Detroit Grand Prix Race Review No. 1: Squirrely Edition

DetroitSuirreltwittercom

Photo from twitter.com

Fittingly for Detroit the rodents ruled while the racing bit in another atrocious street “race” on Belle Isle. A track already known for enormous rats roaming the island saw a squirrel artfully dodging cars in one of the few highlights of a tedious afternoon of racing.

courtneyexplosiontwittercom.jpg

Photo from twitter.com

Courtney’s dragster blew up Friday and her husband Graham Rahal, not to be upstaged, went out and won his fifth career IndyCar race the next day. Following last week’s horrifying crash, Scott Dixon held on to second for Ganassi and SPM’s James Hinchcliffe recovered from a first lap brush with the wall – which brought out the first caution – to a best ever third place result at Detroit.

Rahalpodiumdetroitindycarcom.jpg

Photo from indycar.com

In an easy to root for effort for our veterans, Rahal raised nearly four thousand dollars in the Turns for Troops car. He Tweeted that he was “proud,” at the same time “thankful,” and again “proud.” Continue reading

Advertisements

Detroit Grand Prix Predictions and Prognostications: Bizarro Edition

takusladiestakumasatocom.jpg

Photo from takumasato.com

Considering that incredible Indy 500 result, the season’s obviously gone completely through the looking glass. Up is down, black is white and forty year old foreign ride buyers reign supreme. Hold on to your hats tightly for our picks for this Duesie of a double header in Detroit.

detroitusnewscom

Photo from usnews.com

Any series that thinks Belle Isle is worthy of one race a year – much less two, hot on the heels of Indy – has long occupied bizzarro land. As we’ve documented before at some length, it’s a rat infested dump best avoided, a destination rivaled in its unpleasantness only by Gateway in East St. Louis. It’s a peculiar location for a series seeking to maintain momentum to feature, for sure.

The thing about predicting how the races will turn out in bizarro IndyCar is that it’s just so damned . . . well, unpredictable. Did we mention this year’s 500? Oh, yeah. In light of all that, here go some rather unexpected, unorthodox picks for this weekend.

  heliotearspowermadtwitterusatodaycom

Photos from twitter.com and usatoday.com

Pole sitters for the two races will be unusual in the sense that they won’t include Frenchman Simon Pagenaud for a change. In an unbelievably hoggish display he occupied point for both races last year, edging Ryan Hunter-Reay and stable mate Helio Castro-Neves. Continue reading

Toronto Preview: Canadian Token

torontosun3com

Photo from torontosun.com

Part concrete, part asphalt and completely lined with walls, the streets of Toronto often resemble a Canuck concrete car crusher when IndyCar rolls into town. They’ll do so for the thirty second time Sunday in Canada’s token race of the year.

torontosun2com

Photo from torontosun.com

We’ve raised alarms about our northern neighbor’s dwindling presence in IndyCar before; like the sport in general, the Canadian situation has shown little improvement. There’s been talk of a new race way out west in Calgary’s oil patch, but who knows? The schedule’s been so chaotic lately it makes nights out in U.S. cities look tranquil by comparison.

newkidtoronto2sportsusatodaycom

Photo from sports.usatoday.com

Toronto used to be a double header like Belle Isle, but mercifully they discontinued the practice last year. Consider the move a token of Canadian IndyCar esteem. Continue reading

Dual In Detroit Two Race Review: No Further Action

powerdetroitsportsusatodaycom.jpg

Photo from sports.usatoday.com

Will Power saved The Cap’n’s weekend by winning at Detroit on Sunday. The race became a buzz killing Penske parade with one of the series’ least popular drivers searching for a celebration in victory lane. It didn’t help that his suit was soaking wet.

The race was preceded by wild morning qualifications that included Power and Conor Daly – among others – being penalized, though of course Penske was sanctioned less severely than Coyne. Pags stole yet another pole in the bifurcated session, with the second group dealing with a wet track. Like Saturday, starting P1 did the Frenchman little good.

Firestone Grand Prix - March 30, 2014

Photo from espnmediazone.com

Pre-race coverage began with Allen Bestwicke assuring viewers, “This is not a repeat. This is a live, original program.” A heavily made up Goodyear sagely – if slightly contradictory – said, “I think we’re going to see the same thing,” while Cheever again mentioned “all these bumps!” Thank goodness it was ABC’s last IndyCar broadcast of the year.  Continue reading

Dual in Detroit Predictions & Prognostications: Double Indignity

detroittoledobladecom

Photo from toledoblade.com

After the glory that was the 100th Indianapolis 500, IndyCar’s schedule imposes upon race fans the double indignity of Detroit. Twice. Thank you, Mark Miles. On the desperately needed upside – and in the midst of widespread Post Indy Stress Disorder, or PISD – after Detroit comes more oval track awesomeness under the lights at Texas. Yeehaw!

detroitblightidelectuscom

Photo from idelectus.com

As for the double header on Belle Isle, it’s embarrassing for a number of reasons. A Randy Bernard brainchild, double headers were once an innovative way to stretch the series’ skinny schedule. These throwbacks included double dippers at Texas Motor Speedway – huzzah! – as well as the parking lots of Houston – boo! Now we’re down merely to Detroit’s Belle Isle. Yawn.

detroitusnewscom

Photo from usnews.com

The rat infested island sits in the Detroit River, which falls under the administration of the Water & Sewerage Department. The river’s where Flint residents used to get their water, back when their only worry was drinking treated human waste. Continue reading

An Interview with Brian Carroccio Previewing IndyCar’s 2015 Season, pt 2

IRRlogo2

The conversation moved to one of our favorite topics, the Indianapolis 500. We asked Carroccio who he thought would win the ninety ninth running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

98th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race

Photo from heavy.com

BC: “Montoya. Penske is due for a win at Indy and Montoya was in my opinion the best driver in the three 500 milers last season. So, if I have to pick someone right now to win Indy give me JPM.”

kbsportsyahoocom

Photo from sports.yahoo.com

IRR: Do you think Busch will be back with Andretti Autosport for Indy in light of his legal troubles? Should he be asked back to Indy?

BC: “To be honest, I haven’t followed the Busch case closely. It was sad to see that things went south for him, because at Indy last year he seemed to be in a really good place. Whatever ends up happening is a matter for the courts to decide. The one thing I’ll add is that last May went about as well as could have been expected for Andretti Autosport, KB and IndyCar. I was amazed how well Busch seemed to adapt and his approach was very professional. I think if they do give it a second go, it will be hard to replicate the success they had.”

kbzimbiocom

Photo from zimbio.com

The IRR crew composed ourselves as best we could for the mere mention of Busch makes us fighting mad – though not nearly as angry as what would come next. Continue reading