Unfiltered Race Notes…Comeback of the Ages Edition

Our viewing stream today is brought to you by NBCSN Gold. Cool. Lots of pre race and you know we don’t watch a ton of pre race here in these parts. Also GREAT TO TALK TO YOU!! We don’t usually get to do this as every employee in the anotherindycarblogworldheadquarters is usually at the track. Unfortunately we had a personal engagement that has caused us to cover the 2019 edition from the couch!

Fast forward… Fast forward…

The anthem was pretty good. Seeing some A-10s in person would have been cool. Worth noting that even being able to see the pre race ceremonial stuff is a cool bonus to having the gold package. 

I’m hoping for rain.

TG with the command. Meh. That is a man that should have some more oomph in his voice. 

Ok. Let’s do this. 

—GREEN—

Everyone through clean… except for Rossi. Poor guy gets taken out by Veach. What a turd. 

2

I love Jack Harvey and I love seeing him up front and I love that metallic pink paint job. 

Feels like this could be another beatdown. 

4

I bet Rossi is out. Of course I had him in fantasy this week. 2019 is going excellent in case you’re wondering.

It’s really not going well. Sigh. 

I was able to watch warmup and it was cool watching both Rosenqvist and Harvey both practice the race start. 

10

Sure sure, Veach gets hit and he ends up in the grass and gravel on the start, but he always has something happening to him. He is either always in the wrong place or he simply has the worst luck ever. 

No. It’s definitely a Veach thing. You can’t draw that much action to yourself without being a trouble maker yourself. 

11

—YELLOW—

Ericsson into the wall in T14. The car is smashed. He just lost it. This Ericsson kid isn’t as good as everyone has been saying. He’s about as mediocre as the average F1 reject. Day done with terminal suspension damage.  

Worth noting he is still sitting in the Wickens seat from last year so there is literally no excuse not to be standing on podiums. Unless you’re just not as good…

Weather update: Rain looks imminent. Hell. Yes. 

Sounds like the combination of this yellow and the impending weather could blow the strategy game wide open. As previously discussed, divergent strategies are not my strong point so we will lean on the booth to lead me to the checkers. 

Or we’ll just wing it. 

16

—GREEN—

There looks to be some slippage on the kitty litter with Dixon coming out the other side as the leader well done!

—YELLOW—

Herta around on that kitty litter AND RHR CRASHES INTO HIM!! 

Replay shows Harvey into Herta and Hinch into RHR. Two spinners due to contact. Best drivers in the world, boys and girls!

Onboard with Hinch shows he is due a trip down pit road for a penalty. Harvey may get one as well. 

Ok. Race reset. Dixon in first with shenanigans going on behind. Situation normal? Probably. 

We are welcomed back from commercial with a bumper to PROVE that RHR doesn’t suck. He won the 500 that one time while driving for the best team in the best equipment. Someone, please sell me on RHR. I’m still not convinced. 

20

—GREEN—

Ed Jones with the double pass! Where the hell did that come from? 

Hinch with the penalty. Good. 

21

Jones is coming for Dixon. What is going on today? Ed Jones, where have you been my whole life?

Multiple moves into T1 with SATO losing it into the grass. Fantasy league is going so well today…

22

Ferrucci around Power in the esses? What?

23

The back of the field is really racey. 

The impending rain is making these guys actually race these cars and it is incredible. I haven’t seen move after move after move like I have seen today. I also think this track is really race friendly, we just haven’t seen a race that allows drivers to run hard like they’re running right now. Everything seems to be coming together to make this a great race. Only if someone can catch Dixon. Or this could be another race for second. 

26

Harvey with a huge smokey burnout on new tires. I have no idea if that is good or bad, but I love the spectacle. 

Good on Helio for being the highest placed Penske driver. It’s becoming more and more apparent that Pagenaud should have gone to the Acura program while keeping Helio here in indycar. 

28

Is indycar big enough or important enough to warrant an intermediate tire? No. I think I ask this question every time we have weather like this. like, once every 5 years. 

I think I see the BLUE TARP LOUNGE. I’m sorry, but if you don’t know what BTL is I can’t be the one to tell you about it. 

30

Will it just sprinkle all afternoon?

Onboard with Rossi tells me the track still has quite a lot of grip. He isn’t shying away from the curbs at all. 

35

Quiet and strung out. Interesting change in race dynamic as the drivers are trying to wait as loooong as possible to head to the pits. Gambling on that rain. 

Yes Diffey, the true indicator is whether there are umbrellas out in the infield. 

Alright, I immediately take back the strung out and quiet comment. Ed Jones marching though the field must have broken my brain for a moment. 

39

Rosenqvist is getting bullied by the aggressive and antsy indycar paddock. The attitude from his car looks nervous. 

40

Stops seem to have normalized and Dixon is ahead with a 7 second lead. All is kind of right in the force as Jones is still inexplicably in P2. 

Look. I know I’m giving Jones a bunch of crap, but name me ONE PERSON who Jones is their favorite driver. That person does not exist. 

42

Rosenqvist is on fire. All is well in the pits. 

45

Harvey is 1 second behind Dixon and coming? It looks like Pagenaud is coming as well? My brain is currently breaking and I’m not quite sure what to say right now. Let’s watch the pretty indycars…

47

All 3 nose to tail into the pits. 

And all 3 nose to tail out of the pits. Well done to Harvey and his Meyer-Shank team. Such a good stop against the 2 giants. 

48

Onboard with Chilton and the booth is wondering if something is wrong because Harvey is driving away from him. Come on, we know the real reason…

PT keeps telling us about the groups that are leading on track *right now* like at any time the race could end. Tell us which strategies will pay off. I might be an idiot but I know not ALL the strategies are winners. Help me help myself. 

He is stuck on the rain and can’t see the race through the tires. Bell calls the Newgarden group the winning group. Thank you. At least I have something to watch now. 

55

TK to rain tires. Hold onto your butts.

The cars look slower through the corners. 

Power and Newgarden are both saying it’s too wet for slicks. Maybe it’s because you guys are driving suboptimal cars for the first time in years. It’s really tough to drive a poorly set up cars. 

58

Dry line is still barely there. 

59

Helio in for wets and immediately spins on pit exit. Sigh. Never change Helio!

—YELLOW—

For the stalled Helio car. 

Race control waited to throw the yellow. I still don’t know how I feel about leaving a driver beached while the track is still green. 

Rosenqvist is on fire again. All is well in the G2 pits. 

Top 6 on reds. I can get on board with that. O’Ward, Bourdais and Jones on blacks. That is clearly the wrong decision. Dixon, Spigot, Leist on wets. I don’t know about that. We will see. Interesting mix of strategies with everyone on the same fuel load. Here we go!

Ok ok ok, we have 7 cars coming in for wets including the top 2. Wow. Late caution decision. Also, the drivers who stayed out on reds, and god forbid the blacks, are animals. 

There is still the lightest hint of dry pavement out there. 

66

WTF why are we still yellow? This is way too long. 

Is anyone on reds still?

—GREEN—

Clean clean. 

Pagenaud moving through the field like a seasoned sports car driver. 

Bell: “it’s shocking we haven’t had a yellow in these conditions” Best drivers in the world*, dude!

70

Lots of talk about the sealant on the oval. I ran the mini-marathon last week, which includes a lap of the oval. It was wet. I can confirm it looks super dark when wet. Nothing else to report. Not a lot transfers from running on wet pavement to driving race cars I guess. 

72

is the sun out?

73

Pagenaud is moving.

74

I think this race is 85 laps and they’ve switched to the laps to go so…

76

We are focused only on Pagenaud right now. Are there any other stories playing out on track?

Alright, we get some onboards. Cool. 

78

Pagenaud around Harvey. That was a long time coming. Impressive move with only 3 seconds of push to pass. 

Dixon has 33 seconds of P2P left. This race is cooked. Well done everyone! 

I hope we can see other cars instead of only Pagenaud taking time out of DIxon.

81

Booth seems to think P2P won’t matter. we will see. 

You can see how much softer Pagenaud is able to run his car. He’s closer to the curbs and the car looks so settled once it rotates around the apex. We are definitely seeing something special. 

83

Dixon bobbles into the esses and Pagenaud goes around him! SO GOOD! THIS RACE HAS BEEN SO GOOD!

I’m so damn glad P2P didn’t have a bit to do with the outcome. 

Iceman? 

—CHECKERS—

Pagenaud with one of the most unlikeliest of wins! What an afternoon of racing. Such a different experience than that crappy F1 race this morning. 

Well done Simon. He says this is the sweetest win he has ever had. Fair enough. In many respects the most recent tastes the best. 

Dixon is sad panda. 

Happy happy race! I really enjoyed that! And we were able to get through that without a ton of yellow! What a great day for the series. 

Well. We know whats next. I don’t think I’ve written a race notes for the 500 in years, so maybe I’ll keep a running notes for the practice and qualifying sessions and post at the end of the month? 

No promises. Ever. 

As always, Thank you for reading!

Eric Hall

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