Monday, April 14, 2014

Winners and Losers: Long Beach

Here are your winners, losers, and Cone of Shame winner following the 40th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach:

Winners

Mike Conway
The man who steps in to take the seat from Ed Carpenter on road courses wins in his second race with the team. If that isn't badass than I don't know what is. ECR #20 is a serious contender to finish the end of the season with the most entrant points.


Will Power
Will Power kept a relatively clean nose on his way to a second place finish. His move past the wreck on Lap 55 led him straight to the podium. He has already built a healthy lead in the championship, a solid start for him.


Colombians
It is incredible enough that there are four Colombians in Indycar. What was even more incredible is that they all managed to finish in the top-ten. Rookie Carlos Munoz led the way, finishing P3. Superstar Juan Pablo Montoya finished P4. Sebastian Saavedra gives me the figurative middle finger, crossing the line P9 despite my talking down all weekend. And impressive rookie Carlos Huertas rounded out the top-ten. Great showing for the crop of Colombians/


Mikhail Aleshin
Russian rookie Mikhail Aleshin had a very solid showing, weaving his way through the field to cross the line in P6. Now, before you say he just survived and made it out without damage and did nothing to earn his finishing position, Mikhail showed great pace, keeping himself in the top-seven group that was fighting it out for the win in the late stages of the race. He replaced Tristan Vautier in the offseason. Tristan could only manage one top-ten finish in 2013, and that was also in the second race of the season. Hopefully Mikhail can keep up the momentum.



Losers

Everyone On Lap 55 Crash Minus Ryan Hunter-Reay
Josef Newgarden. James Hinchcliffe. Takuma Sato. Tony Kanaan. Jack Hawksworth. What do these drivers all have in common? They were wrecked at the expense of one brain fade. A lot of great results were thrown out the window. A real shame for all involved, especially Newgarden, who was leading at the time.


Chip Ganassi Racing
Chip Ganassi Racing had a pretty miserable weekend. Charlie Kimball and Ryan Briscoe both had internal mechanical issues. Tony Kanaan, as documented, was involved in the lap 55 crash. And Scott Dixon was on his way to ending the woes at Long Beach before being short on fuel by a couple of laps. Despondency at the Death Star.


Helio Castroneves's Sister
Oh Helio... After the race, Helio Castroneves tweeted a photo and a message to Indycar, blasting the officiating. Helio received a penalty in the race, knocking him out of the top-ten. Upon tweeting this, it was instantly deleted. Helio would later go on to tweet that it was his sister who tweeted that. Mhmm, right.... From now on, we will blame Helio's sister for all the wrongdoings.


Jack Hawksworth
This poor guy cannot catch a break. The Hawk, a rookie driving for Bryan Herta Autosport, was taken out on a restart in St. Petersburg after a great run. Then at Long Beach, he was taken out in the lap 55 crash while running in the top-ten. Can this guy catch a break?!



Cone of Shame


Ryan Hunter-Reay
Sure it is great that a driver like Ryan Hunter-Reay wants to go for it. In fact, I encourage drivers to go for it. I would rather see a guy go for it rather than be super conservative all race. But at the same time, there is a difference between being aggressive and being a half-wit. The move he made on a cold-tired Josef Newgarden in a place where you can't pass made Hunter-Reay look like a rookie. Why on Earth he tried that move is beyond me. Plus I hold RHR in high regards. I think he is the best American in the field, but my goodness, you can't be doing stuff like this. RHR needs to take a step back and evaluate his actions at Long Beach.


Let me know what you think!

-Matthew Hickey

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