Monday, February 21, 2011

Where in the world is Conor Daly?

Daly will balance a full season of GP3 (above) with
selected events in the Firestone Indy Lights Series
Think your 2011 is shaping up to be a busy one? Let’s see how your itinerary stacks up against my man Conor Daly’s.

Competing in both a full season of GP3, plus selected events in the Firestone Indy Lights Series, to say Conor will be racking up the frequent-flyer miles is an understatement.

Here it is in a nutshell: 21 races (GP3 holds two per weekend) and the potential to run on 12 test days scattered across 10 countries, 4 states, and only 6 months.

Check out the full list of events, below, then stop back over the course of the 2011 racing season to see where in the world is Conor Daly.

Date                   Series     Race/Test         Venue

March 3-4          GP3         Test                     Paul Ricard, France

March 27            FILS         Race                   St. Petersburg, FL

March 29-31      GP3         Test                     Silverstone, GB

April 10               FILS        Race                    Birmingham, AL

April 12-14         GP3        Test                      Barcelona, Spain

April 17               FILS        Race                    Long Beach, CA

May 7-8              GP3         Race                    Istanbul, Turkey

May 21-22         GP3         Race                    Barcelona, Spain

June TBD          GP3         Test                      TBD

June 16-17        GP3         Test                      Valencia, Spain

June 25-26        GP3         Race                    Valencia, Spain

July 9-10            GP3         Race                    Silverstone, GB

July 23-24          GP3         Race                    Nurburgring, Germany

July 30-31          GP3         Race                    Budapest, Hungary

August 7             FILS        Race                    Trois Rivieres, Quebec

August 27-28     GP3        Race                    Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

Sept. 4                FILS       Race                     Baltimore, MD

Sept. 10-11        GP3       Race                     Monza, Italy


P.S. Hey, CD... better print this and strap it to your wrist like an NFL QB, you’re going to need it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sammy Speaks

Will he, or wont he?
Photo: IndyCar
I’ve seen plenty of quotes from Sam Hornish, Jr. as to whether he will run the "Indianapolis 500" again, but audible interviews seem to be a bit more scarce.

Last night, 1070 The Fan’s, JMV, caught up with Sam and asked him about Indy, NASCAR, Tom Carnegie, and more. Take a listen here, decide for yourself whether you think he’ll return to the '500', then share your opinion via our poll. 


Friday, February 11, 2011

Saying Good-bye to the "Sound of Speed"

It's a sad, sad day, to say the least. Tom Carnegie, the inspiration for the naming of this website, has died at age 91.

As I stated earlier on Twitter, there's no better way to understand how we felt about Mr. Carnegie than to read our very first blog post, which I've included below.

Nothing sums up his impact on the "Indianapolis 500" and Indycar racing better than the last sentence, which reads, "...on behalf of the millions, Tom, we miss you, and thanks for the memories." 

When it came to titling this blog site, I was charged with distilling what 35-plus years of open-wheel racing and the Indianapolis 500 meant to me into a scant handful of words—no easy task, I assure you. The words themselves are plain to see, but to the uninitiated, their intended meaning is predictably elusive and mysterious at best.
But to the millions of souls that have heard those same utterances echo contemplatively, grandstand-to-grandstand, across the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, they hold true reverence. They are iconic, hair-raising, and for those whose house of worship resides at the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown, I unabashedly say biblical.
Tom Carnegie’s voice is an instrument; more precisely, a drum. Not a child’s toy, but the deepest orchestral timpani in full roll at the hands of the most proficient percussionist. It’s low-boiling thunder, truck tires on a gravel road. Launched from loudspeakers at the world’s greatest and most historic sporting venue, it’s aural fireworks—simply magic.

Mr. Carnegie didn’t just serve as public address announcer for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he institutionalized the position. From 1946 to 2006 his voice was as much a part of the month of May as the cars, the fans, the drivers.

Quite reasonably, one would expect that the 500-mile race would be his brightest stage, and without question, his performances over the years were legendary. But in this writer’s opinion, the 33 snarling engines on race day only served as recurring and rude interruptions to his impeccable skill. During an era when the word “Indy” meant an ongoing quest for faster and faster speeds, the qualifications for the race are where Mr. Carnegie’s talent truly shown.

With only one race car on the speedway at a time, he had the captive ear of thousands. His dramatic delivery, tone, and inflection had fans hanging on every word in a one-way dialogue of the most engaging sort. Having performed so brilliantly for so long, Mr. Carnegie has become well known for a number of famous phrases, but to me, there is only one.

For an Indycar driver, competing in the Indianapolis 500 each year is second only to winning it. That makes a qualification attempt at Indy one of the most dramatic 10 miles in motorsports. To accomplish qualifying successfully is a triumphant victory of the grandest character, to fail is a tragedy of the greatest proportions—Tom Carnegie knew that as well as anyone.

After circling the oval on his warm-up laps and being presented with the green flag, Carnegie would skillfully and ceremoniously launch the driver into racing’s stratosphere, as if journeying to the moon, with four simple, monosyllabic words: “annnd he’s on it!” No one on the grounds, including the brave soul behind the wheel, knew what would happen over the next four laps. That’s what made those words so powerful... the suspense; the agonizing, all-consuming suspense.

Those famous words are what the singular pursuit of Indycar racing means to me. They simply and wholly encapsulate my decades-long love affair with the sport I just can’t seem to shake. To me, if they were to be linked so closely with this brave new adventure of mine, I felt it only just to pay proper tribute to the man who spoke them so nobly.

To put it more succinctly, on behalf of the millions, Tom, we miss you, and thanks for the memories.