Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Winners and Losers: Mid-Ohio

Here are your winners, losers, and Cone of Shame winner following the 2015 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio:

Winners

Graham Rahal
What is there to say about Graham Rahal's win that hasn't already been said? It's a career highlight for him, and he's two solid performances away from sticking it to Team Penske, Juan Pablo Montoya, and all the people like me who've doubted him.


Justin Wilson
This was a must-have result for Justin Wilson, who has been a part-timer for Andretti Autosport this season. With Silly Season already starting up, speculation persists that Justin is the lead contender for the fourth AA car next season. This result definitely did not hurt his chances. Great job by Wilson and the team.


Simon Pagenaud
It has been a while since Simon Pagenaud did something worth noting. Despite struggling for most of the weekend and since being dubbed 'the guinea pig of Team Penske' (he will be helping out teammates with setups instead of focusing on himself) by people within the team, Simon caught some lucky breaks on his way to a podium finish. Unfortunately, it is too little too late.


Tristan Vautier
Tristan Vautier put up a great drive with Dale Coyne Racing, leading several laps on his way to a P6 finish. For a guy who went from subbing at Indianapolis 500 Pole Day to getting a ride for the remainder of the season, he's been doing quite well in subpar equipment. Refreshing to see the former Indy Lights champion get a second chance.


Losers

Juan Pablo Montoya
Most of the time, Juan Pablo Montoya ends up on the "winners" list because he manages to overcome obstacles that his rivals could not. Despite leading laps in the race, yellows caught out Montoya and Team Penske, leading to Montoya's championship lead dramatically shrinking at the hands of Graham Rahal. Is David going to beat Goliath?


Sebastien Bourdais
What happened to Sebastien Bourdais on Sunday? Was he a victim of a yellow coming out at the wrong time? A great result would have really helped in the championship hunt. Bourdais, who was running in the top-five most of the day, suddenly got caught out and ended up P17. A shame for him and his team.


Luca Filippi
Luca Filippi, who has been under added pressure this year as the 'Mike Conway role' at Carpenter Fisher Hartman Racing given his lack of Indycar experience and JR Hildebrand breathing down his neck, has had some great races go down the shitter thanks to some errors. On Sunday, Luca ran out of fuel, which I don't blame him for. A total shame since they had a solid P8 performance going.


Josef Newgarden
Josef Newgarden, who could very well still be in the championship hunt given his season he's been having, got caught out by strategy and finished an average P13 on Sunday. Disappointing given a result could have put him in the top-five with two races to go. Doubly disappointing since this race was supposed to be a redemption of last year's race at Mid-Ohio race, where Josef was in control before a pit error cost him his first career win.



Cone of Shame



Charlie Kimball
Charlie Kimball continues to be the red-headed stepchild, both figuratively and literally, of Chip Ganassi Racing. Coming to Mid-Ohio after capturing his first and only career win in 2013 at the track in epic fashion, many placed high expectations and the usually average driver driving for one of the best teams. Kimball looked horrid on Sunday, spinning several times (to be fair, one was caused by Will Power) on his way to finishing P23 out of 24 cars. Many people wonder where Charlie would be if he didn't have all the diabetes money from Novo Nordisk coming his way. Several moments in his career make me think he has turned the corner and is on his way to being a contender (this year it was Indianapolis), but without fail, he always manages to regress and put up poor performances, marring any efforts he made in the season.


Thanks for reading!

-Matthew Hickey

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