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Long Beach Diary:
Day Three
May You Live in Interesting Times

(The views of the author do not necessarily reflect the views of this website.)

Long Beach, Calif., April 19 ó It appears that this third part of the reputed Chinese curse has come to pass here at Long Beach along with the first two. Part One: May you come to the attention of those in authority. Helio Castroneves, a well liked and respected race car driver was prosecuted by the United States government for alleged tax evasion at least in part to teach the rest of us a lesson and to make us afraid. Fortunately, Helio had the resources to fight against this attack by our own government against him.

Part Two: May you find what you are looking for. Many people in racing feel that way, and I'm sure many of the drivers do. And of course Part Three: May you live in interesting times. I don't know about you, but if our times get any more interesting, I don't know what I'll do with myself.

Our website, Deep Throttle, is enjoying a bit of a renaissance this weekend, with these diaries, race news, Jeff's photos, and Julie's interviews. I'm sure there will be another Thoughts for the F1 race in Shanghai. All in all, there hasn't been this much new content on the site since last year's Long Beach weekend ... or maybe before. But I've been scratching my head about this all day: where do we go from here?

The racing community's "Crapwagon contingent" or the F Troop has been railing against the ICS for years, but even more so since the demise of Champ Car. This group curses Tony George and everything, including the drivers, that have anything to do with Indy Car. But, whatís the point if you're an open wheel guy?

If we spend so much editorial time talking about the talent of young American drivers and which one is better than the other, are we then supposed to forget about them and stop writing about them when they succeed in landing Indy Car rides? The thing is, if you're an American and you want to follow or drive in open wheel, Indy Car is the only major series left. They're the only game in town. Cursing doesn't seem to be a terribly productive exercise.

Why am I talking about this in the Sunday diary? Well, I'm not permitted to tell you that the first ICS race in Long Beach was not remarkably different than the races Champ Car and CART put on here -- at least as far as a fan could see -- casual or otherwise. The race winner, Dario Franchitti, drove in CART and second place, Will Power, won the final CCWS race here in 2008. We're not supposed to cover them? Will should really be no problem for anyone at all -- he's unemployed as of now except for Indy. As I lack experience in carrying grudges and spreading hate, I'll need some instruction. But, I don't really want it.

I can tell you that the FIL race was moderately interesting, and this group of young racers actually seemed to race cleaner than anyone else. It also seems that there are fewer vendors in the Expo and fewer fans attending the race, but it was hardly a ghost town. Long Beach is such a festival that there are people who come here for the concerts and drifting. For many of the men, itís a time for major girl watching, and some people are just curious.

I can tell you that running the ALMS at the tail end of Saturday does not give anyone the impression that they're the "Saturday feature race." They seem more like an afterthought, even though many talented racers showed up for the actual race (as opposed to the warm up, where hardly anyone showed, including the drivers and the cars.)

If you find any of the foregoing offensive, I have this to say to you: May you come to the attention of the authorities, may you find what you are looking for, and may you live in interesting times.

Copyright © 2009 by Lisa Davidson and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

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