Monday, June 4, 2012

Potshots: Notes And Thoughts From Detroit

-One of the earliest lessons life teaches any of us is some variation on the truism that states "poo happens." The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and all its participants were reminded that of a big way on Sunday. We had a crumbling course, 2 hour red flag delay, brief deluge, and a few good rules arguments thrown in for good measure. At times, all you can do is just laugh and move on to the next race. Stormy denouncements and rage don't belong here; a sense of understanding, good nature, and patience does. If you're blaming Randy Bernard, Roger Penske, or even Beaux Barfield for yesterday's proceedings, you might want to think again. Yesterday's issues were not the sort of thing you can plan for, and I thought the event organizers and INDYCAR did their best to fix the problem as best they could and still add some more laps to the race.

I will say it sounds like all the Belle Isle attendees had a great time through most of the weekend. I hope the event returns strong next year, with perhaps a better course configuration. They had some bad breaks, but they also have a good foundation--no pun intended.

-If you stuck around until the conclusion of the race, just know that you are a true fan, and that nothing--not hurricanes, locusts, or burning fire from the sky--will get between you and your INDYCAR.

-Look, when AJ Foyt is interviewed and admits while he's won in the snow, he's never had a street course basically come apart underneath him, you know you are on rare ground indeed.

-Even with a damage-shortened race featuring 15 laps to the finish, nothing seemed to phase Scott Dixon. Dixie has been to known to get teased for being a bit dry, but I think we've seen more of his personality this year, and if you haven't really examined his record up to this point, you may wish to consider doing so. He's the most consistent driver this season, and only 26 points behind Will Power heading into Texas. That's what being the "Iceman" will get you. In a lot of ways, the chaos of this race was a perfect example of what makes Dixon such a great driver--he's unflappable, consistent, and talented on any sort of track.

-How about Honda sweeping the top three spots in Chevy's backyard? They also nabbed six spots overall in the Top 10. True this was a weird anomaly of a race, but Honda certainly seems in a much better place right now. Speaking of Honda, how about Bryan Herta Autosport? Give them the tools to compete, and they have what it takes to give some serious headaches to far larger teams.

-ABC coverage is going to get an incomplete grade for this race. I thought it was better than St.Pete, but they still are missing through-the-pack action by dwelling on one particular battle for too long. It's ok if you miss a pass, just make sure you get the replay. I did enjoy their filler segments and interviews during red flag time, but I hope they don't need those segments again for a long, long time.

Quick Notes: Josef Newgarden was a lap down at the end, but he certainly did put on a show over the last six laps...Esteban Guerrieri is looking more and more like he's got a very good shot at the Firestone Indy Lights title. Sebastian Saavedra won't have much wiggle room in the next few races if he wants to catch Guerrieri or his teammate Tristan Vautier...Lotus wasn't great this weekend, but neither was the #78 Lotus HVM car horrible. Simona was able to hang in for a P13--no mean feat when so many drivers had severe mechanical issues. Small progress is still progress...I love road and street courses, but I am ready for the string of ovals on the schedule this month...if Oriol Servia had a Chevy since he start of the year, is there any doubt he'd be in the Top 5 of the standings right now?


  1. The scenery is beatiful and I think they can make this race worthy of being on the schedule. They have the corporate sponsorship, now if they can fix the road and reconfigure the course, we might have a winner.

  2. A "Spoiler Alert" would have been nice before your comments about FIL. Some of us have been avoiding FIL news until the broadcast later this week.

    Good job as always!

    1. Zachary HoughtonJune 4, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      Sorry Dean, I didn't realize folks did that. Thanks for the heads up!

    2. Well, I didn't have to do it last year, but for some reason NBC Sports airs it later in the week. Just odd.

    3. Zachary HoughtonJune 5, 2012 at 12:53 PM

      Yeah, but at least every race gets air time. That's nice, anyhow.