We’re back, totally not cutting this fine in regards to the next race, with my top and bottom three moments from Barber Motorsport Park.
Twin Checkered Flags
1: The Chosen one makes his mark
Ever since Josef Newgarden first arrived in IndyCar, starting in the one car team of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing before progressing to the full time driver in a two car team when it was absorbed by Ed Carpenter Racing, there’s always been that murmur of “Yeah, he’s good, but imagine him in one of the big three.” This year, we don’t have to imagine anymore; it finally happened, and after only three races – at what is called his home race no less – Newgarden got that first win for Team Penske.
A big first win and a ridiculously smooth spiel as he thanked his sponsors.
I’d say the future is in good hands if this is one of IndyCar’s rising stars truly graduating to full blown star.
2: Take the Time You Need
If you’re a follower of Formula 1 as well, you probably saw how certain members of the media handled Pascal Wehrlein (and previously, Fernando Alonso) stepping out of the car due to injury. Many questioned his commitment to racing, assuming that all he really needed was to pop a painkiller or two and get right back in the car.
This week in IndyCar, due to a hand injury gained at Long Beach, JR Hildebrand stepped out of the car, giving Zach Veach his debut two races earlier than expected.
How did the IndyCar media handle it? “These things happen sometime and we’ll see him back soon enough.”
Yo, Formula One, this is the correct response to these types of situations, not a bluster of faux masculinity to shame the drivers.
3: From DNF to Fifth
After being the second of the Andretti Autosport cars to break down at Long Beach, Alexander Rossi, through some clever undercut pit strategies and good overtakes, worked his way from an eighteenth starting position to a strong fifth, equaling his result at Sonoma and his highest finish position outside of Indy.
You really do have to wonder what could have been at Long Beach if it wasn’t for that mechanical failure. Certainly not sitting tenth in the championship, that’s for sure.
1: The Ballads of Will Power
Oh Will Power, every time it looks like things might finally be going in the right direction for him, something else goes wrong.
Pole at St Pete ended with a drive through penalty and engine issues. In Long Beach an attempt of a first lap charge was stopped in its tracks by Charlie Kimball.
At Barber, once again he stuck the car on pole and was dominating for the majority of the race only to get a dreaded radio message in the final third. Puncture, tyre pressure down to 12 psi, pit now. What should have been his win became a fourteenth finish continuing one of his worst season starts in his IndyCar career.
It’s even worse than last year when he missed St Pete due to an extreme ear infection which says it all, really.
2: Commentator Curse Hits #GiveSpencerPigotAFullTimeRide
Dear Leigh Diffey.
Never point out how well Spencer Pigot is doing during a race again please. If this happens again I will swim across the pond to talk to you.
3: The Death Star is Being Rebuilt
It took us three races but it finally happened: Penske and Ganassi have filled the podium. Not just that but three of the four Penske cars finished in the top four positions with only Power on the outside looking in thanks to that puncture. For all Honda has looked strong against the Chevy teams, Penske has still had at least one car up front in every race and both Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud are looking pretty third and forth in the championship.
I’m sure if you listen carefully, you can just about hear the first notes of the Imperial March…