Unfiltered Race Notes: St. Pete is Amazing Edition

Race Notes: 2018 st pete edition.

Hey HEY hey! Here we are again. It’s been almost over a year since we last spoke…Sorry. We find ourselves kicking off the 2018 season on ABC. Yay? Well. We will see. 2017 started off well at anotherindycarblogworldheadquarters but that quickly fell apart, but let’s see if we can make 2018 more successful. As always, no promises of anything.

—Pre-Race—

Oh yes Jan I missed you oh so much. I could listen to that man muse about race cars all day. Bestwick! Cheever and Goodyear. Oh boy. I can’t believe it’s already been almost over a year. I don’t miss you two at all.

Damn that car looks good. I hope it races just as good.

HELIO!! YES!! THATS HOW YOU DO THE COMMAND!!

Lol the bastard two-seater that is a cross between the DW12 kit and the Honda kit. Ridiculous.

OMG THE NOSECONE VIEW!! THANK YOU TV GODS!!

—GREEN—

1

Will Power around. I can’t believe he didn’t get run over. Good on all the drivers for taking care of each other.

TK around and pulling an Austin Powers. That was awkward.

Damn you Bestwick for stealing my lines.

3

Woah Power smoked the wall.

Kimball stalled. What a damn rookie. New team, new year same ‘ol Charlie.

—Yellow—

4

Hmm. Veach inside of TK for the early spin. Probably should have let TK have that one, it’s just too early in the race/season/career for Veach to be doing that.

I’ll tell ya, those cars look sweeeeet. That open roll hoop is slick and those exposed rear tires look super tough. Sooooooo, does this mean ChampCar really won? I’m confused what opinion I’m supposed to have this year.

6

—GREEN—

Clean restart. Well done. I remember plenty of years writing about how embarrassed I was to be a fan because of the downright atrocious driving at St. Pete.

7

—YELLOW—

SATO KAMIKAZE!!

You know, I could repeat what I said about Kimball. But eff that. 500 winner and he’s SATO! Keep at it, my man. That move will stick one of these days.

Jordan King P1 Cool.

The LED panels look new for 2018.

11

—GREEN—

Dixon around 2. Iceman Cometh

Helio in the booth. That’s a voice I can get behind.

12

Rossi is good. So. So. Good.

I declare Robert Wickens to be the 2018 sleeper. Watch out. But given his resume I don’t think that is really news to anyone.

13

I’m not too sure I like the Harding Racing paint scheme. It looks… soft.

We need to settle into this race. I hope we can click some laps off.

15

Sorry. I was enthralled by Helio. I already miss that guy.

Rossi and Wickens have quite the gap. It would be amazing to see the season come down to these two guys. We are primed for new blood at the top this season.

19

Marco looks to be the first taker? It’s kind of early but he kind of sucks so he may be out of tire. 2018 looks to be more of the same for many drivers in spite of new scenery.

21

Ok. Newgarden in. Sorry Marco. I kind of take it back and will wait until your suckage is confirmed before I rake you over the coals again.

23

And now we see Marco make an honest to goodness on track pass. Ugh. Double sorry Marco, that was a good move.

Stall for Pagenaud. Thats not quite Penske Perfect.

25

Without the bumper, the cars looks so short.

28

I really appreciate seeing the debris flag. Too many yellows are thrown in indycar. I know, I know… Wont you just think of the drivers?! Yes. Safety. Fine Line. I don’t know where that line is but I appreciate not going yellow for these pieces of carbon fiber. Good call.

Ed Jones is driving like a veteran. I’m excited to see more of him this year and to see if Chip found another star driver.

29

—YELLOW—

Leist into the wall after sliding through the corner.

Also AJ Foyt does not look good But I’m glad he can still make it to the track.

The helicopter shot always reminds me to remind you to donate to my buy a yacht fund. St. Pete, Long Beach, even Monoco. EVERYONE WHO DONATES IS WELCOME TO YACHT ALONG WITH ME!

33

The nose cone cam is so evocative. That view minus the wheel pods is such a classic view. It really brings goosebumps on.

34

—GREEN—

Bourdais has always been quoted saying that he liked a pushy car so I think I’m surprised to see him up front considering all reports say this iteration of an indycar is super loose. But you don’t become a 4x champion without being an animal. There has been plenty of SeaBass love written here through the years so don’t give me that hater crap. I picked him in fantasy this week so YES!

The drivers are treating each other with much respect today. This restart is everything we want from indycar racing. Close, clean and crazy.

—YELLOW—

35

Sato into the unluckiest man at St. Pete Scott Dixon. Replay. OH MY GOD DIXON WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! They always say you make your own luck…

Oh yea, I remember Graham Rahal having the American Flag on his LED panel in testing. Those are definitely new. They look really good.

37

Real talk, Bourdais’ livery is ridiculous, but I think it wraps around the so awesomely bad spectrum that is bounces back into being good.

39

—GREEN—

Marco in 4th. Dammit why is he doing such good today, I’m not scheduled to start rooting for him until mid-May.

40

—YELLOW—

Harvey into the dirt with damage to the front wing, Newgarden into the pits with a flat rear. Coincidence? replay incoming…

The helmet-cam is sick.

Harvey with damage to the rear. What the hell was I looking at before? I blame the season opening excitement.

43

Looks like half the field came in, this should mix things up a bit. This has been a pretty good race so far. Yes. I have been entertained. However, again, this race has no rhythm. Too many yellows, but somehow the drivers are taking care of each other while still acting like idiots. Well done indycar drivers, oh how I’ve missed you.

Replay shows flat right rear caused the accident. So Newgarden and Harvey both have flat rear tires? What is going on? Maybe I should take back what I said about those debris flags…

We see the helmet cam mounted on Hinchcliffe’s head. I wonder how much drag that’s worth. Probably not enough to worry on a street circuit, but I bet it matters enough to make it a hard choice to carry one at a super speedway.

—GREEN—

46

Marco really trying to push into P3. What the hell man. Where have you been your whole career?

47

We see the first telemetry readout of the season. In ABC’s defense, theirs is really good. Accurate and fast. I appreciate it each year. I wonder what NBC is going to bring to the table this year.

48

Quite a lot of movement in the midfield. Good racing.

53

Woah, I was enthralled by racecar. They look so so very good. You can see the acceleration and the movement in every part of the corner. This is really good stuff.

55

Sounds like we have 3 and 4 stop strategies happening right now. For as much racing as I’ve watched in my life, I still have a hard time keeping the fuel strategies in my head without the help of the booth. Really, I’m in it for the amazing racing.

56

I know these cars have over 1000 pounds less downforce I know they are slower mid-corner but they look really nimble this year.

61

Stops happening. I think it goes without saying but all the SPM cars look really really slick. I approve.

62

I would like to hear from a rear tire changer about the differences in changing tires this year without the bumper. I wonder if these are the first live changes for someone on a car with no bumper?

65

A bit over half way and I think we have fallen into a good pace for this race. We are definitely seeing a log jam from 10th on back. I’m glad we’re finally clicking off laps.

69

Is this race going to come down to a knife fight between Bourdais, Rossi and Wickens?

Dale Coyne looks as cool as a cucumber on the timing stand. He gives Wickens the go ahead to pounce on Bourdais. Very yes.

71

Good racing between Bourdais and Wickens. Robert is definitely putting his mark on indycar  racing today.

73

References to time of push to pass left. I forgot we went to a bank of time instead of a specific number of pushes per race. I think this is the much better way of handling the push to pass system.

Excellent slow-mo.

Real talk: ABC is doing a good job today.

77

As soon as Bourdais gets caught in traffic he comes into the pits. Coyne is a strategic master. Today could be the day. Again. I’m on board.

78

Jan says: come in this lap and save fuel to make it to the end. Unless there’s a caution. I mean, this is indycar, anything is possible.

Pit lane speeding violation for Dixon. What the hell man? First you crash into Sato and now you’re a speeder? You never hear about pit lane speed violations. We have a button for goodness sakes. WHAT ARE YOU DOING MAN?!

80

First real shot of the Harding Racing car. The paint isn’t great. It definitely looked better on twitter than in the Florida sun. I’m interested to see it in the flesh during the Month of May.

81

Yikes, The booth mentions lack of cautions. Don’t they know better? I know I mentioned lack of cautions as well, but I’m not in the dang booth. special privileges and whatnot.

84

Nice. Bourdais, Rossi and Wickens almost in the same camera shot.

85

I think I am literally salivating while looking at these cars. So so sexy.

We’re onboard with RHR. You can really see the acceleration. Everything is wonderful. I love everything and kittens and rainbows and baby baby seals. It’s really amazing now the look of the car changes everything. Also we can just wait a week month and see what we’re thinking after Phoenix.

21 to go. I hate the change over.

90

The jaws music is currently playing inside the helmet of wunderboy Alex Rossi. This is most excellent.

I definitely want Wickens to win. I want to see a kick ass pass for the lead more. Let’s do this.

92

Nose to tail.

Bourdais hat completely left the picture.

Two Americans, two Canadians in the top five. Cool.

96

Ed Jones give Dixon approximately 600 feet for his pass. That’s a good teammate.

97

Rossi: I’m waiting. Wow. Part of me thinks thats bad ass. Part of me thinks if you’re waiting you’ve already waited to make a move. Is it already too late?

98

AS I’M SAYING THAT ROSSI LOCKS THEM UP!! Sigh. What a rookie move. Kimball was in the shot so let’s blame him until video proves otherwise.

Yes. it seems like waiting was a bad idea.

Replay shows Rossi slid through on his own. Lame. He may be the truth but he still has some stuff to learn.

101

–YELLOW–

Binder slides into the tires. Sounds like he may be tired. That’s alright rookie, I appreciate this late race yellow. Let’s buckle up and see what happens. There’s a ton of firepower in the top five.

As we’re waiting for the green I’m realizing that we have yet to go through the field. By the patented is-this-a-good-race-o-meter this is a good race. A 100% good race.

Lapped cars driving through. I’m sure this is some last few laps yellow rule and I approve. Get those guys out of there and let them race their own race together.

Booth says restart coming. Lights are still flashing on the pace car. What’s really happening?

Wave off. I think I knew before the booth? I wonder what the reasoning is?

106

–GREEN–

–YELLOW–

DAMMIT MAX CHILTON WHY WHY WHY. This could be quick.

107

Word on the street is we go green now. Good decision.

108

–GREEN—

Rossi into Wickens. Was it worth it Rossi?! Holy cow. I cannot believe we just saw that happen.

–YELLOW-

Replay shows… It was a racing incident. I really think this was all good.

110

—Checkers—

Bourdais wins and we are rewarded with burnouts. Most good… Most good!

Ok. Rossi. He has earned the right to make this move. He’s a winner and a future champion. However, he needs to be penalized. You cant drive over the winner with 1 lap to go in any circumstance and not receive a penalty.

Good race. Two thumbs up. The kick preformed amazing and the race went very well. I can’t wait for more. Onto Phoenix!

Eric Hall

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One Response to Unfiltered Race Notes: St. Pete is Amazing Edition

  1. Deborah Hall says:

    Very entertaining!!! Glad to see you’re back on it!

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