HIGPA- Finally

During the rain delay I posted a quick blog–take a peek if you haven’t already read it.

Then finally after a long rain delay we got started. Oh wait before we go green we have to watch the course preview again. I will admit I love this segment but I have to say I agree with the tweets I see about the seat belts. My young boys watch this and I don’t care if they have a lap belt on, it looks like they aren’t wearing any belt. I have no clue why they wouldn’t have a shoulder belt. Shouldn’t it be standard regardless of what type of car it is or what it is used for. So in my opinion they should have a shoulder belt.

Ok now finally green flag. The problem is its going to be a timed race. I hate timed races.

Will Power was on the pole but he lost his position when he went off course and nearly hit the tire barrier. I swear though he has the best luck, anyone else would have lost a lot more than one position.

During a pit stop Helio mistakes Justin Wilson’s pit for his. I can’t blame him for this one because earlier in the pre show there is a shot of Roger Penske and I was wondering why Justin was with Roger until they zoomed out and I saw it was Helio. Their sponsor colors are identical. I don’t think it deserved a penalty but that is just my opinion. I’m unaware or the official rules for that type of incident.

Marco was having a great day. I would have loved to see him take the checkered flag. Or at least get a chance to try after that yellow.

Which brings us to the Green/White/Checker debate. Under a regular distance race I hate the idea of GWC. I’ve tweeted and argued in the past that it is called the Indianapolis 500 because that is the distance to the end and adding laps would just be wrong. However, I might be willing to reconsider my position during a timed race. Maybe I just wasn’t ready for the race to be over or maybe it was that I wasn’t rooting for RHR for the win. I can say I was greatly disappointed that the race would be ending under yellow and wished for one green lap to finish it off. That could have been a game changer. Now if Marco, Newgarten, Wilson or TK had been leading I might not feel the same but today I was willing to consider a GWC. I’m sure I will come to my senses soon so please don’t hold that against me.

All in all I enjoyed the race. I’m so thankful everyone stayed safe. And even though Ryan Hunter-Reay was not my choice we are still looking at three winners for three races and that is pretty awesome. Next race will be the inaugural Grand Prix of Indy. I will be attending with my boys and we are pretty excited to be part of history ( even just a small, small part). Hope to meet up with some of you there.

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Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama- rain delay

Well a rain delay isn’t fun but it gives me some time to reflect on a couple things.

Did you catch Trackside this week? If not make sure you listen to the podcast. Tony Kanaan was on the the first hour with Curt Cavin. I really enjoyed it. I love getting to know the drivers better outside their cars and TK is my favorite.

If you follow other blogs you have probably heard that Zach Houghton will no longer be blogging on his site Indycaradvocate.com. Wow, that news really stinks. Zach wrote amazing blog entries and was always available to answer tweets and help explain questions I had. I met him at Indy during a qualifying weekend and then made an effort to catch up with him (and his family) since then at both Indy and Milwaukee. His blog will be greatly missed but hopefully he will be checking twitter from time to time and still be around at some races. I wish him all the best and fully support his decision to put his family first. Zach’s topic on blogger night on Trackside was encouraging others to blog. That gave me the push I needed to go public with my blog so while I will never do as good as he did at blogging I guess it was kinda a passing of the baton. Guess I better step up my game. Thanks Zach for all the questions answered, insight and sharing your love for Indycar.

This winter we finished the basement. We bought a 60 inch TV and have surround sound. I can’t wait for green flag. If I turn it loud enough I can pretend I’m at the race.

My predictions/hopes for today’s race. I so want Josef Newgarten to have a good finish. And by a good finish I mean a podium finish. I hope TK can turn things around and get up to the front. I would also love to see Justin Wilson running up front. He is so talented. It was no big shock that Will Power won the pole. I’m sure he has a good chance of winning. Looking forward to seeing how the race goes with the wet track. That should make things interesting.

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Season opener at St Pete

I loved the race in St. Pete. I’m so glad that the IndyCar season has finally started. There’s so much to cover so let’s just get started at the beginning. ABC was covering the first race. This disappointed me. I prefer NBCSN coverage. However, ABC actually surprised me. They had a great opening program, which they usually do, and then I actually enjoy the race coverage. The piece on AJ Foyt and Takuma Sato was fantastic. Most of you know I became interested in Indycar after reading AJ’s biography so I especially enjoyed that segment. The reason for that segment was, of course, Sato winning the pole. I love it when any time other than the top three does well. When its AJ’s team it’s even better. Way to go Taku!

Unfortunately, Sato wouldn’t keep the lead and Will Power made his way up front and Stayed there. Funny thing is I actually cheered when he did get around Sato. Seeing Will Power struggle last year (until the end anyway) has made him more likable to me. I don’t want any one team or driver to dominate but seeing Power go from winning all the time to hardly winning has made me a bit of a Power fan. We will see how that might change if he starts winning all the time. I know he has won the last three races now but Fontana had a lot of luck involved and I don’t expect him to become a huge threat on the ovals. My thoughts on the restart–Will Power is awesome on the road and street courses. He doesn’t need to pull some gimmick to keep his lead. I’ve heard different things about if he knew what was going on or not and he might not be innocent but I don’t think it was as intentional as some think it was.

I’ve said it a million times but Ed Carpenter hiring Mike Conway was a fantastic move. Conway did great getting the Fuzzy’s car up to the front. Had he not misunderstood when he was to pit or pass the pace car he would have had a great finish. I expect this team will have a couple wins this year.

I was quite impressed with Josef Newgarten. Great to see him in top ten and nice pass around Ryan Briscoe. Briscoe showed he is going to be a contender this year. Pagenaud also had a good finish. I expect him to see a lot more of him on the podium. Jack Hawksworth was having a good day until that interesting accordion effect. Sure hope he can get another sponsor or two though, his car is ugly.

Some final thoughts. While it is still heartbreaking to see Dario retired, I’m so thankful his recovery is going well and am excited to see him in his new role. The rookies did great. It will be interesting to watch how their season unfolds. Juan Pablo Montoya was not too impressive and that was just fine with me. I was never a big fan and don’t expect to be. Allen Bestwick was a breath of fresh air. I enjoyed the tv coverage so much more than I have in the past. I hope he keeps his enthusiasm for Indycar. But perhaps the best thing about St. Pete is that we don’t have months and months to wait for the next race. We get to watch again in two weeks. That feels like an incredibly short amount of time and yet I am already counting the days.