First lets start with something I think everyone agrees on- NBCSN coverage is so much better than ABC. That was never more evident than today, especially for us Chicago fans. In Chicago the IndyCar race was tape delayed due to the cubs game. Then when I checked after the DVR the Cubs went into overtime and after the game was the news. No race for us Chicago fans—really?. Just another reason why I love twitter and my IndyCar family. Multiple live stream links were provided and I was able to watch from my iPad.
So while I missed my nice HDTV, I was still able to watch live. I worried about the double file start with rain tires on but it went well. Will Power quickly took the lead from Juan Pablo Montoya and Josef Newgarden made his way to third. Carlos Munoz had trouble though and smoke coming from his car bringing out a local yellow.
Big debates about when to switch to slicks and James jakes, I believe, made the jump too early.
Will Power had trouble with his car, which kept popping into neutral. A new steering wheel fixed that.
By lap 36 JPM had a nearly 8 second lead over second place and at about that time Marco Andretti made the switch to slick tires. Rodolfo Gonzalez hit the tire barrier and there was a full course yellow. So at that time many cars made the switch to slicks. JPM slid in the pits and lost 2 spots. Conor Daly stayed out and claimed the number one position.
Lap 42- Daly had a good restart and kept the lead but Luca Filippi was into the wall and also Stefano Coletti. After these yellows, twitter was talking about a timed race but I hadn’t heard it mentioned on the broadcast so I wasn’t sure what was going on.
By lap 49 it was obvious that slicks were the tire to be on. But it was hard to keep up on both tire and fuel strategy and who was doing what. Newgarden pitted and then promptly hit the wall after putting on new tires. It was a hard hit too. Daly pit for slicks and Sebastien Bourdais claimed the lead.
Bourdais was told he did not have enough fuel but he said it was worth the gamble to stay out and hope for yellows. And there was no shortage of yellows. Daly, Hawksworth, Karam, Coletti, Kimball, Dixon and others were just some involved in the yellows toward the end of the race. Eventually Will Power and Helio Castroneves mix it up and bring out the red flag in an attempt to end the race on green.
There were only 6 laps left so I would have preferred to see the race go the distance but at least at this time the viewers knew what was going on. After 10 minutes and 18 seconds under red we were back to racing. Approximately 5 minutes on the clock. Green flag and Trisatn Vautier made it around JPM. Bourdais was able to stay out front and take the checkered flag. Takuma Sato was second, followed by Graham Rahal. Also noteworthy, Tristan Vautier was fourth and Conor Daly was sixth.
Wow, Bourdais made the right call to stay out and not worry about fuel. The yellows played right I to his plan. Great win for KV racing. Of course I also loved seeing Sato finish second. I was really hoping he could pull off the win.
Great race! Great season! When we watched the St. Pete race with all the crashes and debris and a Penske win you wondered how the season would work out with the new aero kits. The kits have been interesting but the racing has stayed fantastic. We continue to have new winners from new teams. I absolutely love that. Now we head back to an oval. That should be interesting.