Sunday, September 14, 2008

Indy's Yellow Army

Chances are anyone who’s been to Indianapolis Motor Speedway has had a close encounter with a “yellow shirt.”

Track officials refer to them as the Safety Patrol, but Indy insiders have stuck the yellow label on them because, while appreciative of their tireless efforts, they can go a lot overboard while parking cars or ushering around pedestrians.

And the yellow shirts are everywhere — on the surrounding streets, outside and inside the track, in the paddock, the grandstands, on the Pagoda and probably guarding the seventh green of Brickyard Crossing. It seems like every 15 feet there’s a yellow shirt keeping things safe for the public.

“More than 2,000,” Indy confirmed, work the major events — the Indy 500, Allstate 400 and today’s Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix for MotoGP bikes.

“There’s a lot of them,” said IMS exec Mel Harder. “When it’s race day, when the stands are full, they become pretty passionate about their jobs.”

For the first time in 99 years, motorcycles will roar down the Brickyard’s famed frontstretch with today’s inaugural running of the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.

“It’ll be great for thrill seekers who want to see a bike go 200 mph down the frontstretch, lean it over and scrape their knee on the asphalt,” IMS president Joie Chitwood said.

Four American riders, including Red Bull athlete and 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden, will battle past champions Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner around the course that uses part of the oval. Unlike when Formula One ran there, MotoGP bikes will race in a counterclockwise direction, with a new series of four turns just after the start-finish line. High-speed esses also replaced the double-hairpin Hulman Straight.

At Loudon: Weather permitting, Brian Vickers’ No. 83 and AJ Allmendinger’s No. 84 will roll off 16th and 34th, respectively, in today’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (2 p.m. ET, ABC).

At Salem: Scott Speed finished eighth in Saturday night’s ARCA race in Salem, Ind. It was yet another top-10 finish for Speed, whose championship lead swelled to 90 points over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.


Anonymous tracy said...

How cool to see the bikes racing at Indy. It looks like the Cup race will be starting a little late, which means the Red Bull Indy GP will be right during the lull in the action at Loudon. So now I know what I can flip to during the endless commercials. Perfect!

8:20 AM  
Blogger Seth said...

Congrats to Sebastian Vettel! Huge win for Scuderia Toro Rosso and Red Bull! Too bad another Red Bull couldn't join him on the podium but a great race in the wet.

Good luck to Scott, Brian and A.J. in the remaining races!

I can't wait to see the MotoGP guys at Indy, that should be really wicked!

11:53 AM  
Anonymous 84 said...

Once again... AJ 24th in....35th out on the pit stop. Way to go pit crew. Screw the kid once again. Now he ONCE AGAIN works his way back up to 25th.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous tracy said...

Yep, not sure what is up with the 84 crew. Even AJ chewed them this time.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well that crash sucked!

1:46 PM  
Anonymous tracy said...

Dang, I thought maybe Brian got through without being too bad. Guess they are going to the garage though. He seriously needs a good luck charm.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor guys at the shop, two wreck cars in three days.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous 84 said...

hmmm....#00 is 34th in points....hmmmm #84 35th......hmmmmm 00 wrecks the 84.


2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing that the 00 wrecks the 84 when he passes him - what a jerk!! Not a good day for AJ or BV.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Jason in PA said...

the "decision" is ruining the "chemistry"-

Oh ya and McDowell sucks- Another shit week for RBRT, needs to make a "decision" to get the "chemistry" back

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ may have just sealed his fate as a redbull driver.

Courtesy of Michael McDowell.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous tracy said...

That stinks. AJ and Michael are buddies, too. (Or possibly were)

Although that just looked like close hard racing. Timmy called him clear and then said he was coming back, but I'm guessing it was too late by then. McDowell could have let off, but he had Kahne right behind him.

Bad day for RBRT.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Owner's points(jayski)
34 McDowell 2,046
35 Robby Gordon 2,033
36 AJ 2,018

Guess that spin had a little bigger impact than we had thought before.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya - i also heard timmy tell him he was clear -and then start to tell him to hold his line because the 00 was coming back, but it was too late i guess. Tough break for AJ. Seems like the momentum TRB had two months ago is disappearing. We really need to get that back!!!

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah not a good day for RBRT though most of it wasnt their fault. Better luck next week. For redbull Formula 1 HUGE day with Vettel taking the win for toro rosso, first win for vettel and redbull in formula 1 and i heard team owner Dietrich Mateschitz was there to see it all. Good job to them. Good luck redbull next week.

3:41 AM  
Anonymous Jason in PA said...

All is quiet on the western front...

After all the crazy news regarding Jay Frye and 'dinger over the past 3 or 4 weeks, this week has kiccked off eerily quiet. No all...
No rumors even- nothing. Not even any chatter here since Sunday! We need something to talk about =)

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frye announced that he is staying at Red Bull. I think that's good news, not that we need to beat it to death with a tire iron though.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

now we just need word on AJ's future!!!

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

supposedly by the end of the week.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great News!!! Frye seems to be the backbone of RBR so without him I don't think BV or AJ would have a chance of doing well next year!
Good to know.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Jason in PA said...

Anonymous said...
supposedly by the end of the week.

Where did you see this?

This is probably good news for AJ, as I think Frye has been telling the powers that be that AJ should stay... He always refers to his "3" very talented drivers. Now we should hopefully be a good 3 car team =)------ I really hope this is the news AJ needed to hear to get his contract tendered....

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Dawn said...

from yahoo sports.

Frye to stay at Red Bull Racing
By Bob Margolis, Yahoo! Sports
1 hour, 59 minutes ago

Buzz Up PrintMore From Bob MargolisChase breakdown: Loudon Sep 15, 2008 Loudon Observations Sep 14, 2008
Yahoo! Sports has learned that Jay Frye announced in a team meeting Tuesday that he has agreed to remain as the general manager of NASCAR’s Team Red Bull.

In an exclusive interview with Yahoo! Sports, Frye expressed his desire to continue the course he’s laid out for the fledgling stock-car organization.

“I’ve been given a unique opportunity to build this team into something great,” said Frye, who has been at the helm of the two-car Sprint Cup team owned by the Austrian energy-drink giant since January.

Frye’s decision puts to rest any speculation that the Rick Hendrick protégé would leave Red Bull to take a similar position at Stewart Haas Racing.

When asked about the Stewart Haas offer, Frye replied, “I’ve always wanted to stay here. I love where I’m at. This is the perfect job.”

After meeting with Red Bull executives in Austria two weeks ago, Frye left convinced of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz’s strong commitment to building the NASCAR organization into a championship contender.

“I’ve always thought that with the people on this team that we can be a real force in this sport,” Frye said. “Red Bull is extremely committed to this team and to this sport, and they’ve given me all the necessary tools to succeed.”

Under Frye’s direction, Team Red Bull has changed course from a team in trouble to a team on the rise. After a disastrous NASCAR debut in 2007, the team has now become the No. 2 Toyota team in Sprint Cup competition.

Driver Brian Vickers, the 2003 Nationwide Series champion, has rebounded from finishing 38th in the standings at the end of last season to making a serious challenge for the Chase this year. He sits 16th in points.

The team’s other driver, former open-wheel racer A. J. Allmendinger, has also made great strides since his stock-car debut last season, although his future with the team is still up in the air.

In addition, Frye has former F1 driver Scott Speed waiting in the wings. Speed has been nothing short of remarkable this season, winning both Craftsman Truck series and ARCA stock car races. He leads the drivers’ standings in the ARCA series. Speed will make his Sprint Cup debut this fall, and all signs point to him running a full Cup season next year.

A decision on Allmendinger’s future is expected by week’s end.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous natalie said...

That announcement of Jay staying has made my birthday even better! I am so excited for next year and what Red Bull is going to do!!!

10:48 AM  

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