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OFFICIAL THREAD! Indycar at Iowa


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#1 Risil

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 14:35

Indycar Round 9 of 15 or 16: Iowa Corn Indy 250 Presented by Pioneer

Indycar takes its characteristic blend of tough racing and ridiculous officiating to Iowa Speedway this week, for a race which is paid for by that most beautiful and mysterious of cereal crops, corn.
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If we can be honest with each other I opened up a couple of windows' worth of browser tabs of news for a little light research about the event, but spent most of my time on the fantastic Iowa Corn website. Here's the link to its section on the race. "Power, performance, and energy independence are just a couple benefits from using ethanol to power the IndyCar Series cars at almost 200 miles per hour!" While Bernie Ecclestone's tied to a chair and having his balls lashed by OPEC, Randy Bernard's driving along in his Cadillac powered by delicious, nutritious American corn! At almost 200 hundred miles per hour!

I also highly recommend the kids' page of the site's "Corn Education" section. Can you imagine A World Without Corn? There's also an activity book and several printouts for you to colour in at home (colouring activities are one of the things made possible by corn!).

This is getting really corny
I agree. The race is pretty exciting too. Ryan Hunter-Reay is turning into a bit of a short-track specialist, having won the last two events on one-mile ovals (Milwaukee, and New Hampshire last year). When you add that to the fact that the Andretti team has won the last two events at Iowa (including last year's pretty exciting race won by Marco), the omens are looking good for The Double-Barrelled One. Michael Andretti is coming off a bit of a double success at Milwaukee, having had a car in Victory Lane and having pulled off the Lazarus trick and brought The Mile an event of moderate success and moderate popularity. Next year let's hope for moderate-to-good! Local pundits have declared the event's success to be Michael's doing, although we Indycar experts know that it's Ross's thread that was responsible.

How unusual that a discussion of Michael Andretti's drivers has so far omitted mention of the notoriously camera-shy Go Daddy driver, James Hinchcliffe. No worries! After his performance at Milwaukee last weekend which yielded him a third place and second in the points standings, E.J. Viso complained that Hinch was reverting to the way of nature. "I don't understand why Hinchcliffe was not penalized for anything that happened to him. He was blocking me like an animal", said Ernesto. Is Hinchcliffe really one of those high-functioning apes which nonetheless fails to grasp any system of ethics? Will the Indycar field soon resemble that episode of Star Trek when the crew of the Enterprise de-evolved into their ancestor species? These are questions that only time can answer.

Base gimmickry
No qualifying sessions this time! The grid for Saturday evening's race will instead be set by three heat races, in the style of the short-track dirt racing which Iowa is synonymous with in the minds of all racing fans who like to divide their sporting categories on a state-by-state basis. Although personally I think The World of Outlaws sounds more like a Disneyland ride. Two of the heats will set the grid from ninth downwards and tenth downwards, odd and even respectively, and the third will set the top eight practice runners against each other. Sounds like a recipe for more racing than would otherwise have been the case! Nonetheless some drivers have taken the unusual step of complaining. Ed Carpenter, Marco Andretti and Will Power have all highlighted the possibility of a big repair job after Friday. Power went further and called the whole idea "a bit of a gimmick". In my opinion Australian drivers are a bit of a gimmick, but these days they seem to be an accepted part of the way things are. Give it time, Will!

Hit me up with your schedule
Righto. A word about TV: NBC Sports are starting coverage at 7.30pm ET, so it can get all the pre-race stuff and coverage of Friday's heats in before the green flag waves 90 minutes later. After the race there'll be Indy Lights coverage. "More than six hours of programming" is promised, which means that you Americans will have to stay up late to watch it all.
Friday 22nd June
10.00-10.45: Indycar first practice
13.30-14.15: Indycar second practice
17.15-18.00: Indy Lights qualifying
18.15-19.45: Indycar Heat Races
20.00-22.00: USAC Race

Saturday 23rd June
17.20-18.20: Star Mazda Race
18.40: Indy Lights Race (115 laps)
20.55: Ladies, Gentlemen and Hinchcliffe-animal, start your engines!
21.00: Indycar race, GREEN FLAG (250 laps)

A word on Road America
Go.

Edited by Risil, 21 June 2012 - 09:27.


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#2 wacktifosi

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 15:01

No qualifying sessions this time! The grid for Saturday evening's race will instead be set by three heat races...


Unless you count practice 2 which qualifies them for the heat races :drunk:

EDIT: I just realized there is a date in the corner of that corn picture. Someone looked at that and thought they should take a picture for themself...I'm scared.

Double EDIT: And what is that picture anyways? A float on a float?

Anyway, a second word on Road America - the track president (whatever he does) missed the SCCA June Sprints at Road America to attend IndyFest last weekend and the rumor mill is about to explode.

Edited by wacktifosi, 20 June 2012 - 15:06.


#3 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 15:07

Two fings yeah.

Indycar.com says it starts at 10, 10 eastern. Do your own math because I'm lost.

Heats won't be shown on TV until Saturday as part of the pre-race. So if you don't want it spoiled avoid the thread. You don't have to avoid Autosport.com, they take a day or two to publish Indycar news.

#4 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 15:09

Oh, and.

Briscoe is in the black/white/blue PPG car, Dario is back in Ole Red.

Bring on the Children of the Iowa Corn!

#5 wacktifosi

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 15:12

So they'll show normal qualifying on live tv and they'll run heat style qualifying to improve the show but they won't do it on live tv.

That makes sense.

Whoever set up sponsorship for the race was an absolute genius. The main race is sponsored by corn (however that works) and the support race is sponsored by...corn silo manufacturers. Can't make this up.

Edited by wacktifosi, 20 June 2012 - 15:23.


#6 jonpollak

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 16:52

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Corn me up Scottie

Jp

#7 PayasYouRace

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 17:03

Might have to give Sky Indycar a tweet to see if they'll be showing the heat races at some point. It sounds like an exciting format.

Edit: Race coverage for UK viewers is Sunday morning at 2:30am on SS2.

Edited by PayasYouRace, 20 June 2012 - 17:05.


#8 Bloggsworth

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 19:27

With reduced downforce it'll be a long drive on the slip angle this weekend...

Edited by Bloggsworth, 20 June 2012 - 19:28.


#9 dweller23

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 19:41

While I managed to stay up sober until 2:50am for Texas, I really don't see any possibility of making it until 4am for this one.

#10 Haribo

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 22:54

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Corn me up Scottie

Jp


:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

#11 Option1

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 00:29

I'll be missing this one. Will be out shooting 1st round of the Canadian Superbike Championships. Have fun.

Neil

#12 SKL

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 00:34


Flying back from Scottsdale to Iowa Friday night- nice to have a track that close to our main home. (Only a crazy person goes to Scottsdale in June but that's another story)

Sure is a late start but will be cooler under the lights (if it's not raining!!). Went last year and it was my first oval race having been to road racing all over the country since the late 60's. Actually had a great time, running into the late Dan Wheldon and Robin Miller in the first few minutes. Up close and personal in the paddock with many drivers. Hope to see Reubens etc...

Recommended to anyone close- it's a great facility.

#13 Lemnpiper

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 05:54

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:



I Know it's in Mitchell South Dakota but this thread needs some pics of the Corn Palace to show folks what some folks will do with ears of corn to create designs

Edited by Lemnpiper, 21 June 2012 - 06:02.


#14 teejay

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 06:44

The introductory posts to these races are making them all that much better

#15 Risil

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 11:08

KV Racing's Kanaan and Viso get the familiar engine penalties this week. I assume they'll be applied after the heat races, if so that'll be something to look out for. It's reasonably probable that one or the other will find themselves in the top eight after practice.

Edited by Risil, 21 June 2012 - 11:10.


#16 Disgrace

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 11:50

The introductory posts to these races are making them all that much better


Doing more than any broadcaster to promote them, really.

#17 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 16:51

Shame the heat races aren't televised in real time.

#18 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 17:10

Yeah, especially when NBCSports shows qualifying the rest of the time.

#19 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 17:30

The introductory posts to these races are making them all that much better

In a lot of ways they sometimes become the highlight of the weekend.
And as disgrace points out, they are far better than the 'broadcast partners' can manage.
Seriously, the series' should pay Risil and OLB to do their copy writing...

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#20 Muz Bee

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 02:44

I guess officials will reluctant to penalise Dixie for anything this weekend! :love:

#21 Risil

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 15:11

For all the critical things that critical people say about the Indycar series's website, it does some things right. Like the "In the News" bar on the right-hand side, which aggregates Indycar stories from different media sources. I suppose at the minimum it's proof that some journos are still talking about open-wheel racing. That said, currently fifth story down is a New York Times article about Mario Andretti; I think the Old Gray Lady needs to get with the programme.

Anyway, the bar's linked to this Curt Cavin story (he should be in your browser bookmarks already though, right?) about drivers asking Beaux Wilbury to change the way he does his double file restarts. There've been no accidents on oval restarts (yet), but Briscoe and Kanaan (among others) reckon it's only a matter of time unless the restart zone is moved back to the middle of the last turn. Naturally that'll spread the field out a bit, because the rest of the drivers will still be turning when the leaders are free to stamp on the pedal.

Of course you could say that these sound like the same people who warned of terrible consequences to abandoning single-file restarts last year, but some of the green flags at Milwaukee and Indy were really nuts. They're the ones that were picked for press photos, invariably. ;)

Cavin's article also has the interesting observation that since Oriol Servia's switched to Chevy power, he's picked up three top-5 finishes in four races. Is another 2011, or even 2005, on the cards for El Profesor?

#22 HaydenFan

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 16:42

Cavin's article also has the interesting observation that since Oriol Servia's switched to Chevy power, he's picked up three top-5 finishes in four races. Is another 2011, or even 2005, on the cards for El Profesor?


Oriol has to be one of the best in the series. Look at what he's done with lower end equipment. A podiums in '04 with Dale Coyne. A couple of 5th's with Sigma Autosport. 9th in '08 with KV Racing in what was hand me down gear from the IRL teams.

I think Dreyer & Reinbold 2012 is a better group than Newman / Haas 2011. At least from looking at the cars, they look more funded


#23 Prost1997T

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 16:57

Yeah, Servia's very underrated (a lot of the Indycar drivers are, but him more so).

#24 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 17:12

I think Servia is very solid. He stays out of trouble and floats to the front. Which isn't as dismissve as it sounds. But I think he's sort of a second driver. You'd want Boudrais-Servia, Newgarden-Servia, Rahal-Servia, etc.

#25 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 17:14

Oriol has to be one of the best in the series. Look at what he's done with lower end equipment. A podiums in '04 with Dale Coyne. A couple of 5th's with Sigma Autosport. 9th in '08 with KV Racing in what was hand me down gear from the IRL teams.

I think Dreyer & Reinbold 2012 is a better group than Newman / Haas 2011. At least from looking at the cars, they look more funded

he's the real deal. I like rooting for him.


#26 Prost1997T

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 17:17

I think Servia is very solid. He stays out of trouble and floats to the front. Which isn't as dismissve as it sounds. But I think he's sort of a second driver. You'd want Boudrais-Servia, Newgarden-Servia, Rahal-Servia, etc.


Servia-Hinchcliffe would be good. Justin Wilson deserves a better car too (a shame he was too tall for F1 car design).

I'm surprised nobody's commented on Sato's pathetic driving lately...it's disappointing that his mistake took out James Jakes in the last race.

Edited by Prost1997T, 22 June 2012 - 17:18.


#27 sblick

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 17:19

First practice looked good with speeds 4mph better than last year on the first try. Hoping for another good race.

Road America looks like the choice for the 16th race. Hopefully that is as good a choice as I think it is.

#28 HaydenFan

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 17:26

Servia-Hinchcliffe would be good. Justin Wilson deserves a better car too (a shame he was too tall for F1 car design).

I'm surprised nobody's commented on Sato's pathetic driving lately...it's disappointing that his mistake took out James Jakes in the last race.


I think we've given up on commenting on Sato. Maybe if we forget he is there, then when he crashes, we'll not remember it is Sato driving. I think the team needs to hire whoever was working with Paul Tracy in 2003. Both are quick drivers, but too many times they make stupid mental mistakes. He needs someone to rein that in. Another Jimmy Vasser type.

#29 Option1

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 17:30

For all the critical things that critical people say about the Indycar series's website, it does some things right. Like the "In the News" bar on the right-hand side, which aggregates Indycar stories from different media sources. I suppose at the minimum it's proof that some journos are still talking about open-wheel racing. That said, currently fifth story down is a New York Times article about Mario Andretti; I think the Old Gray Lady needs to get with the programme.

Anyway, the bar's linked to this Curt Cavin story (he should be in your browser bookmarks already though, right?) about drivers asking Beaux Wilbury to change the way he does his double file restarts. There've been no accidents on oval restarts (yet), but Briscoe and Kanaan (among others) reckon it's only a matter of time unless the restart zone is moved back to the middle of the last turn. Naturally that'll spread the field out a bit, because the rest of the drivers will still be turning when the leaders are free to stamp on the pedal.

Of course you could say that these sound like the same people who warned of terrible consequences to abandoning single-file restarts last year, but some of the green flags at Milwaukee and Indy were really nuts. They're the ones that were picked for press photos, invariably.;)

Cavin's article also has the interesting observation that since Oriol Servia's switched to Chevy power, he's picked up three top-5 finishes in four races. Is another 2011, or even 2005, on the cards for El Profesor?

I'm with Briscoe and Kanaan, the restarts are UGLY and an accident in search of a moment. I'm not sure the suggested solution is the best because to me the worst aspect is that they're allowed to pass the moment the green is declared, that's just nuts. As far as I'm concerned, the old no passing until you get to the start/finish line is a much better way to go simply because it imposes at least a modicum of discipline.

Neil

#30 Prost1997T

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 17:38

I think we've given up on commenting on Sato. Maybe if we forget he is there, then when he crashes, we'll not remember it is Sato driving. I think the team needs to hire whoever was working with Paul Tracy in 2003. Both are quick drivers, but too many times they make stupid mental mistakes. He needs someone to rein that in. Another Jimmy Vasser type.


Well he did have a couple of strong races (Long Beach until Hunter-Reay punted him into the barrier) and Sao Paulo (3rd behind RHR and Power), but he's crashed 4 races running now.

#31 Flat Black 84

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 17:40

I think Servia is very solid. He stays out of trouble and floats to the front. Which isn't as dismissve as it sounds. But I think he's sort of a second driver. You'd want Boudrais-Servia, Newgarden-Servia, Rahal-Servia, etc.


Danica used to stay out of trouble and float to the middle.

PS--I'm not sure Rahal, let alone The Newge, is better than Servia.

#32 Flat Black 84

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 17:42

Well he did have a couple of strong races (Long Beach until Hunter-Reay punted him into the barrier) and Sao Paulo (3rd behind RHR and Power), but he's crashed 4 races running now.


Sato must be on a very short leash by now. Unless he finishes this season strongly indeed, I doubt he'll be in an IRL seat next season.

#33 Prost1997T

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 17:43

Danica used to stay out of trouble and float to the middle.


While I didn't buy into the Danica hype (and she isn't the nicest or fastest personality by any means), it seems awfully "hip" and trendy to bash her at every opportunity. Even when she took pole at Daytona people had an excuse to complain (it was just setup blablabla). It's also become cool to bash Montoya too and make racist remarks about him...

#34 wacktifosi

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 18:32

I'm with Briscoe and Kanaan, the restarts are UGLY and an accident in search of a moment. I'm not sure the suggested solution is the best because to me the worst aspect is that they're allowed to pass the moment the green is declared, that's just nuts. As far as I'm concerned, the old no passing until you get to the start/finish line is a much better way to go simply because it imposes at least a modicum of discipline.

Neil


Helio basically said as much during his interview after Milwaukee. Apparently Beaux told drivers not to 'fan' (Helio didn't expand on this but I assume it means drivers A and B are next to each other, then the guys behind dive inside and outside, then the guys behind them, etc.) and he said there were certain drivers that were still fanning. He didn't name any names, but I'm sure looking at the replays would solve that.

#35 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 18:39

the worst aspect is that they're allowed to pass the moment the green is declared, that's just nuts. As far as I'm concerned, the old no passing until you get to the start/finish line is a much better way to go simply because it imposes at least a modicum of discipline.

Seriously? I thought no passing until the s/f was a universal rule.

No wonder restarts in Indycar are carambolage city.

#36 jonpollak

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 19:03

No wonder restarts in Indycar are carambolage city.

Subsequently requiring the use of le depannage
(another cute and juste French word for you.)

Jp


#37 Bloggsworth

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 19:08

Subsequently requiring the use of le depannage
(another cute and juste French word for you.)

Jp


I always preferred embonpoint, something else which Danica lacks...

#38 Flat Black 84

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 19:14

While I didn't buy into the Danica hype (and she isn't the nicest or fastest personality by any means), it seems awfully "hip" and trendy to bash her at every opportunity. Even when she took pole at Daytona people had an excuse to complain (it was just setup blablabla). It's also become cool to bash Montoya too and make racist remarks about him...


I wasn't bashing, I was stating the truth. She always finished and she usually finished in mid pack.

#39 Prost1997T

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 19:26

I wasn't bashing, I was stating the truth. She always finished and she usually finished in mid pack.


You finish in the top 10 in points for 6 seasons out of 7 by "finishing in mid pack"? In 2009 she ended 5th overall, ahead of Kanaan...

To me that suggests a reasonable degree of speed and consistency. I think she compares quite favourably to the female drivers that have succeeded her in Indycar (Simona is probably better on the track but made the stupid decision to sign with HVM for 3 years).



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#40 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 19:29

You finish in the top 10 in points for 6 seasons out of 7 by "finishing in mid pack"? In 2009 she ended 5th overall, ahead of Kanaan...

To me that suggests a reasonable degree of speed and consistency. I think she compares quite favourably to the female drivers that have succeeded her in Indycar (Simona is probably better on the track but made the stupid decision to sign with HVM for 3 years).

That suggests a reasonable degree of speed and consistency to me, too.

a) mid-pack in Indycar practically means top-12 anyway
b) note the word "finishing" which is the key here

She'd compare favorably to someone about which you could say "when he finishes, he finishes in the top eight"


#41 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 19:32

But we're talking about Servia, who is racking up top 5s.

#42 Flat Black 84

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 19:37

You finish in the top 10 in points for 6 seasons out of 7 by "finishing in mid pack"? In 2009 she ended 5th overall, ahead of Kanaan...

To me that suggests a reasonable degree of speed and consistency. I think she compares quite favourably to the female drivers that have succeeded her in Indycar (Simona is probably better on the track but made the stupid decision to sign with HVM for 3 years).


When 23-27 cars typically start an IRL race, finishing 8, 9, 10, which was typical for Danica, IS mid-pack. And her sex has nothing to do with it. Danica reminds me of Servia because she typically qualifies underwhelmingly, keeps her nose-cone clean, and finishes respectably. They are similar drivers in those respects.

#43 jonpollak

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 19:40

I always preferred embonpoint, something else which Danica lacks...

What does that have to do with tow trucks?
Jp

#44 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 19:49

But we're talking about Servia, who is racking up top 5s.

(emphasis added)
I don't think Danica compares favorably to Servia...is that a point someone is trying to prove?

#45 Bloggsworth

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 19:52

What does that have to do with tow trucks?
Jp


Absolutely nothing at all, but I thought it was french correction we were receiving...

#46 MightyMoose

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 19:56

Poignant tweet by TCGR today:
TCGR ‏@TCGRTeams

Today is the 4th anniversary of #DanWheldon's last win in his 3 yrs w/ TCGR @iowaspeedway, which came on his 30th birthday. #HappyBirthdayDW


#47 Risil

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 21:09

Marco fastest in both practice sessions. In number two he set a 186mph lap, which sounds pretty quick to me. Remarkably big-name composition for the fast heat, actually. Three Andretti cars, three Penskes, two Ganassis.

1. Andretti / Chevy
2. Franchitti / Honda
3. Castroneves / Chevy
4. Power / Chevy
5. Briscoe / Chevy
6. Hinchcliffe / Chevy
7. Hunter-Reay / Chevy
8. Dixon / Honda

Once you're in the top 8, of course, the worst you can start in the main event is outside of the fourth row. Whereas Rahal and Barrichello on "pole" for the other two heats have a lot to lose...

Edited by Risil, 22 June 2012 - 21:38.


#48 HaydenFan

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 21:25

Surprised Marco is this quick. Hasn't had much luck in terms of race finished, nor overall pace all season. But he is the defending winner, and that always helps a driver in the future.

#49 Andrew Hope

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 23:09

Poignant tweet by TCGR today:
TCGR ‏@TCGRTeams

Today is the 4th anniversary of #DanWheldon's last win in his 3 yrs w/ TCGR @iowaspeedway, which came on his 30th birthday. #HappyBirthdayDW


For those of you keeping your IndyCar bingo cards handy by your computer desk already, this does not count as 'Unnecessary Wheldon Mention'. Only mentions from the start of the race broadcast to the end count!

#50 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 23:16

Wouldn't it be less-clumsy to say "Today is Wheldon's birthday, and 4 years ago he won his last race with us"