Sunday, May 15, 2016

Winners and Losers: GPI

Here are your winners, losers, and Cone of Shame winner following the 2016 Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis:

Winners

Simon Pagenaud
What is there to say about the start to the season that Simon Pagenaud is having? It's crossing the line of being historic and into the territory of greatest start in Indycar HISTORY. It is insane how well he is doing. Three wins and two second places finishes in five races is out of this world. Darth Pagenaud is on the charge.


Helio Castroneves
Helio Castroneves caught an opportune yellow to vault to the front, holding down the fort on his way to a P2 finish. Wasn't close to being the fastest Team Penske driver this weekend, but he certainty was the smartest.


James Hinchcliffe
The Mayor James Hinchcliffe had an emphatic bounce back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, on his way to a podium finish. One year after almost losing his life in Indy, Hinch bounced back with a solid weekend and a stellar finish. On top of that, he has opted to donate his winnings to the relief effort of the Fort McMurray area that has been devastated by fires. The dude wins off the track too.


Conor Daly
A might have my 'favorite driver' cap on, but watching Conor Daly totally school Helio Castroneves on a restart is one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time. Conor got what he was lacking in recent races to help him move forward: a caution. Strategy and a bit of luck vaulted Conor to the top of the pylon. While he mismanaged his push-to-passes and got burned by some of the guys behind him, Conor got his first big result with Dale Coyne Racing.



Losers

Tony Kanaan
Tony Kanaan was taken out before making a single turn. I'm not a racing driver or a crew member, but it has to be really infuriating to put a lot of time and effort (and money) into a race weekend only to make it down a straightaway.


Sebastien Bourdais
Poor Sebastien Bourdais has had two straight races where his race has been ruined on lap one. At Barber, it was Bourdais' doing that did him in. At GPI, he was an innocent victim. Can he put in a Herculean-like performance like he did in 2014 at the Indianapolis 500?


Mother Nature
This one's for all the fans who had to put up with Mother Nature's bullshit, especially DJ Jordan.

ECR Racing
Josef Newgarden had a great weekend going until he was disqualified after qualifying in the Fast Six for being underweight. His race never really materialized and it was a poor result. JR Hildebrand, who has raced at Indy for ECR Racing in recent years, had another poor result at the road course. Not the way the team wanted to start out the Month of May.



Cone of Shame



Scott Dixon
Two guys listed above have some right to be a bit pissed at Scott Dixon. Heading down to calamity corner (turn one; in three races at GPI, there have been accidents before getting to turn two), Dixon did not to take notice of Tony Kanaan swinging out towards the wall in a battle with Sebastien Bourdais. Dixon did not see this, and made a wide turn to set up for an optimal entry into the corner. This forced Kanaan into Bourdais, ending both of their races. Dixon did not get any damage, nor did he physically make contact with either driver, thus barring him from receiving a penalty. Last year Dixon got taken out, this year Dixon was the one pulling an Helio.


Let me know what you think!

-Matthew Hickey

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