Unfiltered Race Notes… The Gorgeous Facility Edition

Welcome to another year at the most-beautiful-gorgeous-awe-inspiring-crown-jewel-of-a-facility Barber Motorsport Park. Soooo I only have realized this week that the actual prerace is spate from the actual race broadcast on the guide. So all I have is the race… and if you have read this column with any regularity you know this is not a big issue.

Let’s do this.

–Prerace–

Dude, PT is burnt. Can someone please inform this gentleman that there is such a thing as sunscreen? I’ve a bottle and I can FedEx him one STAT. Skin cancer is no joke man.

Penske V Ganassi. For 30 years it’s been Penske V someone, but the current iteration defines what IndyCar competition means to me. Sorry Andretti.

Eh command.

DEAR GOD IT’S THE HONDA 2-SEATER… AVERT YOUR GAZE!!

The driver facing camera in the mirror is one of the coolest views in racing.

Building construction is happening in the background. It kind of mucks up the view, I wonder what it is and how Mr. Barber is taking it.

–Race–

Pagenaud is really pacing the field slow. I like his style.

Excellent formation

GRE–

Maybe not. Shenanigans in the back of the field. We better be able to regroup and get another shot at a 2 wide start.

The green never waved.

Carlos Munoz into THE RUSSIAN.

IN MOTHER RUSSIA RACECAR HIT YOU

Seems like everyone is underway. Damn you Munoz.

Caution waves again. I can’t imagine the field is really ready yet. They looked rather jumpy.

THE RUSSIAN and Hawks to the back. Munoz keeps his spot. That’s just not right, man. Never change IndyCar.

Munoz to the back. Eh. Ok? I don’t know. We have to gat this race started sometime.

GREEN

Bourdais simply looses it but is way way lucky not to have smashed into anyone. He knows better than that.

HOLY MOLY DIXON IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRACK. 2 separate incidents at turn 5 to start the race. As you do.

Kanaan around the outside of Hinch. Obviously.

5

wow. So much action I haven’t been paying attention to the laps. How many times have we said that at Barber. Of note: no yellow yet.

Bourdais receives a penalty for avoidable contact. Yea. Also, the replay shows Bourdais actually tipped Dixon into the spin. Another fantasy pick burned by early season Dixon.

9

Pagenaud, Newgarden, Power. I have a feeling we have fallen into rhythm for the race now.

TONS of replays of the turn 5 incident. I bet that’s why this race feels action packed thus far. So many replays.

11

Pagenaud looks to be beasting the race from the pole.

Kimball around the outside of Hinch. But Kimball get popped for blocking?! Ugh.

13

The laps clock off here. Ok, Maybe the action is actually hot and heavy today. I dislike that most of what we have been discussing has been directly related to race control, penalties and the like. Its either feast or famine with these guys. They were good until the pit lane incident at Long Beach and now they remember what the spotlight tastes like and want it all.

15

Pitstops.

Dixon out right next to Bourdais who yields to Dixon. Smart play, that’s why I always root for Bourdais. Class act and I don’t give a crap about what PT has to say in private about it.

17

Wide fuel windows. They always try to sell that crap to us but it rarely works in IndyCar. Just save some fuel and slowly go just fast enough to win. I can engineer a dang car.

18

Daly mows the lawn. Excellent attempt, Young Jedi. Before success is found, one must fail.

21

HCN around the outside of Kimball. The outside has always been the place to be here at barber in the DW12 era. Amazing stuff.

Munoz flirting with the leaders. I would not be a happy camper if I was one of them.

22

I haven’t paid attention at all about the strategies. I am really counting on the booth to keep me updated. Without Leigh Diffey I just don’t have a huge amount of hope they will do this race the justice it deserves.

24

Mr. Director really like the helicopter shop of the gorgeous facility.

These stops when the fuel guy is waiting on the tires are pretty exciting. We have seen quite a few lightning fast stops. The crews definitely earned their money during these first stops.

27

PT notes the field is really mixed in terms of tire strategy. I hope all of these dissonant strategies pay off in something great at the end here. This race feels exciting and past paced, but I think it’s the director doing a much better job of showing us action throughout the field. We have not spent more than a few seconds following the story at the front.

30

I can’t say I am upset with the change in direction. I feel like there really is just so much going on. If Pagenaud leads flag to flag will this be remembered as a classic race because of all the outside passes we have seen live?

31

JPM from last to 7th. You just cant beat that here at Barber. Beast. Best driver of our generation.

JPM to Porsche in 2017 to complete the triple crown of motorsport. You heard it here first.

32

Checking in with Simon Pagenaud and the rest of the leaders.

Interview with Ed. I miss you Ed.

35

Pagenaud 3.5 seconds in front of Power. Crazy pants. I know Pagenaud is an awesome driver, I’ve written as much in these pages, but it amazes me that he can drive away from Will Power. For a while it felt like no one would ever topple the Power Tower ™.

39

The onboards are mesmerizing here.

40

Chevy Driver Update. All the spots. Who is Honda?

Pit stops. I have no idea what is going on. That’s totally ok because I have really enjoyed this afternoon of racing so far. I, usually foolishly, rely on the booth to keep me informed.

42

Ugh, the carpenter guys screw Newgarden so often. I bet he lost another 3 spots in this rotation. He needs to get the hell out of there in 2017.

44

JPM around Kanaan and continuing his jaws-like march to the front.

45

Power closing in on Pagenaud. I really hope these guys can take some shots at each other. This needs to be the big time rivalry.

48

Daly hanging tough in front of the leaders. Power can’t capitalize on the road block. I’m really impressed with this performance.

50

through the field score of .55. Better than Long Beach. I agree.

51

I made a save fuel joke earlier and I really have to take that back. It’s very clear that no one is saving any fuel at all. These guys are running fast and I really appreciate the speed!

52

Dixon up to 11. The best drivers make something of nothing? Point in case I believe.

53

We finish through the field at P12. Interesting, if we were doing it, I would like to hear about as much of the field as possible. Also sponsor TV time and all.

54

Pags burning Push to Passes while not passing Daly. That’s dumb.

57

Blue flag for daly. BS.

I hope he disregards.

Power very clearly in fuel save mode.

59

Pagenaud is getting extremely antsy. Dude just needs to make the pass happen!

60

PT cites the marbles. Unacceptable. ‘It’s too hard’ is never an excuse.

64

Newgarden hangs on to 4th. Fair enough, ECR, sorry I threw you under the bus earlier, BUT MY EYE IS ON YOU.

Rahal sneaking into 3rd. It seems Babe may have really grown into an honest to goodness driver. Its amazing how much the crucible that is a championship run can harden a driver. I don’t take any of it back, but I may be slightly impressed now.

65

Final stops. Buckle up, this should be a great last 25 laps.

Holy crap, I think I just felt myself rooting for Rahal during the pit exchange. What is wrong with me?

Daly in between P1 and P2 a lap down. Time to step aside, rookie.

67

I have a feeling Daly will play the spoiler. I wonder what’s going on deeper in the field… hint hint hint.

68

Pags is gapping Rahal every single corner. I’m really glad to see Simon succeed at Penske. The team is aging and Pagenaud could be the perfect compliment to Power.

73

Daly only pulled over once Rahal was on his bumper and I absolutely agree with that. Just because Rahal can see him doesn’t mean Daly has to immediately pull over. Bell and PT are really biased when it comes to lapped traffic. Not surprising at all.

Ha. The booth seems to think Power has a chance on blacks. That is just not how it works here.

74

Disclaimer: I honestly don’t care who wins, I just LOVE to see good racing. COME ON RAHAL, MAKE THE MOVE!

I feel diiiirty…

77

I have been mesmerized by the rocket ships masquerading as racecars.

79

Rahal is quick. I don’t want to hear anything else about those stinking Honda road course kit. However, It’s baffling that RLLR seems to be the only team that can dial this car in. I’m totally cool with it, but I hope we find out what the trick is eventually.

81

RAHAL AROUND PAGENAUD FOR THE LEAD!!

Dear god it’s going to be overturned. I know it in my bones immediately. Pags clearly turned into him. Where in the hell is Rahal supposed to go in that situation? He obviously can’t disappear.

Reader Poll: How far must you be along side the leading car to be given racing room?

I don’t know guys, It really looks like Pagenaud was driving down the middle of the track and really really squeezed Rahal down. Kudos to Graham for holding his line.

83

No call yet.

Pagenaud is closing.

Rahal has a sick car.

Pagenaud may have a very chrome colored horn.

84

Hawksworth making it hard on a very animated Rahal.

NO ACTION TAKEN. PRAISE THE INDYCAR GODS!!

Also, thank you race control.

85

HOLY CRAP RAHAL IS WIDE IN T1.

Pagenaud has plenty of room but can’t get the power down.

Hawks is doing everything he can to play fair but he is definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time. Rahal just clobbers him in the rear. Looks like Rahal was trying to catch every inch of draft he could but misjudged the pull out.

Sorry Babe, that is how championships are lost.

Somehow Pags remains in P2.

Be patient Rahal will throw it off. No doubts.

86

Pags around Rahal and is just running away. Race over.

Can Power catch Rahal. I hope so.

87

Rahal is causing a heap of trouble but its really inciting amazing racing behind him!

8 second in hand for Pagenaud.

88

Power has to shift focus from catching Rahal to keeping Newgarden behind.

ARE WE NOT ENTERTAINED?

90

Somehow Newgarden has gotten around Power. What a beast. I hope we catch a replay.

CHECKERS

Amazing race. Sleepy at times, but with no yellow I could not imagine a race like that at Barber. I want to know who didn’t come home with some kind of damage.

Pagenaud is in amazing spirits. Not really surprised considering he is literally on fire.

Ugh. Rahal irritates the crap out of me, but he still gave Pags a nice wave during the cool down lap. Classy. I still feel dirty.

Yessss. We get a replay of that slick slick move on Power by Newgarden. What. A. Guy. I hope he can take his rightful place among the Penske boys soon.

What a great start to the season. I would never have imagined that the manufacturer kits could produce such amazing racing. But I am not complaining at all.

I’ll be in the house for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis so no promises when those notes will make it out.

Thanks for reading!

Eric Hall

Posted in Unfiltered Race Notes | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Unfiltered Race Notes… The Kitten is Still a Kitten Edition

Ok. Here we go again! Regular full disclosure: I’m on DVR but I have no idea how this ended… Self enacted twitter ban successful!

No pre-race. The DVR programming kicked in during opening ceremonies. No complaints here. I just want to go racing!

Excellent anthem. That. Is. How. It’s. Done.

PT is so red… and wide. I want to eat with him and Juan Pablo. #Goals

So this isn’t pre-race per say, but I’m definitely being exposed to some kind of pre-race analysis. I find this awkward. The guys work really well together, there’s just always something campy about these broadcasts.

Yessss. Another fantastic montage by IMSP. Thanks Little Al. Welcome to Long Beach. Indeed.

The command wasn’t too bad. Best of the year, but not the best ever.

Sigh. One of these days, I’ll write a report from the fastest seat in sports. One day.

Penske cites pit road width as a concern. Agreed. There has been more than a few pit lane incidents here.

–Race–

Sato and Hinch go side-by-side through the hairpin. There goes the final excuse as to why we cant get a good formation for the start here.

GREEN

Another clean-ish start. Well done guys. This year has been pretty good for starts.

2

Pagenaud around Dixon with ease. I didn’t think you were supposed to be able to do that here. And he came back from a mile. Well done.

3

RHR around Newgarden. 2 televised passes in 2 laps. THIS EDITION OF LONG BEACH IS THE MOST AMAZING EVER. I’m sure I will eat my words before the end of this.

4

Pagenaud duking it out with Helio for the honest to goodness lead. I AM ENTERTAINED!!

Oil/Debris flag in the hairpin.

6

Helio looks to be pulling away a bit. I hope we haven’t slipped into a fuel race already as I’d really like to see Pagenaud take a few more shots at the lead.

10

We get a montage of Rahal passes. Looks like a bunch of action. I don’t understand who we don’t see these live.

Hawksworth in already. He needs some yellow to make this work. I like the early hail mary though.

11

lock-step-a-thon

All the while Penske populates 4 of the top 6. Not a complaint. Just an observation. I don’t think The Captain will stand for another year of Ganassi stealing the championship at the end of the season.

13

Chilton in. Still a bit early for legitimate stops to be taking place.

14

Tracy mentions fuel mileage mode. Yes. Yes we are.

15

The rear wing angle these guys are carrying is shockingly low. The Dallara kit was probably 40% taller. And probably 40% more inefficient. A perfect visual representation of how advanced these manufacturer kits are.

20

Checking into the front after commercial break reveals nothing has changed. Green flag stops should be coming soon.

You can feel how antsy everyone is. I would be antsy too waiting on the call to GO and make on hot laps before the stops.

21

Rahal in. Is he a front runner?

22

Newgarden and Bourdais in. The answer to my previous question? No.

Bourdais rejoins the fight with the accuracy of a surgeon. I need more Bourdais in my life.

25

Pit stops are happening and we are being shown shot after shot after shot of cars blending back into the field with shocking precision. Maybe it’s the years of questionable driving but this afternoon’s display of automobiling skills handling is amazing.

Obviously the newest F1 transfer would shortcut a corner. I hope we get an interview out of this one!

27

Bell posits that there is no rule about going under the curbs. I hate to say it but should we put it past indycar? I’m not totally sure.

29

Dixon settles into P3. Hell. I wouldn’t put it past him sneaking into the championship again.

32

More lock stepping. Clean but distant. Interesting how the field can seem so close during the stops yet so far away while running.

33

Kimball around RHR like he’s standing still. That is the red tire advantage.

Chilton cutting the corner again. But then doesn’t do it the next lap. Why would it be so inconsistent? I figure do it more than once do it the rest of the time?

35

We have abandoned the leaders. And blessed with amazing racing farther back into the field. This is what we have been waiting for!

37

Race control has now informed Chilton he is not allowed to do that anymore. Probably a moment of decision. I love that he isn’t penalized because I bet there isn’t a specific rule he broke. Most excellent. Chilton, I take it all back!!!

40

Through the field. .50 score. And statistically speaking, this is the most exciting race per the Is-this-an-exciting-race-o-meter-scoring-system. No I will not share the math. Proprietary and all.

43

We are still going through the field. P12. I bet we get through the entire field. There should be some sort of penalty added to the Is-this-an-exciting-race-o-meter-scoring-system when we can get all the way through the field.

44

I mean, clearly my system is garbage. We all know it was in jest because this race hasn’t been exactly a shining example of super exciting street racing.

We will continue to track this through the year. With no changes to the scoring system. Obviously.

49

I may be an idiot, but did Dixon get around Pagenaud? Is Dixon closing in on Castroneves for the lead? I’m not rewinding it to find out.

50

THE RUSSIAN. I’m glad Kevin Lee got my memo.

51

We could be coming upon the most excitement we have had all race as the leaders pull onto the bumper of Sato. MAKE THE MOVE HELIO.

52

Dixon in early. Ill go ahead and say that was the move on the race. Check and Mate.

53

Helio in with the fastest stop of the afternoon but it just isn’t fast enough.

54

Pagenaud INTO THE LEAD! But with a pretty clear blend line violation. Tracy says tough call, but I simply don’t see it that way. I hate for the race to be decided this way but THEM ARE THE RULES SON!

57

Dixon was watching the replay as he was coming down the front straight. What a pro. Just the pro-est of pros.

58

The turbo sound is very present here at Long Beach. The buildings and overpasses must accentuate the sound because it is very distinctive this weekend.

60

I see Pagenaud is still in the lead.

A WARNING?! AN EFFING WARNING?!?

UNACCEPTABLE!!

RACE CONTROL HAS NO TEETH! BRING OUT THE CHROME HORN!!

62

PUT HIM IN THE WALL DIXON

Ok. I think I’ve got it out of my system.

63

The booth mentions the shortcut. I agree 100%. This bends me very much out of shape.

66

Caution free and Pagenaud is still in the lead. I’m not sure how I feel right now. I’m definitely not upset with the race quality. Considering it had been caution free there has been a good amount of action, but this finish could really stink the race up.

68

SATO slithering through the field. (I regret not YELLING SATOS NAME AT YOU ALL YEAR) Best Honda.

71

With that said, It’s so weird how the Honda kit rewards some and punishes others. I refuse to believe that their kit is as bad as they say it is. I think it’s just a question of being more fiddly and difficult to get to that exact right spot for the afternoon. Add the expected engine upgrades and they could have a pretty stout platform once they get a handle of it.

72

Sneaky fact snuck into the crawl: the last caution free race was Mid-Ohio 2013. Viewing enhanced.

73

The booth has informed us a warning is a warranted penalty and within the matrix of allowable penalties for than infraction.

Ugh. Now I don’t know what to think. Race control still doesn’t have any teeth though.

75

Knife fight between SATO and Montoya. My mind is crunching the possible outcomes of this.

77

Pagenaud looks to have this race wrapped up. Too bad. I’ve decided I’m not OK with how this has gone down.

79

Part of me is still hoping for the chrome horn even though Dixon is way too classy to do that.

80

Hawks gets in the way and Dixon is so so so close! Should have saved a push to pass maybe? I don’t know. That’s a tough tough call.

CHECKERS

Flag to flag green. Post race interviews should be way exciting. Dixon does not look happy at all.

Not only was it a flag to flag green, but also no DNFs. Crazy.

Dixon and Hull seem to think that there are no more warnings. Very very interesting.

Pagenaud is as excited as I think I’ve ever seen him? Much better in the racecar.

Good race, all things considered. If race control acted within the rules then no harm no foul. Obviously they need to clear up the issue with ‘no more warnings’ but I cant fault them for not flagging the race leader if they weren’t compelled to do so. The kitten that lives in race control can be frustrating but for the fans at the track I think this outcome was the eventual best.

Thanks for reading, I’ll see you in Barber!!

Eric Hall

Posted in Unfiltered Race Notes | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Unfiltered Race Notes: The 10 Year Hiatus Edition

Alright alright alright. Over a week late but never short, here’s to another exciting edition of notes. The anotherindycarblog compound was affected by a multi-day power outage no thanks to an increasingly intoxicated ‘spring’ in Indiana. As such, coverage is being provided to us by YouTube, courtesy of the official IndyCar channel, so no actual prerace coverage today. Also, I couldn’t escape the usual negative opinions of the race in the intervening week.

–Prerace–

Command. Not bad.

So much fast talking by the pit reporters while the cars are pulling away.

The crowd looks pretty good, but the two-seater looks just as ridiculous as always.

However, the ride along guy sounds pumped as hell. That’s the kind of guy I want in there!

–Race—

GREEN

RHR 12th-5th. Very nice.

These boys are racing like

5

19 some second laps. These should click off amazingly fast.

7

We’ve already settled into a pretty single file affair.

10

The cars look very very fast. This would have been amazing to watch in person.

12

Newgarden is flat all the way around.

14

Chilton got very close to the car he was chasing and it looked like he has no chance at a pass with these speeds.

18

Leaders have caught the end of the field.

28

10 laps later and the two Penske boys are stymied by the Honda of Hinch. And we see the blue flag.

32

Still no progress. I’m curious how this will all play out. I’m sure it wont be good.

38

No progress

42

HCN look to have blown a right front tire during break. That is shocking in IndyCar. I cannot remember the last time that happened. HCN was masterful in keeping his ride out of the wall!

Wow. Scary stuff.

50

JPM can’t make any progress on Hinch either.

YELLOW

Luca loses it in the gray after getting pushed out by Castroneves. Excellent move from Helio, but tough to hold onto for a rook.

In fairness, this yellow probably isn’t the worst thing to happen to this race right now.

Typical of ECR to drop the ball on a pit stop.

We get an onboard of RHR’s start. What an animal, how did he find the grip??

65

GREEN

3 WIDE THROUGH THE DOGLEG

RHR picks another position up. Insert my regret for not picking him in fantasy IndyCar.

67

JPM and Dixon. I doubt they will do much mixing it up before the end of the race considering how hard it is to pass.

70

Passing and single file or not, these things are bad fast!!

73

Chilton is exciting. At least he’s making some moves

76

Chilton is doing great. He is getting a ton of understeer and is really able to hold it close to THE RUSSIAN. Just. Great. Racing.

81

CARS NEXT TO EACH OTHER. Oh. It’s just Kimball squandering his Ganassi seat for another season.

I KID I KID. We all know if he didn’t pay for that seat there would just be one less entry.

94

The commercial breaks on this YouTube feed are incredibly jarring.  No real lead in or out. We just lose 15 laps or so.

96

JPM onto pit road with a right front failure. 2 Penskes with the same issue. Concerning for sure.

I’m sure they are pushing the limits of camber. Or is this a result of super trick shocks?

The booth informs us that is was 30 laps in for both drivers.

103

Hinch gets a courtesy blue flag. Again.

105

Dixon in the lead now that the two Penske boys have been bitten by the tire gods.

106

Through the field score of 42.4. St Pete was a 35.4 with a lower number representing a more boring race. I don’t agree with the math today. We will be tracking this as the season progresses.

111

Very Very fast. Still very single file.

Also, the commercials are coming strong and fast. At least NBCSN gets to pay the bills.

120

YELLOW

Munoz into the wall. And apparently during stops. This should be interesting.

Worth noting that race control has not made the final car on the lead lap move over for the leader. Yet. This is how it should be.

9 cars on the lead lap. Ouch. What an inopportune yellow.

THOSE THUNDER BOLTS THO

I haven’t seen a lap update in what feels like a year. 2 commercial breaks. Still under yellow. I assume they are sweeping the track. Much appreciated but it really doesn’t seem like it will do much to help tonight.

No radio for Bourdais. The team had IndyCar black flag him. He comes in and the team was able to fix the radio. That is how it’s done.

133

GREEN

OMG FEEL THE EXCITEMENT OF RACECARS RACING!!

YELLOW

Kimball turns in on Newgarden and spins off his nose. Sigh. Dammit Kimball. That better be a penalty.

Double Sigh. Newgarden has to come in for a new nose.

THANKS FOR RUINING THE ONLY PASS OF THE RACE KIMBALL

142

Oh yea. Rossi. I hope he is pissing himself tonight.

GREEN

143

Newgarden completes a pass. And it was amazing. Passes may be few and far in between but when they happen, they are EPIC

144

YELLOW

Bourdais trying to go around the outside of JPM LIKE A BOSS and loses it. Just a brush of the wall. Sounds like he doesn’t want to come into the pits. What an animal.

151

I cant believe we only have 100 laps left. Where has this race gone?!

Processional? Maybe. Boring? Absolutely not!

Mike Hull: 1 stop territory.

153

GREEN

HOLY CRAP THEY ARE 7 WIDE

The restarts are just an appendage measuring contests tonight.

RHR can hold a loose car. I want to see him, TK and Marco in some kind of loose car contest. Drifting maybe? Only if its in an IndyCar

160

Quite a lot of negative feeling from the RHR it about Honda fuel efficiency.

Sato is basically letting the while field pass him on the inside. Tough night.

165

Dixon has found the tail of the field. Shockingly it isn’t Hinch. Its SATO!!! No. No surprises considering the night he’s having. Unfortunately Hinch will be the next guy. Not many guys are having a good night, but a ton are having tough ones.

178

Rahal getting impatient behind RHR. Calls the racing ridiculous on the radio.

183

The cars just whip around this place. I want a two-seater ride here.

186

Bourdias could be in good position for the end of the race. But it all depends on a yellow falling in the exact right spot in the race. A common folly of hope for a team that just quite doesn’t have it on any given weekend.

190

Paul Tracy guarantees passing once we get closer to the end. Thanks Paul, but I think that’s the definition of wishful thinking along the lines of Bourdais thinking he can win tonight.

193

RHR into the pits. Confirmed that the Hondas are struggling for mileage.

The RHR car looks hot. I wasn’t a fan at St. Pete but it looks super sharp.

196

YELLOW

Carpenter into the wall.

Pushed up into the marbles and that was it.

Textbook example of aero push. Amazing to see; it’s so rare to find such a clear example of that.

198

Babe has been in the picture all night long. Another damn good drive, but I really don’t want to be forced to root for him again this year.

Pagenaud up to second. Quietly. Secretly. Like a shark. Ill take total credit for his performance because I picked him in fantasy. Obviously.

  1. We are back from commercial break only to see THE RUSSIAN facing the wrong way in the entrance of pit road. Hmm.

204

We have transitioned to a laps to go count. I hate it when the broadcast makes me do math.

3rd commercial break during this yellow for those of you playing at home.

Another longish yellow. Hopefully sweeping the marbles.

Considering the processional nature of tonight, we have seen a ton of racing deep in the field. Like the director understands that there are more cars than the leader in the race!

208

GREEN

Kanaan and Bourdais side by side!

Newgarden gets chopped again. What a night he has had!

213

Ok. We are settled. Is this how the race will finish?

Onboard with Newgarden. The dude cannot catch a break. Kanaan should probably be penalized for blocking.

Onboard with Newgarden again. Gets hassled by Bourdais. I bet Josef will need a breather once tonight is done with.

225

Iceman reference. PT calls him boring. I call him amazing.

230

We have reached the tail of the field. Pagenaud is pulling up to Dixons bumper but I doubt there is much that will be able to be done. Barring late race silliness I’m sure this is how we will come home.

233

Onboard with Hinch. First oval back after his injury. Plugged it into the wall hard in practice. Bringing the car home in one piece will be a win tonight for him.

237

Kanaan is coming.

240

4 cars in contention. I can’t believe that Dixon had done this well so early in the season. Everyone should be worried.

242

RHR brushes the wall. Debris in the track. Still green because race control is doing so much better this year.

245

Camera find the debris. No yellow.

248

YELLOW

I know what this is for (Rossi) I’m really curious how this will play out on TV. They clearly think it’s for the debris. Too bad they have no idea what is going on. They don’t sound like fools though. Just honest confusion.

249

WHITE

250

CHECKERS

Dixon seals his first win. Everyone is in TROUBLE!

Ok ok ok. That wasn’t nearly as bad as everyone was saying. I thought that was pretty fun! Sure. The track is increadibly narrow for indycar racing, but that wasn’t bad at all. I would absolutely pay to see that race from the grandstands. Not every race can be a knockout but I don’t think this was a stinker.

The SPEED saved this race. The blistering speed. Passing or not, that looked like it was scary and fast and hard and tiring. I have no issue with tough passing if it looks as spectacular as tonight. Nothing was easy and nothing was given.

I’m going to bail on the post because I don’t want to hear a bunch of blocking complaints. First oval race of the year and everyone is still dialing themselves in.

That kicked ass. Sorry kids.

Eric Hall

PS. While doing the busy work to get this posted I watched most of the post race. Not really much complaining at all and it really looks like most of the drivers had a great time.

Posted in Unfiltered Race Notes | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Unfiltered Race Notes… 196 Days Edition

—Prerace—

YEA RIGHT!

No… Even though its stupid ABC and their stupid format with their stupid voices I guess I’ll watch a little… Because racecar… obviously.

Yessss I’ve missed the IMSP montages!

Hellloooo Allen Bestwick. At least the suffering wont be as intense today.

Cheevyear… Where is my officially licensed indycar shank? Maybe I have underestimated how today may actually go.

Power out. Servia in. This should make things interesting for the Australian Overlord.

For the record: Dixon is a beast. This statement will be explored in more depth throughout the season.

The command. IT HAS BEEN TOO LONG

The dw12/Honda bodykit/2-seater monstrosity looks extra ridiculous this year with the sharkfin engine cover. Looks cool on an actual racecar but that thing is painful to look at.

Also, will I be able to tell a Honda from a Chevy without that cover? Doubtful

—Race—

GREEN

Super clean first lap. I feel good about 2016.

Hinch and Sato tangle? With Daly and Josef on pit road, there was surely more than light pats on the back

2

I feel like I need to notate that we are still green

3

The cars LOOK AMAZING. And fast.

Also, there isn’t a small mountain of broken winglets collecting around the track. I’m not sure if the cars are more stout or the drivers aren’t touching (this is indycar, we know the drivers absolutely ARE touching)

5

The new graphics package looks more grown up and snazzy and the telemetry stream is far closer to displaying what we are actually hearing. Very nice addition. WELL DONE ABC, YOU GOT A COMPLEMENT OUT OF ME

8

Indycar at St Pete. How are we still caution free? Maybe we really are growing up a little bit!

10

Hashtag Penske Train

I always thought it was hilarious that people knocked indycar for racing in a parking lot in Houston when ¾ of this track is clearly painted over PARKING SPOTS! But never mind those silly details

12

THOSE LIGHTNING BOLTS LOOK AMAZING

15

Pags is approximately a county ahead of P2

Rahal racing Andretti. I want them to crash each other out every race this year. At least that way they will earn their TV time

16

Booth notes push to pass is with 60 HP this year, or an increase of 20 over 2015. Most excellent.

Goodyear explaining how to count backwards. Thank you

18

Looks like HCN is conducting a train today

20

A blind conductor as he literally pulls directly across traffic to get into the pits. Dude that is not cool

21

First pit stoops have been underway. The pit stop timer on the display is very informative

22

Juan Pablo in. The Penske cars are a really weird shade of mat silver. I thought they looked good in the first published stills, but now I’m not sure if I’m really into it

23

RHR throwing a block party for Luca. Very clear. I’m sure nothing will happen and now 2016 with be the year of friendly neighborhood gatherings thrown by drivers for each other

28

Very interesting that the new generation of rain tire has never been used in competition since their summer 2015 debut. I’m very excited to see how it will work with the increased downforce of the kits

32

How can anyone watch this live? The commercials are soul-crushingly frequent.

Dan Wheldon Way shout out always makes me smile

33

You could say this is indycars Monaco, or so the booth would lead you to believe. I wonder how Long Beach would feel about that. Hell, I wonder how Monaco would feel about that?

34

Penske Magic Dust. Ha

35

Montoya has found the rear bumper of P1 Pagenaud. I can hear the jaws music. Actually, I really hope it happens on-track instead of in the pits

39

Up to speed/through the field factor = 35.4 ((Lap/total)*100) We will be tracking this number through the year.

41

Another view of RHR and his block party. Still no call

46

Newgarden is out. Not great

YELLOW

Andretti around in a lazy spin. He comes back from a MILE. Of course there would be no space. Well, I guess Andretti is still Andretti

Insult to injury he stalls the thing. I say that is a 5 point penalty and completely unacceptable for a professional

53

GREEN

NOPE

YELLOW

Marco around again. 5 point penalty

57

GREEN

Daly looks to hold off TK, but ABC is too worried about shenanigans farther downfield and we miss JPM giving it to Pags for the effective lead of the race

YELLOW

All the cars have crashed. Total track blockage. I’VE BEEN WAITIN ALL DAY FOR THIS MOMENT!

I also cannot possibly capture every absolutely ridiculous comment that comes from the booth. That would be humanly impossible, but suffice to say I’m still looking for my Officially Licensed Indycar Shank (also good for fixing hearing problems (when the problem is hearing))

64

GREEN

JPM around Daly for the lead and I’m sure eventual win.

Saw a wing endplate bouncing over heads during the restart. Tense but all good

65

Safety truck picks the debris up. Very well played

66

I can see debris fluttering in the air. I wonder if I’m just more perceptive to it due to the incessant off season talk about it…

67

Munoz penalty for avoidable contact. No surprises there. Glad they know where to fund the whistle still

68

the booth sounds surprised that Daly is keeping pace with the Penske frontrunners. I thought these guys were supposed to know about drivers in the series they are covering? Oh yea… Cheevyear… silly me.

70

We are clearly in the hang-on-and-wait-until-final-stops section of the race

72

Dixon in with a 30 second stop to clean the radiators. Too bad as it seems like he can never get a fair shake at St. Pete

77

Sounds like JPM has major mechanical issues. Let see how long he can hold on

I am starting to rethink my RHR block party stance. I’ve seen a few drivers swerve in that same spot. I wonder if there is a track imperfection they are avoiding?

78

Trap speeds are in the 160 MPH range. Eh…

81

Daly in. Tough to compete when your stops are 2.5 seconds slower than the others. This one was even longer because they were fumbling with the wing adjuster. Just as rookie drivers have to start somewhere, rookie crew members have to as well

82

Very rarely have the onboard timer and ABC pit timer matched today. What the heck, man

Great Penske pit work. I wonder why only the Ganassi boys are cleaning radiator ducts

85

Watching the Kimball guys fumble with air gun hoses makes me ask, again, why don’t we use overhead gantries? The guys are standing in pit lane anyway and considering the way safety is fetishized in indycar it would be a no brainer

88

Note to self: buy yacht and rent parking spot in the St. Pete harbor

89

Penske Train still pulling the field

91

We have settled into following around JPM for the rest of the race. This should be great TV

92

Sometimes we see Pagenaud. I wonder if the director ever actually watched any other forms of racing than the broadcast he “creates”

 

Seriously though, it’s really easy to rip on ABC but this is a real example of doing the fans a disservice. There is no reason we can’t have a glimpse the cars deeper in the field. And I guarantee that if we pole those midfield drivers they would say they drove in nonstop action all day. But all we get are nonstop shots of a leader with a 4 second lead and is pulling away.

96

Only now does the booth mention the effective pass for the lead back on lap 57…

97

After brute force, I’m worming to the matte silver Penske. The fact it looks like a freaking space ship helps a lot

98

Finally focusing on Pagenaud for a while. His car looks pretty good too, but the Penske boys always look good

99

On the subject of liveries, I’m not a fan of the new Hunter-Reay look. I thought the old all yellow DHL could have been a new classic livery

102

Finally some sweet mid-field action

Have I mentioned the lightning bolts?

104

Rossi driving like a crazy person. Rossi gets overtaken by Kanaan. See Rossi have a fortuitous start to a probable tough season

106

Rossi and Hawksworth touch just ahead of a slowing Pagenaud. Not what he needs at this point in the race

107

Gotta give it to Rossi for going so far off line to allow Pagenaud to pass. I hope some one asks his opinion of the marbles over here verse the klag in Europe

RHR around HCN… ANOTHER TELEVISED PASS! But only because Pagenaud was literally driving through lapped traffic and those two came into shot. Mr director definitely did not hunt that battle down

108

It’s almost like the lapped traffic action shook us back into reality. Now we’re getting views of the INSANE action up and down the field.

110

CHECKERS

Montoya. Boom.

I hope this is the first of a strong championship run. Best driver of our generation… I’m just saying

Well sighted by the booth but there was a ton of play in the steering wheel. He definitely drove through mechanical adversity.

I know there will be bitchers, but that was a pretty damn good Grand Prix of St. Pete. Every year I worry that the drivers will embarrass the hell out of themselves by causing pile up after pile up after pile up but everyone did a hell of a job today.

Bring on Phoenix!

Thanks for reading and welcome back to an exciting season of race notes!

Eric Hall

Posted in Unfiltered Race Notes | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Unfiltered Race Notes: Super Awesome Championship Sonoma Edition

Well, here we find ourselves again. Not much to say other than lets go.

–Prerace–

How long is this thing? I don’t have time for this I need to see some racecars.

DVR starts in the  middle of the season review. Really great to hear Bob Jenkins again.

JW retrospective. Truthfully, I’m glad this will the the last heavy handed montage about our fallen friend; it’s always hard to sit through these.

Not a huge fan of Robin Miller these days, but his words about JW are pretty touching. That was one more I was glad to sit through.

Oh man, you can hear a few cracks in Leigh’s voice. Tough times for everyone.

Ugh. Canopy and safety talk. Today is not the day. Can we race please?

Stefan Wilson and Orrrrial Serrrrvia. Great to see them on the broadcast. Oriol is such a good dude. It really sucks that he’s not full time.

Chatting with the contenders. Shut it. #TeamJPM Let’s do this.

The Astor Cup is HOT. I hope we keep it around for a long time. Thanks Randy Bernard.

JPM Montage. Man he looks haggard. The stress is real ladies and gentleman.

I see THE RUSSIAN. Another one I hope can find a ride for next year.

Damn. One more…

Oriol (and Marco because I know he wears one too) is so hardcore in that old school balaclava with the fabric over the nose. I need more of these in my life.

Command: These are firefighters, they should have had more balls to that. B-

–Race–

OMG I CAN’T LOOK. I KNOW THE WHOLE FIELD IS ABOUT TO CRASH INTO EACH OTHER

Got to give it to the drivers. The field was beautiful coming out of the final hairpin.

GREEN

Clean start. Is this real life?

Rahal on Andretti. <Insert what year is it joke here>

2

Power walking away from the field. This is my surprised face

3

JPM in P4. He can clinch from here.

Newgarden in P2. I would LOVE to see him give it to Power.

HCN into the pits for a new wing. No championship for him. Try again in 2016.

5

Hey, is that Saavedra in P12? Not bad.

Bourdais into the pits. One more fantasy pick making a questionable strategy call. I need these guys to perform today.

8

No cautions today. I want to see outright speed.

Bell: laps are 4 to 5 seconds off of qualifying pace. That’s ridiculous and you can definitely see Newgarden and RHR reeling Power in. Maybe this will be actually exciting after all.

Onboard with Rahal. Sounds like he is saving fuel. Lame. That’s not how you win a championship. Wait… this is IndyCar… Saving fuel is exactly how you win championships here.

10

Points as they run. DRINK

11

JPM losing touch with the top 3.

Sounds like Power is managing the gap. Too bad.

14

Dixon in. He’s the first of the front runners. And as I type that the top 2 are in nose to tail. Now time to watch the Penske crew crush the CFH Racing Crew.

Ouch, a little dust up in the pits for Newgarden. He was going to be OK, but Pags looks like he waited for Power to leave thus blocking Newgarden in his pit. Dirty pool form Penske? I wouldn’t put it past them, but I don’t think Pags would do something like that intentionally.

Upon further review Pags was stopped on pit road. Not sure how I feel about that.

Replay shows Pags absolutely screwing Newgarden. Not cool at all guys.

17

Team tactics mentioned by PT. Yup.

HOLY CRAP A PASS ON TRACK FOR POSITION CAUGHT LIVE BY TV! TK around Bourdais into T1. Nice move.

Points as they run.

18

THE RUSSIAN is in. Has been working all year to get back into IndyCar and was the fastest qualifying SPM driver. Nice.

19

The pit weirdness is under review. I agree with the booth, who in the world would you penalize in that situation?

20

Wow. Saavedra around Marco into the chicane for the lead. Get it done, son. No more Saavedra jokes will be made during this race. No promises for the future though.

21

And he is leaving Marco in his dust. Dude, so well done.

Servia has not been in the gym since Indy. Needed a larger steering wheel, an easier box and setup changes to be able to turn the damn wheel in the carousel. What a hero.

23

Fantasy update: I think I’m doing OK and may survive another year.

25

What the hell is this rap thing by this English dude? Man, you are so weird IndyCar.

Points as they run

Rahal is being all Babe like. Mr Complain-y over the radio. I almost missed you.

26

Letterman interview. He has a starter Santa beard. Rightfully bragging on his team and driver. Sounds like he’s going to be back for 2016.

30

Helicopter shots remind us that Sonoma is a dust bowl this time of year.

The pit incident goes to post race review. I can dig that.

31

Ok. Lets reset the top 3. Power, Newgarden, Dixon. JPM still sits in the top 5 and Rahal is peeking with a P6.

32

RHR Saving fuel. I would like to see JPM take him on track, but I doubt he will do anything of the such. And understandably so considering his position in the championship.

34

YELLOW

Luca is circulating slowly. Terrible reason for a yellow, but I appreciate the opportunity to pack up the field.

Sweepers out. Good idea. Sigh. I’m OK with this I guess considering it’s the championship round. Still could almost be construed as race control mucking with the results.

Reports up and down pit lane: this is not what we wanted.

Dixon to the point. Power is in a must win situation. This should be good.

39

GREEN

Get these jokers in front of the contenders out of the way! Looks like fantastic racing back there!

YELLOW

Power around into the front wing of JPM. OH NO THIS CANNOT HAPPEN. The captain is going to be PISSED.

Yes, damage to the wing. Ouch. You cannot pit now. Must make it a full stint and change it under green flag conditions.

JPM in. UGH. What an awful day for Penske.

43

GREEN

Montoya P23 and the other contenders are pretty deep in the field.

Nice clean restart. Refreshing. Lets stay clean.

Ok, Now’s the time when a points as they run update would be helpful.

44

NICE BABE! 8 wheels equals more grip, right? Talk about muscling Kimball out of the way.

Saavedra made it easy on Dixon. Well done.

46

Quite a bit of action now. This is as good as I’ve seen racing at Sonoma.

Man, I don’t think JPM is going to pull this thing out. Dixon is looking good.

47

Munoz being Munoz. Amazing pass and taking it out as close to the wall as humanly possible.

48

Leaders are finally clearing out ahead of the contenders. Well, I guess with how this has been going today those leaders could very well be on the right strategy.

Points as they run. JPM by 4. I don’t think it’s going to be enough.

Dixon may be able to do this. Its all going to come down to who is on the right strategy though. A yellow at the right or wrong time will swing this thing.

50

Boom. Dixon running P2. Montoya P15.

For the record, I am always OK when Dixon wins. He may not be the best all around driver of our generation (Montoya) but he may very well be the best IndyCar driver of our generation.

Rahal saving fuel.

54

Kimball around Rahal. Considering this is Sonoma, I’m shocked at how much action we’ve had here today.

55

Knife fights everywhere! Where has this clean aggression been all year? Moves happening everywhere and almost no contact at all. This is what IndyCar racing is all about.

56

This is amazing. Shh watching racecars.

Note: We haven’t had a ‘through the field’ segment yet. The patented anotherindycarblog-is-this-race-a-good-race-o-meter says: Yes. Good race.

58

Kanaan is driving like we haven’t seen in a long time. I’d usually be the first one to call for his retirement, but if this is how he can really race I say stay on.

Looks like Rahals championship hopes are fading as quickly as his rear tires are. Too bad? No. this is not a team or driver that has not had its strength forged in the crucible of a championship battle. They’ll really be primed to take it on next year.

62

Ok, here is the CFH Racing pit flub. Newgarden stalls the car, the hose guy didn’t spray the fuel away quickly enough, fire, failed restart attempt. Man I’ve missed CFHR  screwing their drivers in the pits.

63

Dixon in and out easily and painlessly. 22 laps to go, he should be in prime position to wrap this party up.

65

YELLOW

This will basically seal the deal for Dixon. Big time impact in the chicane for Jakes. Initially it seems like some kind of car failure, which we have seen quite a bit of this year. Concerning.

70

GREEN

I’m loving the camera view out of the butt of the car. Very old school. More of this please.

Another clean start. The guys are being incredible today.

Aaaaaand as I say that Hawks spins Munoz onto a curb. Duh. Why would I ever think to compliment the drivers two times in a row. Dumb.

YELLOW

Pits to Dixon: Good on fuel. Uh oh.

Montoya sits in P8. Needs a P6 to even be in the picture. It’s going to be close. JPM may still be able to pull this out but Dixon is protected by Kimball and TK in P3 and P4 respectively.

GREEN

73

Rahal is down and out. No grip left.

All eyes on JPM. The guy cannot suck up to Bourdais. This may be where he ends it.

Bourdais could suffer from grip issues very soon. His car is showing the signs of initial tire loss.

74

Dammit, what the hell is going on. Gonzalez is sitting in P11. I think I have DCR Car blindness; my brain just erases their image from the screen. I mean, great result at an expert level road course. But then again, this has been an odd race with the yellows and Dale is a master at making it happen with nutty pit work. Well done. Acceptable Job. I just… can’t…

75

Bell notes JPM has to get to P5. Sitting P8. Not enough.

I’m honestly torn. I didn’t think Dixon had a realistic chance heading into this weekend. I have no idea why I would discount his odd considering just how damn good he is, but I am totally OK with Dixon taking the win and the championship.

If you read this blog in its heyday, you know I have always held Dixon in esteem. But I have always maintained I don’t care about the drivers; I just want to see good racing. And that is exactly what we are seeing today. The fact that it’s for a championship with 3 guys having a realistic chance to clinch is just icing on the cake.

This race fan has been satisfied today.

76

Rahal around in the hairpin. No yellow. Bourdias CRUSHED him with the chrome horn. Looks like he wasn’t ready for how far back Rahal had to brake because of his tire wear.

Bourdais is ahead of Montoya. Drive though? I would think so.

79

Booth is covering all the permutations. Sufficed to say it’s going to be close.

Race Control: Drive through penalty for car 11.

Shocking, but totally deserved. Bourdais misses the chicane but gives Montoya more than enough room to navigate safely. More proof of the total pro that Bourdais is. I don’t think he punted Rahal intentionally.

80

Montoya in clear air. Can he do it?

Points as they run. Tie. (!) If Dixon wins he will have the win count and tiebreak.

81

No finger nails left.

PT: Blood in the water.

82

About ½ a second a lap advantage for JPM. He will catch Briscoe on the final lap.

83

Dixon is doing the only thing he can do: Drive smooth and safe.

Montoya looks to be loosing the tires. This could be a done deal.

WHITE

DIXON DIXON DIXON

CHECKERS

WOW WOW WOW. What a finish to a ridiculously crazy year. JPM was DENIED hard. Donuts taste so good on a day like today. Montoya has no one to blame but his own damn teammate.

I have no words. So awesome.

Jabba the Chip looks ready to eat all the babies.

JPM: We threw it away.

Power never has anything nice to say about IndyCar at all. I’m pretty sick of him complaining. That’s all he has even done in his career. “its just circumstances… Verizon puts all this money in and its all decided by yellows… the series needs to think about how we can do something different here” Shut up Power.

Rahal giving Bourdais a drive by shaming. So petty dude. You had no tire left. Kudos to making it this far, but come on. He does have good words for the sponsors. “today was a bad day to have our worst day” actually pretty well put.

I think I’m OK with double points. Just throwing that out there.

Well, I have no idea what the future of these pages will hold, but this space is not closed. Maybe there will be some kind of odd off season content, maybe not but I 100% expect to be back with race notes in 2016.

What. A. Year.

Congratulations Scott Dixon.

Eric Hall

Posted in Unfiltered Race Notes | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Unfiltered Practice Notes: Super Championship Finale Mega Edition

Ok, so it’s been a while… so shoot me. When I shutter anotherindycarblog you’ll know it so always consider this space active unless the front page says otherwise.

What better way to kick things back into action than with PRACTICE notes. Thanks NBCSN for throwing IndyCar fans a solid. The off season will be stupid long and during times like these we could always use some extra TV time. #RIPBadAss

Here we gooooooo

Recorded in SD. What the hell am I doing. Oh well, grainy picture engaged.

Leigh giving us the story about JPM leading every step of the championship this year.

I will say it now. I AM FOR JPM. I will fan boy root here as I have all year long.

Shots of the Golden Gate Bridge drive over. Very cool and I bet it even looks cool from outside of our little world as well; we can use as many of these moments as we can get right now.

Justin Wilson career anthology montage. I will always remember him as a giant killer.

Milling about the paddock now. JPM looks so old with that salt and pepper action.

Clinch scenarios. Basically JPM is in a checkers or wreckers situation. It’s going to be wide open if he crashes out.

Rahal in uncharted territories. I would be OK if Babe could pull this thing off… That makes me feel diiiirty.

Racers race. Right on Kevin Lee. I knew I always liked you for a reason.

Waiting on green. I would normally complain about a long prerace and skip the rest, but I guess this is what were doing today.

Jan notes that Honda has also lost their strongest test and development driver in Justin Wilson. I’ve never even thought about that. Jan blows me away again.

Dixon v Power for the championship? Dixon every time. Power is a better driver when clawing to be at the top and way more fun for us to watch.

I want Helio to win one as well just so he can solidify his place in American open-wheel racing annuls… But really I want JPM.

GREEN GREEN GREEN

45:00

And immediately to commercial. Thanks Mr. Director.

I wonder if there will be any side by side commercial breaks. Am I justified to complain about it if there aren’t any? It doesn’t really matter… We all know I skip them all anyway.

This will also be the first of my complaints that we don’t run the full track here. #RunTheBoot? Sure… whatever.

Times from yesterday. 3 Hondas in the top 5. 3 Hondas in the top 10. 10 Hondas in the top 20. Some of them are definitely getting it, others are still very much out to lunch.

Aleshin is in at SPM and Servia is in the Wilson seat. Hell yes to both, but terrible circumstances for Servia to be here.

Saavedra in the grass. This is my surprise face. Still, that AFS car always looks hot. PT says hes done a good job all year. I guess so dude.

39:00

THE RUSSIAN

Pagenaud. Quite the lack luster year. I hope he can pull it together next year.

Bell re Pags: Man I need a result. No doubt.

Kick ass slow-mo of Briscoe going through the chicane. More of that please.

Cool shot out of the rear of the Newgarden ride. Good to see GoPro back on the sidepods.

RHR manhandling his machine. They really do look fast here.

New Firestones are faaaast. I like it. They’ve stepped it up this year.

31:21

Rahal really working the car. Well, everyone works the car here.

Ok, he’s crossed up in every corner. Don’t over drive it Babe. We know this chassis doesn’t like that stuff.

Onboard with TK. Busy busy track.

23:50

Saaverda looks stranded on the island that is the dragstrip. Probably the end of his session.

RED FLAG???

Dang too nice to him. Bell makes a good point that he followed directions on where to pull off so Race Control could be dong him a solid. I begrudgingly approve.

Ah, I haven’t had a chance to say it. I really really like the LED panels on the cars.

JPM career montage. Beast. If JPM wins this championship he will become the driver with the most time between 2 championships with 16 years. Just silly.

PT: what would the record books look like if he would have stayed in IndyCar? Now that’s one to ponder.

GREEN

16:45

Dixon has found something in the setup.

Lots of tire falling off chatter today. That could either be very good or very bad in terms of producing action tomorrow.

Rahal was having issues with left turns. Weird.

14:06

Power tells Miller he’s worried about tomorrow. 3 wins and 1 P2 in 5 years. The man is unstoppable here.

12:47

6 previous winners in the field. After the stat I just wrote that’s actually pretty impressive.

Have I said the cars look fast? The cars look fast.

I haven’t said that the cars look like spaceships. They do. These are some of the coolest looking racecars out there.

Onboard with Dixon. The guy is as smooth as you can possibly be.

6:31

Newgarden has led 345 laps. Hot damn he probably should have won another race or two this year.

Looks like some of the field is packing it in for the afternoon.

Power with an off. Everyone is pushing today. You can feel the tension in the paddock all the way from here.

Lots of Rahal onboard today. I can dig it. He always has busy hands.

1:45

Kanaan running Vautier off the track. I’m sure TK is pissed about something silly. But Vautier really hasn’t covered himself in glory recently.

So RHR has pulled himself out of the trenches this year and turned around the entire season. I still don’t have any faith in him.

There are only moments left, but the broadcast has run its course. Dear NBCSN, I would really like more of this in 2016. Ill be back for the race. No promises about qualifying. I’ve it on the DVR, but who knows if I’ll get around to finding time.

News Flash: NASCAR Preface is following the broadcast. REALLY WISH WE COULD HAVE SEEN THE LAST 90 SECONDS NBCSN!!

I missed you guys, this has been fun. We should do it again.

Eric Hall

Posted in Unfiltered Race Notes | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Unfiltered Race Notes: GP of Detroit Race 1 2015

–Pre Race–

ZOMG, ONE MINUTE LONG?!?!! That’s what I’m talking about. Sorry casual fans, I don’t need and couldn’t care less about pre race. Lets Do This!!

Wet Wet Wet. Cars are already circulating as we go live.

2 hour time limit engaged. BS. We have a 2.5 hour TV window and we cut the pre race completely out. I’m sure all road races have a 2 hour time limit regardless of weather conditions.

Kimball’s onboard is already color bars and test tone. Whoops. But it doesn’t matter, you cant see a thing on any of them anyway

Joy of joy’s, I caught a glimpse of TswiftK!

Montoya want rain. Shock.

–Race–

GREEN

Actually a very clean start. Well done boys.

SATO around HCN for P2. OK, I like how this day is going.

2

Sato is GONE… I give him 13 laps before he plugs it into the tires.

There is literally so much going on I’m not sure what to watch, but JPM and Bourdais are engaged in a spirited but super clean fight.

3

YELLOW

For Speedy Gonzalez… Obviously… Dammit Dale Coin…

Oh yea, Honda has updated front wings, I wonder if they will be even more awfuler than usual. Racer said this could help them meet minimum weight. Wtf are you doing Honda…

5

Bourdais and JPM will be reviewed after the race. Why? That was good and close racing.

6

GREEN

Carbon fiber showers in Detroit!!

YELLOW

Coletti into half the field.

Let the record show rookie phenom Coletti make a huge inside move on perennial ride buyer Buckshot Jakes who basically turned into Coletti, bounced off and shenanigans ensue.

Babe gets caught up in it along with TK. Boo. That’s 2 fantasy picks out the window in a single shot.

Rahal calls it taking stupid chances. I tend to agree this early in the race. But that’s also GP2 style racing right there. Too bad.

9

Still circulating under yellow. Looks like a slight dry line is starting to form and the rain looks like it has more or less stopped.

Chip Ganassi interview. He always looks hungry for more itty bitty babies.

Marco in for reds. Ballsy. Followed by nearly a 5 car pile up at pit exit. Typical.

Ok. I’m ready for some racing.

Bestwick: Chaos. Well said.

12

GREEN

Dude, SATO is crushing it today. Already out to a huge lead after 2 corners.

Cars all look very nervous. Doubly so for Andretti.

Skies look very ominous.

13

Action up and down the field. If you guys pay for my tickets I will go to the rest of the races and man the firehoses. Wet racing is excellent.

14

I usually really give a hard time to Firestone for their crappy rain tires, but they seem to be doing really well today.

YELLOW

Kimball Into the wall on reds. Like directly into the wall. He couldn’t save it where Andretti did. Again I ask: are we done with the Kimball experiment yet?

Onboard shows he attempted to actually knock the wall down.

15

Eveyone in. Shockingly, some guys opting for blacks. I have no idea what the thinking behind that is.

Ok, now can we please have some racing?

TswiftK rolling back into pit lane.

19

GREEN

Coletti is ruthless and I like it.

Marco slowly pulling away from the early stoppers. Sato has nicely gapped the ate stoppers.

20

Well, This definitely has not been a boring race.

SATO into Newgarden. Newgarden into the tires but limps it back to the pits. That’s going to cost you…

Kimball honestly says dries was the right call but he just couldn’t hold onto it. At least he knows.

21

YELLOW

For debris from SATO. He’s got to get a drive through now.

22 laps in of 70. I bet we are about 45 minutes in. not bad, we may finish this thing yet.

23

SATO in for a wing change. Back of the pack. I still want his ass to get a drive through once it goes green.

24

GREEN

The track looks basically dry(ish). Good enough?

I have no idea how this is going to play out. Rain in 25 minutes.

25

Vautier into the tires. He’s able to pop it into reverse and save me a little bit of anger.

For the record I was literally writing “we actually look clean right now” when the camera cut to him stuffed into the barrier. LESSON LEARNED.

Replay shows Vautier did not even touch the barrier, just kind of ran out of room and had to panic stop.

26

YELLOW

Debris. This is effing ridiculous. Caution number 6.

Booth says 15 minutes away from rain.

Gonzalez clobbered the wall and random metal ended up in the track. That’s 2 times dude, double not cool.

29

GREEN

Daly quietly up to P5.

Sshhh the racecars are finally doing racecar things.

30

Karam just giving the business to SATO. Drivers don’t forget.

Chaves with the second flat rear of the day. What a weird day.

31

Booth reports SATO and Karam had a bit of a shoving match after Indy. I had no idea.

YELLOW

&%$#@$#&@%$

Mike Hull says the rain is 15 minutes away. They said that 10 minutes ago. Now Dr. Punch says 8 minutes. Are they sure it isn’t already raining?

Dixon and HCN in for wets. Ballsy… I think.

34

Nearly half way and I think we’re about an hour in so we may still finish this yet.

GREEN

RHR into the rear of Daly right before the green and Daly is able to dive into the pits. Pro Status right there CD. The racing gods thank you.

Hawks in the lead… because Andretti’s car hiccupped? Can we please have a replay??

Lots of guys in for preemptive wets.

35

Karam in for blocking. I’m sure he’s cool with that.

Andretti replay. Sounded like pit speed limiter? Odd.

Power in the lead because why not?

Top 5 on dry.

37

Marco rolls the dice and stays out for another lap. I LIKE THIS CALL!!

Dr. Punch mentions the botched Power stop, it looked like the tire changer bounced the thing off the ground and it got hung up on the rotor.

Cheever: “it is 100% Marco’s call” Really? The guy holding the wheel? Well I’ll be.

39

Marco and apparently Munoz out for another lap while we can see the rain in the air from the helicopter.

40

Marco Munoz Pags out for another lap. One of these guys… ahem Pagenaud… is going to win this race.

41

Pags on the chase for Marco. Will this be the race? Munoz still out.

I’m interested to see if it really rains. It feels like it will be a standard Midwestern spring sprinkle spit simultaneously making both wets and drys the wrong call.

43

Ok. Munoz in and out of the pits in over 20 seconds ahead??? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON??

We can audibly hear his tires screaming in the corners. I don’t know if I have ever heard that before. Very very cool.

44

Booth claims it is actively raining on half the track… And I confirm, it looks very wet on the front side of the track.

46

Dude. Munoz is walking away from the field. Umm… I don’t know if any of this makes any sense at all, who would have guessed at this point?

47

YELLOW

Back from break and it is wet. Like WET wet. Who’s going to earn their money today?

For lightning. I can dig it. I’m sure there are certain parties on social media that will complain about this call.

I can see the reflections of the trees on the track

RED

Hmm. Ok?

All things considered, Belle Isle drains damn well. Puddles shouldn’t be a problem once we can go green.

Ugh. Lots of booth talk…

Its effing pouring and the TV window is closing.

Points as they run quietly-sit-on-pitlane now

OK OK OK That’s all folks. Bestwick reports a complete race as we are past half way.

Congrats Carlos Munoz I think?

LOLZ ABC had to get a “Carfax up to speed” through the field piece. We went through Munoz. That makes today a good race according to the patented anotherindycarblog when-they-play-through-the-field-determines-a-good-race-or-not.

Booth reports more of the same tomorrow just 20 degrees warmer… sweet?

Munoz interview. Did he curse at me? I can’t ever tell.

And ABC closes the TV window with the final 9 laps of the 500. Hell yes Mr. Director. This is a fantastic idea.

With that we close Detroit one. I ask again, what the hell happened today? I hope tomorrow is a bit cleaner but still as unpredictable.

Eric Hall

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