Monday, July 11, 2011

Dear IndyCar: A Toronto Recap

In the closing laps of the Toronto Honda Indy 200, I asked the question on Twitter, "are you happy with the results of this race?"

Here's a sampling of responses from IndyCar fans:

"Not here...league protecting TCGR and losing fans at the same time"


"Not sure. Wouldn't be an issue if a penalty was really never called".


"I don't see how anyone can... Unless you are Brian France and want to see @IndyCar go away".


"OH HELL NO"!


"NO!!!! I seriously have such a hatred growing for Dario and CGR. Makes me not even want to watch rest of season".


"Chip?"


"that would be a hell to the no"


"no"

Then, there was Tony Kanaan's response:

"And race control is starting with their excuses. WHAT A JOKE ."

Now, Al Unser, Jr. said there was never a penalty assessed on Dario Franchitti, but that's not what was originally announced (nor did Al exactly inspire confidence with his somewhat confused post-race interview, as well as Dixon's post-race admission he heard about the penalty over his radio). More to the point, that's not what the majority of online IndyCar fans seemed to think was appropriate.

After later being taken out by Tagliani after an earlier incident of being spun by Dario Franchitti, Will Power went off, saying  "I always race him clean, he always races me dirty", and, "does anyone ever penalize this guy"?

I love you to death, IndyCar, but a lot of your fans are asking the same thing Will did. You'd better think on that one. In the meantime, it's looking more and more like Dario's going to get his championship repeat.

Target Chip Ganassi is officially the Cobra Kai Dojo of IndyCar for the rest of this season. The series need black hats, too, though. We'll all calm down. Honest. Let's go to some of the non-Ganassi highlights of the weekend:

Wilson The Younger: Stefan Wilson took advantage of Esteban Guerrieri's spin to take his first Firestone Indy Lights win. Wilson is now up to third in the overall points standings. Guerrieri recovered to is only __ points behind Josef Newgarden. Wilson's teammate, Peter Dempsey, really made the most of his race with Andretti, finishing P2.

That's The RHR We Know: Ryan Hunter-Reay was looking good to be in a position to win this race, but obviously with the non-penalty on Franchitti, things were different at the end. However, a P3 and podium is a nice step back to RHR, who will hopefully continue to be back in form for the second half. (Oh, and Marco Andretti just missed another podium, finishing P4. Not too shabby for Andretti Autosport!).

I couldn't think of anything that wouldn't make people
angrier, so I just posted this pic of the Lights race.
(Courtesy IndyCar Media)
Newman/Haas Woes: Newman/Haas' James Hinchcliffe and Oriol Servia looked great most of the day, but after a late incident, they had to settle for P14 and P12.

Rookie Update: Speaking of Hinch, he lost some ground to JR Hildebrand, who finished a very solid P8 on the day. Hildebrand is now 35 points up on Hinch, with Charlie Kimball losing some ground to be 29 behind him. Ana Beatriz manages to gain 7 points on Charlie, and is 18 back. Sebastian Saavedra falls to 5 points behind Bia, whom he previously led. James Jakes weathered a few spins to finish the race, and is now only 4 points behind Saavedra.Until that late incident, Hinch was probably going to make up a little ground on JR, but not now. He'll have to push at Edmonton and hope for good things there to catch up.

Viso Resilence: After Takuma Sato and Tony Kanaan had incidents, EJ Viso was KV Racing's last hope. He got as high as P2, but a cut tire sent him backwards. He recovered enough to finish P9, and avoid the carnage on a day that saw plenty of it. We fans bust his chops a lot, but he did a good job out there today.

HVM Happy On The Twisties: Simona de Silvestro and HVM Racing grabbed their first Top 10 finish since the second race of the season. Honestly, this was the most comfortable Simona had looked out on track in some time. Let's hope it's the start of good things again at HVM.

Vitor's Sneaky, Isn't He?: I don't think Vitor Meira was mentioned three times all day, but he weaved his way through the crashes to finish 5th, his highest of the year. Because I can't say it enough, this guy really deserves his first series win soon. I hope it happens for him.

Rageaholics Anonymous: Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention the sheer amount of rage this race seemed to incite. Everyone was angry with someone. Michael Andretti angry with Ganassi's cars for not lining up on restarts to allegedly save fuel. Will Power was angry with Dario for what he termed "dirty racing". Danica Patrick was seen yelling at her crew after her last crash. Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter-Reay tangled on the track. Paul Tracy and James Hinchcliffe had some nudges that probably resulted in some warm words. Charlie Kimball, Mike Conway, Ryan Briscoe, Helio Castroneves, Tracy, Saavedra, Kanaan, Wilson, Bourdais, Power, Tagliani, Rahal....it might be shorter to list the drivers not involved in incidents.

OK, enough of that. On to happier things. As a reminder, INDYCAR Nation members, don't miss my Q&A with the series' newest rookie, Martin Plowman!

The series continues their Canadian odyssey with a trip to Edmonton in two weeks. It might take tempers that long to cool after this sort of a race!

No comments:

Post a Comment