Sunday, July 26, 2009

ON THIS WEEKEND'S BIG RACING NEWS: EDMONTON INDY, FELIPE MASSA, AND OTHER STUFF

Well, I was in Edmonton the other day to check out what was happening at the Rexall Edmonton Indy at the Rexall Speedway -- aka the municipal airport.

Usually, I go to these things to collect souvenirs and check out the hot-looking girls, but this year I was doing more celebrity-gawking than any other activity. The Indy drivers had a big autograph signing session so I got a good look at the drivers - including Danica Patrick who, I noticed, looked smaller than I expected.

I would have thought Danica's booth would have been absolutely crawling with drooling guys looking for her autograph. The biggest lineup, though, was for Paul Tracy. Who knows why.

Anyway, I didn't bother getting autographs, because I didn't want to waste my freaking time standing in a long lineup. There was also a hot, MILFy-looking babe walking around with people who looked like race bigshots, and I thought she had to be an actress or a movie star. I think it was Ashley Judd.

So, yeah, I had a good time. Actually, this year kind of reminded me of the good days when the CART series still had all the good drivers and teams associated with it in the early part of this decade -- Dario, Helio and everyone else. The glamour has come back to open-wheel racing in North America, to a large degree, and I think that's good.

I was there on the day of Indycar qualifying, which allowed me to save some money on ticket prices (the actual race costs an arm and a leg). I also caught the Firestone Indy Lights race and the NASCAR Canadian Tire event.

I sure hope the Indy keeps going in Edmonton, at least as long as I'm around these parts, anyway. Last year's race drew a good crowd but lost almost six million bucks! There's also talk about closing the municipal airport and directing all the traffic to the international airport south of town. In fact, council actually made that decision not long ago. I think it's a bad idea, but that's another thing that could mess up the race in the future. Oh, and I should mention it was Will Power, a guy most Canadians have never heard of, who won today.

In sadder news, there was a major mishap during Formula 1 qualifying in Hungary the other day, and Felipe Massa was struck by debris and badly injured. He's still in hospital, in an induced coma and in stable condition, with major and multiple injuries to his skull.

It's stories like that that take the fun right out of auto racing. Part of the fun of watching auto races is seeing some big, spectacular crash take place, only for the individuals involved to get out and walk away totally unscathed. Unfortunately, there are too many spectacular crashes where people get killed. It's no fun when you hear these news stories about well-known drivers.

Anyway, the only good news to come out of this is that Massa, at least, hasn't joined the Summer of Death -- a summer that has now claimed the life of the famous Taco Bell chihuahua.

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