Texas IndyCar Race Review: Attrition Edition

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The racing was breathtaking Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway – as usual – when they weren’t screwing it up. Cautions breed cautions the saying goes, but apparently the same isn’t true for red flags. Instead, the thrilling race petered out under yellow with Will Power anticlimactically taking his second win at Texas.

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There were accidents galore, with a dozen cars retiring due to contact. By contrast, the race saw only one mechanical when pole sitter Charlie Kimball’s Honda expired. Nine cautions flew for 66 laps including the red flag stoppage. There were no fewer than seven crashes including James Hinchcliffe’s pit lane fiasco as well as six on track incidents. The race had it all. Ed Carpenter even did a 360 on a lap 102 restart, spinning on the front straight before amazingly saving his car and avoiding everyone else.

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Alexander Rossi was first out, the victim of a Ganassi sandwich as he got bounced like a basketball between the blue cars and into the wall. It wouldn’t be the last time Tony Kanaan was involved in an on track fracas. Continue reading

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Texas IndyCar Predictions and Prognostications: Typical Texas

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IndyCar oval track racing – the highest, fastest and most breathtaking form of motorsport – returns to that shrine of speed Texas Motor Speedway for a twenty ninth time Saturday night. Some have been looking forward to this since the end of last August, when a twice rain delayed race started in June concluded with another record close finish in which Graham Rahal edged James Hinchcliffe by a nose.

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Our special prediction for the Rainguard 600 will make race fans very happy, indeed. Despite concerns about the reconfiguration of turns 1 and 2 since last visit, there will be plenty of three wide, 220 mile per hour plus, edge of your seat racing. In other words, it’ll be typical Texas.

Pole winner was Carlos “OK” Munoz for AA last year and Will Power for Penske the two years prior. Neither of them won from P1, though both are worth keeping an eye on. The last winner from pole at Texas was Ryan Briscoe in 2010, so like most ovals starting position isn’t crucial. In that spirit we’ll go with the Cap’n’s curmudgeonly Power for yet another pole, making it three already for the season.

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Photo from sports.usatoday.com

Since Jack Hawksworth’s no longer in the series, first out will be Dale Coyne’s latest seat filler for the weekend, Frenchman Tristan Vautier. Unlike his counterpart countrymen in IndyCar, Vautier routinely raises the wreck total – just ask Graham Rahal. We feel for his pit crewmen and hope they’re current on their insurance.  Continue reading

Sixteen Predictions for the 2016 IndyCar Season

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Including the 100th Indy 500, Team Penske, Mad Will Power and more.

It’s been some time since our Predictions and Prognostications Department actually earned their lavish salaries and expense accounts, so it’s high time they did. After an up and down 2015 season they’ve dusted off the old crystal ball and are due for some duesies.

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The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 mile extravaganza will occur, despite the exceptionally inept Mark Miles‘ shoddy efforts. Overcoming the series’ serious lack of leadership, an American nevertheless will emerge to win the historic race – albeit in an Italian car.

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Speaking of cars, expect still more flipping at Indianapolis this year thanks to those flipping aero kits, and also due to the near octogenarian Mario Andretti being back behind the wheel of the two seater. Cleared for takeoff.  Continue reading

IndyCar News Week in Review: Christmas Charity Edition

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Daly Does Dale: Hoosier Conor Daly landed a full time ride for the 2016 IndyCar season, albeit with one of the lesser teams Dale Coyne Racing. The rough equivalent of a football player signing with the hapless Colts, it’s a well deserved ride in the big league and we’re extremely happy for Conor. For “Dollar Dale,” Daly’s a dramatic upgrade over Dracone, Vautier, et al and it’s perhaps evidence that he’s been reading our site. Happily, Coyne’s crewmembers should be much safer performing their duties in the new year, as the attrition rate in DCR’s pits was Battle of the Somme ghastly. Seems he’s gotten somewhat charitable, that Coyne chap.

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Coyne Claims Clausen: In another stunningly early announcement from Coyne a.k.a. the king of procrastination, Bryan Clauson will drive for the team in the all important 100th running of the Indy 500. The four time king of USAC will attempt to make his third 500 start, guaranteeing at least a couple of Hoosiers will attempt to race in the state’s biggest event since the Battle of Tippecanoe Creek.

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White Russian, Anyone?: Mikhail Aleshin will return to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports next year after an involuntary hiatus in 2015, apparently related to sanctions against Vlad Putin’s resurgent Russia or something. Hinch’s latest teammate Continue reading