Unfiltered Race Notes… The Truth Edition

Here we gooooo!

We’re dropped directly into the grid walk with… That guy… I’ll have to get back to you on that. I know they have a pre race show, but it is really jarring to select ‘Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach’ and have the coverage start randomly in the middle of the grid walk. I’m not a casual fan, but I could see how this could be confusing. 

Awesome cinematic intro. These things are awesome. Not quite the old Posey’s Perspective, but pretty damn good in its own right. 

Ah yes, T9 and T10 at Long Beach. Indycar autocross through the parking lot.

HELL YES THAT’S HOW YOU GIVE A COMMAND!! This really sets the tone for the race, and that is anotherindycarblog officially approved. 

Robin Miller looks good, but different. I can’t put my finger on it but there’s something different. 

—GREEN—

Clean though T1. The rest of the field so is disadvantaged here. 

Spigot stopped in the middle of the road. 

—YELLOW—

Harvey looks to have crashed into the flowers. That’s really too bad. Those are some really pretty flowers. They don’t deserve to be the victim of such poor driving. 

It is taking an exceptionally long time to get these 3 cars refired.

5

—GREEN—

Let’s try this again.

Rossi is already walking away from the field. I wonder if this is going to be one of those days. 

7

Herta around the outside of O’Ward through T1 and the fountain complex. That is how you pull off a move here at Long Beach. Though that took the cooperation and respect of both drivers. I hope that is a preview of years to come. 

8

Sounds like O’Ward is in trouble. Losing positions, falling through the field. The pit stand is king him to drive to a number. Boo. Talk about taking the teeth away from a pitbull. I’m really disappointed. 

13

First of the 3-stoppers are coming in. 

TK is such a beast. His knee hit the steering column so hard he bent the thing. Limping around the paddock.

14

Rossi is 2.4 seconds ahead. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen such a dominant early race drive. The Truth is back for blood in 2019. 

16

The grandstands are really full from the helicopter shots. 

This race feels really lock-step right now. 

It’s really too early for an indycar race to be this strung out. It honestly feels weird. 

17

We’re already going Through The Field but NBCSN doesn’t broadcast it as such, they just kind of sneak it in without announcing what they are doing. Lap 17 is pretty early in the race to be going through the field. Hopefully the action picks up soon. 

In all honestly, I’m glad they don’t announce it outright. I also understand why it’s such good filler when the race isn’t really giving us fireworks. 

22

5.5 second lead. The Truth is doing his truthiness thing. 

23

Ok, I know I just spoke a bunch about how I understand why they ‘go through the field’, but they are literally going through the field. Again. Starting at the front. Again. What the hell man? And this time they are definitely announcing it and making it obvious. If the previous trip sequentially executed trip through the top ten was organic and natural, it was *so much better* than what we are experiencing right now. This feels so robotic and forced. 

25

Diffey tells us Rossi is gaining a half a second a lap. Damn son. 

26

2 stoppers hitting pit lane. I hope something happens to mix this race up. 

Rossi in. Smart. 

Herta giving Rossi the business as he gets back up to speed. Old Truth verse New Truth. Exciting!

29

Ferruci stalled in the run off. Sound’s like they are waving a local yellow. I wonder how respectful the drivers are of this local yellow. If the safety crew hits the track I hope they throw a full course yellow. I hate to see those guys exposed. 

30

Power around Dixon. We have a strong race for second as Dixon is not down to 4th behind Newgarden as well. Maybe we’ll get some life in this race yet.

34

Rahal is about to drive around Dixon as well. 

Power slow out of the hairpin. As he’s braking for T1 a TON of brake dust comes out of his left front and he misses the corner. We will have to see if his car is hindered once he gets back on track. 

PT saying Power had an issue out of the hairpin. That wouldn’t be the first time Power had some engine issue coming out of that corner. I can see more brake dust flowing out of that left front. 

Engine misfire reported on the #12. That definitely explains the slow entrance onto the straight. 

37

Looks like the pit guy for Herta forgot to throw the gun back to the wall and caused him to stall the car has he avoided running over the hose. If we had overhead gantries this wouldn’t be an issue. 

42

Rossi is now 10.5 seconds ahead of P2. I believe this is what the old guys call a clinic in ass kicking. 

45

Overboost penalty was the ultimate answer to the Power losing power question. I also think they were low key going through the field through the top 5. Again. Look, I get it but it’s time to go through the lower half of the field. At least change it up. 

We are in the mid-race get-all-the-commercials-out-of-the-way segment of the race. 

49

12.5 seconds. 

50

Veach is the biggest mover of the race. Not bad, but that is usually more indicative of a good car with poor qualifying than a mediocre car with a good race. 

Cool. Through the field starting with P15. at least we get some different cars to look at. 

52

Herta into the pits with left side damage. Replay shows he lost traction and smoked the wall in the parking lot section. He crushed the wall as much as you can without actually crashing the car out. He made it back to the pits. 

We’re really staying with him in the pits for a long time. I appreciate this as we don’t really have a lot going on out on the track. 

55

Final stops are starting. Debating between reds and blacks. I’d preferably take new reds over new blacks. No scuffed tires for me please. 

57

Stupid PT is being stupid. Siiiiiigh…

Rossi in for the final time. How much more can he add to his dominant lead? 

58

9 seconds. I wonder what happened? 

Looks like Ericsson may have gotten into his way. Lame man. 

Ha… Only a 9 second lead… What the hell am I talking about? It’s really hard to put such a dominant race into perspective. 

63

10.5. That didn’t take long. 

65

11.5. Wow. I mean, unless TV shows us something else, there’s really not a lot more to talk about other than the remarkable gap the The Truth is able to continue to grow. 

Onboard you can hear Rossi rolling off the throttle  slightly early. Learning how to manage fuel and still go fast, protect the rear tires so he still has something left for a late race restart or 2. Is Rossi still a young gun? 

66

Through the field again from P2. Please show me the bottom half of the race. I’ve seen these guys way too much for how slow this race has been. Maybe they can make it all the way through before another commercial break happens. 

68

Ending the race on lap 85 is making my math a bit hard now that they have moved to the laps to go way of counting off laps.

The nose cam has a lot of head room in the video. I can really see how blue the sky is and how close the palm trees are to the track. I really like what is happening right now. 

Through the field update: we made it to P11 before cutting to commercial. Lame. I can’t wait to do it all over again from P1 during the next segment of the race. 

71

10.5 and he has lapped up through 13th place. You have to wonder if there is a super small setup window that only Rossi hit on. He’s the only one to have this type of separation from the field which has been pretty evenly paced through the whole race. I notice that Rossi is taking the ‘Will Power’ line though some of the turns. It’s really all just reaching for an explanation of the beatdown. 

74

Brake balance temperature imbalance n the Rossi car. Interesting as Rossi was reporting an odd feeling across the front. He is really in tune with his machine today. 

80

Looks like we may have a bit of a race for the last step of the podium. I hope one of these guys can at lest get along side someone and give us a last gasp of action in this kind of snoozer race.

82

Dixon around the outside of RHR. Good move, but we all this RHR is just trying to survive. 

—WHITE—

20 seconds. Holy crap this is a beat down. 

—CHECKERS—

Dixon needed one more lap to get around Rahal. 

Rahal gets penalized for blocking. I agree. Rahal may have moved preemptively, but he moved too far and too aggressively as he came across Dixon’s nose. There was tire smoke from front wing contact. No question at all that this was the right call. 

Rahal says he should have used new blacks instead of scuffed reds. I think I said that very thing during the final round of stops. I’m still available for a race engineer position. 

He’s really trying to be level headed about the penalty and I can agree with everything he says, but in this situation with the contact I don’t think there is any question that Rahal was too aggressive.

I love Power’s post race interviews. Nothing ever happened to him from all that brake dust. I saw an awful lot of brake dust through the race form other cars as well. I guess it was surprising to see so much so early from him. 

Well, this was something. Not every race can be a barn burner. NBCSN could have gone deeper through the field a few times, but they did a great job with what they had. 

With Long Beach, the first portion of the season comes to a close and I think it was a great start. Seem’s like the whole thing is pretty open. With double points for the 500 it’s almost not even worth paying attention to the points until after the checkers wave on Memorial Day weekend. 

A weekend with indycar is always a great weekend! 

Thanks for reading. 

Eric Hall

 

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Unfiltered Race Notes… Sometimes the Race Doesn’t Need the Caution Edition

Welcome to The Gorgeous Facility ™ and enjoy the rolling green hills, picturesque waterfalls, and the world class motorsport museum. Oh, there’s also a racetrack here. A motorcycle track. A motorcycle track that somehow has become one of the best racing facilities that indycar visits. 

Those are big words the week after COTA. An instant classic. Well named in hindsight I guess, but we still need a few more years there to really cement anything in.

PT is a suit. congratulations on doing the bare minimum. Welcome to the lowest crust of humanity PT. Thank you for taking the smallest amount of pride possible in your job and our series. 

TRACK DUDE MICHAEL YOUNG is always so pumped up. I hope the started guy is half as excited. OMG IT’S 4 times indycar champion, World champion and 1969 Indy 500 winner Mario Andretti!! He did a great job! It’s nice to hear a command with some oomph behind it. 

David Letterman looks homeless. 

The two seater camera is always uncomfortable. 

We get a bunch of clips about how bad Veach is at driving an indycar at Barber. I’m embarrassed for Veach. 

2 by 2 here we go!!

GREEN

Clean start. Everyone took care of each other. Seems like something happpened, or didn’t happen in the flagstand or race control but the start looked odd. 

Ed Jones with a jumped start. 

O’Ward is going an amazing job again. 

3

Things have slightly settled. Settled in that we aren’t side by side through the field, but they are fighting from front to back. 

5

3 stops or 2? 3. Every time. Let me run the car hard and fast from flag to flag. You know there will be yellow anyway so give us some SPEED!

Dixon saying Rahal is blocking. Shocking? No. Situation normal. Under review from race control.

Actually, no. Please don’t penalize him as he’s in my fantasy lineup this week. 

No action from race control. 

9

Newgarden in early. Good man. 

SATO!!

Sorry, we haven’t adequately celebrated that my man SATO has started on the pole and it leading this thing!

11

Lots of pit stops happening. I like this. Doesn’t seem like many are planning on fuel savings. 

12

Herta is experiencing some engine issues. Honda. Sigh…

We have many differing strategies happening right now. I always get lost during races like this, but we often get some pretty kick as racing! A weird aspect to this though is that the action constantly gets interrupted by cuts to single car pit stops. Not complaining, just noticing. 

15

Now we are being subjected to watching Herta falling through the field like a stone. 

Lots of action back in the 3 stop strategy runners, but it’s pretty quiet up front with the 2 top hopefuls. 

18

SATO in. Obviously committing to a 3 stop. 11+ second stop. Goodbye race win. Too bad man. I’m always pulling for SATO to make a miracle happen. 

The rest of the top 3 are in. 

Rahal in the pits with the computer plugged in to help fix or diagnose a throttle issue. 26 second stop. *another* Honda. When will they figure out what is going on?

Somehow SATO keeps the effective lead. 

20

Yesssssss some good ‘ol Rahal complaining on the radio. It feels like it’s been so long!

Rossi in. Seems like the whole field it going to push the race this race. I don’t think the tires can make it 30 laps. Well done Firestone.

More radio without an on screen label with who we are hearing. That’s an easy add that could really help. 

23

Dragonspeed update: Hanley is last. And he’s been running into people. Not the greatest showing, but they still need to get their feet under them. As long as he doesn’t outright crash these guys out I’m into a little bit of incidental contact from a young team. 

27

Big lone spin from Power. Yikes. He’s having a really tough weekend. I guess the whole Penske organization is having a tough weekend. 

Power in for new tires. 

28

Bourdais in. The only 2 stopper. I don’t think he’s going to be able to make this happen. Looks like Spigot is attempting the 2 stop as well. 

29

O’Ward around the outside of Rosenqvist. That dude is do good. So so good. The whole rookie field is literally world class. 

31

Bell giving an excellent explanation about the 2 stop verse 3 stop. Great information from the booth. Of course PT comes directly behind him and quotes a very different pitlane delta. Shut up PT. I should track how long it takes me to utter those words each race. It’s really only a matter of time. 

33

Herta going behind the wall. Too bad. 

34

Newgarden in for the 2nd time. This seams really really early. Yikes. 

35

O’Ward and Pagenaud racing. This is great racing. This whole day has been great racing. Hell, the whole year has been great racing. 

36

Half the field comes in. Maybe it’s not that early for Newgarden. 

More great racing. No need to commentate. 

38

Much better stop for SATO.

40

Rossi’s car looks like it has a tinge of metallic in the blue and has painted suspension pieces. That is a sharp looking car. 

41

I hate that Ericsson has the same paint job as Hinch. I appreciate the design language encompassing both cars, but you cannot tell them apart. Paint the mirrors and end plates different or something. Throw us a bone. 

43

The onboard shots are great. You can tell that the cars are fast and loose. It looks fun, if I could drive one of these beasts. Which I cannot. One can dream. 

44

My favorite drunk uncle Dale Coyne!! I love that guy! We’re heading south in a few weeks and I am totally going to eat at a Sonny’s Barbecue. I can’t wait to taste the ribs the powered DCR to quite a few victories. 

46

Herta out. For real now. That one hurts. After the miracle at COTA, I think we were all hoping Herta could trouble the top of the championship standings this year. There’s still time to come back from this though. 

50

Rahal having trouble getting around Pagenaud. This really is the story of Rahal. He has always said he needs to qualify better because he’s a fast race driver. So he qualifies well this week and clearly has a fast car, but once he gets mired in the pack he just can’t move through. He’s a fast driver, but not an expert racer by any means. He’s currently sitting in P11 and I bet he won’t move too much further through the field. 

53

Not too eventful up front. But Rossi is coming…

54

Bourdais is getting close to his window. He came in a tad early last time so it would be nice for him to make it to an honest lap 60, but I bet he won’t be able to make it. He’ll be in on 58. 

Bell agrees with me. I am available for booth work, indycar just needs to contact my people. 

YELLOW

We come back from break to a yellow flag. Hilton in the tires and Rahal stopped on the back straight. What the heck is happening. 

Race control left the track green and left the pits open? I’m not sure I’m ok with that. There were disabled cars on a green track? It also looks like Chilton was crashed in the pit entrance area. WTF man. Nothing to say another car couldn’t have slid of the track and under the disabled car of Chilton. Could have been very nasty. I’m not into anything other than consistency and safety and this call goes against both of those things. 

One of the things that makes me cringe when I watch old races is that they used to leave disabled cars in the racing corridor. That always felt like a tragedy waiting to happen. I always think about the disabled car on the run into the corkscrew from The Pass at Laguna back in the 90’s. It just seems careless. 

NBCSN is always bad about displaying the lap count when we come back from commercial so I’m not totally sure where we are at right now. 

Worth noting I don’t blame either driver for what happened. Hilton was coming in and got pushed a bit by Kanaan. Maybe TK should have seen him, but that was just one of those things. Well, I also forgot how much Chilton sucks so maybe it really is his fault. I’m ok with that. 

Letterman drops a beautiful facility!! Well done. I’m glad he got my performance notes. The check’s in the mail Mr. Letterman. 

GREEN

66

Leist, who is a lap down, in racing the leaders. Not sure what I think about that right now. I’m cool with him racing the leader, but not the rest of the field. Move over. 

I saw a blue flag. That is the right call considering he didn’t relinquish position to Dixon. 

68

Dixon hasn’t made much progress into SATO’s lead. 

70

These guys haven’t stopped since lap 57. Even with the caution, I’m not sure they have enough to race each other to the end. I bet they’re already driving to a fuel number. A poorly timed caution may have taken the teeth out of this race. 

71

Dixon has lost about a half a second to SATO. 

74

I hope SATO can win this race. The irony of Dixon in second again is not lost on me. 

Looks like Herta is back out there. Hopefully they have the issue figured out for Long Beach. 

76

Always the optimist, Ganassi plays the company man saying he thinks Dixon can make it happen. I don’t think the gap has changed much. 

77

Rahal was so close to complaining, but he persevered and gave a good interview. 

81

I don’t think anyone has enough has to really race. As I say that We hear that Bourdais is on the button. DCR told Bourdais there are no issues with fuel. Game on!

83

Bourdais is out of tires. This race is toasted barring a crazy yellow.

The field is really strung out. That yellow really ruined this race. Stupid Max Chilton. 

86

Replay of SATO doing his SATO thing as he flies through the air through the grass over the chicane. SATO what the hell are you doing? The only person that can take this away from him is himself, he’s done it so many times. 

No fuel concerns for SATO. Probably the best. I wonder if he was trying to drive to a number and that’s why he threw it off the track. Lucky. 

WHITE

89

Bourdais is close, but we already know he doesn’t have the tire. 

We see SATO Light the fronts up. Dude needs to chill out and bring this thing home. 

CHECKERS

SATO!!

Well done! I wonder (I’m over hoping for any kind of consistency for SATO) if he can string together a handful of results this year? 

Rahal in Victory lane. He looks like a giant compared to SATO. 

Taku is hugging his whole team. What a thankful and humble guy. I love him so much. What a great result for a true veteran. He thanks Rahal for the setup. 

I think we are 3 for 3 for super fun races this year! Long Beach next week. We’ll see if we can continue the run of really fun afternoons. See you next week. 

As always, Thanks for reading. 

Eric Hall

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Unfiltered Race Notes… The Rookies Are Here Edition

Alright, welcome to the first of 2 trips to Texas for indycar in 2019. We are visiting Circuit of the Americas for the first time. This facility is home to Formula One in the United States. 

I was honestly pretty against indycar racing on a track that F1 races on due to the speed difference, but it’s really all good. I’m not 100% sure, but the street tells me that we are about LMP1 speed around here. That’s pretty cool because those cars are cooler than F1 cars. And we all know that coolness is the only thing that really matters. 

Command time… Some quarterback… this better be most good. 

Hook ‘em horns. 

Eh he was ok. Concise, forceful but not excited. 

I’m excited to see a race here without track limits. I think this place will really suit indycar. There’s a ton of racing room here and that is something that really helps these guys put on a good show. 

Order shows that Ericsson and Hinch are starting side by side. More proof the Wickens was the standout. 

Lining up…

GREEN

Clean out of T1

Dixon around the curbs and looses a ton of places. 

Veach into the kitty litter with no replay. 

2

Looks like he was suckered into taking too much curb. Welcome to indycar rook. I know he’s not a rookie, but still. 

They look ridiculous going that far off the track. Whatever it takes I guess. 

Herta P3. The New Truth. 

However, Rossi, The Old Truth is sitting P2. He’s a shoo-in for a championship berth this year I think. 

4

Power looks to be the only Penske in the money right now. 

They keep saying Dixon made a ton of ground going around the curbs at the start, but he lost all of it by not being on the racing line so I’m not sure what to think here. It was smart driving because he was out in the hinterlands, but it didn’t really gain him anything other than not smashing his underwing. 

7

I love Ericsson’s black helmet. It looks super tough. I hope he wears a balaclava with the nose cover as well. 

I cannot see the whole field drive 75 feet off the track and not think they look ridiculous. 

8

Stops happening. 

Pagenaud looking to do 4 stops because he qualified so far back. He hasn’t really taken well to the new aerokits. Speaking of LMP1 cars, the old manufacturer kits had a ton of downforce, similar to those Le Mans cars. Right in his wheelhouse. I wonder how long he can hang onto a Penske seat. Do we see Rossi or Herta take his seat in 2020?

9

The backfield has almost completed their stops. Working a 4 stop strategy? I like full throttle racing, So I hope some guys are planning on working it all race long. 

11

4 rookies in the top 10. 

The Newgarden livery is very plain. 

The O’Ward livery is HOT. I love how the helmet compliments the car. 

Hey, is that Dragonspeed operation out today? … checks other notes… no. Too bad. I’m excited to see what else they can do. I wonder if they took this weekend off because of Sebring?

14

The director misses the Herta pass live. Replay shows it was an excellent move. I wonder if Rossi will be able to hunt him down. We haven’t seen the side by side action that I thought we would have today. 

15

As I say we haven’t seen the action we get to see Rahal engage a pair or rookies. This is exactly what I thought we would see! These heavy indycars respond really well to the freedom to take multiple lines through the corner. 

16

O’Ward around the outside of Rahal through the long left hander. That is some car control right there. Holy moly I cannot believe we just saw that. 

19

P1,2,3 are all right here. We are set up for a strong finish if these guys can stick together for this middle section of the race. I wonder if Herta will have the fitness to go the distance today. 

20

I think they may be going through the field. Backwards. From P7. Weird way to do it. I guess it hides the fact that they are doing it? I wouldn’t classify this race as boring. 

21

O’Ward around Rosenqvist. Dude this guy is awesome. So is Rosenqvist. So it Herta. This rookie class is on another planet. 

22

PT wondering if Penske will take a look at Rossi and Herta. You’re only like 15 laps late PT. Ahem… NBCSN I’m still available for much less than you’re paying him for. 

25

I just don’t know what to think of this Ferucci kid. Opinions welcome. 

26

O’Ward with a slow stop erasing quite a lot of the on track work he has accomplished. Welcome to indycar. Carlin Racing or not, he’s still not on Penske, Ganassi or Andretti. If you’re not on one of those teams you have to expect a least one pit stop flub every week. That has got to be one of the lower hanging speed improvements these new teams could invest in. 

We are deep in a very detailed how did we get here race report thing. It may be a bit too much, but I appreciate them reviewing the action. 

28

Rossi: ‘When I get close to Power I can’t make a move’ that’s kind of what it looks like from the outside. Most of the racing we’ve seen has been because of disparate tire status. New verse old. Red verse black. Hot verse cold. We haven’t seen much honest side by side racing. This is exactly why we have tire strategy and I’m glass firestone is saving our but today, but I’m really surprised we aren’t seeing more straight up racing toady. 

Danica back to Indy. In the Booth. Hooray?

31

Chilton 1 lap down. Obviously. 

32

I don’t think we will be seeing a yellow today. Days like this are cool because we get to see the pure speed of indycar racing. How far can the winner finish ahead of the field? How little time can the crew keep the car in the pits?

35

Speaking of the leader driving away from the field, Power has only been able to get Rossi and Herta by 1.5 seconds. Not the ass kicking one could expect for these conditions. Old Truth and New Truth are really giving Power a run for his money. $100,000 to be exact. Ha. 

37

I’ve been able to watch all the sessions this weekend (Thank you NBCSN Gold. It has been amazing having all the sessions in TV broadcast quality) and the track has taken a ton of rubber. It really has a different look and you can really see some surface nuance in the braking zones. I don’t really remember seeing many tracks take the rubber as opposed to collecting marbles. We’ve heard the track is abrasive so it’s nice seeing the rubber get working into the surface!

40

Rossi is as close to Power as he has been all race. They have dropped Herta by about 5 seconds. I don’t think Rossi wants to pull the trigger quite yet. Everyone is good causing around minding the gap until the closing laps. 

42

O’Ward with another… slow… stop…

It’s very different to see these guys fully complete a pass on the loooong back straight before they even get to the braking zone.  More disparate tire states.

43

Hinch get sent right in the path of Pigot in the pits. There should be a penalty assessed for that amateur hour move. 

YELLOW

44

Holy crap looks like Rosenqvist lost in in pit in. Cold tires in the hinterlands again? Replay shows there was some shenanigans between him and Hinch out there beyond the track limits. I’m sorry, I mean ‘track limits’. I just don’t know how I feel about these guys racing so hard out there. 

The crash is under review from race control. I don’t know if there is anyone to blame. There is no track to help define who was in the wrong place and who was in the correct place. Not to mention there is no guarantee of quality surface way out there. It looks like Hinch 

46

Not only did Power get screwed by the caution, now he is having equipment issues in the pits. This is painful. UGH I feel so damn bad Power. Heartbreaking. 

Now Power is getting interviewed. Out of the car. Out of the race. Gut punch. Power complaining about the yellow rules in indycar. Ok. But today there was literally a car crashed in pit entry. I think closing the pits was a good move. 

Herta in the lead. VERY VERY NERVOUS. 

GREEN

50

Excellent restart for Herta.

LETS GO HERTA

Big wiggle from Newgarden. 

Rossi gets some air after some side to side contact with Pagenaud.

Pagenaud into the pits. 

51

Replay of Rossi/Pagenaud. How is Rossi’s car not hurt as well??

Veach with a flat and broken wing after mistiming his move for pass. Sure Dixon faded, but nothing out of the ordinary. Veach will always be known as The Rook. He will never not be a squeaky voiced, pimply faced kid who makes mistakes like that. 

53

I cannot believe The New Truth is about to win this race. 

I picked both Newgarden and Herta in fantasy, but this house is definitely suffering from Hertamania 2.0. 

No action taken on Hinch/Rosenqvist or Veach/Dixon. Good. That is the correct call on both incidents. 

54

It is really sad to see the ECR car in such a plain livery after rocking one of the sharpest paint jobs in the series last year. It truly makes me sad how little effort it looks like they put into it. 

55

We’re finally seeing the coming and going I was expecting to see all race. Just plain racing. I am not complaining. I have had A BLAST today. I just have never been so aware during a race about how much of a difference the tires are making to the show. 

56

The Rossi car look great with the red suspension pieces. I think we talked about that last week, but its such a hot ride it may be worth mentioning every week. Andretti has quite a knack for crafting really memorable liveries. 

58

Colton running much closer to the grass than Newgarden. Making me nervous. give the grass a few more inches of respect at this point in the race, man!

WHITE

59

Remember: Breathe.

CHECKERS

HERTA!!!

WOW. What a performance. I’m speechless. Steinbrenner Racing. What a result. 

It’s not quite the same victory lane we are used to. Too bad for Colton that his first win is not at a place with the confetti cannons and single car celebration. He admits he’s very tired. I’m impressed. 

George Michael (yes, you will be referred to by this for the rest of time) is a well spoken child. I hope he sticks around the paddock forever. This is a great way to get a young owner hooked!

That was an excellent afternoon of racing. Can we go back in the fall? I would totally run in the morning before F1 and show those fans what real racing looks like. 

That was fun! I’ll see you guys in 2 weeks at Barber. An as always, thanks for reading!!

Eric Hall

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Unfiltered Race Notes… Getting Racey by the Bay Edition

WEEEEELLLCOOOOOOME BACK!!!

2019 is locked and loaded and ready to go! It’s chamber of commerce weather here in St. Petersburg Florida (I am not in St. Pete, but one can dream) and after a usually long offseason it’s time to RACE!

The cars look new and hot and the engines are stronger. I am so ready to do this thing. 

Coach Dungy with the call…

Meh. Underwhelming, but nothing I wasn’t expecting from historically soft spoken Dungy. 

The 2-seater shtick is still shtick but I enjoy it. I always like to imagine how nervous these grand marshals are. Dungy has dome big eyes!

Disclaimer: I may take this entire race notes thing to talk about how cool the Dragon Speed operation is. A sports car team taking a shot at indycar with literally zero outside help. Damn guys thats a big hunk to bite off yourselves. 

GREEN

HOLY CRAP WE MADE IT THROUGH THE FIRST LAP!!!!

These guys look like professionals!

3

My biggest fear was seeing like 18 yellows in the first 20 laps and watching these drivers make fools of themselves. This is a huge change!

4

Note: I LOVE THE NEW GRAPHICS!

5

‘Kimball doesn’t necessarily like to look in his mirrors’ Burn. 

6

The cars look grippy and racy today.

Dragon Speed is not in last! That is a HUGE win for them. Chilton, however, is definitely where he belongs. Last. I don’t have anything against him, I just think he sucks. Prove me wrong. 

7

First commercial break of the season. That didn’t take long. 

10

First stops of the season! Everyone looks really clean. I am super impressed with the professionalism of the series this year. 

12

Rosenqvist in P2 and looks to be catching Power. But I wonder if Power is really minding the gap. No reason to drive away from the field in indycar considering the almost certainty of seeing a yellow. No idea If we have gone caution free here, but I really doubt it. 

13

Bourdais with an engine failure. UGH obviously I picked him in fantasy so we are off to a strong start. Looks like we will stay green.

Replay of Power rally driving through the grass to get into the pits. 

Good on Bourdais for driving smart and finding a hole in the fence to prevent a yellow. 

15

Hearing a mention of Scuderia Corsa. I wonder how many of their crew is in the house today? I can’t imagine Ed Carpenter would allow the 20 crew to be too fluid before his change to drive the car. I have to think crew consistency and sharpness would be incredibly important to him. It looks like Scuderia Corsa is attached to the Jones entry and not the 20 car. I wonder how the crewing will work in May?

18

That Rosenqvist is quick. And skilled. I’m excited to see more of him. 

Some of the teams have the front suspension painted other colors than black and I’m really into it. I know the Penskes can sometimes have theirs chromed, but I’m liking the added colors on Rossi. And I think I’ve seen a car with day glow yellow suspension pieces too. We have been subjected to some pretty awful paint jobs in indycar so I’m glad to see some creativity and pizzaz. 

20

YELLOW

RHR up in smoke. Honda #2. 

Interview with Tony Dungy… He still has some pretty big eyes. I spot Liz Power in the background and she looks like her usual ball of stress and nerves. 

I wonder if there are some nerves in the rest of the Honda camp…

24

GREEN

ROSENQVIST TO THE LEAD!! WHAT A MOVE!!

We had glued to Powers bumper. That is how you restart. Historically, I think the drivers do not bunch enough to make real progress on the restarts. 

26

Power losing ground. 

Handley last on the road. That makes sense. We’ll check back later and see how their doing.

YELLOW

Jones and Leist are in the wall in different parts of the track. Replay show Jones playing pinball with his car and hitting the wall HARD. Wow that was a big hit. Poor Leist couldn’t avoid the accident scene and is out with contact. Too bad for both. Well, not surprising for Jones, but too bad for Leist. 

Crazy to hear that Power is struggling with grip on these street courses. he used to basically be automatic at place like this.

Restart has been waved off. 

Let’s see if Power chooses to restart as close as Rosenqvist did. 

(It didn’t take me very long to lose track of the laps this year.)

GREEN

Rossi fighting Dixon, Harvey fighting Hinch and Kimball Fighting Pagenaud. 

OH Kimball into the pits! Weird. 

Replay of Hinch rubbing into Harvey. Don’t tell anyone I said this, but Hinch is overrated. I love the guy but he will never be championship caliber. Wickens made him look like a fool last year. 

38

Herta around Veach. We’re seeing some good racing today. I might say we’re seeing the best racing ever at St. Pete. But Really this race had been broadcast by ABC the past few years and they were really bad at showing road racing so I don’t really have a good feel for how racey this race really is. 

Robin Miller looks skinny, but healthy. It’s really really good to see him back this year. Best wishes from anotherindycarblog Mr. Miller. 

45

Hinch, tired of being made the fool, comes in for fuel, tires and most importantly: clean air. 

Good mention of Ericsson, who runs in P16, but sits in the should-have-been-defending-winning car. 

47

The veach car went back onto the airjacks a second time for no reason. Weird. 

Replay of Harvey frustrating Pagenaud. Harvey is having a great day. 

49

Chilton up to P10. Ok Ok… I’ll give him another chance. 

50

Slow and disorganized stop for Kanaan. Sigh. I feel bad for him. I feel bad for anyone trying to be a serious driver at Foyt for any other race than the 500. 

53

Wow, that pit exit with Power and Rosenquist was quite shocking. 

Side note, the metallic blue #10 is… gorgeous. Simple but absolutely beautiful livery. 

55

How is Andretti running in the top 5?

56

Newgarden has just taken control of the race and i don’t know if anyone will be able to catch him. 

Ericsson out with engine issues. Fantasy pick #2 out early. ouch. 

More replays of amazing action. This is exciting.

I’ve lost track of the laps and we’re in like a 10 minute commercial break? 

Ok. Diffey is commentating from what sounds like a cellphone connection while a still card go final practice is being displayed with reports of technical difficulties. This went from an amazing broadcast to worst case scenario in 5 minutes. It sounds like an old radio broadcast.

I am still unsure of the lap count.

75

Newgarden is spanking the field. 

Sigh. Newgarden, Chilton, Handley all 1 lap down. 

77

We’re probably seeing the last stops right now. Newgarden is going to stink this exciting race right up. 

Andretti out in P15. That sounds more realistic. 

Newgarden out. Without a caution I think he has this in the bag. 

81

Foyt screwing Kanaan in another stop. The air hose was caught on the front wing and they dropped the car onto thee gun so it was stuck under the front wing. That was embarrassing to watch. They don’t have a chance at Indy. And this is the Foyt A team. 

82

Uh oh, There is a big banner on the track in the T2 area. Yikes! No yellow but that’s not in a great spot if guys decide to race each other. 

84

Ok, so these Dragon Speed guys are doing this indycar thing with no help from anyone. They started the weekend WAY off pace and today they look like a respectable back marker team. I hope they can make the show in May. They are the embodiment of the little guys doing it from nothing. 

89

Dixon has been able to real in Newgarden by a few seconds. He has enough time, but he might not have enough tire or push to pass.

91

PT says 19 laps isn’t enough time. Shut up PT. Give the viewers hope that we will see a race in the closing laps of this race. 

96

No. There may not be enough time. And Newgarden has literally 2x the amount of push to pass. 

We’re back in St. Pete… I need to get on that whole buying a yacht thing so we can go hang out at the track. On a boat. Donations welcome.

98

Well, now it looks like Dixon may be able to pull up on Newgarden’s bumper. 

99

And the booth agrees with me. Quiet PT. No one cares. 

I’m disappointed that we are seeing this many commercials this late in the race ofter the long batch of them during the technical difficulties. Poor form guys. 

103

Talk of some gamesmanship between Honda and Chevy teams in terms of who lets who through. I say that is all part of the game. As for Marco, the final car on the lead lap and P2 are the only guys allowed to race the leader. I do not agree that Marco is compelled to pull over for Newgarden in this situation. 

106

Alright, I think this race is cooked barring some crazy yellow. Great first race of the season. I’m really excited to see if they are able to keep up this close racing. As always, I hope no one runs away with the season. It doesn’t feel like it will go down like that. 

WHITE FLAG

Bring it home. 

CHECKERS

Newgarden. 

Rosenqvist P4. Not bad at all! 

Handley last. Not bad either. Only a lap down and off the wall is basically a win for these guys. 

I want to know the story with Newgardens teeth. 

He’s giving a really honest interview but not going as far as being upset with Marco or any of the other Hondas. He knows how it is. I really appreciate his honesty. 

Dixon had no drink bottle. He sounds dehydrated. Poor guy. Get him some Gatorade.

BOOM! excellent first race of the season! Hopefully we can keep this great racing up through the rest of the year. I’ll see you guys in 2 weeks at COTA! 

As always, thanks for reading!

Eric Hall

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Unfiltered Race Notes… Shorted from the Finale Edition

Welp, looks like we got preempted for stupid napcar. I saw a quick shot of Dixon and another shot of Penske. And we’re watching caution laps click off in Vegas. Ridiculous. 

Now I think we are literally watching parked napcars while we are missing the start of Sonoma. 

Yes. We missed the start. 

GREEN

for the last race of the season. Glad NBCSN could bounce the end of the napcar race to cnbc… Viewing definitely NOT enhanced as an indycar fan. 

I cannot believe we were forced to miss the start of the final race of the season. 

No idea what lap we are on but The Truth is out out out of contention. Looks like he lost a front wing and tire on the start by hitting Marco. For shame. 

2

Ok. 

UGH I JUST REALIZED WE WILL HAVE TO GO BACK TO NAPCAR SOON

Ok ok ok. Just enjoy the racing…

3

Talk of Rossi getting a penalty for short cutting the course on his way back to the its. I hope not. That would really be unfortunate. If Rossi can claw this back man. 

How is Marco doing so well?

Confirmation that we will lose more race to stupid napcar. 

6

Very clear that Dixon is going to circulate in P2 for the rest of the race. I don’t blame him one but. However, this really locks the win in for RHR. 

Obviously I don’t have CNBC recording. Bullshit that the season finale is what is getting bumped and not the regular ol taxi cab race. 

17

Back to indycar.

Sigh. This is frustrating. 

First stops underway?

I have no idea. 

Diffey confirms. Ok Let’s see if we can find some rhythm to this race. 

18

OH NO NEWGARDEN STALLS THE CAR. What an odd afternoon we are having so far. 

I will take this final opportunity to complain that we run such a stupid layout of this phenomenal race track. I have always wished that we could race all the way into the hairpin. I don’t want to hear that BS about safety when we roll into Indy T1 at 240+. Also we should have run the true esses section. This layout has always been neutered and I say good riddance to this stupid Sonoma layout. 

That feels better. 

In case anyone was confused: #TeamDIxon

But I’m also #TeamGoodRace…

25

Mike Hull sounds very relaxed. I’m sure Dixon is relaxed. I bet this is one of the easier races they have ever raced. Quite the cruise the the championship. But we all know something crazy can happen. This is why we race them!

26

Sato out with an engine failure. A pretty up and down year for SATO. He will be back next year and I cannot wait to see him race again. I hope he gets a few years with RLLR. Of course he won the 500 with Andretti, but I feel if he could get a few years here he could finally find that constancy he has always lacked. 

29

I wonder what RHR feels about all of this. He obviously knows no one is going to challenge him. What is the mere level on a day like this. 

31

Video from Wickens is shocking. He looks emaciated. He also looks like a paraplegic who had been propped up in bed. Sigh. Hopefully all ends well. 

33

Rossi has found Dixon. Albeit a lap down, but he has found his prey. 

A pass for Rossi would be as good as a win at this point. I bet he won’t be able to touch Dixon. 

36

The Rahal paint job is HOT. I like the skewed sided logo. 

Dixon let’s Rossi through at the end of the drag strip. I’m sure Dixon did not want Rossi to rear end him in a moment of red mist. 

Woooow replay shows Dixon saved his race by bowing out of a back marker fight. That was amazing racetrack vision. 

39

Rossi into the dirt trying to get around RHR. What a wanker. He is simply pushing too hard to make up for already pushing too hard at the start. If he keeps this up, he will be pushing too hard right into the wall. 

43

There is good racing going on throughout the field. I wonder how conducive to racing Laguna Seca will be. I’m honestly a bit worried. But indycar has been able to race at some tight places so we will see. 

44

—YELLOW—

Rahal stopped on track at the end of the drag strip. 

Rossi is on the lead lap. 

Hmm, that’s 2 RLLR cars out with engine issues…

Overhead view. They would be going SO FAST if they raced the true track. It would take away a passing zone, but I always felt it would also create an even better opportunity at the hairpin. Oh well. 

Rossi in for fuel and tires. Good move. Maybe we will see some more yellow. We may yet have a race on our hands!

—GREEN—

50

Shenanigans deep in the field. OMG I CANNOT BELIEVE THERE ISN”T ANY CARBON FIBER!!

Clean. 

Rossi slicing through the field. 

Dangerously slicing through the field. I’m ok with that. 

52

Rossi is crushing this thing. 

53

So much has happened that I cannot possibly write about it. Awesome and crazy. Yay indycar. 

I will say Hinch definitely deserves to see his spot after getting muscled into the grass. The officiating has been on point today. 

54

TK waves Rossi through. Most good. 

55

Looks like Jones does as well. That is the move of a championship teammate that does not have the job next year. 

59

I’ve never rooted for Rossi so hard. I want to see this become a race!!

61

Dixon in to cover the Rossi move. Good call. No reason not to. The championship is in the drivers hands now. 

62

Marco lets Rossi through. It almost seems like the whole field is letting Rossi through. 

65

Rossi and Dixon are almost in the same shot. That is ridiculous. Rossi is a future champion. Maybe not this year but very very soon. 

It’s also good to know that Andretti can really set up a car, they just haven’t had the talent to utilize the equipment. Although we know Rossi is a technical driver, I’m sure he is the set up king on that team. That’s always how they have kind of rolled though. One setup guy. If he’s doing well then the team is doing well. Very similar to what is happening today. 

Diffey: “RHR is still being pursued by DIxon.” Personally, I wouldn’t say this is a pursuit. 

67

Ride along with Dixon. Savor the awesomeness. Six months until St. Pete…

But yes, if they took the esses into the full hairpin these guys would be FLYING. 

68

Rossi radio: TURN UP THE BOOST. Hell yes. No way he will catch Dixon, but his journey today has been nothing short of amazing. 

70

The booth is speaking about Pietro Fittipaldi and it is getting me so pumped for the future of indycar. There are some fast young guns waiting in the wings. And the last class of young guns are really coming into their own. I think there are reports of like 25 cars scheduled for next year as well. Indycar is on the rise it seems. 

75

Clicking the laps off. I can imagine many will start to call Dixon the GOAT. Although he is the best driver of the modern era HANDS DOWN, it’s hard to claim GOAT for a sport that sans over 100 years. 

Still though #TeamDixon

76

O’ward… speaking of young guns. First race ever qualifying in the top 6 and looking to finish in the top 10. As a young rookie you really can’t ask for more than that.

78

That Harvey car is hot. Possibly my favorite paint job of the year. 

More young guns. Jordan King and Zach Veach. The rookie class is stacked this year. 

81

Rossi slowly falling into the clutches of Bourdais. Rossi has had an absolutely amazing season. I cannot wait to see what he can do in coming years. I really hope he doesn’t bolt to ‘greener pastures’. F1 or otherwise. I also want to root against him for years to come. 

—WHITE FLAG—

Looks like RHR will be able to avoid mixing it up with lapped traffic. I’m sure no one is happier than he is. 

—CHECKERS—

RHR for the win. Dixon for the championship. 

Rossi out of gas. Amazing finish to an amazing season. 

Chip Ganassi literally scares me. But people who drink the blood of the young usually do. Congratulations. 

Is RHR just chopped liver? We haven’t even seen him since ‘winning’ the ‘race’. Did he really even win? 

We get to watch the awkward in car congrats and hat dance twice? 

Jan is making me uncomfortable. Dude, you need to give Dixon some room and time to celebrate with his family. I know I know. TV blah blah blah… Still ridiculous. Dixon was literally thanking everyone on his team personally and Jan steps in before he can give the final hug. Ridic. 

Who is that New Zealand flag waving chap standing next to the firechicken?

Interview with Rossi before RHR? This is pretty bad. What the hell is NBCSN doing today? 

Also I would love to see a replay of the start. Preferably from before the pole sitter hits the hairpin. 

Video of Hunter-Reay getting out of the car with a promise to talk to him next before the commercial break. 

Aaaaaaand we come back to futball. Sign. I see where indycar falls in the NBC properties hierarchy. Lame AF

I guess that is that. Pretty anti climactic if I have to say so. Not impressed with NBCSN at all today. I pray 2019 will treat us better because even having a stellar year of broadcasting, if this is how you treat us during the season finale, what hope do we really even have?

2018 was a wild ride. Thanks for enjoying it with me!!

Eric Hall

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Unfiltered Race Notes… The Finish Was Worth The Race Edition

We are LIVE TONIGHT!!! Which also means the exciting addition of live radio to the mix!!

#GetWellWickens

I hope he comes back. I want him to win more races and even a few championships. Sometimes I hate that this form of racing is so razor edge. Too many drivers are scared to take the oval racing plunge. Not that I blame them though…

I know that Hinch won a race this year and is a consistent top 5 performer, but the addition of Wickens has really shown how far Hinch has to go. I always put his inconsistencies down to racing for SPM, but they clearly have their shop in order. 

What cha cookin is still terrible. Pay the bills. $$$

The grandstands look great! Not as good as last year, but good nonetheless!

I went last year but not this year. Can’t make it to everything every year. However, I firmly believe that each track needs to be able to survive on their own in their own market. You can’t pile these races on in the midwest and expect all the Indianapolis based fans to support them. 

With that said, I hope I can make it to this AND Mid-Ohio next year. I’ve been to both and really really enjoyed both experiences. 

Ok command. That John Bommarito guy kind of creeps me out. 

—GREEN—

—YELLOW—

Bourdais with massive front right damage. What a few tough weeks for indycar oval racing. Onboard with Veach shows that Boudrias just lost it. For a guy who lapped the entire field at Milwaukee a few years ago, this is a pretty surprising outcome. 

—GREEN—

8

Dixon leading. hopefully we can get into a grove tonight and get some good green flag racing. 

10

Of course Rossi is looking AMAZING tonight, but at least he has to work up to the front. 

12

Bourdais takes the blame. He knows. Weird crash tonight. 

18

Lock step… I hope once these tires start to wear we get some excitement. 

20

Rossi chasing Power is the closest race we have on track. 

22

Rossi already thinking about fuel savings. 

Corroborated with the radio as his engineer reminded him to watch his fuel number. 

28

Because I am live I am being forced to consume a you-know-what-itarian commercial… Sigh…

35

Kevin Lee reporting on the 10. Saying Felix Rosenqvist will be in the car next year. I think that is an upgrade but I feel bad for Dixon. He is racing on what amounts to a one car team. Even with his massive points lead, that has got to be frustrating. 

40

Dixon is pulling away from Power. Through traffic. Wow. Will we see another beat down this week? I notice that in some/most races I call the race through and finished like a 1/4 of the way through only to say how exciting it is at the end. This is why we race!

Andretti is complain-y on the radio. I love him. 

49 

BOOM ROSSI ON NEWGARDEN!

I’ll root for The Truth if it means seeing some action. LET’S GO!!

56

…Gaining on Power.

Also, If he can catch and pass Dixon at any point tonight we will have a championship race as well. 

Begrudgingly #TeamRossi JUST FOR TONIGHT

59

First stops underway. 

It did not look like there was too much tire drop off. That could make for an interesting evening. 

65

Power radio: I just got up into the marbles. 

Rossi radio: Stay with Will and hit your fuel number or better. 

Can Rossi catch and pass these guys while hitting a fuel number?!

77

Ed Carpenter. Where do I start? Should you even race next year? You won pole at Indy but you are just so enigmatic.

82

Through the field. Boo. I thought the segment was dead.

88

Chaves is up to 11th. I wonder if that his on his own merit or what Daly was able to bring to the team.

94

Has there been any actual racing?

The all the radios are basically silent save for splits and handling updates. 

100

The top three are close on track but it just doesn’t seem like they will be able to race. Especially if we are transitioning from a 4 stop to a 3 stop race. 

104

Brian Barnhart always looks like he is so confused when he is being interviewed.

107

Interesting. Chaves is going to take one full turn of the left and one half turn on the right. I have aways wondered if staggered downforce is ever used! Cool. 

Oh No! Chaves has something broken! like 3 laps after he stopped for fuel. Radio says nothing is wrong but Chaves really thinks something is broken. I’ll continue to listen. Says the steering is sloppy.

118

2nd round of stops underway. 

POWER OUTSIDE OF DIXON FOR THE LEAD!!!!

No. And he loses multiple places. Attempting a pass almost isn’t even worth it. 

129

Ok. It looks like Newgarden attempted to pass Power and got into the marbles and lost a ton of speed as well. 

Is a pass attempt worth that? These guys have to stop trying outside passes. It will be all about the low move if anything is going to happen. 

140

Log jam.

Sato around Hinch and then Hinch into the marbles and proceeds to lose like 5 more soots. 

Lame.

146

Holy hell Rossi almost passes Power and gets SO CLOSE to walling it. Amazing car control and loses 2 places. Holy crap man. 

I repeat. Passing is not worth it. At least passing on the outside. 

The race winning move will be an inside move. 

150

BOOM! Power around Dixon ON THE INSIDE!!!

Excellent move!

154

There is definitely action happening right now. The lapped cars are playing a huge part in the on track strategy tonight. 

162

Alright, we are blessed with a KICK ASS firestone commercial. Some of the best around! If there were more high quality indycar commercials I would watch more of them. 

166

Kimball brushes the wall and we stay green. Cool. 

This is why you never pick Kimball. 

I really respect indycar race control this year. We have stayed green in many situations the would have seen a yellow in the near past. Let them race. No matter now processional or far apart they get, we deserve to see them race week in and out as many green flag laps as possible. 

—YELLOW—

174

RHR loses power. again. What the hell man? He has the worst luck. 

He has stopped in the middle of pit lane to force the safety team to pull him down pit lane to his box. Genius. 

177

Sweepers. I agree. This insanity has to stop. If I was an engineer I would highly suggest to my driver to not attempt a pass before this. Once the track is swept I would have no problem trying it again. 

—GREEN—

184

Clean restart. Power in a commanding lead. Will anyone be able to do anything?

187

Dixon radio: Hitting that number is impossible. Then it will either be a splash or a yellow (!)

192

I have done the math and i agree. No one will be able to make it. We should see some hard and close racing for the rest of the night. 

197

Jones with his third big pass in almost as many laps and has parked himself right behind Dixon. Lets see what he does. 

203

Pagenaud fails to pass Rossi on the outside, fails and what looks like to me, blocks spigot from making his own pass. 

211

It seems like some of these guys are really really trying to save and make it. I have no idea how they think that will happen. Not only does it seem ridiculous, but Rossi in particular is losing a ton of places. Wishing and hoping for extra fuel in the tank?

221

Yes, Will Power is CRUSHING the field. 

Rahal in fuel saving as well. 

223

Now we are really seeing the disparate strategies and the action on track is really showing it. 

Worth noting that the track may be taking rubber now instead of allowing it to flake and peel off. It can take some time to wear a groove into a freshly rained upon track and I think that may be what we are seeing now. 

229

Rossi goes a lap down. Will he be able to make it?!

Onboard with him and it really sounds and feel

POWER ON PIT LANE FOR A SPLASH!

Holy CRAP!!

233

Wow Rossi ahead of Power but the comes out right behind with a full rich engine. No problem. 

238

Dixons crew is walking out. This is it… Excruciating. 

It’s amazing how different the end of this race is from where we started.

240

Can Dixon hunt down Rossi?

I say no. 

243

I think this thing is about toasted.

248

—CHECKERS—

POWER

Amazing end to a really boring race. That was a most excellently timed yellow flag. Saved. The. Race. It would have been nice to see the race play out naturally but the yellow really changed the face of the race. 

Will Power. The oval master. 

Holy hell what a finish! Next week we get to go back to historic Portland International Raceway! I can’t wait to see you guys there. Thanks for reading!

Eric Hall

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Unfiltered Race Notes… I Don’t Want to Test That Fence Edition

Hello and welcome back! This week we are heading straight into the action!!

Aaaand we cut immediately to a stinking retrospective about Rossi. Booooo. What a way to start a broadcast. (Rossi is an amazing racer and I am so glad indycar has him as an asset, however he irritates me. And rooting against people is as big a part of motorsport as rooting for people. I don’t always agree with Miller, but hate is good. In this case. You always need someone to sneer at on track. It’s also important for that black hat to be skilled, which Rossi undoubtedly is. He is a much better object of my snark than Rahal, who only for one year could really be a black hat. Rossi = The Truth.)

With all of that said I will absolutely skip his interview…

Wow. Will Power the 500 mile specialist. That is crazy to think about. 

Command was not done in a two-seater and that guy could not have been more milk toast. Absolutely soulless. 

Veach as a dark horse?! I’m no Jan, but I have a hard time believing that. 

—GREEN—

—YELLOW—

Spigot immediately spins with Rahal having front wing damage. Amateur hour. Replay shows Rahal obviously running over Spigot. Dammit Rahal. This is why I don’t like you. You’re bad and you do stupid things. Rahal CLEARLY jumps the start. 

Looks like Spigot is out. This is infuriating. Rahal needs to be held for a few laps so his race is really truly ruined. 

5

Why are we still circulating under yellow?

6

The panic in the Rahal pit is delicious. 

7

—GREEN—

Wickens and Rossi heading to the front. Obviously. 

—YELLOW—

Wickens into the catch fence.

—RED—

Scared. Really hoping Wickens is OK. Hinch looks hurt. 

Not a lot of frantic movement around the Wickens car which makes me feel better. It doesn’t have that saving a life feel to it. 

Driver out of the car. Catch fence damage. This is going to be a while No update on Wickens or Hinch. 

Awake and Alert. Excellent. 

Pietro sounds bruised but ok too. Thank goodness. 

Rahal MAJORLY deflecting. Lame. Take responsibility. 

Power defending his start. He is so well spoken now days. He could be a contender for my new favorite driver soon. 

Hinch has been cleared. Another big sigh. 

Drivers back in the cars. 

Engines started and the grandstands are not empty. Let’s do this thing. 

—YELLOW—

10

Lots of cars getting fixed in the pits. 

There will be like 7 cars on the lead lap once this thing gets going. And it’s lap 10. This could be a long afternoon. 

—GREEN—

12

Rossi back to the front. 

These guys better give each other some room for a few laps. 

15

Ok, 14 cars on the lead lap. 

16

Daly on screen. Sooooo is anyone else impressed with Daly? I know who I would hire next year. Awkward. 

17

Kanaan in the pits with no power. I picked him this week. Obviously. On the plus side i didn’t lose anyone in the crash. 

22

No passes. I bet we see a through the field this race. Maybe two. After everything that has happened I imagine the action and therefore the notes will be a little thin this week. I can’t imagine we’ll see any real racing until 125 or less to go. 

29

TK officially out. Sad face. 

31

Onboard with Dixon. He looks to literally be out there alone. 

40

20% through and all is quiet. 

Stops happening and Rossi is making this race a stinker. I’m pretty sure his lead has grown across the pit exchange. I want to know what his secret sauce is. In fairness, I’m sure the rest of the field is wondering the same thing. 

48

“Onboard with Graham Rahal’s Honda. He is three laps down.” This is what I like to come back from break hearing. 

50

Right on for the race fans in Pocono. The stands still look rocking right now. I bet this race has great ambiance. 

53

11 cars on the lead lap with only 15 currently running. A regular 25 car field would be really nice on days like this. 

54

I see Zach Veach has been demoted to his poo car once again. 

63

Rossi has a 12 second lead. What is that like 1/4 or a 1/3 of a lap? Ridiculous. 

Honestly, I really hope Rossi stays in indycar. I hate to lose our young guns to F1 or NASCAR and I feel like Rossi and Newgarden could be in danger. I love that Rossi is so good. We need him and Newgarden and Wickens and Hinch to keep winning and we need the next new young gun to keep adding to the depth. 

68

Kanaan in the booth. Cool. I hope he hangs out for a while. 

69

Veach and Bourdais are actually racing. 

Dixon in. This seems early. He had some fuel in hand over the last stint. Bell picks up on it and says he short filled this time. Such an interesting strategy! I’m very excited to see how this plays out!

71

Marco and Dixon racing. Dixon out ahead of Newgarden shows just how much track position he exchanged for those few laps of fuel. 

73

More stops. There is so much concrete here. How do you choose the fastest or best line out of the pits when there is approximately 4 acres of driving surface to choose from. 

81

Dixon is less than a second behind Andretti and Bourdais a second behind Newgarden. Buckle up we could have some racing yet to see. 

84

Kanaan is being pretty open about Alonso’s plans for next year. This is a really fortuitous development in this otherwise very quiet race. Say what you will about TK, but he gives a really good color interview. 

93

They’re showing the actual on track gap from Rossi to Power and it is HUGE! Sure. There’s always a hope that lapped traffic will play into the chasing drivers hands, but this is basically an ocean. And once things shake back out it’s not like the handling is going to go away that much for Rossi. 

96

Down to 4 seconds. I am not on the edge of my seat. 

100

Stops underway. 

The pit lane here at Pocono is not level. At all. I can see the wave, I wonder what it feels like in the car. 

103

This race has really been contested in the pits. With so few cars on track it’s much easier to keep track of everything and see how seconds in the pits translates to feet on the racetrack.

105

This pitstop exchange has been the most exciting thing of the race. Dixon racing Andretti and Rossi racing Power and Chilton. There is some really hairy racing going on right now. I hope they can stay close and race? He says optimistically.   

107

WOW The Rossi crew left a hose out for Power to run over. Interesting twist. 

Regardless of what happens those two are the closes they have been all day. It has taken hundreds of miles for Power to claw back 7 seconds on track. 

114

Sounds like Bourdais was not happy with the fence repair. I totally agree with him. I do not believe that the repaired section of fence is as strong or safe as the original section. They had to replace a main support pole in that section and it looked sketchy as hell. I know we were red for two hours, but do we need to get the races started at any cost? 

117

Warnings all around for Rossi and Power. Fair enough. 

119

Wasn’t Pocono missing a back straight fence until just a few years ago? One of the many reasons why indycar couldn’t come I think. 

120

Woah, 1.5 second gap up front. That was fast! And Rossi is backed up behind Pagenaud…

126

I wonder how many people are left in the grandstands.

128

Yea, Zach Veach isn’t too bad. I know I make fun of him, but that kid has some chops as well. Continuing the previous discussion about young guns, Veach has been a nice addition. Even if he drives a poo car sometimes. 

131

Need more power. Engine power. 

132

Alright, Pagenaud is out of the way. How long will it take Rossi to drive away from Power? 

136

Veach in with Newgarden. Booth makes the Penske vs Andretti comment. Andretti has really stepped their game up. It makes me wonder if this recent success is due to the addition of Rossi. It has always felt that Andretti needed a setup guy to hoist the team to success and I do not believe that RHR is that man. Maybe even Veach has added to the overall success. We also know Marco isn’t giving the team squat in terms of setup information. 

137

Power in and out… Ahead of Rossi! Andretti fails themselves in the pits again! Holy crap I cannot believe Power has clawed this lead back. 

Will Power. The 500 mile king. Wow. 

145

Hmf. As we were headed to break Rossi made the pass back for the lead. Grr. 

To add insult to injury Rossi has a few buffer cars as well. This is going all to plan for Rossi. 

150

Instead of a through the field we are now watching a very in depth race review. I appreciate the lack of through the field. It was a very hollow time filling segment. 

153

This must be one of those races that guys who wish for the good ol’ days pine for. 5 cars on the lead lap with 15 cars still running and only 1 guys who really has any kind of chance. And in reality it would take the top two cars breaking down to make a race of this. 

160

We have crossed 400 miles. We are into that funny part of the race where unpredictable and fatigue driven incidents can creep into the equation.

165

Daly into the wall. No yellow. Good for indycar. 

169

Rossi in. Now that his last stop is upon us, I get that nervous feeling for the leader. Any bobble an it’s over. Not enough time to recover. 

Power bobbles in turn 3 headed into the pits. That’s the race right there. Add to it his trip high in turn 1 that cost him the lead during the previous pit rotation and there is no one to blame but himself for throwing the win away. THAT is the Power I know and love. This is why I was never a fan of his until this year. I think I need to rethink my newfound allegiance. 

178

Coyne interview. He reminds me of everyones drunk uncle. So much so I have been known to refer to him as drunk uncle Coyne. The most lovable and passionate drunk uncle I know. 

181

The booth is counting down the lead. Come on. And now Kanaan is out of the booth. We are in dangerous territory right now. This race needs to finish up to save us all. 

188

Ok cool. We get a rundown of the manufacturer championship and Honda will probably win this year for the first time since Chevy joined. Congratulations as that is a very cool distinction. 

190

5.6 seconds now. This countdown is killing me. No way Rossi loses this without a crash. 

193

Oh hell, now we’re getting stats about consecutive 500 mile wins. They are really trying to will this race into a different outcome. 

195

I think they call a performance like this clinical. A clinical oval showing we have not seen since Bourdais at Milwaukee however many years ago. 

196

4 cars on the lead lap. 2 are 40+ seconds down. What a nutty day. It’s really amazing how close Power and Rossi could stay to each other. 

P1, P3 and P4 in the same shot. Crazy. 

200

—CHECKERS—

Rossi. Holy crap that was a beat down. 

Today was a long day. Best wishes and a speedy revery to Wickens. I can’t wait to talk to you all after Gateway. I’m out. Thank you for reading!

Eric Hall

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