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Sunday, May 06, 2012

WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN MAY

May is Race Month in America.

History teaches us it will get pretty wild and crazy -- if not outright ridiculous. In that spirit, here are some things to watch for the next four weeks:

Amidst chatroom angst of less than a full Indianapolis 500 field, Robin Miller will peddle "33 Is Just a Number" T-shirts from the trunk of his car. Not as a profit-making venture, mind you, but as a tribute to his hero and the quote's author, Tony George.

Someone will ask Larry McReynolds what "Boogity, Boogity, Boogity" really means. "Well, I don't rightly know," Larry will answer. "But I tell you what: It sure sells a lot of T-shirts." Which, of course, is the point.

The Charlotte Motor Speedway PR spinners will try to hype-up the pointless NASCAR All-Star Race as the place where Sprint Cup drivers "will get revenge." You betcha.

The Indianapolis Star will interview Danica Patrick with a pre-determined storyline: "Do you miss not being at Indy?" DP will give a politically-correct answer even though she knows she won't be back in the 500 anytime soon. The Star and the chatroomers will give her meaningless comments great weight.

The World of Outlaws and NHRA -- especially the Funny Car class -- will continue to offer excellent -- and completely unpredictable -- racing entertainment. The mainstream media will continue to not notice.

Tony Kornheiser will predict Memorial Day weekend's two big winners: Parnelli Jones at Indy and Cale Yarborough at Charlotte.

Some pundits in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's media center will wait-out a rain delay by chatting about the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Tex. Someone will wander over and point out that the GP is scheduled for the same day as NASCAR's Chase is settled in Homestead, Fla. -- the first time the "experts" will realize this insane conflict exists.

The Austin promoters will ask Bernie Ecclestone to do a news conference with American journalists. "I'm a very busy man. My time is your money. That will be an extra $1 million," responds Bernie.

Sports Illustrated, ESPN and USA Today will offer lengthy, gushing and excuse-filled features on Danica's NASCAR adventure. Elsewhere, Courtney Force will be much more competitive and media friendly but will receive a tiny percentage of Danica's press.

The best Month of May coverage will come from Gordon Kirby, Steven Cole Smith, Al Pearce, Holly Cain and John Daly.

No matter the issue, controversy or problem, everything at Indy will be great, wonderful and fantastic, according to objective, hard-hitting "broadcast journalists" Dave Calabro, Kevin Lee and Mike King.

Fans will complain long and loud about the ESPN on ABC Indy 500 telecast but -- once again -- ESPN on ABC will ignore the opinions of its core viewership.

Fox will expect fans to sit through 600 miles at Charlotte and then not let viewers actually see their favorite driver take the checkered flag.

ESPN2's expert NHRA reporter Jamie Howe will be told to interview Allen Johnson and will ask him questions about Al-Anabi Racing, not knowing any better that the Pro Stock driver isn't Top Fuel team manager Alan Johnson.

Jamie Little, told to do a story on Lotus, will drive over to the botanical gardens adjacent to the Indianapolis Zoo.

Marlo Klain will say "there were more people at my wedding" than at Indy's No Bump Bump Day.

Bryan Herta's publicist will issue a "news" release heralding, in the first sentence, that the team is "proud" and "excited" to have qualified for Indy's 10th row.

Multiple NASCAR Internet writers will report "exclusively" that Jean Alesi is in intensive training to make his Sprint Cup debut in the 2013 Daytona 500.

Some Mensa member chatroomer will suggest that Steven Tyler sub for Jim Nabors at Indy.

During his Q&A with fans the day before the 500, someone will ask Roger Penske if he's going to fire Ryan Briscoe and replace him with Danica. Nicole Briscoe will not report this on NASCAR Now, but five ESPN.com writers will breathlessly chase after Danica at Charlotte to get her reaction.


This is an absolulte MUST READ column by John Daly from last week. (Amen!)
http://dalyplanet.blogspot.com/2012/05/spin-zone-tv-bait-and-switch.html


It's been five years since HD Partners announced a $100 million-plus deal to buy NHRA. What would drag racing be like today if that had happened? I imagine that in my May "Drags, Dollars & Sense" column on CompetitionPlus.com:
http://www.competitionplus.com/drag-racing/editorials/21040-knight-oh-what-might-have-been

[ more next Monday . . . ]