Notes taken during the VERSUS broadcast of the Edmonton Indy, Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) Airport on July 24, 2011.
pressdog® Beer of the Race is 483 Pale Ale, Great River Brewery, Quad Cities, Canada. KIDDING. The Quad Cities are Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline, in Illinois. I know that's FIVE, not FOUR, but let's not quibble.
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1. (5) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 01:18.5165 (101.971)
2. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 01:18.5674 (101.905)
3. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 01:18.6442 (101.805)
4. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 01:18.6628 (101.781)
5. (59) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 01:18.7383 (101.684)
6. (6) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.0267 (101.313)
7. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 01:18.6678 (101.775)
8. (2) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 01:18.7142 (101.715)
9. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 01:18.7669 (101.647)
10. (06) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 01:18.9323 (101.434)
11. (82) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.0190 (101.322)
12. (19) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.3802 (100.861)
13. (38) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.0682 (101.259)
14. (14) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 01:18.9781 (101.375)
15. (22) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.0732 (101.253)
16. (78) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.2084 (101.080)
17. (77) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.1329 (101.177)
18. (18) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.3533 (100.896)
19. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.6204 (100.557)
20. (27) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.4007 (100.835)
21. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 01:20.0348 (100.036)
22. (7) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.4713 (100.746)
23. (24) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 01:20.3224 (99.678)
24. (4) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.5237 (100.679)
25. (8) Paul Tracy, Dallara-Honda, 01:20.4836 (99.479)
26. (34) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.7200 (100.432)
Lindy Thackston, pit hotty, with Jimmy Vasser, who is the V in KV Racing. Not sure what Jimmy said because I was fixated on the ULTRA COOL refection of LindyCar in Jimmy's super hip greenish-tint reflector shades.
We're into the Dreaded, Festival of Carbon Fiber-inducing, WE'RE-ALL-GOING-TO-DIE, two-wide start formation. Let's light this candle. We're ..... green green green.
Into Turn 1. Breath held. CLEAR. Everyone makes it through turn 1. Dixon dives into P2. Power inhaled. Bob Jenkins (booth stallion) "Hey, they made it!" I know, Bob, we're all a bit stunned. Celebratory chug of the beer of the race here.
Woe woe woe woe. Drank too early! Cue the circus music! Tag is into the back of Rahal (take it easy). Rahal has a cut tire. Tag's front wing is a Festival of Carbon Fiber. Holy shit. Now we got three cars around. Tracy and Saavedra for sure. A PHANTOM car behind them gets zero air. Yeah, it's Rahal. Saavedra signaling for a restart (the baseball umpire signal for a home run). Tracy is done based on his caved in side pod.
Replay. Tagliani screams "BANZAIIIIIIII" down the inside of the turn ... three, two, one ... CONTACT. Tag says SPEAR YOU VERY MUCH to the back of Rahal's car. Hit him square. Then Rahal continues for a while, spins, collects Tracy and Saavedra gets in there somehow. Rahal standing by the safety car giving Tag the universal "WTF?" gesture (arms stretched out to his sides, palms up). Either that or he was asking Tag to call AAA for him.
19 clowns in tiny drifter cars come around the turn, lock them up and bash into the back of the safety car. Pit hotty (to the ladies!) Kevin Lee with Rahal. Tag speared me from behind. Disappointed. Good car. Big question -- will Tag get a penalty for "avoidable contact." I think he will. Race control even called that one last race.
Human sacrifice ... dogs and cats ... living together ... MASS HYSTERIA. Tagliani will have to serve a penalty. The most WTF thing about that is IndyCar has gone away from the "he's suffered enough" approach to penalties. Under that, if you spear someone and cause damage to yourself, so that you have to pit and therefore go to the back of the pack, you are not required to do a drive through penalty, because pitting for repairs is deemed penalty enough. I think this is complete bullshit. Tag will have to do a drive through after the track goes green again. Even if it doesn't do much to impact the standings, it still will put Tags many seconds back of the second-to-last car.
Lap NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS on TV. (Lap 5 per lap chart) -- GREEN. Two-wide Festival of DEATH CHEATERS into turn 1. Clear. These drivers are squandering the double-file restart excuse for driving with their heads up their asses!
Power says muchas gracias and takes P2 from Dixon.
Lap 7 -- Tony thinks maybe three-wide into a hairpin will work ... briefly. Cooler heads prevail. This is not Toronto, apparently.
Lap 8 -- Lindy with Tracy. Disappointed. Two poor weekends for us. Frustrated. Did raise $90,000 for Make A Wish though.
Lap 10 -- Danica and Hildebrand are up 8 places since the start. Danica now in P14. Hildebrand P16. Order: Sato, Power, Dixon, Dario, Briscoe, Viso, RHR, Helio, Kanaan, Wilson.
Briscoe into P5, around EJ, during commercial.
Lap 12 -- Jon Beekhuis calls four Death Star TIE fighters (two Chippy and two Penske) and Sato "a nice mix of teams." Pretty much how Luke Skywalker saw things while being chased by five TIE Fighters as well.
Rahal has now joined the booth crew of Bob, Jon and Wally Dallenbach. Dan Wheldon had been the guest driver analysis in the last few races.
Lap 16 -- Bourdais INHALES Servia. Bourdais is marching in the traditionally stellar* Coyne equipment. (*Denotes sarcasm.)
Lap 18 -- Power is stalking Sato. Got that "only a matter of time" feeling. Onboard with Power. Sato makes a mistake, goes wide, INHALED by a pouncing Power AND Dixon. Sato manages to stave off Dario for a second, but then gets passed by him as well into P5. Sato goes from P1 to P4 just like that. And everyone stayed mentally correct and kept it clean. Amazing.
Lap 21 -- Versus goes through the field, which is Get Another Beer time for me.
Lap 24 -- Servia pits. Now yellow yellow yellow on Lap 25 because -- Cue the circus music! -- Servia is in the tires. Insert brief Festival of Random Speculation here by the booth. Cold Tires are the usual suspect. My favorite random speculation is "there might be snipers in the stands." Replays. Ah haaaaa. Servia got PUNTED into the tires by Conway who tried an ill-advised move inside when there was an estimated nine inches available. Punts for the memories into the tires. A tiny team bus pulls up and 19 clowns dressed as vintage American football players get out and punt a rainbow of nerf footballs into the stands.
Insert dramatic music here. WILL IndyCar penalize Conway? This punting was not nearly as egregious as some of the punting that was let go at Toronto. Breath held.
Oriol is out of the tires, now his rear wing falls off on the way back to the pit. Dragging it by some connection. Hinch is stalled on the track. Not sure why. It may be NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Wait. It IS YOUR BUSINESS. Replay. Hinch gets on the brakes hard to avoid bashing into the back of Danica and must have stalled it.
OMG. I float weightlessly above my recliner, globs of beer of the race floating through the air as I hear that Conway WILL be penalized. I land back in my chair and tilt my head at the TV just like my dog does when he is trying to understand what he is hearing. "Avoidable contact penalty" for Conway.
Lap 28 -- Two wide again and we're ... YELLOW YELLOW YELLOW. Waved off. Tagliani, who is in P2 due to pit cycling thought maybe he'd set the restart speed instead of Conway, who ironically leads, even though he has to do a drive through under green. Plus we were suddenly seven-wide in the pack coming to the start. FUBAR. Waved that fugly off. Many replays of the Festival of Insanity in the pack.
Lap 29 -- GREEN. We go, like, nine-wide toward turn 1. This makes even the frequently slumbering Mrs. pdog say "Oh geez." Luckily everyone re-engaged brain by the time they got to the corner and proceeded through in an orderly fashion. CLEAR. Turn 1 is not the FESTIVAL OF CAR DEATH that it was feared.
Turn 5, though ... Cue the circus music! ... yellow yellow yellow. Viso SPEARS Dixon in a move that would have been legal in Toronto (Dixon should have given him more room!!!!) but is flagged here in Edmonton, thankfully. Rahal in the booth "that was bound to happen." (Most excellent dead pan!) Dario has to go to evasive maneuver Tango Edward Victor to avoid Viso. Dario radios in that he believes Viso had "more than half of the blame on that one." (Kidding. Dario did not radio. But I am pretty sure Dario would not call that a "racing incident.")
The end plate off Bia's car flies up into the air and lands on the track, outside the racing line. Gonna sit there, in its super-bright yellow glory, all race.
Kevin reports that Dixon says there is water in the cockpit and "my butt is on fire." Rahal diagnoses that as a busted radiator. Dixon in to repair that. Stays in the car while the pit posse makes with the wrenches. Will go back out for points. Many replays of the BANZAIIIIII move. Speartackular. We'll see if EJ has "suffered enough" and won't do a drive through.
Turns out, on the official box score, there is no penalty listed for Viso. Surely that means he "suffered enough" based on his own bonehead move and not that there was REALLY no penalty. But, the box score says no foul. Which is LAME. So if Tag had to drive through for contact, why not Viso? Dude. Everyone should be recorded as receiving a penalty and have to do a drive through, regardless. Period. If it makes no difference in the race order (the frequent excuse for no drive through) then why NOT do it just as a matter of principle?
Kevin reports that Dixon says on his radio he wants to get fixed and go out and get Viso. Retalitory hip check coming! That's soooooo NASCAR. I can't tell if I am repulsed or excited. The feelings are rather similar, if you stop and think about it (which I obviously have). BE HONEST. A tiny bit of you said "I'd kind of like to see that!" That's your brain stem talking.
Lap 36 -- Bourdais gets air in P8. Driving the shit out of the Coynemobile. Dixon is back out. Five laps down. Unconfirmed rumors that he has Ben Hur Black Chariot attachments on his car. Bob says "we'll see if he hunts down Viso."
Lap 38 -- Replay. JR under Marco. CLEAR. But back to live action and Marco is back in front. No replay for that. NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Danistar is P11. Started P22. Haters are going to start screaming "ATTRITION!", especially those who didn't scream it during Toronto, which was a Festival of Attrition.
Power is up by 1.5 seconds. Sato is under attack from RHR. Hold up. Cue the circus music! RHR under Sato ... BANZAIIIII ... RHR drop kicks Sato out of the way. Would have been OK in Toronto, but not here in Edmonton. Yep. Penalty on RHR. Sato is around and stalled. Screwed. Local yellow though. Dario radios in and says it was 50.12% RHR's fault. (Kidding again.)
Lap 40 -- Power, Tag, Helio, RHR, Briscoe, Wilson (!), Bourdais (!), Dario, Tony, Danica (!).
RHR does a drive through. Power is up by 5.5 seconds with the wings back in the delta.
Lap 45 -- Danica goes to P9. Just one big one away from a road course win! (Kidding.) Power up by 5.7 seconds.
Replay. Briscoe inhales Helio into one. Two wide. Very neat and tidy. Nobody gets mental.
Lap 51 -- Power is 8.6 seconds ahead of everyone. Plasma trails coming off his tightly delta-ed wings.
Lap 52 -- Briscoe pits, RHR back up to P9. Sato screwed hard back in P22 and a lap down.
Lap 53 -- Onboard with Bourdais. Woe woe woe .. goes wide and does some grass mowing, then back on. Continues. Power pits. Reds. Back out in P7. Replay. Dario inside Justin. CLEAR. Wilson then re-inhales Dario before diving into the pits (Lap 54). Danica pits as well.
Wilson overtaken by Briscoe coming into turn 1. Wilson just coming out of the pits on cold tires so didn't try anything daft. Props to him for that. Danica back out in P9. Danica is rockin' this race. (Insert Danica Nation [400,382 Twitter followers, and climbing] in a froth here.) Getting some air. Driving the shit out of it, IMO. We're not getting much camera time for Danica overtakes, but I assume nobody is pulling over for the Tiaramobile.
Lap 56 -- Simona is stalled. Something is BLOWN up, SIR! What is NONE OF YOU BUSINESS. (BTW, Danica has gotten more air this race than Simona. Insert a West Side Story-like dance off between Danica and Simona fans here.)
Dario pits. Power leads. Dario out behind Helio in P3. Power is 3.3 seconds ahead.
Lap 60 -- Power, Helio, Dario, Briscoe, Kanaan, Wilson, Danica, Bourdais, Tag, RHR. Helio is alllll up in Will's business. Has cut the lead to under a second. I suspect Will is saving fuel/tires/brakes.
RHR overtakes Tag in a battle of penalized drivers.
Lap 64 -- Kevin with Tim Cindric. No team orders. Expects Helio to race fair but to race for sure.
Danica and Bourdais. Onboard Bourdais. Goes under Danistar, cooks it, gets re-inhaled by the Sparkler.
Simona with Pit Hotty (to the ladies!) Robbie Floyd. Says her car, Pork Chop, threw a clutch. Wouldn't go into gear, which greatly increases lap times. (I made the "increases lap times" thing up.)
Lap 66 -- Wally says Helio can close on Will under braking, but Will has more speed in a straight line and pulls away. Good point and analysis of the situation here.
Lap 67 -- Dario lurking lurking lurking in P3. Probably won't go BANZAIIIII on us, but will be glad to drive around the debris if Power and Helio collide.
Floyd with John Erickson, Helio's strategy guy, who says Helio is driving for the win.
Lap 69 -- Onboard with Power. Looking back at Helio with the brake pressure graphic up there. Then they change to Power's brake pressure. Interesting. I'll go all the way to Viewing Enhanced.
Danica and RHR battling now. I'm rooting for Danica, which is the kiss of death, so we get replays of RHR inhaling her for P8.
Lap 73 -- Kimball locks up and goes into the run off, eliminating some traffic concerns.
Lap 77 -- Still lock step in the top three. Coming up on Servia who is lapped. Oriol will for sure pull over and not race the leaders. Which he does. Because he's class AND has the best accent in the paddock.
White flag -- WTF? Briscoe has to pit on the last lap. Out of fuel. Penske gamble came up SNAKE EYES. What is up with that? Dude. You (Briscoe) got screwed -- again.
Power wins. Dario cannot overtake Helio. Empire Strikes Back as the Death Star hovers over Edmonton. Power does some seriously picture-perfect donuts. Power out. Does a little leap from his car. NO CAMERON! No IZOD Trophy Girl at this race. Viewing savagely dehanced.
Trackside Online finishing order ...
IZOD IndyCar Series
EDMONTON, Alberta - Results Sunday of the Edmonton Indy IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 2.224 mile Edmonton Airport Circuit, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (2) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
2. (9) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
3. (4) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
4. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
5. (15) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
6. (12) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
7. (7) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
8. (20) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
9. (22) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
10. (6) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
11. (24) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
12. (14) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
13. (23) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
14. (19) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
15. (10) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
16. (26) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
17. (17) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
18. (18) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
19. (21) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 79, Running
20. (5) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 79, Running
21. (1) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 79, Running
22. (8) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 76, Running
23. (3) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 74, Running
24. (16) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 54, Mechanical
25. (13) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 0, Contact
26. (25) Paul Tracy, Dallara-Honda, 0, Contact
Winners average speed: 90.949
Time of Race: 01:57:22.5177
Margin of victory: .8089 of a second.
Cautions: 2 for 8 laps
Lead changes: 6 among 5 drivers
Lap Leaders: Sato 1-18, Power 19-26, Conway 27-28, Power 29-53, Castroneves 54, Franchitti 55-56, Power 57-80
Point Standings: Franchitti 388, Power 350, Dixon 282, Kanaan 253, Servia 244, Briscoe 239, Andretti 232, Rahal 218, Castroneves 212, Hildebrand 212. Lap chart and finishing order courtesy of IndyCar PR.
Power glad to be back in winner's circle. Gotta give a big shout here to Sebastian Bourdais for driving a Coyne car to P6. Also ups to Danistar for P22 to P9 drive and Justin Wilson for some P5 action.
Dixon tells Kevin that he did say he wanted to get back out and go hunting for Viso, but then cooler heads prevailed. "I don't know if he (Viso) was looking at someone in the stands or what." WHAM. Like the new Dixon a lot. Edgy. Representing with some whiffs of rage.
UH OH. Dario and Will get air talking amiably. Robin Miller has to be PISSED at this dissipation of hate. There go the Versus rivalry-based promos. DAMN. Someone scream WANKER or something.
Helio happy. Funtastic. Brake issues for many races, finally figured it out. Lindy with Dario. It's all fine and good. Again, Robin is crestfallen at the lack o' rage.
Final thoughts. MUCH (x14) better race than Toronto, which I turned off with 20 to go. We had overtaking, strategy and reasonably applied penalties. Drivers showed good judgement going into turn 1 all day. Double-file restarts were actually that and looked good on TV. As with every sporting contests, the early portion is where the players test the refs to see what they will and will not call. If you don't call it tight early, things can get out of hand (Toronto). I think race control calling some penalties early tamped down some of the crazy driving. Not sure WHY stuff this race was a penalty and the same stuff or worse last race was not, but I am GLAD it was called this race.
Also, I was glad to have Wally Dallenbach back in the booth. Dan Wheldon is awesome and all, but for my tastes he and Jon talked too much. Chit-chat all race gets to be too much for me. Don't be afraid of silence. I think Wally makes good points at the appropriate time.
Finally a big and extended shout out to Iron Mike Wanser, six-year-old son of Target team manager Barry Wanser. Mike is fighting cancer and got shout outs from Dario, Kevin Lee and the Firehawk during the race broadcast. Mike is the pressdog Honey Badger Award Winner for this race. Fight like a honey badger, Mike.
That's it from Edmonton. Tune in again Sunday, Aug. 7 2 p.m. Eastern for Mid Ohio on VERSUS.