On the heels of nausea caused by mediocre races last weekend, the weekly installment from yours truly was moved to Wednesday. Even with races that resembled what I left in the toilet earlier this morning, props need to be thrown to those who truly earned them.
A hearty congratulations goes to the multi-talented, gravy train driving, figure skater gone Pro Mod Diva Dina Parise and her crew of four (counting Bella the Wonder Pug) on her final round appearance at the IHRA event last weekend in Cordova, IL. She is a wonderful interview but a greater individual and a true supporter of #UnPhiltered brand. Parise fell short in the final in her Cadillac CTS-V nicknamed Stella, but her performance over the weekend should be a precursor to future success.
Future success connects with the youth movement in IndyCar racing after last weekend’s wet and unruly doubleheader at Detroit’s Belle Isle. Noblesville, IN driver Conor Daly starred on both days and was a Josef Newgarden crash away from a podium on Sunday. Why isn’t he a full-time driver again? The same goes for 2013 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Tristan Vautier, who subbed for Carlos Huertas in the Dale Coyne rent-a-ride, finishing fourth on Sunday.
Sage Karam provided plenty of entertainment and was screwed out of a pole position due to dubious IndyCar officiating and came out against his haters yesterday on social media. As long as Cheap likes him, he should be okay. In all of this, Carlos Munoz won his first IndyCar race on Saturday in mixed conditions for Andretti Autosport.
Teammate Marco Andretti had the correct strategy for most of the race but needing fuel earlier than Munoz left young Andretti settling for second. In a lost season for Honda, this is the second race won in mixed conditions (The Mayor of Hinchtown at NOLA Motorsports Park) by the HPD group. The triumph covered up a growing discontent with aero kit designer Nick Wirth, who’s had his fair share of flops in the past 21 years. Add the IndyCar series call to affect changes on all cars during the Indy 500 and it could be a bowtie-only affair soon enough.
Before Saturday’s rain-affected Indycar event, the Tudor United Sportscar Championship ran their sprint race sans the GT Le Mans class (due to Corvette Racing being in France) with Corvette Daytona Prototypes taking two of the top three spots. Whelen Engineering duo Dane Cameron and Eric Curran took their first Prototype victory after the Taylor duo and teammate Joao Barbosa had issues late in the event.
Outside of the No. 31 team, the No.60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier-Honda team of Ozz Negri and John Pew ook a surprise podium due to the aforementioned problems. While the rules and pace are decided against turbo cars (due to the bowtie bias; It’s a France family run series), the only legitimate prototype on the grid along with the Chip Ganassi Ecoboost Ford should be in better shape at historic Watkins Glen for the 6 Hours.
On the flipside of the bowtie is the blue oval of Ford, which is the dominant presence in Global RallyCross. Extreme sports mogul and Gymkhana specialist Ken Block followed up his runner-up in the 2014 points standings with a dominant victory at the season opening event in Fort Lauderdale, FL for his Hoonigan Racing Fiesta team. Former Formula 1 drivers Scott Speed (Volkswagen Andretti RallyCross) and Nelson Piquet, Jr. followed on the podium. This series along with Robby Gordon’s Stadium SuperTrucks are two of the growing platforms, so look for UnPhiltered to cover them.
While UnPhiltered wants to cover the lesser known series, the one written, spoken and forced down our throats is NASCAR. The big three series raced in front of numerous tarps and aluminum seats at Dover International Speedway. Takeaways (which will be discussed in further detail on NASCAST 500…listen to us on YouTube, follow us on Facebook and Twitter) include Jennifer Jo Cobb getting as fiery as her hair color walking on the track towards eventual race winner Tyler Reddick in Friday’s Truck Series race. JJC usually gets in the news for all the wrong reasons and this is the latest example.
While the replays were inconclusive, she was in the way of the Brad Keselowski Racing Ford driver. Whether it was air or a bump, Cobb ended up in the fence. The media circus following her walking into live traffic brought the ire of the sanctioning body. She will be the first recipient of the fine for leaving her vehicle, on the heels of the Kevin Ward/Tony Stewart tragedy. Reddick finished ahead of title rivals Erik Jones and Matt Crafton in what should be an intriguing battle for the title. With the Truck Series actually moving into regular competition, the three-way battle should intensify during the summer.
Trevor Bayne will follow behind JJC’s fire suit after his latest wreck on Sunday, bringing into question whether he or Richard will have jobs in 2016. For a man who dramatically won the 2011 Daytona 500 at 20-years-old, one has to wonder if it is bad luck, circumstances or that he was a flash in the pan. If being a genuine good person brought results, he would finish top five every week.
The reason for Bayne and Richard’s issues are due to XFinity teammates Chris Buescher and Darrell Wallace, Jr. who battled for the victory in Saturday’s snooze fest. Late race contact between the teammates cost Bubba a chance at his first victory and Buescher saved fuel like Brad, Tony or Scott Dixon to win for the second time in May. Buescher has done a solid job in limited Cup appearances and would be primed to take over a Roush Cup ride in 2016…with an XFinity title on his mantle.
Ty Dillon, who is rumored to double-up in 2016 along with Chase Elliott, will have a say in that race. Wallace is on the brink of winning and the Rookie of the Year title should be in his favor. Whether he has a ride after this year is another story, which shows the issues NASCAR has with the lower two series. I didn’t mention Sunday’s winner in all of this, which is how it should be. Same goes for the No’s 5, 10, 18 and 88 drivers. Martin Truex, Jr. will win soon enough, but the 78 team finds new ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory regularly.
That’s it for this week. NHRA runs one of the majors at Englishtown this weekend while NASCAR comes to Pocono. This writer might attend both events at some point, so stay tuned for details here on the UnPhiltered Blog. Follow Philip on Twitter (@philipgmathew) and Facebook.
Passionate and knowledgeable Motorsports fan along with love of football, baseball and fantasy sports. Podcaster, bowler, reader and currently working full-time while still pursuing my passions.