If you have been following the race you know it’s been quite crazy. I’m not even sure where to start with this blog entry. There is a lot to cover. So I’m going to start by going back to the 100th Running of the Indy 500.
Carlos Munoz finished second in the Indy 500 and was absolutely crushed. He finished second for a second time and his heartbreak was felt through the tv. Munoz has always been fast and has proved to be talented driver. He has won a race and always does well at Indy. His disappointment at not winning at Indy made him a little more personable to the fans. Two weeks later he won the Pole at Texas Motor Speedway. Some people like racing for the fast cars, I like the drivers. Stories like Munoz’s are what make me root for one driver over another and right now I want a win for Munoz preferably at Indy but I will take Texas. But wait it’s Sunday afternoon and the Texas race was Saturday night, well it should have been but Mother Nature had other plans.
Saturday night after dinner with the family I went to watch the race and soon learned I would have over an hour of prerace show before green flag. Rain had drenched the speedway the track needed to dry. Perfect! I love interviews with the drivers and getting more behind the scenes information. We had the NBCSN crew back so this was going to be fun. However, one hour turned to two and eventually to three before the race was finally delayed until Sunday. No additional rain came through Saturday evening but the weepers on the track would not stop and made for unsafe conditions. The first hour or so of prerace show was great. The NBCSN station eventually switched to showing IndyCar Chronicles and highlights from the Indy 500. When the coverage did return it showed drivers tweeting and doing live Facebook feeds along with the NBCSN crew hanging out and trying to talk with anyone who was willing. Josef Newgarden was doing a live Facebook feed and suggested going into the stands to talk with the fans. At first he was told he couldn’t do it but eventually was given permission and the idea gained momentum. Many of the Verizon IndyCar drivers went into the stands to do an impromptu autograph session. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating–IndyCar drivers are the best!!! Joining Josef Newgarden was James Hinchcliffe, Conor Daly, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sebastian Bourdais, Graham Rahal, Carlos Munoz, Mikhail Aleshin and others. Has anyone ever heard of this happening before and with so many of the field willing to participate. It was really cool to watch from Josef’s live feed, from the NBCSN coverage and from the tweets of those at the race. That my friends is how you grow a sport. That is how you make lifelong fans. I loved it.
The race was eventually postponed and I went to bed. I was disappointed they would not be racing under the lights but was looking forward to a Sunday afternoon race.
After church I turned on the TV to find out coverage had been moved to CNBC. I hate it when I miss updates like that. Not a big deal I only missed a couple minutes as the race was still delayed for wet conditions. They did finally get going though and the green flag waved.
The race started fine and the weepers did not seem to be causing problems. After a pit stop on lap 42 Conor Daly lost control of his car. Daly’s car crashed into Josef Newgarden’s car and Josef’s car turned on its side before hitting the SAFER barrier. Both drivers were talking to their crews and moving in the cars. Daly exited his car and appeared to be fine. Josef exited his car much more slowly and collapsed after. That was the scariest part. Thankfully the reports from IndyCar are that Josef has injured his shoulder and wrist but is otherwise fine. We have not yet learned the extent of the injuries and what effect it will have on the rest of his season. James Hinchcliffe tweeted that Josef is cracking jokes with the doctors. That is good news.
The race was about to go back to green on lap 71 but was red flagged when it began raining. The rain came down hard and fast and after the problems they had drying the track the night before few thought they would be able to resume racing. At 5:00 central time IndyCar announced that the race would resume August 27th. It is actually hard to not laugh at that. It is the right move. The teams have testing at Road America on Wednesday so staying in Texas is not an option. The IndyCar schedule is in desperate need of races in August to fill the gaps in the schedule but it still cracks me up that we have to wait nearly two months to find out how the race ends. Has this ever happened before? IndyCar never ceases to surprise me. First the drivers take to the stands, then we have what I will assume is the longest race in history- starting in June, ending in August.
So there is the weekend as I saw it. Some might not of appreciated it with the lack of racing but I still enjoyed the coverage. I could have done without the Daly/Newgarden crash but am hopeful we will hear good news about Josef soon and that he will be at the next race. IndyCar is always full of surprises. Can’t wait to learn what the next one is.
Update- Shortly after I published this post IndyCar released a statement on Josef Newgarden. Josef sustained a fractured right clavicle and a fracture in his right hand. He was expected to be released from the hospital Sunday evening. No word yet on how long he will be out of the car. Ed Carpenter Racing tweeted that JR Hildebrand will be driving the No. 21 car until Josef returns beginning this Wednesday at a test at Road America.
Josef also posted on Instagram that he can’t wait to get back in the car but just needs some time to heal.
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Just give me a bit of time and I'll be ready to kick some ass. Very happy that @conordaly22 is okay and I'll be ready to rock soon enough. Thank you so much to everyone that helped me – our safety crew and everyone @indycar / @txmotorspeedway / Parkland Hospital. We are so fortunate to work with the best in the business. I'm gonna drink a ton of milkshakes, heal my bones and get my ass back into the car. I'm so fortunate to have so many wonderful people in my corner. See ya soon.