Unfiltered Race Notes: Grand Prix of Indy 2015

Full disclosure: I was there live. I know how this movie ends and I know how pissed off all of you are about what went down. I saw a ton of passing and had a freaking great afternoon at the track, but I understand that the TV coverage is the most important customer facing aspect of IndyCar.

I dislike the booth as much as you do, so I’m interested to see how this differed from real life.

–Pre Pre Race–

Our local ABC affiliate has a two and a half hour pre race before the broadcast even started. No excuse for the casual Indianapolis citizen to not know about the race this year.

Various highlights:

The always wonderfully unintelligible Carlos Munoz gets interviewed.

Live closed circuit coverage of the undercard races.

Mr. Doug Boles tells us lights will cost 25 million, and he will gladly accept a personal check for them.

Excellent interviews with roasted toasted racefans.

In-depth traffic and weather coverage. Like 15 minute blocks in-depth.

Angie from Angie’s List said some kind of conference with their major partners was held in concert with the race weekend. Sounds like the company is really pumped about the weekend.

Dave Furst interviews Hinch, Daly and James “buckshot” Jakes. Pure comedy gold.

Seriously though, local weatherman Kevin Gregory is in the field interviewing families having a blast. Great to see.

Oh man, AJ Foyt is talking about legacy, graveyards and multiple organ failure. Real $4!# right there.

–Prerace–

Ok, IndyCar and Helio clip package. I can dig it, but my interview patience is limited today so we will see what I can get through.

Helio has Bronchitis? Ok.

Booth talk… Fast forward…

Oh yea, ABC has like a 15 minute prerace. I’m totally on board with this.

Mari Hulman George with the most UNINSPIRING COMMAND EVER.

–Race–

Yes, ABC missed the green flag. Strike one. Ugh… not a good start to the coverage.

Side note: I know they weren’t well aligned and the flagman had waved off a feeder series start already today. He wasn’t allergic to the yellow.

GREEN

YELLOW

Saw that coming.

I have quite a different opinion of this incident than most. Pagenaud was way too optimistic on the inside and put HCN in a bad position. Helio could either have spun off of Pags nose or give his teammate the room he really didn’t deserve and be forced to clip a Ganassi car. I think Helio made the right call and Pags needs to get a stern talking to from Rodger.

The incident farther back was just Hawks being totally over optimistic and causing a mess around him.

Both were racing incidents, and if anyone gets a penalty its Pags for forcing HCN into Dixon.

4

GREEN

And we miss the restart too?! What the hell is going on? ABC YOU ARE FIRED

So much grip through the chicane.

5

Ok, settling in for a long race here.

I see hotdog wrappers floating around the track… but I bet we stay green… because we have more integrity than other series…

6

Saavedra locks them up into 1. Just like he did all weekend… Come on man, GET IT TOGETHER!

7

The laps click off pretty quick here. I think it’s appropriate that IMS has the fastest road course on the schedule as well… Cathedral of speed and all.

8

The booth just drones on. I read a comment about how much dead air ABC had. Well, I’ll welcome it when it gets here. Nothing amazing is said and I just really ignore it all I think.

9

Jakes around Kimball. No mention.

Holy of holies, Jan saves us with some info on Honda pitch sensitivity. Like a damn dessert oasis. I WILL NEVER UNDER APPRECIATE YOU AGAIN!!

10

RHR in. I like how the Honda kit looks like it’s going to shake itself to pieces when the clutch gets dropped. Visual representation of the cheapness of everything IndyCar related? I didn’t say it…

13

Air shot of IMS, That ain’t cheep though.

NEW TRACK RECORD MENTION!!!

Say what you will, the kits are fast.

14

Ok, I know there is passing through the field…

JPM has almost no rear wing. Unreal how trimmed out everyone is running.

Lot’s of Bourdais mentions, but I don’t think the booth has identified the story lines yet. We’re just doing a lot of random discussing.

15

Well deserved props to Rahal. He says he’s just manhandling the car to get the performance out of it. If that’s how it really is in the Honda camp, those boys better get to peddling.

16

Coletti around Kanaan. Get it done.

Bestwick is so good, it’s a shame he gets dragged down by the idiot twins.

20

Newgarden hustling to stay on the lead lap.

Green flag stops. Filippi get his radio reattached. Yea, that’s kind of important.

22

Newgarden giving Power a good fight. And well within his rights fighting to stay on the lead lap.

23

Bourdais has been hanging tough all day long with Rahal still giving chase. We’ve definitely been focused on P1 for a while.

Lead pack in.

Pags gives Bourdais an elbow leaving the pits. Simon has been kind of dirty this year and I’m not sure I like it. I understand the pressure is on, but this is out of his wheelhouse a bit.

24

Jakes in P1. Weird.

25

Dude. Coletti gives no quarter. I love the young kids screwing with the veterans.

Dracone out of the pits and really hassling the leaders of Jakes and Hinch. I would black flag his ass. I am so sick of watching him screw with these guys. He may be slightly quick, but he has no race vision AT ALL.

26

Jakes is totally serviceable. There, I said it.

30

Lets reset this race. Power Rahal Pags Bourdais JPM.

Fast and furious at the front but it looks like Power has kind of walked away from the top 5. Gotta say P2-4 are all super close.

32

Sigh. Wilson in P17. I told him I picked him for fantasy and not to drop the ball. THANKS FOR NOTHING!

Chaves with a monster save on the inside of Kanaan. Excellent car control. You are both out of the race if you didn’t gather is back up.

Aaaaaand Filippi around Wilson.

33

Not that IMS ever really looks that bad, but you can tell grounds had another year to replant grass and really define gravel traps for this year.

34

Director shows the continuing fight between TK and Coletti. You would think this was the only battle on track. But Coletti is hanging tough today.

36

Chaves and Kimball fighting right behind them. This is good stuff, if only for 2 laps.

WOW Chaves running Kimball all the way to the pit attenuator. One car width and an inch; well done.

39

In-program Honda ad while we are onboard the Chevy of Dixon. Are we really that ignorant?

40

Leaders in. will be tough to make it if they make final stops on lap 60. 82 lap race.

41

Booth makes a good point. All the pitstops today help everyone for the 500. May only programs get a huge boost by competing this weekend.

43

Rahal still out. Great economy for Honda. Booth giving the smack down to AA for not being as good as Graham. This is all so comedic to me and I can’t explain why.

46

Third turn parking is pretty sparse. I hope you had to have a special ticket to park there or attendance was not that strong.

47

Newgarden hassling the leaders to get his lap back. So very yes. Aaaand Josef gives Hinch a little tappy tap tap as he slides on by. That is how you do it.

I still can’t believe I am writing about BABE so much in 2015. I do not like this new IndyCar reality.

Rahal around Hinch in a very nice move… Ew.

48

Hinch is bleeding positions. Obviously. Because why would he not be. I often wonder if SPM just throws darts at he various strategies on the day.

49

For the record… and save for the commentating… I don’t understand the gnashing of teeth regarding the perceived lack of action from this race. It seems all good to me.

52

Newgarden has been showed the blue and Rahal is radioing for help getting around him from race control. IndyCar is quite inconsistent with their blue flag procedures, Curious if there will be any issues this year.

54

“Up to Speed” AKA the ABC version of through the field. Pretty deep in the race to be doing this. The patented anotherindycarblog does this race suck-o-meter says this race does not suck that bad if it takes almost ¾ of the race to find time for this segment.

Also, we only go back through P8. Seems very random because the booth then breaks into the usual aimless conversation after.

56

Rahal still complaining about Newgarden. THAT’S THE BABE I KNOW. Seriously, Josef needs to get the hell out of the way. He has already lost his lap and is now watching the leader drive away from him. RESPECT THE RACE NEWGARDEN!

57

ECU change for Pagenaud. Awesome that this is considered outpatient surgery; no garage time needed.

58

Penske boys in way way way early. I mean, I’m sure they can go the distance, but this will be a long long stint.

61

Rahal around Josef finally. I actually do feel bad for Rahal. I bet Montoya is around in 1 lap though…

62

Yup.

63

mmmm… I want Steak ‘n Shake… a sponsor I can actually appreciate and support on a regular basis.

66

I think we have been resigned to watch Power circulate for these final 16 laps.

67

Asking Tim Cindric if his driver has enough fuel is the dumbest question ever. Like he is ever going to blink. Can we just continue to break down the race and, I don’t know, maybe train the camera on someone other than Power?

Unfair. We have only been following him for 2 laps. There’s still plenty of time to not show anything else other than Power.

70

Ok Ok Ok, we are actually watching Rahal. I can get into this.

Ill tell you what, having someone slow in the car is great marketing for Dale Coin. His blank ass cars get a ton of airtime as they are lapped every 5 or 6 laps.

72

Back on Power…

Ah, the old catch vs. pass debate.

73

Ok, cool. The camera has actually been following through about P5. This is much better direction from ABC than we usually get at this point in a race. +1 Mr. Director.

Pag out. Must have died on the table… Along with my Fantasy team this weekend.

74

Have I missed the blue flags all year? I’m seeing them everywhere today.

75

Have I said I think these cars look super kick ass yet?

76

Been watching HCN for a few minutes. I like when the 4 Penske cars are painted with different accent colors. They all look so classy.

78

Rahal is starting to visually push. Power looks solid as a rock. With only 4 laps left now is totally the time to follow the leader around. I approve.

Part of me wishes they would run up onto the Indy T1 banking instead of using the twiddle-y snake pit bits. Hell, lets run the right way into Indy T1 as well. Tradition be dammed, we’re road course racing.

80

Cheever supporting speed increases. Ok, I can totally get behind that. Rooting for BABE and agreeing with the booth… What the hell is going on?!? I feel sick

WHITE

Losing time. Must be doing final fuel conservation. Verified by Cindric. Damn I’m good.

CHECKERS

Power. This is my surprise face.

And he gives us the laziest fist pump in history. I’m really starting to soften on you Will, but you’ve got to give me more than that!

Also, I want more victory burnouts and donuts dammit. Come on Honda and Chevy, get with the program.

Alright. That was pretty good on TV. I am still confused about the high volume of hate regarding this race… and I’m usually driving the I hate ABC bandwagon.

Good to hear Power having such strong focus on the 500.

Replay shows Power give us the hand ten sign. That makes up for a weak fist pump.

Ok, I think that’s enough. We are totally into interviews now. Sorry for the long delay in getting these out, hopefully I can get through the 500 before this weekend. Thanks for your eyeballs and patience!

Eric Hall

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3 Responses to Unfiltered Race Notes: Grand Prix of Indy 2015

  1. billytheskink says:

    A very good race for my favorite terrible part of every ABC broadcast: Goodyear starts to ramble, Cheever lets him go for about a minute and a half and then interrupts him to point out something wholly uninteresting (usually involving a driver with a Latin/Italian last name), Bestwick rolls his eyes.

  2. Murph says:

    They charged $25 to park in the 3rd turn.

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