Simon Pagenaud continues to have an unreal 2014 season. Through the first four races, Simon has an average finish of 3.8. The highlight so far was his win yesterday at GPI. A terrific job of setting quick pace while also being conscious of his fuel. Well done.
RHR has another great weekend at GPI, showing more pace on his way to a second place finish. This guy continues to show the speed, skill, and consistency required to win a championship. Can he become a two-time champion at the end of this season?
The Birthday Boy Helio Castroneves ran a different strategy from the rest of the field and it payed off. It was looking like Helio was going to win before he had to pit to get a splash of fuel. After his splash of fuel, it looked like he was going to catch Pagenaud and RHR, as they were conserving fuel! But again, he fell short. Still a cracking effort from Helio.
Jack Hawksworth had a coming out party of sorts yesterday, leading the most laps on his way to a P7 effort. Hawk, a rookie driving for the once car team Bryan Herta Autosport, nailed the setup and qualified P2. He backed up this effort with a solid race, but strategy cost him a chance at the win. A great effort nonetheless.
Poor old Mikhail Aleshin had a rough weekend. Despite being very quick in practice (finished as high as P4), Mikhail started in the last row of the grid after he was given a penalty in qualifying. Starting at the back, Mikhail could not dodge a stalled Sebastian Saavedra, creating a massive accident. The P25 result should go down with an asterisk, as the young Russian was very quick this weekend.
Graham Rahal finally had a great result going his way. He even had an outside shot at the podium! Then on a late restart, Graham was spun into the wall by Juan Pablo Montoya, ruining his result. If you didn't have any luck, you'd have no luck at all.
The Mayor of Hinchtown suffered a head injury after a piece of Justin Wilson's damaged front wing struck Hinch in the helmet. He pulled off the track and was rushed to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a concussion. We are all hoping Hinch can recover quickly so he can race for the Indy 500 in three weeks!
Carlos Munoz has had three races marred by incidents this season. In the first race, it was the restart crash that damaged Munoz's car. At Barber, Munoz crashed under yellow. And at GPI, Munoz crashed into the stalled Sebastian Saavedra. His fourth result outside those three incidents was a podium. He has been quick, but he needs to start finding ways to stay out of trouble.
Cone of Shame
My first thought after Sebastian Saavedra got the pole was "something is either going to go wrong on the start or during the race for him, so I don't expect him to contend." As the lights went out, Saavedra's car went a foot or two and then died. Carlos Munoz side swiped him, and then Mikhail Aleshin rammed him from the rear in spectacular fashion. Thankfully, all involved were okay. This incident sums up Saavedra's career: a day late and a dollar short.
Let me know what you think!