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August 07, 2011


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What a boring race. Worst race of the year.


I think people need to give some of these faster, momentum tracks a pass until 2012. Since the current gen of Dallaras aren't designed for road courses, they are easily trimmed out to the point where it is almost impossible to pass in dirty air (see Power/Beatriz).

P2P was a plan to solve this, but Honda couldn't squeeze out more than 10-20 hp (or thereabouts) which isn't enough for-- well-- pretty much anything. With the turbos, they should be around ~100 if they so choose.

Mid-Ohio (while a tad on the narrow side) put on fantastic races in the mid-late 90's. I don't think it's unrelated that their most boring (although, aside, I'll admit that there doesn't have to be non-stop passing everywhere for me to enjoy a couple hours of fast cars going around a technically challenging circuit) races have occurred with this outdated chassis.


With all the weight of hopes piled onto the new car, it's amazing it can even roll. I'm willing to give the new car a shot at these parade grounds.


I don't mean to offend purists who have the knowledge to appreciate "technical" racing, but I just don't think the average viewer wants to see that. I think they want to be entertained. By cars overtaking cars, cars bumping other cars, cars going wheel-to-wheel, cars spinning out, tight competition and close finishes. I don't if it's the the track or the car or both, but if Indycar wants the bigger audience, which I think they do want, parades at beautifully historic venues won't cut it. Just one average fan's opinion... Thanks for the notes, P-Dog.


I was the first to complain about the boring race, however if RHR or someone other than Dixon/Franchitit/Power won the race, I'm sure my thoughts may have been different. I was engaged when Hinchcliffe was leading but once he was 5 seconds behind after pit stops, it lost my attention. Dixon couldn't be beat but there was little excitement even in the back of the pack for this race.


Sorry this may be a great event for the folks who are actually attending but on TV it is awful...It made Pocono look exciting by comparison.

Oreo Loves The Ladies

The new car isn't going to make Long Beach or Mid Ohio or Barber wider and racier.

Those of you who keep hoping for this are dreaming.

I thought VERSUS employee Robin Miller had the best 2 comments of this dull race yestarday:

1. With 15 laps to go (which is a lot in road racing), he already told the audience that Dixon was going to win. I doubt you see that ever said on a Cup telecast.

2. With a few laps to go, Robin chimed in that maybe Toronto's crashathon wasn't so bad compared to this boring turd of a race (OK, he didn't say that exactly, but its what he meant).

Loudon should be fun next week. Then its back to 3 sleep-inducing places (Snorenoma, Baltimore's mean streets and the motorcycle track at 1:00 AM EST in Japan). Not exactly the best way to finish the season in the pre-NFL summer.


This was a dreadful race. Also, another Dario Franchitti luck out against Power, this is getting old. Pocono wasn't good but at least Brad keselowski won. I think the 2012 car has potential to improve things, but unless it's about a foot narrower it's not helping Mid Ohio, or any of the "Trinity of Boredom" (Infineon and Barber also). The biggest problem is that while NASCAR races can be just as boring at least they have the potential to produce surprise winners, which Indycar rarely does outside of this year's 500.


@redcar. Fans can't have it both ways. You can't whine and mope and stomp your feet about how terrible Toronto was with all the wrecks and punting and whatnot and then go "but... but... but... there was no PASSING!" Not saying you are guilty, but a lot of people are.

@Oreo Loves the Lades. I don't know-- up until the Dallara showed up at Mid-Ohio it was a pretty racy place.

Of course, this new breed of fans (NASCARization?) that thinks every race needs to be decided by less than a second with passing for the lead on the last lap probably doesn't help things.


Funny thing is, of course, the AMA Superbike race at Mid Ohio features races decided by less than a second with last lap passes, so it is theoretically possible on a road course.


Wx--I probably am guilty.

And I'm afraid Nascarization is a fact of life if you want to attract that big, mainstream audience.


Mid-Ohio is the Annual Honda Summer Company Picnic. As long as Honda has a presence in Ohio I expect this race to continue. Maybe long enough for Graham to finally get a decent result.

Maybe someone with some Honda pull can suggest to them to move the Company Picnic to Cleveland instead.


Saying it's either Toronto or Mid Ohio is like saying you either have to live at the North Pole or the South Pole. So there's no middle ground? Half way between crash fest and super-snoozer? There as to be, therefore I reject the either/or choice. I enjoyed Edmonton many times more than either Toronto or Mid Ohio, for example.

Brian McKay in Florida

By this time I can't write anything that hasn't already been written, except:
Dylan, Superbikes are much narrower than Dallara cars;
and Oreo, the Baltimore race won't induce sleep but be a festival of carbon fiber (a crashfest).


I agree it's not a binary system, but it's tough to strike that perfect medium every, single, week at every, single, track. Case in point, my last non-Indy oval was Chicagoland 2009. Absolutely, breathtaking, fantastic race. But I know every Indycar oval won't be run that way, so when Dario runs away and hides at Homestead-- well-- I enjoy the race for what it is.

If you tell drivers who are already driving cars not-optimized for road course racing "stop sticking your nose in everyone's business at every turn," you eliminate the Toronto problem but you will inevitably get "snoozers" (I say snoozers because VS wouldn't do things like watch Conway dice up half the field) like M-O.

It's also just somewhat weird, since people quickly forget that (poor Dallara aside) many, many AOW races that drew huge ratings as recently as the late 90's/early 2000's would be considered similarly "boring" by today's mainstream IICS crowd. Not sure which way you go to fix that.


So than make the Indycar's smaller. I'm just saying, lot's of passing is possible on a road course, Indycar just has to find out how to do it

Brian McKay in Florida

Greengrocer apostrophes aren't needed.
IndyCar has found "how to do it."
The "overtake" buttons,
multiple tire types,
2012's multiple engines,
multiple aero kits,
cars' varying braking capabilities
varying chassis setups,
and varying aero trims
allow for varying speeds and passing before apexes of turns
and passing soon after turns.
How does one account for Servia and others passing 8, 9, 10, or 11 competitors in race after race after race?
Because Versus viewers didn't see every racer passing another, we should assume that race fans who spent time and money to spectate in Mid-Ohio, Barber, and elsewhere didn't enjoy seeing Servia and Patrick passing others?


Before you get all impressed with a car advancing 12 places in a road race or whatever -- or chuck Versus under the bus for "not showing all the passing" -- you really need to check the lap chart to see how those passes were accomplished. For example, Hinch went from P26 to P2 when everyone else except Danica in front of him pitted. So he advanced 24 places, but not by carving his way through the field. Danica want from P13 to P1. Must be a rock star racer! Or she stayed out when everyone pitted. So those stats are pretty cheap until you check the lap chart: Servia drove a good race, but he got five of his spots on one restart (which takes skill, for sure, but its not like he was inhaling cars all day long) then three or four more due to attrition. Thank God for the double-file restarts that the drivers absolutely hated or there would have been less passing yet. So positions advanced on a road race is a slippery stat, just like "number of leaders" is a little goofy on ovals that stay green, because pit cycles gives you about nine different leaders alone.



A crashfest or a procession are not the only 2 choices for road courses. F1 has shown that it is quite possible to have exciting, clean racing with lots of passes. This is partially due to the fact that F1 does not race at Mid-Ohio :).

Brian McKay (contrite)

I knew I should've kept my mouth shut. I'd wanted to point out that spectators at tracks can see more passes than home viewers do and thus be more entertained. For instance, I've seen many more passes (for position) at Barber than home viewers do.
And racers have been lauded this season (and last) for advancing up to 11 places ("tire-riffic move of the race").
But because Helio and Will found advancing difficult and others think that antiquated Mid-Ohio club racing track is too narrow and the cars are too equal this season, I should've held my tongue. Sorry

The Speedgeek

I totally see what Brian's saying, though. That whole "the people there in person see more passes than what TV sees" is 100% true. I've been horrified to come home from a couple of races that I've been to (2010 Indy leaps straight to mind, but there have been others over the years) and find that the race has been labeled an "insomnia curing parade". As an in-person spectator, I can always find something to watch, even if it's just finding one gap between a couple of cars that's closing down. Now, I know that there'll be some folks who use that last sentence to claim that I'm saying that all road course races SHOULD be parades and that passing is not necessary for a good race. That's not what I'm saying at all. What I am saying is that when you have a race where different drivers are on different strategies the booth guys can highlight what exactly is going on (maybe even with some extra graphics), or the booth guys can look at the T&S monitor and see that somebody back in like 13th is the fastest car on the track (which is what I was doing in the middle part of the Iowa race with my stopwatch; there was no passing going on at the time, so I was monitoring Servia's laptimes as he reeled in the entire lead pack) and play that up, or if there really is nothing going on for a 4-5 minute stretch of green flag, even, god forbid, do a technical piece on what makes the cars so cool (something they do do, but not enough to grab the "car guys" out there in TV land who are horrified by things like NASCAR claiming its technical superiority because they just introduced a 1960s fuel delivery system). It's the whole "F1 on Speed" experience. I'm never bored with those guys, even during the most dire processions. There's no reason that, with 3-4 guys in the booth, 3 pit reporters and Robin Miller lurking around doing Robin Miller Things that we should ever feel for more than 5 minutes at a stretch that we're wasting our time (not that I basically ever feel that way, but then again, I'm the guy who's entertained by two kids racing their bikes down my street).

Oh, Brian (and others up above) is also right about the cars needing to be different. When a car that's 0.5% faster than the car in front, that car that's trailing is almost never going to get by without contact or the leading car making a blatant mistake. Next year's cars, which should have more performance variability, should help immensely there. No need to do anything other than watch a couple of YouTube videos from Mid-Ohio from 15-20 years ago to see that.


Slept through most of it -- didn't miss a thing!


Why on earth are you "sorry," Brian. You have nothing to be sorry about as far as I can see.

Leigh O'Gorman

It might also be beneficial for IndyCar to not test at a track one week before they race there...

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