So, the Honda Edmonton Indy race was yesterday and with the exception of the last 3 laps or so there wouldn’t have been much to report. Will Power took the pole position on Saturday and for a great majority of the race Will Power was in the lead with teammates Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe in tow. For a while it looked like we were going to see a boring Team Penske 1-2-3 finish. However, towards the end of the race a chain of events unfolded which ultimately resulted in a massive explosion of in-field drama. It started with the leaders of the race coming into the pits to get fresh tires and fuel to start off the last stint. While Will Power’s crew put a set of hard compound black tires on his car, Helio’s team decided to go for the red-sidewall soft compound tires. Because of this Helio was able to take the lead from Will just as they were coming up on lapped traffic.
This is where things got interesting…
As Will Power fought his way through lapped traffic to get back behind Helio an incident in the back pack brought out a full course yellow during the last 5 laps of the race. Two laps later all the cars were bunched together for a restart leaving Will Power poised in the perfect position to over take Helio. As the green flag dropped Power attempted to make his move on Castroneves going into turn 1 but was foiled as Helio pushed Will towards the outside. In this skirmish Scott Dixon (who was in 3rd) capitalized on the opportunity and passed Will Power to take the 2nd place position behind Helio.
Just as the cars crossed the line marking just 2 laps to go a message comes down from the race officials to the Team Penske pit that Helio was being issued a drive through penalty for blocking Will Power on the restart! This penalty would essentially hand the win over to Scott Dixon as soon as Helio came in to serve his penalty. Helio did not come in… He decided he would stay out finish the race and raise hell later, and raise Hell he did!
As soon as the race was over he pulled off, got out of his car absolutely livid and looked for anyone he could find wearing an Indy Car “Track Official” uniform and got in their face demanding answers. He even grabbed a security guy twice his size by the collar! It was one of the most magnificent displays of emotions I’ve ever seen from Helio and he has had some doozies. The only difference is that while usually Helio’s emotional demonstrations are of extreme happiness or sadness, this time it was unbridled anger! Don’t worry though, there were still some tears in the end. Oh, Helio…
It was so spectacular that Indy Car didn’t even release they’re usual “race highlights” video. Instead they put a full recap of Helio’s meltdown out on the interwebs for all of us to see. Check it out below!
At first I agreed with Helio’s anger but after the rule for blocking was explained I could see how the race officials came to the decision to penalize Castroneves. However what I do not understand is how Scott Dixon got the win when Will Power was in 2nd place when Helio committed the infraction. Shouldn’t the person who was blocked inherit the position that the blocker would be stripped of because of the penalty? Apparently, the Indy Car officials do not see it that way.
[Photo: Indy Car]