The Fashionable IndyCar Watch Party – Sayonara 2014

Paraphrasing – greater love hath no woman than she who invites a friend over to watch IndyCar on a Saturday evening. I speak of Thea Wood, my good friend and style guru, who answered my Facebook plea for a watch party venue for the IndyCar race last night.

Normally, I go to a neighborhood watering hole to watch racing, or just listen to IndyCar radio. But last night’s race, in Fontana, was the last of the 2014 season AND the championship determiner. AND University of Texas football (kind of a big deal in these parts) was hosting its first game of the season under new coach Charlie Strong. I have enough trouble as it is getting bartenders to switch bar TVs to racing. If I had tried to do that on Longhorns football night, I might have been tarred and feathered. Thus, the desperate Facebook plea.

Enter Thea, who saved my bacon.

IndyCar watch party

We watched the race, listened to IndyCar radio, ate (much) pizza and drank some delicious beverages. While talking fashion and being effortlessly stylish (Thea) or at least not tripping in wedge sandals (me).

On the IndyCar front, Tony Kanaan won his first race of the season (woohoo!) and Will Power clinched the championship title after Helio Castroneves, his main challenger, got a drive-through penalty for speeding on pit lane and ended up in 14th place. My man Josef Newgarden finished the race in 10th place and ended the season 13th in the points, an improvement over both of his prior seasons. Looking forward to next year when Josef’s team, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, teams up with Ed Carpenter Racing to form a powerhouse small team. Let’s get that first win in 2015!

Rookie Mikhail Aleshin, who has had a pretty strong season, crashed in spectacular fashion during the final practice on Friday night. He’s going to be all right, but did get airlifted to the hospital with a broken clavicle, fractured ribs, chest injuries and a concussion. Obviously, he missed the race. Hope to see him back next year. A crash like that, which saw Aleshin bash into Charlie Kimball’s car, then into the wall and catchfence at 215 mph, provides a sobering reminder of how close to the edge race-car drivers dance every time they are in the cockpit. Racing is spectacular, but it is also only inches and seconds away from disaster at all times. Drivers, officials and fans should always keep that sobering thought at the back of our minds and treat this sport with the proper caution and respect it deserves.

All of that aside, be sure to check out Thea’s website and follow her on Twitter. She’s going places…and I’m following behind, going, “Uh, do these match?”

Stay classy, race fans!