Sebastien Bourdais smoked the field in an incredible showing, getting his first oval win since 2006. It was the manner in which he did it that made it thrilling. Rather than conserving fuel and tires, Bourdais dropped the hammer, eventually having all but P2 lapped. Can't remember the last time I've seen a leader dominate like that! Great job by Bourdais and KVSH Racing.
Helio Castroneves had a pretty terrible start to his race day. The #3 Team Penske entry did not make it to the tech line in time to qualify, sending him to the rear of the field. Despite this, Helio managed his way to P2, even contending for the win at the end. I predicted this on Twitter. Many said that he would be doomed given his track position, but I knew he and his strategists would get him to the top-five.
Graham Rahal continues to do an excellent job in the one car Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team. Two weeks after winning the epic race in Fontana, Graham wound up at the podium again after a strong run to the front. He proved to be lethal on the restarts, slicing through cars. Graham, who had two terrible years at RLL, now finds himself P3 in the championship. What a difference a year makes.
Juan Pablo Montoya
Juan Pablo Montoya once again makes up more points on rivals Scott Dixon and Will Power on his way to a P4 finish. Montoya continues to be the championship juggernaut heading into the home stretch of the season.
Ryan Briscoe... With an underwhelming performance...? You don't say... This has been the microcosm of Briscoe's career. With good equipment in his pocket, Briscoe fails to finish. In turn three, Briscoe got the air taken away from him, and he spun and collected Will Power. Briscoe, while he continues to be quick, also continues to be underwhelming.
Will Power takes another hit in the championship standings after being taken out by Ryan Briscoe. Two straight races, two DNFs could lead to him losing his #1 next year.
James Jakes, who has largely been anonymous so far this season, had a good weekend going for him, including a thrilling qualifying lap. With a decent run going, Jakes blew an engine. That pretty much sums up the year for Jakes.
The #18 Dale Coyne Racing team had a disastrous weekend. Pippa Mann, who was tapped as the driver for this weekend, had only raced at Milwaukee one prior time in 2009. With little experience on short ovals, was slow all weekend. Progress was being made, but in the race, handling became a nightmare when behind the leaders. A pretty disappointing showing for Mann.
Cone of Shame
First off, Ed Carpenter qualified second to last. The 'oval master' has been pretty terrible on ovals this year. In the race, teammate and race leader Josef Newgarden built up a four second lead over second place Ryan Briscoe only to encounter Ed. Ed kept Josef behind him for a solid 20 laps. Ed finally let Josef go, and then proceeded let Briscoe go after two turns instead of 20 laps. I get that he was fighting to stay on the lead lap and Josef's car may not have been the best in traffic, but it cost Josef his big lead and could be attributed to Josef getting bogged down in traffic for the remainder of the race. While Ed did finish P10 from a bullshit strategy and surviving when numerous others DNF'd, Ed once again showed his true colors on the track.
Thanks for reading!