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thanks to the legal types at NBC,
who apparently think we're
trying to get away with something.
We're trying to figure out what?


Well, I can't really say I was expecting this. Or not this much, anyway. But yesterday morning, in the wake of my previous e-blast, I started getting e-mails. Well over 600 of them (and I bet Mr. TP's e-mail in-box was bulging a bit as well). And that's not even mentioning the phone calls. And facebook posts. And they were, with one grouchy and nit-picky minor semi-exception, ALL supportive of my position and wondering why Tony P.'s SVRA wanted to keep me from writing what I witnessed with my own two eyes. And, just to put a fine point on it, my ace snapper friend John (last name withheld so he can still get SVRA photographer credentials) just happened to catch exactly what I saw. In glorious stop-action, no less:

You will note that Mr. Salazar has the rear tires lit in a magnificent, California Drift burnout literally milliseconds after the cars came spinning to an awkward halt (if that long) in a desperate effort to Get Outta Dodge as fast as humanly possible following his, ahem, "unfortunate indiscretion."

Now I don't really want to single Eliseo out, as I've called Indy's road-course Turn One a disater magnet before and I will do again, because that's what it is. The wreck in last year's SVRA Pro-Am occurred in exactly the same way and at exactly the same place. A wreck I most incorrectly credited to Bob Lazier (sorry!) when it was actually his son, Buddy Lazier, at the wheel. Here's a link to a really good in-car You Tube video of it and, as you can see, there's a bit of a Bull in a China Shop nature to this particular corner. Especially in big, hulking SVRA Group 6 Thunderwagons with a lot more power than brakes or handling.

But back to Elesio, whom I have never met but who I know is a committed and dedicated racing driver who, like a lot of us, absolutely loves the sport and the hands-on thrill, art and challenge of racecar driving.

But he has had a bit of a checkered career. His total career stats are listed here:

And, sadly, he's probably best remembered in Europe for being punched and kicked by Nelson Piquet after their coming together in the German Grand Prix in 1982. Then again, Nelson WAS leading the race and coming up to lap Elesio and...well, why don't you just take a look for yourself:

And that resulted in a bit of cheeky press coverage:

His Indycar, IRL and Indy Racing League career was also punctuated by quite a few crashes (but what driver at that level's isn't?) and you can find plenty to keep you occupied through your coffee and doughnuts if you just google him.

Again, I've never met Elesio and I bear him no ill will whatsoever. I have never come close to doing the things that he has done in the world of motorsport, and I respect his accomplishments.

But I do wonder who vetted him for the SVRA's Pro-Am?


Gotta finish packing in about five minutes as we leave for Californy in a couple hours, and I want to thank the folks from Sheridan Books, who managed to get 4 cases of my Brand New, Hardcover First Editions of THE 200mph STEAMROLLER, BOOK II: THE ITALIAN JOB off yesterday by horrendously expensive overnight air freight (don't a$k) so we will indeed have them (and all the other books) for our world-wide premiere from10am-2pm this Saturday at:

which is at 2900 W. Magnolia in Burbank. Just look for all the cool cars outside.

Do drop by.

Then it's off to Monterey the following weekend and blah blah blah. I mean, if you don't already know where I'm gonna be at Monterey, either I'm not doing a very good job of self-promoting (seems hardly likely) or you haven't been bloody well paying attention...


As I said at the top, I've been overwhelmed by the volume and supportive sentiment of all those e-mails (I tried to answer every single one, but I may have missed a few) and I've got to say they made me feel pretty damn good. Thank you all.

But I did get one from Editor Randy, who was a little concerned over my use of the "F" word at the end (hey, nothing  else seemed appropriate) and that made me think back to THE LAST OPEN ROAD and how I believe I only used that particular word once or twice in the entire book. But that was the early 1950s, wasn't it. By the newest book, we're up to the early sixties and, just like in real life, the "F" word has become the all-purpose noun, verb and modifier suitable for any and all occasions. I'm not saying that's a good thing, only that it's a real thing.

Esteemed Editor Randy also, since I am indeed a representative for the magazine, questioned my use of the compound word "shitstorm" in the title. And so I looked at a few alternatives. But I'm afraid "crap cloudburst," "dung deluge" and "poop downpour" just don't have the same feeling & resonance. So sorry, Randy...shitstorm it is!

Catch the latest poop & pictures, the Jay Leno interview, Last Open Road swag & highly inappropriate attire from Finzio's Store and the lurid & occasionally embarrassing "ride with Burt" in-car racing videos on the hopefully now fully operational website at: