Unfiltered Race Notes: Grand Prix of Indianapolis 2014

Welcome back to the Unfiltered race notes! I was on the ground at IMS this weekend, but didn’t really have a good grasp of what had gone on during the race. Honestly, it surprised me how exciting the end of the race actually was. I read the complaints about the fuel run, and I had a few of my own, but all in all it was a pretty dang cool race. Enjoy!

–Pre-pre-race–

Local ABC had a 2 and a half hour pre-race show before national broadcast. The Indianapolis Children’s Choir who sang the national anthem had to sign a contract saying they would sing the song as intended.

I fall asleep for the remaining 2 hours and 15 minutes…

–Pre-race–

gorgeous facility…

Good intro by ABC, feature-ettes are always on point from them.

Need more in-car footage of wet practice. RHR was working it.

Happy birthday HC; cool day for him.

Kanaan notes the tires. This surface is so different than anything else indycar sees all year. I wonder if the mix is tuned for motogp, there doesn’t seem to be the same “abrasive surface” comments as the new surface at barber.

The RHR practice crash was the loudest impact I have ever heard at the track. Speedway crashes into the SAFER barrier sound more like a thump, this was a crunch screech; start crash was more of a cracking plastic, exploding panel sound. was about the same distance from both.

…sigh… cheever and goodyear. I’m watching this replay slightly late at night… I hope they don’t crush my soul.

epic season review. Not happy they kept the goodyear blaming power for the SP crash in the cut. lol Aleshin clearly tried to roll back into bourdais at barber.

MHG is a cool link to the past, but not the most enthused command giver.

Cars look unbelievably trimmed on the grid walk; should make for some exciting braking.

The CG track layout review thing is odd. Aren’t we beyond this kind of cheese? it’s 2014…

What?!? they don’t include the 8 foot elevation change in the track fact box? Come on ABC!! (I kid, I kid)

Telling comments about the standing start. I was in attendance, but I really only know about the start, Montoya’s stall and penalty, the Hinch Incident, Andretti’s cracked chassis and the Plowman crash.

–Race–

Ok… maybe the 20 screaming engines kind of muted the sound of the start crash. That was pretty violent.

Saavedera is 2 for 2 and I refuse to listen to his excuses.

Plowman was lucky to not be taken out by Munoz; good heads up driving.

Announcers are over simplifying the standing start procedure, but I have to wonder where anti-stall is at over two years after the debut of the new engines.

Great move by Kimball as well. Too bad the guys short on skill hide others true talent.

Montoya’s back… excellent.

Props to Dallara for sure.

Announcers yelling at Saavedera for having his arms up. I thought these guys were in the drivers meeting. SS did exactly as told. second bold but incorrect statement that didn’t need to be said.

I love you Eddie, but you are a complete wet blanket.

I *think* Munoz said he was already in 5th gear… that’s bad fast, I bet Aleshin was going even faster.

The grandstands and viewing mounds look full exactly where they need to. IMS should have opened a lower outside section adjacent to the standing start to GA.

Sounds like guys are saving from the start. may need to add 5-10 laps next year if 7 cautions laps is enough to push it into a two stop fuel conservation race.

restart looked awesome.

WOW marco bunny hopped that chicane. Impressive indeed.

Mr director is already frustrating me.

The hat tells me Hawksworth took the lead on lap 1… I don’t think thats right.

Hawk looks trimmed, as does dixon and RHR. Pags may have the most rear wing out of all the front runners. Penske guys might as well be running a speedway wing.

Booth guys say they haven’t seen this much bumping and shoving at the start of an indycar race… ever. Clearly haven’t been watching this year.

14… finally

Montoya to P9 from dead last. cue the jaws theme.

snake pit section grass looks like it could use a drink.

Hawksworth’s car looks great.

Marco falling back and the car sounds like it’s going to hell. long day ahead.

oh man, I really like the entire white underwing of the HC paint job.

Booth fills us in on tire rules and strategy. good info; props earned.

Looooong pit lane

Bestwick makes a good point that with wet qualies, the race is really the first time teams and drivers have had the chance to run on the reds. managing their usage could be key to finishing well.

Booth justifying fuel races. boo.

24

RHR doing a great job surviving until his window opens up. I dont really feel like I know whats going on farther back than about P5… I wonder why.

Side by side is kind of silly. I always feel guilty skipping but, you know we’ll get filled in if anything actually interesting happens. Maybe…

The 7/8/9 viewing mounds look packed. I was honestly surprised at how full they were when I was in the house.

Green flag stops

28

Here comes Pagenaud… he’s been fast all weekend. I doubt Hawksworths can hold him off. Bestwick saves the booth again by remembering JH’s pitstop was slow. Bestwick is starting to grow on me, but it may be just because he’s simply competent.

30

Briscoe penalized for hitting a hose

Booth mentions that the track is rubbering in. It really does look like its taking the rubber nice. Seems like the tires and track surface really like each other.

save fuel save fuel save fuel… it’s still so early in the dang race…

I don’t really think that Pags is actively chasing down JH.

Hinch flapping his arms at Helio. HC clearly had the corner, Hinch shouldn’t be surprised when hard racing is repaid with even harder racing.

37

Charlie Kimball is the highest mover. I feel like we’ve already said that this year. Probably needs to step his qualy performances up.

The laps really click off when you’re lapping in 70 seconds.

Booth giving BHA well deserved props. Need to see one or two more strong races this year to really solidify themselves.

41. Halfway.

2011 500… Yes.

Big mistake from Dixon. That is a tough corner to pull a pass off. Booth says it looks clean; I don’t necessarily disagree, but it looks more like a racing incident. So uncharacteristic from Dixon.

Montoya with a broken car, but they fixed it in a lap? interesting. I wonder what was going on.

44

Divergent strategies. Power hits a hose. Again I ask why they do the whole throw the gun thing in indycar. why in the world cant we use hose gantries. wouldn’t be too $$$ to implement.

Little bit of bump and run on the restart. not too bad. The field looks so good heading through 5/6.

FCY 35 to go

Plowey gets loose under braking and just crushed Franck. That was crazy, FM is very lucky.

Hinch unhappy about something. the HCN move maybe? Is hinch usually this butthurt during the races?

Booth mentions power penalty. Looks like the plenum was sheered off of FM’s car. No wonder he was told to shut it off so quickly.

Man, that restart was a bit too slow. I like the idea, but the flagger needs to have control of the field. GR fingers JPM for the punt. I think it was more of a reaction to the extra slow restart. GR also says JPM shouldn’t be playing with the leaders when hes a lap down… Graham, you aren’t really a leader dude.

Lots of debris, is the DW12 too frangible?

And with a little more speed, that restart looked absolutely picture perfect. Thats how you do it.

26 to go.

Hinch sounds dazed.

Multiple strategies. I’m not really sure how this is all going to play out

20 to go.

Ah, Servia around Pags. He’s just got to be lapping too fast. SImon stated later that he had to hit an obscene fuel number.

Could servia have been short filled?

Good stop for HC, at least we will see a few guys pushing to the end.

Aleshin and Bourdais in the same shot, because of course they are.

11 to go

servia out front with a 1.2 second lead. SP on reds as well. He must be pushing. Obviously not the winning strategy.

9 to go

7.5 second lead.

Servia pulling over a half a second a lap. Pretty clear what is about to happen. Pags and RHR are good to go. Huge props to Servia and Rahal for pushing to the bitter end. totally respectable.

Servia in with 4 to go… Aaaaand he nearly stalls it. insult to injury.

Come on HC, chase these guys down.

2 to go.

surprised HCN can’t get to RHR.

Checkers.

Alright, for a fuel race that was pretty dang good. Looks like they opened up the grandstands behind the flagstand at some point during the race.

Pags is very excited about the win. good to see so much passion in the cockpit. And he even made it back to the winners circle.

DVR stops midway through the Schmidt Interview.

Wish the teams and drivers could have pushed hard until the end, but still an entertaining race if not for the questionable booth.

Eric Hall

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