Saturday ALGP Wrap-Up

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The Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis basically became Simon Pagenaud’s playground. In fact, you could say that about pretty much the Verizon IndyCar Series season. After five races, Pagenaud has won three races in a row, after finishing second in the last two. Consequently, he is currently running away with the championship.

Right now, Simon Pagenaud leads Scott Dixon by seventy-six points, after Dixon finished a quiet seventh in today’s race. Helio Castroneves had been agonizingly slow all weekend, but lucked out on a pit stop just before the caution and was able to ultimately finish second. James Hinchcliffe carried the banner for Honda. His crew got him in front of Simon Pagenaud on the second pit stop, but the Chevy engine simply had too much horsepower down the long straightaways at this track. That may be foreboding for the Indianapolis 500 in two weeks.

Although he barely missed the podium, the drive of the day undoubtedly belonged to Graham Rahal. After originally qualifying third, Rahal was disqualified for his car being too light in post-qualifying inspection, along with the car of Josef Newgarden. Although Newgarden had nothing for the field, Rahal carved his way up through the field and finished a strong fourth. Imagine what he would have done had he been allowed to start in his original qualifying position.

Another strong performance came from local favorite Conor Daly, who benefited from a fortunate pit stop just as Castroneves did. Daly took the lead on Lap 46 on a re-start and impressively drove away from Helio Castroneves. Daly led for fourteen laps before his last pit stop. He came out in third, but fell to eventually finish sixth in the final tally. Still, the young Daly and his Dale Coyne crew should be happy with the way things fell.

Of course, the big loser of the day was Tony Kanaan. He and Sébastien Bourdais collided just before the first turn on the opening lap. As Bourdais struggled for another twenty laps before exiting the race; Kanaan’s day was done just a few hundred yards into the race.

Will Power spun early and finished nineteenth. He ruined his momentum of trying to make up the deficit he incurred by missing the first race at St. Petersburg and now finds himself mired in tenth place in points.

Of course, the entire field is looking way up at Simon Pagenaud. By winning the last three races, he is making a mockery of this championship. If he wins the Indianapolis 500 and the double points that go with it – this championship coud be effectively over by June. Right now he is flawless. If May ends with him drinking milk, it could be a very boring summer.

Please Note: Since there is not track activity on Sunday, there will be no post on Sunday. I will return on Monday with my usual “Random Thoughts” on the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Thanks to those that followed us this short racing weekend, here and on Twitter. See you Monday.

George Phillips

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6 Responses to “Saturday ALGP Wrap-Up”

  1. Bent Wickerbill Says:

    Thanks George…

  2. I really enjoyed this race. It’s starting to grow on me. 3 years now, can we call it a tradition yet?

    • Yannick Says:

      I think we can it a tradition because the Grand Prix of Indianapolis effectively is a continuation of the event that started in 2000 as USGP on the Indy Road Course. It is the 4th event in the history of IndyCars that these machines have taken over from Formula 1 after that series had left the respective circuits. Other places where this happened are (in no particular order) Long Beach, Watkins Glen and the former Caesar’s Palace parking lot in Las Vegas. The only difference between those (former) races is that, in the wake of reunification, the event lay dormant for a couple of years before being taken over by IndyCar. But then, in a way, it retained a bit of date equity: the USGP used to be in early June whereas the GP of Indy is in early May. One month difference is not a big deal.

  3. Ron Ford Says:

    After my initial downer of seeing the under-a-Cheevers again, I enjoyed the race, particularly that day-glo Menards car cutting through the gloom. I was surprised and pleased by how well Conor Daly did in the small change car.

  4. EDGAR Emmitt Says:

    I watched both races yesterday and thought the lights race was much more enjoyable to watch.
    Frankly the Indy Lights cars look more like a race car than those junked up Indy Cars.
    Just a thought.
    My hats off to any fan that sat in those stands on Saturday.Reminded me of 1992 all over again.
    Sure hope the weather is better for the big one in 2 weeks.

  5. Brian McKay in balmy Florida Says:

    Thanks for blogging. I hope that you enjoyed it even if your favorite, Castroneves, didn’t have a winning day. Does Will Power need to see a sports psychologist? ABC television was horrible. Alan Bestwick told us that JoNew’s car was .2 pound overweight. Several cars and drivers weren’t shown on television. A few cars were only shown *briefly.* Cheever and Goodnap suck, and I’d rather have Davey Hamilton and Bob Varsha in the booth.

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