IndyCar: Quite a ride for Plowman, Montagny in one-off races

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There’s always something fun about seeing the one-off entries that appear at Verizon IndyCar Series races over the course of the season, and Saturday’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis was no different.

Suffice to say the days for Martin Plowman in the No. 41 Alfe Heat Treating Honda for A.J. Foyt Racing and Franck Montagny in the No. 26 Suretone Honda for Andretti Autosport, though, were probably more than they bargained for.

Montagny’s race started decently enough when he rose from 21st on the grid to 10th within the first 10 laps, but it was a bit of a red herring. The Frenchman avoided the start line crash but then gained further positions on the Lap 9 restart, a restart he was deemed to have jumped by INDYCAR and thus received a drive-through penalty.

Plowman ran methodically through the early stages of the race, but on Lap 48 their paths crossed. The Englishman lost control trying to pass Marco Andretti at Turn 7, ran through the inside apex of the car and crashed into and over the rear wing and engine cowling of coincidentally, Andretti’s teammate Montagny.

Plowman took to Twitter to apologize for the moment and explain the rest of his race.

The nice thing was, Plowman’s day wasn’t over after the shunt. The car, in its throwback Foyt “Coyote Orange,” did its best “Transformers” imitation and restarted, damage-free, and Plowman attempted to gamble on strategy. He was on pace for a potential top-10 result before a late pit stop resigned him to 18th.

The day was crazy for Plowman, as well, as debris contacted his helmet. He tweeted this picture below.

He’ll have a chance in the rebranded and re-liveried No. 41 ABC Supply Honda on Sunday; meanwhile Montagny, who enjoyed his one-off return to IndyCar, is not sure when his next race will be.

After eating just one chip, NHRA drag racer says: ‘I seriously thought I was going to die’

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Editor’s note: Due to rain, Sunday’s final eliminations of the NHRA Carolina Nationals have been postponed to Monday morning at 10 a.m. ET. In the meantime, check out this rather unusual tale:

Remember the old Lays Potato Chips commercial from back in the 1980s that bragged “No one can eat just one”?

Well, ask NHRA Pro Stock driver Alex Laughlin and a few members of his team, and they’ll tell you they learned a very valuable lesson that there indeed IS a chip that you can only eat one of.

According to NHRA’s National Dragster, Laughlin and Elite Motorsports crew members Chase Freeman, Kelly Murphy and Brian Cunningham took part Friday night in the Paqui One Chip Challenge.

If you haven’t heard of the Challenge, Paqui Chips has produced a tortilla chip that the company boldly claims is the hottest chip ever made anywhere in the world. The secret is the “Carolina Reaper” pepper, considered the hottest chili pepper in the world, with a rating of 1.9 million Scoville units, according to PuckerButt Pepper Company.

How hot is 1.9 million Scoville units? Let’s put it this way: the Devil might even have a hard time taking this kind of heat. By comparison, a Jalapeno pepper only reaches 10,000 units on the Scoville rating. 

So while they were enjoying some downtime Friday night after the first two rounds of qualifying for the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina (suburban Charlotte), Laughlin and Co. paid $30 for one chip – you read that right, $30 for one chip, it’s THAT hot – and thought they could take the heat.

They thought wrong.

“This is the hottest chip in the world,” Laughlin said on an Instagram post that documented the entire experience, adding a warning, “What to expect: Mouth on fire, short-term loss of speech, impaired vision from tears, extreme profanity — or death.”

View this post on Instagram

Never. Ever. Again.

A post shared by Alex Laughlin (@alexlaughlin40) on

 

Laughlin’s post also includes several reader comments that Laughlin and his crew should have had milk on hand instead of water to try and cool things down because milk has a natural antidote to cool your mouth down after eating hot food.

Sunday morning, with his mouth and throat still a bit sore, Laughlin recalled the red-hot episode to National Dragster’s Kevin McKenna:

Never again. Never. Ever. Ever,” Laughlin told McKenna. “It was definitely not the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

One of our guys showed me a You Tube video and it looked like it wasn’t going to be too bad. I like spicy food and it’s usually never a problem. I’ve been to those places with hot wings where you have to sign a waiver before you eat them and that’s never been a problem.

But this? This is on a whole different level. I thought it might last ten minutes. Fourteen hours later, I was still in bad shape. I woke up at 3 a.m. and Googled “internal bleeding.” I seriously thought I was going to die. We all did.”

So if the heat from the chip was off the hotness Richter scale, where did the stunt rank on Laughlin’s own personal Richter scale?

I’ve done some dumb things, but this is right up there.

Well, I really didn’t think it would be that bad,” Laughlin told McKenna with a shrug. “I mean, it’s just one tortilla chip. Like I said, I can usually eat stuff that other people won’t eat, but I had no idea what I was in for.

“I’ve done some dumb things, but this is right up there.”

If you’re up for another challenge in the future that involves eating hot food, Alex, here’s a suggestion: Even though it’s a few years old now, maybe you should try the Ice Bucket Challenge (but fill it with milk) to cool down quick. Just a thought.

Follow @JerryBonkowski