Milwaukee Race Review: ‘Because He Got High’ Edition

Jul 12, 2015; West Allis, WI, USA; Verizon IndyCar Series driver Sebastien Bourdais (11) during practice for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee Mile Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-230510 ORIG FILE ID:  20150712_ads_bv1_019.JPG

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First time pole sitter Josef Newgarden could have won the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 after leading over a hundred laps Sunday, but faded in the middle portion of the race due to pit stops and traffic, ultimately finishing fifth because he got high. The same could be said for other drivers in the highly entertaining show, though none reached the heights of Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais who took his thirty fourth career IndyCar win at the Milwaukee Mile. Helio Castro Neves started dead last – behind even Pippa Mann – then steadily sped through the field to a highly surprising second place finish for the Cap’n‘s best result. Helio also could have won the race, but he got high. Third place was as high as Graham Rahal could hold on to, but Bobby’s boy continued his strong 2015 season with another highly satisfying podium finish.

On the other end of the blunt, Ed Carpenter‘s horrid year continued at the Milwaukee Mile. Early in the contest he held up the race leader and his team mate JoNew for several laps before finally letting him – and  those pursuing him – past. They got around him, high. It was reported during the race that Ed fired his spotter after crashing both his team’s cars and then calling the spotter out at Fontana, replacing him with former 500 winner Buddy Rice. Apparently the spotter wasn’t the problem at Milwaukee, as Carpenter eventually struggled home in tenth. That’s his highest result of the year, as the Fuzzy’s Vodka car hadn’t completed an oval race until Sunday.


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Getting high on the flat oval seemed to be the key to speed for those running up front as many cars experienced ill handling most of the day. Race control in its infinite wisdom slowed the competitors down to a snail’s pace of fifty miles per hour on pit lane in the ever tiresome interest of safety, and for a change none of Dale Coyne’s drivers hit a crewman. Not surprisingly there was a pit lane speed violation by Juan Montoya, however. His speed was judged to be too high. 


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British lass Pippa was first out of the generally clean, green race for Coyne – there were only three cautions –  followed soon thereafter by Will Power and Ryan Briscoe who tangled yet again for their second consecutive DNF. Why? Because they got high. SPM’s James Jakes lost his Honda engine, while highly touted Ganassi rookie Sage Karam made contact with the wall after getting high. With fewer than fifty laps left, Justin Wilson’s Andretti Autosport Honda also blew up, bringing out the final caution and setting up a shootout to the highly anticipated checkered flag. KV Racing’s Bourdais was having none of it though, as he opened up a comfortable lead and pulled away for the win – because he got high.


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Concerns ran high about attendance not being high enough, although worries about the historic event’s future should have been laid to rest by a decent sized crowd and a highly thrilling race. Hopefully Michael Andretti – whose company has been promoting the event – is highly satisfied for once in his life. Strong advocates of oval racing, we fervently hope yesterday’s highly exciting race helped save the mile. We were going to do more for the cause, but then we got high.


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NBCSN’s coverage reached its usual high level of quality, with Australian Leigh Diffy really settling into his lead announcing role. Canadian Paul Tracy always adds perspective to the calls as well as color to the booth, making up for Townsend Bell’s many shortcomings. We wonder in the case of Townsend, is it because he got high?