At the time I am writing this I have seen many comments on twitter and have watched the start of the race and pre show. I attended this race with my boys and we had an amazing time but right now I want to write about the race itself and will follow up soon with our weekend experience. So what I really want to do is compare my experience with what I’ve heard others saying.
Others are saying–
1. Crowds are much smaller this year than last.
We sat in a completely different area so of course the crowd seemed different to me but I didn’t notice a dramatic difference in numbers. There was a threat for bad weather so I do think that kept some of your walk up crowd away but I thought it seemed like a good attendance. We were given seats in the Northwest Vista (see more about that in my next post). It was mostly full on the higher rows and still decent on the lower rows. The stands prior to ours (J stand, I believe) looked much fuller. The mounds also looked full. Again I thought attendance looked good.
2. ABC coverage was terrible.
Maybe I just heard so much negative about the coverage that I expected it to be ridiculously bad. I felt it wasn’t that bad. It’s ABC. They are not near as good as the NBCSN guys but it wasn’t that bad. Jon Beekus was back so that was good.
3. Helio caused the accident in turn 1, lap 1.
I watched Tony Kanaan with Dave Furst. Tony believed that Helio caused the incident and should be penalized. He was also upset about those who went through the run off area getting better track position than those who stayed on track. I’ve watched the start plenty of times. I admit repeatedly that I don’t always know the race line but it seemed to me to just be a racing incident. I don’t think it was avoidable contact. It was the start. Everyone was trying to find their spot and pass. I think it was a racing incident and don’t think Helio should be penalized. As far as the cars that went through the run off- I couldn’t see enough of the coverage to see if cars gained positions or not by going off course. If they did gain spots they should have been moved back. I completely agree with Tony on that part.
I have two other things to point out.
Josef Newgarden– if he had not been involved in the lap one crash he would have been a contender for sure. He held off Will Power for quite awhile to stay on the lead lap. I can’t wait to see what he will do in the 500.
Graham Rahal- second place for the second race. He has been great and he did it in a Honda and the Honda’s really struggled in qualifying. Keep your eye on Graham.
All in all the GP of Indy was not the most exciting race. Graham kept us watching the last couple laps but Power was able to hold him off and made it a ho hum race. However, it was a fantastic event. If you have not attended I highly recommend it. I will be posting soon about our trip to the race. The boys and I had an amazing time.
The last two races I’ve attended (GP of Indy 2015, Milwaukee 2014) Will Power won both the pole and the race. Sure hope that changes for the next race I attend which will be my first 500. I want Ed Carpenter, Josef Newgarden, Marco Andretti or Graham Rahal (or most other drivers especially if it is their first win at the speedway) to win. I’d be okay with a repeat winner if it was Helio. I’d like to see him join the four time winners club. The best part about the 500 is I will be in attendance for the first time. Woo Hoo. Can’t wait for that.
Look for posts coming soon about our trip to the Grand Prix and also my long journey to my first 500.
Update- 5-12-15 after listening to the May 11th podcast of Trackside.
I still think the turn one crash was a racing incident but people smarter than me believe Helio was at fault. Then Curt and Kevin discussed a similar incident involving Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball during St. Pete I believe. Rahal was given a penalty for that incident. Well, that changes things a bit. However, at this time, it’s too late. The race is over. I’ve watched the replay over and over but I still think it was just one of those things. Curt and Kevin also mentioned that some people are saying that Dixon turned down in front of Helio. I’m more in agreement with that but then that also comes down to where is the racing line. As I’ve said before I often don’t know. I do know drivers go wide before a turn to be able to make the turn. The drivers know the line so if Dixon was just following the line, Helio would have known he would be turning down. Okay so I guess I’m just saying I don’t know how this should have turned out but I’m willing to give Helio the benefit of the doubt on this one.
Also there was talk about if Josef Newgarden should have pulled over for others to pass once Power had passed him and he was no longer on the lead lap. Absolutely not. We know Josef is a great driver. We’ve seen him pass Power before. He was still in the mix enough to keep fighting with all he had.