Posts Tagged ‘ Soccer ’

The Beautiful Game

Posted on: June 5, 2010 | Comments(6) | Drivers, Random | By: Daniel

I know we’re in the midst of a pretty exciting IndyCar season, but I wanted to take the opportunity to mention something else occurring this summer – the World Cup. I’m a huge soccer fan and will be glued to the TV June 11 – July 11, rooting for England (hey, I was born there) and hoping for some magical goal, incredible matches and a thrilling cup final. Player of the tournament? My pick is Wayne Rooney. Disagree?

I know soccer isn’t very popular in the US, but it’s huge a sport and there are many similarities to IndyCar – the global appeal, Brazilians seem to always do well, cool fans, great athleticism, etc.

There are 32 teams at the World Cup. There are 26 drivers in tonight’s Firestone 500k race at Texas Motor Speedway. So what’s the Nation/Driver breakdown? Before I get into that, check out Rafa Matos visiting the Kansas City Wizards of MLS.

Teams going to South Africa

Australia – Ryan Briscoe, Will Power

Brazil – Helio Castroneves, Mario Moraes, Tony Kanaan, Vitor Meira, Raphael Matos, Mario Romancini

England – Alex Lloyd, Justin Wilson, Dan Wheldon, Jay Howard

Japan – Hideki Mutoh, Takuma Sato

New Zealand – Scott Dixon

South Africa – Tomas Scheckter

Switzerland – Simona de Silvestro

USA – Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sarah Fisher

Not in the World Cup :(

Belgium – Bertrand Baguette

Canada – Alex Tagliani

Scotland – Dario Franchitti

Venezuela – E.J. Viso, Milka Duno

We had some time down here in Texas, so IMS Productions asked some of the drivers what their picks were for the World Cup. Take a look -

Who’s your pick for the 2010 World Cup?

And, BTW – IndyCar staffer Arni Sribhen and Indy Lights driver Martin Plowman have a friendly wager going on the England vs USA match June 11. Stay tuned for a blog post on that.

Baltimore in 2011

Posted on: June 2, 2010 | Comments(12) | Race Tracks | By: Dave

At The Nest on West Pratt Street – across from the Baltimore Convention Center where city and state officials announced that an IZOD IndyCar Series race would be held in Baltimore beginning in August 2011 – lunch patrons were curious, if not outright enthusiastic, that a major sporting event would be coming to downtown.
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As Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said in opening remarks, “You don’t win a race by reversing and going backward. You win a race by putting it in drive and giving it full throttle.”

Over crab cakes and house salad alfresco at The Nest (which overlooks the main straightaway of the circuit and start-finish line; think this will be a hotspot?), Daniel McLaughlin highlights the economic impact projected, the tens of thousands of spectators that will flock to the circuit that includes the scenic Inner Harbor and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. A fan, who watched flag to flag coverage of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, McLaughlin sees it as a win-win for the city and the series.

“We have the Orioles, who aren’t that good right now, and the occasional soccer (friendly) match and NCAA lacrosse finals,” he says, “but we miss out on much more because a lot of sporting events like the Final Four go to Washington. Sure there are going to be some people upset when they resurface the streets, but it’s a long-term gain. Plus the streets will be paved.”

The Inner Harbor is a few blocks east – with the National Aquarium, numerous restaurants (former First Daughter Jenna Bush lives in the neighborhood) and nightlife options – will be bustling.

“I might have to volunteer for the weekend,” McLaughlin says. “Maybe I could be the guy holding the umbrella over Danica while she’s in the car.”

Kansas City is changing…

Posted on: April 26, 2010 | Comments(8) | Race Tracks | By: Dave

Six years ago when I first visited Kansas Speedway for an IZOD IndyCar Series race, there was a McDonald’s and the racetrack’s yellow-blue checkerboard seats. That’s about it. Want BBQ? Drive to KC (Masterpiece in Overland Park; also the abbreviation for Kansas City, Mo., about 25 minutes away).

Today, despite the continued sluggish economy, acreage at the confluence of I-70 and I-435 in Wyandotte County continues to be red hot with retail, entertainment and restaurant development.

The latest structures being erected are an 18,000-seat stadium for the Wizards of MLS just off France Family Drive (positioned nicely near the massive Cabela’s, Nebraska Furniture Mart and family-themed water park Great Wolf  Lodge) scheduled to open in 2011 and a 100,000-square-foot casino/hotel complex that will overlook Turn 2. Starting in 2012, maybe you’ll be able to place a wager on the race while you’re watching it live.

The Wizard stadium under construction

The Wizard stadium under construction

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