I know I am a little behind but hey I took on three days and three different motorsports all by myself! It was rough, but fun. By now you probably already know that Takuma Sato made history by winning the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach and becoming the first Japanese driver to win an Indy Car event as well as the first Japanese driver to win at Long Beach. However, despite what he said in his post race interview, it did not come easy.
Long Beach is known for being a dangerous narrow street course and the walls ate up plenty of drivers this year, including defending champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. Sato was able to navigate his way through all of the random carnage unscathed and his team managed a top notch pit stop to keep their driver up front which allowed him to go on and get the victory. Graham Rahal came second behind Sato and Justin Wilson got his first podium of the season with a third place finish.
If you want to see all the action for yourself check out the highlight reel below. If you want to see the fruit of my three days of labor hit the red text for the full gallery on our facebook page.
Over the weekend Indy Car made a stop at the famous Barber Motorsports Park for round 2 of the 2013 season for the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama. Bo Jackson was the grand marshal! But enough about celebs. Here are the quick cliff notes…
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Things started off in typical Barber fashion with a hectic dash towards turn one. Everyone made it out clean but soon after there was an incident with Graham Rahal and Oriol Servia which also involved last race’s winner James Hinchcliffe. Both Servia and Rahal were able to return to the race but Hinchtown had to literally sit on the sidelines for most of the race until track workers could get to him.
Once the mess was cleaned up, all attention was up front as Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves, and Scott Dixon battled for the lead. Once the smoke settled it was the defending champ Ryan Hunter-Reay who captured the race win. He was followed by Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves, who took second and third place respectively. Helio’s second consecutive podium finish has put him on top of the points standings.
The next round is my favorite: the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach! Look forward to a ton of content from me throughout the race weekend! For now, if you want to check out the race highlights from the weekend just scroll down for the video.
We all love a good sports rivalry, especially in motorsports. Back in the day it was Bobby Rahal and Michael Andretti who had it out for eachother. Today it looks like their sons are taking up the battle although this time its over twitter instead of in pit lane. It started over the weekend during the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach. During a restart Marco had contact with Graham which sent Marco airborne then sideways into a barrier ripping the front end of his car apart and ending his weekend. You can view the incident for yourself on YouTube HERE.
In a post-incident interview Marco said that he felt like he was “chopped” by Rahal. Later, the Associated Press interviewed Graham Rahal about Marco’s claim that he was chopped. Graham responded “What’s Marco’s last name? I’ve said enough” hinting that the Andretti’s are famous for complaining.
This set off a twitter battle the likes of which have never been seen before among race car drivers.
It started with Marco:
Marco’s tweet was shortly after the incident. Later on when Grandpa Mario Andretti saw Graham’s AP quote he had this to say:
“Surprised” that the response came from Mario and not Marco Graham came back with something of a humble-insult (variation on humble-brag ftw):
Graham, sensing that this could esclate immediately tried to stomp the flames out saying he would not be drawn into a twitter argument:
Grandpa Mario then handedly responds to Grahams first question. Which in essance kind of hints at Graham being a hypocrite (refusing to argue on twitter yet calling out Marco in the press):
Graham then attempts to block Mario’s backhand:
So far neither Bobby Rahal (Graham’s father) or Michael Andretti (Marco’s father) have gotten involved but this little spat could re-spawn the legendary Rahal-Andretti rivalry of old.
What do you guys think? Is Graham a hypocrite for calling out and insulting all Andretti’s in the press but refusing to back up his comments on twitter? Or are the Andretti’s attempting to make a mountain out of a mole-hill?
Furthermore after watching the on-track incident for yourself who do you feel was at fault for the contact? It should be noted that Indy Car officials did not hand down a penalty to Graham or Marco for the dust up.
It has been almost a week now since the tragic loss of Indy Car driver, father, and husband Dan Wheldon in a horiffic crash at the Las Vegas Indy Car finale. Since then Graham Rahal, Tony Kanaan and other Indy Car drivers and supporters have been hard at work putting together a memorial site and an awesome list of cool items that will be up for bid in a memorial Auction for Dan Wheldon’s family. What are some of the items up for bid? Check out this list:
-Graham Rahal’s Las Vegas Helmet, gloves, and shoes
-Bobby Rahal race-worn helmet
-Race worn items from INDYCAR drivers such as Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, Simona De Silvestro, Oriol Servia, James Hinchcliffe and Charlie Kimball; NASCAR drivers such as Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Max Papis; Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello and NHRA stars Brandon Bernstein, Cory McLenathan, Antron Brown and Ron Capps.
-#77 Dan Wheldon jersey signed by the Indinapolis Colts
-Signed Indiana Pacers jersey from Larry Bird and Clark Kellogg
-Ritmo Mundo INDYCAR Rose Gold timepieces
-Memorabilia from Tour de France winning cyclist Lance Armstrong, MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden, NBA star Dwight Howard, tennis legend Billie Jean King, actors Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett and professional surfer Kelly Slater
-VIP package for any of the Barrett Jackson Auctions
-INDYCAR experience two-seater ride around Indianapolis Motor Speedway
-Two-seat Grand-Am prototype ride around Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course
-NFL helmet signed by Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and Deion Sanders
-NFL New York Giants Helmet signed by Eli Manning
-NFL jersey signed by Roger Staubach, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Warren Moon, and Harry Carson.
-Limited-edition Colt handgun with serial number “98INDY500” and two custom Colt Indianapolis 500 rifles.
What a F’ing list huh?! If you are interested in any of the above listed items the official Dan Wheldon Auction begins on October 24th (Monday) and 100% of all the proceeds will go to the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund. If you want more info on the auction follow @DWheldonAuction on twitter for live updates.
The current generation Indy Cars battled each other on a street course for the very last time over the labor day weekend as the Indy Car series took over the streets of Baltimore. The weekend started out with Will Power dominating qualifying on Saturday but the real surprise came from young Graham Rahal who managed to qualify P2! When the race started on Sunday Rahal launched an attack on Will Power that would last for the majority of the race but due to an off fuel strategy he couldn’t quite capitalize on his various opportunities to pass the Team Penske points contender. As a result Will Power was able to hold on and win the race from the pole with Oriol Servia taking second spot and Tony Kanaan (who had a pretty bad practice incident) captured third place. Power’s win puts him just 11 points away from championship leader Dario Franchitti (who finished 4th).
If you missed the race check out the highlights in the video below.
On Father’s day Indy Car gave all the dad’s a gift by bringing back the Milwaukee 225 at the famous Milwaukee Mile raceway this past sunday. This track holds a lot of history for Indy Car, especially with the Andretti family (Mario won at the mile 4 times and Michael won 5) young Marco is the only Andretti who hasn’t reached the podium at Milwaukee. When race day came many were expecting Dario Franchitti to be on a mission since he was screwed over by the lottery at the twin Texas races. Those predictions turned out to be correct. Once Dario got out in front he never looked back and he led almost every lap until he crossed the checkered flag first. Although his rival Will Power still managed to nab third spot on the podium so despite his win Dario was not able to pass Will in the points. Another notable performance was Graham Rahal who nabbed a second place finish. Young Rahal consistantly kept himself in the top 10-15 all day and as the race wound down he pushed himself up front. He didn’t have anything for Dario but he was still able to put the rest of the 13 lead car laps behind him! Check out the video below for all the race highlights. You can also get a full post-race report from the Indy Car website.
After the F1 race I’m sure most of you tuned into the centennial Indy 500 race that took place just a few hours after. I have to admit I was a bit more excited for the Indy 500 than I was for the Monaco GP. I still have a soft spot for American open wheel racing! While previous years could have been criticized as a snore-fest this year’s 500 was anything but. First, there was the incredible and emotional pole day in which Alex Taglianai took the pole away from the monster teams like Ganassi and Penske. Then once the race started there were so many incidents and lead changes that it was like a game of musical chairs at 200mph. Everyone from Scott Dixon to Danica Patrick had a run at the front, even Graham Rahal had the lead for a bit. However at the end it was Indy Car rookie (and Mazdaspeed Ladder graduate) J.R. Hildebrand who inherited the lead with just 5 laps to go and was on his way to bringing his car to what would be a historical Indy 500 victory. J.R. made it to the last lap seeing the white flag and he was just about to come around turn 4 to see the checkered flag when he went to the outside of the turn, lost grip, and hit the wall allowing Dan Wheldon to blow by him as J.R. literally slide across the line then Graham Rahal followed behind to take third. Check out the full post-race report on the Indy Car website and check out the video of the dramatic finish below.