If your family doesn't have much overlap between the categories of "cousin" and "in-laws," you might be at a bit of a disadvantage watching today's Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600. In my family staring at cars as they drive around in circles for hours on end is always welcomed as an activity not usually involving gunfire, although until someone crashes it's only slightly more interesting than watching my Cousin Ronald's gun vault sink slowly through the floorboards of the living room and into the basement.
Anyway, one of the notable events this year at Indy is the 4th-place qualifying spot won by Danica Patrick, only the fourth woman ever to start at Indy. She very nearly finished first save for a slight wobble during practice, which would've given her pole position.
Veteran driver Robby Gordon, however, is not exactly overflowing with good sportsmanship, and thinks that the only reason Patrick qualified so high is because of her unfair weight advantage.
"The lighter the car, the faster it goes," Gordon said. "Do the math. Put her in the car at her weight, then put me or Tony Stewart in the car at 200 pounds and our car is at least 100 pounds heavier."
"I won't race against her until the IRL does something to take that advantage away."
Oh where do we start.
Robby Gordon is a bloated egomaniac of Trumpian proportions who races both Indy and NASCAR, and in four previous years he's pulled the superb publicity stunt each Memorial Day of racing at Indy, then jumping in a helicopter, flying to Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte and racing the Coca-Cola 600.
In almost every race, he stunk up the track:
1997 - Indy 29, Coke 41; 2002 - Indy 8, Coke 16; 2003 Indy 22, Coke 17; 2004 - Indy 29, Coca Cola 20.
This year has been particularly hard. As a co-owner of Robby Gordon Motorsports, he was fined $50,000 and docked 25 championship points, the most severe penalty for violations at Daytona, for an unapproved intake manifold. Then in April, he was fined $5,000 at Martinsville when inspectors found an unapproved deck lid.
As one fan site puts it:
These modifications are the steroids of NASCAR, tempting because of the high stakes and possibilities of improved performance. Let’s make sure the winners win because of driving skill, not because of performance enhancements that got past the inspectors.Gordon hasn't had a win on either circuit this year. As another commentator noted, "Robby Gordon comes to mind as one of the biggest losers so far this season."
So instead of saying "you know what, I should just focus on winning one race rather than screwing up two in an expensive annual publicity stunt," he blames his pull-out on the girl. Classy. Face it, lardo -- they pushed back the start time at Indy this year just so it became virtually impossible for people like you and Tony Stewart to race both. Tony Kanaan, who qualified first at Indy and is the odds-on favorite to win, weighs 145 lbs. Let's see you stop shoveling cheeseburgers into your mouth and stick your face in front of a camera and tell everyone the reason he's kicking your ass is because of his weight.
Some asshole is always screaming that women shouldn't be able to to this or shouldn't be able to do that because we're smaller, lighter, have less upper body strength, blah blah blah. Finally our smaller size works to our advantage, and some new asshole has to come shrieking out of a vast wasteland of bungled fraud and incompetence to excuse his own ineptitude by saying that advantage is unfair. Because, you know, making illegal modifications to your car is just what -- good sportsmanship? Here, Robby. Have some more bacon fat to go with those biscuits and gravy.
Even the faithful aren't buying it:
Weight is simply one tiny factor in the complex speed puzzle that encompasses everything from chassis-engine combination to the direction of the wind. She has a first-rate team, a fast car and phenomenal skill at the wheel.Danica Patrick is driving really well. Robby Gordon is a whiny little bitch. And if driver weight is so important, his tellingly porcine visage indicates that the IRL aren't the ones who need to get to work.
Weight also is less of a factor at Indy, where a driver is flat on the throttle much of the day, than it would be on a road course, with all its accelerating and hard braking.
Update: With 23 laps to go Danica's in first place. I swear to God, no shit I'm in tears.
Update 2: Finishing Indy in 4th as a rookie. That's fucking awesome. As noted automotive writer John Pearley Huffman says, "An amazing run for Danica Patrick. Epic. She blew a pit stop and knocked off her nose and still challenges for the win. An unbelieavable feat."