Unfiltered Race Notes… 2 Amazing Days in Barber Edition

HERE WE ARE AGAIN!! At the golf course of indycar if car’s were dimpled golfballs and racetracks were old men with shiny sticks! GORGEOUS FACILITY! I hope I get to hear that uttered in a suave Australian accent today. I’m excited and I hope you are too!!

Wet. Very Very Wet. 

Timed race and all, I wonder why we’re rushing the prerace? seems a tad silly but I guess that’s why I’m behind a keyboard. 

That was the most dreamiest and bestest command ever. Seriously though he had some pizzaz. I love it. 

Paul Tracy looks awful. 

Sweet baby jesus I hope no one drives like a fool. 

Ha. 

There is zero visibility. The air is already completely saturated during the warmup laps. I fear Dallara will be the only real winner today. 

Nose cam should be good. 

Are we going to ride onboard with the poo car all year?

Nose cam on Rossi is unrecognizable. 

I wonder if it’s actively raining. 

—GREEN—

Alright alright alright. We’re through the first few corners safely. 

Driving with a ton of respect. 

Marco is driving like an ANIMAL!! LET’S DO THIS MARCO!!

I really want to be an Andretti fan but… you know. 

3

DAMMIT MARCO!! Spinning like an idiot. This is why I’m not a fan. 

4

These guys are earning their money today. Conditions looks so treacherous. This is a totally different field than we had 5 or so years ago. 

5

Newgarden doing the clinic thing. 

Ryan Butterball-Reay siting. Turketarian. Gross. #BoarsheadForLife

Looks like Power has reeled Newgarden in by about 3 seconds. Newgarden hasn’t done a ton of wet driving in indycar. I wonder if he has just rooted his tires. Power definitely has experience with the wonky firestone wet. 

9

Chaves in with possible helmet issues. And comes out to give Bourdais issues on track. Today is not the day. Move over rook. 

Got to hand it to Veach. He’s doing a good job today. 

11

Kimball around. Obviously. And then he stalls heading to the pits. What the hell man. Kimball is the WORST. 

—YELLOW—

Also, tight shots are showing it is very much still raining. 

Listen Mr Bell, even if Jones did give Kimball the chrome horn, it’s obviously still Kimballs fault. Haven’t you been paying attention to his career?

13

Ok. I’ve been really really bad with recording the actual laps in this stream if mental diarrhea. Oh well. 

Agreed. Jones has been doing great!

Cool. Brand new rain tire in Detroit. We’ve needed a new rain tire since the old new rain tire debuted a few years ago. The old old rain tire was a well performing, super soft bespoke compound and construction just for indycar. We somehow went to a street inspired tread pattern and construction. How in the hell is that supposed to make sense for an indycar?! I hope the new rain tire gets some teeth given back to it. 

16

The announcers never talked about Power reeling in Newgarden. I wonder if his tires really were going off because the pits report that tires look good. I hope they keep a closer eye on the gap during the next stint. 

—GREEN—

17

HUGE LURCH FROM NEWGARADEN!!

OH NO POWER INTO THE WALL!!! MY FANTASY TEAM IS IN THE TOILET!!!

—YELLOW—

Sigh. What an afternoon. 

Wow it is really raining. Power didn’t have a chance. Is there too much water on the track?

Kimball complaining that he got hit. Claiming it was a rookie mistake. My opinion mr Kimball? It’s a rookie mistake to fall into the clutched of Jones. You should have driven faster/better/more skilled. Instead you got punted. 

Lap 45 will get us to half way. 

—RED—

Obviously. 

19

Rahal saying this is really dangerous. I agree. 

Funny. I just watched the infamous New Hampshire restart today. Power has poor luck man. Also Power sounds different now days…

Ok Ok. Rahal compliments the firestone rain tires. Fair enough. I’ll be excited to hear about the new tires too once we get a chance to try them out. 

Really honest comments from Newgarden. Wanting to get the race on for the fans but understanding the technical limits of the package. He just sounds really honest in his tone. It’s super refreshing. Mentions the growing rivers across the track. Worrying if the rain doesn’t slow down. 

I want to know what happened at the RLLR christmas party…

Track is looking good. 

lol no confirmation from pops about what happened to babe. 

—YELLOW—

20

TK stalled on the track. Oops. He just couldn’t get it in gear. Running now. He had me scared. I just want to get this race started. 

The track looks like it’s in pretty good shape. 

I know it eats time out of the 2 hour window but I have no issues watching the cars circulate behind the safety car in the rain. There is nothing better at clearing water form the track than racecars. 

Sounds like race control is polling the drivers. Excellent idea. Race control is in an entirely different place than it was 5 or so years ago. 2nd time I’ve said that today. That probably says something about Indycar as a whole. 

PT: Time to give it a try. I agree. one shot. Wow super windy!

23

—RED—

Lame af man. 

Chilton is shivering. Too cold. That makes me sad! Poor guy. 

Drivers out of the car. 

Everyone is saying it’s too much. 

I’m fast forwarding through the delay. 

Turketarian. ew. 

Delayed until tomorrow. Good Call. 

—TOMORROW—

Ok. Here we go for 75 minutes of fun! Sounds like Mr. Tatum is not in the house. That’s ok. I don’t blame him. 

It looks like a beautiful day today, but we have quite a green racetrack. It should be a super exciting afternoon!

The Rahal helmet cam looks like it still has water inside of it 

Chilton looks to be broken down. Too bad. I hope he can get retired and reenter the race. Carlin needs as much track time as possible. 

Sorry, but talking to Rahal in the car is ridiculous. 

Cool, Penske is fixing Power’s car. Most excellent. 

Cars refueled and push to pass reloaded. I approve. 

Ok. Since They’re not going to be showing a lap counter so we will countdown the minutes from about 77. 

—GREEN—

77 minutes to go

Clean start. Good deal, I want to see some hard clean rain today. 

Clamen DeMelo completes a smooth pass. and some slight shenanigans ensue. The guys look confident. More good news for a racy afternoon. 

73

WOW Pigot into DeMelo and really pushes him into the grass. What a crazy crazy sight. 

Power coming back out. 

Replay tells me Pigot was not far enough on the inside. 

Ok Ok Ok. We’ve seen about 7 passes from DeMelo and I think Bell told us he is 2 laps down? WTF man? It’s not that the passes aren’t good it’s that he seems like a literal accident waiting to happen. The dude makes me nervous. But he seems good. And he is in proven equipment. We’ll see I guess. 

60

Power is definitely coming back out. 

So my wonderful YouTubeTV didn’t record the actual race so I’m watching a YouTube upload. It is definitely the raw international feed so I get no commercials. Instead they’re showing me the uninterrupted feed from the track. Cool. 

Onboard with Power. the car looks ok. Not pulling to one side. He doesn’t look to be fighting the wheel either and is “only” 16 laps down. Chilton Looks to be back out as well and DeMelo is definitely 2 laps down. 

56

Watching Ed Jones circulate. The wheel ramp/sidepod interface looks awesome. 

No action taken on Pigot. How?

Straight back to commercial… BUT I HAVE THE FEED!! 

Wickens on the inside of Chaves in T5. You’re welcome. 

Just the sound of the cars circulating is wonderful. The random youtube feed can often have gems hidden within. This is a real treat considering what I was forced into. 

51

Newgarden is 8 seconds ahead. What is the rest of the field doing? 

The Binder car is still uninspiring. I have no idea why. It is an objectively good looking car. 

47

Dixon chasing down Veach. Dixon isn’t having a Dixon kind of season as of yet. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen an angry driving Dixon. Could this be the year?

The rear view bumper cam in pretty awesome as well. 

44

Rahal on Chaves during your commercial break. You’re welcome. 

Lots of action into the pits. 

Sato on Veach. Tons of action! I think Veach is falling through the field it may be time for him to pit as well. 

42

Alabammer

Veach losing more spots. What an afternoon for Mr. Poo. 

40

Leader in. Bell tells me that there is too much time to make it on fuel. Excellent. 

Even though Newgarden is stinking the from of the race up, it’s been a damn good afternoon. 

Many drivers are complaining of oversteer. 

Checking… Yes. I picked Veach this week. Fantasy league is not doing well at all. 

Watching Hinch chase RHR and I’m not sure what’s happening with the pit rotations. Is this for keeps?! Who cares. I love watching these guys. 

37

Power is leading Veach who is leading a frustrated looking train headed by Jones. This is where things could get messy. 

YES! RHR and Hinch have pitted together. I hope they continue to fight with knives/guns/whatever the kids are saying now days for position. 

Mercifully Veach comes in for tires. 

I don’t think I’ve had a moment to breath yet. 

35

Rossi around Jones. It seems like that train is working itself out and Power just drove away from it! 

Kevin Lee just referenced lap 56 or 57. Interesting. I really REALLY need to know the actual lap count. 

31

Dixon kicking it old school with no pit speed limiter. 

Commercial time suckers!!

Really they just show us a bunch of onboards, but thats totally cool. 

We’re watching Rossi really giving Hinch the business. hinch has had a hell of a busy day. 

Dixon losing electronics. That’s a nervous realization. 

26

Rain? Again? Yes please. 

More commercials. 

Now that I am aware and uninterrupted the presence of commercials is even more grating. And makes me appreciate the F1 coverage this year even more. Commercial free broadcasts are very nice. 

The director is just looking for battles on track. And without the commentators he is free to choose anything he wants. 

Dixon around Pagenaud on the outside. Damn. 

22

Newgarden with a 27 second lead. Crushing. When you’re on you’re on. 

Chilton looks to have lost another 10 laps as well. It’ll be interesting to hear about his day. 

21

Drops on the camera. 

Water on the track. Decisions Decisions. 

18

Commercials. 

Onboard with Newgarden and he looks really stable. 

Seems like there’s a lot of radio chatter about tires and rain. I’m sure it’s tense up and down pit lane. 

14

WOW Newgarden in for rains. Race winning call?

There is so much rain on the camera lenses, but the tires still look warm and grippy. At least for now. 

Newgarden is getting passed left and right. He may not have the race winning tactic. 

Bourdais may have been gifted this race. 

I’m really starting to get the butterflies for Bourdais!! 

If I were Bourdais I would not come in. The race is in his hands. Checkers or wreckers territory for sure. The only thing Bourdais needs to worry about is consolidating his Champcar legacy and this is the way to do it. This could be a HEROIC day for him. 

8

Bourdais: One more lap like this and I’m off. 

7

Bourdais in. ugh fine. Whatever. Congrats to Cindric and Newgarden on another stupid race winning decision. 

6

Pigot around. What a bad day he’s had. 

4

Newgarden with a 20 second lead. Damn son this is a career defining day. Wet or dry this guy was able to pull out the largest honest lead I have ever seen in indycar. 

Wickens chasing down Hinch. Most excellent, I want to see some Canadian on Canadian aggression. 

2 

What a probable anticlimactic end to a surprisingly enthralling sprint race. 

I don’t think they ever mentioned beautiful facility. It has probably been retired as a past relic. 

—CHECKERS—

Newgarden. 

Good finish for Bourdais and Dixon. What a wild afternoon. Well, it was really quite the weekend. I can’t believe we never went yellow today. Definitely a testament to the skill of the drivers. 

Cool. Onboard with Newgarden into victory lane to end the feed. 

Thank you for watching and I hope you enjoyed our afternoon together! Onto my pair of home races in Indianapolis! Hopefully we have a warmer and drier race than we experienced this weekend. 

Is it May yet?

Almost. 

Eric Hall

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Unfiltered Race Notes… Butterball On My Mind Edition

Welcome to Long Beach! A few days late but never ever too short, it’s everyones favorite blogger hack indycar article!! I’ll tell you what, I’ve really enjoyed the 2018 season so far. The cars are racing great and the competition has been hot. I have literally 0 complaints thus far save for maybe not enough anger, but then again it’s still quite early in the season.

Anyway, Let’s get this thing going. Starting the DVR on a Dan Gurney retrospective. I need to go back and check that whole thing out.

Not surprising, but Newgarden is always so well spoken.

Historic Long Beach footage in the intro. Very well done.

Hi to my family at home. Excellent command!!

Here we goooooo

Cars are almost touching 180 MPH heading into T1. Giving the engines a few more horses to let them to crack 190 would be perfect. I’m excited to see the speeds on the Indy road course.

First Ryan Butterball-Reay commercial. Turketarians.

James Hinchcliffe Honda commercial. Ok. That one isn’t too bad.

The headshots are sometimes quite ridiculous. It may be previous prejudice but Rahal’s looks particularly ridiculous.

Veech in the poo car again.

It always makes me laugh when people would make fun of indycar for ‘racing in parking lots’ when the last few corners of the most storied street course in North America runs through parking lots. har.

—GREEN—

Terrible start. But it always is at Long Beach.

Pagenaud into the wall. It’s been a pretty clean year for starts. I won’t hold this against the guys.

—YELLOW—

Pagenaud looks very broken. Short day for him and the replay looks like Rahal just dumped him. too bad.

PT postulates that we will see cars hitting the mid 180s in the tow with push-to-pass. Nice.

RHR looks to have a broken front wing.

Also I have no idea what lap it is.

And he’s in for a new nose.

5

—GREEN—

Clean restart. Let’s get this race going.

The Truth is leading. I expect him to layethe the smack today.

Drive through penalty for Rahal. Definitely a punishment that does not fit the crime.

7

Wickens with a nice move on Kanaan. I’m so excited to see Wickens. He has a huge year ahead of him. There are absolutely no expectations on him and he is just crushing everyone.

9

Marco is the biggest mover of the race. Impressive. I want him to succeed so so bad but he is the definition of someone being their own worst enemy.

10

Good on Graham for not complaining about the penalty. Just very matter of fact about the systemic lack of rear grip.

Insert Sato crashing because of rear grip joke.

11

Back to Rossi KILLING THE FIELD

14

First of the 3 stoppers. I always respect the 3 stop strategy. No fuel savings, just solid strong and fast driving. The way racing should be.

15

RHR completes the pass. This aerokit seems to be doing its job. We’ve already seen a fair amount of action today.

17

Of course as I say that we see Rossi having trouble getting around a lapped car. I’m not making any judgments yet. Except that the cars look cooool.

18

Yes. I am impressed. Sato was able to complete a clean pass. Something is working today.

20

I’ll give it to Carlin. They’re doing a hell of a job with the modest at best talent they have wheeling the cars for them. Give them a few years and a new driver and they’ll be right up front.

24

Helicopter shots always remind me to remind you to donate to my buy-a-yacht-to-sail-to-races fund. Please and thank you. Share information will be provided later.

25

Of course the race I finally choose Wickens for fantasy he is having engine issues. Thanks. Wow that sounds quite bad on the replay. It may be a long day for young Wickens.

AAAHHHH

As I write this he comes back into the pits. His day is over. Body work coming off. Not a great sign.

28

Nose cam is amazing. Thank you Bourdais and Honda.

29

The pit rotation happening right now is very intriguing.

31

Savage move by Dixon to get ahead of Power in the pits.

32

Resetting the race sees Rossi in front. Again. The race is clearly for 2nd. As always I’ll pull for Bourdais thank you very much.

36

Through the field. Hmm. I thought they discontinued this. I’m honestly surprised it’s making a comeback today as this has been a very interesting race! I won’t rate this as a bad race solely because of the appearance of through the field. I wonder if the network is compelled to do it because of sponsors and whatnot.

37

The black Fuzzies car looks hot.

43

—YELLOW—

Kaiser stopped in the T1 runoff. Ok ok, the car is growing on me. I’m enjoying the clean and bold colors of the livery.

Not that the race was bad, it wasn’t at all, but the yellow at Long Beach is always nice.

47

—GREEN—

Rossi is gone.

3 lapped cars ahead of P2 Dixon. Frustrating but I understand why they have the right to be there.

48

BOURDAIS WITH THE MOVE OF THE RACE!!

Who says you can’t pass at long beach?!

Let’s see if he can hunt down Rossi.

50

No. It looks like Bourdais has actually lost time to Rossi. It almost seems like Rossi can control the gap at will today.

Sato with the worst luck in the paddock having more issues in the pits.

51

NBCSN is really on the ball with showing the passes. Say what you will about commentary but they do a hell of a good job showing what happens during the race.

53

Action all day long. Echoing what I said earlier I could be tempted to say this has been a better race than St. Pete, but we know ABC does not do a good job and St. Pete was a much better race than we saw.

54

Bourdais must give the position back. Lame.

55

And he gets the position right back. Bourdais is the man. Booth notes that Bourdais has lost time. I see it at about 2 seconds. Heartbreaking. We need another yellow. It’s not that I think that anyone can outrace Rossi, it’s that a win at Long Beach must be a stressful undertaking and he has had a quiet race today.

58

Bourdais car looks like an angry bumble bee.

Watching Bourdais and Dixon battle is always a treat. It’s easy to forget these two guys are numbers 4 and 6 on the all time wins list. much respect.

59

King gets a well deserved shout out for an excellent day. Pigot hasn’t been great.

60

—YELLOW—

Clamen Demelo into the wall.

Bourdais, Dixon and a few others get caught out and still take a pit stop at probable penalty. what a race changer.

I’m noticing the ticker gives a lap count as well as a laps left count. I’ll take full credit for continual complaining about being forced to do math. Thank you. And you’re welcome.

63

Mike Hull is a smooth cat. We’ll see if he is vindicated.

65

King had to come in for a brake bleed. That is weird as hell man. I wonder what the whole story behind that is.

Kimball +15 on the day. Yea, That’ll shut me up.

66

—GREEN—

Drive through for Dixon. All is right in the world. Bad call from Mr. Hull.

Seems as though he is going to take as much time as he can until he takes his penalty.

67

Dixon take the drive through.

Picked Jones this week. Cha Ching. I’m shocked at how hard of a time Chilton had in Ganassi equipment.

70

Rahal inside of Andretti. Andretti isn’t having an awful day at all.

71

—YELLOW—

Bourdais around in the hairpin complete with ensuing pileup. Looks like King was the aggressor. Yikes man, weren’t we just throwing platitude on you? still a rookie…

I think I just heard Bell call Power ‘slick willy p-ball’ I’m not sure what to think of that.

I’m liking these late race shootouts. Power doesn’t have anything to lose, I’d love to see him go for it. Also, if P2 took out P1 we may see some of that good ol indycar passion from the drivers.

How is Zach Veach in P4?

75

—GREEN—

Rossi is untouchable.

Veach is like 47 pounds how has he been able to wrestle the car for as long as he has?!

77

RHR has quite a broken car. replay?

I see the debris flag.

78

Power is very very close. This needs to happen! I definitely used to root against Power, but his fall from grace has been humbling. Watching him rebuild has been exciting. It’s time for another win.

81

I don’t think Power can do this.

All the SPM cars look super hot. especially the Harvey car.

82

Theres so much action that the director can’t decide which camera to focus on.

83

Rossi has been clinical. There wasn’t a single person that could touch him today. He is definitely F1s loss.

85

—CHECKERS—

ROSSI!! THE TRUTH!!

Good to see that Andretti Autosport still has it. Ugh, say what you will but Rossi has the personality of a wet noodle.

Leave it to Power to always find a way to complain about something. Today it was push to pass. And for the record he is wrong. The current system is the only true and fair way to dole out p2p.

Babe is looking older this year. Maybe that will translate into better and better results. P3 in the point.

alright alright. This has been fun. Happy Sunday. Lets do this again in Barber!

Eric Hall

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Unfiltered Race Notes… 8 Laps of Insanity Edition

After a month we’re finally back!

I watched some of the prerace. Some of it is ok but some of it is really rough. I can tell they’re trying at least. Hopefully they can iron out the kinks before 2019.

Also, I think I saw a Ryan Hunter-Reay butterball commercial. Holy cow, now thats some throwback.

The Bourdais crash is still shocking to watch.

I’m nervous…

The command was lame.

Sigh. I know it’s like 95 degrees out there but it looks like the grandstands are pretty empty.

I need to get this out of the way early: The Zach Veach car looks like a piece of poo.

—GREEN—

Everyone clean through the first lap. RHR ON THE MOVE!

3

Difficult conditions. The sun is right in the drives eyes and there is a ton of movement.

Marco up four.

5

Going to go ahead and plant my rear right on the front of the Bourdais train. I would love to see him prove the doubters wrong and take it to the big boys. He didn’t win 4 on accident.

10

Top 3 are all very close. I swear I say it every race but Rossi is the truth. It’s only a matter of time until he wins a championship himself.

13

No telemetry for Bourdais. Sounds like it will be a fun night for him.

14

Already caught the last car on the lead lap.

25

Alright, moment of truth. Will Bourdais be able to get around Kimball? Think odds are on a high speed parade tonight.

29

I rarely watch the races truly live so I’m getting the opportunity to use the app. Super cool!

32

Rossi really giving Pagenaud the business.

35

We’re really lock steppy right now…

36

Already a second commercial break. This is not ideal.

38

Bourdais got around Kimball. Did that take too long?

41

Kimball looks to be dutifully moving over for the rest of the field now that he’s been properly lapped.

—YELLOW—

Pietro into the wall. Ouch. Welcome to short track racing. At least the tub isn’t totaled; we live again to race another day!

OH NO HE HIT HIS PIT GUY!!! BOURDAIS WHAT THE HELL MAN?!

AND ROSSI?!? WHAT IS THIS? ROOKIE HOUR?!

By chance I was listening to the Bourdais radio. He is very distressed.

I haven’t seen a lap cont in ages. I feel so lost. The sweepers are out so it’s a long yellow.

50

—GREEN—

Dog fight in the middle of the pack.

Drive through for Bourdais and Rossi. Damn.

57

Good onboards. Unfortunately this has devolved into more of the same. I worry that we will need a ton of yellow to make this a good race.

63

Roger Penske always looks like a robot when they show him on TV.

I wonder how the tire dragging exercise went off? From the look of it, not well. Did they even do it? I haven’t seen anyone take an honest look to the high side yet.

71

Power makes it around his lapper.

Enough with these stupid commercials. I want to hear those cars. I’ve had enough of RHR selling me butterball.

I wonder what will become of the indycar app once Verizon leaves.

78

The radio’s are mostly quiet right now. Drivers are being fed gaps and there’s not even really any spotter chatter.

84

I don’t know what it is but the Juncos car looks like it has an Indy Lights paint job on it. although sharp and colorful, it looks plain at the same time. I remember making a comment last time about how lame the harding racing paint job looks as well. I wonder if theres something to be said about the way established teams design paint jobs.

89

First time we’ve really seen the short oval kit. The cars look sharp! I really like the rear wheel ramps. An easy aerodynamic get would be to shield the front wheels even more in the coming years. It would be a missed opportunity for Dallara not to iterate on the current standard kit. I know the teams would HATE to but new parts each year but the continual change and chase of speed would be cool.

96

I need some excitement… Changing the radio to Marco. Hopefully he has come complaining to do.

20 laps until his next stop.

complaints of loose. YES I’M GETTING EMOTIONAL MARCO YELLING ON THE RADIO!!

103

Hey booth, can you tell me what the drop off is?

Marco: “Miserable”

105

We aren’t going through the field, per say, but we are definitely touring different steering wheels. Interesting way to kill some time!

109

Onboard the poo mobile!! However, he has made up the most positions. Well done.

114

RHR first to blink. This will be interesting to see how these green flag stops play out.

120

Pigot may have the best looking car on the grid.

121

Leist loses a wheel in pit lane. Goes before the left rear is secure. Definition of a rookie mistake.

125

Power comes in and Rahal is still out. What a huge spread of pit windows!

131

It would be very cool to see SPM make an honest run at the championship this year.

Talking about the 178 million dollar impending renovation to Phoenix. Seems unnecessary in this day and age. I can’t imagine that NASCAR will really continue to pay off like it has for the last decade. And we can clearly see that indycar isn’t filling seats.

148

Marco is basically silent on the radio. I’m shocked we haven’t gone through the field yet.

149

Wickens into P1. Damn son. Well done! Hitch washed out behind lapped traffic. What a savvy move.

154

Power slow on the track and into pit lane. He hit the wall. Too bad. Power has not been around these last few years.

157

Wickens having no issues cutting through traffic. Amazing.

164

HINCH DROPPING F BOMBS ALL OVER THE PLACE. I would be too he got balked bad by the lapped guy he was trying to get around. Thats the kind of excitement I like!!

It may have been Rossi working his way through the field. Is he the only one to be able to make up positions?

172

Onboard the poo car. Seriously though, who signs off on these liveries? I rescind what I said before about established teams knowing how to paint a car.

174

PT mentions Rossi has untapped himself.

177

Someone brushed the wall and Bourdais about walled it due to the chain reaction! these guys look like they have absolutely no grip at all.

I can’t believe how good Wickens is at this short track racing thing.

This shoot out between Hinch and Wickens that is developing is really cool.

183

Can RHR hold onto it during the pit exchange??

185

No

187

Interesting hesitation from Pagenaud before leaving the pits.

Onboard during the Rahal stop shows how dang bright the side panel LED displays are. Really really cool!

Hinch Radio: We DO NOT have to stop again.

195

The top 5 looks really interesting. Rossi has a rocket ship. I rescind my boring race comments. I know I know. Sometimes it takes a while for an indycar race to really show its cards.

200

This race is flying by.

Bourdais hanging onto the lead with misplaced hope. But fighting the good fight in any case.

204

Rossi around Carpenter. Ridiculous skill in that kid. How did he not make it in F1? Idiots.

208

Rossi is worth the price of admission. 52nd on track pass tonight. Animal.

220

I’ve been listening to that Hinch and Rossi podcast. I wish they talked about racing on it because i would love to hear what why had to say about tonight run in!

222

Will the tires last? The million dollar question.

228

These commercials are ridiculous. I feel like were going every 5 minutes now.

—YELLOW—

Ed Jones into the wall.

Who’s going to come for tires?

Saturday night shootout at its finest.

ROSSI STAYS OUT!! Wickens and Hinch as well. CRAZY!!

Rossi Radio: My left foot was going numb earlier this evening and now my right boot is melted to the throttle.

Track temp is 95 degrees.

234

Sweepers are out. Good call. I don’t care how long this takes this will give us our best chance at a good finish. I have to say that this may be the best race at phenix yet.

237

I think that Hinch may have this one. New tires may be able to get around Rossi and Wickens, But I just don’t think there will be enough time to get around all 3 guys.

However, If Rossi and Wickens race each other hard there may be no room for Newgarden to even slip through.

242

—GREEN—

Newgarden around Rossi and Wickens immediately.

246

Newgarden around Hinch. What a decisive move! Thats how you win a race!

Hinch is falling through the field.

250

—CHECKERS—

Newgarden wins. Another short track win for the champion. Wickens drove Newgarden hard but fair. That was SO SO good. Patience was a virtue for sure. That race took forever to get going but what an ending! I wonder if through the field has been discontinued because this would have been a race to do it in.

This has been a great start to the season albeit a bit slow because of the month off between the two races. This would be an excellent gap to put Mexico city in!

Watching the replay of the Newgarden and Wickens pass. What a show of skill and respect. We need to see more driving like this. Wickens is already a journeyman driver. I hope he can stick around for a few years. It really feels like a changing of the guard is upon us as there is a ton of young talent ready to win their own championship with Newgarden leading the way.

Rossi being interviewed. What a boring dude.

Ok. Enough of that. After a slow start I really enjoyed what the race ha to give us in the final 1/4. Well done and onto Long Beach!!

Eric Hall

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

Unfiltered Race Notes: St. Pete is Amazing Edition

Race Notes: 2018 st pete edition.

Hey HEY hey! Here we are again. It’s been almost over a year since we last spoke…Sorry. We find ourselves kicking off the 2018 season on ABC. Yay? Well. We will see. 2017 started off well at anotherindycarblogworldheadquarters but that quickly fell apart, but let’s see if we can make 2018 more successful. As always, no promises of anything.

—Pre-Race—

Oh yes Jan I missed you oh so much. I could listen to that man muse about race cars all day. Bestwick! Cheever and Goodyear. Oh boy. I can’t believe it’s already been almost over a year. I don’t miss you two at all.

Damn that car looks good. I hope it races just as good.

HELIO!! YES!! THATS HOW YOU DO THE COMMAND!!

Lol the bastard two-seater that is a cross between the DW12 kit and the Honda kit. Ridiculous.

OMG THE NOSECONE VIEW!! THANK YOU TV GODS!!

—GREEN—

1

Will Power around. I can’t believe he didn’t get run over. Good on all the drivers for taking care of each other.

TK around and pulling an Austin Powers. That was awkward.

Damn you Bestwick for stealing my lines.

3

Woah Power smoked the wall.

Kimball stalled. What a damn rookie. New team, new year same ‘ol Charlie.

—Yellow—

4

Hmm. Veach inside of TK for the early spin. Probably should have let TK have that one, it’s just too early in the race/season/career for Veach to be doing that.

I’ll tell ya, those cars look sweeeeet. That open roll hoop is slick and those exposed rear tires look super tough. Sooooooo, does this mean ChampCar really won? I’m confused what opinion I’m supposed to have this year.

6

—GREEN—

Clean restart. Well done. I remember plenty of years writing about how embarrassed I was to be a fan because of the downright atrocious driving at St. Pete.

7

—YELLOW—

SATO KAMIKAZE!!

You know, I could repeat what I said about Kimball. But eff that. 500 winner and he’s SATO! Keep at it, my man. That move will stick one of these days.

Jordan King P1 Cool.

The LED panels look new for 2018.

11

—GREEN—

Dixon around 2. Iceman Cometh

Helio in the booth. That’s a voice I can get behind.

12

Rossi is good. So. So. Good.

I declare Robert Wickens to be the 2018 sleeper. Watch out. But given his resume I don’t think that is really news to anyone.

13

I’m not too sure I like the Harding Racing paint scheme. It looks… soft.

We need to settle into this race. I hope we can click some laps off.

15

Sorry. I was enthralled by Helio. I already miss that guy.

Rossi and Wickens have quite the gap. It would be amazing to see the season come down to these two guys. We are primed for new blood at the top this season.

19

Marco looks to be the first taker? It’s kind of early but he kind of sucks so he may be out of tire. 2018 looks to be more of the same for many drivers in spite of new scenery.

21

Ok. Newgarden in. Sorry Marco. I kind of take it back and will wait until your suckage is confirmed before I rake you over the coals again.

23

And now we see Marco make an honest to goodness on track pass. Ugh. Double sorry Marco, that was a good move.

Stall for Pagenaud. Thats not quite Penske Perfect.

25

Without the bumper, the cars looks so short.

28

I really appreciate seeing the debris flag. Too many yellows are thrown in indycar. I know, I know… Wont you just think of the drivers?! Yes. Safety. Fine Line. I don’t know where that line is but I appreciate not going yellow for these pieces of carbon fiber. Good call.

Ed Jones is driving like a veteran. I’m excited to see more of him this year and to see if Chip found another star driver.

29

—YELLOW—

Leist into the wall after sliding through the corner.

Also AJ Foyt does not look good But I’m glad he can still make it to the track.

The helicopter shot always reminds me to remind you to donate to my buy a yacht fund. St. Pete, Long Beach, even Monoco. EVERYONE WHO DONATES IS WELCOME TO YACHT ALONG WITH ME!

33

The nose cone cam is so evocative. That view minus the wheel pods is such a classic view. It really brings goosebumps on.

34

—GREEN—

Bourdais has always been quoted saying that he liked a pushy car so I think I’m surprised to see him up front considering all reports say this iteration of an indycar is super loose. But you don’t become a 4x champion without being an animal. There has been plenty of SeaBass love written here through the years so don’t give me that hater crap. I picked him in fantasy this week so YES!

The drivers are treating each other with much respect today. This restart is everything we want from indycar racing. Close, clean and crazy.

—YELLOW—

35

Sato into the unluckiest man at St. Pete Scott Dixon. Replay. OH MY GOD DIXON WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! They always say you make your own luck…

Oh yea, I remember Graham Rahal having the American Flag on his LED panel in testing. Those are definitely new. They look really good.

37

Real talk, Bourdais’ livery is ridiculous, but I think it wraps around the so awesomely bad spectrum that is bounces back into being good.

39

—GREEN—

Marco in 4th. Dammit why is he doing such good today, I’m not scheduled to start rooting for him until mid-May.

40

—YELLOW—

Harvey into the dirt with damage to the front wing, Newgarden into the pits with a flat rear. Coincidence? replay incoming…

The helmet-cam is sick.

Harvey with damage to the rear. What the hell was I looking at before? I blame the season opening excitement.

43

Looks like half the field came in, this should mix things up a bit. This has been a pretty good race so far. Yes. I have been entertained. However, again, this race has no rhythm. Too many yellows, but somehow the drivers are taking care of each other while still acting like idiots. Well done indycar drivers, oh how I’ve missed you.

Replay shows flat right rear caused the accident. So Newgarden and Harvey both have flat rear tires? What is going on? Maybe I should take back what I said about those debris flags…

We see the helmet cam mounted on Hinchcliffe’s head. I wonder how much drag that’s worth. Probably not enough to worry on a street circuit, but I bet it matters enough to make it a hard choice to carry one at a super speedway.

—GREEN—

46

Marco really trying to push into P3. What the hell man. Where have you been your whole career?

47

We see the first telemetry readout of the season. In ABC’s defense, theirs is really good. Accurate and fast. I appreciate it each year. I wonder what NBC is going to bring to the table this year.

48

Quite a lot of movement in the midfield. Good racing.

53

Woah, I was enthralled by racecar. They look so so very good. You can see the acceleration and the movement in every part of the corner. This is really good stuff.

55

Sounds like we have 3 and 4 stop strategies happening right now. For as much racing as I’ve watched in my life, I still have a hard time keeping the fuel strategies in my head without the help of the booth. Really, I’m in it for the amazing racing.

56

I know these cars have over 1000 pounds less downforce I know they are slower mid-corner but they look really nimble this year.

61

Stops happening. I think it goes without saying but all the SPM cars look really really slick. I approve.

62

I would like to hear from a rear tire changer about the differences in changing tires this year without the bumper. I wonder if these are the first live changes for someone on a car with no bumper?

65

A bit over half way and I think we have fallen into a good pace for this race. We are definitely seeing a log jam from 10th on back. I’m glad we’re finally clicking off laps.

69

Is this race going to come down to a knife fight between Bourdais, Rossi and Wickens?

Dale Coyne looks as cool as a cucumber on the timing stand. He gives Wickens the go ahead to pounce on Bourdais. Very yes.

71

Good racing between Bourdais and Wickens. Robert is definitely putting his mark on indycar  racing today.

73

References to time of push to pass left. I forgot we went to a bank of time instead of a specific number of pushes per race. I think this is the much better way of handling the push to pass system.

Excellent slow-mo.

Real talk: ABC is doing a good job today.

77

As soon as Bourdais gets caught in traffic he comes into the pits. Coyne is a strategic master. Today could be the day. Again. I’m on board.

78

Jan says: come in this lap and save fuel to make it to the end. Unless there’s a caution. I mean, this is indycar, anything is possible.

Pit lane speeding violation for Dixon. What the hell man? First you crash into Sato and now you’re a speeder? You never hear about pit lane speed violations. We have a button for goodness sakes. WHAT ARE YOU DOING MAN?!

80

First real shot of the Harding Racing car. The paint isn’t great. It definitely looked better on twitter than in the Florida sun. I’m interested to see it in the flesh during the Month of May.

81

Yikes, The booth mentions lack of cautions. Don’t they know better? I know I mentioned lack of cautions as well, but I’m not in the dang booth. special privileges and whatnot.

84

Nice. Bourdais, Rossi and Wickens almost in the same camera shot.

85

I think I am literally salivating while looking at these cars. So so sexy.

We’re onboard with RHR. You can really see the acceleration. Everything is wonderful. I love everything and kittens and rainbows and baby baby seals. It’s really amazing now the look of the car changes everything. Also we can just wait a week month and see what we’re thinking after Phoenix.

21 to go. I hate the change over.

90

The jaws music is currently playing inside the helmet of wunderboy Alex Rossi. This is most excellent.

I definitely want Wickens to win. I want to see a kick ass pass for the lead more. Let’s do this.

92

Nose to tail.

Bourdais hat completely left the picture.

Two Americans, two Canadians in the top five. Cool.

96

Ed Jones give Dixon approximately 600 feet for his pass. That’s a good teammate.

97

Rossi: I’m waiting. Wow. Part of me thinks thats bad ass. Part of me thinks if you’re waiting you’ve already waited to make a move. Is it already too late?

98

AS I’M SAYING THAT ROSSI LOCKS THEM UP!! Sigh. What a rookie move. Kimball was in the shot so let’s blame him until video proves otherwise.

Yes. it seems like waiting was a bad idea.

Replay shows Rossi slid through on his own. Lame. He may be the truth but he still has some stuff to learn.

101

–YELLOW–

Binder slides into the tires. Sounds like he may be tired. That’s alright rookie, I appreciate this late race yellow. Let’s buckle up and see what happens. There’s a ton of firepower in the top five.

As we’re waiting for the green I’m realizing that we have yet to go through the field. By the patented is-this-a-good-race-o-meter this is a good race. A 100% good race.

Lapped cars driving through. I’m sure this is some last few laps yellow rule and I approve. Get those guys out of there and let them race their own race together.

Booth says restart coming. Lights are still flashing on the pace car. What’s really happening?

Wave off. I think I knew before the booth? I wonder what the reasoning is?

106

–GREEN–

–YELLOW–

DAMMIT MAX CHILTON WHY WHY WHY. This could be quick.

107

Word on the street is we go green now. Good decision.

108

–GREEN—

Rossi into Wickens. Was it worth it Rossi?! Holy cow. I cannot believe we just saw that happen.

–YELLOW-

Replay shows… It was a racing incident. I really think this was all good.

110

—Checkers—

Bourdais wins and we are rewarded with burnouts. Most good… Most good!

Ok. Rossi. He has earned the right to make this move. He’s a winner and a future champion. However, he needs to be penalized. You cant drive over the winner with 1 lap to go in any circumstance and not receive a penalty.

Good race. Two thumbs up. The kick preformed amazing and the race went very well. I can’t wait for more. Onto Phoenix!

Eric Hall

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101st Indy 500 Hot Takes!

THE HOT TAKES ARE HERE! THE HOT TAKES ARE HERE! Poorly written and edited even wordily, here are the hottest of hot takes. Sit back, relax and enjoy the maniacal rantings of an indycar fan. I have no idea what is going on with this blog. Expect nothing and receive something? I’m really just playing around on here again so no promises of any kind of content or regular postings. Im just enjoying the indycar world with you!

The Race – Amazing. Drama filled. Edge of your seat. Spectacular. It was a good race and one for the ages. We have been blessed with quite good racing in the DW12 era but the 2017 iteration of the current indycar finally hits the right balance of speed and drafting an knife edge handling. Ignoring the other stops on the schedule, the machines that raced in Indianapolis last Sunday were an almost perfect representation of what a racecar needs to do to make the Indy 500 the spectacle that it is.

I LOVE SATO!! – This man had the strongest car all day and it didn’t even look like he was sweating the late race challenges from Helio. Although nothing is owed in racing, this was a win that was earned. Abandoned by Foyt with the move to Chevy, adopted by Andretti who knew he had the technical prowess to continue the development started by Justin Wilson and given an absolute weaponized machine to wage battle with. No attack no chance for sure.

Alex Rossi Is The Truth – Yet another Formula 1 cast off that hopes to find a second career racing against the best and brightest indycar has to offer? Maybe? A lost soul looking for a home to race in? Maybe? I was disenfranchised by his past comments about IndyCar, but in his second year the boy has proven he can drive. Does he love indycar? I don’t know, but I’m not convinced it matters at this point.

Honda Went For It – At the end of the day, Honda can forget about Alonso. They won the race. And most racers would make the small trade of power over reliability that we have seen in 2017 for the chance to drink the milk. These Honda motor aren’t the Buick grenade of old; these things are overpowered and only marginally less reliable. I respect that they went for it. They were rewarded with a victory for their favorite son. I hope Chevy steps it up and can find power even if it is a trade off with reliability.

Yellow Yellow Yellow! – Too Much. But, cars were crashing so I’m not sure what I want or expect in this situation. There was simply a ton of carbon fiber to sweep up. It’s so odd that we can go some years with basically a clean race and other years spend 25% of the time cleaning up broken racecars. It made for a disjointed race that lacked flow, but it made for some kick ass restarts!!

Dixon And The Flying DW12 – Duuude can we even talk about the race without mentioning Dixon? Blah blah blah Dallara and SAFER and Holmatro and carbon fiber and wheel tethers and all the other amazing safety innovations that we continually harp about, but those bumpers though. What. A. Joke. Thank everything that is good in motorsport that we are getting rid of these ridiculous excuses for safety devices in 2018. Great idea with terrible execution. Theoretically, I could be sold on wheel guards but not these. We cannot get them off of my indycar fast enough!!

Ed Jones and the Curious Case of Rookie of the Year – I’m sorry Mr. Jones, but anytime you drive against a double world champion who is given as much prep time as Alonso was, I fear there is no hope of a ROTY award. Alonso had too much prep time, led too many laps and was able to mix it up with fast cars all month long to not be awarded. It truly sucks for Ed, but everyone including Alonso makes a rookie start at The Speedway. Even looking at only performance, Alonso turned more laps in practice, turned them faster, worked in traffic, qualified in the fast 9 and was a major lap leader during the first half of the race. That doesn’t take away from the fast that Ed had a rocketship after the final pitstop. But that was the problem. Too little too late. Hey Ed, just win the thing next year. I promise that will erase the burn from this year.

Alonso Makes Me Sad – I wanted Alonso to at least finish. I would have even been Ok with him winning the race! I’m a huge fan of this purported triple crown of motorsport. It is one of the main reasons I am such a JPM supporter and I was really hoping to add another active driver to the list of 2 times winners. But it was not the day Alonso or Honda wanted. On the other hand, I am very glad his engine blew because it nearly guarantees that we will see him again.

ABC is still awful – There’s not much to say other than this. From a technical standpoint it isn’t bad, but for most of the race I’m not convinced that those talking heads are even watching the same race as I am. I watched the TV coverage with a new-ish indycar fan and they made the same disparaging comments about ABC. Namely “Wow, how is this really this bad? I understand why it’s Always Bad Coverage!” The horse is dead, but I will take this opportunity to hope that ABC gracefully bows out of the network broadcast deal negotiations moving forward.

Coke Lot Camping – Ok Ok Ok, not directly racing related but given my affinity to camp out here it’s worth a report: It was good! Much better organized than in years past with wristbands, actual lines for camp sites and enough police to put the fear in any felon. Given the rain on Thursday, classic setup day for many campers, The Speedway, Yellow Shirts and other event staff did an excellent job corralling the insanity and minimizing the impact weather had on our experience.

Yellow Shirts – Speaking of these guys, I don’t think I got whistled at one single time this month! And I’m actually kind of disappointed about that. It’s not that I do bad things, it’s that those Yellow Shirts love to blow the whistle! At everything! IMS connected with college students and asked many central Indiana kids to be Yellow Shirts and I could tell. Simply put, there were more bodies out there to direct traffic, answer questions and to just be generally cheerful. The shift in demographics was swift, noticeable and appreciated.

Agree? Disagree? Think I’m crazy? I’m curious of your opinion too! Please don’t be scared to share. That’s what this whole thing is all about! As always, thank you for reading!

Eric Hall

Posted in The Weekend Rewind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Feeding the Alonso Hype

I hear your complaints. We were given a 6+ hour web broadcast with expert analysis, features and a multi-camera format. Oh… you were complaining that this was too much coverage? That the other rookies in the field will not receive the same amount of hype? Hell, that the rest of the field won’t get this amount of hype?

I hate to break it to you, but Fernando Alonso is a driver of a different bread. A star of a different caliber. This has nothing to do with his driving prowess and everything to do with the stage he performs on week in and out. Conservatively, F1 is watched by 400 million people a year across the globe. They care about Alonso and demand coverage when he is in a racecar. Sorry, but Marco Andretti just doesn’t carry that kind of international weight. And he never will, and neither will any other regular indycar drivers.

In another blogging life, I would have pulled a bunch of twitter numbers for multiple drivers and made averages and find the percentages and a bunch of other stuff that doesn’t really matter. Sufficed to say that Alonso has nearly 2.5 million followers verse almost 280,000 followers for IndyCar proper. Not much of a comparison and no reason to pull numbers for other specific drivers. We all want indycar to grow so it is everyone’s best interests to shovel as much Alonso information into the world as possible. It will be consumed. Rabidly.

Alonso pulls the views. I’ve read reports that across all media platforms his test garnered almost 2 million unique views throughout the day. How many people will tune in to watch Jack Harvey complete his rookie test? 7? No offense, but no one but me, you and the other 5 readers of this article will care what Jack does in his rookie test. It’s not a stretch to think that those 7 people who care about rookie orientation will actually be live at IMS that day. Projected viewing numbers dwindling.

The regular stories through the ‘Month of May’ will still be there. Those stories will also still be told through the normal media outlets, and we will still consume them. As always, studying wing angles, following money trails and comparing trap speeds. But there will still be millions of motorsport fans curious how Alonso is doing at all times. Indycar is obliged to feed that demand.

Was ROP any more intriguing for Alonso that anyone else? No. absolutely not. The difference was that people care. We also got to see how competent and damn smart Alonso is. Once ROP was over, he dove straight into scenario training for race day. Fuel savings, pitting from T4 at full chat, restart procedures, working a crowded pit box entrance, the list goes on. It was impressive to watch. More impressive than watching a pure rookie? Absolutely. A pure rookie is only looking for comfort miles. Alonso needed about 2.5 before he was looking for more advanced practice items to complete.

Is this a once in a generation/lifetime experience? No. Ask anyone who was around when Mansell came to play and they will tell you this pales in comparison. Then why all the attention? Because people will consume Alonso pounding the track alone for hour after hour. Guys aren’t going to give indycar another chance if some other rookie was showcased during this broadcast. Alonso and only Alonso is what brought the 2 million views; more eyes than have watched the first 3 races of 2017 combined.

There are plenty of racing fans who only have just seen their first taste of indycar, and they are buying into the hype. And that is the only reason indycar needs to broadcast as much Alonso coverage as they possibly can. Let’s continue to ride this building wave of good fortune that has been pushing indycar to higher and higher places in the past few years.

Eric Hall

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Found Footage: 1965 Indianapolis 500 Fan Cam

Hello again!! It’s been oh so long since we have spoken! Nothing substantial to report from anotherindycarblog WORLD HEADQUARTERS, but I have stumbled across a bit of old media from Indy 500s past. Two separate 50 foot reels of 8mm Kodachrome Movie Film to be exact.

From what I can tell, these 8 minutes are from the infamous 1965 edition of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Each reel of footage is about 4 minutes long and this video contains both back to back. The camera  work is poor at best with plenty of camera shake, quick cuts and a generally amateur overall quality to the film. BUT IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!

This was taken by  a man named Frank Staffieri who died almost 15 years ago. These reels were hidden away in his attic until the passing of his wife named Edra. My family was tasked with clearing the house and I was given these; to give to you! Along with these reels, there was a carousel of 140 slides that will hit the blog in a few days.

This isn’t the first time I have been the recipient of historic media. If you want to peruse a cache of 60’s and 70’s photos literally saved from a dumpster, check here and here.

Note: The music was added by the guys who did the conversion. It’s not bad but it’s certainly not great.

Enjoy!

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