Notes taken during the Versus broadcast of the Kentucky Indy 300, Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, KY on Oct. 2, 2011.
pressdog®Beer of the Race is Boulevard Single-Wide IPA.
Welcome to Kentucky where Versus fires up with the obligatory horse reference. I see an ad right in here for Las Vegas that says everyone is running for $1 million? Huh? Maybe that's alluding to the $1 million bonus for the championship which only two people are running for. I probably didn't hear it right.
Bob Jenkins, booth guy, comes on to remind us this is the first oval in three months. Thanks for that, Bob. It's a little like being reminded of the time you were kicked in the crotch. And next year ... FIVE ovals total. Woooo hooooo*. (*Denotes sarcasm.)
Bob says "Ryan Brisket" instead of "Briscoe." Last week he called him Kevin Briscoe. Bob is snake bit by the Briscoe name! Bob is joined in the booth by Wally Dallenbach Jr. and Jon Beekhuis. Lindy Thackston, Kevin Lee and Marty Snider are the pit infantry. Robin Miller is running around somewhere as well.
Cue the HAT (running order at the top of the screen). Yo yo yo and DRINK, ye BASTARDS to my buddies in the B Unit. Last show for you guys this year, but let's try to NOT open the Cristal before at least half way, 'kay? We don't want a repeat of Chicagoland ... I still have the smell of tear gas on my lanyard after that one.
Trackside Online starting line up. Trackside Online is a subscription news service that covers every IndyCar race and most major tests in person. Original content that's soooooo worth the $22 per calendar year fee. Joe was at Kentucky kicking out the tasty news for us. Be like the pdog and subscribe today.
1. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 219.283
2. (38) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 218.348
3. (06) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 218.186
4. (67) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 218.004
5. (4) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Honda, 217.872
6. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 217.807
7. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 217.692
8. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 217.632
9. (2) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 217.520
10. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 217.357
11. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 217.213
12. (27) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 217.110
13. (78) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 216.924
14. (7) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 216.768
15. (17) Wade Cunningham, Dallara-Honda, 216.763
16. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 216.732
17. (44) Buddy Rice, Dallara-Honda, 216.685
18. (6) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 216.669
19. (82) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 216.484
20. (24) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 216.424
21. (14) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 216.300
22. (5) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 215.856
23. (59) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 215.789
24. (19) Alex Lloyd, Dallara-Honda, 215.607
25. (34) Dillon Battistini, Dallara-Honda, 215.578
26. (22) Townsend Bell, Dallara-Honda, 215.404
27. (18) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 214.297
28. (77) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, no speed
29. (30) Pippa Mann, Dallara-Honda, no speed
Wheldon's car flunked tech inspection and they didn't get the issue remedied in time to qualify. Pippa Mann biffed the wall coming out onto the track for qualifying and so had no time.
News came out yesterday from Robin Miller that Kentucky would NOT be on the IndyCar schedule next year due to crappy ticket sales, barring some presenting sponsor riding to the rescue. Ditto for Milwaukee and New Hampshire. Read about it here. IndyCar's oval product is not selling to the ticket-buying public, for whatever reason (cue vociferious debate here). Robin said there will be FIVE ... count 'em, FIVE ... ovals on the schedule next year: Iowa, Indy, Texas, California and Vegas. Insert oval fans being despondent here. If you like the ovals, make plans to actually attend one. I buy two tickets per year at Iowa, so I'm doing my bit.
Let's light this candle ... we're ... green, green, green.
Lap 3 -- Ed and JR go two-wide and get monster air. T. Bell is up 17 spots on the first lap (or so), Brisket is up 7 spots and Danistar gained 5 (none of which were actually shown on TV).
Versus is working back in the pack right now because Power has the wings back in the delta and is supersonic. Semi lock stepish in the early going.
Lap 17 -- Kevin said Hinch said it was "time to take the big boy pants off ... er ... put the big boy pants on." Beer spew. Keep those pants (big boy or otherwise) on at all times, please.
Lap 15 -- Power, Rahal, Hinch, Ed, JR, Marco, RHR, Dixon, Dario, Brisket.
Lap 19 -- Rahal gets told to hold his line into turn 1. Rahal may be throwing a block party out there for Hinch.
Dixon and Dario are fighting for P8. Bet I know who wins that one pretty much every time. (Dario, because Dixon probably won't pass Dario unless Dario's car is technically on fire.)
Lap 25 -- Ed loses two spots. Why is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Power, Rahal, Hinch, Marco, JR, Ed, RHR, Dario, Dixon, Kimball.
Power is lapping people. Pippa ... lapped. Not her day, but good comback for Pippa after biffing it in qualifying. Props to the Rahal Lanigan Racing team for putting the car back together and getting Pip out there.
Helio has a water leak! A water leak in any car is bad, and in an IndyCar it's very bad. No coolant, no go. He's screwed.
Alex Tagliani is in the booth. Tag got jerked out of his ride fo this car to give Dan Wheldon a warmup for Vegas. I and many others thought that sucked, but Tag puts the best face on it. End of the day, business is business in racing, and cash talks loudest, etc.
Helio in. Engine toast. Done for the day. Maybe Tag is getting a little make-up booth air for being hosed out of his ride.
Bob gives us a "If the World Ends this Second" points spread update so ... Drink, ye BASTARDS.
Lap 48 -- Wheldon pits. Festival of pitting coming up.
Cue the circus music! Bia spears into Will in the pits. Holy Points Leader. Bia's crew sent her out as Will was coming in, so the two had contact. Will gets a gash in his sidepod. Gets his tires and fuel and is away. Bia has to get a new nose. Bia's crew's fault for sending her out into Will who has the right of way to get to his pit in that situation. A tiny police car pulls up and 19 clowns get out and start blowing whistles and directing traffic.
Lap 52 -- Who leads is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Bob says timing and scoring says Dario leads, but they think that is bullshit. They will get back to us on the leader after the commercial. Pull out the binoculars Bob and eyeball the pole in the middle of the infield. Number at the top is the leader. No charge.
Lot of random radio traffic plays during the shots, but none of it is identified. I like the effect of having radio talk, but it's kind of disconcerting to hear "got one looking high" when you don't know whose spotter is saying it.
Rahal may still be making himself wide out of a corner. Kevin Lee says we're not sure if the impact damaged Power or not. Dario is, in fact, leading the race.
Lap 75 -- Dario, JR, Dixon, Marco, RHR, Rahal, Ed, Hinch, Power, Briscoe.
Lap 80 -- Yellow yellow yellow. Debris. I call PHANTOM and then TV shows something on the yellow line. Piece of metal or some such. Festival of pitting. Power gets tape to cover the hole in his sidepod. Replay of contact. Power goes out with tape. Tape falls off. Power comes back in for more tape. Tape falls off again. This is a 12-lap caution caused by a small piece of debris in the groove. WHY is this so long? Because Power's take keeps falling off? 12 laps of yellow is way too long here.
Lap 92 -- We're green. Power restarts P23 after all the taping. Marco looking at Dario from P2. JR opens the door and Ed says "don't mind if I do" and takes P4.
Lap 100 -- Dario, Marco, Dixon, Ed, JR, Rahal, RHR, Hinch, Danica, Oriol.
Lap 102 -- Where is Power? NOYB.
Lap 104 -- Liz Cannon, married to Will Power but works for Dreyer & Reinbold (Bia's team), get's air.
Lap 110 -- Bob gives us another "If the Rapture occured today" points update. DRINK, ye BASTARDS.
Versus goes through the field which features closeups of each car they are talking about instead of showing us battles on the track. Viewing not enhanced. Beer run to the fridge.
Lap 119 -- Power is P23. Bob says he would be 28 points behind Dario if Armageddon happens and we finish like this. DRINK, bitches.
Lap 129 -- Rahal goes two-wide with JR amid much grunting from the booth guys. Tag mentions the race at Kentucky is much like the race at Chicagoland. Insert my bitter weeping for the loss of Chicagoland here.
WTF? Ed is driving ONE HANDED. You can see him driving with one hand while holding his helmet visor down with the other. Dude. One handed at 215 mph. Some kind of pin in his helmet popped loose so Ed has to hold the shield down with one hand while driving.That's insanely butch.
Lindy says Wheldon has radio issues.
Cue the circus music! Simona puts it sideways down pit lane and bashes into one of EJ Viso's tire changers. We got a tire changer down. Dude. What the? Replays. Simona gets fuel and tires, down and away, then the car just jumps sideways and power slides into the guy, sending tires bounding out toward the track. So we're yellow yellow yellow.
The tire guy appears to be up. Limping. May have damage. Festival of pitting under yellow here. Spirit of the living Bozo! Marco T-Bone's Alex Lloyd on pit road. WTF? Replays. Marco comes out of his box, but instead of falling in behind Rahal runs even with him in the inside lane, which causes him to bash Lloyd trying to make his stop. Dude. Outside lane for exiting the pit. Marco didn't want to give up the position, though. Viso is also involved but gets back out. Marco pulled down to his pit. He's done. Lloyd's car is damaged as well. A tiny street crew van pulls up and 18 clowns get out and post NO PASSING signs on the inside line of pit lane.
Holy injury. JR comes in and totally spears one of his crew members. Bashed him against the pit wall. That looked like a crushing blow to the leg. Pain.
Ed lost four spots during that Festival of Circus Music.
Lap 146 -- GREEN. Dario still leads. I guess the yellow was because the tires Simona hit were bounding around. Or was it because of the pit road crash? TV guys think the reason for the yellow was NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Only a six-lap yellow, which is brief by IndyCar standards.
Jon says the leaders will be three laps short on fuel if we stay green all the way out. I hope we don't, because I don't dig the fuel mileage races as much as the "everyone wide open to the end" race.
Lap 149 -- Kevin says the guy Simona's car hit went to the medical center to get checked. Was limping around. The other guy was in a lot of pain and being attended to on pit lane until they could get him to the medical center. Later he was choppered out of the race for treatment.
Marco takes blame for his incident. Says he hesitated out of pits which let Rahal get outside of him.
Rahal is P2 and racing Dario. I can't imagine Rahal would have the green light from Chippy to pass Dario. Wally says if he was back in the pack, he'd start saving fuel now.
Lap 150 -- Dario, Rahal, Dixon, Tag, Ed, RHR, Viso, Danica, Hinch, Cunningham (!)
Lap 156 -- Pit is telling Rahal to stay in line so he and Dario can go faster together. Rahal is not staying in line.
Lap 164 -- Simona with Lindy. Says something went screwy with her car, acceleration wise. Just jumped to wide open on her suddenly and she lost it. She's sorry for bashing into KV's people.
Lap 166 -- yellow yellow yellow Bia. Wall. Replay. Bia ass around and into the wall. Bam. She lost it on her own and went around. Nasty video from onboard JR's car that shows Bia going around and Wheldon and JR high-lowing her. FREEZE IT RIGHT THERE. Imagine a capital "H." Wheldon and JR are the legs of the H and Bia is the cross bar. Bia looks injured. Needs help to get to the truck. Said later she had a gash in her knee that required stitches.
Lap 170 under yellow -- Rahal has to pit! From P2. This yellow should mean everyone can make it but Rahal has to pit to get topped off. Power pits again, presumably for more tape. Rahal is not happy. Radio: someone explain to me why we didn't fill (all the way last stop). I need a serious explanation. Pretty sure we (fans) won't be getting an explanation any time soon, because it's NONE OF OUR BUSINESS.
Kevin tries to make it our business by talking to Rahal's team and they refused to talk to him. Which is fine. And Kevin reports said refusal. Kevin is doing the people's business down there. Props.
Marty asks Chip: "Good enough to get to the end." Chip: "Yeah, I think so." Silence. Beer spew. Chippy, always a Festival of Information in the trackside interviews. He always says: It's close. Everyone is good. We'll see how it plays out. Always.
Another 12-lap caution, but at least they had more reason this time given the Festival of Debris Bia's car left. Restart. Bob says Franchitti to the inside and Dixon to the inside. Everyone is inside!
Lap 178 -- GREEN. Props to IndyCar for their actual two-wide starts and restarts this race. Great improvement over some of the fugly restarts in other races.
(F-bomb!) Ed INHALES Dixon on the restart for P2. Got a MONSTER restart and just followed Dario under Dixon and CLEAR. HUGE restart for Ed.
Right here it dawns on me that Ed could really WIN this thing. Cue the airway constriction. Breathing into a bag.
Lap 180 -- Dario, Ed, Dixon, RHR, Orio, Cunningham (!), Hinch, Briscoe, Kimball, Viso.
Lap 182 -- I start screaming EDDDDD at my TV randomly. My dog is visibly frightened now.
Lap 186 -- Ed and Dario two-wide -- Ed outside, Dario inside -- lap after lap. Me: "INHALE HIS ASS." Ed's wife, Heather gets air. Heather Cam Activated!
Lap 188 -- Ed leads at the line. I seriously think I am going to have a stroke. Can feel my pulse in my neck.
Lap 189 -- Dario leads. Lap 190 -- Dario. Lap 191 -- Ed. Lap 192 -- Ed. Lap 193 -- Dario. Lap 194 -- Dario. Lap 195 -- Dario.
Cue the light sabers. Ed and Dario in a total KNIFE FIGHT for the win. Dario all over the button (push to pass) to keep Ed from clearing him. Ed saving his push to passes 'til later.
Lap 196 -- Ed leads at the line. I am clearly screaming at my TV here. Festival of F-bomb laced versions of "Come on, ED."
Lap 197 -- Ed P1. Lap 198 -- Ed.
White flag. Ed leads at the line. You're all clear kid, let's blow this thing and go home.
Side-by-side. The ghost of 2009 when Ed lost to Briscoe by a yard hovers over Kentucky. Onboard with Dario looking over at Ed. Light saber sound effects raging.
Into one. Into two. Into three. I am physically shaking here. Into four. CLEAR ...
At the liiiiiiine. ED. ED CARPENTER. ED wins by a yard. Underdogs let out a chorus of howling. My actual tweet: "F*CK YEAH. EDDDD. BOOM. OPEN WEEPING."
And the Death Star goes ...
Death Star shrapnel raining down on Kentucky Speedway. Glorious. Glorious. First non-Big Three (Ganassi, Penske, Andretti Autosport) win on an oval since 2005. (Correction: Per J-Train in comments below, Wheldon winning Indy this year was the first non-Big Three oval win since 2005.)
Spotter (as Ed came to the line for the win): Pull baby ... Pull baby ... Pull baby ... YESSSSS.
Ed: Thank you guys. Thank you so much. Woooo hooooo
Spotter: (This may be a faux Scotish accent) It's a beautiful day for a motah cah race! (Me: BEER SPEW) Good job, buddy.
Ed: Thanks for sticking with me, taping my shield on, everything. We worked hard for that one. Made good changes. Woooo hoooo.
Lindy with Heather Carpenter. "You just don't know what this means. Awesome." Seriously went Little Al "you just don't know what Indy means" on us. She's farklempt. I'm farklempt. Shaking. Pulse hovering around 150. Teary. Ed's sister Lauren George is bawling somewhere (I assume at school in Notre Dame). It's a festival of celebratory Tweeting.
Dollar General team goes ape shit in the pits. Festival of hugging. Andy O'Gara leads the pit posse on the run down pit lane. Getting high fives. Hug from Dennis Reinbold, part owner of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing which was the team wherein Andy and Sarah met.
Ed out with Marty. Winning felt way better than I thought it would. Ed drove 15 to 20 laps one handed so he could hold his visor down until the pit stop, then they taped it down for him. Ed said he had Push to Pass the last five laps and Dario was out, so he felt good about his chances. Got out of four he knew he had him.
Dario -- Ed did a great job. Dario used up his overtakes keeping Ed from clearing him, because if Ed clears him it's all over. Dario gives a shout out to Iron Mike Wanser, six-year-old son of Target team manager Barry Wanser, who is battling cancer. Many many shout outs to Mike throughout the weekend. Fight like a honey badger, Mike.
Sarah joins the winner's circle mayhem. She was watching from the owner's suite. Says she's proud of everyone. "Just to see Ed drive his tail off is just so amazing," said a teary-eyed Fisher. "We figured out that next year, Dollar General is not coming back, so maybe they'll change their mind now. But, you know certainly it was just a great weekend. The guys all worked their tails off, and I haven't been to the shop in three weeks. My baby girl is obviously good luck...I'm just so happy to be here." She's getting farklempt. Andy shows up holding their newborn, Zoey. Sarah says having "someone come into your family" makes you thankful and she gives a shout out to the Wanser family and to Carey Hall, former SFR team member who has Lou Gehrig's disease. Sarah Fisher becomes the first female owner to ever win an IndyCar race.
My twitter feed lights up like a Christmas tree. Festival of Frothing for Ed and Andy and Sarah and the whole team. Pretty sure my neighbors are wondering who the hell this ED is I'm screaming about and what I mean by "INHALE HIS ASS."
Trackside Online finishing order ...
IZOD IndyCar Series
Kentucky Indy 300
SPARTA, Ky. - Results Sunday of the Kentucky Indy 300 IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 1.48 mile Kentucky Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (4) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
2. (11) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
3. (7) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
4. (3) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
5. (8) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
6. (9) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
7. (15) Wade Cunningham, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
8. (18) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
9. (17) Buddy Rice, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
10. (14) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
11. (26) Townsend Bell, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
12. (2) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
13. (10) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
14. (28) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
15. (22) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
16. (21) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
17. (19) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
18. (12) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
19. (1) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
20. (5) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Honda, 199, Running
21. (27) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 198, Running
22. (29) Pippa Mann, Dallara-Honda, 197, Running
23. (23) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 192, Running
24. (20) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 165, Contact
25. (13) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 141, Mechanical
26. (24) Alex Lloyd, Dallara-Honda, 140, Contact
27. (6) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 140, Contact
28. (25) Dillon Battistini, Dallara-Honda, 124, Driver Fatigue
29. (16) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 34, Mechanical
Winners average speed: 174.039
Time of Race: 01:42:02.7825
Margin of victory: .0098 of a second
Cautions: 3 for 32 laps
Lead changes: 7 among 4 drivers
Lap Leaders: Power 1 - 48, Hildebrand 49, Franchitti 50 - 187, Carpenter 188, Franchitti 189-190, Carpenter 191-192, Franchitti 193-195, Carpenter 196-200.
Point Standings: Franchitti 573, Power 555, Dixon 518, Servia 425, Kanaan 366, Briscoe 364, Hunter-Reay 347, Andretti 337, Rahal 320, Patrick 314.
Race recap and lap chart courtesy of IndyCar PR.
That's it from Kentucky. Festival of Bag Breathing. pressdog® Beverage of the Post Race is The Glenlivet SCOTCH. It's also a wrap on Versus coverage in 2011. Well done, Versus posse. DRINK, ye BASTARDS. Tune in for Vegas, Baby Oct. 16, 3 p.m. Eastern on ABC.