If you are a fan of motorsports in the USA, particularly the various forms of road racing, you know that it can at times be a nomadic experience. Do the math. The Indy race on Sunday in Toronto drew an average of 484,000 viewers during the telecast on NBCSN. Sounds great until you factor in that there are over 317,000,000 people living in this great land. So, with only roughly .153% or 1 out of every 655 people watching, it’s easy to understand why there isn’t a lot of Monday morning office motorsport talk around the water cooler.
But don’t let those depressing stats get you down. Simply invent some imaginary friends to have a chat with.
For this first installment of the Bulseyeview motorsports round table, I’ll be moderating and firing questions at my “friends” Alfred Haybale Murphy and Tab St Claire. To give you a quick background, Haybale is a big old lug with a Duck Dynasty beard and a love of anything with a motor. Tab is an urban metro-sexual who takes his motorsport flashy. Haybale is a working class family man who loves to get his hands dirty and karts on the weekend while Tab rides ten speeds, dates beautiful women who always look annoyed and attends races with a button-down shirt tucked in and cologne on. But they are both passionate racing fans so they are hired!
Bul Bulifant: Well gents the racing has been fast and furious the past few weeks and we are still no closer to figuring out who will prevail in the F1 or Indycar title fights. Haybale we will start with you. What’s on your mind today?
Haybale Murphy: Bul I still can’t shake the vision of a 72 year old Morgan Shepherd taking out Joey Logano in the Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire a few weeks back. I thought Morgan Shepherd hung up his helmet with Cale Yarborough and Harry Gant! It sucks for “Sliced Bread” but it gives me hope to be out there when I’m 70 something.
Bul Bulifant: How is your racing coming along these days Haybale?
Haybale Murphy: 3 cracked ribs this past weekend after I launched over the rear wheel of some clown who checked up early into the first corner of the main.
Bul Bulifant: Cool! Over to you Tab. What did you think of the German GP?
Tab St Claire: Two Words — Daniel Ricciardo! This guy is rapidly becoming my favorite driver in the field. I’m starting to sing the Elton John song “Daniel” when I’m on a long ride and thinking about racing. His fight with Alonso was exceptional and his moves into the turn 7 -10 complex were like a page out of the famous Gilles Villeneuve/Rene Arnoux battle at Dijon. I also love how he just gets out of the car and has a laugh about the whole affair.
Bul Bulifant: Agreed. The kid has no pressure on him and is basically playing with house money. Nobody saw this coming. I may try to write some revised lyrics for
our F1 “Daniel”.
Haybale Murphy: Damn the both of you are a couple of queers!
Tab St Claire: I was wondering how long it would take for Haybale to use the gay card.
Haybale Murphy: What am I supposed to do? Elton John and F1? Queers!
Tab St Claire: Mark Knopfler wrote a song about Nigel Mansell
Haybale Murphy: Must be a British thing. I don’t recall Bob Seeger singing about AJ Foyt.
Bul Bulifant: Haybale if this was a debate competition I would award you two points. To your point Tab, I’m starting to think that the turn 7-10 complex is my favorite piece of racing real estate on the F1 calendar! A fast kink, no DRS, heavy braking into a corner where you can use a couple of different lines and then a fast S bend where you can run two wide. Beautiful! My early driver of the race, Russian sensation Daniil Kvyat, tossed away his chances in turn 8 for big points by trying to go around the outside of Perez, but hey, that’s what the Torro Rosso is for. Get it out of the system now before he takes over Vettel’s seat next year!
Tab St Claire: Ouch
Haybale Murphy: Confession: I’m rooting for Ricciardo because he went with the Dale Earnhart 3 for his number.
Bul Bulifant: Haybale did you just come out of the closet? A quick moment of silence with 3 fingers raised. Okay silly season starts now! Tab what happens next year?
Tab St Claire: Ferrari dumps Kimi and hires Bottas. McLaren pries Alonso to lead the Honda project and Button goes back to Williams. Ferrari, in a panic, then buyout Lewis Hamilton, leading Vettel to jump on the Silver Arrows ride. Red Bull roll the dice and promote Kvyat to partner Ricciardo, leaving Hulkenberg on the sideline another season waiting for his big break.
Bul Bulifant: Wow! I like your thinking! Shifting to Indycar: Last weekend in Toronto we witnessed a 2004 Sebastian Bourdais rout in the morning race and then Mike Conway won the afternoon lottery in the mixed conditions. Indycar is so bizarre! In Conway’s ten starts this year he has two wins and a next best finish of 11th?! Haybale who wins this Indycar title?
Haybale Murphy: First off, those guys in Toronto always remind me of a C-Main at the Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico. I would like to say Power but I think that Aussie has a screw loose. Probably too many concussions. Trust me I can relate. Montoya is my guy but I’m going to have to go with that goofy Helio. At least they finish with Mid – O, Milwaukee, Sears and Fontana. That’s cool. By the way, if you want to join us, two of my brothers and a few cousins will have our RV on the S’s at Sears all weekend and we are towing our Big Pig Trailer Rig. All you can eat brisket and unlimited bottles of Bud!
Tab St Claire: I’ll try to stop by on Sunday Haybale. I’m taking my girlfriend Guinevere wine tasting in St Helena on Saturday and we have tickets with the Infinity Q50 club in an air conditioned tent near turn 3 for the race.
Bul Bulifant: Oh boy! Moving along, the F1 match score is now 5-5 for Rosberg and Hamilton. Who wins in Hungary and who finishes third?
Haybale Murphy: Hamilton wins, Vettel finishes 3rd.
Tab St Claire: Hamilton wins, Ricciardo P3.
Bul Bulifant: Can the Williams win Monza? That car is a rocket ship in a straight line and seems to have excellent traction out of the slow stuff.
Tab St Claire: That may be the only race left where the Merc’s have to fear the competition.
Bul Bulifant: Well gents. Anything else that you would like to talk about?
Haybale Murphy: If Marc Marquez wins the next Moto GP at Indy he will tie Giacomo Agostini for 10 wins in a row! That’s badass. I’ll be there by the way. Camping next to the circuit with some of our Midwest aluminum suppliers. These aluminum guys like to get a little rowdy if you know what I mean.
Bul Bulifant: Love it Haybale! Tab? Final word.
Haybale Murphy: Gee really?
Tab St Claire: I can’t wait to see the car at Sears. What a gorgeous machine! I’ve got this cool white and green linen team shirt that I purchased and can’t wait to unveil.
Bul Bulifant: Can it Haybale!
Tab St Claire: You know the more I see the World Challenge series, the more I think that the Tudor Series should drop prototypes all together and just become an exotic factory GT series.
Bul Bulifant: Like your style Tab. Well your choice of cars anyway.
Haybale Murphy: Zing
Bul Bulifant: My final thought is of the recent sale of Caterham F1 by Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes to a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors.
Under Fernandes, the team competed in 86 GP’s and never scored a single point. Not a single finish by either driver in the top 10! Hard to believe. It’s not like the team was a farce such as the Eurobrun’s or Andrea Moda’s of yesteryear. This was a professional looking outfit with competent people such as Mike Gascoyne designing the cars. F1 is just that competitive these days. Let this be a warning to Gene Haas. How do you make millions in auto racing? Spend billions!
Haybale Murphy: What we aren’t going to talk about the Brickyard 400 this weekend? Look out for my main man Kyle Larson!
Bul Bulifant: My call is Bad Brad K. Tab?
Tab St Claire: This pick is for Haybale.
Haybale Murphy: Oh Lord I’m bracing myself
Tab St Claire: I’m going with whoever drives the ExtenZe car.
Bul Bulifant: Well there you have it folks. The experts have spoken. Until next time.