Monday, June 2, 2014

Winners and Losers: Belle Isle 2014

Here are your winners, losers, and Cone of Shame "winner" following the 2014 Chevrolet Dual in Detroit:


Winners

Helio Castroneves
Helio Castroneves was the most dominant driver on the weekend. Despite dominating the first race, strategy caught him out of the lead, and he could manage only 5th. On Sunday, Helio returned to form, once again being very quick. Only question was would be able to close this race out? He did and got a win. Incredible job this weekend by Helio.


Will Power
The upside to Will Power's weekend is he put on a masterful show on Saturday on his way to a victory and a big championship points haul. On Sunday, he put on a passing clinic, charging from the back of the field to finish way up in P2. A near perfect weekend for him and a massive points haul leaves Will will be smiling going in to Texas.


James Hinchcliffe
The Mayor of Hinchtown finally got a pair of good results. Other than a seventh place finish at Barber, Hinch has either DNF'd or had some mechanical issue in his race. A sixth and fifth place result is exactly what he needs to get his season going.


Graham Rahal
Graham finally cracked the top-ten for the first time this season. He did it in fine fashion, crossing the line P2 on Saturday. He was pretty damn close to a win after a great scrap with Will Power. On Sunday, he was caught up in that lap one crash, damaging a gearbox sensor, ruining his race. Hopefully this is what Rahal and the Rahal Letterman Lanigan bunch need to get their season into gear.



Losers

Ryan Hunter-Reay
Milk hangover? Damn Ryan Hunter-Reay had an appalling weekend. Electrical failure friday cut his practice short. Saturday, he hit the wall in qualifying, putting him in the back row. In the race, he did nothing spectacular on his way to a P16 result. On Sunday, he once again hit the wall in qualifying, once again putting him in the back row of the grid. He would not finish this race, coming home in P19. Talk about a weekend to forget.


Takuma Sato
It always seems like vintage Indycar-Takuma Sato to qualify really well and then have your race go to utter shit. It happened again. We'll give Taku a pass for Saturday, as he had gearbox issues. Sunday, Sato qualified on pole, with a track record nonetheless. Yay, great, Sato will string together a great result, right?! Well, he had pace early, and then strategies began to play out. This put Sato in the middle of the field, where he stayed for the rest of the race. He was pretty blatantly taken out by Ryan Briscoe, which was a shame, especially since Briscoe did not get a penalty, which saw Taku match his race one result of 18th. Not good.


Mike Conway
Maybe the fastest man on the weekend has nothing to show for it. Mike Conway, who has won a race this year with Ed Carpenter Racing and won one of the races at Belle Isle last year, crashed in race one and could not manage his tires well enough in race two, causing too poor results. Many people had high hopes for him, but nothing came to fruition. A bummer for him and his team.


Jack Hawksworth
The Hawk did not have the best of weekends. The kid just needs a bit of luck. In race one, a freak break disc failure knocked at minimum a top-ten finish from him. At maximum, Hawk potentially had a win going. In race two, Hawk good just never get his race on track. Another race with few points despite being incredibly quick.



Cone of Shame



Will Power
Putting it simply, Will Power hit everything but the pace car this weekend. Yes he drove two great races and yes he got a great points haul, but taking out four cars in two races is not a great way to do this. He also somehow escaped penalty free twice on Saturday, once for wrecking Simon Pagenaud, and once for making a reactionary move against Graham Rahal on a late restart. I'm honestly willing to let both slide. Any racer would have blocked Graham. The incident with Simon should not have happened. Power had no grip on his tires. He did not know Pagenaud was along side of him, and he turned into him on a straightaway. Racing incident? Maybe. Avoidable? Hell yes. On Sunday, he made a brave move on lap one, attempting to make it three wide in a situation that it wouldn't have worked. The result was Will Power escaping with a drive-thru penalty, while Josef Newgarden never got back on the lead lap, Graham Rahal going seven laps down, and Justin Wilson having to climb uphill the rest of the way. On the radio, Power said that Newgarden chopped into him. Any race fan with a marginal amount of intelligence could tell that Power broke too deep into the corner, jumped the kerb, and hit Newgarden. How on earth he could pin that on anyone but himself sort of sums up what I think of him: a wanker.



Let me know what you think!

-Matthew Hickey

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