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Texas Motor Speedway routinely provides some of the most intense, fast and exciting racing on the IndyCar calendar. Thank you Eddie Gossage. And thank you IndyCar for not screwing it up. Its thrills and spills guarantee fans and viewers an action packed night of fun, year in and year out with few exceptions. We at IRR are absolutely delighted to behold another night race on the big, high banked, high speed oval and confidently predict that it won’t disappoint.
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That is unless the series meddles too much with the rules – again. The surprise of the weekend will be if IndyCar’s last minute fiddling with aero kits and ass pods and allowing teams little testing in the haphazard process – see spectacular practice crashes from Indianapolis – doesn’t foul up the racing again this year. Those are really the only races that ever disappoint at Texas, when the series tries to make the racing “more safe” – read as buzz killing – and end up turning Denton’s diamond into dino dung.
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Like IndyCar in general when at its best, the enticement of TMS is the passing, the close side by side or “pack” racing AND its inherent dangers. IndyCar shouldn’t continue messing with a good thing at Texas – we also blame lame-brained aero kits – and has been placed on double secret probation by IRR as a result. “One more slip up, one more mistake and . . . ”
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This year’s pole winner probably won’t be a surprise, as Penske’s four cars are all typically highly capable and represent over a sixth of the field. Will Power’s won the pole the last two years in a row, which means either Helio or Montoya likely will take P1. In our view the Mad Aussie outta be put on permanent probation – on principle.
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We predict first out of the race is a safe bet with rookie Stefano “faster than Andretti” Coletti. Fined ten grand and placed on probation for apparently jeopardizing the Holmatro safety crew Sunday at Detroit, he certainly has the series’ attention. The kid from Monaco’s definitely quick and fearless, but also crash-prone. His first visit to TMS will be a real eye opener for KV’s young gun. Probation may make him slow down under yellow but it won’t help him on the eighteen degree banking under the lights Saturday night. He’d better hope probation doesn’t lead to prison in Texas.
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Our pick for the biggest surprise of the race coincides with our predicted first time winner. In fact we’re going with a shock winner, because with six different winners in eight races it’s been that kind of season. It’s young Pennsylvanian Sage Karam‘s first visit to the track and funnily enough, he’s on probation too.
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Karam’s been quick and also driving angry after being punted on the 500’s first lap by Sato. With poor results lately, he badly wants to finish the “600k” for ol’ Chip. He’ll do more than that, giving American race fans another home grown winner in 2015 for which to cheer. That’s right, you read it here first. It’ll be Karam’s first ever IndyCar win and remarkably the series’ third first-time winner of the year. Of course this means the Chipster’s on IRR probation too – on principle.
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Quote of the Week, Sebastien Bourdais: “In IndyCar, no one makes money. It’s just great, pure racing.”