Saturday at Portland

Good morning from the great northwest- side of Indianapolis, that is. Marti was transferred to rehab yesterday afternoon, so i will be covering the final three from races from home. I will miss dinner at Homegrown Smokers in Portland tonight.

Indycar has a hectic schedule today with a 75 minute early practice, qualifying an hour and 45 minutes later, then a 30 minute race prep session. Qualifying will be key for the title contenders. The closer to the front you are, the better chance you have of avoiding a turn 1 catastrophe.

Today’s schedule: All times Pacific. All of today’s sessions are live on Peacock. Qualifying will re air on NBCSN at 11:30 pm Eastern.

https://thepitwindow.blog/2021/09/10/portland-grand-prix-preview-return-to-the-west/

Notes

Indycar photo by James Black

Callum Ilott will drive in the final three races of the season for Juncos-Hollinger Racing. Last year’s T2 runner up has to be considere3d a strong candidate for this seat full time in 2022. He was originally slated just for this weekend, but Ilott was able to clear his schedule to run all three Indycar races. The continuity will be helpful to the team as they prepare to go fulltime next season.

Today and tomorrow there will be ceremonies to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The details can be found here:

INDYCAR To Commemorate 9/11 Through Charitable Activations, Special Race Weekend Ceremonies

Indy Lights points leader David Malukas won the pole for Race 1, which runs immediately after Indycar qualifying. The race airs on Peacock. Kyle Kirkwood, who trails Malukas by 3 points, starts fifth.

Marshall Pruett of Racer magazine confirmed today what I had been thinking. The IMS road course will serve as a backup if one or both of the California races cannot go on as planned. Get ready for Harvest Classic 2.0. I hope it doesn’t come to that.

Quick Thoughts on the Race That Changed the Season

The first quarter of the race looked like a high speed version of Nashville- poor judgment, messy restarts, and yellows breeding yellows.

I have never seen the championship battle change as quickly as it did last night. While Alexx Palou is still second, it looks like the title is between Josef Newgarden and Pato O’Ward. They both have momentum while Palou has two consecutive DNFs. Neither of the DNFs were Palou’s fault.

Romain Grosjean had a nice oval debut. He ran in the top 10 for awhile and made some good passes. He also had some moments drifting high as he exited turn 3.

Scott McLaughlin had his second oval top 5 of the season.

Rings VeeKay continues his downward trend. After his win in May on the IMS road course, he has gone backwards jn the standings.

I dknow what it will take for an Andretti car to win another race. Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta both had cars capable of winning, and neither saw the end of the race. Rossi’s car was not good after his last pit stop, and Herta had the race in control until his drive shift broke.

Palou’ s challenge-Get back to racing hard. His once comfortable lead allowed him tobe a little conservative on track, but now he needs to regain his early season form. He had moved up quite a bit before he was taken out of the race.

A one day show at this point I f the season in yesterday’s heat semed to take its toll on the paddock.

I miss the Friday night practice.

I will have a more detailed article tonight. I will be driving home in a bit, and I just wanted to get some thoughts out.

The point standings:

Bob Jenkins Memorial Streamed at 10 AM Today

From the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

Robert F. Jenkins
September 4, 1947 – August 9, 2021
A memorial service will be held virtually at 10:00am EST, Monday, August 16th. The service will be streamed globally at https://bobjenkinsmemorial.com
Memorial contributions may be made in Bob’s name to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Bob was a true friend of the IMS Museum and he will be missed.
Click here to donate now or via mail to:
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum’
4750 West 16th Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46222
In his own humble words: “A race fan that got lucky” ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌

Warm up Results

RANKCAR NO.DRIVERTEAMENGINEQUICK LAPDIFFERENCETOTAL LAPS
18Marcus EricssonChip Ganassi RacingHonda1:11.3705——22
227Alexander RossiAndretti AutosportHonda1:11.38950.019018
32Josef NewgardenTeam PenskeChevy1:11.46390.093422
460Jack HarveyMeyer Shank RacingHonda1:11.49510.124616
559Max ChiltonCarlinChevy1:11.57600.205518
630Takuma SatoRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda1:11.66970.299220
715Graham RahalRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda1:11.67430.303822
820Conor DalyEd Carpenter RacingChevy1:11.68180.311320
99Scott DixonChip Ganassi RacingHonda1:11.70510.334618
1051Romain GrosjeanDale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware RacingHonda1:11.75730.386821
1128Ryan Hunter-ReayAndretti AutosportHonda1:11.90890.538411
1210Alex PalouChip Ganassi RacingHonda1:11.98220.611715
133Scott McLaughlinTeam PenskeChevy1:12.09390.723421
144Dalton KellettAJ Foyt EnterprisesChevy1:12.09520.724720
156Helio CastronevesMeyer Shank RacingHonda1:12.12390.753419
1626Colton HertaAndretti AutosportHonda1:12.12620.755716
1721Rinus VeeKayEd Carpenter RacingChevy1:12.13410.763619
1845Christian LundgaardRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda1:12.18400.813523
1918Ed JonesDale Coyne Racing with Vasser SullivanHonda1:12.20530.834818
2022Simon PagenaudTeam PenskeChevy1:12.24070.870218
2114Sebastien BourdaisAJ Foyt EnterprisesChevy1:12.27190.901422
227Felix RosenqvistArrow McLaren SPChevy1:12.29810.927622
235Pato O’WardArrow McLaren SPChevy1:12.40921.038723
2412Will PowerTeam PenskeChevy1:12.41831.047820
2548Jimmie JohnsonChip Ganassi RacingHonda1:12.54161.171120
2629James HinchcliffeAndretti Steinbrenner AutosportHonda1:12.85641.485918
2775RC EnersonTop Gun RacingChevy1:12.96891.598415
2852Cody WareDale Coyne Racing w/Rick 

A Nashville Dining Guide

It’s Race Week in Nashville as Indycar returns to action after a month long break. The inaugural Music City Grand Prix begins Friday. I had not spent any time in Nashville until this week, and in my time away from the hospital I have been able to explore the city and sample some places to eat and drink. Most of the places in this piece are out of the downtown area. If you are staying downtown, you will need to drive to these spots. Fortunately Nashville is a very compact area and nothing is really far away.

I began a conversation with a man at a bar this evening who added to my experiences. He has an office in a high rise building downtown and has a great view of the track from there. He was well aware of the race and is excited to see it. The guy has even heard of Josef Newgarden.

Closer to downtown on West End around 20th Avenue, three places I enjoyed are Las Palmas for Mexican food, Amerigo, for Italian, and Jasper’s. Las Palmas is very economical , America is a bit on the high end but not outrageous, and Jasper’s is somewhere in the middle. My new friend made several barbecue recommendations as well. Martin’s BBQ on Elliston Point, Peg Leg Porker on Leads St., Central Barbecue on 21st Avenue South.

I discovered a nice little area with many shops, restaurants, and bars just a block or so from Vanderbilt University Hospital. It’s a three block area called Hillsboro Village. My favorite place in the village is Pizza Perfect. The name is not a lie. The pizza is outstanding.

I had a drink at Double Dogs, a sports bar with large television screens on every wall.

I am planning to have breakfast at Pancake Pantry tomorrow. I hear you need to get there early. The sign boasts 23 different pancakes. I probably won’t try them all.

Yesterday I had lunch at Athens, a Greek restaurant on Belmont, directly across from Belmont University. It is worth the drive, which really isn’t that long.

Marti Update: The doctors at Vanderbilt believe she has an autoimmune issue and are treating it. She is in the middle of the course of treatment. Her blood pressure is improving and is more consistent. She has a PET scan this morning to see if there are any other issues. Thanks for all your thoughts, prayers, and cards. We think we are on the right track.

I will be heading back to Indy for a few days and return to Nashville Thursday. Look for race coverage all week.

Grosjean Oval Test; Special Liveries for Nashville

Update- We are in Nashville. Marti is still undergoing tests and seeing many doctors. The two most difficult tests are coming today and tomorrow. Thanks again for your continued thoughts and prayers. I had a nice afternoon yesterday visiting with George Phi.lips. Thanks, George, for the much needed break. If time permits I will go take a look at the track today.

Arrow McLaren SP and the 48 car of Jimmie Johnson revealed special liveries for the Music City Grand Prix next weekend. The designs all had some fan involvement.

AMSP:

Felux Rosenqvist
Pato O’Ward

Johnson:

The Arrow cars look similar to their testing camo liveries. I like the looks of the 48. I think it’s a nice shade of blue. I’m not a huge fan of the dark Carvana car.

Grosjean Looking to Future?

Romain Grosjean complete his rookie oval test at World Wide Technology Raceway a couple days ago. He was eighth fastest in an 11 car test. He has been saying since he joined the series that he wanted to race at this track.

Is Grosjean also looking at next year’s Indianapolis 500?. If the rumors of him moving to another team are true, he would definitely need to run the full schedule.

Jimmie Johnson said this week he wants to do an oval test with an eye toward running the106th 500.

I knew it was just a matter of time before these two rookies would want to try ovals. It’s what racers do.

Off to Nashville!

This is a Marti Update:

Last night Vanderbilt opened up a space and Marti will go by ambulance to Nashville this morning. She should arrive by noon. I will follow in my car. After 38 days in the hospital in Indy, there is now a chance of recovery. We are hopeful that her issue can be resolved and we can return to a more normal life.

I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers. We really need them this coming week. I’m not sure how long she will be at Vanderbilt, but I plan to post some racing stories and post updates on Marti’s progress in what will likely be copious amounts of free time. Nashville should be an inspiring place to write as it is home to a world famous blogger .

Race Day at Mid Ohio

i should be on the road to Mid Ohio as you read this. It is going to be a very warm day, which might affect tire wear.

The teams made their starting tire selections after final practice yesterday afternoon.

Car Driver Name C/E/T Tire
1 2 Newgarden, Josef D/C/F Alternate
2 26 Herta, Colton D/H/F Alternate
3 8 Ericsson, Marcus D/H/F Alternate
4 12 Power, Will D/C/F Primary
5 9 Dixon, Scott D/H/F Alternate
6 27 Rossi, Alexander D/H/F Primary
7 10 Palou, Alex D/H/F Alternate
8 15 Rahal, Graham D/H/F Alternate
9 29 Hinchcliffe, James D/H/F Primary
10 28 Hunter-Reay, Ryan D/H/F Primary
11 21 VeeKay, Rinus D/C/F Alternate
12 14 Bourdais, Sebastien D/C/F Primary
13 7 Rosenqvist, Felix D/C/F Primary
14 3 McLaughlin, Scott (R) D/C/F Primary
15 22 Pagenaud, Simon D/C/F Primary
16 18 Jones, Ed D/H/F Primary
17 59 Chilton, Max D/C/F Primary
18 51 Grosjean, Romain (R) D/H/F Alternate
19 30 Sato, Takuma D/H/F Primary
20 5 O’Ward, Pato D/C/F Primary
21 4 Kellett, Dalton D/C/F Alternate
22 45 Ferrucci, Santino D/H/F Primary
23 60 Harvey, Jack D/H/F Primary
24 20 Daly, Conor D/C/F Primary
25 48 Johnson, Jimmie (R) D/H/F Primary
26 52 Norman, Ryan (R) D/H/F Primary

Interesting choices by Rossi and Power. There will be a race wrapup tomorrow. Enjoy the race. Green flag is at 12:05 EDT on NBC.