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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Unfiltered Race notes: Houston Race 2 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!


Hot Hot Hot today.

IMSP package of race one thank you very much

Yes, in hindsight… race one was as nutty as you could have asked for

Huertas, dude, turn it on just a smidge my man

Munoz? Smile and nod…

Power is surprisingly focused. He’ll definitely be worth watching today. Sounds defeated about qualies. “Just didn’t get it done”

11 of 23 cars sustained damage

And another wonky grid. But this is becoming the norm here; it’s just so damn competitive

Rahal package. He did have a good day, but man… come on

Eff professionalism… Unleash the beast TK. But he says he wants to be a good example for his daughter and other kids watching. That’s admirable

Midgets in the astrodome… excellent

Miller with Foyt. Feels like NBCSN has stepped the prerace game up after the ABC portion of the schedule. I usually find myself skipping most of it


Marco penalty… well get to that later in the week…

I’m sure Dallara brings extra extra parts for double headers, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was three times the usual amount for Houston


Grandstands look good

THE RUSSIAN on the front row with HC; this should be good

Clean start and Pags up to P2

For as hard as these guys are fighting, this is pretty clean

Conway pits for a wing. Almost not surprising


Huertas off with mechanical issues?

Newgarden in early on strategy

Sato loses 4 positions in 2  corners. Penalized for shortcutting the chicane but only had to give one back. Woops


RHR driving like a madman


Settled in for a lock step afternoon? 147 mile race… we could be in for a fuel strategy afternoon if people behave all day

Rahal has been on it this weekend. Is Filippi helping with the setups?

Matchett overestimating the gap between the reds and blacks


Just realized Helio is leading the sponsors home race. That’s pretty cool. The car looks sweet in the Penzzoil branded corners

Stretched at the front for sure. Helio may be the man to beat.

First of the 3 stoppers coming in? Jan says they need caution, I would like to think they’re doing it so they can run hard

They keep talking up the Wilson/ Bourdais thing, I don’t really see the rivalry there yet. They have raced each other for years


Power about to latch onto the chasing group. Great day for the guy… so far


Tires are going off. Guys up front are definitely not driving as hard

Wide wide spread of strategies. I think the guys 2 stopping out front will come up aces


Brake problems for Dixon. Kind of early in the race?


Wow… Rahal clearly driving in his mirrors. I don’t know how he couldn’t get a blocking penalty

Aleshin still fighting hard with the wing damage, yet Rahal is dropping back. Debris all over the back straight


Leaders in. This is the right call for today

Gear box issues for Graham. Instant Karma

Leaders return to the race in the lead


Clearly no action from the booth for Rahal, but I would still like to know what they think of the contact


Contact between HCN and Pags. Helio was luck, you can see the where the wing hit the tread of the tire after the hit

Lead pack with Power joining the party

After starting 18th, if Power can keep at least a podium and win the championship, this will be the drive that started the push. This is the kind of day that wins you championships


Guys pushing hard up front

Master cylinder issue for Dixon


All’s quiet. Lead 3 have some space between them and the rest of the field is slightly strung out



Munoz smacks the wall. The three stoppers should all be coming in

Cindric calls this yellow “neutral”. Agreed; couldn’t have been at a non helpful/hurtful time for the two stoppers

The drivers are looking tired. Hands out of the cockpit and you can see it in their eyes



Bourdais around Power… *That’s* what I’m talking about

Pags around HC

HC wrecks himself out defending against Bourdais


What a doofus

Shaping up to be a JPM/Power/Pagenaud

Pit box plugged into Hinch’s car. Very curious

Bourdais will stay out. Damn right



JPM around Power

Shouldn’t be too long before Bourdais falls to him as well

Pags is driving into the distance


Andretti makes the move of the race

Bourdais must give position to JPM. Good call

After losing positions hand over fist, it looks like Power has finally stabilized

–Montoya didn’t push Huertas because he thought he would pit


JMP first to blink. Should be good to go

Now that we know we can make it, I’m surprised we haven’t seen Bourdais in yet. Although it is always smart to stretch and hope to be able to make a nose change under caution. He’s not doing too bad of a job hanging on

And as I say that, Newgarden into the wall

No wing for Bourdais. No yellow for Newgarden yet


Now the FCY flies once mist of the runners have made stops

Lots of sparks out of the RF for Newgarden. Sounds like no nut on the tire




It’s crazy out there. Andretti pushes Wilson into the tires. I guess we will see how heavy INDYCAR’s hand actually is

HCN blaming Bourdais for the contact. I’m not sure I buy that one Mr. Castroneves



JPM immediately around Andretti. Again, nuts on these restarts.

Montoya pushing Hawks around. Very yes

JPM’s insistence got the best of him. Opened the inside and Kimball was there.

Sato into the wall



PT: “Frantic Racing”… understatement my friend

Aleshin good on fuel. Pags has a wingman

I think I can see the steam coming from under JPM’s helmet



SPM guys up front look like cool cats all while the sharks are writhing farther back


Hawks is doing a KILLER job holding Montoya off

Bourdais stabilized to P8. Strong recovery all things considered


Pags and Aleshin are approximately a mile ahead

Field has fallen into rhythm, gaps have normalized

Bourdais around JPM. Those reds just can’t go the distance


Power with a broken right rear

Pagenaud has this in the bag

Filippe into the tires on the white flag lap. Fitting end to a really nutty weekend,


Not sure what to say about that. A tale of two races. Stretched out front yet absolutely out of control farther back. If just one or two cars really hit the setup, everyone else can only play amongst themselves. Pagenaud becomes a four time winner. Awesome result for THE RUSSIAN, who raced the last few laps with a flat tire, and SPM all together.

Aleshin: no English words for how I feel

Hawks did a hell of a job bullying those veterans around all afternoon. Atta boy

Two days of interviews? I’m out. Not a bad race and a great weekend of action on the whole. Ill see you later in the week with a bit of a rant. Prepare yourselves.

Thanks for hanging around all weekend and reading!

Eric Hal

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Unfiltered Race Notes: Houston Race 1 2014

Welcome to the always off-the-cuff unfiltered race notes for race one of the Grand Prix of Houston. This is the definition of stream of consciousness writing, so strap in and enjoy.

Race 1


We’ve got a 4 hour TV window

Rain Rain Rain

Jon notes the new rain tires. Full wet? I wonder if the old intermediates are still available

Again, the IMS productions retrospectives are always on point

Yawn… Will Power

I do feel for him regarding his back. That was a close call

HC amped up over the futball competition. Notes a standing start in the wet? Maybe?

Dario’s crash was booming-ly loud. Still amazed he’s more or less good to go

Safety improvements. Fences up to FIA standard… what were they last year? 200 feet of concrete removed and replaced. Gotta love the commitment from the promoter.

Aleshin on guitar. I didn’t think I could like the CRAZY RUSSIAN any more than I already did. Say “Honky Tonk” again please

Tough night for Honda at TMS

We need more Luca in our lives.

Back from commercial and it’s raining sideways

Looks like they installed the green we-don’t-want-people-standing-and-watching-at-this-fence netting at the site of Dario’s crash. Probably a good idea

Diffey, Tracy and Matchett in the booth. This could be the strongest announcing team we’ve seen all year.

Clearly a delayed start. Enough prerace… I’ll see you once the green falls

I stopped for Sato and Miller… can’t get any better than that!! ATTACK!!!


Excellent command

Standing start in the rain… (holds breath)…

Sato squeezed on the start

Graham stalls on the line… in the rain… What. The. Hell. Dude.

It’s nutso out there

2 hour timed race. May have missed that in the prerace, but why? 4 hour window…

Pags slightly gapping. Oh, he missed the chicane… and again. Must give back 1.2 seconds

Early reports of fogging visors. Not ideal for today


Hinch around the outside of HC in T5. Attachments


Sato and Hinch hunting Pags

Amazing pass for the lead from Sato. I think the new tires are working excellent

Also, big ups to the safety team for getting Graham out of the way without a yellow

Pags holding the train up

Munoz into Andretti… oops

No finger from Marco and I’m disappointed

Hinch around Pags and Sato ahead by more than 4 seconds


Andretti has completed the least amount of laps of the full season drivers. Less than 70 percent

Marco out ahead of Sato. Could be in place to hold him up for Hinch

Drying tire lines are appearing

Imbalance in the front brakes for Pags. Pulling to the right under braking. For such an odd gremlin, he’s doing a great job staying in the hunt


PT notes the changing of a single front rotor could be the issue for Pags. Nice catch


I spy dry concrete

Sato still ahead by 4 seconds even behind Marco, but he’s still got going to do this; he never does

Spray has died down


Track is still incredibly wet in places yet very dry in others

Hinch has finally crept into the camera shot

Surprised at the lack of coverage through the field. NBCSN is usually on it and it’s not like the front has been super intriguing the past few laps

Blue flag for Marco from the stand, but I hope he doesn’t pull over. I love Sato, but that’s not how you play it race control

Power gets elbowed by Saavedra

Marco backed Sato up to Hinch a damn long way before moving over for both drivers. Black flag for waiting too long to pull over

Kimball on slicks (!)

Matchett: That’s a brave move. Understated to say the least


Hinch on Sato’s bumper

Pags around

Super clean race given the conditions. This is how indycar should be

Hinch looking for water

Most of the field is coming in

Aleshin into the wall

Hinch around Sato in the pits. Both on reds, this is gonna be great


Conway into the tires

Pits closed, I wonder if anyone is stranded on wets. FCY

Yes, quite a few



Sato into Aleshin. Damn you Aleshin, I don’t like you that dang much to take Sato out. Shouldn’t have been there Aleshin, don’t throw your hands up in innocence. Sato with a hurt wrist


AJ Foyt: “… Got a bunch of god dammed idiots is all I can say” Thank you Mr. Foyt

Larry Foyt looks like he’s about in tears. Gutted for the whole crew

Newgarden into the wall hard with the rear on the last restart

Green was waved off, but Luca make a carbon copy mistake of what Newgarden did. Into the outside wall

Restart waved off due to Hinch taking too much in the restart zone

Re: Aleshin… Yes, Sato wrecked you out and if you guys were fighting for position I would be with you 100 percent, but you can’t do that a lap down. Although, it’s another good example of Sato taking as much as he can in regards to the blocking rules

Bourdais P3

Montoya P8



Hawks aggressively around Briscoe

In just a few corners, it looks like Hawks got both Andretti and Munoz

Bourdais is on it… Let’s go

Briscoe through Montoya in T1. Ridiculous

Ok, it looks like Munoz is letting people through. And Hawks is rocketing through the field.

Power into the wall

Shenanigans abound right now



Dixon and Kimball. I bet Chippy is thrilled

Ugh, Dixon loses it and collects Kimball and Pagenaud. Rookie move


Looks like Joseph has been sitting with his car since going out. High attrition today after a good start in the wet. I swear Leigh Diffey says everything I say 5 seconds later


Field still on slicks

Bourdais is going to do this.


Solid dry running. Feels like the field is settling in for a fight to the finish. We shouldn’t be conserving fuel at all. Just finding the weaknesses

RHR stalking HCN

Jeeze… Power facing the wrong way in the barrier with a stalled car. Just an inch off line. Good start to the weekend Mr. Power


I think Matchett underestimates how robust these cars are

Nearly the whole field in for fuel. Sprint to the end. RHR around HCN in the pits. 9 cars stayed out



PT thinks Montoya may be the man to take it. I accept his deduction

Gaps are closing. The fight is about to start


Montoya around Kanaan. Hot Damn that’s the way to do it

Leigh: JPM is finally coming to grip with the DW12 and has a great attitude. If it’s not today, it’s going to be very soon


Hard to describe how obviously hard everyone is driving

Sounds like both DCR guys will need to stop. JPM sitting P3, but Saavedra is quickly closing

JPM has been on the button every lap for the last 5 laps


Dude… Wilson is a mile ahead… before diving into the pits…

Kanaan is not going to let JPM drive away. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a straight up fight between Penske and Ganassi

Rahal P5. Wow

JPM out of p2p

Rahal around Munoz in amazing fashion. Where have you been Graham?!?

JPM with a slight gap



Saavedra into the barrier

Could Huertas pull this one out?

Still yellow. The stress is killing me

I bet Wilson is shooting himself


Rahal into Kanaan before the yellow.

Checkers… wow… Huertas with the win

I have nothing to say… flabbergasted… Dude

That was the best twisty race of the year. Absolutely  amazing afternoon. Congrats to Huertas, but let’s see you back it up tomorrow ( “backing it up” will be granted with a top 5 finish). Carlos Huertas is a very well spoken guy and I’m glad to see a first time winner. Got to wonder if a South American winner with JPM, TK and Munoz running strong will help the gate tomorrow.

Same Bat time, Same Bat channel.

Eric Hall

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Unfiltered Race Notes: Texas 361 2014

Welcome to the Texas Firestone 361 (you can’t fool me Eddie…) unfiltered race notes!


Did you know the official mileage for Texas Motor Speedway is 1.455 miles? The more you know…

Interviews… interviews… interviews…

JPM: every week is a little more aggressive. I’m still waiting for you to make nice with the field, Mr. Montoya

TK riding a water slide. cool?

I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of prerace… just show me the fast cars please

I *do* enjoy the previous race cuts put to music. Always well done, but could you really expect anything less from IMSP?

It’s gotten to the point where simply seeing and hearing Power on screen irks the hell out of me. Embrace the heel Mr. Power…

Extolling the virtues of Graham’s season. ha



In fairness, they are showing many more race cuts during the interviews today. That is how you engage *me* in the prerace show

Truck rubber. Haven’t heard much about dissimilar rubber types yet this year

Highlights package of Texas carnage and frustration. The old IRL engines REALLY belched the flames at night… those were good races…

One of Dixon’s favorite songs is “Ice Ice Baby” … Wut?

Ed looks ready for redemption

Miller: “Thank god she’s blond or yo would have never asked her out. I know your track record.” Bazinga

The video board looks as big at the hotel

30 minutes in, I’m ready to race

Very good technical breakdown of the intricacies here at Texas. Bumpy apron, Bump in T4, Camber fall off in T2

I can hear the track announcer in the background, he sounds fired up and is doing a great job with the crowd. Michael Young?

National anthem by a sax player. very *very* cool, but not very well done

No comment about the grandstands

Im out for this prerace, I’ll be back for the green


Sun is VERY low already

Chick in the 2-seater is a hoot

Good formation


3.5 wide. Marco high. clean start



Marco done blow’d up… and is on fire… HUUUUGE fire… Marco struts away like a boss

First of the fantasy picks bites the dust

replay of MA on the start; he looks like scheckter

Good interview from Marco



TK taking no prisoners, pinching Power way down to the line

The race is packed up. 2x2x2x2. I like it. Just enough space

JPM pitted under yellow

good battles all over the track

single file. let’s see how close together they can stay through the remainder of the run


Ed looks loose

too much fall off from the tires. I’d still like to see more downforce. Hinch is under 200 already through 1 and 2. unacceptable from indycars at Texas


Newgarden’s car looks slick, can’t wait to see it under the lights.

Power disappearing into the distance


JPM up to tenth and marching through the field


Hinch having a hell of an evening already; missed pit entrance on his first time through


Haven’t seen the gaps yet. I have no idea how far in front of the field Power is

Lapped up to 17


laps clicking away

strung out

still no gap report.

Green flag pit stops.

Fire in the fuel port for Josef Newgarden

10 seconds between P1 and 2

Big lock up for Power heading into the pits


“comers and goers”

Gap may be 6 seconds after the stop. Not too bad

Dixon lost a lot of ground on that round of stops. Gap is much closer up front, let’s see if TK can catch him

Now the ticker is pretty constantly showing the gaps. Thank you

Fastest lap of the race… 213… lame…


Montoya into a legit top ten position.

TK and Pags split Kimball into T1! wowza

Lapped up to P15

THE RUSSIAN and JPM fighting it out

Montoya is slashing through the field


Kanaan has pulled into under 10 seconds. Stalking

200 even for the leader… still unacceptable… never under 200 and ESPECIALLY lap speeds

Hinch back in. terrible night



RHR lost nut on RF

early green flag stops

worries of running out of rubber

lapped through 11


Power still looks strong; making his way through traffic very well

Slowish stop for Pags


No sign of power in the pits

A little red fire out of HCN’s pipes in the pits


Power looks like he may be the only guy to be able to run a full fuel stint

Lot’s of love for THE RUSSIAN on the broadcast, nice of them to finally catch up

Wilson’s RF tire changer is wearing a hi-viz vest. Hell yes, thats about the smartest addition to pit lane I have seen in a while. I’m sure it’s only for the night race, but still an easy and smart addition to increase safety

THE RUSSIAN ripping through the field as well. Spirited battle with RHR


Gave the Huertas has completed every lap stat. I’m pretty sure he’s already a lap down when they showed the stat. actually he is 2 laps down. Well done NBCSN

Sky is starting to look very beautiful




Seabass and Wilson into the wall

Montoya SMOKED seabasses detached front wing

bad vibration for Hinch.

If you toe out the RR, you can scrub the marbles off of the car

TK having electric issues. steering wheel change. TK had trouble getting it reattached

Wilson says Seabass blocked him all the way to the apron

Spin into the pits for Munoz, better under yellow than under green into the wall.



I see JPM in row 2

racing looks good on new tires after a yellow…

RHR engine failure. awful luck

Kind of over hearing about tire degradation tonight

single file. that didn’t take long


no one has anything for Power. The chasers need to stay close enough to capitalize on lapped traffic

Dixon running in the 2nd lane through the corner in P3. could be a smart move. may be saving tire to make a run at the end of the stint


Through the field

Ed is the only one who is in the same zip code as Power. -0.7 seconds

probably not for dixon… he’s hemorrhaging time, as is JPM. -7 seconds. Having trouble seeing his pitbox

Awesome. You can see the red hot turbo on the rear wing view as well as the blue/purple exhaust tips.

You can really see the blue flames when the drivers shift. nice and dark now


Green flag stops

Ed still -0.6 from Power. He may have something for him

Trouble on FR for Hinch

Chevy looks like they produce more flame


Sato making life difficult for Ed

Montoya is playing aggressive

PT: heeelio


Freight trained

Power was held up by Power

one more stop

Will sounds surprisingly calm

leader running 211… better

Carpenter has a healthy lead

lapped though 11


Power within a second

Chevy top 5

Honda had a tough qualy session as well

If it stays green, Ed could do this


THE RUSSIAN gets the “extra mile” spotlight

Lapped though 7

last stops coming

I would stay out as long as possible and have as fresh of tires as possible for the run to the finish

I hate how they switch to “laps to go” in the tail end of the race. 1) it makes me do math in my head for this 2) it makes the race no more exciting 3) just why?


I still cant tell the Aleshin and Briscoe car apart in the long shots

Newgarden’s car is SPARKLY

Ed off pit lane first

sprint to the finish. 35 laps on these tires


Power back in. Penalty for pitlane speed violation. DUDE; come on. Melancholy Power engaged for the post race interviews. i can feel it

Ed 10 seconds ahead


Power comes out right ahead of Ed, he can use Power to pace himself for the rest of the race


replay of pit violation. same exact mistake at Indy. Too quick entering… shame on you Power

JPM to P2


Ed +12.5 to JPM. let’s see if JPM can make a dent before the end

Booth talking through worst case scenarios for Ed


Ed +14. Damn

Lapped through 7

Quiet Bell… he can wear on me; talks a bit too much for my taste. I hate how dang agreeable him and PT are



Ed’s car looks like a handful

under 200 in the corners again

Ed come into traffic. Led Power pick through +17

Sato kablamo


No way this thing goes back to green. Everyone is laid out on pitroad


Montoya saying hello to Huertas

Everyone but Ed and Pags in. they could be screwed… 2 lap shoot out?


1 to go. 3 lap shootout

Pags in. Ed is in trouble

Scratch that, JPM, TK and Dixon on stayed out



Power with a hell of a run through the field.


Nice. Tough first 200 laps, but the race really came to us. Power looks exasperated… 4 drive throughs in 5 races. Lots of respect for Ed. This is the best Power has presented himself post race for a long, long time.

It almost seems like sitting out the road courses have focused Ed. He looks geeked. 2 wins for ECR this year. Got to love JPM pushing Power to the white line on the last turn. JPM complaining about Ed jumping the restart, but he was a pretty long way back looking for a jump of his own. Can’t feel too bad for him.

Dixon and Pags interview. Very yes. surprised TK didn’t go for tires

Aleshin says he loves the ovals, but is dizzy when he gets out of the car I LOVE THE CRAZY RUSSIAN!!

Not a super exiting first 2/3rd of the race but not too bad of a finish. Won’t go down as a historic oval race, but still not too bad at all.

Thanks for reading, and unlike my empty promises from a week ago, there actually should be a full review of the weekends action. And as always, Thank You for reading!

Eric Hall

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