Monday, April 10, 2017

Winners and Losers: Long Beach

Here are your Winners, Losers, and Cone of Shame Winner following the 2017 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach:

Winners

James Hinchcliffe
James Hinchcliffe joins an elite list of drivers to win at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. The Mayor continues to show that his move to the smaller Schmidt Peterson Motorsports outfit was not a mistake. If Hinch can show some consistency at the ovals, consider him a serious title contender.


Sebastien Bourdais
Don't look now, but Sebastien Bourdais has been the best driver so far this IndyCar season. Dale Coyne Racing and Bourdais have been a solid connection so far, and with two podiums so far this season, Bourdais is in a good position to at least be in the top-five in points by time Indianapolis comes around.


Josef Newgarden
The lone bright spot for Chevrolet this weekend was Team Penske rookie Josef Newgarden, who ran a solid race on his way to a third place finish. Despite not doing anything particularly flashy so far, Newgarden has been quietly quick and is priming himself for a solid championship effort.


Honda
Where did Honda come from? Their form this year is excellent. Chevrolet has some work to do.



Losers

Andretti Autosport 
It is yet to be determined if the Andretti Autosport misery was team related or Honda related, but all four cars ending the race because of mechanical failures is fishy. Takuma Sato and Ryan Hunter-Reay failed laps apart, ending Hunter-Reay's chance at a second place finish. Alexander Rossi was also denied a podium finish. Tough luck for the team who has been strong so far this season.


Will Power
It's not often I find myself agreeing with Will Power, but his criticism of Charlie Kimball is 100% justified. See Cone of Shame for more.


Tony Kanaan
Back to back races of tough luck for Tony Kanaan ensued after a second straight week of contact with Mikhail Aleshin. This time around, a cut tire ended any chance at a top-ten for Kanaan despite a pretty dismal showing anyways.


Mikhail Aleshin
Mikhail Aleshin didn't make too many friends again at Long Beach. It seems that he and Tony Kanaan are at odds, and Tony didn't hold back his criticism of the Russian on Twitter. Last lap collision with JR Hildebrand sparked criticism of Aleshin. Also, something that hasn't been said, but teammate Hinchcliffe was very strong at St. Pete and won at Long Beach, while Aleshin has yet to make an impact.



Cone of Shame



Charlie Kimball
It is getting increasingly frustrating to write about Charlie Kimball, because what is there to say about this all-around nice guy who turns into alter-ego Charlie Pinball on track? In two races, Kimball hasn't made it to turn five without an incident. This week, it was a collision with an irate Will Power, who said,  "No one in the paddock likes racing him. They all talk about it -- he’s the most dangerous guy on the track. I haven’t seen the replay, but he’s just a pain in the ass. It was very disappointing." Kimball said in his post race interview that he didn't know that Will was right beside him, even though they banged wheels in the prior turn. HOW DID YOU NOT KNOW HE WAS THERE?! I am sick and tired of Kimball being a liability on the track.

Let me know what you think!

-Matthew Hickey

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