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.
Did you happen to miss the Indy Car race as well as the F1 race? With no hope of watching a re-broadcast? Never fear! For I am here to help once again. WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!!
The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersberg ended with James “Hinchtown” Hinchcliffe getting his first ever Indy Car victory. Hinchtown’s win is the first by a Canadian in Indy Car since Paul Tracy back in 2007. Coming in second behind James Hinchcliffe was Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti, showing a strong performance landed the third podium spot. Check out the race highlight flick below for all the action.
Barely recovered from their stop at Texas, the Indy Car grid came back to the Milwaukee mile after a brief absence for “Indy Fest”. Not sure where the new name comes from but I supposed it does not matter much. What does matter is that Milwaukee is just the same as it has always been: short, flat, fast, and unpredictable! If you walked away from the race after the first half you would swear that Dario Franchitti or Scott Dixon would take the victory. However it certainly did not play out that way! Franchitti actually had his day ended early when he had an unfortunate meeting with the wall and Scott Dixon was penalized for jumping a re-start (that decision was later ruled to be “wrong” but it wont change his finish result much). This may leave you asking who was at the front? Why none other than Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport. Ryan was being chased down by Tony Kannan and James Hinchcliffe respectively. While he faced some tough contention from TK he managed to hold off the Brazilian and take the win which actually brings things full circle for Ryan. Back in 2004 he scored his first win at the Milwaukee mile when he raced for Jimmy Vassar in the Champ Car series. To see all the highlights from the race scroll down for video from Indy Car.
There was a ton of racing over the Memorial Day weekend but the biggest event was easily the 96th annual Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. This year’s Indy 500 was a year of firsts. It was the first year with the new DW12 Dallara chassis on the famous oval, the first year in a long time that we had multiple engine manufacturers battling it out, and unfortunately the first Indy 500 without Dan Wheldon who won last year’s race before his tragic death. Really the entire event was a massive tribute to Mr. Wheldon and more so than the thrill of victory, the history, and the glory many of the top drivers wanted to win the event just so they could have the honor of their likeness on the Borg Warner trophy next to Dan’s. The new chassis and their freshly tested oval set up provided for tons of excitement as there were 35 total lead changes, smashing the previous record of 29. There were many who were looking like a good bet to take it all. Rookie James “Hinchtown” Hinchcliffe qualified 2nd and held the lead for a significant amount of time. Marco Andretti also looked very strong and lead more laps than most.
Although, in the end it was the familiar sight of the Target Chip Ganassi team taking control of the race. Teammates Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon took turns swapping the lead several times during the last 20 laps although they had serious contention from Tony Kanaan and Takuma Sato. It was Dario who had the lead at the end of the race and despite what can only be described as the ballsy-est oval pass attempt in history by Takuma Sato, Dario managed to hang on to the lead and earned his third Indy 500 victory (under caution). According to Indy Car Dario earned just over 2.4 million dollars for his victory as well as a place in the history books as being among the few drivers to have 3 Indy 500 victories under their belts. To see some of the best race action from the event, scroll down to check out the highlights video.
Over the weekend the Indy Car Series stopped in my home town of Long Beach, California for the 38th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. This was my first chance seeing the new cars, engines, and drivers up close and it was awesome! More on that in a later post though. This post is to give you the results of the race in case you missed out and for some reason can’t watch a rebroadcast.
First a little background. The weekend started off with controversy as Chevrolet decided to pull their engines from Chevy-backed teams and replace them with new units. Per Indy Car rules changing an engine before its “desginated threshold” will cost a team 10 grid spots. Since most of the top tier teams are powered by Chevrolet engines it meant that the likes of Team Penske and Andretti Autosport had to start in the middle or back of the field. This left the door wide-open for teams powered by Honda or Lotus engines.
Despite Will Power getting the pole it was Dario Franchitti and rookie Joseph Newgarden who started in the front row (both drivers with Honda engines). However due to some expert strategy and pit stops Will Power was able to fight his way to the front on a two stop strategy. In the end Will had his hands full with a very agressive Simon Pagenaud who nearly took the win from Power in the last 5 laps. James “Hinchtown” Hinchcliffe was granted a third place spot due to his teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay being religated to 7th due to a penalty.
For highlights of the race check out the video below. Also stay tuned for a full event gallery from the entire weekend!