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Statt Mann Scatt

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Zak  BrownMcLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown shouldn’t buy any green bananas.

The American was hired on promises that he’d find a full-time sponsor for the McLaren Formula One program while making the brand competitive and, possibly, a winner at Indy. So far, neither has worked out.

The McLaren brand does more than race cars. It builds and sells road cars and bids on technology contracts around the world.

But it’s hard to ask for a nine figure technology contract or sell a seven figure road car on Monday when you can’t get into a famous motor race on Sunday.

IndyCar chassis are spec made by the Italian company Dallara. But some changes are allowed to make the chassis respond the way the teams want. McLaren’s massaged spec chassis was written off in a crash Wednesday.

McLaren found a chassis already massaged by another team but couldn’t get that chassis into the 500, even with their own engineers and a two-time Formula One champion behind the wheel.

McLaren is losing money in F1 under Zak Brown’s leadership. Now they’ve failed to make it into the Indy 500, a success that was promised by Brown when he was hired nearly three years ago.

Tough to sell that on Monday or any other time.

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

You probably didn’t hear much about it but there was masterful win by Ott Tanak at Rally Chili this weekend.

Ott TanakThe Estonian driver led most of the event in his Toyota to move within ten points of the lead in the World Rally Championship.

Stunningly, Tanak held off talent that represented the last fifteen WRC titles. Current points leader Sebastian Ogier, the six-time defending champion, finished second this weekend. Third was Sebastian Loeb who won the nine championships before that dating back to 2004.

The crazy thing about Loeb this year is that he’s in a Hyundai. He won his nine consecutive titles in a Citroen. Last year, when Loeb indicated he wanted to return to the WRC, Citroen said it didn’t have room for him. Now Loeb is nipping at Citroen’s heel finishing only seven seconds behind Ogier in what might be Loeb’s former ride.

That last point might be a stretch but seeing the Frenchman climbing back into the rally spotlight in a Korean car gives one pause and makes you think crazily.

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Lots of noise these days about the falling attendance and TV ratings in NASCAR. Here’s some more.

Looking at the Top 20 in points going into Dover, there are only TWO drivers with less than five years experience. TWO. Alex Bowman is fifteenth and William Byron is nineteenth in points.

Chase ElliottEven 23-year-old Chase Elliott, who’s seventh in points, has been around five years and 123 races. There’s little room for new drivers and new fans that would rebuild popularity.

The average age of a NASCAR Cup driver was 34. That’s older than F1 and IndyCar.

Maybe a title run by Chase Elliott this year would reinvigorate the fan base. But knowing the media, they’d spent all the available time lauding Chase’s Dad Bill Elliott, himself a former champion.

Sounds like there’s only room for old guys on the track and in the stands. Sounds like a Presidential field instead of a motor race.

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

I saw a great 60 Minutes Sports piece this week. It was a feature on the Jackson Wink MMA gym in Albuquerque. The gym has trained champions including Holly Holmes who helped send Rhonda Rousey into wrestling with an upset win in 2015.

Among other training methods the gym sends fighters up a mountain seven times in the 6500 foot elevations of the Sandia Mountains outside Albuquerque. It teaches fighters to focus when they’re uncomfortable.

Jimmie JohnsonMy mind drifted to racing drivers who must focus in the most uncomfortable of environments. Some don’t, obviously. Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson certainly has.

I don’t know if Johnson’s training methods include mountains but he’s been a champion in off-road racing and that’s the definition of focus in a difficult environment.

And April 15th Johnson ran the Boston Marathon in three hours, nine minutes, seven seconds. A fantastic time and an example of focus in a difficult environment. Maybe more drivers should be training in the gym or on a mountain instead of just a racetrack.

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

The people who run World Rallycross, IMG, are bending to pressure from global car makers. They’re demanding a showcase electric and hybrid machinery, the kinds of vehicles manufacturers want to sell in showrooms.

2017 Ken Block Rallycross

This week IMG announced Projekt E, an initiative for electric car competition. It will be part of the World RX weekend by 2021 at the latest.

IMG says this is an acknowledgement of “a future that embraces sustainability, responsibility and advanced technologies.”

That sentence, however, ignores threats from manufacturers to withdraw from racing series unless something is done to create new technologies they can embrace.

Rallycross might be the perfect vehicle for electrification. The races are short and demand quick power and torque, all benefits of a battery powered machine.

Let’s hope it flies.

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

The people who run World Rallycross, IMG, are bending to pressure from global car makers. They’re demanding a showcase electric and hybrid machinery, the kinds of vehicles manufacturers want to sell in showrooms.
2017 Ken Block Rallycross

This week IMG announced Projekt E, an initiative for electric car competition. It will be part of the World RX weekend by 2021 at the latest.

IMG says this is an acknowledgement of “a future that embraces sustainability, responsibility and advanced technologies.”

That sentence, however, ignores threats from manufacturers to withdraw from racing series unless something is done to create new technologies they can embrace.

Rallycross might be the perfect vehicle for electrification. The races are short and demand quick power and torque, all benefits of a battery powered machine.

Let’s hope it flies.

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

It’s not often that NASCAR racing compares with stick and ball sports. But here’s a stretch.

The NCAA men’s basketball final is Monday night between Texas Tech and Virginia, two teams with a blend of experienced upper classmen and talented inexperienced freshmen.

In fact only two teams made up of inexperienced one-and-done freshman have ever won the title: Kentucky in 2012 anJoey Loganod Duke in 2015.

Apparently Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson were right: “Old age and treachery always overcomes youth and skill.”

In NASCAR Cup racing it’s personified in Joey Logano. He didn’t win Sunday at Bristol but each of the last six years his average finishing position has improved. That includes the championship he won last year.

Logano has gone a long way from the Rookie of the Year days in 2009 when everyone hated him because of his driving. Now they just hate him because he’s a champion.

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

In the mid-16th Century the French decided to change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

That moved the start of the year from April 1st to January 1st. Those who continued to celebrate the start of the year on April 1st became known as April Fools, thus, April Fools Day.

McLaren logo

Some foolishness came into the Formula One world this week when McLaren CEO Zak Brown threatened to pull the historic team from the historic series. The American wants new rules that would make McLaren more competitive financially and on the track.

However, McLaren’s core businesses, engineering and technology, are built on its presence and success in F1. Billions in global contracts could be at stake.

Guess who would be “The Fool” if Zak Brown is in charge should McLaren run aground and spill its guts all over the F1 shores.

Hard to imagine.

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Formula One driver Valtieri Bottas made some headlines after his win in Australia last weekend.

Valtieri BottasOn the cool down lap Bottas came on the radio with a salute to no one in particular. Quote: “To whom it may concern: F*** You!” And, yes, he used the whole F-bomb language.

Bottas won’t say who he was targeting. But opening 2019 with a win after a winless 2018 was obviously a confidence builder for the Mercedes driver.

We’re seeing the strength of confidence in March Madness this week. In sports, when all the talent is relatively equal, confidence can mean the difference between success and failure.

Bottas said he just wanted to send his best regards. He said the people to whom it was destined know who they are. I can imagine a year’s worth of Social Media trash will fill any one with anger.

I’m a Lewis Hamilton fan and that’s Valtieri’s teammate at Mercedes. Still, it would be great to see someone who needs it experience some success.

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Some thoughts on Saturday’s 12 hours of Sebring.

Sebring 12 Hr logo

A great weekend! An eight-hour World Endurance Championship race on Friday and the IMSA Sebring 12 Hour on Saturday. We need more weekends like that.

Eleven drivers did both races. Just a great show.

My hat’s off to NBC Sports or IMSA for building a video promo that didn’t feature a crash of any kind. Somebody should get an award; certainly a raise.

I like that no one has bothered to repave the Sebring track. It’s bumpy, just short of an off-road race. The drivers complained but they drove on it anyway, not like some who complain for a living. Saturday they raced in the rain in horrible conditions and still put on a great show.

I continue to be amazed that Mazda hasn’t been able to make their prototype work for an entire race. Even the German Team Joest hasn’t been able to make the thing get to the end at speed at the front of the line.

Finally at the end of the race only two cars didn’t finish and one of those went out with less than nine minutes to go. What an incredible show!

Peace.