Will Power, who was once considered a liability on ovals, has now turned into quite the oval savant. He is also a staunch critic of the type of racing we saw last night, but when he won, he looked so happy and proud of himself. It was great to see. Power is not out of this championship yet.
That is back-to-back years at Texas where Simon Pagenaud was in a tight battle at the ending stages of the race. Somewhere in that battle, Pagenaud had the patience and understanding to back out of a potential accident in order to secure a good finish. After the late crash, Pagenaud went from fifth to third, and that solid finish puts him second in the championship.
Gabby Chaves, in only his second race with new team Harding Racing, kept it clean and finished in fifth place. He put in the same performance at Indianapolis, not doing anything overly flashy but came home in the top-ten. Hopefully this is the beginning of a long and successful relationship between Chaves and Harding.
It wasn't a pain-free night for Conor Daly, but Conor finally secured his first top-ten of the season. In a car that hasn't seemed to mesh well with the Chevy aero-kits, Daly kept a clean nose and was in the lead group at the end of the race scrapping with the leaders. Hopefully this can springboard Daly into a strong second-half of the season.
Honorable mention: IndyCar
I love the type of racing we saw last night. It is dangerous and measures should be taken to calm the drivers down a bit, as there was plenty of stupid moves going on, but that type of racing is what first brought me to IndyCar. And I'll argue that racing on an high speed oval is always dangerous, the only reason that the close racing we saw is scorned is because when they make a mistake that close, the mistake is compounded. It was a relief to see all the drivers walk away okay last night, and no cars got airborne. I just loved that kind of racing, the same racing we saw at the end of Texas last year and Fontana two years ago.
Many took to blaming Mikhail Aleshin for that huge crash just after the halfway point, saying Aleshin should have backed out of making it three-wide. A majority of people placed blame on Tony Kanaan for drifting up into James Hinchcliffe. Chip Ganassi, owner and shot-caller for Kanaan, started a third theory and blamed Hinchcliffe, saying that Hinchcliffe was trying to crash all night and should have kept his line. I am a Chip Ganassi fan but he was so full of shit that even his eyes started to turn brown. Hinch was asked about Chip's comments when he was interviewed, when he responded by saying, "That's adorable." Hinch dragged Chip and it was fun to watch.
While running second with a handful of laps to go, Scott Dixon was taken out by Takuma Sato. It is a shame, as Dixon was set to continue an absolutely mammoth start to the season, with the only blemish being his massive crash at Indy. Still, even with the crash, Dixon finished 10th and collected decent points considering his perils.
I am finding it harder and harder to like Emma Dixon because she spews more garbage than a disgruntled politician. Over the last couple of years, anytime something happens to her hubby Scott Dixon or anytime she deems IndyCar does something questionable, she unleashes on them in a usually unprofessional manner. Last night, she took to Takuma Sato, who did wreck Dixon pretty carelessly. Still, Emma took to responding to fans bashing Sato, claiming Sato wrecked Dixon three times (I counted once...), and the lowest of the lows, telling another fan she will never "get any" based on her face. That was pretty classless. I don't care how much wine you drink when you watch IndyCar, tweeting filth like that is just uncalled for.
Dale Coyne Racing
Dale Coyne Racing was set for another impressive oval run with Ed Jones and Tristan Vautier, but both were collected in the big crash after the halfway point. With a flurry of big crashes in recent memory for Dale Coyne, one has to wonder how the team is doing financially. Vautier was one of the most exciting drivers of the night, and he was charging to the front. Ed Jones said after the race that he had the best car and the most fun he's ever had. Both were poised fora great finish. Coyne was so upset that during the red flag, he went up to Tony Kanaan and seemed to give him a piece of his mind.
Honorable Mention: IndyCar
On the other hand, the whole compeition caution thing, upon second thought, was a bad idea. I like the idea of making safety important, as the Firestone tires were blistering, but on the other hand, I heard of only two drivers complaining of the blistering, and that was Josef Newgarden and Helio Castroneves. If it was a chronic problem throughout the field, then it would have definitely been the right move. I just thought it was a bit much when only two drivers seemed to be having an issue.
Cone of Shame
Fairplay, Tony Kanaan fessed up to his mistake and took ownership of the big crash that took place just past the halfway point in the race that took out seven cars, but at the end of the day, he still caused the wreck in my opinion. It wasn't a racing incident, it was Kanaan drifting well up the track into James Hinchcliffe, causing the big crash. I do really appreciate his willingness to apologize and take ownership of what happened, but at the end of the day, it was one of the most careless moves I've seen. That might fly in a low speed corner on a road course, but drifting out like that on high speed oval like Texas is unacceptable.
Let me know what you think!