Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's our playground, b******

A message needs to be sent—one that's loud and clear—that if you want to participate in our series, fanfreakintastic! But we make the rules... we decide who's in charge and, as such, if you attempt to circumvent our authority, we WILL knock your d*** in the dirt, faster than you can say, "Supertex is a girly man."

That, of course, assumes these allegations are correct. And I'm one who subscribes to the belief that where there's smoke there's fire.

Right. So maybe the punishment isn't instant banishment, as Norris McDonald suggests, but something that is PAINFUL? Absurd fines, points dockage, grid penalties... the choice is yours. Doesn't matter to me, just that it hurts like hell.

Will they pick up their toys and take them to NASCAR or ALMS? Doubt it, but maybe. I don't really care. I'd rather have a smaller number of car owners playing along than constantly planning an insurrection. It's time to put an end to this sort of mentality. It's been around way too long and, frankly, no other organization would tolerate it. Period.

BTW: NOT trying to change anyone's opinion, but if you support Randy Bernard, walk the walk, and hit up the link.

I think we're done here. Let's not live in fear of our own car owners, anymore, K?


Monday, May 28, 2012

Let the feeling live on--TOMORROW'S Mile test open to the public

Still buzzing from yesterday's epic '500?' Awesome. Don't let the feeling die!

Tomorrow's IZOD IndyCar Series test at The Milwaukee Mile is open to YOU. So get to the Series' other incredibly historic venue, if you can. Deets, below.

And BTW: Proper recognition to Mike and his Andretti Sports Marketing posse for the fan-friendly gesture.

[Milwaukee IndyFest Release]

Milwaukee IndyFest: Tuesday Test Session Open to the Public

The teams and stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series will be in action Tuesday at the Milwaukee in a test session in advance of the Milwaukee IndyFest, June 15 and 16.

The full list of teams and drivers is still being finalized following today's running of the Indianapolis 500, but fans can expect to see many of the top names in the sport testing on the one-mile oval. The grandstand area at the Milwaukee Mile will open from 9 am to 5 pm Tuesday, with concessions available and the IndyFest showcar on display. (Fans will not be able to watch from the infield, which is limited to participants only.) The Wisconsin State Fair Park box office will also be open, selling tickets for Milwaukee IndyFest, June 15 and 16. Tickets can also be purchased online at the official website:

This will be the first major test session on an one-mile oval for the new DW12 Dallara chassis and the new turbocharged V6 engines from Chevrolet and Honda.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Notes from the Social Media Garage, Legends Day edition

This'll be short, 'cause I know that's how you like it.

Let's get right to it--random stuff:
  • My contention: Grass roots fans--those into sprints, midgets, and silver crown WILL follow their driver--a Clauson, Carpenter--into IndyCar. Let's take advantage of it.
  • Pizza Hut thin crust rawks.
  • Marshall Pruett called me a "good man," today. I like that.
  • I will destroy my second can of sunscreen tomorrow.
  • Lucas Oil Raceway is ginormous.
  • One man's opinion says tomorrow's Indianapolis 500 Mile Race will be...ahem...EPIC.
  • Currently listening to
  • The gubment is still predicting 95 big ones, tomorrow. Please take precautions.
  • Everyone should meet Pippa Mann.
  • Meeting Helio freaked me out.
  • Currently milking (See what I did there?) a Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA. Wish they were located in Cincy, not Cleveland.
  • If you're on the grounds, you NEED to stop by the Social Media Garage. Lots going on.
  • Flat-out rooting for Mike (Andretti), tomorrow. He (quietly) does a shit-load for the sustainability of IndyCar. Can you say every rung of the Mazda ladder?
  • Unquantifiable thanks to the Mrs. for allowing me to be absent, mentally and physically.
  • Blown away every day that nearly 1,000 peeps actually choose to listen to me. LOL. Thanks!
  • This isn't as short as I intended. 
  • The IndyCar fandom sweet spot is in the middle... my opinion.
  • Morning will come too soon, but I don't give a flying @#$%&! It's the Indy 500 and I'll rest when I'm taking my eternal dirt nap.
  • The Social Media Garage should make a triumphant return, next year--better than ever. 
  • The Carb Night Burger Bash is awesome, and all those involved should be commended for doing it.
  • Briefly met Lindy Thackston, yesterday. Lovely.
  • HUGE thank you to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for allowing me to be a part of the Social Media Garage.  
  • Immeasurable thanks to my dad for introducing me to American open-wheel racing.
K. I think we're done here, yeah?

One last thought. Everyone within the sound of my voice, please have a safe and ridiculously awesome day, tomorrow.

Let's do this.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Catch a Rising Star

The hot shoes at the Indy 500 have to come from somewhere, and what's cooler than being able to say, "I knew them when?"

Here's the skinny: Saturday, the night before the '500', there's a race called "The Night Before The '500'" (somebody was ON IT).

Held at Lucas Oil Raceway, it's a jam-packed night of racing featuring the USAC Midget Series and two—count them—two rungs of the IZOD IndyCar Series' Mazda Road to Indy ladder system: USF2000 and Star Mazda.

Just some of the names expected to participate: Blackstock (Reba's son), Brabham, McIntosh (Shannon), Pigot, Veach, De Phillippi, Freiberg, Karam, and more.

If you're in Naptown for the 5-hundy, anyway, no reason why you can't swing by LOR and get to know the future stars of IndyCar—while they'll still give you the time of day. I KID.

Ticket information here. Schedule here.

See you there!


Don't panic! Play it cool...


Yeah, it'll be balmy over the weekend for the '500' festivities, but it ain't a thing over what it was like back in the other century, when peeps rolled up to IMS in covered wagons and ate hardtack and drank each other's sweat.

Don't be frightened away by a sun-splashed day in May—just use your noggin. The three keys to survival enjoying yourself, this weekend:
  1. Hydrate
  2. Hydrate
  3. Hydrate
And if you need more advice than that, here are some words to live by from IMS VP of Communications, Doug Boles, courtesy of the Indy Star. Even more here.

Look. Seriously. Get out there, but be smart. DON'T make me tell you my dad's "lemonade story."

Heart you guys.


P.S.  Got some advice of your own for ways to beat the heat? Please drop them in the comments section.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tune in to Trackside

Time for a new pic, boys

After a long day serving The Man at the mine, there's no better way to wind down while simultaneously getting revved up for Sunday's 96th running of the "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" than an hour with Curt Kevin & Kevin Lee.

So. Come 7:00 ET, cozy up to the wireless (1070 The Fan AM) or log on to the information super highway (, and soak up the '500' goodness.

It only comes 'round once a year, so carpe diem!


Monday, May 21, 2012

IMS honors YOU with your own day at the Speedway

Right. Many of you within the sound of my voice live in the shadow of the greatest 560 acres on the planet. "Jea-lous." I digress.

That means you're busy, Wednesday. You'll be honored, as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway rolls out the proverbial red carpet for you, and as many peeps as you can scare up, on 500 Festival Community Day.

Why you won't want to miss it. For a pitiful 8 bones, in advance, 10, at the door (little ones under 6, FREE, BTW) you get ALL this:
  • Take a lap around the speedway in YOUR OWN ride
  • Tour Pit Lane 
  • Take in the sights of the official timing and scoring area in the Pagoda 
  • Grab an autograph from your favorite Indy 500 drivers
  • Plus—wait for it—you receive FREE admission to the world-renowned Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum®
A blast for the kiddos. Check the deets here. Schedule of events, shown below. And, hey. The Social Media Garage door will be open, so pull in and take a load off. 

Tell The Man who's boss—get out there. It's your day at the Speedway!


500 Festival Community Day Event Schedule:

9 a.m.:
Public gates open
Public Track Laps Begin – Gate 10 at 30th Street
Garage open to public
Spray Tattoos – Racing Zone
IZOD IndyCar Display – Racing Zone
IZOD IndyCar Garages Open – Gasoline Alley
IZOD IndyCar Safety Equipment on Display – Garage 8
Little Racers Track – Racing Zone
Suite Tours Begin – Gasoline Alley
Tech Bay Open – Gasoline Alley
Timing and Scoring Tours (15 min) – Pagoda
National Indy 500 Collectors Club- Legends Row
Indiana National Guard Obstacle Course – Kids’ Zone
10 a.m.:
IndyCar Series Pit Stop Practice Starts- Garage Area
11 a.m.:
500 Festival Community Day Trading Pin Distribution – Retail Photo Shop
Autograph Session with Firestone Indy Lights Drivers in front of Legends Row Begins (Rain Location – Base of the Pagoda)
Media Pit Stop Competition Starts- Pit Lane
IndyCar Series Pit Stop Practice Concludes
Autograph Session with Firestone Indy Lights Drivers in front of Legends Row Concludes
12:30 p.m.:
Autograph Session #1 Wristband Distribution (Pink) Begins – MotoGP Garage 36
1 p.m.:
Road to Indy Driver Q&A Session Begins – Coke Stage
Media Pit Stop Competition Concludes                 
1:30 p.m.
Indy 500 Driver Group #1Autograph Session in the Plaza Starts
Autograph Session #1 Wristband Distribution (Pink) Concludes – MotoGP Garage 36
Road to Indy Driver Q&A Session Concludes 
2 p.m.: 
Autograph Session #2 Wristband Distribution (Green) Begins – MotoGP Garage 36
2:30 p.m.
Indy 500 Driver Group #1 Autograph Session in the Plaza Concludes
3 p.m.  
Indy 500 Driver Group #2 Autograph Session in the Plaza Starts
Autograph Session #2 Wristband Distribution (Green) Concludes
3:30 p.m.:
Autograph Session #3 Wristband Distribution (Blue) Begins – MotoGP Garage 36
4 p.m.  
Indy 500 Driver Group #2 Autograph Session in the Plaza Concludes
4:30 p.m.:
Indy 500 Driver Group #3 Autograph Session in the Plaza Starts
Autograph Session #3 Wristband Distribution (Blue) Concludes – MotoGP Garage 36
5:30 p.m.:
Indy 500 Driver Group #3 Autograph Session in the Plaza Concludes
6 p.m.  
Vintage Car Display Concludes – Pit Lane
All-day events shut down
Public gates close
**All scheduling is subject to change.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


[I hear bagpipes] Good morning from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Social Media Garage.

Toss the sand bags overboard, 'cause it's about to get REAL up in here. A few key times:

  • 8:00 am Practice
  • 11:00 am Qualifications
  • NBC Sports Network also fires up at 11:00
Let's do this.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Notes from the Cathedral of Speed: Day 2

Typically I'm in bed by now, so adjust your expectations accordingly, please. Random stuff. HIT IT.
  • I'm old...
  • WHOA. How 'bout that Marco? Amurika!
  • I stood 5' from Wade Cunningham, today, and watched him fish a mic cord out of his fly for what seemed like an eternity.
  • Not sure @TheMiniChad really exists
  • I'm currently nursing a Sierra Nevada Torpedo. BOOM.
  • EVERYONE I've met over my first two days at the Speedway is kick-ass awesome.
  • Shout-out to Chris Sheridan of
  • I reckon TJ Patrick likes open-wheel better than stawk caars. At the track, again, today.
  • First day in the Social Media Garage--a delight. Wonderful people, all. And Cassie Conklin and her crew are taking good care of us.
  • $3 for a Sharpie?
  • I'm stalking The Race Girl, Brie Rentz, and Wade Cunningham. I better introduce myself--it's getting a little creepy.
  • The Speedway needs a little spruce up.
  • Donald Davidson looked me square in the eye, today. A brush with greatness.
  • Tomorrow will be awesome--no matter what happens.
  • I hunt and peck.
  • I believe an American has his best shot at winning the Indianapolis 500 since Sam did it in 2006.
  • AA is on a comeback at IMS.
  • "Got a feeling" about the race.
  • The alarm will go off too early in the a.m.--but I don't care.
  • You humble me that your reading this.
I think we're done here. Let's chat again, tomorrow, shall we?

Night-night, race fans.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

On Opening Day

It's the moment you've all been waiting for... Tomorrow at 10:00 am, the door rolls up on the first-ever Indianapolis Motor Speedway Social Media Garage (Tag it: #SMGarage).

Two words: Get there. Whatever it takes. Located just south of the Pagoda in the Pagoda Plaza, it's a never ending tweetup, plus contests, exclusive driver interviews, and more thrown in for good measure.

Schedule, below. Tzit. I hope (expect) to see you there!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Notes from the Cathedral of Speed: Day 1

Po-po could pinch me any minute for BUI, so if there's a sudden interruption in service...
I can BS a little bit, but no bull. Today was as good a day as this dude can have. Wandering the grounds at IMS--by myself--on a day when there aren't too many peeps there is simply magic for me. K. Nuff said.

Right. Let's get to it. Random observations from a hack blogger:
  • If you hit the Speedway before Memorial Day, be sure to visit the Lids shop, just south of the Pagoda. Lots of rad (heart you JR) stuff.
  • Met my first bona fide IndyCar driver (in recent history, let's say), today: Pippa Mann. Lovely, in every respect. And if '500' drives were awarded on sheer want, top of the pylon, baby. BTW: proper recognition to her for pounding the and not sitting at home waiting for "the call."
  • Hope you like the random, captionless Twitter pics, 'cause that's how we roll.
  • Good for (barefoot) Lady Kate. Now, baby steps.
  • Elaine Irwin is still magnificently beautiful. Suck it, Jay.
  • And the award for having an entire brigade's-worth of peeps make up their crew goes to--wait for it--Panther Racing. O-M-G.
  • Male or female, I'm in love with the mystery person manning Fan Force United's (Sound more like a football [soccer] team?) Twitter account. Badass working the keys, right there. And I WILL meet you, whoever you are!
  • Touchy, touch-screen, DROID keyboard is forcing me to tweet less. You're welcome.
  • Josef... Cockiness catching up to him? Won't judge.
  • If you're a new follower or reader, you ROCK. And thanks.
  • Everyone's taller on TV.
  • Saw Mr. Tony George DE-nied entry to pit lane, because he didn't have his creds on him. AWKWARD. He did NOT say, "Do you know who I am?!" He consoled himself by doing an about face back to the garage area and chatting up Mr. Roger Penske.
  • The #SMGarage is sadly quiet, now, but you, me, and the boys are going to LIGHT. IT. UP.
  • Funny moment: James Hinchcliffe enters his pit area, and a handful of his boys say, "Hey, Hinch," and point to their imaginary wrist watches. Chuckles all around. For the record, he was chatting up the fans, but I think he might have been late, regardless. :) He's won his boys over, and his personality is contagious, obviously. 
  • Met up with @SteveWittich. Canuck, good guy, and knows his shit. Give him a follow.
  • Also made the acquaintance of one @CurtisBoggs (Wearing a Sage Karam "T." BAM.) and two of my new roomies in the Social Media Garage: Eric Hall (@Erock_in_Indy) and Mark Wilkinson (@NewTrackRecord). Fine gents, all. Look forward to spending more time with them.
Uh... I think we're done here.

Thanks for reading, friends. Until we meet again--soon.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Revealed: Connect with IMS and the '500' the way you never have before

Props to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway--one of the sporting world's oldest institutions embracing something as newfangled as the Social Media Garage.

What the hell is it? Why, I'm glad you asked. Full deets can be found on the official Social Media Garage web page, but here's the gist: Located just south of the IMS Pagoda, in the Formula 1 garages, it's a place for fans (read: you) to connect with other like-minded peeps; participate in interactive Facebook, Twitter, and SMS contests; get exclusive access to driver interviews; and much, much more. 

Hey, one other note: it's FREE--and an absolute must if you're on the IMS grounds virtually anytime during the qualifying and race weekends. Look at it this way. No need to wait for a tweetup to pop up--there's always one happening in the Social Media Garage!

By the way: If it's an enticement, we'll be there! Along with a gaggle of other fine gents that blog it up for the love of the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. Shout-out to them here: Eric Hall (@Erock_in_Indy Houghton (@indycaradvocate Knapp (@15daysinmay Wilkinson (@NewTrackRecord

Special thanks to IMS and the SMG Crew for the invite to participate--a surprise and sincere honor.
Right. What to do next: Hit up the SMG link at the top of our homepage, tune up the smartphone, and head out to the greatest race course on the planet, early and often.

See you in the Social Media Garage!


Monday, May 7, 2012

I'm not who you think I am!

I'll make this short. I've been living a lie. A lie in name only, I suppose, but a lie, nonetheless.

See, when I dove blindly into the Twitter/blog thing, I fancied the idea of using a pseudonym to keep my identity concealed from my current and any future employers. 

Call it old school, but I just didn't want The Man judging me on something I might say outside my cozy cube, so "Johnny Montona" was born.

Ruh-roh, problem. Fact is, I NEVER expected to meet anyone, non-digitally, as a result of being on the blog or Twitter—but I did. Even though I would give them my actual first name, it just felt awkward. And the more peeps I interacted with, the goofier it got.

Time to come clean. And, BTW, it's not like I just drew a name out of a hat—I actually thought about it. "Johnny" was my grandfather's moniker—he, along with my father, took me to Indy "Time Trials" for the very first time—and "Montona" just happens to be the hometown of one Mario Andretti. I digress.

I'm still not comfortable coughing up my whole identity, so all you're going to get is my first name. Ready? Are you sure? Super sure? Okay-----------> "Chris."

A little disappointing, maybe, that it's not something exotic like "Eduardo," but it is what it is.

K. It's done. Movin' on. And, BTW, if any of you feel "cheated," first of all you can SUCK IT. Second, you're entitled to a full refund! :P

Glad we could have this time together, friends.