Tales of the Texas Raingers

Not much you can do when the weather doesn’t want you to race. A long night Saturday followed by a long day Sunday with a little bit of racing thrown in. Without the caution, it is possible the race would gotten to the 125 laps needed to make it official.  More on the caution in a bit. We had two days of positives and concerns.

The positives:

NBC demonstrated once again their superior IndyCar coverage.  Saturday they had a lot of time to fill and did it brilliantly.  Their crew was ready for this possibility,  and the show moved smoothly.

I don’t know whose idea it was for the drivers to go into the stands during the delay Saturday, but it was a great PR move. I can’t think of another major series where that would happen. I have sat through rain delays at races, and having drivers do something like this would have helped my mood tremendously.

The Dallara safety cell did what it was designed to do: minimize injuries and save lives. The Daly/Newgarden crash was one of the scariest I have ever seen. My first concern was that Newgarden’s head had hit the wall. Replays showed it did not. The roll bar prevented that from happening. The car did not get airborne or roll. The domed skid may have had something to do with that. For a driver to escape with just a broken collarbone and hand, amazing. I feared much worse injuries.

The SAFER barrier also helped soften the effect of the crash. A car on its side hitting a concrete wall is not a good thing. Any Gs lessened by the barrier I’m sure helped diminish injuries as well.

The negatives:

I am not an expert in surfaces, but I have never seen a track that would not get dry. Would repaving help? Is there some water source underneath the track that needs to be dealt with? Did all the rain Dallas has had the last few weeks cause some of the problem?

I’m still not sure how James Hinchcliffe is leading the race.  It appeared Ryan Hunter-Reay was first off pit road.  He also stayed out the longest before his first stop. It appears the order given is official and is how the race will restart in August. I will rewatch the DVR to see if I can find the answer.

Pit issues continue to plague Indycar. The incident in Hawksworth’s pit was the latest problem in a series of mishaps that started at the Indianapolis 500.  This was a scary one, with an injury to a crewman. Fortunately, it was not serious. Pit problems seem to be cyclical. I hope some protocols can be revisited to prevent some of these incidents.

Notes:

Delaying the resumption of this race until August 27 could have an impact on the championship dynamics. There are now two ovals back to back. When is the last time that happened?

On to Road America now for Indycar. I will be there and plan to do some live blogs.  It is my first trip there and I am very excited about it.

Good luck to Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais, and Mikhail Aleshin at Le Mans. I wish Fox didn’t make it so difficult to watch this race.

A special feature will be up on Friday.  Have a great week.

 

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