How Josef Newgarden is able to strap back into the car and race in Detroit I do not know. I’ve just been dealing with my day to day life and I’m still exhausted from last weekend. Well, I’m exhausted from the whole month which also included Zach’s high school graduation. If I’m struggling to get back to my “day job” how are the IndyCar drivers doing and especially Indy 500 winner, Josef Newgarden?
The NTT IndyCar Series returns to Detroit but to a new street course. They are no longer racing on Belle Isle but on a new course downtown. It will be a demanding weekend for all as they learn the new track and I feel we will either see a race of follow the leader or a very accident prone race with tired drivers making mistakes. I hope I’m wrong. Either way I didn’t want to get into the Detroit GRand Prix without addressing the Indianapolis 500 so I am finally catching up on what I wanted to say about last weeks race.
Actually, there is a lot I want to say but I will narrow it down to the points most important to me.
Stefan, Graham, and Cusick Motorsports
When Graham’s car wouldn’t start at the beginning of the race all I could think of is how unreal his month has been. That was not what Graham or the team needed. Thankfully, Don Cusick is not easily discouraged and excited about the future. They will be back and fighting to establish themselves in IndyCar.
His accident was so scary but for him and spectators. I just visited the gravesite of Wilbur Brinks, the young man that was killed by a tire while playing in his yard outside the track. The tire could have done so much more damage. Kyle also had a wild ride going upside down. Kyle, next time leave your visor down until the car comes to a complete stop. Thankfully driver and fans were fine. One fans car took the hit from the tire and Roger Penske and IMS made sure she made it home and she will be receiving a new car.
Sundays race had too many red flags. I understand the reason behind them all but three red flags is two (or three) too many. I’m not a fan. I’m sure others would tell me why driving even slower to not go through too many yellow laps wouldn’t work but I feel like just slow the cars down but keep them moving. Even if that would have worked for the first two red flags it would not have worked on the last red flag as there was just not enough time to clean up and go green before the 500 miles were done. The last one is tricky. There was not enough time even for the red flag, in my opinion they needed at least one more lap for a fair race to the end. However, I didn’t want Marcus Ericsson to win and was really rooting for Santino Ferrucci so I didn’t hate the red flag. But red flags can’t be thrown because the outcome is not what is wanted. I was truly surprised by the red flag because I thought the rule was they needed a certain number of laps until the end or else it would end under yellow. I’ve since learned that is not a hard and fast rule but more of a guideline. We can debate all day but three red flags made the race way too gimmicky and we all complain that NASCAR manipulates the race too much and has so many gimmicks, let’s not follow that example. When IndyCar threw the first red flag, they would not have known two more were coming but I think they need to be used only in true red flag conditions (a blocked track, injured driver or weather) and maybe one in the last 10-5 laps but once you use it you can’t keep going red. That’s essentially the same as NASCAR and green white checkered that we all complain about.
Snake or Dragon
Which leads us to a final thought on the snake or dragon move that has become more popular to not allow the car behind you to draft and pass you before the finish line. Per IndyCar rules the lead car can not block but they can make a first move to throw off the driver behind them. It’s not ideal but with how the cars can draft it is what is needed to hold your lead. I’m fine with it. What I’m not fine with is how far into the pit lane Josef and then Marcus went. I was watching and seriously wondering what had happened to make Josef pull into the pits. Rules or not, it was way too low and a recipe for disaster in the future. Good on Ferrucci for holding the regular line. Swerve all you want that is your call on the race track but going so far down the pit lane needs to be looked at and addressed before someone gets seriously hurt. It’s currently not cheating or wrong but it also felt a bit like a desperate move and I wasn’t a fan. I want to watch a repeat of the 2022 race and see if they went as far down as Josef and Marcus did this year. I hope we see a change in the rules for next year, just keep them on the main track.
So there are a couple thoughts I’ve been pondering all week. I would have loved to spent more time on the post and wrote it sooner but that just didn’t happen. Im already behind this week and plan to go catch up on qualifying for Detroit now. Have a great race weekend everyone!