Photo by Joe Skibinski, Indycar
No one should be surprised at what Pato O’Ward is doing this season. We knew he was an exceptional talent when he began his Indycar career. I have to wonder how much better he would be if he had not lost his original Carlin ride and missed part of a season in Japan. I’m glad he is in Indycar and I hope the sirens of F1 don’t draw him away.
O’Ward’s weekend- a pole, a third place, a win after starting 16th, 88 points, and the new points leader. Not bad.
Josef Newgarden, Will Power, and Team Penske now know how Charlie Brown feels when Lucy pulls the football away. Saturday was not Power’s fault, but the fault of a questionable call race control. Yesterday Newgarden got caught out by the yellows and had to finish the race on the alternate tires- a big ask to go 25 laps with the reds on this track. What a frustrating weekend for them.
O’Ward broke the streak of seven different winners in seven races. His second win of the season gives him the tie breaker should the championship end in a tie. Usually the series champion has at least three wins in a season.
Is There Still a Big Three?
Indycar fans are used to referring to the Big Three- Penske, Ganassi, and Andretti, but is that changing? Penske has just one pole and no wins, Andretti one win and one pole, and Ganassi has two wins and one pole. Arrow McLaren SP has two poles and two victories. We either have a Big Four or a Big Two. For now, I don’t think we can say Big Three.
Before his spin on lap 54 I thought Jimmie Johnson was having his best drive of the year. He passed cars on track with confident moves and was keeping pace.
Romain Grosjean’s reaction to his brake fire left me with a lump in my throat. I’m sure he never wanted to be in another burning car.
Scott Dixon leaves Detroit with the same points deficit to the leader he had going into the weekend, but he is now third instead of second in the standings.
I don’t think I have ever seen a snoozer of a race turn into a good race as quickly as I did yesterday.
Santino Ferruci had two top ten finishes this weekend. Yesterday’s was especially noteworthy since he destroyed his primary car in qualifying and drove a backup car in the race. The car got to the grid about two minutes before the command to start engines.
An annoying trend that needs to stop now-The PA announcer in the past has called drivers to their cars for years. I guess it is to build excitement for the start of the race. I have always found it unnecessary to announce but it never bothered me until the last few races when celebrities began assuming the task. Really? Next we will see celebrity drivers of the trucks that take the drivers around the tracks during driver introductions. Having celebrities at the races is great, but having menial tasks like saying “Driver to your cars” is a little much.
I will be back later with a full weekend wrap up. thanks again for following along this weekend.