Unfiltered Race Notes: Iowa 300 2014

Welcome back to another enthralling edition of whatever it is that you call this. Rain rain rain in Iowa this weekend so I hope we can get all 300 laps in at a reasonable hour tonight. Strap in and enjoy the Iowa Corn Indy 300 with me.

—Prerace—

Rain… that’s going to be the story of the day. I hope the threat of an early checkered flag really makes all the drivers push as hard as they can. If the race can end at any time, it would be best to be out front all night

Power retrospective… lol… I’d really like to not write a single thing about him tonight. Please keep your nose clean Mr. Power

Powers clean shaven and has his glasses off his face. Feels like The Captain may have smacked some sense into him during the last week

Hellooooo UFD girls

Marco has been refreshingly honest and open this year. I’m really softening to him

Let’s be honest, PT look goofy as hell in that suit

IMSP Iowa race intro narrated by Diffey. Can’t get much better than that

Uninspired command. It’s not that hard guys…

And thank you NBCSN, a sub 30 minute prerace show is the perfect length

—Race—

Crows looks healthy considering the weather concerns. IndyCar feels big time in Iowa; what a great vibe

The high line shall now be called the Marco line

5

RHR looking racier than usual early on

Got to wonder is Marco toasts his tires too early in the race. He already looks like he’s about to start his usual early drop through the field

9

The laps click off super fast here

I can’t imagine anyone is saving fuel at this point in the race. Worth noting the director has yet to show the lead two so you’ve got to think they’re flying up there

13

And we see the leaders

21

Leaders look to be catching the field already

Dixon dropping quick, yet Kanaan has stood tough

Replay of Kimball’s start. HUGE save

26

Power has kind of stalled about behind Marco, but finally completes the moved

Hinch around Marco

Personal reminder: Stop picking Marco in fantasy

31

Brazilian knife fight ensuing for P1

34

YELLOW as soon as we go to commercial. Rain?

Race Control Reminder: Yes. Ok. Let’s not throw the green too early

Unfair, I know

Word from race control: they will not open the pits until they are positive the race will go green. They want to avoid racing on pit lane while it’s overly slick

39

RED

Radar looks relatively clear, this should be a quick red. I wonder if AIR TITAN!!! Is still in the house. Wouldn’t surprise me if NASCAR proper stationed one for this race. It would look just as bad on them if they can’t recover the track

Usual red flag rain delay blah blah blah… thankfully the jet driers are out already

Ethanol propaganda. At least they sponsor the race

Too bad INDYCAR has banned the use of chemical adhesives in pit boxes, I’m sure there’s toooons of high fructose corn syrup laying around the track somewhere

Look inside the director’s truck… very similar in size and brightness to the cave I pretend to play journalist in

Interview with Juan in the cockpit with helmet on. Cool?

Kevin Lee: Struggling with the bumps? Juan: yeeeeeeeeeeeaa

DVR has caught up to live picture :-/

Why does Diffey keep saying Iowa drives like a road course? Second mention in as many weeks

Excellent Interview with The Captain. References his fist fights with PT

Only thing PT was allowed to say on the radio? Yes sir or 10-4

40

YELLOW

Championship points swing look back. 2014 will be now known as the championship no one wants to win

Helio takes the lead on pit road

Biggest NBCSN pet peeve: Playing random radio chatter without any mention of who we are listening to

Turning a few more caution laps than I would have thought. Probably giving the guys a few extra sighting laps

49

GREEN

YELLOW

Sato and Mikhail with huge contact into the wall. Aleshin spun off the flat into Sato. Sato slow out of the car seems to have made it to the truck. +3 on the front wing for Aleshin on the last stop. Hmm…

Aleshin holding his wrist

Foyt: “… did like I said in Texas. All you gettin’ them is a bunch of damn idiots…”

Sato is such a nice guy

64

GREEN

Clean start and the Brazilian knife fight continues at the front like there wasn’t even a caution

68

Onboard with Ed. It looks like he adjust nearly every corner

Pags and Hinch side by side for like 5 solid laps. Excellent

76

Actually a fair amount of wheel to wheel racing

Kanaan around HCN as they catch the tail end of the field

80

THE RUSSIAN. His obvious mafia demeanor is welcome in IndyCar

Contrails

85

Right rear wing endplate delamination for JPM. Identical to RHR’s in practice

88

That debris is sitting in the racing line, but we are still green. TAKE THAT NASCAR HOT DOG WRAPPERS!!

93

YELLOW

Problems in the pits for JPM after the rear pod replacement. JPM was all fired up and Montoya-ey

Grandstands still look very full

97

Waived off restart for some problem with Bourdais. Seems sorted

2nd waived restart. TK told to slow and field told to pack closer. Well done race control

100

GREEN

Good jump for TK. HCN caught sleeping

104

Briscoe is looking pretty good tonight. I literally haven’t said that all year

Power blocking Ed?

108

It’s really cool that we have two Brazilians fighting for a Saturday night short track win

Replay of the Power/Ed incident. Power pinched him in the middle of the corner. That’s racing Ed, you should know that better than anyone

117

Power interview snippet: He is unapologetically focused. I’m coming around to this more honest, less whiney Will Power

127

Through the field

Surprised HCN can’t do more to catch TK. There is no way we are into fuel save mode. Iowa crashes cars

Bourdais looks like he may be done

Saavedra in the top 10?!

141

Still fighting up front. A night like this, with the strong crowd here even with the weather, makes me wonder if we can do this twice a year here. You could definitely go to Iowa in late April

147

Electrical issue for Bourdais

150

Saavedra fighting for P4 with Power

157

Saavedra around Power and Briscoe… Wut

161

Aaaaand he’s into the wall. Never change Saavedra

The look on his face is soul crushingly depressing

Some random dude counting down… 3. 2. 1.

Ed into P3. Showing very strong tonght

Saavedra may literally be crying inside the cockpit. I can make fun of him all I want, but you’ve got to respect that passion

169

Beautiful Midwestern sunset

JPM back on the lead lap

172

GREEN

Clean restart

And awesome racing

179

… Nothing to say… mesmerized…

182

Power may be struggling with the changing track

Pags and Hinch fighting again with RHR waiting to pounce on the loser

187

Hinch has totally lost his front end

Montoya into P12

193

The cars look stupid fast from the blimp/helicopter/ufo shot

205

TK running a lane up and not flirting with the wall too much. Incredibly comfortable with a 3 second lead

209

I think one of the personal allures to Iowa is that it is always a sprint race. There is a chance for a caution to fly at any time, and this is one place where the best place to be is out front so the gains from saving fuel are minimal

214

And Jan talks about the leaders needing to save a few sips of fuel. Dammit

218

Ed is falling faster than Andretti

231

YELLOW

Marco blow’d up

Well… he actually looks back at it… at least it’s not on fire, yo

That first pit stall that JPM is in is ever so slightly curved into T1. He gets a huge advantage pulling in and out of his stall. Even more so than usual for the first stall

TK drafting the pace car

232

GREEN

Ganassi boys are finally showing

Montoya P7

237

Dixon and TK side by side for the lead

256

Montoya has an engineer from NASCAR-land

263

I hate to say it, but Newgarden is fighting too hard for having such a poor handling car. He’s gonna end up in the fence with a friend if he continues this

264

TK around Dixon

270

JPM fighting Briscoe for P6. The drive Juan has put in has been unbelievable tonight

Ed’s really fighting the car

280

YELLOW

JPM into the wall

Ed chop blocked him. That was just plain dirty and Ed knows better. That’s the second time I’ve said that tonight. Shame on him. Ed is driving like a fool

Tires haven’t really matter tonight, I would be surprised if anyone too high up the order comes in

No action from race control. Lame

Hobbs: You can’t get any more blatant of a block. I agree Mr. Hobbs

JPM: “They all love preaching safe racing, but when you’re gonna pass them they’re all douche bags”

Kevin Lee: “They reviewed it and said no action taken” JPM: “Well then I’ll take some action later”

Very yes

291

GREEN

Let’s keep it clean boys

Sshh, no more talking. Racing

Ok, Both Penske cars are struggling

RHR into P2

Newgarden into P3

RHR is on new tires. I may have spoken too soon

298

RHR to P1

Newgarden into P2 on new tires as well.

I spoke WAY too soon

300

RHR wins

Excellent race

Hobbs: “Well who would have thought in a 100 years that that would have happened??” Well spoken Mr. Hobbs

RHR led 2 laps

5 wins in a row for Andretti Autosport at Iowa Speedway

Interviews, Interviews, interviews.

Enough of all that. I really enjoyed the evening and wish we could do more of this kind of stuff. The progressively banked ¾ mile Canadian Motor Speedway should by open in 2016 and could provide a similar experience. Nevertheless, Iowa always rocks my face off. It would be nice to knock this one off my bucket list in 2015.

Who knows what kind of coverage or not coverage of IndyCar will be coming here in the future, but these race notes things seem to be a hit so you will always be able to read my sideways take on an IndyCar race. I may do a few classic races during the offseason… suggestion welcome.

Eric Hall

 

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2 Responses to Unfiltered Race Notes: Iowa 300 2014

  1. dylanpt24 says:

    Iowa delivered an unambiguously great race for the first time with the new car. Good to see. RHR and JPM lucked out with the huge failure of Helio and Power on the last restart. Both title hopes live, and I thought both were dead. JPM is fast, I haven’t seen him look this good since the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Enjoyed the broadcast, loved PT and Hobbs. Ed did not have a good race, I mean he was top 10 all day, but was not a threat to win, nor was his move with JPM good. Though I will say, it felt inevitable that one, if not both of them would crash, though not necessarily with each other. Ed was sliding and JPM was charging. I was impressed no one crashed on the last restart, so we got to see something crazy. I was really pulling for Newgarden, but an RHR win is acceptable. Felt bad for TK, but like JPM he’s knocking on the door and should be able to pull a win out. I am more worried about James Hinchcliffe. Newgarden, TK, and JPM have righted their ships, but Hinch needs a little work.

    The race felt like classic Iowa/Indycar, as well as a bit Kentucky esque though without the drafting. This is a good thing. Though I personally am less supportive of short ovals in Indycar. I would say Iowa is the exception rather than the rule, RE: Pikes Peak/Richmond/Nashville. I’d like to see Phoenix though.

  2. WingSideUp says:

    “Why does Diffey keep saying Iowa drives like a road course? Second mention in as many weeks” Why does Diffy say…..errr…scream…anything he does. Sorry just can NOT get into him as a lead announcer either in IndyCar, F1, or the Olympics. Bring in Bob Varsha, Jack Arute, or someone that doesn’t have to scream or walk over the mics of his color guys. Love these unfiltered posts btw!

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