision feels a little like having a "Smart Car" frame dressed ... in a new skin.

... notes from The EDJE

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hershel McGriff Takes On Chuckwalla Valley Raceway For A Shakedown Run

The Money Shot - "Wheel Up" - This image was captured on July 11, 2010 while Hershel McGriff was taking his first runs in his new 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series campaign car during its first Shakedown Trial held at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway (CVR). Turns #8, #9, and #10 are a series of curves designed to mimic the challenges posed in the famed "Corkscrew" at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Turn # 9 is an off-camber right, left-hand turn that drops off into the strong right-hand turn #10. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

Hershel McGriff Takes On Chuckwalla Valley Raceway For A Shakedown Run

A funny thing happened on the way to perform a photo shoot of the West Coast Stock Car Hall Of Fame induction ceremony for the class of 2010, held on July 2, 2010 at the AZUSA Greens Golf Club ... I met Hershel McGriff.

Oh sure, Parnelli Jones was sitting at the same table with other presenters, WCSCHOF members, inductees and Master of Ceremony - Vice President/General Manager Iowa Speedway, Craig Armstrong. They were all there to usher in and honor the 7th class of 12 inductees (many posthumously), and the two hour ceremony was truly an honor to just witness ... but I met Hershel McGriff.

We were talking after dinner, before the ceremony and the subject came up about race tracks in the southwest. I told him that I had attended a track opening last April and that this track was very well designed. The track is located between Blythe and Indio off of California Interstate 10, and is called the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway (CVR). The funny thing was that Herschel then asked me if the track would allow him to make his first shakedown runs in the new car he had put together to compete in the 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series campaign. He mentioned that he was running short on time and it would be of great service to be able to check out the car before he hit the track in Portland to race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, Bi-Mart Salute To The Troops "125" event held the weekend of July 17-18, 2010.

Well, I had talked with the President of Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, Micky Grana, back in April. I had also met his wife Aimee and so I figured, why not? Just give it a go!

Micky was gracious enough to have a conversation with Hershel and they put together a time this last Sunday, July 11, 2010 at 7:00 am PT.

When I rolled into the paddock area around 7:15 a.m., the McGriff family was already there with the car rolled out of the trailer transporter, Hershel was suited up in the cockpit, the car was cranking up to start, and it caught the spark and roared to life. Ahhhh the sound of a race engine in a Busch, ahh, er, Nationwide, err, NASCAR K&N Pro Series car (once known as a Winston West Series car).

Hershel took to the track and came back quickly. When he rolled up, he was greeted by the one person who has almost always set up his cars to run over the decades, Hershel McGriff Jr., a credible driver in his own right.

The "Hershels" discuss vibration and possible solutions before the car is put up on jacks. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

McGriff, the senior, complained that there was a front wheel vibration right off the bat as he entered the track so they pulled the car next to the transporter, placed it up on jack stands and went to work on identifying the problem. Herschel Jr., with the assistance of his cart-racing daughter, Mariah, found that at cold, or low tire pressures, the front sway bar's outside bolts stuck out and rubbed the inside wall of the tire.

Shakedown pit captain, Hershel McGriff Jr. and his daughter, Mariah diagnose the problem with the front sway bar. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

After about 30 minutes, the car was ready to resume its Shakedown Trial which it passed with flying colors.

Shakedown pit captain, Hershel McGriff Jr. as he re-shims the front sway bar. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

Inside the McGriff Coach, after the Shakedown, Hershel commented on how he is familiar with the area around Desert Center, California and the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. He has had a longtime association with Park Corporation which also sponsors his cars. Park Corporation has as part of its business mission the purchase and operation of mining businesses throughout the country.

Hershel talked about the anticipation of being at the Portland event this year. He observed that in 2009 the media crush was very intense due to multiple factors. It was the first NASCAR sanctioned race held at Portland International Raceway since 1986, McGriff had won this last race in 1986 and thus was the defending champion, and at 81 he became the oldest driver ever to race in a sanctioned NASCAR event. ESPN, Associated Press, FOX Sports, and all of the media attention that NASCAR could bring was in the mix ... it is amazing that Hershel had enough time to prepare and finish the race at P13. Some people would say, "Geeeez, from Champion to 13th?, What is that about?" Try asking this of the drivers who had been driving the whole season, every season since 1986 and were only able to finish in 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, and so on through the field of 27 cars who all came to compete and win.

About the track at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway? Hershel liked the layout and especially liked the dropping "S" turn combination of #11 and #12 after the slow rising straight that follows the mini "Corkscrew". He said that it reminded him a series of turns that he will encounter at Portland next weekend.

Looking back across the track at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway from turn #14 to the long, banked, 180 degree right-hand turn #13 at the southern end of the facility. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

Further, he wished he had more time and less self-imposed restrictions based upon the shakedown trial task at hand because he really wanted to figure out where the best place would be to place the car in the long, banked, 180 degree right-hand turn #13 reminiscent of the long, banked sweeper at the former Riverside International Raceway which he raced on many times throughout his career.

The McGriff family - Hershel, wife Sherrie, Sherrie's daughter-in-law Sharon (Shakedown pit captain, Hershel Junior's wife), granddaughter and future racer Mariah were getting ready to continue on to Portland, Oregon where the next scheduled stop of those riding in the Coach Sunday night was Bakersfield.

Hershel McGriff at the end of a successful Shakedown Trial in his coach parked at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

Herschel McGriff at 82, still has the drive and the grace to express a disappointment on not being able to carry enough speed to have his front wheel rise up off of the pavement for a great action photograph of his 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series campaign car during the Shakedown Trial at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway (CVR). As one can easily tell, he was even able to deliver on this internal wish (photo evidence at top of posting), in that, he never communicated this desire of his to be able to create a circumstance that would produce such a shot.

Never count Hershel McGriff out once he gets his mind around any goal ... once one meets him and gets to know him on any level, one comes away with the feeling that Hershel may be just the person that could actually deliver on the goal.

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: 2010, 50th Anniversary, BI-MART, Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, Corkscrew. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, CVR, Hershel McGriff, Impala SS, K and N Pro Series, NASCAR, Park Corporation, Portland, The EDJE

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Tweeting The Glen 2010 - IZOD IndyCar Series Race #9

Last year's winner for Dale Coyne Racing at The Glen, Dreyer Reinbold Racing's Justin Wilson. Image Credit: IZOD IndyCar Series

Tweeting The Glen 2010 - IZOD IndyCar Series Race #9

Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe had combined to win the first five poles since the IndyCar Series began racing at the storied road course in upstate New York's Finger Lakes region, but neither had delivered a victory.

This year, the stage is set for either a Penske win in a big way or a colossal failure in that Team Penske has placed all three drivers in the top three spots on the grid. ChampCar transition driver Will Power, in his first full season ride with Penske racing, who has won two of the eight races run this year, captured the pole for this year's running of the Camping World Grand Prix at Watkin's Glen.

This excerpted and edited from -

Will Power, the Mario Andretti Road Course Championship points leader, won the PEAK Performance Pole Award for the fifth time this season with a lap of 1 minute, 29.3164 seconds on the 3.4-mile, 11-turn circuit during the Firestone Fast Six shootout.

Teammate Helio Castroneves (1:29.4609) was second – the first time this season a team has swept the front row – while Ryan Briscoe (1:29.9346) and reigning series champion Dario Franchitti will share Row 2. Team Penske started 1-2-3 at Edmonton in '09.

Takuma Sato made his third Firestone Fast Six appearance in the No. 5 Lotus KV Racing Technology car and will be on the third row with defending race winner Justin Wilson in the No. 22 Z-Line Designs car for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.

The top six were separated by less than a second. Six different teams are represented on the first three rows.
Reference Here>>

Will Power takes the PEAK Performance Pole Award for the 60-lap Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen ... a 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course. Image Credit: IZOD IndyCar Series

The following are comments made via "tweets" on Twitter during the running of the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen ... the ninth race of this 2010 17 race season and the second round of twisty street/road courses that were the bread and butter on the former ChampCar World Series.

TheEDJE This 4th of July has special meaning - It's all about our personal freedoms - Happy Independence Day To All! #IZOD #irl #indycar #power #ccws

While your waiting for the green flag, check out some pics from the entire weekend.

Marco26Web Let's roll! RT @garytrib: @Andretti26 car ready to go!

indy44 The fire is lit. Let's see a clean start drivers!

pressdog Beer of the race ..... engaged.

MikeM_PR Start will be 2nd time by

AllenWedge Some people are annoyed when they show NASCAR clips during #IZODIndyCar races, I enjoy it because stock cars are (and look) soooo slow

FastMachines The command to start engine by the Camping World exec was kind of limp. Get that guy a Monavie or a Venom energy drink! #IndyCar

DRRIndyCar Almost time for the green flag...

GREEN, GREEN, GREEN - Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen gets started

IndyCarNation Green Flag! Lap one complete @wgi

indy44 Wow Sato almost took out Dixon at the start.

sidepodcast watching indycar at watkins glen, and live commenting here: #izodindycar

IndyCarNation Top 5 after 3 laps: Power, Briscoe, Castroneves, Franchitti, Dixon.

DRRIndyCar Dixon just passed JW...

IndyCarNation Top pick Paul Tracy on the poll for surprise drive at The Glen is in 9th. Up 3 spots.

AllenWedge For those who don't realize Adam Carroll has been out of competition for almost a year, and A1GP didn't have flying starts, yet he's 10th

indy44 P1 Power P2 Briscoe -1.11286 P3 Dario -1.3630 P4 Wilson -4.88897 P5 Sato -5.4521

IndyCarNation Dixon with front wing damage. Helio with left rear damage. Look for pit action.

MikeM_PR Dixon and helio get together @justinwilson22 P4 as a result of that

SpeedJournal (SI) Hunter-Reay secures sponsorship for rest of year #autoracing

AllenWedge last night TNT had their own version of side-by-side, have to say I liked it better, kept race full screen with box for commercials

indy44 Huge mistake by Dixon runs into the back of Helio.

deferrandragon Made up 2 positions in 2 laps! Rafa's on a hot streak!

IndyCarNation Top 5 after pit activity. Power, Briscoe, Franchitti, Wilson, Sato.

BeccyGordon @RyanHunterReay is P9... Only comment so far is, understeer.

kvracing 10 laps out of 60. Sato in #5 car is P5, Moraes in #32car is P8 and Viso in #8 car has moved to P22. Power leadsa briscoe, then franchitti

Image Credit: IZOD IndyCar Series

YELLOW Flag - Full course caution - Dan Weldon gets tapped by Alex Lloyd and spins to a stall.

indy44 Somewhere a National Guardsman is punching a Boy Scout.

DRRIndyCar Wilson is battling for position with Sato...

AllenWedge Sato got around Wilson for 4th... trying not to jinx Takuma, so just mentioning pass is as close as I'll get

bobbydracing watching IZOD Indy Car @ Watkins Glenn! I wanna be back there next year! Love the series and the track!

IndyCarNation Wheldon got it started. Still in the field.

Pits Open -

DRRIndyCar Both JW and PT are pitting now...Both will get fuel, switch to the black tires, and get a turn of front wing...

RHR Stalls - looses valuable positions

MikeM_PR @justuinwilson22 first stop 4 tires,fuel, and front wing adj. P15 some cars did not pit

IndyCarNation Lloyd issued penalty for avoidable contact. Green flag!

AllenWedge Interesting mix at front of the field for the restart, and of course ABC is still at commercial... has Comcast merged with NBC yet?

GREEN, GREEN, GREEN - Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen - Restarts

kvracing Green Flag. After most of field pitted and Viso stayed out, he is now P2. Moraes P9, Sato P10. Lap 19 of 60

Top three cars stayed out ...

IndyCarNation Top 5 after 19 laps. Dixon, Viso, Tagliani, Castroneves, Power.

IndyCarNation Found in the S's...Dixon's wing when he and & Helio made contact.

curtcavin Alex Lloyd charged with hitting Wheldon. Sent to the back. #indycar

pressdog This is NOYB according to ABC but. ...RT @IndyCarNation: Lloyd issued penalty for avoidable contact. Green flag!

AllenWedge Since ABC doesn't care to notice I'll keep the Matos updates coming, he just got Dario for 7th (3rd of cars who pitted under yellow)

IndyCarNation Romancini has a little spin in front of Patrick and keeps going.

Mario Romancini works a little magic at The Glen. Image Credit: IZOD IndyCar

indy44 Mario romancing the wheel saves it.

curtcavin BTW: D&R says it's "mix and match" with drivers the rest of the season. I gathered it will be Graham at Toronto, but they wouldn't commit.

indy44 There's been black flags for less. RT @pressdog: @LPXmusic total chop by tracy. If danica does that? But for tracy it is ok for some reason.

PantherRacing Somebody need to share with Alex Lloyd where the passing zones are and maybe do an eye exam. #indycar

IndyCarNation Random driver updates after 23 laps. Viso in 2nd, Matos in 7th, Mutoh in 15th, Tracy in 19th.

DRRIndyCar Lap 23....JW P13 and PT P19..

indy44 Top 5 Dixon Viso Helio Tagliani Power

IndyCarNation If you're not in front of a TV, you can follow live video and timing & scoring online, here:

kvracing Viso will b pitting from 2nd place next lap. Alternate tires and fuel.

AllenWedge I love Marty Reid, he's so surprised Dixon is still out there, yet Helio (who pitted on same lap) is not all that surprising in the least

kvracing Dixon and Castroneves in to pits, moving Moraes to P5 and Sato to P10.

AllenWedge hahaha even coming out of the pits Milka is too slow so Helio has to make it 3 wide between turns 1-2

curtcavin This might bite me, but early returns on Adam Carroll are very good. #indycar

TheEDJE Alex Lloyd retires from the race - mechanical (I think the Boy Scout couldn't handle being in the back of the pack) #IZOD #irl #ics #TheGlen

IndyCarNation Lloyd has retired. It's lap 29 and Power is back in P1.

AllenWedge Marco has been trying to pass TK for about 10 laps now, curious if he'd be more aggressive if it were someone else

Dale_Nixon Uh Marco, exactly why would you expect @TonyKanaan to "let" you by? #IndyCar

deferrandragon Top 3 are Power, Briscoe and Rafa

TheEDJE @deferrandragon You Goooooo CCWS!

deferrandragon Rafa has lost telemetry and can now only communicate via radio with crew

pressdog Is Will Power driving with his knees?

Push-To-Pass - Of the top three, Matos has only 5 of his 20 pushes left.

kvracing Lap 35, Moraes P5, Sato P10 & Viso P18. Window for pitting is next few laps. Sato pitting lap 37, Moraes lap 38

curtcavin Everyone in unison: That Power kid ain't bad. #indycar

momn3boys It's beautiful up there in Upstate NY, Watkins Glen gorge is amazing. Fun weekend, great place to watch racing! Def comng back #Indycar @wgi

Power leads by 1.57 seconds and a couple of more P2P's and coming into the pits on LAP 37. Power and Briscoe take REDS

AllenWedge Briscoe beats Power out of the pits, don't think Power is going to settle for that even if they are teammates #IZODIndyCar

YELLOW Flag - Full course caution - DeSilvestra collects the ARAMCO barrier

TheEDJE The leaders who pitted before the Yellow, should be good to go 'till the end #IZOD #irl #ics #indycar

AllenWedge boo every time we're about to get a crazy set of strategies against each other we always manage to get a yellow to negate it all

kvracing Yellow Flag lap 39 for de silvestro. Moraes and Sato have already pitted. Viso will pit once the pits are opened.

IndyCarNation Yellow flag. Grab another drink and enjoy the rest of the race.

Dixon looses ground with the YELLOW Flag - will pit and end up at the end of pack ... Viso - REDS and Castroneves - Blacks also come in

curtcavin New goal of Dixon and Helio: Get what they can. #indycar

pressdog Hope it's a war, that is.

Dale_Nixon @tomasscheckter Ill take Dario then...

TheEDJE @pressdog - You like a race like I like a race ... UGLY - War's on between Briscoe and Power

MikeM_PR @justinwilson22 came in for a slash of fuel to be able to run hard to the end

SpeedFreaks @Dale_Nixon I've never been fan of holding races on holiday wknds as people want to travel 2b w/ friends and family, not necessarily sports

Dale_Nixon @SpeedFreaks yeah agreed. The late local time of this race makes it a tough travel too. I didn't get home until 2 am in 2007

GREEN, GREEN, GREEN - Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen - Restarts

TheEDJE Power takes Briscoe in the Bus Stop - Way to go!

pressdog Power is a goddamn road animal.

openpaddock Thinking after today, and @IndyCarNation may be the only way to watch the race when I am not there!

tomasscheckter Mad respect for will power he does not mess around.

gassracing That's what happens when you have a quality driver RT @PantherRacing: Gotta admit when the @NationalGuard car (cont)

kvracing Lap 45 of 60. Moraes #32car is P6, Viso #8car is P15 & Sato #5car is P18

TheEDJE Franchitti gets around Briscoe for P2 ... drops Briscoe to P3 - Power may actually get some competition

AllenWedge A pass for 2nd = ABC at commercial #IZODIndyCar we've got at least 7 more commercials in this race right?

IndyCarNation Let's see what Dario has for Will. Lots of racing left.

curtcavin Just heard someone say Dario keeps fuel in a vile in his pocket. LOL! #indycar

Dale_Nixon I think we've all got marty rattled now - oh wait he's always like that

IndyCarNation Some more random driver updates. Moraes in 6th, Wilson in 12th, Tag in 18th, Meria in P22.

indy44 Good showing by P4 Matos P5 Wheldon P6 Moraes P7 RHR

Dale_Nixon @curtcavin Chris Simmons - best fuel calc engineer on pit lane. My pick remains Dar-i-o on the farm-i-o

Ten LAPS to go!

kvracing 10 laps remain. Moraes remains P6, Viso moving up to P14 and Sato P19.

IndyCarNation Ten laps to go. Is Dario waiting for the right moment, or is Power too strong?

curtcavin It seems to me: The title comes down to Power or Dario. #indycar

IndyCarNation Drivers aren't afraid to kick up some dust. Looks like everyone's fighting for positions.

IndyCarNation [Photos] Go Daddy helmets - IZOD IndyCar Series posted a photo: Ready for the race.

curtcavin Dixon and HCN in a duel mid-pack! #indycar

indy44 Power leading by .8620

openpaddock Come on Dario!!!! #IZODIndyCar

IndyCarNation Looks like Andretti, Dixon, Helio and Wilson are having some fun. Dario just picked up the pace.

Dale_Nixon What happened to @paultracy3 and carroll? They are a ways back now... #indycar

IndyCarNation Matos is having an impressive 4th place drive. But he's got company.

openpaddock Told Power he would be ok and the gap grows a little...that guy is awesome! Sooo fast!

AllenWedge Mario Moraes got around Wheldon, don't worry about that ABC viewers, it was only for 5th place

Franchitti is 1.3 seconds behind Power.

pressdog Hard to judge attendance by TV. I'd keep WG ahead of Mid O and Infineon based on qual of racing.

indy44 Dario's mirrors all full of Briscoe

kart58 Wow - looks like KV racing's drivers will both finish.... finally.

IndyCarNation Power's lead increases. P5-P8 looks like it could get exciting.

pressdog Power will win barring air strike.

indy44 2 laps left, time to make a move if possible.

Last Lap - Franchitti baubles and Briscoe takes over P2 on turn 1

indy44 Kanaan has to fuel then kills engine that sucks.

openpaddock announcer just called Dario veggiemite (sp)...slightly disturbing!

The only multiple winner in the ICS this year, breaks the Penske jinx of not winning from pole at Watkins Glen ... Will Power takes a win at the Glen!!!!

deferrandragon Rafa matches career best with 4th place finish. Nice bounce back by him and the team.

SpeedFreaks Good job, Sunshine??? Will Power's new nickname?? Guess those Verizon commercials with he and Justin Allgaier haven't really worked. LOL!

IndyCarNation Congrats to Will Power. Some great drives. Matos, Moraes & Wheldon come to mind. Thoughts?

indy44 Will Power is insane on the road and street courses. Made it look easy.

Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen Podium: Power beat Briscoe by 1.2 seconds and Dario Franchitti finished third, ahead of Raphael Matos and Mario Moraes. Briscoe passed Franchitti entering the first turn of the final lap. Image Credit: IZOD IndyCar

How they fared (** denotes CCWS driver or team transition affliation):

Pos  Driver               Team                    Time/Gap
1. Will Power** Penske 1h40m27.4391s
2. Ryan Briscoe Penske + 1.2181s
3. Dario Franchitti Ganassi + 1.4573s
4. Raphael Matos** De Ferran Dragon + 5.3454s
5. Mario Moraes** KV** + 9.3229s
6. Dan Wheldon Panther + 9.7523s
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti + 10.5003s
8. Scott Dixon Ganassi + 12.0546s
9. Helio Castroneves Penske + 12.9834s
10. Justin Wilson** Dreyer & Reinbold + 13.5635s
11. EJ Viso** KV** + 18.7591s
12. Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas + 20.2279s
13. Marco Andretti Andretti + 26.6965s
14. Paul Tracy** Dreyer & Reinbold + 27.7310s
15. Takuma Sato KV** + 28.8774s
16. Adam Caroll AFS/Andretti + 29.3624s
17. Alex Tagliani** Fazzt + 35.3753s
18. Bertrand Baguette Conquest** + 36.5350s
19. Vitor Meira Foyt + 36.9869s
20. Danica Patrick Andretti + 38.2675s
21. Tony Kanaan Andretti + 38.6700s
22. Mario Romancini Conquest** + 1 lap
23. Milka Duno Dale Coyne** + 3 laps


Simona de Silvestro HVM** 38 laps
Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne** 22 laps

... notes from The EDJE