Detroit Race Review No. 2: ‘Penske’s GM Amateur Hour’ Edition

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It is entirely appropriate that ABC’s last ever IndyCar broadcast involved a pace car crash during the parade laps that they missed while away at commercial, utterly destroying a brand new Corvette and delaying the start by thirty seven minutes. It was less so that Honda absolutely schooled Chevy in their hometown yet again, sweeping both races rather easily and awarding AA’s Ryan Hunter-Reay the trophy Sunday. Despite a positive public face and Power’s podium, the Cap’n could not have been happy.

RHR earned the victory, for much of the race looked like a Rossi runaway, the 500 winner starting from pole after emerging from a drenched morning qualifications. Overcoming adversity after a podium finish Saturday, the victor spun into the tire barrier during quals Sunday morning and received a penalty for his trouble, losing his fastest two laps of the session. As a result Hunter-Reay started back in tenth position. He wouldn’t be deterred.

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The pre-race consisted of a replay of Hinch’s lap from yesterday and a very subdued command to start engines by Mark Reuss – a senior VP at GM – who then proceeded to crash the pace car on the parade lap, stopping the race before it’d even begun. IndyCar should demand that  Continue reading

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Detroit Race Review No. 1: We Freakin’ Nailed It! Edition

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How did they do it? Who’s the soothsayer? What were they on? These are the questions they’ll be asking about IRR in future annals of IndyCar blogs, at least if we have any input.

Scott Dixon scored his 42nd career win, tying Michael Andretti for third all time behind his dad and AJ, marking his fourteenth consecutive season with at least one win. He won handily over Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi in a Honda parade through the heart of downtown Detroit, though it was his first visit to victory lane since Road America last season.

As for what little pre-race there was, the ABC booth took on the somber tone of a wake, or would have had it not been so sleepy. After the obligatory, outrageous Power 500 recap, Jan Beekhuis spoke with pole sitter Marco, who insists upon repeatedly referring to his many “outside poles,” or what everyone else on the planet refers to as starting second. The legacy driver on an eight year drought fibbed and said he “thinks we can pass pretty well here.” But the bigger story would be his burgeoning feud with a teammate – one who’s actually won the Indy 500.

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The stands looked fairly full on a gorgeous day and ticket sales were “up 15% over last year,” according to Bestwick. Rain’s possible tomorrow, Continue reading

Detroit Grand Prix Predictions and Prognostications: Double Down Edition

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Our expectations are rolling high for the first race on Saturday afternoon as it’s forecast to be wet.  With heavy thunderstorms expected, there’s the feeling that it could be one of those Houston 2014 double header weekends with all sorts of surprises. Considering it’s in Detroit, rain’s as good as it gets on the coma inducing street course giving the gamblers a better shot at beating the house.

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 28:  Carlos Huertas of Colombia, driver of the #18 Dale Coyne Racing Dallara Honda, celebrates with Miss Grand Prix contestants after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race #1 at NRG Park on June 28, 2014 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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It could be the magical kind of weekend where a group like Carlos Huertas and Dale Coyne beat Penske and Ganassi to win defying all the odds. Luckily for race fans, IndyCar in its infinite wisdom has doubled down on Detroit at a time when nearly everyone else has fled.  All this, right there on an international border that’s now one giant casino.

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The special prediction for the weekend is lots of losers – wet fans, most every gambler and once again the Honda teams. Andretti Autosport’s Continue reading