Unfiltered Race Notes… I Don’t Want to Test That Fence Edition

Hello and welcome back! This week we are heading straight into the action!!

Aaaand we cut immediately to a stinking retrospective about Rossi. Booooo. What a way to start a broadcast. (Rossi is an amazing racer and I am so glad indycar has him as an asset, however he irritates me. And rooting against people is as big a part of motorsport as rooting for people. I don’t always agree with Miller, but hate is good. In this case. You always need someone to sneer at on track. It’s also important for that black hat to be skilled, which Rossi undoubtedly is. He is a much better object of my snark than Rahal, who only for one year could really be a black hat. Rossi = The Truth.)

With all of that said I will absolutely skip his interview…

Wow. Will Power the 500 mile specialist. That is crazy to think about. 

Command was not done in a two-seater and that guy could not have been more milk toast. Absolutely soulless. 

Veach as a dark horse?! I’m no Jan, but I have a hard time believing that. 

—GREEN—

—YELLOW—

Spigot immediately spins with Rahal having front wing damage. Amateur hour. Replay shows Rahal obviously running over Spigot. Dammit Rahal. This is why I don’t like you. You’re bad and you do stupid things. Rahal CLEARLY jumps the start. 

Looks like Spigot is out. This is infuriating. Rahal needs to be held for a few laps so his race is really truly ruined. 

5

Why are we still circulating under yellow?

6

The panic in the Rahal pit is delicious. 

7

—GREEN—

Wickens and Rossi heading to the front. Obviously. 

—YELLOW—

Wickens into the catch fence.

—RED—

Scared. Really hoping Wickens is OK. Hinch looks hurt. 

Not a lot of frantic movement around the Wickens car which makes me feel better. It doesn’t have that saving a life feel to it. 

Driver out of the car. Catch fence damage. This is going to be a while No update on Wickens or Hinch. 

Awake and Alert. Excellent. 

Pietro sounds bruised but ok too. Thank goodness. 

Rahal MAJORLY deflecting. Lame. Take responsibility. 

Power defending his start. He is so well spoken now days. He could be a contender for my new favorite driver soon. 

Hinch has been cleared. Another big sigh. 

Drivers back in the cars. 

Engines started and the grandstands are not empty. Let’s do this thing. 

—YELLOW—

10

Lots of cars getting fixed in the pits. 

There will be like 7 cars on the lead lap once this thing gets going. And it’s lap 10. This could be a long afternoon. 

—GREEN—

12

Rossi back to the front. 

These guys better give each other some room for a few laps. 

15

Ok, 14 cars on the lead lap. 

16

Daly on screen. Sooooo is anyone else impressed with Daly? I know who I would hire next year. Awkward. 

17

Kanaan in the pits with no power. I picked him this week. Obviously. On the plus side i didn’t lose anyone in the crash. 

22

No passes. I bet we see a through the field this race. Maybe two. After everything that has happened I imagine the action and therefore the notes will be a little thin this week. I can’t imagine we’ll see any real racing until 125 or less to go. 

29

TK officially out. Sad face. 

31

Onboard with Dixon. He looks to literally be out there alone. 

40

20% through and all is quiet. 

Stops happening and Rossi is making this race a stinker. I’m pretty sure his lead has grown across the pit exchange. I want to know what his secret sauce is. In fairness, I’m sure the rest of the field is wondering the same thing. 

48

“Onboard with Graham Rahal’s Honda. He is three laps down.” This is what I like to come back from break hearing. 

50

Right on for the race fans in Pocono. The stands still look rocking right now. I bet this race has great ambiance. 

53

11 cars on the lead lap with only 15 currently running. A regular 25 car field would be really nice on days like this. 

54

I see Zach Veach has been demoted to his poo car once again. 

63

Rossi has a 12 second lead. What is that like 1/4 or a 1/3 of a lap? Ridiculous. 

Honestly, I really hope Rossi stays in indycar. I hate to lose our young guns to F1 or NASCAR and I feel like Rossi and Newgarden could be in danger. I love that Rossi is so good. We need him and Newgarden and Wickens and Hinch to keep winning and we need the next new young gun to keep adding to the depth. 

68

Kanaan in the booth. Cool. I hope he hangs out for a while. 

69

Veach and Bourdais are actually racing. 

Dixon in. This seems early. He had some fuel in hand over the last stint. Bell picks up on it and says he short filled this time. Such an interesting strategy! I’m very excited to see how this plays out!

71

Marco and Dixon racing. Dixon out ahead of Newgarden shows just how much track position he exchanged for those few laps of fuel. 

73

More stops. There is so much concrete here. How do you choose the fastest or best line out of the pits when there is approximately 4 acres of driving surface to choose from. 

81

Dixon is less than a second behind Andretti and Bourdais a second behind Newgarden. Buckle up we could have some racing yet to see. 

84

Kanaan is being pretty open about Alonso’s plans for next year. This is a really fortuitous development in this otherwise very quiet race. Say what you will about TK, but he gives a really good color interview. 

93

They’re showing the actual on track gap from Rossi to Power and it is HUGE! Sure. There’s always a hope that lapped traffic will play into the chasing drivers hands, but this is basically an ocean. And once things shake back out it’s not like the handling is going to go away that much for Rossi. 

96

Down to 4 seconds. I am not on the edge of my seat. 

100

Stops underway. 

The pit lane here at Pocono is not level. At all. I can see the wave, I wonder what it feels like in the car. 

103

This race has really been contested in the pits. With so few cars on track it’s much easier to keep track of everything and see how seconds in the pits translates to feet on the racetrack.

105

This pitstop exchange has been the most exciting thing of the race. Dixon racing Andretti and Rossi racing Power and Chilton. There is some really hairy racing going on right now. I hope they can stay close and race? He says optimistically.   

107

WOW The Rossi crew left a hose out for Power to run over. Interesting twist. 

Regardless of what happens those two are the closes they have been all day. It has taken hundreds of miles for Power to claw back 7 seconds on track. 

114

Sounds like Bourdais was not happy with the fence repair. I totally agree with him. I do not believe that the repaired section of fence is as strong or safe as the original section. They had to replace a main support pole in that section and it looked sketchy as hell. I know we were red for two hours, but do we need to get the races started at any cost? 

117

Warnings all around for Rossi and Power. Fair enough. 

119

Wasn’t Pocono missing a back straight fence until just a few years ago? One of the many reasons why indycar couldn’t come I think. 

120

Woah, 1.5 second gap up front. That was fast! And Rossi is backed up behind Pagenaud…

126

I wonder how many people are left in the grandstands.

128

Yea, Zach Veach isn’t too bad. I know I make fun of him, but that kid has some chops as well. Continuing the previous discussion about young guns, Veach has been a nice addition. Even if he drives a poo car sometimes. 

131

Need more power. Engine power. 

132

Alright, Pagenaud is out of the way. How long will it take Rossi to drive away from Power? 

136

Veach in with Newgarden. Booth makes the Penske vs Andretti comment. Andretti has really stepped their game up. It makes me wonder if this recent success is due to the addition of Rossi. It has always felt that Andretti needed a setup guy to hoist the team to success and I do not believe that RHR is that man. Maybe even Veach has added to the overall success. We also know Marco isn’t giving the team squat in terms of setup information. 

137

Power in and out… Ahead of Rossi! Andretti fails themselves in the pits again! Holy crap I cannot believe Power has clawed this lead back. 

Will Power. The 500 mile king. Wow. 

145

Hmf. As we were headed to break Rossi made the pass back for the lead. Grr. 

To add insult to injury Rossi has a few buffer cars as well. This is going all to plan for Rossi. 

150

Instead of a through the field we are now watching a very in depth race review. I appreciate the lack of through the field. It was a very hollow time filling segment. 

153

This must be one of those races that guys who wish for the good ol’ days pine for. 5 cars on the lead lap with 15 cars still running and only 1 guys who really has any kind of chance. And in reality it would take the top two cars breaking down to make a race of this. 

160

We have crossed 400 miles. We are into that funny part of the race where unpredictable and fatigue driven incidents can creep into the equation.

165

Daly into the wall. No yellow. Good for indycar. 

169

Rossi in. Now that his last stop is upon us, I get that nervous feeling for the leader. Any bobble an it’s over. Not enough time to recover. 

Power bobbles in turn 3 headed into the pits. That’s the race right there. Add to it his trip high in turn 1 that cost him the lead during the previous pit rotation and there is no one to blame but himself for throwing the win away. THAT is the Power I know and love. This is why I was never a fan of his until this year. I think I need to rethink my newfound allegiance. 

178

Coyne interview. He reminds me of everyones drunk uncle. So much so I have been known to refer to him as drunk uncle Coyne. The most lovable and passionate drunk uncle I know. 

181

The booth is counting down the lead. Come on. And now Kanaan is out of the booth. We are in dangerous territory right now. This race needs to finish up to save us all. 

188

Ok cool. We get a rundown of the manufacturer championship and Honda will probably win this year for the first time since Chevy joined. Congratulations as that is a very cool distinction. 

190

5.6 seconds now. This countdown is killing me. No way Rossi loses this without a crash. 

193

Oh hell, now we’re getting stats about consecutive 500 mile wins. They are really trying to will this race into a different outcome. 

195

I think they call a performance like this clinical. A clinical oval showing we have not seen since Bourdais at Milwaukee however many years ago. 

196

4 cars on the lead lap. 2 are 40+ seconds down. What a nutty day. It’s really amazing how close Power and Rossi could stay to each other. 

P1, P3 and P4 in the same shot. Crazy. 

200

—CHECKERS—

Rossi. Holy crap that was a beat down. 

Today was a long day. Best wishes and a speedy revery to Wickens. I can’t wait to talk to you all after Gateway. I’m out. Thank you for reading!

Eric Hall

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