Unfiltered Race Notes: Super Awesome Championship Sonoma Edition

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

–Prerace–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Damn. One more…

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

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

–Race–

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

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

GREEN

Clean start. Is this real life?

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

2

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

3

JPM in P4. He can clinch from here.

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

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

5

Hey, is that Saavedra in P12? Not bad.

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

8

No cautions today. I want to see outright speed.

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

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

10

Points as they run. DRINK

11

JPM losing touch with the top 3.

Sounds like Power is managing the gap. Too bad.

14

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

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

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

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

17

Team tactics mentioned by PT. Yup.

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

Points as they run.

18

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

19

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

20

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

21

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

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

23

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

25

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

Points as they run

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

26

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

30

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

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

31

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

32

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

34

YELLOW

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

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

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

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

39

GREEN

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

YELLOW

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

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

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

43

GREEN

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

Nice clean restart. Refreshing. Lets stay clean.

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

44

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

Saavedra made it easy on Dixon. Well done.

46

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

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

47

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

48

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

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

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

50

Boom. Dixon running P2. Montoya P15.

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

Rahal saving fuel.

54

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

55

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

56

This is amazing. Shh watching racecars.

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

58

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

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

62

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

63

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

65

YELLOW

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

70

GREEN

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

Another clean start. The guys are being incredible today.

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

YELLOW

Pits to Dixon: Good on fuel. Uh oh.

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

GREEN

73

Rahal is down and out. No grip left.

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

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

74

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

75

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

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

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

This race fan has been satisfied today.

76

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

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

79

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

Race Control: Drive through penalty for car 11.

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

80

Montoya in clear air. Can he do it?

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

81

No finger nails left.

PT: Blood in the water.

82

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

83

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

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

WHITE

DIXON DIXON DIXON

CHECKERS

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

I have no words. So awesome.

Jabba the Chip looks ready to eat all the babies.

JPM: We threw it away.

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

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

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

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

What. A. Year.

Congratulations Scott Dixon.

Eric Hall

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This entry was posted in Unfiltered Race Notes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Unfiltered Race Notes: Super Awesome Championship Sonoma Edition

  1. billytheskink says:

    The Unfiltered Race Notes return! Fantastic. Now let’s add Milwaukee and Pocono to the list…

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