Slightly Off Track – Milwaukee
When you picture an IndyCar team traveling to a race, it might look like this: private jet, cocktails flowing, music blaring… basically your average rap video but with guys in crew shirts sans women in bikinis.
While you were busy imagining that scenario, our caravan of mini vans made the (incredibly scenic) drive up I-65 from Indy to Milwaukee. Naturally, the guys wouldn’t want me to tell you this story, but what fun would that be?
One of our vans got pulled over for following too closely to another one of our vans. No, the “we’re on our way to an IndyCar race” excuse didn’t work. And no, the “we were just drafting” excuse didn’t work. You know what did work? The seatbelt that Emily wasn’t wearing. That’ll be $25 ma’am. Have a good race.
When the team finally gathered in Milwaukee, I took some time to wander the infield at The Milwaukee Mile. What an amazing event – the Andretti Sports Marketing people thought of EVERYTHING. Don’t have a family? Go watch the concert? Don’t like rides? Go eat the carnival food. Don’t like racing? Go HOME.
Even if you weren’t a race fan, there was something for you and your family to do there. They even offered a wide variety of weather on race day. Something for everyone. And we’re doing it all again next year!
Barracuda Racing finished seventh this weekend and Tag drove the wheels off that No. 98. It was our third consecutive top-ten finish and I think I speak for the whole team when I say THANK YOU HONDA and it feels great to be back in it.
Obviously, the race was the highlight of my weekend, followed closely by this little gem: My dad and uncle were having a conversation about The Mile. There was some discussion about why the slower fender series doesn’t race there. My dad suggested that it could just be the size of the facility. To which my uncle responded that “they should just knock out a couple of the corners and make the track bigger then.”
Ladies and gentlemen… my family. I can’t make this stuff up. And I look forward to the renaming of “The Milwaukee Mile or So.”
Before I leave you this week, I have a confession to make: After the rain stopped on Saturday afternoon, the cars were all lining up to grid for the start of the race. As Justin Wilson’s crew pushed his Texas-winning car past ours, I leaned over and made a scooping motion. I told the guys I was taking some of their luck.
Well, you may have noticed that they had… an issue… on track. As soon as it happened, my girlfriend (an IndyCar rookie coming to the track for the first time) gasped, grabbed my arm and cried, “You took their luck!”
So this is my formal apology to JW and his crew. I will never again steal your luck. Please don’t tell Security Chief Charles. I’m already on his “list.”
See you in Iowa!
The Hot Lap
Miles traveled: 546
Number of hotels Barracuda Racing occupied: 3
Squares of kiwi tile under the tent: 1,368
Brats & burgers eaten at the team cookout: 23
Rides we took on the ferris wheel: 0 (dammit)
Crew guys that fit underneath the No. 98 on stands: 5
2012 races with at least one rainy day: 7 out of 8
Days it rained at Indy: 0
Spectators happy to see The Mile revived: ~24,000
Sets of Firestone Firehawks: 9
Cars Tag passed in a single restart: 6
Pics in the Barracuda Racing #IndyFest photo album: 84 (check them out here: http://tinyurl.com/7hw9r4e )