Random Thoughts From Barber
Susan was driving my car as I typed, so there is no telling what this will look like. I have not seen the television broadcast and I have nothing to go by except what I saw live and a printout of the race results.
My original impression though, is that this race was more entertaining than last year’s. After the yellow on Lap 1, it was somewhat of a parade. There was no passing to speak of. But once there was a yellow around Lap 30, the race took on a different look.
I think next year, I’ll spend most of my time over on the backstretch. The speeds are much greater, you get a good view of the entire backstretch and you also get a good view of turn five – which is the best passing zone on the track.
I got a great view of the start, which was much cleaner than St. Petersburg. Tony Kanaan must’ve passed eight cars. I watched him through Turn 2 and it was a patented Kanaan move. He started in twenty-fourth and when they went by under the caution, he was in fourteenth. He ended up sixth. Pretty impressive.
At one point, Danica Patrick made it up to fourth after starting twenty-second – mostly due to not taking tires on her last pit stop. The plan backfired and she finished seventeenth. There were several impressive runs, though.
Sebastien Bourdais and Simon Pagenaud both did their country proud, finishing in eleventh and eighth respectively. Although she spun to avoid hitting the spinning EJ Viso and was on the tail end of the lead lap, Simona de Silvestro stayed with it all day and finished ninth. I was also glad to see Oriol Servia had a strong weekend, finishing fifth. He and James Hinchcliffe had great qualifying runs for Newman/Haas. Hinchcliffe showed that he was a true rookie and spun on the first lap. He finished twenty-fourth.
Justin Wilson drove well until he tangled with Rafa Matos. I don’t know what happened – I never saw it live or a replay – but he ended up with a disappointing finishing in nineteenth place.
Things look pretty interesting heading into Long Beach. Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe are still looking for a good finish. Andretti Autosport drivers had another less than mediocre day – other than Marco, who acquitted himself nicely after starting the season off on his hat. Right now – it’s pretty much between Will Power and Dario Franchitti. It sounds familiar and will probably be the theme throughout the season. Nothing against either driver, but I hope there is someone else to step up some weekends.
I’ll have some final pictures possibly tomorrow.