Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Winners and Losers: GPI

Here are the Winners, Losers, and Cone of Shame winner following the 2017 Grand Prix of Indianapolis:

Winners

Will Power
Despite some tough luck so far this season, Will Power once again showed that he is the best road course driver in the IndyCar Series. Has there been anyone better than him on road courses since 2010? I'll wait for arguments.


Scott Dixon
The usual blueprint for a Scott Dixon championship is to start slow, have a good race at Indianapolis, and win a bunch of races in the end of the season to come from behind and take the title. So far this season, Dixon hasn't finished outside the top-five, which should scare the living shit out of the rest of the field.


Ryan Hunter-Reay
Stealth award goes to Ryan Hunter-Reay, who didn't do anything too flashy but was wicked fast and managed to get a podium. Hunter-Reay now goes into the 500, a place where he has done quite well at.


Graham Rahal
For the second straight year at GPI, Graham Rahal charged from the back to the front and finished sixth place. Considering everyone was on a three-stop strategy and there were no cautions, Rahal had to make his way up the field on speed and merit. Considering how his season has gone, this could give Rahal a huge momentum boost.



Losers

Helio Castroneves
Despite being in the top-five, it's exactly these type of performances that are the reason Helio Castroneves has never won a championship. Helio started on the front row, ran in the top-two for a majority of the race, but poor tire management and bad strategy (which can be attributed to his team and not himself) cost him points that he will desperately need in August.


Spencer Pigot
Despite being my driver of the day for some of his thrilling overtakes, Spencer Pigot's pit mistake potentially cost him a chance at a top-five finish. On pace alone, Pigot has been sensational this season and been vastly faster than teammate JR Hildebrand.


Sebastien Bourdais
I tried to think of a clever analogy to talk about Sebastien Bourdais's luck at GPI the last two years, because he has only completed two laps at the track, but I got nothing. Anyways, early championship aspirations for Bourdais are looking to be short lived.


AJ Foyt Enterprises
New staff, a new shop, and two new drivers, and AJ Foyt Enterprises looks as miserable as ever. Carlos Munoz and Conor Daly don't look like they have a prayer out their now. With their switch to Chevrolet engines, I figured that the team would be fast as hell. Instead, Honda now looks like the engine to beat. How does that happen? What rotten luck.



Cone of Shame



Josef Newgarden
Josef Newgarden, who has been remarkably consistent so far in his first season with Team Penske, had a bad day on Saturday. While running up front, Newgarden blitzed the pit speed limit after trying to get ahead of lapped car Conor Daly in the pits. He got a speeding penalty. Upon serving his penalty, Newgarden was once again too fast, and was penalized again. That is an embarrassing mistake. It happens, but Newgarden will need to have a good Indianapolis 500 to make up for the loss of points.



-Matthew Hickey

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