Notes taken during the VERSUS broadcast of the Honda Indy 200, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Aug. 7, 2011.
pressdog® Beer of the race is EKU Pils, brewed by KULMBACHER BRAUEREI (which is in ALL-CAPS GERMAN on the label), Bavaria, Germany.
1. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.0776 (119.405)
2. (6) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.3359 (118.954)
3. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.4016 (118.839)
4. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.4212 (118.805)
5. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.5796 (118.531)
6. (38) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.7423 (118.250)
7. (06) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.7701 (118.203)
8. (77) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.8412 (118.080)
9. (5) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.8653 (118.039)
10. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.8665 (118.037)
11. (19) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.9115 (117.960)
12. (59) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 01:08.9427 (117.907)
13. (4) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.4161 (117.103)
14. (78) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.3009 (117.297)
15. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.4369 (117.067)
16. (82) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.3013 (117.297)
17. (27) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.4904 (116.977)
18. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.3851 (117.155)
19. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.6059 (116.783)
20. (2) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.4935 (116.972)
21. (14) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.6061 (116.783)
22. (34) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.7105 (116.608)
23. (7) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.2166 (115.767)
24. (18) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 01:09.8061 (116.448)
25. (24) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.4537 (115.378)
26. (17) Martin Plowman, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.2533 (115.707)
27. (67) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.3720 (112.320)
We're all queued up (in a Circus Music-like fashion), so let's light this candle.
GREEN. Quickly into the standard nine-wide fugly formation going into turn 1. Mental function returns however and we're through turn 1, clear. Circus musicians visibly disappointed.
Hinch goes for an extended mowing experience in a later turn. He's through the grass until he can come back on the track in last.
Marco under Simona and clear. Conway takes a look but ... NO. Did Simona throw a block party for Conway? I thought I saw her car shoot out in front of Conweezy. Not motivated enough to check the DVR replay though.
Speaking of replay, we're onboard with Power and BAM, his right front smashes into Dario's left rear. THUNG. No damage or spinning though. Both continue.
Marty Snider, pit stallion, reports that Hinch radioed in to his pit wondering how a guy who is on probation (Tag) could drive him into the grass and not get penalized. Replays. Looks like Tag had to go to evasive maneuver Tango X-ray Charlie to avoid someone and that caused him to swerve into Hinch who reacted by taking the grass. IHJ (Chief Steward Brian Barnhart) deliberates (probably wearing a robe and white powder whig) and ruleth .. Tag is ... NOT GUILTY. No penalty.
Lap 2 -- Show's over. Get a beer. We're settled into lockstep.
Lap 5 -- Top 20: Dixon, Briscoe, Dario, Power, RHR, Rahal, Tag, Kimball, Sato, Viso, Bourdais, Helio, JR, Kanaan, Marco, Simona, Conweezy, Pagenaud, Vitor, Saveedra.
Lap 10 -- Top 20: Dixon, Briscoe, Dario, Power, RHR, Rahal, Tag, Kimball, Sato, Viso, Bourdais, Helio, JR, Kanaan, Marco, Simona, Conweezy, Pagenaud, Vitor, Saveedra.
Lap 20 -- Top 20: Dixon, Briscoe, Dario, Power, RHR, Rahal, Tag, Kimball, Sato, Viso, Bourdais, Helio, JR, Kanaan, Marco, Simona, Conweezy, Pagenaud, Vitor, Servia (!). Pass for P20 actually happened on lap 16.
Replay: Danica inhales Saavedra (happened on lap 20).
Lap 20 Hinch pits. Yellow yellow yellow. Saavedra into the tires. May have been so distraught that Danica inhaled him on camera that he couldn't continue. Or something was going wrong in his car which caused Oriol and then Danica to overtake him.
MERRY HINCHMAS. Since Hinch just pitted, he'll move waaaaaaayyyy up when everyone else pits under yellow. It's a lump of coal for Will Power, though, who was pitting when the yellow came out BUT hadn't made the pit-in line before the yellow came out, so he CANNOT stop. Has to drive through. Sucks to be Will.
Festival of pitting coming on Lap 23. EVERYONE pits except Danica and Hinch. Simona hit a tire! Simona clipped a tire laid out in Marco's pit, which TV pretty much missed. Jon noticed it on a replay. Insert howling calls for a penalty on Simona as when Dario hit a tire a few races back here. No, there were no such howls. No such penalty for Dario OR Simona either and rightly so. Rahal also has to wait for Jakes to come around him before leaving his pit box and stalls it. Briscoe's left front tire changer dropped a nut (HI-YOOOO) so he had to grab the spare wheel nut changers carry on them and slap it on instead. Good heads-up move to 1) hold Briscoe for an extra couple seconds and 2) get the spare nut on there.
DANICA LEADS. Somewhere in a Key West Bar Todd Harris sits straight up, sending a pile of empty Red Stripe beer bottles skittering everywhere and screams "SALLY RIDE TURN THE TRICK!!!" then slumps back into unconsciousness.
Power fell from P4 to P6 on the pit cycle, which wasn't bad considering he had to drive through the pits and not stop due to the whole "didn't reach the commitment line before the yellow" thing.
Danica leads for three laps under yellow.
Wake up and pay attention, because we got ourselves a restart.
Lap 27 -- GREEN. Danica is quickly inhaled by Hinch and then Dixon.
Lap 28 -- Helio and JR have contact, perhaps with each other. Not sure. Both will have to pit. Replay -- Viso under JR .. spears for the memories. Marco goes to evasive maneuver William Tango Foxtrot to avoid issues. Helio got in there as well. Helio pits for a new nose. JR in for a new nose as well, but has more issues. IHJ deliberates ... NOT GUILTY. No penalty.
Danistar is back to P5 now, why is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Inhaled on old tires, etc. I imagine. Danica will pit soon. I guess they were hoping for a quick yellow after we went green, because YELLOWS BREED YELLOWS (sometimes).
Dixon now stalking Hinch. I think he's saving fuel back there, but Jon points out that Hinch is tossing up some good times, so maybe it's more than that.
Bob talks over car-to-pit radio traffic here. Dude. We want to here that. Jon jumps in: "You heard a little bit of the radio traffic." Precious little, Jon.
Lap 30 -- Hinch, Dixon, Dario, Power, Danica, RHR, Briscoe, Kimbal, Tag, Viso.
Lap 31 -- Festival of fuel saving here.
Lap 34 -- Pagenaud goes off-roading in the same exact place that Wilson did in practice, getting airborne briefly, just as Wilson did, although Wilson landed flat and causing a compression fracture in his back that lead to Pagenaud subbing for Wilson. Deja vu! Luckily no injury this time for Pagenaud's version of the incident. Jon says the track posse went out there and put some fill dirt in that area after Wilson's injury and that probably helped Pagenaud avoid a similar fate.
Lap 35 -- Power is several seconds back in P4, I suspect he's saving fuel. Split screen with Power and Power. Power's car from the outside on one screen and Power's onboard on the other screen. Kind of disconcerts me for some reason.
Lap 36 -- Danica is P26. Why? NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. I suspect she pitted and the lap chart says ... YES. She did pit on Lap 31.
Lap 40 -- Hinch, Dixon, Dario, Power, RHR, Briscoe, Kimball, Tag, Viso, Bourdais. Exactly the same as Lap 30 except Danica pitted and everyone behind her moved up.
Lap 41 -- Replay of Conweezy inhaling Vitor for P14 (actually happened on Lap 40.) Too bad Versus wasn't on Conway before that, because he inhaled his way from P22 on the restart to P14 in 12 laps, with only Danica pitting giving him one spot. In other words, that's SIX on-track overtakings by Conweezy -- a f-bombing rampage by road course standards -- that were NONE OF OUR BUSINESS.
Lap 50 -- Hinch, Dixon, Dario, Power, RHR, Briscoe, Kimball, Tag, EJ, Bourdais.
Much discussion in here about if Hinch can stay out long enough to pit once more and make it to the end. We're talking fuel while Conway is ramming through the field -- in stealth mode, apparently, because it goes undetected.
Lap 53 -- Hinch pits. Should have enough to go the distance. Dixon gets the wings back and goes supersonic. Has to throw up a huge lap to gap the field so he can get into the pits and get back out ahead of Hinch in the cycle. Conweezy is now up to P13.
Hinch comes back out of the pits in position NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. (P10 according to the lap chart).
Lap 55 -- Dixon pits. Stayed out two laps longer than Hinch. Dario stays out and now he'll try to get the wings back and jump Hinch AND Dixon in the pits.
Lap 57 -- Dixon back out in front of Hinch. But meantime yellow yellow yellow. We got Rahal around. Replays. Danica inside Rahal outside, spear tackular action. Insert Rahal accusing Danica and Danica saying she had the position here. Later Danica said Rahal was coming out of the pits and tried to slot in and Danica wasn't gonna give it up. Rahal said he was speared and IndyCar loves Danica more. Read comments from both drivers here.
This crash and yellow sets off some chaos, TV wise. Briscoe is in front of Power. I think, or maybe not. Notes are sketchy. Replays. Briscoe beats Power out of the pit as Power has to steer a bit to avoid him. Dario leads because he pitted before the track went yellow, but but Power got screwed on the yellow. Rahal also makes angry hand gestures in here for the safety crew to get him started quicker.
Replays ... Dario in the pit beat Dixon on the track to the blend line, so Dario leads. Dixon probably would have had it if the track stayed green.
Restart will be key. Here it comes. Lap 61 --GREEN.
Dixon goes inside out and under Dario. CLEAR. Leads. It's possible Dario didn't put up a real big fight here. Still, nice restart move there to take the lead.
Hinch gets inhaled a few times and then goes off course. Then back on. Many positions lost.
Lap 62 -- Dixon, Dario, RHR, Sato, Tony, Conway (!), Kimball, Tag, Marco, Servia.
Lap 63 -- Power in P16 behind Bia freaking out but can't get around her. When Power can't pass Bia (no slam on Bia, but there's a talent and equipment disparity there), you know it's "difficult to pass."
Conweezy is smoking (not him pesonally, but his car). Smoke. Looks BLOWN up, SIR. He's getting inhaled and takes it into the pits.
That's a bitch because Conway drove from P22 to P6 when it went wrong. TIRE-RIFIC march through the field, not that any of it was YOUR BUSINESS.
Lap 65 -- Conway out of the car. Rahal back out but he's behind Danica. Rahal's radio "Use your head here. Don't use your car (to retaliate)." Stay with this shot, Mr. Director, so we can see if Rahal administers some spear justice. No, we cut away.
Go to the pit where Miller is in front of the flat screen and tells us how lucky Dario is. That flat screen in the pits deal doesn't work very well. Usually can't see it due to sun and is often used for no real reason, as in this case where Robin uses it to point to a mug shot of Dario, in case we've forgotten what he looks like.
Dixon has the wings back in the delta and is super sonic. GONE. Will win barring air strike. Go back to Danica and Rahal. I'm begging you.
Lap 68 -- Kevin with Conway. Says the exhaust broke and that melted a bunch of stuff and then Conway couldn't shift.
Lap 70 -- Dixon, Dario, RHR, Sato, TK, Kimball, Tag, Marco, Orio. How did TK get all the way up there? NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
Lap 79 -- Kimball off. Replay. Back on. Sucks to be him becuase he had a P6 going. Booth guys are talking randomly here. May be talking about their fantasy football leagues. I am clearly not paying attention since I am talking to my wife about taking my daughter back to college soon.
Lap 80 -- Dixon, Dario, RHR, Sato, TK, Tag, Marco, Servia, Bordais, Vitor.
Lap 82 -- Rahal passes Danica. Not sure if they showed it on TV. Maybe just the end. One thing is for sure, I KNOW Rahal will feel he was incredibly wronged ... and tell us about it ... as is his custom.
Emma Dixon-Davies (Scott's wife) gets monster air. Says a few words. Gives a "shout out" to their daughter at home, Poppy. Emma is eight months preggers with their second child, not that you can tell that by looking at her. She's a thin, pregnant woman. Insert envious rage from most women here.
Post race interviews. Kevin talks to Power about the banging of Dario on the start and Power says "Yeah, like Toronto." (BAM!) Kevin charges gamely in and asks if this is how it's going to be from now on and Power says "Well, that's just racing, that's all." Hi-yoooooo. Love the anger.
IZOD IndyCar Series
Honda Indy 200
LEXINGTON, Ohio - Results Sunday of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 2.258 mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (1) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
2. (3) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
3. (5) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
4. (9) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
5. (16) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
6. (8) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
7. (19) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
8. (20) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
9. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
10. (21) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
11. (10) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
12. (14) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
13. (18) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
14. (4) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
15. (12) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
16. (2) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
17. (25) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
18. (26) Martin Plowman, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
19. (15) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
20. (7) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
21. (23) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
22. (27) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
23. (24) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
24. (6) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 83, Running
25. (13) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Honda, 81, Running
26. (17) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 63, Mechanical
27. (22) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Honda, 20, Contact
Winners average speed: 105.861 mph
Time of Race: 01:48:46.9509
Margin of victory: 7.6508
Cautions: 2 cautions for 8 laps
Lead changes: 7 among 5 drivers
Lap Leaders: Dixon 1 - 23, Patrick 24 - 26, Hinchcliffe 27 - 52, Dixon 53 - 54 Franchitti 55 - 56, Power 57 - 58, Franchitti 59 -60, Dixon 61 - 85
Point Standings: Franchitti 428, Power 366, Dixon 335, Kanaan 283, Servia 268, Andretti 258, Briscoe 253, Rahal 230, Castroneves 224, Hildebrand 222.
There were NOOOO penalties in this race (per the box score, although there may have been secret penalties. Never know.)
That's it from Mid-Ohio. Clearly not my favorite race a'tall. Festival of non-overtaking. I wondered out loud via Twitter why IndyCar continues to go to Mid-Ohio where the facility is gorgeous and historic and the racing is clearly putrid (in my opinion, to be sure). I was immediately accused of being a road/street course hater, or a NASCAR lover, of course. You can't criticize one twisty without being hater of all twisties, clearly.* (*Denotes sarcasm.)
But the better reason for the repeated races at Mid-Ohio is that Honda has a production plant nearby and that the race gets a big crowd. (Whether or not those two facts are related I have no idea.) I am sure everyone who goes to the race is a great person and I am glad they seem to enjoy it, but on TV it's lethally dull. AND making decisions on where to race based on at-the-track attendance foremost worked well for ChampCar.
So at least we can feel good that the people AT the race were entertained. It will be interesting to see what TV ratings are, unless they are NONE OF OUR BUSINESS. If ratings are NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS (there are no stories on ratings based on unidentified sources), I'd say that's because they are bad. The IndyCar race might have gotten a break when the NASCAR race at Pocono was rain delayed.
Tune in for the next race, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sunday, Aug. 14, 3:30 p.m. on ABC.