The Verizon IndyCar series is back with the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. It the first of two races at Indianapolis in the famous month of May, as the 2nd race will be the Indianapolis 500, which is the biggest IndyCar race if the year.
Now before I begin my race recap and review of this race, I do want to apologize for not doing a race recap and review of the last IndyCar race, which took place at Phoenix International Raceway. I wanted to do the race recap and review last weekend or some time this past week, but I just did not feel like going back and watching that whole race and doing a recap and review post. One of the big reasons why that was the case was because that race was mostly uneventful and not a race worth watching for a 2nd time. It was just an uneventful race with little to no passing. And it was a big disappointment considering that in the past there have been exciting and fun races at Phoenix, especially in the 1990's. But to somewhat make it up to you guys, I will give you guys the top 10 results from that Phoenix race at also provide you guys with who I though would win that race.
Who I thought would win the IndyCar Phoenix race: Tony Kanaan
Phoenix top 10 Results
1. Simon Pagenaud: #1 Chevrolet
2. Will Power: #12 Chevrolet
3. J.R. Hildebrand: #21 Chevrolet
4. Helio Castroneves: #3 Chevrolet
5. Scott Dixon: #9 Honda
6. Tony Kanaan: #10 Honda
7. Ed Carpenter: #20 Chevrolet
8. Charlie Kimball: #83 Honda
9. Josef Newgarden: #2 Chevrolet
10. Carlos Munoz: #14 Chevrolet
Now onto the race recap and review for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. First, lets take a look at the starting lineup for this race.
1. Will Power: #12 Chevrolet
2. Helio Castroneves: #3 Chevrolet
3. Josef Newgarden: #2 Chevrolet
4. Scott Dixon: #9 Honda
5. Juan Pablo Montoya: #22 Chevrolet
6. Sebastien Bourdais: #18 Honda
7. Simon Pagenaud: #1 Chevrolet
8. Ryan Hunter-Reay: #28 Honda
9. Alexander Rossi: #98 Honda
10. James Hinchcliffe: #5 Honda
11. Marco Andretti: #27 Honda
12. Tony Kanaan: #10 Honda
13. Ed Jones (R): #19 Honda
14. Max Chilton: #8 Honda
15. Conor Daly: #4 Chevrolet
16. Spencer Pigot: #20 Chevrolet
17. Mikhail Aleshin: #7 Honda
18. Carlos Munoz: #14 Chevrolet
19. Charlie Kimball: #83 Honda
20. Graham Rahal: #15 Honda
21. J.R. Hildebrand: #21 Chevrolet
22. Takuma Sato: #26 Honda
Who I picked to win this race: Will Power
Lap 1: The green flag is out and the Grand Prix of Indianapolis is on. Tony Kanaan gets hit from behind by Marco Andretti and maybe Ed Jones and spun his car out in turn 7 and has a flat tire, he must come to pit road to get a new tire. Pole sitter Will Power leads the opening lap.
Lap 4: Looks like Sebastien Bourdais has a mechanical problem with his car as he drives into the runoff area in turn 1. Looks like his race is over.
Lap 7: Marco Andretti is serving a drive thru penalty for avoidable contact that he had on the opening lap with Tony Kanaan.
Lap 16: There was slight contact between Andretti Autosport team-mates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi as Hunter-Reay passes Rossi in turn 7 for 6th place.
Lap 17: Alexander Rossi is starting to fall back as Spencer Pigot passes Rossi for 7th on the front straightaway.
Lap 18: The first cycle of green flag pit sops start as James Hinchcliffe makes his first pit stop of the race. Spencer Pigot continues to move up through the field as he passes Juan Pablo Montoya for 6th in turn 12.
Lap 19: Alexander Rossi continues to drop back as Simon Pagenaud passes Rossi for 8th in turn 1.
Lap 20: Spencer Pigot tries to pass Ryan Hunter-Reay for 5th in turn 1, but Hunter-Reay slightly blocks Pigot and Pigot can't complete the pass.
Lap 22: Spencer Pigot makes his first pit stop of the race. He stalls his car as he is trying to exit his pit box. Other drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud make pit stops as well.
Lap 23: 2nd place Helio Castroneves makes his first pit stop of the race, along with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden.
Lap 24: Race leader Will Power and 2nd place Scott Dixon make their first pit stops of the race. Helio Castroneves is the new race leader.
Lap 27: Graham Rahal tries to pass Mikhail Aleshin around the outside of turn 1 for 13th, but Rahal can't complete the pass. Graham completes the pass on Mikhail one lap later on the front straightaway.
Lap 31: Takuma Sato almost hits the inside wall on the front straightaway as he passes Mikhail Aleshin for 14th place.
Lap 32: Mikhail Aleshin is falling back as Carlos Munoz passes Mikhail for 15th in turn 1.
Lap 35: Alexander Rossi makes a bold move as he passes James Hinchcliffe around the outside on the back straightaway for 7th place.
Lap 43: The 2nd round of green flag pit stops start as we reach the halfway point of this 85 lap race. The drivers making pit stops are 2nd place Will Power, Simon Pagenaud, and Spencer Pigot.
Lap 46: Race leader Helio Castroneves makes his 2nd pit stop of the race. Will Power is the new race leader.
Lap 51: Graham Rahal, who started this race in 20th, is moving up through the field as he passes Alexander Rossi for 8th in turn 1.
Lap 64: The 3rd and final round of green flag pit stops begin as 3rd place Scott Dixon and 4th place Josef Newgarden make their final pit stops of the race, along with other drivers like Conor Daly, Juan Pablo Montoya, and James Hinchcliffe.
Lap 65: Race leader Will Power makes his final pit stop of the race. Helio Castroneves is now the new race leader. Josef Newgarden had to serve a drive thru penalty for going to fast exiting pit road.
Lap 66: Race leader Helio Castroneves makes his final pit stop of the race. Graham Rahal is now the new race leader. But Rahal makes his final pit stop one lap later, giving the lead of the race to Will Power.
Lap 69: Scott Dixon passes Helio Castroneves for 2nd place in turn 7.
Lap 71: Josef Newgarden is trying to recover from the penalty, and is moving up through the field as he passes James Hinchcliffe for 12th on the back straightaway.
Lap 81: Helio Castroneves is starting to fall back as he Penske Racing team-mate Simon Pagenaud passes him for 4th place in turn 1.
Lap 85: The white flag is out for the final lap of the race. Will Power is the leader and is about 5 seconds ahead of 2nd place Scott Dixon. Power is able to hold on, takes the checkered flag, and wins the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Scott Dixon will finish in 2nd, and Ryan Hunter-Reay will finish in 3rd.
My thoughts on this race: To be honest, I thought this was a pretty good race to watch. Of course my views on this race may be just a little bit biased because Will Power is my favorite driver and he did end up winning this race. So maybe if Will Power did not win this race, my opinions or views of this race may be slightly different. But maybe not because I did enjoy watching this race. It had plenty of passing, which we did not see in the previous race at Phoenix, and a lot of pit strategy. Not only did we see pit strategy, but we saw tire strategy as well. We saw drivers and teams debating about weather there drivers should drive with the red softer compound tires, or the harder Firestone black tires. Tire strategy was important in this race because they can determine how fast or slower a driver's car can be. And based on what we saw in this race, it was probably a better decision to have the red softer compound tires. Because they were definitely the tires that made a car faster than a car that had the harder black tires. And race winner Will Power was smart to have the red tires on his final stint of the race. But even if Power had the black tires, Power probably still would have won this race. It just seemed like no other driver in the field could beat Will Power. He certainly had the car to beat and nothing was stopping him from going to victory lane for the first time this season. And this had to be very satisfying win for Will Power given the type of season that he has had. We will just have to wait and see if Will Power can keep this momentum into the biggest race of the year in the Indianapolis 500. Who knows, maybe Power can win the Indy 500 for the first time in his career. It is one of the only accomplishments that he does not have on his racing career resume.
Before I go, let me give you guys the full official results of this race. And don't forget, the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 is this Sunday on ABC.
1. Will Power: #12 Chevrolet
2. Scott Dixon: #9 Honda
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay: #28 Honda
4. Simon Pagenaud: #1 Chevrolet
5. Helio Castroneves: #3 Chevrolet
6. Graham Rahal: #15 Honda
7. Max Chilton: #8 Honda
8. Alexander Rossi: #98 Honda
9. Spencer Pigot: #20 Honda
10. Juan Pablo Montoya: #22 Chevrolet
11. Josef Newgarden: #2 Chevrolet
12. Takuma Sato: #26 Honda
13. James Hinchcliffe: #5 Honda
14. J.R. Hildebrand: #21 Chevrolet
15. Carlos Munoz: #14 Chevrolet
16. Marco Andretti: #27 Honda
17. Conor Daly: #4 Chevrolet
18. Mikhail Aleshin: #7 Honda
19. Ed Jones (R): #19 Honda
20. Tony Kanaan: #10 Honda
21. Charlie Kimball: #83 Honda
22. Sebastien Bourdais: #18 Honda
Next Race: 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Sunday May 28th on ABC
By: Andrew Harrington
- IndyCar Racing