Unfiltered Race Notes… 196 Days Edition

—Prerace—

YEA RIGHT!

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

Yessss I’ve missed the IMSP montages!

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

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

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

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

The command. IT HAS BEEN TOO LONG

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

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

—Race—

GREEN

Super clean first lap. I feel good about 2016.

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

2

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

3

The cars LOOK AMAZING. And fast.

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

5

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

8

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

10

Hashtag Penske Train

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

12

THOSE LIGHTNING BOLTS LOOK AMAZING

15

Pags is approximately a county ahead of P2

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

16

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

Goodyear explaining how to count backwards. Thank you

18

Looks like HCN is conducting a train today

20

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

21

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

22

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

23

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

28

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

32

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

Dan Wheldon Way shout out always makes me smile

33

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

34

Penske Magic Dust. Ha

35

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

39

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

41

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

46

Newgarden is out. Not great

YELLOW

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

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

53

GREEN

NOPE

YELLOW

Marco around again. 5 point penalty

57

GREEN

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

YELLOW

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

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

64

GREEN

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

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

65

Safety truck picks the debris up. Very well played

66

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

67

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

68

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

70

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

72

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

77

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

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

78

Trap speeds are in the 160 MPH range. Eh…

81

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

82

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

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

85

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

88

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

89

Penske Train still pulling the field

91

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

92

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

 

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

96

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

97

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

98

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

99

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

102

Finally some sweet mid-field action

Have I mentioned the lightning bolts?

104

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

106

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

107

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

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

108

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

110

CHECKERS

Montoya. Boom.

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

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

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

Bring on Phoenix!

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

Eric Hall

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4 Responses to Unfiltered Race Notes… 196 Days Edition

  1. #1fan says:

    All in for lap 88!

  2. billytheskink says:

    More lightning bolts!
    On cars, not in the skies.

  3. DZ-groundedeffects says:

    Eric, these are great! Hope you keep these up all season!

  4. mikek0525 says:

    Why am I just getting around to seeing this? Oh well, great stuff as always, Eric!

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