Quick Thoughts REV Group Grand Prix

That was quite a  bold move Alexander Rossi made  to take the lead over Colton Herta. Then an F 1 race broke out.

Rossi did what he needed to get done today- f inish ahead of Josef Newgarden and Cut into the lead as much as possible.. The gap is down to seven points.

Dixon is not quite out of the points race, but he is edging closer to waiting another year for title number 6.

There was great racing and action in position three through six most of the day.

Will Power and Newgarden knew they had nothing for Rossi.  Power said, “I never saw Rossi all day. A yellow or rain might have helped.”

Newgarden was satisfied that he got all he could out of the car and third was the best they could do.

Simon Pagenaud had an impressive drive finishing ninth after starting 16th.

Dixon made a great comeback for a top five after spinning on the opening lap.

Turn five was a very busy, action packed area today.

Santino Ferrucci finished a lap down, the third lap he hasn’t completed this season.

Rossi has now won the three crown jewels of Indycar circuits- Long Beach, Indianapolis, and Road America.

Look for my full report on Wildfire Sports tomorrow.  I will also have a  Road America postscript with photos in this space Tuesday. Thanks for following along this weekend.

 

 

 

Rossi Leads Practice 2

Photo: Alexander Rossi had the day’s fastest lap. Photo by Kyle McInnes

 

Alexander Rossi led the afternoon practice with a  quick lap of 1:43.120. Rossi’s lap was the fastest of the day. Will Power was second at 1:43.408. Seven Hondas were in the top ten, one more than in the morning session.  Power’s teammate Josef Newgarden and Carlin driver Patricio O’Ward were the only other Chevy drivers in the top ten.

The top ten drivers were separated by 0.953 seconds. The fight for the pole tomorrow should be that close.  The entire field is separated by more than 2 seconds.

In the pit stop practice period each car was allowed one hot lap before pitting.  Ryan Hunter-Reay had the fastest lap of that session, 1:44.484.

Saturday’s Schedule:

Practice 3:      12 ET NBC Gold

Qualifying:      3 ET  NBC Gold

 

Quick Thoughts- DXC Technology 600k

That turned out to be a fun race at the end. It was a pretty tame race for Texas.

Josef Newgarden has three wins already this season. No one had more than three wins in 2018.  This puts Newgarden in a great position to win a tiebreaker, although should  Alexander Rossi tie him in wins, Rossi has three second places to date.

If Newgarden wins the championship, Tim Cindric should get a big share of the credit. Another brilliant call to pit on the first yellow worked out and brought the car home first. All three of Newgarden’s wins this year can attributed to pit/tire calls by Cindric.

Rossi had a great save to avoid the Herta-Dixon crash. It likely saved his title hopes.

The high line never came in tonight as it usually does. Rossi lost one of his strengths without that second groove.

Graham Rahal had a quiet race, but ends up third.  Glad to see him finally have a good result in what has been a frustrating season for his team.

Remember when crew members wore short sleeves and no helmets? A serious injury or worse didn’t happen on pit lane tonight because of the mandated safety equipment for crew members. That was a scary crash in Sato’s pit. Glad to see the crewman was okay.

Dixon has made race ending mistakes two straight weekends.

It’s a shame that James Hinchcliffe  crashed. He had the drive of the race going until then.

Colton Herta also had a great run going.   He made some incredible moves. A shame his day ended the way it did.

What can we say about Santino Ferrucci? His fourth place tonight  at Texas gives him  three top tens in the last four races. Ferrucci is now leading the Rookie of the Year standings. He has done this rather quietly.  Ferrucci has improved every week.

Zach Veach continues his disappointing season.

Look for my full race report on Wildfire Sports tomorrow.  Next week I take a look at the season at the halfway point.

 

Front Row Flips for Race 2

Photo: Kyle McInnes

Yesterday’s Detroit Grand Prix front row drivers swap places for Race 2 today.

Josef Newgarden took the pole  and Alexander Rossi will start second.  Newgarden had the fastest lap of the two qualifying groupos at 1:14. 860. Rossi’s best lap was 1:15.182.  Newgarden turned his fast lap in the last minute of the session. Newgarden won yesterday’s rain delayed and shortened race.

The second group was delayed for about 40 minutes to dry the track from water which had spilled from a cover on top the tire barrier in turn 6. The cars had just entered the track for their warm up lap when the red flag was shown.

The clock was reset to the full 12 minutes and the session ran cleanly.

This is Newgarden’s first pole this year and seventh career pole. His last pole was at Toronto in 2018.

Scott Dixon, Colton Herta, and Felix Rosenqvist also start in the first three rows for the second straight day.

Look for Quick Thoughts here after the race and a full report on Wildfire Sports tomorrow.

 

Quick Thoughts- Detroit Race 1

It is frustrating race to watch a race that runs 50%  of the time under yellow. 29 green laps isn’t much of a race.

There were some good battles early, but the race got processional once everyone went to slicks.

Tim Cindric once again made the right strategy call. If the race stayed green it might not have worked out.

Rossi has two straight second place finishes and Sato two straight third places. I said a couple of weeks ago that Sato will be in this fight all season.

I’m sure television influenced the length of the time limit, but 85-90 minutes would have made a better show and guaranteed a second pit stop.

Ryan Hunter-Reay did a great job recovering from missing turn 7 early.

Looking at the tire choices set for today before the rain, it looks like most of the field was planning to start on reds and be done with them for the rest of the race. We might see the same plan tomorrow.

I have had my fill of rainy races this year.

Tomorrow the weather looks good for a dry full length race.  It should be a better show.

It’s hard to believe that we are seven races into the season and Will Power hasn’t won a race. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

Watch for my full race report on Wildfire Sports tomorrow morning.

 

 

 

 

Rossi Takes Pole for Race 1

Photo: Kyle McInnes

Alexander Rossi won the pole for Race 1 at the Detroit Grand Prix. His fastest lap, 1:14.1989, nipped Scott Dixon in the last minute of his qualifying group. Dixon had the second fastest time overall, 0.2 seconds behind Rossi, but will start third since he was in Rossi’s group. Josef Newgarden led Group 1 with 1:14.9272 and will start second.

The bonus point Newgarden earned puts him in a virtual tie with Simon Pagenaud for the series lead.

This is Rossi’s sixth career pole. He has won four times from the pile.  It is his second consecutive pole at Belle Isle.

Rain may have an impact on the race. Rossi and Newgarden still don’t think the red tires will last very long, but Rossi added, “We’ve been surprised in this series before.”

Other notable performances include Colton Herta, fifth and Pato O’Ward seventh.

Quick Thoughts- Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

The  streak of clean starts came to a quick w\end at the fountain.  Not surprising, but the bigger surprise was that was the only yellow of the day.

Indycar needs to do a better job of getting the cars lined up before the start, Only three or four rows were lined up.

What a dominant drive by Alexander Rossi. This is the Rossi I expected to see at St. Pete. I think his season actually started today.

I wonder if NBC could pout a camera outside the track opposite the fountain. I’m think there could be some great shots from there.

The NBC scoring pylon is okay, but it is very disconcerting when they change sponsors and wipe out the data for a few seconds. You like the Firestone standings?  Get a load of the NTT board. Just switch the name at the top.

Will Power will be happy to get to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  He has had issues three weeks in a row. He is fortunate to be sixth in the standings.

Sebastien Bourdais did a nice job coming back from the right rear tire problem on his first stop.

Scott Dixon had some great battles on track.  Loved watching him challenge Rossi and Power,  then stalk Ruan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal in the final laps.

Another awful day for Colton Herta. His botched pit stop was followed by race ending contact.   He now has two consecutive last place finishes but still leads the rookies in points.

Rahal definitely blocked Dixon and cost himself a podium. The good news for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing is the team has three top ten finishes the last two weeks, giving them a lot of momentum heading to Indianapolis.  The team has found something. watch out for both drivers the rest of the year.

Takuma Sato has lead two straight races and now has 5 bonus points.

Look for a full race report on Wildfire Sports tomorrow.

The Pit Window moves to summer headquarters later this coming week, so I may only be here if some big news breaks.