Photo- Dana Garrett, Indycar
Wow! What a good race. This was arguably the best Indycar race I have seen on the IMS road course. There were battles for the lead, fights for position throughout the field, and the drama of the points leader losing ground. The winning pass also came on track. Race 2 has a tough act to follow.
The early battle for the lead between Colton Herta and Rinus VeeKay was a glimpse into Indycar’s future. The two drivers have an average of less than two years’ experience combined. Herta’s move to grab the lead at the start was topped by VeeKay’s move to regain the top spot the next lap.
I feel for Marco Andretti. He qualified well and was having a great race until the lap 79 fire which ended his day. He was in contention for a top 10.
Josef Newgarden is now within 40 points of Scott Dixon for the series championship. Dixon, who said his car struggled on black tires, needs to finish ahead of Newgarden tomorrow. he still could clinch the title after Race 2, but it looks more likely the title will be decided in St.Pete. All other drivers are eliminated from title contention.
Newgarden has 3 wins for the year, and Dixon has four. Dixon hasn’t won since Road America Race 1 on July 11.
Will Power had another issue in the pits but he recovered to finish sixth.
It was unusual to see Simon Pagenaud struggle and pick up only six spots from his 22nd starting position.
Will Power would do well on a dirt track. His slide and save coming off the last turn was exciting and showed great car control.
I’m not sure how close to the 10,00 fan limit the Speedway was today, but it appeared to be near the limit. Tomorrow might be the biggest crowd of the weekend and should reach the allowed capacity.