First, I want to send best wishes to George and Susan Phillips as Susan begins her journey to recover from cancer. This issue hits me hard. I know they will be fine in the end. I’m glad I got to spend some time with them this weekend. they are such great people.
I though history might be made today. There was, but not the history I expected. The youngest front row in history. I’m sure someone has stats on this, but it may have been the youngest top 3 starters in history.
This was a day for the younger generation to shine. Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta on the front row had less than two full years of experience between them, and third place starter Alex Palou is a rookie. The duel at the end between O’Ward and seconds year driver Felix Rosenqvist was compelling. Rosenqvist has been close to winning before. he nearly nipped Dixon at mid Ohio last year. This is probably the most patient race I’ve sen Rosenqvist drive.
It was an exciting finish to what was mostly a processional race. Two younger drivers, one Honda, one Chevy, battling in the closing laps, made for great drama.. I happened to be in the right spot at the right time at the end to catch the photos in this piece. The main photo is after.
Scott Dixon didn’t go four for four on the season, but the Ganassi team did. The pit bobble bug hit Dixon today. His car didn’t seem to have the pace it had Saturday.
Colton Herta missed the pole, but he had his fourth top 10 and third top 5 of the season. Herta is now second in the point standings. Maybe the television crew could talk about him more than they talk about Ferrucci now?
I watched the replay of yesterday’s start. It seemed O’Ward brought the field to the line a little slow. that usually leads to the cahos that occurred after the green flag. The restarts looked to be at the correct pace.
Alexander rossi finally got the result that everyone had expected to see all season. A series of unfortunate events has seen Rossi finishing at the bottom of the field. Third place must feel like a victory to him.
Charlie Kimball had a good weekend for A. J. Foyt Racing with an 11th on saturday and a 10th yesterday. Kimball could have a decent season. The team is showing more consistency this year.
I’m not sure what Will Power was doing at the start. It’s too bad NTT Indycar Series officials could only issue one penalty. I think the penalty of going to the rear of the field is too light, especially when it is assessed that early in the race. It allowed Power to go off strategy and take the lead at one point. I think a drive through at least would be more appropriate.
All in all, it was great to be back at a race.
I saw a lot of social media concerns about what was seen on television and posts from the track about lack of social distancing and people not wearing masks. From what I observed, masks were not as prevalent as I expected. Some track personnel weren’t even wearing one. I had mine on when i was walking about, but took it off when I was with people I knew to safe. Some people I saw never wore one all weekend.
As for distancing, there were some large groups of people who seemed to be together both days. The track signage said family groups could be together. I assumed that meant living in the same household. Groups were bigger than that. the top of hill in utrn 5, the most popular viewing spot, was pretty packed on Saturday. yesterday the crowd was lighter and more spread out there. I watche d yesterday from turn 7. A decent amount of people, not a huge group by any means, spread out in their groups. Groups gave each other plenty of space.
The track did everything it could as far as signage and PA announcements. track personnel could not police the entire area. What Road America could have done is sell fewer tickets to this event. Compliance was left up to each individual. Sadly, many chose to not follow the protocols. I don’t believe the track is at fault. their efforts were commendable, but as i said, they couldn’t force anyone to follow their guidelines.
I’m interested to see how Iowa handles distancing in their grandstands next weekend. From what i saw, I just don’t see how IMS can hold the 500 next month. There will be more than three times as many people as there were at Road America. I don’t expect to see better compliance than I saw this weekend.