As the Indy Car series left one street circuit (Long Beach) they arrived at another in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Arriving on the home turf of several Indy Car drivers the stakes were high but it was an American who took first blood as Ryan Hunter-Reay managed to capture the pole position. However, race day was a different story…
SPOILER ALERT BELOW!!!
Ryan hung on to the lead for as long as he could and it became that much harder when Tony Kanaan caught his second wind and hounded the 2012 champion mercilessly. The two drivers traded the lead back and fourth several times, each time Tony would take the lead the crowd roared. However, the hometown celebration was short lived when TK’s engine gave out on him. Ryan lost the lead when the younger drivers came gunning after him from the mid pack.
In the end it was James “Hinchtown” Hincliffe who pulled off a beautiful last lap move on Takuma Sato to take the win. Marco Andretti rounded out the podium with a third place finish (which also now puts him second in the points behind Sato). All the race highlights are below and trust me when I say it definitely worth your time to watch!
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.
Just as Formula 1 was wrapping up across the pond the Indy Cars were getting warmed up in the land of hockey, maple syrup, and teen drama/rap artist crossovers AKA Canada. Toronto to be more exact. The Honda Indy Toronto race was the official 2/3rds mark of the season and the points race heated up significantly thanks to Will Power’s previous fumbles and Ryan Hunter-Reay’s back-to-back wins. This was the time for the likes of Will Power, Dario Franchitti, and Scott Dixon to not F-up and re-establish some dominance in the battle for the 2012 championship. Unfortunately, each one of them F’d up! Dixon suffered a crash that put him out of the race, Dario had contact which took him out of the race just long enough to lose all hope before he rejoined to try and earn some points, and Will Power had a fight with the wall which screwed his suspension up and put him down a lap over the rest of the field.
At this point you might be asking yourself “who took advantage of all of that misfortune?” The same guy who did the last two times, that’s who! Yes, Ryan Hunter-Reay took his third win in a row after the best laid plans of the top two teams fell apart once again. Charlie Kimball scored a career best second place and Mike Conway nabbed a third place finish. With his win in Toronto Ryan has officially taken over the points lead (34 points over Will Power to be exact) and with 5 races left is looking to be a serious threat for the 2012 championship; which would be the first championship for Andretti Racing since Dario won it for them right before leaving the team to try his hand at NASCAR.
For all the race highlights check out the video below.
Just after Formula Drift finished their skirmish in New Jersey, the Indy Car series was getting ready for a night time shootout in Iowa for the Iowa Corn 250. Although, things got off to a late start due to mother nature litterally raining on the parade. After about an hour or so of rainfall the skies over Iowa cleared up and the race was underway as well as the action. Before the green flag had a chance to drop, Dario Franchitti suffered a major engine failure taking him out of the race which severely hurt his shot at the title. Later on around lap 68, points leader Will Power made a mistake and clipped E.J. Viso taking them both out and opening up the points even more for the likes of James Hinchcliffe who was second place in the points due to his consistancy all year.
Marco Andretti made a run for the lead but problems with his car combined with the agressive tactics of his teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe kept him from making a solid run at the front. When it was all said and done Ryan Hunter-Reay stayed ahead of Marco Andretti and a hard charnging Tony Kanaan to take his second victory in a row. Ryan’s win rockets him to second place in the overall points putting him just 3 points behind Will Power. While James Hinchcliffe falls all the way to fifth in points after suffering an incident which ended his race in 17th place.
With Iowa in the books it marks the last oval race Indy Car will see until September when they return to California Speedway. With a slew of road courses ahead look for Dario Frachitti, Scott Dixon, and Helio Castroneves to put a serious dent in the points battle! In the meantime check out the video below of all the race highlights.
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.
Fresh off of Long Beach and right before the Indy 500 the Indy Car series visited the streets of Sao Paulo Brazil for a 300 mile street fight. Unfortunately due to the street courses narrow turns and off weather the street fight was more of a thumb wrestling match. Because of the nature of the course and over eagerness on behalf of the drivers, at least a third (conservatively speaking) of the race took place under a yellow flag which resulted in a bit of a snore fest for fans like me watching at home. There was some excitement towards the end when it looked like Rubens Barrichello or Tony Kanaan would make the podium on their home turf but fuel strategy ended that dream for Barrichello and Kanaan was taken out in a late race pile-up. So it was business as usual with Will Power winning the race (from pole). However, Ryan Hunter-Reay provided a bit of excitement by giving Power a serious run in the closing laps but ultimately he did not have anything for the Aussie and remained in second place. The big (and only) surprize in the race came from Takuma Sato who managed to not only finish his first race of the season but also get on the podium capturing third place due to a bit of a gift from that same pile up I mentioned earlier.
Will Power’s win marks his third in a row and puts him in a significant lead in the points battle. Up next is the “most famous race in all of motorsports”, the Indy 500. This will be the first time fans will see the entire grid of new chassis and engine mixes on the famous oval as well as the first time many of the teams on the grid will put wheels down on the hallowed asphalt. May should be an interesting month!
If you didn’t watch the MoveThatBlock.com 225 Indy Car race in New Hampshire yesterday then you missed one heck of an event. Things started out normally, with a Chip Ganassi/Target car dominating the race, namely Dario Franchitti. While the other teams including Team Penske were struggling to figure out the short oval course, somehow the Ganassi cars had it locked down. However that all ended on lap 188 when Takuma Sato accidentally made contact with Franchitti during a restart, causing him to spin and eventually retire from the race. This made for a prime opportunity for Will Power to gain some much needed ground in the points chase. As Will fought his way to the front of the pack Ryan Hunter-Reay was leading the race with Oriol Servia behind him and a battle for third going on between James Hinchcliffe and Scott Dixon. It was a short time later that things really got interesting.
With 19 laps to go some light rain brought out a full course yellow. After a few caution laps it was evident that the moisture was going to keep coming and in a total breakdown of information and a serious lapse in judgement race control ordered the field to go green again despite pleas from the drivers to their teams to not go green due to the track surface being dangerously slippery. The team owners were livid with race control at the mere thought of trying to back to green in such dangerous conditions and scrambled to find an authority to talk sense into. Michael Andretti predicted that if the race went green again several drivers would spin as most could not even put power down in 2nd or 3rd gear. Michael’s predictions came to past when the green flag came out and Danica Patrick spun which caused several other cars to spin including Will Power. Will absolutely lost it going into a swear-ridden tirade over the radio to his team on the incompetence of race control’s decision. If that wasn’t enough Will got out of the car and started looking for any official he could find and when he did find one he went into a display that many (including myself) are calling one of the greatest indy car moments ever.
After the carnage was over race control immediately red flagged the race bringing the whole thing to a stop while they tried to figure out what to do. The final decision from control was to end the race in the order the cars were in before the initial yellow flag came out. This granted the victory to Ryan Hunter-Reay (thus appeasing Michael Andretti’s anger), Oriol Servia took second place while Scott Dixon nabbed third. The furious Will Power (who later apologized for his tantrum) walked away with a 5th place finish which shaved 15 points off of the points gap between him and Dario Franchitti.
So far there has been no official word on possible fines for Will Power due to his “colorful display” and language during the incident but we are expecting an answer on that to come soon! In the meantime check out the race highlights below.