The Friday Setup (St. Petersburg)

by Nathan Gruenholz


“Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy.” – Charlie Brown

I should be happy.  The IndyCar season begins NOW after a six(!) month hiatus.  The field is stacked more than my 7th grade Home-Ec teacher (hers were artificial, BTW).  An American is the defending series champion.  The champion’s #1 car tradition returns.  Simona de Silvestro is no longer strapped to a car that’s as slow as a snail (and is now a movie inspiration, probably).  It’s the beginning of Spring…

…but that’s why I’m not happy.  IT’S STILL DAMNED COLD UP HERE.  WTF NATURE.

[shoots all early Spring-predicting groundhogs, kicks protecting PETA members in the face]

Normally the start of warmer weather coincides with the start of the IndyCar season.  I guess without that this year, I’ll have to settle for weather porn on TV.  What better version of that than the sunshine state.  But NO, there’s a greater than 50% chance of rain Sunday.  Now, normally rain + IndyCar + twisty road courses = good racing and fun, fun DERPY schadenfreude.  However on street circuits it can lead to some flooding due to a lack of places for the water to run to.  The only driver wishing for such an occurrence is Helio; he can have another three-way with two women drivers again on the opening lap.

Speaking of which, people visiting Florida for the race needs to know what they’re dealing with.  Welcome to the state that has given us the “world’s worst superhero”: Florida Man.  A man who can get arrested for pleasuring himself while driving with a toy gun up his butt, punch firefighters in the groin, fight using only a burrito, cause cocaine to fall from the sky, and steal entire driveways.  Oh, did I mention he had a sidekick as well?

No wonder IndyCar wants to start and end the race earlier than usual.

(TV schedule, Predictions, Race Snack of the Week and Metal Tune to Rock Your Sh*t Pre-Race after the jump…yes, I did sort of steal those bits from Deadspin’s Drew Magary.  Because FOOD AND METAL.)

TV schedule

NBC Sports

Qualifying: Saturday 2:30pm Eastern (LIVE)

Race: Sunday 12pm Eastern


Best of the Best:  Will Power

DUURRRR.  Of course.  Just watch him finish NOT 1st during a few of the practice sessions to get our hopes up, get pole by about 0.75 seconds, and win by a straightaway.  2012 overdrew from the awesome bank and 2013 will start off with Team Penske going Pole/Led Most Laps/Win with a “MEH, WHATEVS” attitude they (along with Ganassi) have perfected.  FML.

Best of the Rest:  James Hinchcliffe

The Mayor of Hinchtown has the potential to be the Mayor of those-without-a-legit-chance.  I originally picked Simon Pagenaud, but my Honda Civic needed a couple of attempts at starting one morning…

The Milka Duno Memorial Backmarker of the Race:  Ed Carpenter

No more Lotusuck engines for him to finish ahead.  At least Dragon Racing has shown during testing that they won’t be too embarrassingly far ahead of him.  So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

Race Snack of the Week: Oreo Megastuff



Oreos ruled since kindergarten.  Double-stuff Oreos ruled since high-school, when you started buying your own fattening shit behind your parents’ backs.  Oreo Megastuff?   PREPARE THYSELF FOR TYPE-7 DIABEETUS.

Metal Tune to Rock Your Sh*t Pre-Race: “Jack The World” – GWAR


The national anthem that comes on every morning when local TV broadcasting resumes?  REPLACE WITH THIS.

Nobody oversleeps, nobody’s ever late for work, productivity rises, National GDP soars, economy saved.  There.  All because of GWAR.