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.
Miss the Indy 500 over the weekend? Did you record it? If you did you should immediately stop reading this post! Go to another one, or better yet go watch your recording so I don’t have to keep worrying about spoiling it! If you didn’t record it and you live in a cave then read on.
I’ll start off by telling you that this year’s 500 had the most cautions I’ve seen in a while! It was almost like the track was angry at the drivers for some reason. Heck, there was a crash in the first lap and even the last lap with plenty of other incidents sprinkled in-between. Because of all the cautions, the strategy boiled down to fuel and pit stops. It was all about picking the right sequence and predicting yellow flags to make sure you had more fuel than the other guy.
In the last 20 laps or so it came down to a battle between Dario Franchitti, Dan Weldon, and Marco Andretti. Marco fell just short enough on fuel that he couldn’t fight with Dario and Dan. However Dario was also running pretty low on fuel since he built up a huge cap but as he came on lapped traffic he was forced to slow down during the last 5 laps while Dan who was more than adiquate on fuel tried hard to work his way through the traffic and catch Dario. Alas he Wheldon couldn’t quite make it, then a horrific crash involving Ryan-Hunter Reay and Mike Conway turned the white flag lap yellow thus solidifying Dario’s second career Indy 500 win. Check out the race highlights below.
The “Thrill From West Hill” is coming back to Indy with KV Racing. He made the announcement during the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend. It looks like he wants another shot to get an “official” win. Check out his brief interview in the video below.
This Will Power guy is pretty good isn’t he?! When Helio Castroneves came back after that whole legal fiasco everyone thought Mr. Power would be left out in the cold but Captain Penske decided to keep the kid on for a few races and was that ever the right decision to make. Will pretty much dominated the entire weekend. He won pole position and once the green flag dropped on Sunday he walked away with it with both of his Penske teammates behind him. There was some dicing around in the mid pack but for the most part it looked like it would be a Penske 1-2-3(Power, Castroneves, and Briscoe) but Scott Dixon was able to chop off the tail of the Penske dragon to take third spot on the podium. Towards the middle of the race there was a scary moment in pit lane when AGR driver Tony Kanaan’s fuel system had a malfunction and his car caught fire. Luckily crew members from A.J. Foyt Racing and Team Penske came to Tony’s rescue, dousing the flames and pulling him out before he was seriously injured. Tony was later reported to have suffered some 2nd degree burns on his hands but is otherwise ok. No word if he’ll have to sit the next race out but I’ll keep you posted. Check out the video below for all the race highlights.
The Indy 500 is so huge that when its over sometimes it feels like the end of the season when really its still just the start. One week after Helio Castroneves drank the milk in victory circle the Indy Car caravan hit the Milwaukee Mile for the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt 225. After having such a great run at Indy Helio Castroneves hit just the opposite in Milwaukee as he had trouble in qualifying and had to start way from the back. His teammate and last year’s winner Ryan Briscoe had much better luck as he captured the pole position.
On race day Briscoe lead much of the race while Helio, Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, and Graham Rahal chased him down and for the most part he fought them all off. However towards the closing laps of the race Scott Dixon was able to grab the lead away from Briscoe and take it home for his second win of the season and to take over the overall points lead. It was a pretty awesome race. Check out the video below for the highlights.
In the days leading up to the weekend many were questioning if the Indy 500 still held the same relevance that it had in years past. Heck Autoblog even put up an online poll asking if anyone still “cared” about the 500. It seemed that with the 24 Hours of Nurbergring and the Monaco GP happening in the same weekend the American tradition of the 500 was taking a backseat in the minds of many motorsport enthusiasts.
Yet now that the weekend is over and checkered flags have waved in different parts of the world I honestly have to say that I had a better time watching the 500 than any other race this weekend.
Sure the Monaco GP is prestigious but it was also a snore fest this year with Jenson Button practically winning from the pole position.
Yet this year’s Indy 500 did not disappoint. Helio Castroneves earned the pole position but he certainly didn’t lead a parade for 200 laps. There were at least 4 lead changes through out the race with 33 drivers all fighting to get their faces embossed onto the famous Borg Warner trophy. However despite the best efforts from some of the best drivers in the world Helio battled back to take his third Indy 500 win.
That, in and of itself is a pretty impressive feat but when you think about how earlier this year Helio missed the first race due to being on trial for tax evasion and facing up to 35 years in prison it suddenly increases the gravity of the win. Long Beach was Helio’s first race back and he made that race fresh off the plane from leaving the trial. We all thought his comeback would have lost all its steam there but then he shows up at Indy wins pole position and then wins the race!
If I try to take you through everything that happened this is going to turn into an article instead of a blog post so check out the highlight video below to catch anything I might have missed.
After two horrible finishes in the first two races of the season (15th and 16th respectively) the reigning champ Scott Dixon finally found his way back to victory circle. He didn’t start in the front though. Actually the Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing team propelled Graham Rahal and Robert Doornbos to the front row. This was the second pole position for Graham Rahal this year and equally surprised with himself was Robert Doornbos who has limited experience on ovals. Although Robert (AKA “Bobby D”) had some help since Long Beach winner Dario Franchitti had his fast run disqualified due to dropping below the white penalty line during qualifying.
Scott qualified fourth but come race day he didn’t stay there for long. Once he inherited the lead he held onto it for 134 laps to take the victory and some desperately needed points. Now every driver on the grid has to pack up their things and move to the great state of Indiana because the next race on the schedule is the big one. The Indy 500. May is going to be a long month so we’ll try to keep you as up dated as possible on all of the Indy news
Yeah, I know this news is breaking a little late but we had to make sure we didn’t spoil it for anyone waiting for the re-airing of the race. So as you can see in the picture above Mr. Dario Franchitti took the checkered flag at the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach last Sunday.
The race started with Will Power (top qualifier) up front and as usual with the top qualifier at Long Beach he lead a good portion of the race. However his team had problems with their radio and telemetry which threw them off just enough for Dario Franchitti and Danica Patrick to cycle their way to the front with pit strategy and a few full course cautions. By lap 55 of 85 Dario captured the lead and held onto it for the remainder of the race.
This is the first time Indy Car ran the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach and I have to admit I was a little skeptical of it since I was so used to the turbo V8s of Champ Car running the streets but I’m glad to say that Indy Car did not dissapoint! If you haven’t been to this race yet I highly reccomend you come to Long Beach next year and check it out.
Last week our good friend Bill Wood caught up to Indy Car Series Champion Scott Dixon during the media day for the Long Beach Grand Prix to get his opinion on a few other motorsports besides Indy Car. You might be surprized at his responses. Check it out below.