Unfiltered Race Notes… Doin’ it in Detroit The Second

No Intro. Let’s do this thing. 

Rainy qualifying equals quite a few drivers into the barrier it seems. Rookie weekend? However, there is that new rain tire here this weekend and IndyCar and Firestone have a habit of bringing out new rain tires that are worse than the ones they are replacing so maybe this is a case of that? 

Sigh, I don’t want to be too hard on Firestone, but the outgoing rain tire was terrible. I hope this really is a case of … nope… no excuse for drivers of this caliber to be throwing it into the barrier. What the hell is going on?

Watching Dixon swallow the HUGE smile when mentioned with Foyt and Andretti is so endearing. Such a modest guy, 

Will Power is clearly still glowing from the Indy 500 win. I’m pretty sure he can bag the rest of the season and still be a happy happy man. 

Boo the command. I need some damn energy. These GM guys are killing me. 

Pace car into the wall. Obviously. SO… It’s going to be one of the days? How embarrassing…

At least GM makes a safe car?

What a cluster. 

DEAR GOD JON PLEASE DISTRACT ME FROM THIS CIRCUS!!!

Penske is old. 

I hope that guy doesn’t get to say the command again. 

Poor Binder. I hope he can get refired. What a crappy way to start/end the day.

We really need to get this party started. I don’t think I can listen to another random race engineer. Interviewing Ed was an excellent idea. 

Engines fired. Our national nightmare is almost over. 

At least we have a rrrrrreal pace carrrrrr drrrrrriver now. 

Fast forwarding to the start…

—GREEN—

FOR ALL THAT IS JUST AND GOOD DO NOT CRASH

Good job guys!

3 WIDE!

I think Hinch lost 3 spots in one corner. Going to need that extra fuel, eh?

Spigot in a stalled car. COME ON MAN, MY PATIENCE HAS ALREADY BEEN TESTED TODAY

Sigh. I just want to see some racing. 

—GREEN—

5

RHR with a power move on Newgarden. When he’s on he’s definitely on!

Of note, I’m glad Veach has received a real paint job. 

7

Damn Marco is HOT this weekend. Around the outside like an Andretti should do. 

The Andretti cars have been heavily featured this weekend. I wonder if this is a sign for things to come?

I think if Andretti can get around Veach, I’m sure that RHR can find a way. The booth is laughably off sometimes. 

9

Rossi is 2.5 seconds off the front. 

Hey, at least we’re watching actual racing today!

10

Managing a chasing Pagenaud while pressuring a Veach must be stressful. Also Veach has kind of driven away from RHR. I guess the booth was right? Or lucky? 

Hinch in the pits. I’m so confused. I thought he had extra fuel to burn? Maybe I wasn’t paying attention and they got to refuel. Oh well. Let’s see some racing!!

14

The Truth over 5 seconds off the front. Damn. 

16

We seem really spread out right now. Also we are in the middle of stops and I have no idea what is happening other than Rossi is killing everyone. 

Ok. Bourdais around Leist. I knew there had to be cars within touching distance of each other somewhere on this track. 

Yea, Bourdais’ car look solid. He could win, but it doesn’t feel like his day. 

19

The concrete track really takes the rubber. I find rubbered in corners to be whimsically romantic. Old school and useful. 

20

Jones having one of his patented quiet yet good days. 

22

Oh no. A spinner before the leader is able to pit! GIVE THAT KID A RAISE! He spun it around and got the hell out of the way without bothering anyone all while having a wrecked front wing hanging by a thread. 

Heads up driving from everyone. 

23

Ah. Dixon and Bourdais racing each other. Something is very right in the universe when this happens. Two of the greatest indycar drivers alive fighting for another day. Most good. Most good, indeed. 

Lots of trackside advertisement. 

Also there are security cameras on the track. IT IS DETROIT AM I RIGHT?? They’re probably race control cameras, but whatevs. 

27

Spigot retires. Sad day.

The disparate fuel strategies have me stymied on how this race is going to play out. I mean Rossi is in 3rd for goodness sakes. 

All the Schmidt cars look great, but now that we’ve seen this paint job in gold, red, pink and green, I think the gold looks the worst!

Wickens in. No idea what lap we’re on post commercial break. 

30

RHR to the lead. Sounds like 3 more laps until he pits. 

This looks like it will be a Rossi vs. RHR race and it will probably come down to how the strategies play out. Andretti Autosport is ON IT. It makes the fall of Ganassi even more pronounced. 

There is quite a bit of cottonwood in the air. I remember the Canadian Grand Prix is always contested when the cottonwoods are flying. No coincidence that we’re seeing the same thing here and the F1 race is next weekend in Montreal.  

34

RHR clicking off fastest race laps. We’ve been onboard with him for a while and this track never stops moving. I can’t imagine how tired these guys are by the end of the weekend. And with no real rest for a few weeks, recovery has got to be difficult. 

35

Rossi back to the lead. 

38

Bourdais around in T1 without hitting anything. Shocking. Bourdais seems to think there is something wrong with the left rear. It’s amazing how much these guys can feel through their asses. 

Onboard with hinch behind and I CAN”T BELIEVE HE CAN HANG ONTO IT! Bourdais man, What an animal. 

No yellow. 

40

This terribly bumpy track has just beat the Bourdais car past its breaking point. 

41

It seems like we’re going through the field without officially announcing it which makes this officially an unofficially boring race? But we really only made it to like P6 so we’ll call it an impromptu through the field because the booth can’t think of anything better to talk about. 

And then we come back from commercial break with a race rundown. Yes, I think ABC thinks this is a snoozer race. Why? Show us the racing. Talk about the action.

44

Alright. 3 stop strategy almost almost never works in IndyCar. Like, I think it has maybe worked a single time in the last 5 or 6 seasons. 

46

Very dangerous carbon fiber shard laying on the track. Yellow? It has definitely caused most of the field to come in for a pitstop. I hope we don’t see a yellow. 

46

RHR cycling back to the lead. Is today the day for a 3 stopper? 

So. Much. Cottonwood. It makes my throat itchy just seeing it. 

50

Booth informs us that the pit delta is 22 seconds and RHR holds a 14 second lead. 20 laps left, RHR could do this thing if he can turn qualifying laps for the entire rest of the race. 

52

Hitting the pits. This is exciting! I love seeing the guy who drives the fastest win these races. I hope he can pull this thing off. 18 laps to stalk The Truth. 

53

We are currently watching the leader circulate…

The island looks beautiful from the helicopter. 

Rossi starting to lose time. 

“Marco has had a tough day” Well. Ok. Maybe: Marco has had… a day?

57

We have reached the ‘to go horizon’ time for math. Don’t they know it’s late?

Waiting for the gaps to roll back around on the top of screen crawl is infuriating. A commenter on the previous race noted they like the F1 style stack on the left side of the TV. I totally agree. Especially because literally everyone has widescreen TVs. Time for a graphical rethink of IndyCar. Maybe NBC will surprise us. 

As I was writing that I missed the P1 to P2 gap again…

59

Booth says it’s down to 3.5 seconds. Most excellent. We have a race on our hands. 

RHR has been fast and Rossi doesn’t have the fuel to burn. We might be in store for some fireworks!

60

Rossi engineer: Big Picture. Eff the big picture. Let’s win a race. 

51

RHR is on top of Rossi. 

We’ve seen the simultaneous looking back and looking forward view. Interesting way to watch a race. 

52

Rossi with a lock up. He looks like he may be struggling. 

RHR is clearly taking his time. And Rossi is fighting hard. I feel bad for a guy in Rossi’s position because it really has the look of RHR playing with him to get into his head. 

53

AND ROSSI STRAIGHT LINES T3!

BOOM!!

Holy crap Rossi has a flat too. What a day!

A shocking turn of events. 

54

So RHR just cruises for the win?

16 second gap to P2. 

Yes. 

56

Also we never went yellow for that DANGEROUS CARBON FIBER shard. Kudos. 

57

The booth is already wrapping the race. ha. 

58

Feels like RHR is content just riding around behind the lapped cars. I don’t blame him at all. He has so much cushion. But not driving at 100 percent is what causes some very experienced drivers to throw it into the sand. Hopefully he can be patient and bring this puppy home. 

60

—CHECKERS—

RHR wins. Alright alright alright!!

fastest lap by a second. That’s some speed!!

Yay, I can’t wait for the most awkward victory lane in all of racingggg!!!

Rossi is a TERRIBLE interview. 

I’ll tell you, Hunter-Reay is dangerous when he gets momentum and he definitely has it right now. 

That was a fun weekend. No complaints at all other than we’re in the wrong city the weekend after the Indy 500. Indianapolis then Milwaukee. Or Texas. I’ll take Texas as well. But Detroit is in a dumb location on the schedule. Michigan International would be cool as well but that is never happening. 

At least we’re headed to Texas next week! 

Thanks for reading.

Eric Hall

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