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Bball
05-31-2010, 01:54 AM
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs334.snc3/29309_10150214265470473_827700472_12803601_7254305 _n.jpg

Pre-race favorite Castroneves stalled the car in the pits which shuffled him back and caused the team to roll the dice on a fuel strategy to get him back up front. Not getting a needed yellow he was forced to pit in the waning laps costing him any chance at the win.
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Graham Rahal was assessed a costly black flag for blocking.

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Tomas Sheckter leaves the pits.

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KV Racing and driver Takuma Sato brought back the famous green and yellow Lotus paint scheme to the speedway.

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Jack Nicholoson waved the green flag to start the race... then hung around in the flag stand to wave the flag a couple more times for restarts after some early yellow flags.

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Yes, Georgetown RD is open for vehicular traffic... :crazy:


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Tony Kanan drove his heart out. It's a shame his final finishing position didn't ultimately indicate the top 3 position he deserved.

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Vitor Meira returned to Indy after a bad crash last year.
It's a good time to point out that the AJ Foyt owned car is sponsored by ABC SUPPLY Company... not ABC the television network. It's interesting how the ABC announcers never mention that or clarify it.

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Dan Wheldon had a seemingly quiet but excellent race making it all the way to P2 for the finish and also leaving a lot of question marks about whether he could've overtaken Dario on that final lap as Dario tried to conserve fuel. The yellow flag on the last lap made the point moot.

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Name the driver that's 15 minutes of fame are about up-
Former crowd favorite Danica Patrick pictured above.

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Race winner Dario Franchitti heads to Victory Circle after winning the 2010 Indy 500.

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Comments-
Hard to say Dario didn't deserve this win. He was hooked up all day long. Still, the fuel strategies at the end could've changed everything if there'd been an earlier yellow... or no last lap yellow at all. Dario was conserving all the fuel he could and there will always be some question if he could've withstood a last lap challenge and still had enough fuel to make it. Meanwhile, cars that were ahead of him in the final laps were going to have to stop for fuel (splash and go) unless they got a long yellow that would allow THEM to conserve enough to run to the end.

It was interesting (and to me it was funny) to hear the boos when Danica was introduced before the race. IMHO the crowd didn't sour on her when she threw her team under the bus at quals... that was just the tipping point when the general public had enough of the princess. She is a total media creation who has parlayed some hype and sex appeal, raw talent, and advertising money into a couple of good rides. But she's not really done much special with those rides in whole and realistically has probably underperformed all things considered. Yes, she finished 6th today... but probably deserved 15-16th... But she again drove just fast enough that her team can utilize a conservative strategy to move her up by fuel/pit strategies. Last year she did have a decent season but again she wasn't a threat to win. I see her problem two-fold: She's not as good as she thinks she is and she's not actually evolving as a driver who knows her machine (She would rather spend time marketing herself than concentrate on understanding her car and the nuts and bolts of racing).... AND.... the field is more talented as a whole and the cars are so well figured out that the separation between her and other drivers has grown. Plus I believe Indycar took away the weight advantage she had and mandated ballast be added to equalize car and driver weights (I could be wrong about that... although it was discussed and I thought implemented). That's probably why her qualifying has dropped off.

Anyway, Danica needs to put a quarter in the fame machine because her 15 minutes is about to run out. It's to the point now that if she was to win the 500 I'm afraid it wouldn't be a crowning achievement and a media bonanza.... It would be questions about how far Indy has fallen when Danica Patrick can win it.

IZOD's plan of upping the star power of Indy is apparent. Whether that pays dividends in the future I don't know. I think a bigger star in the Pace car would be smart.

I harp on this every year- Empty seats breed empty seats. The Tower Terrace seats on the north west side of the speedway are not getting filled. They just aren't that good of seats. I'm not sure how much they cost but I suspect 75.00... They should be more like 35... or 25.00. And maybe they are. If so, that's certainly not good. If it was me, I'd admit defeat on those seats, lower the price first and foremost, and consider painting them blue or green and declare them 'general admission... first come first served' or just rip the lower ones out and replace them with shops or a VIP lounge with windows or something.... and leave the more desirable higher seats.

It seemed like traffic indicated a bigger crowd, but I still saw empty patches of seats where I wouldn't expect them (besides the aforementioned Tower Terrace seats). I'm curious if the heavier traffic I'm experiencing is really more people or just a shift in the time people are arriving. And if it is more people, is it general admission people?

I also noticed a lot of empty seats as the race went on that were filled earlier in the race. Do these people just come to see the start and the festivities and leave (to beat the traffic?)?? Do they move to the infield? Today it seemed more noticeable than before so maybe the heat cooked some people out.

I hope the new management at the speedway see the need to allow some innovation back into the Indy 500 if not the series. They've dumbed it down and allowed the current cars to mature to the point that they are costing themselves money in the name of saving money for teams IMHO. When the lack of innovation creates a lack of interest it DRAINS money away from the event/series.

More than anything I think qualifying speeds need to be allowed to creep back up. I'm fine with using technology to keep racing speeds down but the cars need to be touching up against qualifying speeds that make you go "wow". ...Not running the same speeds for several years. Maybe mandate a qualifying motor and a more conservative racing motor. Of course safety is important but there has to be a line and technology should be able to move and improve that safety line as the speeds creep up too.

You combine "A neeeeeeew traaaaaack record" with the new qualifying format and I think you have something.

I'm warming to the idea that Brian Barnhart needs replaced as part of the housecleaning. The race start needs tightened up again and his reasoning for not doing it doesn't hold water with me. It's part of what makes the start of the race exciting. Barnhart seems to be a little too conservative and little stubborn to boot. I also thought some of the black flags today were iffy and probably quick. And probably not consistent either.

I know having "Indy Specialists" (Indy one off drivers) has been around a long time. I'm wondering if the new oval AND road/street course championships (as well as the overall series championship) could be used in a way to get some of these oval specialists rides for just the ovals... Just as it gets them rides just for Indy. I guess it depends on what when the oval or street/road championship pays (if anything, besides a trophy and your name in print).

Yes, it was hot today... .but my seats are shaded so it wasn't too bad. OTOH the walk back to the car was pretty brutal with the sun bearing down.

Pointz
05-31-2010, 12:51 PM
Great pics Bball. I was really rooting for TK to come from last to first and he raced so hard but Dario was just so fast. On a Pacers note...I did run into Jeff Foster and his wife behind the pits and he seemed to be doing very well.

duke dynamite
06-01-2010, 10:51 AM
I was rooting for TK, but I am glad that Dario got it. Ever since he was with Andretti I've been a fan.

grace
06-01-2010, 04:31 PM
I'm warming to the idea that Brian Barnhart needs replaced as part of the housecleaning. The race start needs tightened up again and his reasoning for not doing it doesn't hold water with me. It's part of what makes the start of the race exciting. Barnhart seems to be a little too conservative and little stubborn to boot. I also thought some of the black flags today were iffy and probably quick. And probably not consistent either.

I heard on Versus that the revamped qualifying was Brian's idea. As for the start of the race sure it could have been cleaner, but how anti-climatic is it to not start when they're supposed to? I'd rather have them spaced out and not wreck in first turn. Personally I didn't have a problem with the black flags. They're never going to catch them all. As for the iggy ones it might just have been a culmination of a few iffy ones by the same driver.

Bball
06-02-2010, 04:32 AM
I heard on Versus that the revamped qualifying was Brian's idea. As for the start of the race sure it could have been cleaner, but how anti-climatic is it to not start when they're supposed to?


You mean throwing a yellow and making them do it again? It's happened before... like last year...
And I agree, that's pretty anti-climatic!

I was talking more about making some changes in the start back to how it was pre-IRL. I'd like to see the tighten the rows up with a tighter gap between rows. The reason they don't is Barnhart thinks this minimizes the chance of a wreck taking out a chunk of the field at the start. Well, that would've been true for 1990 as it is in 2010. Part of the excitement of the start is the drama and skill needed to navigate the start. Dumbing it down when drivers like Jack Miller, Marty Roth, or Milka Duno were making the field might've been a good idea. But the overall quality level of the field is back to being as balanced as it's ever been.

But this is a two part complaint... Even if you don't tighten the rows back up they need to move the acceleration point for the start to the straightaway. It looked to me like Helio, and then the whole front row were on the gas before they even got into turn 4. And before the green was even out.

There's always been a risk of a wreck at the start. There's lots of things that can be done to minimize the chance of wrecks throughout the entire race but at some point they become counter-productive to the drama of man and machine... man vs machine...

I suppose if they tighten the start and move the acceleration point back to the front stretch and we get 2-3 years in a row of botched starts then they could go back. But for years and years we had tight starts.




I'd rather have them spaced out and not wreck in first turn. Personally I didn't have a problem with the black flags. They're never going to catch them all. As for the iggy ones it might just have been a culmination of a few iffy ones by the same driver.

Rahal did block... but it wasn't the most blatant or dangerous block I'd ever seen. One man's block is another man's 'protecting his position'. I think Wheldon's reaction made Rahal's block look worse than it really was. Especially when you look at the in car view. But the penalty was assessed before Graham got to T4. Pretty quick trigger finger to have really taken time to look at the various angles and make sure officials saw what they thought they saw.

But I suppose my point here may not be that there shouldn't be a penalty... just that there should be levels of penalty depending on how blatant the move was. Like maybe an extra warning or two...or a fine for blocking... and the next stage of the penalty be either the driver forced to give up a position (or take a time penalty at the next pitstop).... and THEN a black flag if it keeps happening.

grace
06-02-2010, 09:51 PM
Sure you can put the rows closer together at the start. Just ask Mario how well that worked in '82.

In the drivers meeting I don't know what was said about blocking. I'm sure they were warned; therefore, it's their down fault if they got caught.

Bball
06-02-2010, 10:04 PM
Sure you can put the rows closer together at the start. Just ask Mario how well that worked in '82.

I'm gonna ask that "damned Coogan" ;)



In the drivers meeting I don't know what was said about blocking. I'm sure they were warned; therefore, it's their down fault if they got caught.

I don't disagree. I'm just saying for something that has different degrees to it, plus something that can be a judgment call, perhaps the penalty should have more degrees to it as well including a hefty fine that would still penalize the driver/team but not necessarily penalize the fans or the race itself.

Bball
06-06-2010, 08:44 PM
http://www.scottrichardsonphotography.com/2010/05/31/indianapolis-500-conway-wreck-5-30-10/

Go to the above site and scroll down to see a series of excellent still photos of the Conway crash. Pretty amazing his injuries were not much worse than they were. These photos really show you that there were a series of close calls with the way things played out that went in Conway's favor.

Rupert Stilinski
06-07-2010, 10:31 AM
http://www.scottrichardsonphotography.com/2010/05/31/indianapolis-500-conway-wreck-5-30-10/

Go to the above site and scroll down to see a series of excellent still photos of the Conway crash. Pretty amazing his injuries were not much worse than they were. These photos really show you that there were a series of close calls with the way things played out that went in Conway's favor.

I have to admit, while watching that wreck live, I thought for sure we were seeing another tragic death on the track.

It was nothing short of amazing/remarkable/miraculous/insert favorite hyperbolic word here, that he came away as he did.

Trader Joe
06-07-2010, 10:55 AM
See though, I thought the exact opposite. The car responded in the exact way it is supposed to in those situations. I know this is not a complete rule, but generally it seems lately, the more spectacular the crash (I.E. Flips, parts flying off, etc.) the less likely a driver will suffer fatal injuries. Severe injuries? Yes. Fatal? not as much. This is a result IMO of the flips and things of that nature being the main thing that was focused on from a safety perspective for many years.

Now the much less spectacular crashes, blunt force into the wall for example, where the car is always grounded and usually stays in one piece are the ones resulting in the fatalities.

ChicagoJ
06-07-2010, 11:48 AM
Having the car disentigrate on contact? Yeah, that helps spread the energy/ impact out.

Having the car sailing, top first, into the wall/ fence with "minimal" protection for the driver's head? That's freaking scary. The roll bar or whatever is up there really did its job.

Bball
06-07-2010, 11:52 AM
See though, I thought the exact opposite. The car responded in the exact way it is supposed to in those situations. I know this is not a complete rule, but generally it seems lately, the more spectacular the crash (I.E. Flips, parts flying off, etc.) the less likely a driver will suffer fatal injuries. Severe injuries? Yes. Fatal? not as much. This is a result IMO of the flips and things of that nature being the main thing that was focused on from a safety perspective for many years.

Now the much less spectacular crashes, blunt force into the wall for example, where the car is always grounded and usually stays in one piece are the ones resulting in the fatalities.

Everything was there for traumatic or fatal injuries. A car flying into the catch fence and spinning isn't good. His head could've easily contacted one of the steel poles or the concrete wall. Had the car went into the fence with the front first he likely would've suffered major leg and foot injuries (to the point of bringing amputation into the discussion). Coming back to the track he could've land on another car either injuring that driving or himself worse by his head being exposed. Even landing on the track the potential was there for a head impact against the pavement. And yet again, the potential for the exposed tub to have been struck by another car.

Any time an Indycar goes into violent flips it isn't good. ...And doubly so if it goes into flight and catches the fence.

Trader Joe
06-07-2010, 02:51 PM
But don't you expect the extended roll bar to do its job of keeping the driver safe?

Now of course, if he had gotten hit by another car as he landed that would have been extremely dangerous, but then you are changing the rules of the accident. I don't know I just felt like the car handled the situation exactly the way it was designed to.

ChicagoJ
06-07-2010, 04:02 PM
But don't you expect the extended roll bar to do its job of keeping the driver safe?

Now of course, if he had gotten hit by another car as he landed that would have been extremely dangerous, but then you are changing the rules of the accident. I don't know I just felt like the car handled the situation exactly the way it was designed to.

On a personal level, I don't ever want to be airborne and sailing, at 200+ mph, head first into a fence/ retaining wall. Roll bar or not.

:-o

Trader Joe
06-07-2010, 04:10 PM
I know, but I thought we were dealing with race car drivers?

I guess my point is lost, nevermind.

Bball
06-07-2010, 08:46 PM
But don't you expect the extended roll bar to do its job of keeping the driver safe?

Now of course, if he had gotten hit by another car as he landed that would have been extremely dangerous, but then you are changing the rules of the accident. I don't know I just felt like the car handled the situation exactly the way it was designed to.

The roll bar is there for a roll. It can't do anything about a frontal or side contact for the head. Nothing is there to protect for that IF the car is flying and spinning. The roll bar did its job at the points the roll bar could... but part of this is accident is simply lucky or not lucky. He's just extremely lucky his head missed the concrete wall, the steel posts, and the pavement on impact.

Really, for the most part this type accident was not what the car was designed to absorb. That's why he's lucky.