Welcome to Baltimore home of the flying cars and reappearing chicane. Year two of the Baltimore Grand Prix.
pressdog® DRINK, ye BASTARDS™ Beer of the Race is Watchman IPA, brewed in scenic Lincoln, Nebraska and appreciated in an official DRINK, ye BASTARDS pint glass. Get yours HERE.
Pre-race covers the reappearing chicane coming to the start finish. Recap: last year the chicane was there to slow the cars before they get to some light rail tracks so as to minimize the bumping over the tracks. WELL this year they thought they could take the chicane out, but due to a new car, etc. it only meant we had AIRBORNE cars going over the tracks. So they put the chicane back in.
The professional IndyCar drivers had a bit of an issue hitting the chicane curbs and we had AIRBORNE CARS again, this time into the left-hand wall. So IndyCar had to help the professional drivers out by putting a tire barrier in front of the leading curb of the chicane so the professional drivers wouldn't hit it wrong and get airborne into the wall. I think they should take the tires out and make the drivers drive, but that's just me. I'm kind of pissy like that.
Bobby Jenkins is missing in action today because he's back in Indy with his ailing wife. Best wishes to Bob and the Mrs. In for Bob is Brian Till along with regulars Wally Dallenbach Jr. and Jon Beekhuis. Pit infantry is the usual Marty Snider, Townsend Bell and Kevin Lee.
The command given by a commander! Col. Gregory Gadson barks it out in good order. LET ME SEE YOUR WAR FACE. Announcers say Col. Gadson is a real hero, injured in battle with an amazing story, but the details are NONE OF MY BUSINESS (unfortunate, because I would have liked to hear the details). Maybe I missed it since I missed the pre-race show.
CUE THE HAT (running order at the top of the screen). Yo yo yo to my peeps in the B Unit. I think this is the first year I have not made an in-person visit to the B Unit, because I SUCK. Cocktails on me next year!
Trackside Online starting lineup! Trackside Online is a subscription service that kicks out tasty original content from every IndyCar race to subscribers like me. $22 a calendar year is a screaming awesome deal. Trackside Online thinks stuff IS YOUR BUSINESS. Be like the pdog and subscribe today.
Starting lineup with starting tires noted:
1 12 Power, Will D/C/F Alternate
2 9 Dixon, Scott D/H/F Alternate
3 7 Bourdais, Sebastien D/C/F Alternate
4 10 Franchitti, Dario D/H/F Alternate
5 27 Hinchcliffe, James D/C/F Alternate
6 11 Kanaan, Tony D/C/F Alternate
7 18 Wilson, Justin D/H/F Alternate
8 20 Carpenter, Ed D/C/F Alternate
9 77 Pagenaud, Simon (R) D/H/F Primary
10 28 Hunter-Reay, Ryan D/C/F Alternate
11 2 Briscoe, Ryan D/C/F Alternate
12 14 Conway, Mike D/H/F Alternate
13 98 Tagliani, Alex D/H/F Alternate
14 3 Castroneves, Helio D/C/F Alternate
15 8 Barrichello, Rubens D/C/F Primary
16 22 Servia, Oriol D/C/F Primary
17 83 Kimball, Charlie D/H/F Primary
18 26 Andretti, Marco D/C/F Primary
19 19 Jakes, James D/H/F Alternate
20 67 Junqueira, Bruno D/H/F Primary
21 38 Rahal, Graham D/H/F Primary
22 5 Viso, EJ D/C/F Primary
23 4 Hildebrand, JR D/C/F Primary
24 15 Sato, Takuma D/H/F Primary
25 78 de Silvestro, Simona D/L/F Primary
Pursuant to Rule 18.104.22.168.1, Car 5 will start on Primary Tires. Pursuant to Rules 15.1.4, 15.6.2, and 15.6.1, Cars 14, 15, 67, and 78 have been penalized starting grid positions. Pursuant to Rule 15.6.1, Car 83 has been penalized 10 grid spot positions. (These pursuants all deal with penalties for an engine change.)
(R): Rookie (C)hassis: D=Dallara | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda, L=Lotus | (T)ire: F=Firestone
Let's light this candle ... GREEN.
Festival of Goofy Ass Starts! Since the chicane is relatively close to the start-finish, half the field is through the chicane and two-wide and half is not and single file when we go GREEN. Sub-optimal to say the least.
A piece of Simona de Silvestro's front wing gets air. It's lying on the course.
Lap 2 -- RHR inhales Conway. Story Line Alert: the championship is essentially between RHR and Power. File that away in your brain. What I did see of the pre-race they did cover that thoroughly.
Replay of RHR's start and he inhales Ed. Simona in for a new front wing. Quadruples her air time to date just by coming in for a front wing. Sponsors recommend she mangle more wings ASAP.
Jon says momentum ... DRINK, ye BASTARDS. Wally wonders how many cars started with a "rain setup" since rain is in the forecast. What a "rain setup" is is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. I think it is more downforce, but I am not sure, and I have watched every IndyCar race for about seven years. Casual viewers ... move along. YOU'LL GET NOTHING AND LIKE IT. Just send your money and ratings points to IndyCar and simmer down.
Borudais inhales Dixon. Bourdais may be driving angry given he was stuck with a pig of an engine early and had all kinds of butt stick situations late.
Lap 7 -- pitting. JR pits. Rahal pits a bit later. Much talk about a two- vs. three-stop strategy here. Viewing enhanced.
Cue the circus music! Lap 9 -- yellow yellow yellow. Ed walls it out of the chicane. Replays. Comes off the inside curb of the chicane and gets airborn into the outside wall. Crunch. Done. Actual sound from TV.
Ed on radio: "Best opportunity to (have a good result) ... and I just pissed it away." I'm a big fan of Ed for a lot of reasons, and his ability to brutally self-critique himself is one of them. Unfortunately Ed is the poster child for oval lovers (includes me) in the current IndyCar. Hope he goes to Fontana and wins that shit. Inhales a title contender at the line and wins it. I would slump to my knees and weep in front of the TV and bawl if he did.
Pinch-announcer Till sounds just like Townsend Bell and it is seriously throwing me off here. This is only a four-lap yellow but it seems like 19. Starting to sprinkle a little bit. Get the drizzle tires out. (Rain tires, but I call them drizzle tires because they haven't been real effective in actual rain.) Ed interviewed. Disappointed in himself. Takes the blame. Stands up like a man. For a USAC oval veteran he's doing OK in the mostly twisty IndyCar series. According to the official lap chart, nobody pitted this entire race. Holy F1 Festival of Huge Fuel Tanks! Obviously the lap chart is goofy. A few cars in the back pit here since they have very little to lose, track position wise.
Lap 13 -- Two-wide start ... fugly as the first one ... GREEN. Two wide and tippy tow through the rapidly slickificating track.
Cue the circus music! Conway and Bruno are ass around. Conway gets going again but Bruno is toast. Stalled it. Bruno is subbing for Josef Newgarden who hurt an index finger in a crash at Sonoma.
Now Bourdais goes wide and dirt tracks it and goes ass around under yellow and gets inhaled. Does a 360 and gets back underway after only losing a couple of spots.
Replays -- Helio may have speared Conway from behind. Not real clear on replay. Looks like JR booted Bruno.
Booth guys talking over radio transmission from Mike Andretti to RHR concerning if they should go to rain tires. DUDES. Stop yapping over this important driver-to-pit conversation. From what I could hear under the Three Dudes Watching a Race conversation was they were deciding NOT to pit for rains right here. But it's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS since the booth posse is talking. My viewing is not enhanced.
Oh, by the way, chief justice Beaux Barfield rules that JR is GUILTY of avoidable contact and will have to do a drive through penalty. I got that off the box score. I don't recall it being any of your business on the broadcast. Correct me (below) if I am wrong.
Some cars dive in here to get rain tires.
Lap 18 (after a three-lap yellow) GREEN. Raining on half the track pretty noticeably. Other half is dry. Booth guys are talking about going to rains vs. not. Would be helpful to know lap times for cars on rain tires or if they are inhaling people. NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
Helio and Viso get into it. Viso ass around but both are back underway. RHR throws a block party (appears to me, anyway, but not Beaux) for Hinch.
Cue the circus music! Yellow yellow yellow. Marco snout-first into the tires. Lots of people dive in for rain tires. RHR stays out. Replay of Marco going wide and pow, right into the tires (turn 1 I think. Don't quote me.)
Restart coming. First six cars still on slicks. Rest on rain tires.
Lap 21 -- green. Festival of rooster tails. Slick-tired cars into turn 1 ... no circus music. Keeping it together.
Cue the circus music! Yellow yellow yellow. Dario is ass around in turn 1 (I think it was T1). MERRY CHRISTMAS RHR. If that would have been a long stint we would have seen if the rain tires were faster than the slicks, but since it wasn't even a lap and it's done raining, it's Christmastime for RHR, since he can stay out, not get passed, and watch the track dry. Mike Andretti says as much on the radio that the booth guys don't talk over. Miracle moment.
Replay. Simona punts Dario into T1. Gets more air for sponsors.
Lap 23 -- RHR stuns Jon by pitting for fuel and new reds and back out. Power stays out. Could be a screw up. Not sure. Booth guys say Power may just have decided to do the opposite of RHR. Think it may be a screw up.
Actually, RHR may be throwing the dice and pitting here gambling there is a bunch of yellows and he stays out longer than Power on pit strategy. Going off strategy to catch some yellows and finish ahead of Power, so it's not so goofy. Power could be staying out because he already pitted one extra time for rain tires. I think this means Power is banking on a lot of green. Now stay out until his scheduled stop and try to get back on schedule. None of this is discussed. Mostly it's a lot of observation and "verbal ejaculation" as late 19th Century authors would say." I was pretty disappointed in the three booth guys' efforts (or lack thereof) to explain what was up here to me.
Lap 24 -- green.
Lap 25 -- Sato, Rahal, Hinch, Power, Dixon, Tag, Viso, JR, Kimball, RHR.
Lap 27 -- Bourdais and Jakes in a knife fight. Power pits for slicks. Booth guys screaming he had to come in for slicks because his rain tires were probably getting eaten up by the dry. In fact I think this is Power's regular pit window. Getting back on strategy. Probably a combination of rains holding him up and getting back on strategy, but it's not really addressed. Just "HE HAD TO PIT TO GET OFF THOSE RAIN TIRES!!!!"
Lap 29 -- Sato has an eight second lead on Rahal.
Lap 31 -- Jon tells us Sato has one stop left and will have to save gas to make it in one more stop. This is some viewing enhancement.
Lap 33 -- Cue the circus music! Jakes has issues. Not sure what happened. My notes just say "Y Y Y Jakes." Cryptic! Rahal had made up 6 to 7 seconds on Sato. That seems like more than fuel saving to me.
Bourdais is out. Right front suspension shot.
Lap 36 -- GREEN. Pagenaud passes about seven cars into P1.
Lap 37 -- Cue the circus music! Hinch has issues. Replay of Hinch doing a tank slapper (big fish tail). Not sure what the issues is. Hinch is getting out of the car ... now scrambling to get back in.
Lap 39 -- Green, no wait Cue the circus music! Yellow yellow yellow for Simona in the same place as Ed. Hit the chicane wrong and was just a passenger into the wall.
Jon gives a nice shout out to Bob and his wife here. Get well soon.
Lap 42 -- GREEN. I watched this race with my 78-year-old father who is now in another room, with baseball on, and sleeping. RHR gets a little pop from Kanaan here. Replay of JR bashing into someone.
Lap 45 -- Pag, RHR, Kimball, TK, Rahal, sato, EJ, Conway, Wilson, Power.
Lap 46 -- Rahal. Drive through for passing under the yellow. I think he jumped the start. You can imagine how popular this is going to be with Rahal.
Lap 47 -- Rahal: "What was that penalty for?" Not happy!
Lap 50 -- We got to Pag as he pits. Where is Power an RHR? NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
Lap 51 -- Sato is off pace.
Lap 52 -- RHR. Leads. TK has issues in the chicane.
Lap 53 -- Pagenaud working on RHR. Points as they run makes its first appearance. I strongly believe that RHR pis and Power cycles to the lead.
Lap 54 -- Marty finally tells me where Power is. It was NONE OF MY BUSINESS until now. But what does Power have to do to maintain the lead after his last stop since RHR has made his last stop aleady? NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Needs to gap the field big time to get out in front of RHR.
Lap 57(ish) -- Power pits. Where does he come out? Seriously? It's NONE OF MY BUSINESS? This is the entire race right here.
Lap 59 -- Power out in P6 .. Waaaay BEHIND RHR who is P2 now. Briscoe leads, though. Look for him to make himself extra wide to help his teammate in P6.
Lap 62 -- TK is out. Says it was his crew up. (Bashed the wall out of the chicane.) Stands up like a man. Liz Power Cannon (Will's wife) gets monster air. I missed the discussion, unfortunately. Liz looked like she felt it was awwwwkward.
Lap 65 -- Briscoe, RHR, Pag, Dixon, Power, Dario, Helio, Viso, Conway, Servia.
Lap 66 --Kimball car dead stick on track. Yellow yellow yellow. Gets out of there since it may literally be on fire.
Lap 67 -- Power P 5 now. RHR P2.
Lap 69 -- GREEN. RHR gets a MONSTER run out of the chicane and flashes by P1 Briscoe just as the green comes out. Incredible timing. Maybe he "jumped the start" in terms of accelerating outside the cone area, but he was a bit behind Briscoe when the green comes out. Good no call, but this is what's goofy about not having cars just go on either side of the chicane to start the race.
Cue the circus music! Holy pile up. We got rack blockage. Conway on top of Wilson's car (bow chica-bow-bow).
Ninth yellow. Fitting end to his festival of yellows.
Restart with three to go (green, white, checkered!) ... GREEN. RHR gets on it right out of the chicane. Legal, per Beaux ruling. Power loses a spot to Rubens in the hairpin.
Briscoe has to settle for the P2 Consolation Vegemite (see below). Mike Andretti with Kev .. We're going to win it. Power claims RHR jumped the restart when he inhaled Briscoe. But Will says "I would have done the same; it's for the championship."
What's the rule on restarts, booth guys? Nothing. Just some judgments on if RHR jumped the restart (welcome) but no information form me the viewer as to the rule (NONE OF MY BUSINESS). Would have enhanced my viewing if they told me the rule, showed these "acceleration cones" so I could better judge. Too busy saying "FANTASTIC RESTART BY HUNTER-REAY."
Finishing order ..
Grand Prix of Baltimore
City, State - Results Sunday of the Grand Prix of Baltimore IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 2.04 mile Baltimore Street Circuit, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (10) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 75, Running
2. (11) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 75, Running
3. (9) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
4. (2) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
5. (15) Rubens Barrichello, Dallara-Chevy, 75, Running
6. (1) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 75, Running
7. (16) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Chevy, 75, Running
8. (13) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
9. (22) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 75, Running
10. (14) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 75, Running
11. (21) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
12. (23) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevy, 75, Running
13. (4) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 74, Running
14. (18) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 74, Running
15. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 73, Running
16. (12) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 73, Running
17. (7) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 72, Running
18. (17) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 65, Mechanical
19. (20) Bruno Junqueira, Dallara-Honda, 64, Mechanical
20. (6) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 52, Contact
21. (24) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 50, Mechanical
22. (25) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Lotus, 38, Contact
23. (3) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 32, Mechanical
24. (19) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 31, Contact
25. (8) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 7, Contact
Winners average speed: 71.136
Time of Race: 02:09:02.9522
Margin of victory: 1.4391
Lead changes: 12
Power 1 - 18
Hunter-Reay 19 - 20
Sato 24 - 35
Pagenaud 37 - 50
Hunter-Reay 51 - 52
Power 53 - 56
Briscoe 58 - 68
Hunter-Reay 69 - 75
Point Standings: Power 453, Hunter-Reay 436, Castroneves 401, Dixon 400, Pagenaud 372, Briscoe 357, Hinchcliffe 341, Kanaan 339, Franchitti 323, Rahal 305.
Penalties -- Simona and JR for avoidable contact, Rahal for passing under yellow.
Finishing order and lap chart courtesy of IndyCar PR.
That's it from Baltimore. I found the whole race kind of disconcerting and hard to follow. More on that later. Tune in on Sept. 18, 8:30 p.m. Eastern for the finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Note to RHR fans ... IndyCar did not make a photo of RHR winning available on the blogger ghetto photo site, so it's NONE OF MY BUSINESS. No diss intended.).