Round Twelve – Mid-Ohio

For those of you who have never been to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, allow me to paint a little picture for you: Imagine a picturesque race course with rolling hills that are packed with excited race fans. Now picture that scene set so far out in the middle of nowhere that you wonder if you’re being Punk’d.

Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love Mid-Ohio, but every single day that we drive out there, I think of the moment when the MOSCC executive team drove through Ohio until they couldn’t find civilization and decided that yes, THIS is the spot.

Luckily, the fans continue to be able to locate it. I can only assume it’s not through use of the GPS on their phones, as technology simply does not work in the boondocks. If the fans are like us, they relied on the PRINTED MapQuest directions that make you really miss the little blue dot on your Google Maps.

Here’s a fun little story from the Mid-Ohio weekend. Since the beginning of the season, Tag has referred to himself as “the mushroom.” At first, no one knew what he was talking about. We thought it was just one of the many Tag-isms that keep us in stitches on a regular basis.

Finally someone asked him what it meant. He explained that mushrooms are kept in the dark and I think it was his way of saying that he was the underdog.

After Edmonton, I told him that in the “Official Book of IndyCar Laws,” it states that no driver can finish fifth AND be a mushroom. He looked skeptical, but I think it’s because he was wondering where to find a copy of the book.

Fast forward to Mid-Ohio. After his fourth consecutive Firestone Fast Six, I did a little research. When I found out that Tag was the only driver to finish in every Fast Six since we switched to Honda, I went and reported the findings. He looked at me, raised an eyebrow and said, “Sweet. Then I’m upgrading myself to a Truffle mushroom.”

Good times.

In my opinion, there are two parts to the typical IndyCar season: Part I – “This Year,” Part II – “Next Year.” The fine line between those two parts always seems to magically happen as soon as we flip our (official IndyCar) calendars to August.

With only three races remaining on the 2012 schedule (talk amongst yourselves… I’m a little verklempt), that “next year” phenomenon is full throttle right now. I’ve even heard Randy Bernard saying that he’s aiming for “at least” 19 races in 2013. Yessir, I like it. *cough* Road America *cough*

But first, let’s focus on the last three races. We’ve got a good mix – road course, street circuit, oval – to end the season. Plus, there’s wine in Sonoma. Lots of it. And that’s all you really need to know.

There’s only one problem: the three weeks in between races. Some of us are going through withdrawals. One of our crew guys almost tipped the car over at the shop this week. Bet you didn’t even know that was possible. I’m not saying it was race withdrawals but… *shakes Magic 8 ball* … signs point to yes.

What are YOU doing to fight your IndyCar withdrawals? We’re taking suggestions. See you in Sonoma!

The Hot Lap

  • Miles traveled: 472 miles
  • Miles driven so far this season: 6,386
  • Steps from transporter to pit box: <50
  • Views of new “Incognito” video featuring Tag: 2,552
  • Consecutive Firestone Fast Six’s for Tag: 4
  • ABC races with rain on race day: All but Indy
  • NBC Sports Network races with rain on practice days: All
  • Rain-induced moments that resembled an adult film: 1
  • Yellow flags during race: 0
  • Top ten finishes for Barracuda Racing in 2012: 6
  • Races remaining in 2012: 3
  • Races we wish were remaining: >3
  • Photos in the Barracuda Racing Mid-Ohio photo album: 83 (see them here http://tinyurl.com/8mk73ky )