Monday, March 31, 2014

Winners and Losers: St. Petersburg

Here are your winners, losers, and Cone of Shame winner following the 2014 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg:

Winners

Will Power
No denying that Will Power had one hell of a race. His brave pass on the outside of Takuma Sato in the first half of the race set Power up for a win. A nice start to a championship hopeful in 2014.


Helio Castroneves
Helio Castronves has another solid start to the season, doing enough to get himself a podium to start the season. Momentum should carry Helio to Long Beach, where Helio looks to add some points to a championship effort.


Ryan Hunter-Reay
Hopefully the luck is back for Ryan Hunter-Reay. RHR had almost little to no luck at several races last year, including St. Petersburg. Now, RHR starts off the season with a podium position. And how adorable is his baby?! My goodness... Ryan will be looking for a win at one of his favorite tracks: Long Beach.


Target Cars
The Target cars driven by Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan both had solid races after beginning the weekend off kilter. Dixon finished P4 and Kanaan P6. St. Petersburg was very tough on Chip Ganassi last year, so hopefully this is a sign of good things to come for this team.



Losers

James Hinchcliffe
Some sort of mechanical or electrical issue saw last year's St. Petersburg winners James Hinchcliffe never having a fair go at it, often being the slowest car on the track on his way to a P19 finish. The feast or famine mantra that follows Hinch continues.


Charlie Kimball
With three Ganassi's finishing in the top-ten, Charlie Kimball once again assumes that awkward position of being that other guy at Chip Ganassi. If he wants to be in the same sentence as Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, he needs to start being more consistent. A rough race followed by a overshoot and stall led to a dismal start to the season for Charlie.


Rookies
Despite early pace, rookies ultimately had a tough go of things in their first starts to their inaugural seasons. Carlos Munoz and Jack Hawksworth were both hanging around in the top-ten before being swept up in that restart crash. Munoz was able to continue, ending up P17. Hawk had to DNF, finishing P21. Carlos Huertas did not have a bad first race, keeping a clean nose and staying on pace, finishing P18. Leading the rookie class was Mikhail Aleshin, finishing P12.


Allen Bestwick
Not overly impressed with ABC's lead man. Did an okay job, was decently enthused, and he felt like reminding us every five seconds that this was his first race. Still better than Marty Reid though.



Cone of Shame



Will Power
For the first time in Winners and Losers history, a winner was also given the Cone of Shame. Yes, race winner Will Power has been given the Cone of Shame for his utter ineptitude at pushing the gas pedal on the lap 82 restart that caused several collisions, sending Marco Andretti and Jack Hawksworth out of the race. Honestly, what was Will doing?! And why is it that he always gets himself in the center of controversy?! This guy just gets me fuming like no other driver...


Let me know what you think!

-Matthew Hickey

2 comments:

  1. Nice write up, love the Cone of Shame. How about SP in P5? Sometimes P5 is almost like a win coming from the back! I see the banter going back and forth regarding the green flag vs the cone on the restart. Come on, Power is not a rookie, he knows what a restart is all about and it seems like WP always plays the rules to the limit then looks bewildered and plays innocent when things go bad. With all the emphasis on safety in the pits, how about safety on track?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I guess I see the opposite side of the Power incident. The detailed race report, replays and car telemetry that he was correct. I guess I just remember what a drivers education teacher taught me years ago, "If you ever hit someone's back bumper, you'r wrong regardless of what they were doing." Power was actually warned for the second restart for going way too early because he wasn't in the acceleration zone. I respect your opinion and I know all about drivers making ones blood boil but in this case, I honestly feel he was in the right. I am not so naive to think there wasn't any gamesmanship in there, but at the same time, had he gone, he would have been more wrong. IMO.

    ReplyDelete