Unfiltered Race Notes… Another Hot Night in Texas

Hey hey here we are again! I love Texas and  it looks like a hot one tonight. Literally. Texas has been one of my faves but sometimes the cars cannot really get too close to each other. I hope this year isn’t like that. I’m not saying I want pack racing by any means, but I hope these guys can get close enough to mix it up. 

Paul Tracy looks like shit. Sorry but he has really done some damage to himself since retiring. 

Yea, like last year. That was a great race. 

Holy crap that in car from Claman DeMelo! He was clearly scared by Power. I hope this sketchy pit exit is ok tonight. 

I agree with Newgarden. I think this race will definitely tighten up as the track cools down. Everyone feels antsy. And for good reason here at Texas. 

Ugh Alex Rossi…

The Truth or not he is just so forgettable. Out of the car. In the car he speaks for himself. 

Rossi at Indy was truly magical. 

And the tires?

Dang man I actually though about updating some indycar lore with pace car crashes and Robin Miller beats me to it. Still, it would be a good addition. I’ll put a pin in that one for later. 

**shutters** Turketarians. 

Whatcha cooking with RHR. Obviously butterball turkey. Come on man this is so paper thin. Can we use the limited pre-race time more effectively?  No? A sponsored piece? Sigh…

I love Will Power. What a crazy weird special crazed man. And his fat baby too. 

That was such a better command than last week! that had soul! Lets get this race on!!

These starting grid headshots make the drivers look like drug users. Heroin addicts if you will. except Zach Veach. He looks like a child. 

Nervous af.

I’m scared to blink. 

—GREEN—

Clean through 1

Crowd looks good. 

4

Ok. seems like we’ve calmed down a bit. Passing is still happening, but it’s not the crazy mess like the start. 

Wickens and The Truth engaging in a knife fight. 

8

—YELLOW—

Leist is literally on fire. Scary. He is so clearly shaken up while in the car. Very dramatic. I’m glad everyone is ok. When I said it was going to be a literally hot night I didn’t expect a car to actually catch on fire. Yikes. 

14

—GREEN—

Pretty clean and quiet. I think this is what we’re going to get for the first part of this race. 

19

Ok. Still clean but also not much movement. As I say that onboard Dixon on the inside of Kanaan. 

22

Seems like things are picking up. This is good. Still too early to understand anything about the race other than the Penske boys look strong.

30

Kanaan out with suspension damage? tough night for Super Tex. 

There has been a ton of movement. I’m really excited to see what the first round of stops hold. 

Rossi looking obviously very strong.

34

Veach may be on his way to a good night. Ill have to remember and check in on him later. 

42

Rossi and Pagenaud are engaged in a battle. That may be an understatement. 

45 

As soon as the track is cooling off it looks like Power is falling through the field. 

48 

Holy crap the lapped traffic caused a huge log jam and a very close and scary scene. The drivers really took care of each other. That’s refreshing. I hope they continue this through the evening.

51

Chaves with a blocking penalty. Repeat to the race director. Cannot take any chances tonight. 

53

As we ride onboard with Veach I guess I didn’t have to wait too long to check in on him. up to 6th. 

55

Watching Bourdais on pit exit. How is this anywhere close to safe?! This is totally ridiculous and he lost 2 laps on top of it. I am outraged at this. 

57

Power falling through the field. 

60

Wow race leader in almost early in the rotation. Did not expect this. doubly so given the 2 lap penalty for stopping under green.

62

Rossi pulling Wickens through the field with him. 

No cautions. No cautions. No cautions. 

65

These cars are sexy. That useless wing adds so much to the overall look of the car. 

68 

Leading Hondas are finally in. This could be the story of the night. 

72

This is a good race. 

Looks like Rossi lost a few positions on the last rotation. The leaders aren’t too close either. 

84

Wickens is an animal. He took that place away from Power like a veteran. 

86

Booth talking about fuel savings from the Chevys and the way Wickens is picking the Penske armada off they might be right. 

92

Lots of talk about blistering on the tires tonight. I wonder how firestone feels. We haven’t devolved into negative firestone speak yet but we seem almost close. 

95

Veach kisses the wall. these cars are difficult to drive on super speedways. 

97

Wickens to the lead. Awesome on track pass.

Newgarden thinks he has a soft tire. I wonder what the tire pressures will say though. From the slow mo of him pulling into his box it could have just been a rooted front right. 

105

The Penske armada seems to be losing strength as the sun goes down. This is one of the best aspects of Texas. The cars and teams strong at the start are often not strong at the finish. 

114

Pagenaud falling like a rock. The cars who are goers right now are an interesting bunch for sure. The booth made the comment that Penske cars always use the fronts pretty hard. All Penske drivers seem to be suffering from bad tire wear. Is this an unintended consequence to having such different styles of dampers?

120

I declare the losers to be Team Penske. No way any of these cars win. 

122

Wow the Pagenaud tire is in dangerous condition. Very yikes!!

124

Cars are dipping below 200 in the corners. I’m not totally OK with that. These cars need to be faster. More downforce AND more power. 

127

Leaders pit. 

This pit exit is awful. 

128

However, this race has been exciting. I’m surprised we haven’t had more incidents though. 

134

Hondas are coming and the Penske’s are going. 

Thinking more about tonight. There has been a lot of passing and shuffling but when the passes happen they are almost too quick. Without fight or hesitation. It’s hard to complain but something feels off maybe about this edition of Texas. 

The cars almost can’t run close yet they can still pass at the same time. I can’t quite put my finger on what is going on. 

147

The laps are clicking off really fast. 

Also with noting that Dixon has taken the lead and hasn’t really looked back. Rossi and Wickens are chasing. 

It’s very clear that running side by side outside of the actual act of making a pass is nearly impossible tonight. 

163

Wow Dixon is 12 seconds ahead of P2 on a 25 second track. We could be watching the start of an ultra dominating performance. 

Dixon is only just able to keep it above 200 in the center of T1. 

171

Interesting race dynamics tonight with pit exit, tire blisters, low grip and 6 guys on the lead lap. What a night.

174

—YELLOW—

Wickens into Carpenter into the wall. Carpenter gave Wickens approximately no room. I wonder if the spotter failed him but being a lap or more down, Ed should have moved the hell out of the way. Sure, Wickens is a rookie and may not be in the exact right spot but he also got pushed down. We should be able to run side by side in the corners here. 

5 cars on the lead lap?

OH NO FUEL ISSUES FOR ROSSI!

As long as he stays on the lead lap he’ll be fine. 

Wickens is not scared to tell it how it is. Ed taking the high road and taking the blame. Ed is a good man if not an idiot on the track sometimes. 

Also 4 of my fantasy picks have wrecked out now. Tough night man…

185

—GREEN—

Clean as it has been. 

Pagenaud made a successful move but these guys can’t get close to each other. 

190

Although Pagenaud looks to be keeping pace with Dixon, that fuel mileage will probably win out. 

195

We hear radio on the broadcast but there is no source tag so we have no idea who we’re listening to. 

196

Alright we’re seeing the best racing of the night with Rossi and Hinch! Wow! He got RHR as well. Amazing racing! The Truth comes through again. 

I would love to see Rossi chase the lead group down. 

200

He’s already well ahead. 

RHR is definitely plugging the road but it’s taking multiple laps to get around him. 

205

—YELLOW—

Big crash during commercial break. 

Where are the spotters at? I’m not going to blame Power. DeMelo is young and didn’t know you shouldn’t make a last minute pass on the exit of 4 at Texas. He put himself in a terrible position. I don’t blame Power for being upset. 

Marty Reid: Should we take fuel only? No. That’s just stupid. every time you come in tires must be taken. What the hell man, where do they get these guys. FYI I am available for a small fee. 

—GREEN—

33 to go. 

Are there 248 laps in this race? 242? I have no idea. 600 Kilometers who the hell are you in Texas making a race in metric. This is ridiculous and I refuse to keep track of laps from here on out. Ridic. Just saying. 

This is just what Rossi needed. Hopefully he can make up some positions. 

Pagenaud looking to the outside of Dixon. considering the blistering issues Pagenaud has had, He has to get it done now. 

Dixon looks worried as he is trying to break the draft on the back stretch. 

I think this is a case of Pags being good on the short run and Dixon being good in the long run. Pagenaud is already starting to fall back. Time for Rossi to capitalize. 

Power receives a post race penalty. Bull. Technically he is guilty of avoidable contact but the drivers representative in race control should have spoken up! There was no way for Power to not run his car all the way out to the wall. Race control has had a great year but this is a bungled call. At least it doesn’t affect the race. Hopefully it will be monetary of community service based. 

Rossi looking to the outside. Making a pass stick on the outside of the dogleg has been super difficult to do tonight. 

Watching Rossi try again and again on the outside of the dogleg and he has no hope of making it stick. By the time Pagenaud loses the tire, Rossi won’t have enough time to catch Dixon. 

4 seconds ahead…

Texas looks so different than it did 10 years ago. Unless the cars are nailed to the track you’ll never be able to make them closer than this. However, I wonder what a better tire could do. Kudos to Firestone for not having a blow out but tonight they walked the tightrope. They avoided a disaster to say the least. 

More tire wear would have been nice in the pack racing days but we need a more constant tire now that there isn’t enough grip to hold it flat. Not saying the tires should be perfect after a run but losing 20 mile per hour in corner apex over the course of a run is a bit much. 

Pagenaud looks to be losing his tire. 

We’ve talked about these damn tires way too much tonight. 

—CHECKERS—

Dixon. Championship engaged. He also take sole possession of P3 on the all time winners list! 

Alright, Power said he could have held the outside lane open. I’m shocked he had the grip and good on Power for being honest. 

This victory lane is much less awkward than Detroit. 

Dixon is pumped! I love seeing this kind of excitement. Dixon said he experienced no tire issues. Cool. Maybe my previous comments about Firestone may be unfounded. I do appreciate seeing the big team miss the setup window. 

Hell yea. Victory lane looks exciting tonight. Awesome vibes. 

What a night! I still say I would have like to have seen a bit more action but we had a good, if not surprisingly quiet race. I think we have a good view of the championship and it will be exciting to see how the back half of the season plays out. 

Thanks for reading!

Eric Hall

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