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« Helio Apologizes for Losing His Shit After Edmonton | Main | Team REDLINE Xtreme Aims at Indy 2010 »

July 27, 2010

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Doug

What you're advocating has a strong "ends justify the means" tone to it. If fabricated action on track is what's desired, why not let race control push a button that randomly cuts someone's engine output by 100hp for 5 seconds or some other such gimmicky scheme to slow/speed cars and generate passing. It cheapens the sport creating a more circus-type atmosphere. Good racing is possible with out silly "one lane only" rules. Take a look at ALMS, or the Continental Tire series. There's some fantastic racing, and they don't need a gimmicky rule like this, nor do they need P2P or red/black tyres.

Dylan

I'm ALL for a blocking rule, banning the chops that Danica and Helio often (although not this time), and the F1 field always, do. That's fine. But no defending at all???? I definintly would say choose your line makes more sense, and really, although there SHOULD be more calls of blocking, they need to make them only for obvious blocks. My concern is the way this rules being interpretted, people just won't race each other hard.

Really though, this ignores the real issue, and that's that Indycar road races suck. Compared to ALMS, MotoGP, WSBK, they're just not good. It's follow the leader and pass in the pits or on stratagey. Why? Well, the Dallara's weren't built for road racing, and the cars need more power/tourque. Also, what can you expect out of Edmonton, Mid Ohio, Barber, and Infenion??? Running better twisties and the twisty product will improve...

Although I like the red tires and the P2P, I'd personally prefer KERS instead, becuase that's P2P with a better excuse for having it. One lane only, I don't get how that's going to work at Barber or Mid Ohio or Infenion, since it's one lane through the entire track!!

Also, Barnhart needs to go do to the AWFUL restarts/starts alone is enough reason, add to that his inconsistency, and thats more than enough reason to park him!

Still, a good article and interesting opinion.

JP

Well put pdog, damn I am agreeing with you what the hell is wrong with me, I don't know myself anymore!!!AAAAAHHHHHHRRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!

Aaron

I agree with everything pressdog has said here. Having said that, I fully expect to now join the pdog in the massive pit of schwerve-squelching acid that the rest of the IndyCar Nation will heap upon him for what he's written.

pressdog

JP agrees with me? Human sacrifice ... dogs and cats ... living together ... mass hysteria! No argument from me that the best thing you can say about some of the IRL twisties are that they are GORGEOUS FACILITIES.

Derek

pressdog,

I'd rather have legit street parades than contrived NAPCRAP events. If I want contrived events, I'll turn into WWE or TNA.

Let the drivers pass each other on merit. Power nearly made a great pass on the outside. That was far more exciting than had he made a pass of a sitting duck!

Jack

Your argument is sound. It's just kind of a peculiar rule. In this case, not informing the fans (and the broadcast team) was a huge deal. 95% of the teeth-gnashing would have been eliminated right there.

One possible solution to blocking would be to institute a system whereby sharp rotating spikes would be automatically deployed by sensors on the blockee's car if they detected a blocking maneuver, which would emerge from the hubs like on Leo's car at Thunder Road in Grease and shred the blocker's tires. An effective deterrent, and much more exciting for the fans.

redd

Off-topic here Pressdog. But I know you follow F1 so I thought I'd fill you in on what I saw on the local Austin news tonight. The F1 group announced they'd purchased 900 acres of farmland just a few miles east of the Austin-Bergstrom airport. They plan to break ground in December. They also have a new partner--a Texas businessman/car dealer named Red McCombs--who I believe used to own the Minnesota Vikings or some pro team. That's all--thought it may be of interest.

Inspector

Hi 'dog. Good analysis here. Agree all the way. You know it didn't make sense to me when I first saw it. But after viewing the video of the drivers meeting and looking where all the other drivers were driving, it became extremely obvious that the rule was violated. So when does the driver of the #3 (Earnhart?) car get fined and suspended?

Scott

Yup, good analysis, indeed. If almost every other competitor, including Penske teammates, agrees with BB's call it's pretty clear that the rule was broken and a penalty is in order. This disregards the argument as to whether or not the rule is gimmicky or not, of course.

BTW, we were standing right behind Power's pit box when this happened, and you should've seen the reaction by the crew as Will dropped to third place. Once the race ended a couple laps later it was a much different reaction, with a lot of head shaking re: BB's call / penalty.

PS - No sign of Cameron 'Izod Girl' Haven @ the event in Edmonton. I wonder if there's a reason the series didn't transport her north. Maybe I just missed her? Hard to miss, however.

H. B. Donnelly

my favorite quote was Scott Dixon's (at least, Miller attributed it to Dixie): it was "the right decision based on the driver's meeting". Without hearing the tone of voice in which the was delivered (though I doubt it was anything above a Dixon monotone), it comes off as an backhanded compliment to Barnhart.

I do like that this clears up many blocking penalties we've questioned in the past, such as Graham getting on Briscoe at Toronto and Graham being penalized at Indianapolis. I wouldn't mind going back through old race tapes and applying this rule to them...it would make for some interesting viewing.

For the record, I find the rule asinine and not consistent with what I had come to understand as "blocking".

Darrell

This is a good argument defending the rule book but I think you missing a very inportant point. Helio earned the right to chose his line by being the leader of the race, just like the Pole winner does which by definition of this rule would be blocking going into the first turn of the first lap. The incident wasnt an incident until BB stick his rule book into it, until then it was going to be a hellava finish. Castroneves holds of Power's big balls move to the outside and in the process Dixon steals second from Power, all in the first 2 corners of the restart with three to go. If this stupid rule wasnt inforced everybody would be talking about what a great finish it was and the 40,000 people in the stands would have left knowing they saw the real winner in victory lane. Another thing I dont understand is if Power was the victom of such a horrible block, why wasnt he ordered back in front of Dixon and declared the winner as Dixon would have never got past Power without the so-called block. The bottom line is the rule sucks and it ruined a great finish to a mostly boring race. Barnhart is not IndyCar GOD and should have been fired Monday Morning! Helio should be suspened for One race for grabbing an Official IMO. I am still waiting on R. Benard to show us he is going to act on this but so far he is pulling a Bud Selig. I dont watch IndyCar races or any sporting event to have an official tell me who the winner is.(I dont watch Boxing)

Stephen Robbins

The rule is stupid.
It should be, if you choose the inside line into that corner, you have to hold that line through the corner. (Which Helio did.) In that case, the driver to the inside can't carry as much speed into the corner, or he will push-out into the other lane... and then be penalized for blocking (if there ...is indeed another car attempting to overtake him).
The driver then has to make a choice: 1. Inside lane to protect from the inside pass, but less speed into the corner, or 2. Outside lane, longer way around, but carry more speed into the corner, and therefore more speed out of the corner.

Has Brian Barnhart has never been able to figure out the physics of the race car? I know he has never driven one but you would think, with the amount of time he's been in the series.......

The track in the straightaway leading to this corner is 200 feet in width. You could literally drive 30 indycars side by side down this section of the track.

Track officials utilize traffic cones to mark approaches to the corner, and give drivers a reference point. The cones reduce the effective width at the approach of the corner to 100 feet (15 Indycars wide). From the point furthest from the turn-in on the restart, there was ample room for two cars to the inside of Helio. As he moved to his left to set up the turn, it created enough space that you could get 5 cars to the inside of his line.

The rule that you have to be to the left of the midline of the approach is arbitrary, and not enforced. Is that 4 wheels to the left, or only two, or only touching the midline. Is that at the 5th set of cones (furthest from the turn-in point) or the point closest to the turn-in. (If the entire car has to be right of the midline, then you can get 7 of your competitors to take lines inside of yours.)

The rule was not enforced during the race. On the green flag start, I count no fewer than 6 cars under attach who had not moved out to the midpoint.
I have the solution to the Edmonton fiasco.
1. Suspend Helio for 2 races.
2. Fire Brian Barnhart
3. Put Milka Duno in Barnhart's place.
It sends a message to the drivers, you can't grab race officials.
It get's Barnhart out of everyone's hair.
It get's Milka out of a race car.

DougC

"Defending" isn't racing, it's cheating. Especially in a spec series like Indycar. Real racing would have been Helio holding the racing line, Power going for it on the inside, then Helio staying close to his sidepod through the outside of the turn, making Power earn it, and maybe getting it back on the next turn. I've seen it done before (usually with Wilson as one of the drivers) and it's an amazing thing to watch. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING gripes me more than one driver simply sticking his car in front of another behind him. BLOCKING. Period.

pressdog

I understand all the counter arguments, but I still think the line between "defending" and "blocking" is so fine and subjective it woulds be impossible to fairly administer. I could be very wrong, but if I'm a driver I'm calling basically every move I make "defending" if that's legal. Also, the rule has been in effect all of this year and the races haven't felt fabricated or contrived to me. Nobody even knew about the rule until Helio's case, so that argues against it being a big, clumsy manipulation of race outcomes. In other words, if it was fake and artificial and contrived, wouldn't we have noticed before now?

the american mutt

In other news; the pole winner has to start on the outside at Indy, we're instituting lucky dog laps, Green White Checkers, and double file restarts. We're also going to institute a new championship "playoff" system and cut Will Powers lead down with the next guy being two points behind, the guy after that four points behind, and so on down the line until position 12. The rule you're defending here; every bit as contrived and asinine.

The Speedgeek

I'm extremely torn on this. On one hand, I'm kind of one of those purists that Pressdog talks about, and so I'm not a real fan of rules banning the leading car being able to choose his line (don't confuse this with weaving down the straight, a guy making more than one move on any given straightaway or turn, or altering a line in a corner, all of which is in fact blocking and should be banned on a worldwide basis on both sporting and safety grounds), but I also see the value and results of how the rule is written. Pippa, PT, and multiple others are right in that if the rule isn't in place, we probably see a fraction of the passing that we do get to see. It's a rule that ChampCar had for a while as well, and I think they even enforced it by painting a line down the middle of braking zones at several places, and enforced penalties if you changed from one line to the other. Maybe that's what we need here? I don't know.

We've had two problems, as Pressdog alludes to: 1) nobody outside the driver's meeting knew how the rule worked or that it even existed, leading to the mass confusion and upset that we've seen in the last three days, and 2) it's indisputable that anti-blocking rules are hardly enforced. #1 has been dealt with now, as clumsily as it has. #2 is an open problem, though. To my memory, we've seen 4-5 blocking penalties handed out this year. I can definitively say that I have personally seen, with my own eyes at Kansas, Indy and Iowa, far more than 4-5 blocking maneuvers carried out by drivers. I don't mean "leader picked the inside line" type of block, either, I mean "guy (or girl) in front changing line abruptly with car approaching from behind, causing approaching car to have to swerve or lift". We've all seen dozens more of these types of maneuvers in races this year (Danica on TK at Texas, PT on Adam Carroll at The Glen leap directly to mind).

That's where the problem lies in my mind, and that's why I still feel a little insulted after Sunday, even though I now know how the rule is written and can appreciate why it's there. If the book is going to be thrown at Helio for what he did, then all of this other behavior has to stop from this day forward. Brian Barnhart (even though I've been calling for his firing for the last 72 hours, and yes, this means that I'm backing off of that a bit) can redeem himself in my mind if he enforces the blocking rules on everyone. Every time. That's going to be where he proves to me whether or not he really has to stones to stay in his seat in race control.

Trent

I'm good w/ blocking. I love it. It makes for some of the most exciting races. Like I said in a previous comment....go look @ the finish of the '92 Indy 500- Little Al definitely blocked Goodyear on the last lap. It was a defining moment for the series...and for the 500.

I'm not good w/ chopping off someone's wing, though. Helio @ Edmonton = block....Helio @ Belle Isle = chop. If a driver attempting a pass has to take evasive action to avoid contact from someone throwing a block way too late, then they definitely deserve a penalty.

The IRL spent time and money developing the Push to Pass button, not the Push to Hax button. I can't really blame them- they're just defending their investment to make our weekend beer-drinking more enjoyable.

pressdog

A silver lining here, Geek, is that EVERYONE is going to be watching intently for non-called blocks from now on and SCREAM if they think the IHJ blows a call. In other words, this whole incident has teed up a greater scrutiny of even enforcement, which I think most everyone welcomes. Consistency of refereeing is always a challenge in all sports, and no ref is perfect, but by making the rule known (FINALLY) the fans now have a basis to judge fairness at least.

Jim Bob

I want passing. We "pass" people in America.

Leave the "overtaking" and chop-blocking for F1 and all of those Euro series.

The American Mutt

Incidentily Dog, you've made a false equivalency in my mind. Comparing the Sitting Duck Rule with P2P in my mind just doesn't work. The reason being, with the tires and p2p you've simply put greater, and more diverse technology in the hands of drivers/teams. With the sitting duck rule you're simply manufacturing "good" racing. This isn't a matter of purity. It's a matter of what is and is not Racing (note the capitol R).

In other news, RHR was retroactively awarded the Indy 500 win due to the apparent change in the rule of hitting a tire in the pits. The time he lost in the pits was awarded to him, and as a result he's now an Indy 500 champion.

I believe that infraction was at Indy, if I'm wrong please feel free to correct me. It's been a long season.

The Speedgeek

Mutt,
It was Iowa. Good luck with telling TK about that. You're sure to get 50 angry Tweets in Portuguese.

The American Mutt

At least if they're in Portuguese I won't know what sort of names my favorite driver is calling me.

I never did get an answer from you btw. How was your vacation?

KevinA

P-dog, I love ya, but 1000% disagree. You say the line between "defending" and "blocking" is so fine as to be nonexistent.

Sorry, but picking a line, either BEFORE the driver behind you or at the same time, STICKING TO IT, and retaining the spot, that's DEFENDING. It's also smart, REAL racing.

Blocking is picking a line, then moving in response to a compettitor. See the difference?

Good defending gives the initiative to the lead driver, who, in the case of the overall leader, has EARNED that right*. Blocking is a purely reactionary move in response to someone else's actions.

Look, I hate, hate, hate Talladega. Oh yes, lead changes! But 90% of them are artificial and fake. I could make a pass at 'Dega.

This rule is artificial and forever changes the commonly understood notion of "blocking" to "The leader is a sitting duck on every restart." Fire TGBB after Homestead.

*This is what bugs me. The leader is now PUNISHED. Smacks of entertainment over sport.

Travis R

P'dog, I think your comment about the silver lining of this thing bringing greater scrutiny of even enforcement is spot on. As I had posted over at oilpressure.com, I'm wondering what the staffing of officials for the IRL is like: how many officials are watching for these types of situations, and do they have enough? It makes me really wonder if the inconsistency is because of inadequate staffing? How many people does Brian Barnhart have helping him?

I know you also pay attention to F1 - what do you think about their new thing where they have an ex-F1 driver helping with the stewarding? The idea is interesting and maybe could be useful for the IRL, although I feel that the fact that they are rotating drivers could give the impression of more inconsistency and might not be the best solution. If the IRL did such a thing, they would have to hire somebody on full time, preferably someone who doesn't have any grudges with any current drivers.

pressdog

OK, KevinA, fair point made respectfully. Thanks for that. Love ya right back. But look at the Helio/Power replay again. Helio chose the inside line going into the corner. We all agree on that. Power, who can't go inside, 'cause Helio is there, he goes wide. Then they both close down on the apex. Helio right by the curb and Power wide. So far so good. But then doesn't Helio drift out after the apex, to change his like back to the preferred racing line (marked by the black marks on the tarmac) after the corner, foiling Power's overtake? Looks to me that he chose the inside line going into the corner, then chose the outside, normal racing line coming out of it. Line change? Check Dixon's line trailing the action THAT appears to me to be the inside line after the corner. Helio has clearly left that line and drifted back out to the preferred line before the next corner. So under your definition, isn't Helio's move a block? He chose the inside line, then changed his line after the corner. No, he didn't violently swerve out post-apex to hip check Will into the wall, but he definitely "drifts" and I wouldn't be shocked if Helio did the drifting just to foil the pass. Davey Hamilton even says in the audio that "Helio pushes him wide." That's a line change to prevent a pass, no? Secondarily, that's much more difficult to call as a ref than The Rule. I'm sincerely interested in the (perfectly legit) "leader should be able to chose his line" advocates' view on this. If he chooses the inside line, then choses a different line once a competitor is side-by-side, isn't that a block? Discuss.

Jeff Iannucci

While I am fully in agreement with you that something designed to encourage more passing would seem to be a good thing, I disagree completely with your conclusion.

While gimmicky, push to pass and red/black tires are devices that do not need to be explained to the casual fan. They serve as tools available to a driver to advance his/her position, and how a driver uses them is largely related to the driver’s skill. Consequently, no one needs to explain this to the thousands of happy drunks at a race because they see one car go around the other and they know who’s ahead.

But this previously obscure rule we’re debating isn’t a tool – it’s a mandate to create a sitting duck out of a race leader. And I’m fairly certain there were many happy drunks at the race in Edmonton who became confused or enraged at seeing that the car that finished first did not win the race. To release video tape may vindicate Barnhart et al to those who closely follow the series, but an ex post facto explanation is of little concern to the casual fans who will now will likely decide to spend their hard earned cash elsewhere instead of at an otherwise boring race where the driver that finishes second is awarded the win.

Consequently the enforcement of this rule has undermined any intentions of creating a better race product, so to me it’s a stupid, stupid rule.

KevinA

^I would say that's a hazard of racing side-by-side for the win in the closing laps. Such a thing is accepted, even in NASCAR, throughout racing. It puts the onus on the drivers not to screw up, not on Barnhart.

B/c, remember, given how it went, one SLIGHT error by Helio ends the whole thing badly for him & WP. But drivers should be able to take the risk here (taking the defensive line does NOT always work, esp. on off-line streets) and deal with the consequences.

In short, pushing someone wide (not intentionally wrecking them- Hi Carl Edwards!) when side-by-side is good, hard racing, esp. in the closing laps. Lap 2 might be judged differently, but it was the end of the race.

pressdog

Couple real good questions there, Travis R. I have no idea how many people are in race control helping call fouls. Race control has been NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS for a long time. Here's a Q&A I did via email with the IHJ: http://bit.ly/8ZEdyF In it the IHJ said:

pressdog: When you’re in race control, is your policy that you have to see something live in order to make a call (for example, blocking) or do you use replays, etc?

Barnhart: It depends on the situation. Sometimes if the situation allows for a replay, it can be used. In the past, I have used replays to help validate a decision. Sometimes under green flag racing, you have to make the decision after seeing it live just one time. It’s one of the unique challenges to our sport versus everyone else out there. There are no time outs.

Even under yellow, things happen, as we saw with Dixon and Briscoe at Watkins Glen last year and Long Beach this year. Without any time outs, you have to make decisions quickly. From a competitors’ standpoint, they’re looking for quick decisions. They’re looking for consistent decisions. That’s what we try to provide for them.

I think someone -- and I'd love to do it myself -- should spend a race in race control and do a story about what goes on.

The driver as steward thing in F1 is interesting, but I agree with Derek Daly in that the current approach with different drivers each time causes inconsistency in calls. If they had the same driver involved in making the calls all year, and he or she put some study/training into it and didn't just show up 19 min. ahead of race time, that would be great. Being a player and a ref are two incredibly different things. Some players would make great refs, some would totally suck at it.

KevinA

Full agreement w/ Jeff.

Thought experiment: Imagine if the steward (BB or someone else) enforces this rule on the final restart of the 100-year anniversary Indy 500 in '11. The public confusion would be immense.

KevinA

Yeah, the F1 thing is interesting, but not complete. Totally agree that one driver needs to be there for every race. B/c different drivers have slightly different styles.

pressdog

Jeff, does the point in the race matter if it's a foul or not? If the call was on lap 19, and Helio does a drive through, are the "many happy drunks at the race in Edmonton" OK with it? They probably still don't know why it happens, but on lap 19, it doesn't so obviously impact the ending. I think EJ had to drive through for spearing Simona at Edmonton. Were the happy drunks OK with that one? Probably because it didn't impact the ending so obviously. I doubt the understood what was happening until long after, simply because those things aren't announced at the track. The timing of the foul should not impact enforcement. If it's a foul on lap 1 or on the last lap, it should be called That's the heart of consistency. At one point, as a commenter here has pointed out, Champ Car actually painted a white line into some corners to indicate inside-outside lane. Maybe that would help. Certainly would make it more clear and more replayable on the jumbotron. Also seems to me the alternative rules presented -- the one move only and leader chooses line -- would be even more confusing to the fans at the race than this rule, especially on the last lap. The Let 'em Race school of thought eliminates the confusion, but causes parades and a festival of carbon fiber. Another alternative is "let 'em race" in the last five laps, but then we got consistency problems. For all those reasons, I think the current rule is the most workable. I am open to hearing alternative proposals beyond the ones on the table (one move only and leader chooses his/her line) however.

pressdog

Starts and re-starts are a whole different issue of fugly, KevinA. I agree with anyone who says IndyCar starts and restarts are a festival of bullshit. Here I have major criticism for the IHJ and the league. The leaders accelerate whenever the hell they want to. That whole "can't go until the green is out" is out is CLEARLY ignored by all drivers. Plus there is all manner of starting and stopping and brake checking into and through turn three before a restart (on an oval). Watch the start at any race live and you'll see the flag man waves the green well after the engine revs go up. The reason the starts are fugly is ... what's the penalty for a leader who restarts in turn 3? They wave it off and he or she can do it again ... in turn 3. They know nobody has the sack to punish them further, so just wait the IHJ out. Most likely that second restart, no matter out putrid and fugly, will stay green. Since I'm making rules here, I'd say go for the sprint car restart. Have an acceleration cone and paint a line on the track and nobody can gain a position until after that line. Personally, I think they should just use the start-finish line and say we all gotta be in order crossing the start-finish. NASCAR may actually do this. If you screw up once, we restart. Screw up twice, go to the back of the line. Screw up a third time (from the back of the pack), sit the rest of the race.

Fred Hurley

Here's the problem with the call: It ignores what often happens after a driver defends a corner.

The inside line is NOT the fast line through that corner, as evidenced by the fact that Helio actually had to drift left to set up his entry, lest he go skidding off straight or come to a stop while hitting the apex. The only way the inside line is better is if the attacking driver can out-brake the leader down the inside. So one response is, "Great. That's why it's bad." But, it's still slower over the course of the corner. So what often happens is that a car will dive-bomb down the inside, take the position, but then push wide (like PDog mentioned Helio himself did). The car that is now trailing (which was leading going into the corner) will take advantage of being on the faster and more efficient line, and cross over behind the attacker, and then out-pull the other guy off the corner, retaking the lead before they do it all over again going into the next corner. The great road racing duels have this happen a few times on the final lap. I still contend that this is exactly what would have happened at Edmonton, but for one large confounding factor - Scott Dixon. Dixon saw the opening before it actually opened, and was already pouncing, dove-bombing down the inside in anticipation of Helio pushing wide on exit. It was actually a brilliant move, and is sadly lost in all the rules hoopla. But if you remove Dixon from that equation, there is a very very good chance Power is leading just a few lengths down the straight, and Helio is dive-bombing the next corner to get the position back.

Of course, we'll never know, because just like with economics, people can't just leave well enough alone.

pressdog

Excellent point on Dixon, Fred. Hadn't considered it. His dive inside the battling Power and Helio was genius and ballsy, since Power could have easily (and very nearly did) spear him out of there, by accident or on purpose. Nice job by both Power and Dixon for not getting mental into turn two. Also, I will give Helio credit for controlling his car and not hip checking Power. He deserves props for that. (I think I can give Helio props for a well-executed block. Not sure.) Also lost was Power's HUGE ATTACHMENTS for going for the pass at all. Power wasn't content to go the safe, Penske-pleasing rout and just hang out in second. He wanted to WIN, even if it was his teammate in front of him, and made a fun-tastically huge-testicled move.

KevinA

One, what Fred said.

Two, on restarts, I'm now wondering if this rule is a problem here. B/c if you're the leader, you BETTER almost jump the restart. Otherwise, with this rule, your FUBAR.

Three I get your point on consistency, but a) consistency and TGBB? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! :chortle.* B) In stick-and-ball sports, officials referee differently at the end of a close game. Why? B/c the players should determine the outcome, not officials.

If the steward calls no block on Helio's move on lap 2, I'm good with that, too. But I can (sorta), for the sake of a semi-smooth race, see discouraging some things in the early stages. At the end, though, try NOT to insert yourself over the drivers.

*Reason One he must be fired.

gary p

Weaving is blocking. Chopping is blocking. Choosing an inside line and daring the following car to pass you on the outside, and then leaving him/her enough track on the outside to actually do it, is good road racing.

Skewing the risk/reward equation to substantially favor the car following the leader on a re-start is rinky-dink stuff. Leave the rinky-dink stuff for minature golf.

MikeC.

One comment, watch the start of the race (on the 5 minute IRL highlight reel) and watch the end of the race. Transpose Will and Helio and tell me what the difference is. Enforce the rule at the beginning AND the end and then you have my attention. Not a Penske fan, but the leader on the track at the end of the race better be the winner unless there is an overwhelming case for it not to be so.

On a different topic, I am just waiting for the Swiss Miss to catch one break this season and finish ahead of the Princess.

Mike R

GaryP's summary is probably the most concise and accurate way of wrapping this whole thing. Good one.

Squall

Your initial article is wrong, pressdog. Sad but simple. This is a rule contrived out of their refusal to admit that all cars being clones of each other has been a catastrophically bad thing. Bureaucracy to deal with the bureaucracy. In real road racing, anyone should be able to take any line they want, and if they're not swerving around, then it's just their talent in running it there. If Barnhart claims that lack of this rule will result in single-file racing, maybe the cars and the tracks need to be updated, not the fundamentals of racing itself.

sejarzo

Hey pdog, if PT is so against "Barnharting", just what the hell did he do to Marco from about 1:28 onward in that highlight clip? Clearly, he took and held an "abnormal racing line" on the inside from the exit of T9 to T10, did he not? Watch RHR's overtake of SdS from 2:23, you will see how she moves to the "not abnormal racing line" and RHR gets around her. REAL passing is exciting, manufactured passing isn't, especially when you know it is, and that the rule that makes it happen is unenforceable (or at least only selectively enforceable!)

Ray P

Thank God for Pressdog! I still can't understand how so many people don't see that Helio blocked the heck out of Power on that restart. Helio made an amateur move into turn one. He ran down the inside and apexed early so his car would naturally move to the outside on the exit of the corner. Helio's line was the slowest possible way through turn one, a line you would only take to defend. Most folks don't get it. They seem to think that calling it "defending" makes it OK. That is nothing more than semantics. Too many people appear to believe that blocking only occurs when the leading car is swerving all over the track. The reality is different, if a leading car takes an abnormally slow line through a corner for the express purpose of preventing a following car any opportunity of passing, then it is blocking, plain and simple. To all those that think Helio got screwed, in the future, don't ever complain about the lack of lead changes in road races. Quite clearly you are happy to see drivers plowing around the inside line displaying 'no' speed or racecraft to eke out a win. Not saying that I agree BB's methods, always hate to see the officials decide a race. In the end, Helio was not robbed of a win, but he was prevented from stealing a win.

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