Waking up on a Wednesday morning and finding out:
– That Robert Kubica has signed to drive for Renault in 2010. Gee, didn’t Toyota’s manager John Howett say that Kubica and Kimi Raikkonen were going to drive for them?
Oh, and Toyota driver Jarno Trulli is going to test a NASCAR Sprint Cup car for Michael Waltrip Racing in November. And second driver Timo Glock is free to talk to other teams.
Anybody still think that Toyota will be on the grid in 2010?
– That not only is Nelson Piquet Jr. going to
test a NASCAR pickup truck for Red Horse Racing but so is Vitor Meira, the Indy
car driver who was injured at the Indianapolis 500.
I know Meira is a fellow Brazilian but, if I was him, I wouldn't be going anywhere near Nelson Piquet Jr. There's an old saying that goes like this: You're known by the company you keep.
Stay away, Vitor.
– Speaking of Foyt, he shocked 60-plus years of naivite out of me last Sunday night when he appeared on the TV show Wind Tunnel.
I’ve always thought car racing was pretty much a pure sport, that 99 per cent of the time things were on the up-and-up. (The other 1 per cent is the team orders thing and I really don’t get too worked up about that.)
So, you can imagine my surprise when it was absolutely proved beyond a shadow of a doubt in recent weeks that three people had actually conspired to fix the results of a Formula One race (Singapore, ’08) and had gotten away with it. For a year, anyway.
So Sunday night, I just about fall off my couch when Foyt tells the following little story. (The quotes are paraphrased.)
INTERVIEWER ROBIN MILLER:"So when Kevin Cogan ran
into you before the start at Indy in ’82, you got real mad and called him ‘that
damn Coogan.’ "
FOYT: "Well, I was mad because he did damage to my car but also because some friends of mine had some big money bet on me to beat the Penske cars on the first lap. They were betting I would lead the first lap."
Okay, so hold it right there.
1. A.J. Foyt says that big money is bet that he will lead the Penske cars on the first lap of the Indy 500.
2. Kevin Cogan drives for Penske.
3.Coming down to the green flag, Cogan turns sharply right and hits Foyt. Cogan says it isn't his fault. You decide, because the video is right here. Listen particularly to the part where colour commentator Sam Posey suggests Cogan turned right intentionally.
4. Foyt manages to get his car repaired (it wasn’t that badly damaged; the steering was out of whack) and eventually leads the first lap after the restart.
FOYT (paraphrase again): "So it ended okay after all. All my friends made a lot of money."
Translation: somebody also lost (or stood to lose) a lot of money.
In light of what Foyt said Sunday, and what we know today about the Grand Prix of Singapore in 2008, I now think there was something really fishy about what happened at Indianapolis in 1982.
I think I’ll go back to bed now. I have a headache.