Über Desi

Keeping it real, desi ishtyle

Narain does well in his first Nascar race. Finishes 13th.

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Narain's truck, beat up after his first race.

Narain Karthikeyan managed to finish his first Nascar race, in 13th position. Given that he was the first Indian driver to move from open wheel racing, Nascar had a lot of coverage. That and he got together with a few others trucks during the race. Then again, that’s normal with Nascar.

Narain managed to finish his first practice at the 31st spot and the second practice at 21st. With Qualifying rained out, Nascar used something called Owner points (I’m assuming it’s equivalent of Team points in F1) to place him 11th.

All said and done, he managed to have a great debut. Although people have to get used to his name.

Here is the first report out after the race.

Narain Karthikeyan made history at Martinsville as he became the first driver born in India to make a NASCAR national series start. Karthikeyan was on the lead lap until Lap 200, when contact with Clay Greenfield sent the No. 60 around and Karthikeyan was unable to get it re-fired, dropping him a lap. Karthikeyan was able to get his lap back though, and finished 13th.

I’ve never been a big fan of Nascar, but as an Indian motorsports fan, I had to follow Narain’s progress and I was not disappointed.

From the sounds of it Narain will be doing a few more races this year.

Now if someone would educate him about good Chicken wings, I’d be happy.

Narain is also active on twitter @narainracing, make sure you follow him.

‘Force India F1′ is now official.

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Vijay Mallya donning the logo for Force India.

The Force India F1 logo.
Image from Autoblog.

If you did not catch the F1 finale in Brazil, you missed one of the best races in decades. The three way tie saw, the underdog and least expected driver, Kimi pulling off an upset that the British fans and press and fans will be talking about for the next few years.

In related Desi news, we wrote earlier that Vijay Mallya had applied for the Spyker F1 team to be renamed Force India F1 and the FIA, the official governing body of motor sports around the world has approved the name. Home of Sport also points out that Mallya has been donning the logo for the past couple of races. The domain name is now owned by Kingfisher Airlines.

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Narain has an F1 seat for 2008.

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Or so I predict.

Narain Karthikeyan sits in the pits at Zandvoort.
Image from Team India’s new website.

The major motor racing season is drawing to a great end. Going into the last race of the season in F1, Kimi Raikonnen, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando “Whiner” Alonso are fighting for the title, the end should be good. Although Kazuki Nakajima laid claim to the Williams race seat, it might be a good move for India, particularly Karun Chandok. Nakajima finished 5th this year in GP2 before moving on and in another year, Karun should be there.

But not all motor racing has ended. The A1GP season has just started and here is a piece of Information that you will see no where else. Narain Karthikeyan has an F1 seat for 2008 and here is why.

A few months ago, Über Desi had a visitor, we least expected. Yohann Setna, the owner of Team India and this was the conversation that ensued.

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“It’s not a sympathy contest” says Vijay Mallya.

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Mallya with his new purchase

Dr. Mallya with his new purchase.
Image from Spyker F1.

With the sale of the Spyker team officially completed, Dr. Vijay Mallya along with Michiel Mol the new team owners were on hand at the Chinese GP. Speaking to Formula1.com, Dr. Mallya answered the most important question, the choice of drivers for 2008 and the rumors about Ralf Schumacher and Narain Karthikeyan.

I know Ralf well from my role as a sponsor of the Toyota team and I personally hold him in high regard. But a driver line-up is not something that should be decided by the heart but by the brain. I want drivers that can raise the standards in the team. I always get asked if we will have an Indian driver and my response is – if I can find one who is ready, yes. But only under the parameters just said. Drivers are a crucial part of the team so the driver line-up is a serious matter and not a sympathy contest.

Would I see an Indian team with an Indian driver or would I see a successful Indian team? I would pick the latter. Besides, as a money making machine, teams with drivers from the same country are not as attractive, well unless you happen to be McLaren with a driver capable of winning the championship.

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