Notes taken during the ABC broadcast of the Pocono IndyCar 400 Fueled by Sonoco on July 7, 2013.
Welcome to Long Pond, PA and the 2.5-mile, three-turn “Tricky Triangle” for the return of IndyCar after a 24-year hiatus. pressdog® Beer of the Race is Stella Artois.
Cue the historic montages. This is the final IndyCar race on ABC for this year. Marty Reid, Eddie Cheever and Scott Goodyear in the booth, Jamie Little with the Man Killing Ponytail deployed, Rick DeBruhl and Vince Welch in the pits.
Trackside Online starting lineup. Joe from Trackside was on location at Pocono Raceway during the test on Thursday and all race weekend kicking out super tasty original content for subscribers like me. Benefit: I didn’t have to be glued to Twitter or the Internet all 4th of July weekend because Joe kept me abreast of developments via email reports. Only $22 a calendar year. Insane bargain. Be like the pdog and subscribe today.
1. (25) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 221.273
2. (1) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 220.892
3. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 220.431
4. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 220.286
5. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 219.625
6. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 219.581
7. (14) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 219.124
8. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 218.859
9. (78) Simona De Silvestro, Dallara-Chevy, 218.590
10. (55) Tristan Vautier, Dallara-Honda, 218.575
11. (7) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 218.517
12. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 218.345
13. (16) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 218.240
14. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 218.100
15. (67) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 217.832
16. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 217.457
17. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 219.500*
18. (6) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 215.570
19. (4) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, no speed
20. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 217.047*
21. (18) Pippa Mann, Dallara-Honda, 216.980*
22. (19) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 216.872*
23. (5) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, no speed*
24. (98) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, no speed*
*Cars 5, 9, 10, 18, 19 and 98 received 10-grid-spot penalties for unauthorized engine changes.
It’s a Festival of Engine Changes for Honda! Honda drivers have been quietly (or not so quietly in the case of Chippy Ganassi & Posse) pissed that Honda has been down on power lately and had some kind of boost penalty/rev limiter issues. So maybe this engine swap meet was an effort to de-pig the fleet.
New for this race, a three-wide start. Meh. More like 3-wide formation lap followed by a 1-to-5-wide start, aka standard IndyCar unsightly start protocol (SICUSP).
Let’s light this candle. We’re green green green.
Cue the circus music! Hinch goes ass-around into Turn 1. Snapped like a bull whip and into the barrier. Goodyear says maybe he GOT UP INTO THE GRAY. The dreaded gray! No, wait; upon further review it’s unexplained. Speculate something broke maybe. Saavedra also out with a stuck throttle. Bad karma continues for Dragon.
Replays including tasty onboard cam. Hinch driving along minding his own business when (insert bull whip sound effect here) and he’s toast.
So we’re yellow yellow yellow for the first four laps.
Jamie has Jeff Gordon on the pit road. Jeff says his son Leo saw an ad (advertising works!!) for the race at Pocono and since they were pretty close (do they live close to the Poconos?) they decided to jet over. Gordon impressed with the speed of IndyCar. Leo esta en fuego.
Lap 5 -- Restart single file. Green. I actually don’t mind single file starts now since “double file” restarts in IndyCar are essentially two-wide for the first three or four rows then single file after that anyway. I call it the Hammer of Thor Restart Formation
Lap 9 -- The hat says Pippa is lapped. I later believe that to be a LIE. Lying hat! Vince with Hinch who says it just snapped on him. Bumped his knee but is fine.
Lap 11 -- Simona looking under Chuck! Simona is hugely racy this weekend especially after she was completely pigged out at Iowa. Pretty excited to see it. Perhaps Simona mileaged out her engine at Iowa and got a fresh one without penalty this time. Random Speculation! Everybody's doing it!
Lap 18 -- Dixon is rampaging. He’s up six to P11 already.
Lap 23 -- Jamie says Kanaan took wing out after final practice to get racy with it.
Lap 24 -- Goodyear talks about tools and how at Pocono sometimes you adjust your tools between every corner. Actually pretty good info for the new viewers.
Lap 25 -- Marco, TK, RHR, Power, Sato, Helio, Vautier, Chuck Kimball, Simona, Pagenaud.
Lap 30 -- Marco pits first in touching off a Festival of Pitting. Fueler has issues! Can’t get the probe connected (that’s what she said) so the stop takes longer. Marco gets waved out but the fueler is still in there. Good job by Marco not to take off when the fueler was still connected to his car despite the wave out. Lost a few seconds there.
Cue the circus music! Vautier is ass around in front of his pit. Missed it and then the ass end popped out on him so he ends up kind of perpendicular (math term!) to his pit. Pit posse has to scramble to get his car pulled back to the pit. A tiny appliance moving van pulls up and 17 clowns jump out, jack up Vautier's car and spin it like a top until he hurls.
Lap 35 -- Pippa leads on the pit cycle! I’m briefly excited. Get some air on the track then they cut to Pippa in the pit. Must have been a replay of her leading half a lap. Doesn't get credit as "leading" due to the half lap situaiton.
Lap 38 -- Goodyear talks tools again, DRINK, ye BASTARDS.
Lap 39 -- Replay of Sato almost taking someone out. Pretty sure it was from this race, but it could have been from any race so far. JoeNew radios in "welcome to my world." (Kidding!)
Lap 40 -- Marco, RHR, Sato, TK, Helio, Power, Chuck, Pagenaud, Dixon, Simona.
Lap 44 -- Marco is three seconds ahead. Booth talks about dirty air.
Lap 55 -- Replay of TK inhaling Sato who was stuck behind lapped Pippa. Eddie talks about how drivers use lapped traffic as picks when they can to screw the other guy. Viewing enhanced.
Lap 57 --- Rahal … lapped. Crappy year continues.
Lap 60 -- Marco, RHR, TK, Sato, Helio, Power, Chuck, Dixon, Pagenaud, Simona.
Lap 61 -- Marco pits to start the second Festival of Pit Stops.
RHR in for his second stop.. Cue the circus music! Holy No Brakes, Batman. Sato BASHES over the back of RHR on pit lane. Sato came in behind RHR and was going waaaaay too fast and smashed into the back of RHR. You can almost see the “WTF??” popping cartoon-like off RHR’s head.
A tiny police car pulls up and 18 clowns get out with radar guns and “YOUR SPEED IS … TOO FAST” signs flashing toward Sato.
RHR on radio: “Sato just ran over me.” Pit: “I saw it with my own two eyes and couldn’t believe it. What an idiot.”
We go yellow yellow yellow for RHR blocking pit lane. This will be an EIGHT lap yellow, which at Pocono is “long-ass.” Not sure why. Hauling cars off? The reason is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
Lap 70 -- ABC gets Hinch up into the booth.
Lap 71 -- Restart. Green. Five wide. They got RHR’s car in the back trying to fix it.
Lap 75 -- Jamie with Sato who says it was all his fault. Brain lock. Apologizes.
Lap 78 -- Wilson goes purple (fastest lap of the race so far). He’s up 13 places.
Lap 80 -- Marco, TK, Helio, Pagenaud, Dixon, Power, Chuck, Dario, Wilson, Ed.
Lap 81 -- Hinch does a good job of explaining how hard it is to turn the car at speed here. Viewing enhanced.
Marco has a new fueler. They drafted Hinch’s fueler. He’s like a pinch fueler. The starter didn’t have his stuff today.
Lap 95 -- Marco again starts pit stop rounds. He’s way early compared to other front runners. Insert whiff of fuel mileage race here.
Eddie asks Hinch a couple questions in here JUST as Marty throws it down to a pit reporter. Pretty sure this isn’t Marty’s issue since Marty doesn’t decide when to throw it to a pit reporter. Producer does that.
Dixon in and out and retains lead? That’s kooky. Actually Dixon and the other top four pitted all at once late in the sequence so they all came back out again and Dixon still led since everyone else was a lap down on the pit cycle.
Cue the circus music! Lap 104 -- TK passing Dixon bashes his right front wing on Dixon’s left rear wheel guard. This non-accident for Dixon brought to you by those “goofy” rear wheel guards. TK is hosed, however. Can’t race around with a flopping wing. Could fly off there and be like an airborne machete for the drivers. Gotta pit for a new nose. Kanaan apologizes to posse on his way in.
Lap 105 -- Dixon, TK, Power, Marco, Pagenaud, Helio, Dario, Chuck, Ed, Wilson
Lap 112 -- TK back out but about to get immediately lapped. He lets the leaders go. Class move there. Could have fought for his lap but (probably)knew on cold tires he was toast.
Lap 116 -- DeBruhl reports Marco’s pit is telling him to “be careful on fuel.” Definitely going to be a fuel deal if we stay green.
Lap 125 -- Power, Dixon, Marco, Chuck, Pagenaud, Helio, Ed, Dario, JoeNew, Wilson.
Lap 127 -- Marco again pits several laps ahead of everyone. In and out clean but he has to go to fuel saving mode Zebra Tango Ridiculous to make it to the end.
Meanwhile … insert Honda’s hybrid like fuel efficiency here. Better fuel efficiency is bringing Honda’s to the front late in this race.
Lap 139 -- Vince with Chippy who gives his usual “Feels good, long way to go. We’ll see. Don’t want a yellow.”Chip is a Festival of Information every time they talk to him.* (*denotes sarcasm)
Lap 145 -- Marco’s posse is not sure he can make it. Right on the line. Insert imagined festival of f-bombs from Marco here. The dominant car probably won’t win today due to bad fuel management. Not sure if nobody told Marco to lean it out, or they did and he didn’t do it, or they were counting on yellows that didn't show up, or what.
Goodyear says yesterday the Honda drivers were despondent but today they are happy due to fuel efficiency.
LaP 150 -- Dixon, Chuck Kimball, Dario, Pagenaud, Power, JoeNew, Helio, Ed, Marco, Wilson.
Emma Cam activated! (Camera on the spouse of the leader, in this case Emma Davies Dixon).
Leaders picking through lapped traffic, including Pippa. She does a good job, IMO of holding her line and giving the leaders room without lifting in a corner and taking the wall to let them by.
White -- Dixon will win barring air strike, but Chuck is making him work.
Dixon wins. Dixon, Chuck, Dario. Team Chippy sweeps podium. Emma Cam goes live. Festival of hugging. Rick with Emma who spends 90 seconds talking and being unbelieveable adorable.
Ganassi is even excited. I guess not winning for a bunch of races makes you a little more excited when you do win. The Death Star (Ganassi/Penske domination) has long been blown up and not rebuilt. Ganassi is so giddy he thanks Honda. (Chippy has been an outspoken critic of Honda recently.) Somebody deploy the breathalyzer.
Most of Dixon’s team gets a hug from Emma. Motivation for them to get another win.
Dario gets interviewed. I saw a woman in a huge hat behind him. Was that his ex-wife Ashley Judd? Couldn’t get a clear look. Dario says Honda still down on power but good on fuel, HENCE today’s result.
Marty says Pocono Raceway was happy with turnout. Word on the street is they have at least a two-year deal with IndyCar.
Holy long TV window. ABC has time to interview basically the whole field (ok most of the top 10). Jamie is swinging the ponytail menacingly.
Vince with Marco who says he’s so pissed he can’t hardly remain composed to do the interview. Does a nice job with it. Apparently Marco thinks someone screwed the pooch on not telling him to manage fuel from the get go. Just an assumption on my part.
Marco ran out of fuel just over the start-finish.
Trackside Online Results
IZOD IndyCar Series
Pocono INDYCAR 400
LONG POND, Pa. - Results Sunday of the Pocono INDYCAR 400 Fueled by Sunoco IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (17) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 160, Running
2. (12) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 160, Running
3. (20) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 160, Running
4. (4) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 160, Running
5. (15) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 160, Running
6. (8) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 160, Running
7. (22) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 160, Running
8. (6) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 160, Running
9. (14) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 160, Running
10. (1) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 160, Running
11. (9) Simona De Silvestro, Dallara-Chevy, 160, Running
12. (13) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 160, Running
13. (5) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 160, Running
14. (19) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 159, Running
15. (21) Pippa Mann, Dallara-Honda, 159, Running
16. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 159, Running
17. (24) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 158, Running
18. (16) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 158, Running
19. (10) Tristan Vautier, Dallara-Honda, 158, Running
20. (2) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 121, Handling
21. (23) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 104, Handling
22. (7) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 61, Contact
23. (18) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 2, Mechanical
24. (3) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 0, Contact
Winners average speed: 192.864
Time of Race: 02:04:26.4178
Margin of victory: 0.4572 of a second.
Cautions: 2 for 12 laps
Lead changes: 16 among five drivers
Andretti 1 - 29
Kanaan 30 - 31
Power 32 - 33
Andretti 35 - 60
Kanaan 61 - 62
Power 63 - 65
Kanaan 66 - 71
Andretti 72 - 94
Kanaan 95 - 96
Dixon 97 - 106
Kanaan 107 - 109
Power 110 - 111
Andretti 112 - 121
Power 122 - 129
Kimball 130 - 132
Dixon 133 - 160
Point Standings: Castroneves 356, Hunter-Reay 333, Andretti 301, Dixon 292, Hinchcliffe 272, Kanaan 271, Pagenaud 269, Wilson 253, Power 242, Sato 241.
Starting and finishing order and lap chart courtesy of IndyCar PR.
Turned into a fuel mileage race, but they have their own kind of intrigue. I didn't mind it, honestly. I watched the NASCAR plate race Saturday and give me Pocono's fuel mileage race over the festival of random plate racing every day.
Even though Chippy won everything for about five years, they haven't won this year so it's another new winner (this year) for IndyCar. Plus I dig Scott Dixon, so props to him for the victory. Hinch was great in the booth explaining stuff and giving insight. Props to ABC for getting him in there.
That’s it from Pocono. Tune in for the next race, a double dip at Toronto, July 13 at 3 p.m. Eastern and July 14 at 3 p.m. Eastern both on NBC Sports Network.