Unfiltered Race Notes… The Kitten is Still a Kitten Edition

Ok. Here we go again! Regular full disclosure: I’m on DVR but I have no idea how this ended… Self enacted twitter ban successful!

No pre-race. The DVR programming kicked in during opening ceremonies. No complaints here. I just want to go racing!

Excellent anthem. That. Is. How. It’s. Done.

PT is so red… and wide. I want to eat with him and Juan Pablo. #Goals

So this isn’t pre-race per say, but I’m definitely being exposed to some kind of pre-race analysis. I find this awkward. The guys work really well together, there’s just always something campy about these broadcasts.

Yessss. Another fantastic montage by IMSP. Thanks Little Al. Welcome to Long Beach. Indeed.

The command wasn’t too bad. Best of the year, but not the best ever.

Sigh. One of these days, I’ll write a report from the fastest seat in sports. One day.

Penske cites pit road width as a concern. Agreed. There has been more than a few pit lane incidents here.

–Race–

Sato and Hinch go side-by-side through the hairpin. There goes the final excuse as to why we cant get a good formation for the start here.

GREEN

Another clean-ish start. Well done guys. This year has been pretty good for starts.

2

Pagenaud around Dixon with ease. I didn’t think you were supposed to be able to do that here. And he came back from a mile. Well done.

3

RHR around Newgarden. 2 televised passes in 2 laps. THIS EDITION OF LONG BEACH IS THE MOST AMAZING EVER. I’m sure I will eat my words before the end of this.

4

Pagenaud duking it out with Helio for the honest to goodness lead. I AM ENTERTAINED!!

Oil/Debris flag in the hairpin.

6

Helio looks to be pulling away a bit. I hope we haven’t slipped into a fuel race already as I’d really like to see Pagenaud take a few more shots at the lead.

10

We get a montage of Rahal passes. Looks like a bunch of action. I don’t understand who we don’t see these live.

Hawksworth in already. He needs some yellow to make this work. I like the early hail mary though.

11

lock-step-a-thon

All the while Penske populates 4 of the top 6. Not a complaint. Just an observation. I don’t think The Captain will stand for another year of Ganassi stealing the championship at the end of the season.

13

Chilton in. Still a bit early for legitimate stops to be taking place.

14

Tracy mentions fuel mileage mode. Yes. Yes we are.

15

The rear wing angle these guys are carrying is shockingly low. The Dallara kit was probably 40% taller. And probably 40% more inefficient. A perfect visual representation of how advanced these manufacturer kits are.

20

Checking into the front after commercial break reveals nothing has changed. Green flag stops should be coming soon.

You can feel how antsy everyone is. I would be antsy too waiting on the call to GO and make on hot laps before the stops.

21

Rahal in. Is he a front runner?

22

Newgarden and Bourdais in. The answer to my previous question? No.

Bourdais rejoins the fight with the accuracy of a surgeon. I need more Bourdais in my life.

25

Pit stops are happening and we are being shown shot after shot after shot of cars blending back into the field with shocking precision. Maybe it’s the years of questionable driving but this afternoon’s display of automobiling skills handling is amazing.

Obviously the newest F1 transfer would shortcut a corner. I hope we get an interview out of this one!

27

Bell posits that there is no rule about going under the curbs. I hate to say it but should we put it past indycar? I’m not totally sure.

29

Dixon settles into P3. Hell. I wouldn’t put it past him sneaking into the championship again.

32

More lock stepping. Clean but distant. Interesting how the field can seem so close during the stops yet so far away while running.

33

Kimball around RHR like he’s standing still. That is the red tire advantage.

Chilton cutting the corner again. But then doesn’t do it the next lap. Why would it be so inconsistent? I figure do it more than once do it the rest of the time?

35

We have abandoned the leaders. And blessed with amazing racing farther back into the field. This is what we have been waiting for!

37

Race control has now informed Chilton he is not allowed to do that anymore. Probably a moment of decision. I love that he isn’t penalized because I bet there isn’t a specific rule he broke. Most excellent. Chilton, I take it all back!!!

40

Through the field. .50 score. And statistically speaking, this is the most exciting race per the Is-this-an-exciting-race-o-meter-scoring-system. No I will not share the math. Proprietary and all.

43

We are still going through the field. P12. I bet we get through the entire field. There should be some sort of penalty added to the Is-this-an-exciting-race-o-meter-scoring-system when we can get all the way through the field.

44

I mean, clearly my system is garbage. We all know it was in jest because this race hasn’t been exactly a shining example of super exciting street racing.

We will continue to track this through the year. With no changes to the scoring system. Obviously.

49

I may be an idiot, but did Dixon get around Pagenaud? Is Dixon closing in on Castroneves for the lead? I’m not rewinding it to find out.

50

THE RUSSIAN. I’m glad Kevin Lee got my memo.

51

We could be coming upon the most excitement we have had all race as the leaders pull onto the bumper of Sato. MAKE THE MOVE HELIO.

52

Dixon in early. Ill go ahead and say that was the move on the race. Check and Mate.

53

Helio in with the fastest stop of the afternoon but it just isn’t fast enough.

54

Pagenaud INTO THE LEAD! But with a pretty clear blend line violation. Tracy says tough call, but I simply don’t see it that way. I hate for the race to be decided this way but THEM ARE THE RULES SON!

57

Dixon was watching the replay as he was coming down the front straight. What a pro. Just the pro-est of pros.

58

The turbo sound is very present here at Long Beach. The buildings and overpasses must accentuate the sound because it is very distinctive this weekend.

60

I see Pagenaud is still in the lead.

A WARNING?! AN EFFING WARNING?!?

UNACCEPTABLE!!

RACE CONTROL HAS NO TEETH! BRING OUT THE CHROME HORN!!

62

PUT HIM IN THE WALL DIXON

Ok. I think I’ve got it out of my system.

63

The booth mentions the shortcut. I agree 100%. This bends me very much out of shape.

66

Caution free and Pagenaud is still in the lead. I’m not sure how I feel right now. I’m definitely not upset with the race quality. Considering it had been caution free there has been a good amount of action, but this finish could really stink the race up.

68

SATO slithering through the field. (I regret not YELLING SATOS NAME AT YOU ALL YEAR) Best Honda.

71

With that said, It’s so weird how the Honda kit rewards some and punishes others. I refuse to believe that their kit is as bad as they say it is. I think it’s just a question of being more fiddly and difficult to get to that exact right spot for the afternoon. Add the expected engine upgrades and they could have a pretty stout platform once they get a handle of it.

72

Sneaky fact snuck into the crawl: the last caution free race was Mid-Ohio 2013. Viewing enhanced.

73

The booth has informed us a warning is a warranted penalty and within the matrix of allowable penalties for than infraction.

Ugh. Now I don’t know what to think. Race control still doesn’t have any teeth though.

75

Knife fight between SATO and Montoya. My mind is crunching the possible outcomes of this.

77

Pagenaud looks to have this race wrapped up. Too bad. I’ve decided I’m not OK with how this has gone down.

79

Part of me is still hoping for the chrome horn even though Dixon is way too classy to do that.

80

Hawks gets in the way and Dixon is so so so close! Should have saved a push to pass maybe? I don’t know. That’s a tough tough call.

CHECKERS

Flag to flag green. Post race interviews should be way exciting. Dixon does not look happy at all.

Not only was it a flag to flag green, but also no DNFs. Crazy.

Dixon and Hull seem to think that there are no more warnings. Very very interesting.

Pagenaud is as excited as I think I’ve ever seen him? Much better in the racecar.

Good race, all things considered. If race control acted within the rules then no harm no foul. Obviously they need to clear up the issue with ‘no more warnings’ but I cant fault them for not flagging the race leader if they weren’t compelled to do so. The kitten that lives in race control can be frustrating but for the fans at the track I think this outcome was the eventual best.

Thanks for reading, I’ll see you in Barber!!

Eric Hall

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One Response to Unfiltered Race Notes… The Kitten is Still a Kitten Edition

  1. dylanpt24 says:

    I’m glad you have enjoyed the races this year, but three races in and I’ve yet to be entertained by an Indycar race this year. The one saving grace is the fact the last couple years were more entertaining in the summer than spring, and we’ve got Road America coming up. I have a bad feeling about Indy and Texas (though the fact everyone is mad about too much downforce means maybe Texas improves?), but I think Iowa and Pocono will be good races. Otherwise, the Penske and Ganassi domination make it look more like Formula One than Indycar at the front of the field. Overall the racing this year has been kinda sub par, and the parity has been non-existent.

    One of the biggest reasons for my lack of enthusiasm has been the collapse of ECR. Carpenter’s team was the great, non Penske/Ganassi hope from 2012-2015. I’m not sure if they legitimately have run out of money, if they’re phoning it in like Coyne does when he doesn’t have good drivers because they think Newgarden’s gone next year, or if they just missed development completely but this is not good. The Honda thing’s depressing too, especially with Hinch, Daly, Rahal, RHR and Marco all stuck on Honda’s.

    You know it’s bad when I’m actually looking forward to Barber and Belle Isle mostly because Barber was a good race last season and Belle Isle has had unexpected winners in the past.

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