Unfiltered Race Notes: Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 2015

Welcome back to the most best-est unfiltered race notes!!! I have no idea what is in store for anotherindycarblog during 2015, but these were fun, so lets do it again!


Alright alright alright… 7 month off-season, you have not crushed my spirit; I’m here and ready for RACEC… oh… basketball… well… I guess I can wait five more minutes.

IMSP knocking it out of the park. Thanks guys. If there is one constant shiny star in the sometimes-goat-rodeo-that-is-indycar-racing, it’s IMSP.

Note to self: Buy yacht, park in St. Petersburg Marina, watch IndyCar race.

Ugh. Cheever and Goodyear. Hopefully Bestwick can save us.

Wherever these joker are, it looks busy and packed; excellent location choice for this thing.

Interviews, Andretti Autosport montage, Interviews, Whatever.

Beekhuis getting all techy on us. I approve. This is the best look at some of the kit details I’ve seen yet.

Wings on wings on wings on wings. I’m not totally convinced that’s getting old yet.

I’m already tired of interviews. More montages please. In slow motion next time?

Having the drivers talk about the track instead of the commentators is an awesome way to complement the track map segment. Again, I approve.

32 minutes and 51 seconds into the season, and I’m on your side ABC, don’t loose me just as quick. I’ve even forgiven you for the 5 minutes of basketball during my racecar coverage.

Good Command. Let’s do this; it’s been far, far too long.

2 seater has the sharkfin but nothing else from the new Honda kit. I wonder if they think that is the defining aspect of their kit?



Clean through turn 1. Amazing.

The pack sounds awesome.

There was definitely contact further back in the field before T1.


For debris. Great start.

20K front wings. Wow.



Penske train up front.

The cars look life damn spaceships out there. Cool


Coletti giving Kimball the elbow. Strong start Charlie; let’s at least try and not squander this Ganassi seat all year, please?


Nice shout outs for Hawksworth, Coletti, Chaves and Jakes. Always like to see the back of the field get some lovin’.


The cars look bad fast. Not nearly as lumbering as last year.


Onboard with Rahal. Dude is working really hard to not make any progress on Dixon. Keep at it Babe.

Coletti’s car looks hot. I love silver racecars.


Oh yea, Will Power is running away with it. Is there any doubt that he wont win?


Filippi takes a handful of front wing. He’ll be a good guinea pig racing without the wing flip doo-dads


Simona into Munoz. Ouch. Not covering yourself in glory there Simona. WE NEED BETTER FROM YOU!

No yellow. Thank goodness.

JPM not into Dixon. Well done!


Air jack failure on Dixons car. Slow recovery from the team. Surprising.


Power even farther out front.


For debris.


I’ll run out onto a live track and recover that crap. Call me IndyCar.

The cars look GREAT!

Racing has been meh, but St. Pete usually is. Thus far, this has been fantastic.

It looks like there may be RV camping along the front straight. That is cool as hell. The stands look very full as well.



Huertas out. Busted steering rack maybe? A Coyne car breaking? Nooo.



Montoya passes 2 cars headed into T1, almost crashes himself out, gathers it up and continues on. Welcome back old friend!

And Sato elbows Bourdais.

Side-by-side through the entire back half of the track. Nutso. No, the racing has not been hurt with the aerokits.



Marco crushed his shiny new wing because he is not as good as he thinks he is. Come on man, that was rookie.

The racing ahs been good, but there’s no rhythm to this show at all. Lets click off some laps and get through a pit stop sequence without crashing into each other.

Who will be the first to run a stock Dallara front wing?


Looks like Sato also has a broken wing. Could it be? No, he has a new new wing. Boo.



The entire field is much more collected. Looks like they want to get some laps clicked off as well.


JPM hunting Helio. Cue the Jaws music.


Chaves into Hinch. Carbon fiber flying. This could be a long afternoon. Debris everywhere.


These guys are cooking.

Shhh… Racecar.


Munoz around the outside of Jakes like a boss.

The booth is fawning over Andretti. I’m not sure they’re watching the same race I am.



Jakes off. Simona win a mean tire rub. Simona just crushed the rear of Jakes. Dammit Simona, that’s twice. This isn’t how we get more races added to our deal!

Props to the booth for throwing Jakes under the bus though.

Everyone into the pits.

Helio around Power in the pits. IS THIS REAL LIFE?


500 montage. Most excellent.



Hawksworth and Karam leading us to green.

Power and JPM around Helio. The race is clearly going to be between these two.


Pagenaud into the rear of Kimball and Rahal puts Kimball into the tires just to finish him off. I know this wasn’t your doing CK, but it’s these kinds of things that make me have no hope in you. Wrong place, wrong time, every time.

JPM behind Power for the restart and JPM looks READY for trouble.



I need to breathe.

JPM staying right with Power and both are gapping the field. For once, I want to see the lead cars circulating. JPM on Blacks?!?!


Someone ran onto the track to get a piece of wing. There goes my shot at glory.

Quite a few Chevy’s missing the winglet things. Rahal with a floppy wing.


Rahal drive through, and on maybe his best day in a while. Too bad? No.

Focusing on the Power/JPM battle. Very yes. This is the way to keep me watching during side-by-side coverage.


Hawksworth pits and doesn’t change his wing. I love it. Broken racecars limping to the end.

Yes, JPM on blacks and Power on reds.


Onboard with Power. Sounds like drivers are dropping gears quicker. I always attributed the slow downshifts to low-tech gearboxes. Could it have been braking grip dictating the slower downshifts?


Ok. It’s been a while without a caution. The race has settled in. What do we know?

-JPM can keep up with Power

-Simona may not be seen again this year

-wings are made of glass


I can’t help but think JPM may pull this off. He is too fast on blacks.

Side thought about the gearboxes: I would really like to see 7 speed boxes in 2017.


I see Dracone is out. Did we hear anything about that? Hmm…


Why does it feel like Pagenaud running in P5 is kind of a disappointment?


Final stops.

Power’s left rear fumbles the nut.

The director missed Power exiting the pits and the race with JPM. THAT WAS THE RACE WINNING PIT EXIT, WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABC???


The booth mentions the JPM/Power exchange up front. Thanks. A bit too late, and now we’re following Helio’s out lap. What


Pagenaud around the outside of Bourdais.

OK, we get the exchange on replay. I AM OFF THE BANDWAGON ABC!


Looks like no one pulled the jack for Power. That’ll do it every time. Penske perfect?

Good catch ABC.


Power is closing. Quickly.

I’m nervous.


Booth notes Power is knocking 0.5 seconds a lap off. Buckle up kids, here we go.

I could watch these two lap all day long.


Power peeking to the inside.

Let’s watch together now.


Montoya may be short on tires.


Buuut it doesn’t matter as JPM closes the door on Power. Decisively closes the door.

However, that was a low probability move at best Power. You’re lucky both of you are still running.


MOVE OVER SAGE! That probably ruined any hope on a knife fight at the end.

Look at Jakes! Verizon in the mirrors? Move over and slam on the brakes. At least he knows how to get lapped. A few other drivers could take some lessons there.


We never once went through the field. By the patented Eric Hall, is-this-a-boring-race-o-meter, no… this was not a boring race.


lappers ahead. It looks like they’re racing tough. Good to know there was action up and down the field as we were focused on the fron for the final ¼ of the race

These lappers may be making Montoya sweat.



I would try and stay behind those idiots if possible.

Kimball spins it. Dude.



Montoya. That’s the way to start the season.

I have nothing left to say. JPM for season champion, You heard it here first. It’s been proven that Power can be thrown off his game with ease if you can keep the pressure on. Montoya did not back down and physically reminded Power he does not own the top position in the team.

In fairness, Power knew the move was optimistic and didn’t have a single complaint. Kudos Mr. Power, that is a huge change from a year ago. All things considered, he’s in amazing good spirits.

Hell yes. That was a race. I totally approve.

Eric Hall

Posted in Unfiltered Race Notes | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Dallara, IndyCar, Randy Bernard and Black Helicopters

It’s January 19th, one day after Honda and Chevrolet submitted their final designs for their spiffy 2015 aerokits; a glorious day for sure. But here we sit with no images or anything really too concrete regarding what we may be in store for once the green falls in St. Petersburg.

I’m totally OK with this.

My excitement for the 2015 season, the introduction of aerokits and the new look of the IndyCar schedule has me very excited about the coming season; more so than any season in recent memory.

When was the last time we had a true development war in IndyCar? Possibly ahead of the 2005 season when we saw Dallara and Panoz contesting the championship on the chassis side and Chevy, Toyota and Honda on the engine side. That wide ocean of development was pared down to only Dallara and Honda contesting the entire 2006 season; quite the change in only one year.

The situation was even more dire on the CART/Champ Car side following the 2002 season. Honda and Toyota had departed for the IRL and Reynard Motorsport was not saved from bankruptcy.

A handful of teams soldiered on with the undeveloped Reynard chassis for two more years before finally being mothballed in favor of the Lola. And like that, CART/Champ Car’s backbone became spec equipment.

Competitive open-wheel development has been at a standstill for more year’s than many of the highly coveted new fans have been watching. And that is a tough pill to swallow. Indycar racing, in one form or another, has been built upon development and we are on the brink of seeing the next iteration of that century old knife fight.

Needless to say, I am truly looking forward to what 2015 has to offer. But while reading the flurry of excellent development articles coming from various sources, I began to wonder exactly how the DW12 was designed.

The supposed word on the street regarding the initial Dallara aerokit was that it was designed solely as a show kit ahead of the 2012 season. The intention being that other manufacturers would come on board and autoclave some new clothes for the DW12 safety cell.

As we well know, that did not happen. With no kit manufacturers on board, IndyCar and Dallara were left scrambling to push the show kit into production with minimal wind tunnel or CFD development. I do not blame either party for this decision; why develop something that would only see service for a year?

Remember back to initial Indy testing of the shiny new Dallara kit. Speeds were down… way down… 215-ish top speed down. Dallara was emphatic their chassis hit all the items on the IndyCar checklist, and a Dallara manufacturing engineer here in Indianapolis planted the blame squarely on the overweight engines being supplied.

Of course, Chevy and Honda held the line and pushed blame to Dallara. I have always wondered if the current turd of an aerokit was more to blame than chassis design or engine weight. It’s much cheaper to fix an imbalance problem by changing a-arm geometry than developing a new aerokit.

But the teams, drivers and the series marched on and developed that sorry aerokit until it could turn blistering times at nearly every facility visited.

Now enter 2015 manufacturer testing.

IndyCar and Dallara anticipated a huge increase of downforce from the new kits and proactively made downforce decreases to the existing under tray in testing as early as fall of 2014. And rightfully so, IndyCar and Dallara both knew how sloppy the existing kit was and how much potential there was to be found in the chassis.

Even with the new, less efficient floor, Honda and Chevy maxed out the suspension strength as early as October of 2014; a concerning mark to hit so soon in development. The response? IndyCar axed even more downforce by making the tunnels and diffuser more inefficient. Not the way we want the chassis to be developed in concert with these new aerokits.

I wasn’t thrilled about the initial floor change, but the need is understandable as Dallara has clearly improved the base design slowly over the past three years. But this second round of technical de-evolution is concerning.

What exactly was Dallara thinking when they OKed the suspension ahead of the 2012 season? Did they not ever expect downforce increases over the life of the chassis? Were there no actual plans to introduce manufacturer aerokits?

This malarky makes me believe that the idea of an “aerokit” was a red herring fed to us by Randy Bernard. Yet another big check written by the-starry-eyed-every-fans-best-friend that IndyCar and Dallara would be unable to cash once push came to shove.

Remember proud Randy standing in front of us with the amazing revelation to move downforce from the wings to the under tray? It did wonders for competition, but sent the wrong message regarding the evolution of the DW12.

Should I be concerned about nose to tail racing now that the downforce has moved from the floor to the wings? During the years leading up to the sweeping rules changes ahead of the 2009 Formula One season, we saw just how bad the racing can be when you continue to take away downforce from the floor and force teams to claw it back with the wings.

This is not how chassis and aero development is supposed to go. Chevy and Honda have gone above and beyond the call. They fight tooth and nail on the engine side by bringing updates as quickly as possible and utilizing the rules in an attempt to strangle the series. The inability of either to complete this task is proof positive that both manufacturers are leaving nothing on the engine development table.

The reports that both manufacturers have maxed out the stock DW12 suspension is even more credence to their commitment to winning in IndyCar. Honda and Chevy are clearly pushing the limits of what they can do within the rules and finding huge gains to complete the IndyCar choke hold.

I’ve long been a supporter of Dallara, but such poor planning and design cannot be overlooked. Neither can the memory of Randy Bernard constantly selling us on things he would ultimately fail to deliver.

Did Dallara deliver exactly what was asked within the monetary design constraints? Did Randy know he was selling a Ferrari on a Fiat budget? Did he assume there would never be aerokits, as witnessed by the DW12 design compromises, only to sell fans something he assumed would never be delivered?

I really believe the answer is ‘yes’ across the board. Randy was not a stupid man. He knew what the fans wanted and was able to sell us hope instead of giving us truth. I also believe Dallara delivered the promised chassis, but was not able to developed the flexibility needed to handle dynamic aerokits due to obvious time and budgetary concerns.

Considering how volatile the IndyCar fan base is (Myself included along with everyone reading this post) fudging the numbers may not have been the worst short-term solution. A short-term solution because he knew his time was limited and he was already tired of the noise?

Black helicopter territory now.

This racer article put the final pieces in the fishy Dallara/Bernard/IndyCar puzzle that has been rattling around for a while. I always felt Randy was a better salesman than a leader, but I was never able to clearly pinpoint the root of my concern.

Regardless of what happened years ago, the idea that we have Skunk Works level secrecy taking place in our tiny slice of motorsport heaven is almost too exciting. Honda and Chevy are primed for an epic battle and they clearly do not care if IndyCar or Dallara is there to help.

Add the renewed commitment of Firestone to increase development in 2015, we are primed for an excellent year of technical warfare the likes of which we haven’t seen in nearly a decade.

Roll on Brazilia!

Eric Hall

Posted in Airing of Grievances, Brain Vomit | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Unfiltered Race Notes: Milwaukee 2014

OK, Here we go with the Milwaukee race notes… finally. I think I have found some international feed on youtube as there was not even a second of prerace; straight into the command and the launching of the cars. I must say, I’m not upset. Let’s do this!

Arie back into the two-seater… interesting



Power straight to the lead, RHR in last

Good to see the guys really using the new tires and slice through the field early on


I know we are some 15+ mile an hour slower than the old CART machinery here in qualifying, but these guys still look fast on this ancient ribbon of concrete


Sato nearly crashes before the race even starts. Well done. I expect nothing less from you


Spending a few laps onboard with RHR and there is no one better to be onboard here with. The guys is so good here, even if he is starting from the rear of the field


Alright, I know I am watching this a few weeks late and the crowd debate has been beat to death, but the main grandstands look really full. Obviously, the shorties in T1 and T4 are sparse, but the mains are full with people sitting all the way down to the fence


The commercials really eat up a lot of laps here

RHR still slicing through the field with Hinch close in tow


It’s very hard to tell if there is fuel savings going on here at Milwaukee. It just feels like if you do decide to lift early, you will instantly be out of contention


Power ahead by over ½ a second… an eternity at Milwaukee


Lost sound on the feed. Sounded faded down in the studio, I bet this is an issue with the broadcaster


Now Dixon making a few moves. The cars that are on it here really look on it

Taking the entrance to 1 the half lane down can gain you a good amount of ground


Alright, I think that was an uncommented commercial break. Wonder why I missed those ten or so laps early on


Did you know Charlie Kimball has diabetes?


Confirmed. This is the world feed. We get no off track cut away interviews. I’m 100% ok with that


Onboard with Pagenaud. Dude has so much trouble on ovals; he does not look comfortable at all right now


Saavedra holding up a pack of quick guys. Shocking


Castroneves is mired behind SS as well. I can imagine the seething under the helmet, HCN needs to go


Pags first in. That orange is beautiful. Possibly my favorite car in the field, and bold monochromatic liveried don’t usually look too hot on the DW12s


The rest of the field is filing into the pits rather quickly


TK gaining on Power ever so slightly


3 WIDE INTO T1 AND T3. These guys get nutty on new tires


JPM hits a tire in the pits with no penalty. What?!


Carpenter in. For a tiny team, his crew is blindingly fast. What a difference between ECR and SFHR


Knock down drag out fight for the lead! TK is just a bit slower in the lowside and loses momentum to Power riding around the high side. I think we can classify this oval run for Power as clinical already. Not many people could have help off a charging TK for the lead on an oval


Silent commercial break, this time we are onboard with Power looking back at TK. Good view for a few moments of silence


The Mile looks pretty smooth considering the harsh northern winters and tunnel running under the track. I’m sure this place hasn’t been resurfaced in a long while. What a great facility to have IndyCars at


Power running into some heavy lapped traffic


RHR up to P6 with the Ganassi/Penske show ahead


Ha ha! The lap speeds are being displayed in KPH


Bell mentions high-speed commitment. Well put


Stat mentions Hawksworth finished P9 last year here in IndyLights… out of what, 11 cars? Silly stat


Awesome battle between HCN and about 3 other guys during the silent commercial break. Glad I got to see it


RHR +14 to P5. Get it done


Have yet to mention Newgarden. The kid is finishing the year strong. I hope good things come to him in 2015


Points as they run. Still kind of far from the end of the year to be doing this isn’t it?


Dixon in. Looks like the guys are only running about 50 lap stints out of a possible maximum of 70. Another tire limited race it looks like


…enthralled with the racing…


Stops still happening. If this race continues green until the end there could be a stop every single lap as the strategies drift away


TK hastling Power from a lap down with new tires. Takes him a few laps to get around even with new tires


TK to the lead with over 3.5 seconds in hand


Power has already reeled in TK by nearly a second


Through the field. Over half way? Not bad. My supremely scientific method of using when ‘through the field’ first appears to gauge the excitement of whatever race I am watching. It feels like nearly every race has seen through the field over halfway through



Munoz brushes the wall

About half the field comes in with TK not taking tires and Power not even coming in for fuel. Interesting shift in strategy

Munoz behind the wall

A few late takers for fuel and tires


Good for AJFR. They jumped Kimball in the pit battle



TK and JPM rushing through the field

Sounds like TK may have actually taken tires. Confused with the conflicting info


Power has settled into a comfortable lead. This has been an unbelievable afternoon for him.

Power TK JPM. Strong top 3


Has the race been exciting? I think so. Yes, it’s been slightly strung out, but the cars look spectacular here. The drivers are clearly working hard and you can see that in the attitude of the cars through the corner


Top 3 have closed up and are sprinting away from the field

TK cites Ted Horn as the guy who made him work at short ovals. Cool shout out


Through the field

Pags hanging tough in the top 10. Pretty good day after a slow start

Broken suspension for RHR. Shades of Pocono. What a weird year for the Indy 500 winner. No yellow

Replay. GREAT save


The guys are still close up front, but traffic looms ahead

TK and JPM have done an excellent job keeping power in their sights


Newgarden in pretty early. It may be tough to make it to the end from here


Slow stop for Marco


Power in. This should be his last stop. Nice reminder from Cindric to not speed on pit lane

Rest of the field streams in as well. This could be the longest stint the field has had to run


Good race between JPM and TK, but they are over 3 seconds behind Power

Honestly, I never thought I would see Power run this dominant of an oval race.


Newgarden could be holding up JPM and TK, but still a great run from him


Wow, once the traffic got thick Powers lead evaporated with JPM bombing past Newgarden for P2


JPM and Power racing for the win

This race will be decided by how well the two guys can get around traffic


Cindric: Be mindful of fuel

JPM having trouble with traffic


I saw them give the blue to Munoz from the flagstand. I don’t like the idea of race control parting the seas for the leader while P2 and down have to fight to navigate the traffic


Sounds like Newgarden can’t make it to the end

Wow, Pagenaud in P3. Huge day for him and SSM


So Power is running away with it and no one has anything for him. This is a defining drive


Aaaand Pags slips down to P7


Montoya is slowly closing in, but he just doesn’t have to speed through traffic


Power is doing a great job cutting through traffic. I’m shocked at how well he is running this race. It has all clearly clocked for Power


Pagenaud not letting Power by. I wish we could hear what Pags is mumbling to himself under the helmet right now


Big points swing for Power



Power “I love winning on ovals!”

Absolutely amazing. With this kind of dominant win on the definition of a drivers track, buckle in for a few years of Power crushing the field. Even if he lost a hair on the twisties, what he has gained on the ovals this year has been nothing short of masterful. I think we saw someone ‘get it’ this afternoon.

Not a bad afternoon of racing. Exciting but somewhat uneventful, but the cars still look spectacular here. Final thought? I want to see INDYCAR give the teams road course boost. We need 750 horses here.

Eric Hall

Posted in Unfiltered Race Notes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Unfiltered Race Notes: Fontana 2014 Championship Edition

Alright… 500 miles to go…


The Astor Cup is a good looking piece of silverware

For the record; I am for double points for 500 mile races. In an ideal world I would be for a Simon Pagenaud championship, but realistically I’m rooting for Helio. I want to see him cement his legacy in American open-wheel racing

Ed, Marco, Josef, Kanaan, JPM, Dixon, RHR. There are quite a few dudes out there that are going to play spoilers tonight

Ok!! There are a few people in the stands! Thank you to everyone who attended the IndyCar season finale on the surface of the sun!

Cindric: Power is really resilient. Riiiight… Tonight will really test that statement

Aleshin video. Such a big hit; lucky kid. Thanks Dallara

JPM is a cool cat tonight. Good things should happen for him tonight

Newgarden: I didn’t know how to adjust with wind direction on the second lap. Exactly why he’s needed a veteran teammate

Fontana… a dirty race track for a dirty town

Power big oval retrospective. I have no idea what he is going to do on lap 1, let alone lap 250

Interviews interviews interviews… everyone seem s pretty cool tonight

Penske and Tracy interview was cool. Not as hard hitting as I would have liked considering who was asking the questions

2014 season review. Nuts, just nuts. This season has been described as the championship no one wants to win. I say the competition is so close that any bobble has much greater championship implications than in the past

The firechicken has got to be roasting inside that ridiculous helmet

All of this pumping up of the best never to win a championship between Power and Helio makes me wonder what this year would have looked like if Franchitti was still around

Power is starting to look a bit more apprehensive about what is about to go down

Prerace ceremonies… finally,,,

Excellent Penske championship review. IMSP knocks it out again. 8 years is an eternity in Penske years

Forgot to turn the mic on for the dude giving the command… that’s so IndyCar. On the plus side, we finally heard the engines actually fire

Let’s do this

3-wide baby! Exactly how it should be here



Power falling back. Playing it conservativ3


Nutty 3 wide action early. Excellent

Field still looks pretty close, usually we get quite stung out rather quickly here


Marco struggling on the lowside trying to get around Rahal. Considering how wide this place is it’s always surprising how hard it is to pass


Montoya Jetting away


Clearly settling in for a long race. I can’t image there will be that much fuel savings going on tonight. Stint lengths could very well be limited by tire degradation


The bumps heading into T3 are very apparent tonight. Cars are definitely sprung light


Pagenaud already in and has a slow stop to boot. 2 laps down


Dixon stalking…


Hinch is on the move. Already up to P4 and gapping

The painted clouds from the setting California sun looks beautiful


JPM in

Both front tire changers went for the wing adjustment for Newgarden. Clearly the team is still lacking all the systems it needs in place to truly fight for the win from pitlane.


The rest of the field is in


Hinch to P3 on the pit exchange


Dixon. The forgotten champion. I remember him telling INDYCAR he would do whatever they want to help pump up the series. This year may have been worse in terms of pumping up the defending champion than 2013 was


First points as they run sighting


Hinch to P2. Ridiculous

Power getting raced very hard by Rahal. That’s what I like to see


WOW! Hinch fighting for the lead! Where have you been all year?!

Dixon is right there as well


Great racing through the field so far.


Hinch finally makes it stick. P1

Baby blue car driven by a Canadian with red gloves at ACS

Huertas pulled off. “not feeling well” I’m sure…


JPM in really early


Power up ten positions. Positive he has control of the championship


Lots of talk about tear offs and windscreens. Still haven’t seen the shop vacs make an appearance yet


We’re starting to see glowing headers and turbos during the onboards

JPM and Helio are P1 and P2 after the pit exchange. Montoya may be slightly off strategy and may fall farther away as the race wears on


Yummy, talk of 2015 aerokits


The laps are really clicking off tonight


Pagenaud is junk… shocking… and he almost loses it on pit out


Carpenter has been slowly sneaking up all night.

All the while, Power has been playing it cool. He should have this in the bag


Ed in. His crew is one of the best on pitlane


Speed penalty for ed. Doh!!

Poor Ed, he only gets a handful of races a year yet you throw it away so early. Would suck to ride around the rest of the night


Through the field. Not bad at all

Ok, there has been good racing all night long and this is clearly not a fuel race, yet it hasn’t been all that exciting. Odd evening or something. Maybe it’s the lack of focus on the championship battle. It feels like another race, not the final championship double points paying 500 mile race of the year


RHR to P1

A night of comers and goers for sure


Points as they run with no mention from the booth


Halfway home

No idea who is going to win. Cars have looked unbeatable for as few as 5 laps. JPM is the only constant

Power to P7. Could he really win this?


Kimball kisses the wall. Surprised there was no yellow. Actually, I’m glad we stay green. The race up front has been pretty hot.


Andretti into the wall exactly like Kimball, still green


JPM back in.


Still no shop vac sightings


If all else, the cars always look dmn good under the lights

Now Hinch with a speeding penalty. Wow. Two strong guys throwing their races away


As they run… Castroneves -1. SO CLOSE

The race up front has been really good all night long


RHR continues his march to the front


The booth notes the lack of attrition. After all the winging about it earlier in the week, I really thought it would be a more important storyline by this point in the race

During the commercial break the racing was side by side the entire time


I don’t care what you say, these cars look good in speedway trim

Montoya slipping back; still a long way to go.

Second comparison of Power to Jimmie Johnson by Tracy. Why?

Still 14 cars on the lead lap


Helio has really taken control of this race. It looks like it could be all in Powers hands at this point


Replay of Dixon/RHR/Kimball incident. The racing is definitely picking up

I see Newgardens outside front changer has a neon yellow helmet. Why don’t all the guys have them just because? Would be much safer I would think



RHR around into the front straight grass. Stalled but car’s ok.

Can you see tire smoke coming from Bourdais saving it right before RHR loses it?

Looks like Carpenter has fought his way back onto the lead lap

This restart is going to be crazy

Power won’t be able to just sit back like he did at the start. Going to have to properly race from here on out


Long caution. The sweepers are doing a very thorough job. 100 percent ok with that

Tracy: yellows breed yellows. No doubt. Be safe boys



Power with two decisive low side passes to take the lead. THAT is what championships are made of!


Carpenter slowly marching back to the front

Powers woman looks nervous as hell


WE are racing as fast as the cars will handle right now. This is most excellent

Hmm. Bourdais out and back into the pits after mixing it up with the leaders

Stop and hold penalty

Power starting to slip back, but it doesn’t matter if Helio can’t find his way back to the front


HCN and Power have found each other on track

Also, probably one more stop?

Interesting that there is so much focus on the Power family. Where are the shots of the Castroneves family?

Pulling for Helio


Although I would really dig a TK win

9 cars left on the lead lap

We’ve been tracking through the field for the past few laps, It would be nice to know what’s going on up front


Hinch first in for his last stop. Still a lap down though from his penalty


Alright. HCN in and out. Final run to the checkers

Power as well. Let’s do this


NOOOOOO… HCN pit entry speed violation. Game over. The race turns to the lead

Mr. Penske does not look impressed


Power got a ¼ turn of wing in when he wanted a ¼ turn of wing out and he is having trouble dealing with the mistake. Flirting with the wall on corner exit lap after lap

Side note: I’m really glad this race is 500 miles long

Radio: Power is struggling


Dude. HCN could have won this championship…


Oddly enough, the race at the front has cooled off. This should be TK’s race. The leaders are very strung out


Starting to see Power right up against the wall. Down to P9. I feel sick for Helio


Power looking sluggish on the track. Car is a piece of junk right now. Another miscommunication could have thrown the championship away for him. So damn lucky


Quiet end to a crazy race. The caution almost ruined the flow of the race




Very nice. I feel awful for Helio, but he made a more detrimental mistake to his race than Power. That’s how it goes. Absolutely excellent race. I was really hoping the see the entire thing go caution free, I think that could have made for an even more exciting finish.

I don’t think the cars are too easy to drive, I think the field is just that good

Power looks exhausted, and rightfully so. Congratulations Will

He admits to be stressed and getting awful sleep all week long. Not surprising; I bet Helio slept like a baby

Helio looks dejected, but he clearly has learned how to handle this kind of disappointment

TK baby

Great season everyone. This should be a good offseason over here on anotherindycarblog, look for fun features and more walks down memory lane. Thank you thank you thank you for reading a different kind of coverage this year, it’s been too fun!

Happy 2014 IndyCar season!

Eric Hall

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Unfiltered Race Notes: Sonoma 2014

Note for the Milwaukee notes: Due to my in person attendance at the kick ass Milwaukee Mile last weekend, I was unable to catch my DVR crapping out. I have yet to see the telecast of Milwaukee, if you know how I can see it please let me know.

And welcome to the earthquake affected GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma! Hopefully there is more intrigue to this race than we all expect.


Re earthquake: “I thought I was going to die” – Will Power

Re earthquake: “The pictures on the wall weren’t crooked, I want that guy to do my pictures” – Castroneves

Track and facilities are good to go. Big thumbs up to all the area fans that made the trek to take in an afternoon of IndyCar. Still, I don’t expect there to be many people in the house

Re earthquake “I was worried the bus was going to go down the hill” – Pagenaud. Funny that he stays in his bus at the track

Hunter-Reay’s kid slept through the earthquake. Good boy

MKE retrospective from the always on point IMSP. That was a fun afternoon, guess I could write an on-the-ground sooner or later. I’ve gone for three years and have never done one

Sam Hornish looks confused

Booth talking up Pagenaud’s 90 some point deficit saying he can pull it off. Come on…

JPM: “got to minimize the damage” scored the most points over the last 8 races. Dude could be tough if he can catch his grove early next year

Newgarden signed for a year with whatever the ECR takeover of SFHR is called now for 2015. Good for him; he can use the year with Ed and whoever else to hone his skills before moving up the grid in 2016

Awesome visor cam/ gopro montage with RHR. I know the camera is still a bit high, but you can see Munoz in the mirrors well before he dives inside

Perfect prerace length. Let’s do this thing


I love the grid-side send off

Cool. Miller on the spotters… hill… with Rick Mears. Awesome view of the action.


Shenanigans into T2. Still green? Looks like we had 2 stalled cars

HCN the big loser with wing damage, and my fantasy lineup with Bourdais


Both cars away, this should be quick. Honestly, the guys did a good job given how little room there was to maneuver around

Ugh, I know there ‘isn’t enough runoff’ but we should really be running the full course. IndyCars wreck into the wall at Indy at 230…



Sonoma looks AWFUL from the air. Haven’t had rain in 118 days

Newgarden looks good. We will see how long he can hang on

Conway running unusually well on a natural terrain road course. P8


WHOAAAHH!! It took 7 laps before Hornish said anything about the racing. Man, I just don’t know about this experiment.

Brake issues for Pagenaud. Seems like that’s the story of his season


HCN in again. The day from hell for the poor guy


Power trotting away from Newgarden as Josef falls into the clutched of the Target armada. Settle in boy and girls…

Hinch and Sato back in as well. Guys involved in the accident haven’t been able to catch a break


Hunter-Reay lining up TK for a pass. WILL IT ACTUALLY HAPPEN?!?

Sorry. That was uncalled for


Yes. RHR gets him on the pit exchange…


JPM down a lap. I’m shocked by how much trouble he has been having on the natural road courses


Wilson almost gets around Andretti. I’m not sure we have seen an on screen pass yet.


RHR can’t get around Rahal. Use that chrome horn. There is no reason for you to be stuck behind Rahal


Ok, JPM may have just gone around Hawksworth. But this RHR/ Rahal battle is plain sad

Bitching aside, watching IndyCars here is mesmerizing



Huertas stranded on the side of the track. Been a tough year for the Honda boys

The strategy could play out in a wonky way if there are no more yellows in this race

Har… Marco wins Sonoma rewind

Sweepers doing a thorough job in the corners… not like it will matter here, but everything helps



Power with a huge lead already. I can see oil dry down for the Huertas incident, that would also explain the extended caution


Saavedra into JPM and Bourdais.

Pagenaud and Wilson both abort the pitlane at the very last moment. Pagenaud nearly smashes it into the tires

Nope. That was Helio taking a way too optimistic look on the inside of Bourdais who was inside Saavedra. Helio pushing too hard and that’s always how he screws himself

Dixon wins the race off pitlane. Very woah

Replay of Dixon crushing Power’s tire guy last year. That was nutty



Kanaan in front with Conway in tow AND CONWAY AROUND THE OUTSIDE!! Dude, what a move

Power and Munoz doing donuts at the top of the esses. Whoops. What a rare mistake from Power…

Cindric: Be cool. COME ON, we know that’s not Powers MO

At least we will see a drunk-with-craziness-Power run through the field


Conway +3.5 destroyer of worlds

Cars sound good and look great here


Carpenter: fuel number. Duh. It’s Sonoma

Sneaky Briscoe in P3; Kanaan falling into his clutches

Rahal P4. Well, you can’t come last in all the races


Power with no progress made


Through the field. I thought we would have done it twice by now

That GoPro chalet overlooking the carousel would be a cool place to watch this race from


Kimball had his best starting position of the year on a twisty today with a P11. At least it’s another well-funded car on the grid.


Onboard with Power. Clearly struggling. Can’t wait to see what he can do with new tires


Kanaan -7.5 from Conway. Wow

Power straighlines the chicane. I can never image how that could possibly happen. Are we watching the oft-predicted championship self-destruction of Power?


RAHAL AROUND KANAAN!! It is clearly backwards day with Rahal making passes at Sonoma

Dixon P5. The iceman is coming


I know there are multiple strategies playing out, but with the fast guys already hassling the leaders there must have been a few more passes than we have been shown


Repave of pitlane entry looks really good. That bump was huge before


Conway would have to go 24 laps to win

Ok ok… Rahal looks really good today

Sato gets balked in the pits by Dixon leaving directly behind him and Andretti coming in directly in front of him. Great job to miss everyone


Marco around the outside of Hinch in the carousel. Damn son

Wow. Rahal hassling Conway. It really is bizzaro world today

Rahal around Conway for P1. You’re welcome National Guard. Questions about whether Rahal can make it on fuel


Rahal, Conway, Kanaan all very close together. Kevin Lee says he doesn’t think Rahal will make it without help. Sounds like ECR thinks the same thing


My brain is starting to scramble from the strategies. The guys are still close up front. Pulling for Conway


Kanaan is right on Conway. I think He’s holding TK up, but still reeling Rahal back in. If Kanaan is just sitting back to save fuel and tires, he could be the man to beat

Power to P15. With we would see his run through the field


And of course we go onboard with Power


Kanaan in for fuel. Rahal stopped on the same lap… Am I really rooting for Rahal?


Yes… Yes I am. Conway winning is good for me, ECR and Conway. Rahal winning is good for everyone. Although Dixon and RHR are right there. Honestly, this is the most exciting Sonoma race I have ever seen I think



Ugh… kill me now

Booth doesn’t think Rahal can do it


Ok. We have been following the leaders for like 10 laps. Can we see if there are any other battles on screen please?


Hornish makes a good point. The 4 leaders are spread by like 4 seconds. This is damn close for a Sonoma race


Rahal still pulling away. Why? I hope they get video of Bobby smacking Graham when he runs out of fuel

Rahal in and Conway to the point, but not before Dixon takes the lead into T2


For the record, Dixon is the man. RHR around Conway

Also, How does RHR self-admittedly suck at Sonoma and be looking to finish P2?


Drive through for Rahal. Speeding on pitlane. Where’s that Bobby cam at?


Wow, Dixon is 4.5 seconds ahead of Conway


Andretti around Wilson with Power holding his breath right behind.


Dixon. Damn son, that’s how you do it

Power tries to go around Wilson in the final hairpin and nearly takes himself out by bouncing off of Bourdais as they come 3 wide to the line as they all dodge the out of gas car of Conway

What the hell is going on today?

Well, that shook up the points

I hope no one is penalized with that yellow flag there at the end

Blah blah blah… interviews. That was really fun! There’s always a small part of me that dreads heading to Sonoma, but today was a blast. I know this fuel race could have gone the other way without the shenanigans, but that’s why you run the race. Plus we had a pretty good race for the actual lead. No one could have predicted Dixon to victory lane before the last ten laps. Onto Fontana and a painfully early end to the season.

Eric Hall

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Unfiltered Race Notes: Mid-Ohio 2014

Welcome back. It’s Mid-Ohio weekend… Let’s go!


Alright, I wonder how long until the FF button gets hit…

Qualifying rewind. Tough day for the series for sure… I was slightly embarrassed for the drivers after two years of green flag running, rain or not

Mistic guy sucking on that e-cig behind Bourdais is really creepy… dude… at least pretend you’re enjoying your hi-tech nicotine

Josef notes the highly dynamic game of predicting indycar race strategy; all it takes is a single yellow. I will note that I have thoroughly enjoyed the last two editions of Barber. It’s pretty cool to see the guys not get a moment of rest and who has the concentration to see the race out

Mid-Ohio winners flashback. The track really only lets the most skilled drivers into victory lane

Word to IMSP. The Toronto flashback was epic

Penske boys very coy about the points championship. You know both are feeling the pressure, but RHR looks cool as ice. He may be the dark horse this year

Joonyer makes an appearance in the National Guard piece. That’s one way to increase ratings I guess maybe

Guns, explosives, chicks… all good with me

HONDA CR-Z HPD PACE CAR!!! MUCH better than that STUPID Accord

Can we please subtitle Munoz please?

Curt and Kevin shout out from the two seater.  Finally


HCN in before the green with a throttle issue. Uh-oh



Kanaan around and Andretti has nowhere to go and plowed into him

Looks like TK took a little too much grass. Pushing too hard too early on. Newgarden closed the door too late as well. One of them racin’ things I believe

Didn’t take long to rack up the first yellow of the day


HCN suffering on pit lane again



Bourdais controls the field

Hearing calls for map 2. Usually means we are already saving fuel. With the caution, we could push this race into 2 stop territory if you save


Briscoe on blacks and falling through the field. Looks like Wilson is as well, Loses a place to Conway


Mesmerized by the fight between Conway and Briscoe. Ryan is definitely hanging tough though


Sato in. Looks like his race was burnt because of damage taken on the lap 1 melee


Pags in. Clearly the first of the 3 stoppers coming in


HOLY CRAP, THE BOOTH ACTUALLY PAUSED FOR A RADIO COMMUNICATION!!! Now, if we could have a graphic about who the transmission is for we would be golden.

And they talk over the very next one.


Hinch start replay. Attachments


Looks like Newgarden is ever so slightly reeling Bourdais in. We know Bourdais is saving and it sounds like Newgarden may be pushing. Bourdais could really run away with this thing if he doesn’t miss the strategy


Pits are starting to get busy


Leigh mentions Barry Wodell and Hobbs starts talking all English-y. I have no idea what anything he is saying means


Aleshin doing his patented inside-drift-outside block. RUSSIAN MAFIA DON’T CARE


Blocking warning for Aleshin. Beaux: “we will be watching” The booth was talking over the radio, I wonder if they even mention it


RHR is pushing and the track is noticeably gaining grip. Cars are looking very quick right now


Bourdais in. The gap to Newgarden is massive. RHR could spoil the day

AA looks like they took purple rim reds off of the RHR car and put black rim blacks on

RHR out ahead of Bourdais but he takes P1 back into T3

Pit speed violation for RHR. Dummy


The Keyhole entry is almost too fast to be a viable passing zone

Saavedra out with engine failure


I bet we finish this race without another caution period

About 180 into T3. Not bad, but we still need to be 190+


I think I could watch indycars run around here all day. Everyone still looks like they are pushing pretty hard. NBCSN has been giving us about 3 laps of onboards. Always cool to see



RHR spins in the carousel. What a rough day for the guy, but all of his own doing

Sato in the grass somewhere after pulling off intentionally. Towed back to the puts

The AWESOME CR-Z PACE CAR looks much quicker than the stupid Accord. Excellent choice to make the change. I’m giving a raise to whoever made that decision

Dixon stays out to lead the field. Needs a miracle



Dixon really holds the pack up heading to the green. It’s literal chaos behind him


Munoz and Newgarden have been fighting clean but close for 3 laps

Dixon is checking out. I wonder what his strategy is at this point?


Newgarden ahead of Bourdais into the keyhole. Dixon shouldn’t be a problem unless said miracle is granted

In reality, Newgarden may chase down Dixon just for the hell of it


Pags and Briscoe fighting side by side through the esses. Wow. Be careful boys


Incredible racing today

Of note: Purple rims on the Andretti ride today as well


Newgarden has stalled out behind Dixon

Sarah Fisher’s I’m-super-stressed-but-want-to-seem-cool-during-the-interview-poker-face is very very poor


Through the field. That took a lot longer than I thought it would to get to a ho-hum place in the race to do this


Briscoe finally elbows  around Pags


Dixon in. He may still be able to do this


Newgarden in along with the rest of the field. Air guy takes a mean tumble heading to service the car; that is not race winning form right there. Out behind Bourdais and Munoz.


Dixon could actually win this. Hinch out in P2


Newgarden: penalty for hitting pit equipment. Hose in the way. No one to blame but the crew

Fastest lap is 2 seconds slower than 2013


Watching 4 of my 5 fantasy picks racing wheel to wheel with each other. Please be safe boys, I need the points this week


The top five looks pretty locked in. I doubt we see any changes before the checkers


Shocked Dixon has been able to pull this one out so far


Everyone is still pushing, but the field is pretty stretched out. Even if the action has been light during this second half, you can actually see how hard the drivers are wheeling the car. Kind of a nice change after all the street circuit fuel races


Dixon is incredible here.

Rahal makes his first real appearance of the race. Quietly running to P5


We have now settled into watching Dixon circulate to victory. I’m OK with that

Replay of Chippy face planting off of the wall. Yes yes yes



Dixon runs out of fuel on the exit of T1. That’s about as close as you can play it

Montoya driving the wrong way down the track, Kimball out of gas rolling backwards, I think everyone played it that close

Last to first, has that ever happened?

Bourdais: that was no miracle there; they were the class of the field today. Well said

I want to hear from the SFHR crew

Cool, final words with Josef. Body language tells me he is furious or about to cry. I’m still not sure he could have had anything for Dixon though

A relatively lock step run to the checkers after the final pitstop is more than made up for with the intense and blistering opening 2/3 of the  race. All in all, it was a really fun afternoon in Mid-Ohio and again I wonder why it, like Barber, continues to be the target of detractors. It wasn’t in the cards this year for me to attend in person, but a weekend of camping around one of the best road courses in the mid-west is always the plan for the next year. Hopefully we will have a different ending in 2015!

Eric Hall

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Unfiltered Race Notes: Toronto Race Two 2014

Welcome back to Toronto! This is an actual IndyCar race according to my DVR so I guess we’ll be in store for some actual racing?


Doubt I’ll be watching much of this

HCN looks tired. That doesn’t bode well for the rest of the field

Stadium Super Truck snippet. Oh yes

Walker saying a whole lot of nothing to Miller. Not a huge fan after yesterday’s debacle. Get him off screen and get this race started

Dale Coyne retrospective. What a good dude. We could use more guys like him in IndyCar

55 minutes to get the guys in the car. Too long. What is a good length prerace for you? I need guys in the cars at the 32-ish minute mark



Standing starts are so damn cool

TK ends up with his nose as close to the tires without touching them as physically possible

Varsha notes the darkening skies



Power and Pagenaud running nose to tail…

Aaaand a Power/Pags retrospective almost on cue

Guys taking the opportunity to take fuel already



Bourdais is on a mission

Drivers are definitely pushing right now.


Pagenaud losing positions hand over fist. Onboard sounds like a sick sick engine.

He has to cycle the entire electrical system of the car. That’s got to be a tough act to pull off. Engine is overheating. May be done for the day

Montoya showing good on a street course

Bourdais doesn’t quite have the pace to challenge the leading pack


Visible rain drops


Wow. JPM into the tires and Aleshin into JPM. I hope he’s ok…

Bourdais also over shoots the corner and Hinch gives JPM’s car a kiss.

Aleshin is ok. Wow. That was nutso

First sighting of rain tires

Bourdais says it’s dry enough for slicks

Rubber marks on Aleshin’s visor and helmet

Steaming racetrack

Bourdais and Newgarden still on slicks. Could be the decision of the race




Festival of cautious driving, Bourdais into the pits for wets finally

Newgarden spins on the front straight, but was able to flip it around into pit lane. Well played


Turn 8 is treacherous

No one is pushing right now

Penske, Penske, Ganassi, Ganassi



Rear pod on the racing line

I wonder who is driving the pace car today




I kid I kid…


Good battle at the front of the field

These guys are being so conservative through the twisty bits. I bet most of the setups are dry to split. I doubt anyone is running a true wet package


Slight block party from HCN. The shock

Power doesn’t have much of anything for HCN right now and the Ganassi boys are inching closer every corner


Luca into the tires. Dude, please get it together. You have not covered yourself in glory the past few races


Side note: This will be my worst single weekend performance in fantasy IndyCar history.

Note to past self: Quit making stupid picks

Timed race. 30 minutes remaining.

Again, as with yesterday and a few weeks ago in Houston, why do we force a time shortened race when we have the full TV window? We don’t need a 90 minute post race show. We needed to run both races to full length today

…a weekend of disappointment. At least Bourdais found the checkers earlier today

36/ 28:30


HCN still leading

Power falling into the clutches of TK


Drivers are getting antsy with the lingering time window

We will not go full distance today. This race will be decided by the clock

Munoz into the runoff


Dry line visible. Who will blink first?

It’s been cool to see the wide variance of lines that drivers have taken through the corner. We really didn’t see this much difference during the wet Houston race


Power and Helio elbowing each other out of the way. Power comes out the other side the victor

HCN was on the inside and wet portion of the track. There was no way he was going to make that corner without bouncing off of Power.


Munoz in for red sidewall slicks


Hawks and Hinch off with Saavedra into the tires.

Goat Rodeo


I can’t wait to get the hell out of Toronto

Everyone left going to slicks

We’re going to have a shoot out of epic proportions

Wilson, Newgarden, Huertas and Filippi stay out on wets. And don’t forget the handful of drivers already on dries ahead of the pitting drivers

Still burning time behind the pace car

Conway first of the slick runners in P5



Conway pushing through the field

Wilson gapping the field, but Conway has already made it to P3

HUGE slide for Huertas


Bourdais stalled at the tires

Conway to the lead. Wilson just couldn’t hold him off

Kanaan rushing through the field as well



That should be it for Conway… DESTROYER OF WORLDS

Looks like the guys who were on the wets were falling through the field and couldn’t get out of the way fast enough

Rahal stalled on the track somewhere

Booth says red, yet the clock is still running

Oops, there we go



Rahal out of the car

I agree with this call. The fans who stuck out this epic failure of a weekend deserve a full speed finish to the day

Gearbox for Rahal

Rahal: “I think you’ll see us on the top step of the podium soon enough” … Riiight…

Cars re-fired

I bet we still finish under yellow



Kanaan around Wilson

HCN with wing damage



Conway has a huge gap. I’m shocked that finished cleanly

Conway was rewarded for having the balls to come in early for slicks


Well done Mr. Conway


Nothing better than an open-wheel car roasting rubber

Ed Always has something to complain about…

Ok, that’s all I can handle from Toronto 2014. The actual racing wasn’t awful this weekend, but the arbitration of said racing could have been executed way more professionally. Thanks for reading my friends.

Eric Hall

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