Unfiltered Race Notes… Getting Racey by the Bay Edition

WEEEEELLLCOOOOOOME BACK!!!

2019 is locked and loaded and ready to go! It’s chamber of commerce weather here in St. Petersburg Florida (I am not in St. Pete, but one can dream) and after a usually long offseason it’s time to RACE!

The cars look new and hot and the engines are stronger. I am so ready to do this thing. 

Coach Dungy with the call…

Meh. Underwhelming, but nothing I wasn’t expecting from historically soft spoken Dungy. 

The 2-seater shtick is still shtick but I enjoy it. I always like to imagine how nervous these grand marshals are. Dungy has dome big eyes!

Disclaimer: I may take this entire race notes thing to talk about how cool the Dragon Speed operation is. A sports car team taking a shot at indycar with literally zero outside help. Damn guys thats a big hunk to bite off yourselves. 

GREEN

HOLY CRAP WE MADE IT THROUGH THE FIRST LAP!!!!

These guys look like professionals!

3

My biggest fear was seeing like 18 yellows in the first 20 laps and watching these drivers make fools of themselves. This is a huge change!

4

Note: I LOVE THE NEW GRAPHICS!

5

‘Kimball doesn’t necessarily like to look in his mirrors’ Burn. 

6

The cars look grippy and racy today.

Dragon Speed is not in last! That is a HUGE win for them. Chilton, however, is definitely where he belongs. Last. I don’t have anything against him, I just think he sucks. Prove me wrong. 

7

First commercial break of the season. That didn’t take long. 

10

First stops of the season! Everyone looks really clean. I am super impressed with the professionalism of the series this year. 

12

Rosenqvist in P2 and looks to be catching Power. But I wonder if Power is really minding the gap. No reason to drive away from the field in indycar considering the almost certainty of seeing a yellow. No idea If we have gone caution free here, but I really doubt it. 

13

Bourdais with an engine failure. UGH obviously I picked him in fantasy so we are off to a strong start. Looks like we will stay green.

Replay of Power rally driving through the grass to get into the pits. 

Good on Bourdais for driving smart and finding a hole in the fence to prevent a yellow. 

15

Hearing a mention of Scuderia Corsa. I wonder how many of their crew is in the house today? I can’t imagine Ed Carpenter would allow the 20 crew to be too fluid before his change to drive the car. I have to think crew consistency and sharpness would be incredibly important to him. It looks like Scuderia Corsa is attached to the Jones entry and not the 20 car. I wonder how the crewing will work in May?

18

That Rosenqvist is quick. And skilled. I’m excited to see more of him. 

Some of the teams have the front suspension painted other colors than black and I’m really into it. I know the Penskes can sometimes have theirs chromed, but I’m liking the added colors on Rossi. And I think I’ve seen a car with day glow yellow suspension pieces too. We have been subjected to some pretty awful paint jobs in indycar so I’m glad to see some creativity and pizzaz. 

20

YELLOW

RHR up in smoke. Honda #2. 

Interview with Tony Dungy… He still has some pretty big eyes. I spot Liz Power in the background and she looks like her usual ball of stress and nerves. 

I wonder if there are some nerves in the rest of the Honda camp…

24

GREEN

ROSENQVIST TO THE LEAD!! WHAT A MOVE!!

We had glued to Powers bumper. That is how you restart. Historically, I think the drivers do not bunch enough to make real progress on the restarts. 

26

Power losing ground. 

Handley last on the road. That makes sense. We’ll check back later and see how their doing.

YELLOW

Jones and Leist are in the wall in different parts of the track. Replay show Jones playing pinball with his car and hitting the wall HARD. Wow that was a big hit. Poor Leist couldn’t avoid the accident scene and is out with contact. Too bad for both. Well, not surprising for Jones, but too bad for Leist. 

Crazy to hear that Power is struggling with grip on these street courses. he used to basically be automatic at place like this.

Restart has been waved off. 

Let’s see if Power chooses to restart as close as Rosenqvist did. 

(It didn’t take me very long to lose track of the laps this year.)

GREEN

Rossi fighting Dixon, Harvey fighting Hinch and Kimball Fighting Pagenaud. 

OH Kimball into the pits! Weird. 

Replay of Hinch rubbing into Harvey. Don’t tell anyone I said this, but Hinch is overrated. I love the guy but he will never be championship caliber. Wickens made him look like a fool last year. 

38

Herta around Veach. We’re seeing some good racing today. I might say we’re seeing the best racing ever at St. Pete. But Really this race had been broadcast by ABC the past few years and they were really bad at showing road racing so I don’t really have a good feel for how racey this race really is. 

Robin Miller looks skinny, but healthy. It’s really really good to see him back this year. Best wishes from anotherindycarblog Mr. Miller. 

45

Hinch, tired of being made the fool, comes in for fuel, tires and most importantly: clean air. 

Good mention of Ericsson, who runs in P16, but sits in the should-have-been-defending-winning car. 

47

The veach car went back onto the airjacks a second time for no reason. Weird. 

Replay of Harvey frustrating Pagenaud. Harvey is having a great day. 

49

Chilton up to P10. Ok Ok… I’ll give him another chance. 

50

Slow and disorganized stop for Kanaan. Sigh. I feel bad for him. I feel bad for anyone trying to be a serious driver at Foyt for any other race than the 500. 

53

Wow, that pit exit with Power and Rosenquist was quite shocking. 

Side note, the metallic blue #10 is… gorgeous. Simple but absolutely beautiful livery. 

55

How is Andretti running in the top 5?

56

Newgarden has just taken control of the race and i don’t know if anyone will be able to catch him. 

Ericsson out with engine issues. Fantasy pick #2 out early. ouch. 

More replays of amazing action. This is exciting.

I’ve lost track of the laps and we’re in like a 10 minute commercial break? 

Ok. Diffey is commentating from what sounds like a cellphone connection while a still card go final practice is being displayed with reports of technical difficulties. This went from an amazing broadcast to worst case scenario in 5 minutes. It sounds like an old radio broadcast.

I am still unsure of the lap count.

75

Newgarden is spanking the field. 

Sigh. Newgarden, Chilton, Handley all 1 lap down. 

77

We’re probably seeing the last stops right now. Newgarden is going to stink this exciting race right up. 

Andretti out in P15. That sounds more realistic. 

Newgarden out. Without a caution I think he has this in the bag. 

81

Foyt screwing Kanaan in another stop. The air hose was caught on the front wing and they dropped the car onto thee gun so it was stuck under the front wing. That was embarrassing to watch. They don’t have a chance at Indy. And this is the Foyt A team. 

82

Uh oh, There is a big banner on the track in the T2 area. Yikes! No yellow but that’s not in a great spot if guys decide to race each other. 

84

Ok, so these Dragon Speed guys are doing this indycar thing with no help from anyone. They started the weekend WAY off pace and today they look like a respectable back marker team. I hope they can make the show in May. They are the embodiment of the little guys doing it from nothing. 

89

Dixon has been able to real in Newgarden by a few seconds. He has enough time, but he might not have enough tire or push to pass.

91

PT says 19 laps isn’t enough time. Shut up PT. Give the viewers hope that we will see a race in the closing laps of this race. 

96

No. There may not be enough time. And Newgarden has literally 2x the amount of push to pass. 

We’re back in St. Pete… I need to get on that whole buying a yacht thing so we can go hang out at the track. On a boat. Donations welcome.

98

Well, now it looks like Dixon may be able to pull up on Newgarden’s bumper. 

99

And the booth agrees with me. Quiet PT. No one cares. 

I’m disappointed that we are seeing this many commercials this late in the race ofter the long batch of them during the technical difficulties. Poor form guys. 

103

Talk of some gamesmanship between Honda and Chevy teams in terms of who lets who through. I say that is all part of the game. As for Marco, the final car on the lead lap and P2 are the only guys allowed to race the leader. I do not agree that Marco is compelled to pull over for Newgarden in this situation. 

106

Alright, I think this race is cooked barring some crazy yellow. Great first race of the season. I’m really excited to see if they are able to keep up this close racing. As always, I hope no one runs away with the season. It doesn’t feel like it will go down like that. 

WHITE FLAG

Bring it home. 

CHECKERS

Newgarden. 

Rosenqvist P4. Not bad at all! 

Handley last. Not bad either. Only a lap down and off the wall is basically a win for these guys. 

I want to know the story with Newgardens teeth. 

He’s giving a really honest interview but not going as far as being upset with Marco or any of the other Hondas. He knows how it is. I really appreciate his honesty. 

Dixon had no drink bottle. He sounds dehydrated. Poor guy. Get him some Gatorade.

BOOM! excellent first race of the season! Hopefully we can keep this great racing up through the rest of the year. I’ll see you guys in 2 weeks at COTA! 

As always, thanks for reading!

Eric Hall

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3 Responses to Unfiltered Race Notes… Getting Racey by the Bay Edition

  1. billytheskink says:

    Glad to see the race notes return.

  2. WingSideUp says:

    Notes mirrored my thoughts nearly to a T. Spot on with Chitlins and sadly Hinch and the Foyt faux paux.
    Very impressed with Dragon Speed.

    Just laughed at the NBC deal since I was enjoying IndyCar Radio call and half expected some sort of screwup by NBC. Robin will defend them of course come Tuesday.
    No mention of the Peacock Pitbooth?
    Fun reading this one as always.

  3. DZ-groundedeffects says:

    Nice work as always Eric! I watch the races but it’s also nice to see what others see as well. Your notes are fun, come from the eye of a longtime fan, and I appreciate them every time. Can’t wait for COTA! Don’t tell anyone but I agree with you on almost every single driver-related comment.

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