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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Unfiltered Race Note: Toronto Race One 2014

Welcome to the DVRed notes for three paid programs and a 21 day fix infomercial!


Ok, round two for round one

Power, Montoya and Briscoe in the back. Have the wrongs been righted? Not sure

Drivers are strapped in. Excellent. I don’t need any more breakdown after yesterday


PT: long day ahead. That is the first understatement of the day

I wonder if we will have fewer commercial breaks considering the channel switch and preplaced programming

Standing start moved to race two. One stop race and everyone is on dry tires. Still looks like there are damp areas around the track


GREEN… Finally

Clean start.


Pags around blocking the track. Total traffic jam with Conway, Sato and Newgarden taking damage as well

Well, that didn’t take long


During the commercial break. Probably not a bad idea. You don’t really want half of the field to go down a lap before completing the first lap of the dang race

Sarah Fisher complaining about not being able to work on the car during the red. “I just want to know what the rules are” I understand why they allowed Power to work on the car yesterday but not today

Sato out. My fantasy team has really taken a hit with this crash. Maybe I get bonus points for lowest race score ever?

I agree with Luca. Pags definitely squeezed Luca down. He entered the kink very wide and should have left the inside lane open

Fisher starting work on the Newgarden car. After having no luck getting a response from race control, they started work once they heard the penalty on the broadcast. Why don’t these teams know the rules?!

The delay is due to the inability of race control to decide the order. What?

Cars fired



Great outside move by RHR


Bourdais is already disappearing into the distance!


Feels like a fuel save party. Confirmed as we here a radio transmission saying as much

I really hope Bourdais can pull this off

Lock step. I have a feeling this first race is going to be slightly follow the leader

HCN and RHR fighting very cleanly


No. There are no fewer commercials


Conway making the outside T3 move work. Signature side by side move of this track for sure


Filippi crabbing down the track while Huertas inserts himself into the tire barrier


Stands are starting to fill

I have no opinion on Filippi. He seems like a nice guy and is clearly fast, but he has made some mistakes during his part-time campaign this year

Ah, I almost forgot about the front of the field



RHR looks like he’s not going to let Bourdais pull the same gap as he had before

Rahal cutting through the field. How long until he does something ridiculous?


Andretti giving Saavedra the chrome horn

Montoya giving street racing lessons to Newgarden


Power around the outside. T3 is working today

Montoya is clearly on a mission today


No. RHR has not been able to stay with Bourdais. Same 2+ second gap


Power is violently working the car. Maybe coming in soon


RHR losing pace as HCN takes P2 into T1.


RHR lost another two to TK and Dixon

Power clips a hose on the way out

The entire field is cycling during these two laps


Bourdais in

The bumps are starting to take rubber

Replay of Power hitting the hose

Pit lane exit definitely looks awkward, but we really haven’t seen an issue with it today

36 RHR takes a spot back from Dixon

No action taken on Will Power. Why? He hit pit equipment. You’re lucky Mr. Power


RHR and TK tangle sending Hunter-Reay into the wall. Out of the race

Two mentions of “calamity corner” by Bell in two laps

Bourdais cycles to the lead, but not before hitting RHR’s wing left in the racing line


Huge evasive maneuver from JPM to miss the wounded RHR


Dixon gives Rahal a kiss. The boys aren’t playing nice anymore. It’s game on for these last 20 laps


Looks like RHR may be able to come back out in a few laps

Bell is irritating me with the red/black crossover talk. It’s very clear that the reds aren’t that far off the blacks today


We should extend the track through the Princess Gate

Aleshin not letting Newgarden get by without throwing an elbow

Aaaaand Bob Varsha ruins it for Bourdais by mentioning “if he can hold on…”

JPM falling

Josef around Hawks. Showing very good pace today after the lap one scrum


Bourdais and Castroneves can’t even be filmed in the same shot

Bourdais may be rocketing ahead, but the mid-pack action is really heating up

Varsha mentions if he wins again and is quickly followed by another crossover mention from Bell. Dude, what are we doing?


I don’t assign any blame to either TK or RHR for their incident. Encyclopedic definition of a racing incident


Rahal and Andretti sit atop the “Longest drought since last win” stat column. Ha

Wilson expertly defending the onslaught from Power

Varsha is looking ahead way too much. I want you guys to break down the race, not telling me ‘as they run’ crap


Newgarden clips the jersey barrier after cooking T3


Bourdais puts JPM a lap down allowing HCN to close

“No pressure from behind”


Bourdais wins!!! Hell yes!!

This really solidifies the skill he showed during the ChampCar era. It looked like a carbon copy of his early years; piloting a pushy car to a dominating win.


Screw the race engine, these are donuts

Bourdais gets out of the car in pit lane. Not the usual pomp for him. There are a ton of excited people swarming Bourdias. This is how a team should react to a race win.

Bourdias: “It went perfect” amen

OK. Enough with the interview. A slow and challenging start that turned into a hell of an event. Excellent morning of racing

I will see you again in a few hours for race two!

Eric Hall

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Unfiltered Race Notes: Iowa 300 2014

Welcome back to another enthralling edition of whatever it is that you call this. Rain rain rain in Iowa this weekend so I hope we can get all 300 laps in at a reasonable hour tonight. Strap in and enjoy the Iowa Corn Indy 300 with me.


Rain… that’s going to be the story of the day. I hope the threat of an early checkered flag really makes all the drivers push as hard as they can. If the race can end at any time, it would be best to be out front all night

Power retrospective… lol… I’d really like to not write a single thing about him tonight. Please keep your nose clean Mr. Power

Powers clean shaven and has his glasses off his face. Feels like The Captain may have smacked some sense into him during the last week

Hellooooo UFD girls

Marco has been refreshingly honest and open this year. I’m really softening to him

Let’s be honest, PT look goofy as hell in that suit

IMSP Iowa race intro narrated by Diffey. Can’t get much better than that

Uninspired command. It’s not that hard guys…

And thank you NBCSN, a sub 30 minute prerace show is the perfect length


Crows looks healthy considering the weather concerns. IndyCar feels big time in Iowa; what a great vibe

The high line shall now be called the Marco line


RHR looking racier than usual early on

Got to wonder is Marco toasts his tires too early in the race. He already looks like he’s about to start his usual early drop through the field


The laps click off super fast here

I can’t imagine anyone is saving fuel at this point in the race. Worth noting the director has yet to show the lead two so you’ve got to think they’re flying up there


And we see the leaders


Leaders look to be catching the field already

Dixon dropping quick, yet Kanaan has stood tough

Replay of Kimball’s start. HUGE save


Power has kind of stalled about behind Marco, but finally completes the moved

Hinch around Marco

Personal reminder: Stop picking Marco in fantasy


Brazilian knife fight ensuing for P1


YELLOW as soon as we go to commercial. Rain?

Race Control Reminder: Yes. Ok. Let’s not throw the green too early

Unfair, I know

Word from race control: they will not open the pits until they are positive the race will go green. They want to avoid racing on pit lane while it’s overly slick



Radar looks relatively clear, this should be a quick red. I wonder if AIR TITAN!!! Is still in the house. Wouldn’t surprise me if NASCAR proper stationed one for this race. It would look just as bad on them if they can’t recover the track

Usual red flag rain delay blah blah blah… thankfully the jet driers are out already

Ethanol propaganda. At least they sponsor the race

Too bad INDYCAR has banned the use of chemical adhesives in pit boxes, I’m sure there’s toooons of high fructose corn syrup laying around the track somewhere

Look inside the director’s truck… very similar in size and brightness to the cave I pretend to play journalist in

Interview with Juan in the cockpit with helmet on. Cool?

Kevin Lee: Struggling with the bumps? Juan: yeeeeeeeeeeeaa

DVR has caught up to live picture:-/

Why does Diffey keep saying Iowa drives like a road course? Second mention in as many weeks

Excellent Interview with The Captain. References his fist fights with PT

Only thing PT was allowed to say on the radio? Yes sir or 10-4



Championship points swing look back. 2014 will be now known as the championship no one wants to win

Helio takes the lead on pit road

Biggest NBCSN pet peeve: Playing random radio chatter without any mention of who we are listening to

Turning a few more caution laps than I would have thought. Probably giving the guys a few extra sighting laps




Sato and Mikhail with huge contact into the wall. Aleshin spun off the flat into Sato. Sato slow out of the car seems to have made it to the truck. +3 on the front wing for Aleshin on the last stop. Hmm…

Aleshin holding his wrist

Foyt: “… did like I said in Texas. All you gettin’ them is a bunch of damn idiots…”

Sato is such a nice guy



Clean start and the Brazilian knife fight continues at the front like there wasn’t even a caution


Onboard with Ed. It looks like he adjust nearly every corner

Pags and Hinch side by side for like 5 solid laps. Excellent


Actually a fair amount of wheel to wheel racing

Kanaan around HCN as they catch the tail end of the field


THE RUSSIAN. His obvious mafia demeanor is welcome in IndyCar



Right rear wing endplate delamination for JPM. Identical to RHR’s in practice


That debris is sitting in the racing line, but we are still green. TAKE THAT NASCAR HOT DOG WRAPPERS!!



Problems in the pits for JPM after the rear pod replacement. JPM was all fired up and Montoya-ey

Grandstands still look very full


Waived off restart for some problem with Bourdais. Seems sorted

2nd waived restart. TK told to slow and field told to pack closer. Well done race control



Good jump for TK. HCN caught sleeping


Briscoe is looking pretty good tonight. I literally haven’t said that all year

Power blocking Ed?


It’s really cool that we have two Brazilians fighting for a Saturday night short track win

Replay of the Power/Ed incident. Power pinched him in the middle of the corner. That’s racing Ed, you should know that better than anyone


Power interview snippet: He is unapologetically focused. I’m coming around to this more honest, less whiney Will Power


Through the field

Surprised HCN can’t do more to catch TK. There is no way we are into fuel save mode. Iowa crashes cars

Bourdais looks like he may be done

Saavedra in the top 10?!


Still fighting up front. A night like this, with the strong crowd here even with the weather, makes me wonder if we can do this twice a year here. You could definitely go to Iowa in late April


Electrical issue for Bourdais


Saavedra fighting for P4 with Power


Saavedra around Power and Briscoe… Wut


Aaaaand he’s into the wall. Never change Saavedra

The look on his face is soul crushingly depressing

Some random dude counting down… 3. 2. 1.

Ed into P3. Showing very strong tonght

Saavedra may literally be crying inside the cockpit. I can make fun of him all I want, but you’ve got to respect that passion


Beautiful Midwestern sunset

JPM back on the lead lap



Clean restart

And awesome racing


… Nothing to say… mesmerized…


Power may be struggling with the changing track

Pags and Hinch fighting again with RHR waiting to pounce on the loser


Hinch has totally lost his front end

Montoya into P12


The cars look stupid fast from the blimp/helicopter/ufo shot


TK running a lane up and not flirting with the wall too much. Incredibly comfortable with a 3 second lead


I think one of the personal allures to Iowa is that it is always a sprint race. There is a chance for a caution to fly at any time, and this is one place where the best place to be is out front so the gains from saving fuel are minimal


And Jan talks about the leaders needing to save a few sips of fuel. Dammit


Ed is falling faster than Andretti



Marco blow’d up

Well… he actually looks back at it… at least it’s not on fire, yo

That first pit stall that JPM is in is ever so slightly curved into T1. He gets a huge advantage pulling in and out of his stall. Even more so than usual for the first stall

TK drafting the pace car



Ganassi boys are finally showing

Montoya P7


Dixon and TK side by side for the lead


Montoya has an engineer from NASCAR-land


I hate to say it, but Newgarden is fighting too hard for having such a poor handling car. He’s gonna end up in the fence with a friend if he continues this


TK around Dixon


JPM fighting Briscoe for P6. The drive Juan has put in has been unbelievable tonight

Ed’s really fighting the car



JPM into the wall

Ed chop blocked him. That was just plain dirty and Ed knows better. That’s the second time I’ve said that tonight. Shame on him. Ed is driving like a fool

Tires haven’t really matter tonight, I would be surprised if anyone too high up the order comes in

No action from race control. Lame

Hobbs: You can’t get any more blatant of a block. I agree Mr. Hobbs

JPM: “They all love preaching safe racing, but when you’re gonna pass them they’re all douche bags”

Kevin Lee: “They reviewed it and said no action taken” JPM: “Well then I’ll take some action later”

Very yes



Let’s keep it clean boys

Sshh, no more talking. Racing

Ok, Both Penske cars are struggling

RHR into P2

Newgarden into P3

RHR is on new tires. I may have spoken too soon


RHR to P1

Newgarden into P2 on new tires as well.

I spoke WAY too soon


RHR wins

Excellent race

Hobbs: “Well who would have thought in a 100 years that that would have happened??” Well spoken Mr. Hobbs

RHR led 2 laps

5 wins in a row for Andretti Autosport at Iowa Speedway

Interviews, Interviews, interviews.

Enough of all that. I really enjoyed the evening and wish we could do more of this kind of stuff. The progressively banked ¾ mile Canadian Motor Speedway should by open in 2016 and could provide a similar experience. Nevertheless, Iowa always rocks my face off. It would be nice to knock this one off my bucket list in 2015.

Who knows what kind of coverage or not coverage of IndyCar will be coming here in the future, but these race notes things seem to be a hit so you will always be able to read my sideways take on an IndyCar race. I may do a few classic races during the offseason… suggestion welcome.

Eric Hall


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Unfiltered Race Notes: Pocono 2014

Welcome to the always off-the-cuff unfiltered race notes for race two of the Grand Prix of Houston. This is just my internal monologue that runs throughout the race. Sit back and enjoy!


500 miles… very yes

Flashback to 2014. Honestly, I hope the racing is a touch closer today

Hinch: Try to win and stop crashing… well put little girl; I think that could be the best advice Mr. checkers or wreckers could get

Hawks with a heart bruise. Get well Jack, 100g’s is a tough hit and you’re lucky to walk away

Oh yea! Bob Varsha!

Dude; I still can’t wrap my head around the Huertas win, and he sits above Rahal, Newgarden, Saavedra and Sato in the championship

Looking back on Houston. As always, thank you IMS Productions

I like Power with the mirrored aviators. Kind of tops off the IndyCar bad boy image with the five-o-clock shadow in a Penske uniform

HCN “I’m just trying to annoy as many people as I can” re: whistle in the World Cup viewing party. Oh so good

36 drivers have taken part in the 2014 season. Not awful I guess

Wow. The grading party during the drivers meeting is excellent (I went back and erased a previous ‘excellent’ to use here because it was THAT SUPER FANTASTICLY AWESOME)

Approximately 18 campers in the infield

Pagenaud’s Oculus car looks fantastic

I don’t want to have to be mean to Power today; he needs to keep it clean

Alright, I’m done with this prerace silliness. Race on



3-wide start. Damn right

Kanaan doing what Kanaan does best. PT put it well: brave

Hinch dropping through the field


Power, Montoya, Andretti. 3 picks from the fantasy league up front. Could be a big day…

Big wiggle for RHR off 2


Hinch continuing to fall. At least he hasn’t wrecked?

No friends for THE RUSSIAN. Vodka is the only friend he needs


Onboard with JPM. PT and Bell both give some cool info about saving fuel. Not that I like that sort of thing though


Cindric: three lap loss of economy by leading an entire stint… with a wry smile

Big time fuel savings, but the pack is still very close. Similar to Indy, Power has a one car length longer gap than the chasing pack. That one length will be extremely difficult to cross


Interview with Herta. Tough weekend, indeed

Radio chatter playing with no discernable source team… with the booth just walking all over the audio. Lose the radio’s or respect the information please


Booth talking wheel offset with Kimball as an example. Very cool stuff


Sato in with some sort of issue. Breakin’ my heart AJ Foyt Racing


The groove looks really rubbered in

Two one hour practice sessions is just not enough time at any facility we visit


Suspensions problems for RHR


Lead pack starting to come in. Much later than the estimated 27 laps of full rich running

Some of the longer pitboxes of the year. 40’


Speeding penalty for Andretti…

RHR… done?


Sato attempting to rejoin the fight. It’s still quite early and anything can happen


And just as quickly, RHR back in as well. Left front failure; lower a-arm mounting point? That sounds like tub damage?


Andretti still on the lead lap…

The crowd doesn’t look that bad


Castroneves latching on to the lead pack

“It’s all about saving fuel right now” Very boo and PT agrees


The lead pack is breaking up

And TK to the lead!


Kanaan has quite the gap. No doubt TK is running full out right now. How much fuel does he dare burn…

TK just testing the car for the final sprint to the finish. Not a bad idea


TK in. Big penalty apparently


Not sure I like the jersey barriers in the middle of pit lane around the pylon. Interesting decision from the track


Pit exit and blend looks like shenanigans


Leaders in


Bourdais’ car looks good this week

“Pit Speed Is Awesome!!!” flashing on Hinch’s dashboard

PT notes that JPM’s time in NASCAR could have taught him a lot about patience. I subscribe to that theory, but if anything, it slowed him down too much


Through the field. For all green flag running, that’s not too bad of a lap to do this on

Field is slightly spread. Getting comfortable for the haul to the final sprint


Intermittent radio problems for Aleshin


OK, the field is more spread than I initially thought


Marco having handling issues and is not really sure where to go with pitstop changes


All cars except RHR on the lead lap. Sato out


Varsha going over JPM’s resume. Best driver alive?


Bell wanting more POWA. I agree

Rahal in and I believe this is the third stint he has been first in


TK in early again. Not outside the pit window

This very long green flag run is really making the laps click off


Huertas curiously stalled on the pitlane apron

Basically everyone has come in this lap


Lots of talk about tools

The pitlane has a HUGE wave in near the exit


Is the lead pack staring to form? Who knows… this hasn’t really gone how I thought it would


Power ditched his left side head rest on the last stop

Race recap


Robin Miller: Get rid of speed limits in the pits…(sigh)…


Average race speed: over 209

Even more fuel savings talk

I’m not even sold that anyone will be close to make a run at the leader when the time is right


More Aleshin jokes

Everyone looks very comfortable. The gap between the leaders looks to be 1-1.3 seconds.

Replay of Rahal says hellow to the wall


Huertas out with some sort of gremlin


Leaders in. TK pulled a slight gap.

That gap may be what he needs to just edge out whoever is giving chase from P2 at the end. I do not believe there will be a caution this race. Although, we nearly said the same thing at Indy, this race doesn’t have the same frantic feel to it.


Kevin Lee reports that Aleshin has been able to help the team with setups. THE RUSSIAN is very sharp

Bell noting the adjustable rear wing. We don’t hear very much about that feature of a pitstop


Field coming in and doing there thing


Power is having phenomenal stops today. Now do your job and keep it clean


RF tire changer almost didn’t get the gun out of the way of Montoya as he was leaving his stall

Wow. Bourdais’ team looked like a bunch of bumbling idiots. LF changer needed the car to go back up on the jacks, but the jackman was nowhere to be found


Still green… Varsha makes the exact same not 3 seconds later

TK playing in 4th gear. Massive fuel save mode


Leader is finally hitting honest lapped traffic

Kimball issued the blue flag? What the heck is going on here? I hope Kimball stands tough


Dude, what the heck is Pagenaud freaking out about? He’s not anywhere near Kimball. And Andretti drove right around him. Learn to drive on the ovals instead of asking for the blue flags man

Arial shots of the area surrounding the speedway and it is in truly beautiful country

Review of the 1984 Pocono 500. The field is huge and the cars looked more bunched that they do today.


Second to last round of stops

Pagenaud slightly missed his marks and had to be rolled backwards

I haven’t seen anyone getting the fuel spill diluted with the hose. I wonder what decides when teams use it


I could say that the field has been running extremely clean; however no one can get close enough to anyone else to actually wreck each other out


Power turned a 219. We should see the boys begin to really race soon… I hope… at least they’ll be fast

Andretti back into the top ten. Nice recovery from the early penalty by him and his team



Rahal into the wall… SHOCK… well done blowing a prefect 500 mile race you clown

Possible engine failure. I can see that considering the sick sick noise the engine was making after he did two complete spins; Clown statement retracted, Mr. Rahal

No diaper on the car and no oil dry on the track, I wonder if he had a diff failure

TK has led a single lap this year before Pocono

Interesting. Many teams deciding to come in and attempt to make it to the end on mileage



Aleshin dirt tracking through the inside paint. Dude… Ballsy move

Andretti almost into the wall while passing 23 cars on the highside. Situation normal

JPM loses his left end plate passing for the lead


Munoz under investigation for jumping the restart

Helio nearly takes himself and Power out while passing. Calm boys, still a ways to go

216 last lap speed. Slightly faster yet


Goodness. Power and Helio hip checking each other. Helio salutes Power. The hate at Team Penske is palpable. How in the world is JPM the most restrained guy at the team?


Booth calling for a penalty on Power. Fooey

Aaaand Race Control calls for a black flag. Understandable.

Cindric: “Keep your head on straight” Well, it’s Power and I wanted so bad to not drag Power through the mud. He just can’t help himself or even get out of his own way


Newgarden could win this thing. Can we go the rest of the way caution free? I hope so

Very interesting exchange between TK and the box. Sounds like the strategy may be shot without some more yellow


The pace is undoubtedly picking up

Leaders starting to look at pit road


“As hard as you can go” Music to my ears

This should come down to JPM and HCN


Scott Dixon gets his first mention on the broadcast while sitting in P6

I must say, 21 cars is a weak field


Why is the director following Newgarden when the race is a few places back? This is not what we want or need to see


Still on JN… finally pits

And now we are focused on TK… who has to pit as well. Come on Mr. Director


We finally move to JPM


TK in

Looks like JPM doesn’t have any challengers. Cautiously optimistic. Butterflies in the stomach abound


JPM wins!!!

We all knew it wouldn’t be very long at all before he found himself in P1 after the checkers

14 years since his last victory and he’s got a hell of a smile on his face. Man, I love JPM… I’m a total and complete JPM fanboy… Fantastically awesome result.

Love how Power was nearly silent after he finally saw the replay. Classic action right there. Power said he was moving moving moving to the inside. Well Power, were you going to run him into the inside wall? You have to say when eventually.

With that, I’m out. Thanks for reading!

Eric Hal

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