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And Another Thing

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A few thoughts on Pole Day, the day after

INDIANAPOLIS -- So I've put a night's sleep between myself and the longest Indianapolis 500 Pole Day in memory, and now I have random and totally unrelated thoughts:

* You can say this about Ed Carpenter's stunning swipe of the pole from the Andretti-Penske nexus: He won it for all the little teams that never had a chance to get there.

Yes, that's a "Hoosiers" reference. And why not?

This was a page ripped right out of the script and gassed up with ethanol, is what it was. Carpenter grew up in Indy. He went to Butler.He's a huge Colts and Pacers fan. And he's the only driver in IndyCar who owns his own race team, which, unlike Andretti, Penske, Ganassi et al, gets by with one car and one driver.

So, yeah, this was a win for the little guy. And also the hometown guy.

Any surprise that, later Saturday night, Carpenter's favorite pro basketball team would boot the Knicks out of the playoffs?

* OK, so we get it now. Helio Castroneves has perfect hair.

Just one of the, um, off-topic factoids to be gleaned from perhaps the most raucous Pole Day news conference ever, starring Fast 9 qualifiers Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, EJ Viso, AJ Allmendinger, Castroneves and Will Power.

No one got a lot of usable stuff out of a presser that more resembled stand-up comedy than a news conference. But at least we got a treatise on tonsorial splendor.

"That hair is impressive," Allmendinger said, after which he surmised that Helio surely dashes back to the hauler to fix his hair before going on camera, after which Hinchcliffe demonstrated in detail how Castroneves pulla off his helmet to ensure that not a follicle strays out of place.

Hilarity ensued.

Ben Smith's blog.

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