Barber Sunday Wrap-Up
For the second weekend in a row, the Verizon IndyCar series tried to put on a snoozer of a race. That was before Graham Rahal and Simon Pagenaud decided to spice things up. After a rocky start to the race, Simon Pagenaud checked out. With no yellows after the aborted attempts, Pagenaud extended his lead. It was boring up front, but Graham Rahal, who started sixth, kept working his way up to the front.
With twelve laps to go, Rahal began stalking Pagenaud in earnest. Then on Lap 81, Rahal made his move. The two cars touched heading into Turn Eight and Pagenaud went heading into the gravel trap. Fortunately for him, he was able to keep it relatively straight and he kept going but fell in line behind Rahal. Race control reviewed the incident, but rightly chose to take no further action. But five laps later, Pagenaud retook the lead on the front straightaway. From there on, Pagenaud led to take his second win in as many weeks.
It’s a good thing there was that five-lap battle near the end, otherwise this may have been one of the more boring races I’ve ever attended in person. More on that tomorrow.
Rahal finished second for the second year in a row at Barber, while last year’s winner, Josef Newgarden, finished third.
There is no denying that Simon Pagenaud is on a tear. In the first four races, he has two second-place finishes and two wins. And to think I was wondering if his job at Penske might be in jeopardy at the end of the season.
Thanks to everyone that followed us here and on Twitter throughout the weekend. We got to see a lot of old friends and met some new ones also. In particular, it was nice to finally meet longtime reader Alex Cain, who is a transplant to Tennessee but is an avid lifelong IndyCar fan.
I’ll be back here tomorrow with my usual “Random Thoughts” post.