Random Thoughts On Iowa

Although the race started later than the already late scheduled start, this year’s edition of the Iowa Corn 250 was worth staying up for. Just like the race at Texas, there was excitement, drama, many unexpected twists and another race where the Penske and Ganassi cars failed to score a win. That honor went to Ryan Hunter-Reay for the second week in a row.

When Dario Franchitti’s engine let go on one of the warm-up laps, it was a sign that this was going to be a very strange race if you were one of the points leaders. It was. The points leader, Will Power, crashed with EJ Viso. James Hinchcliffe, who was second in points going into the race, let his car get away from him on a restart and put it into the wall. Scott Dixon looked like he had the field covered in the waning laps, yet somehow finished fourth.

While most people seemed to think it was a very entertaining race, I was amazed to see on Twitter Saturday night that some people were actually chastising those that said this was a good race. I know you can’t please everyone, but it seemed the Legions of the Miserable were out in force on Twitter Saturday night.

TV Coverage:  Although I’ve never been a Tommy Kendall fan, he seemed to have some pretty good comments on Saturday night’s telecast. I also thought Dario Franchitti brought a lot to the booth in his short visit. He said what I was already thinking when he chided EJ Viso for his scolding Will Power for their crash. Yes, Power was clearly at fault – but to hear Viso act like he’s never had a brain fade on the track was laughable.

My only complaint about the telecast was the way the NBC Sports Network chose to show crowd shots during the double file restarts. I was glad to see a decent crowd at Iowa, but showing shots of the crowd waving while cars were running three wide into Turn One was a curious decision.

The Big Three:  I think it’s safe to say that Andretti Autosport is back. Hinchcliffe was second in points heading into the event. Ryan Hunter-Reay has now won two races in a row and Marco Andretti finished second. One thing though – I know that all drivers are out to win, but Marco Andretti’s surliness for finishing second to his teammate was very unattractive to watch.

All in All:  I liked this race. The last few races at Iowa have been outstanding. It used to be that Texas was my favorite oval outside of the Indianapolis 500. Now – it’s Iowa. I really hope to attend this race in the very near future. But if I go next year, I do hope they can start the race around an hour earlier. Hopefully, those in the eastern time zone stayed up to watch it.

I apologize for the abbreviated post, but Sunday was moving day for Mr. & Mrs. Oilpressure. Quite honestly, I’m proud that I was able to get anything up here today. I hope to be back to normal soon.

George Phillips

15 Responses to “Random Thoughts On Iowa”

  1. Bent Wickerbill Says:

    I think it was another great race.. I agree George, this along with Texas is one race that would be very much worth going to….. I suppose the legions of the miserable didn’t care for the result because no one from the dark side has won for several races..
    Further, I have been a fan of Tommy Kendall for years and I think he, unlike someone like Marty Reid, brings a broad knowledge of racing to the broadcast table…
    Glad to hear you and Susan are now getting settled into your new place.

  2. Some of the botched restarts should be blamed on race control. At one point they told the group to get ready for a restart when the leaders were in turn 2 and the back end of the grid was in turn 4. On a 7/8 mile track you have to anticipate that the cars can’t form up that quickly.

  3. I enjoyed the Iowa race as I usually do. As for Marco’s atitude afterwards, well he is the entitled one, isn’t he?

  4. Ron Ford Says:

    I am going to take a moment to critique the critic for a moment first;

    Most race fans love to see three wide into a turn. Why would a TV producer not want to show that excitement in the stands?

    As for Marco, the young man is aching to win again. Does he really need to mask his disappointment and be unsurly to meet your approval? He raced RHR clean and congratulated him during all the interviews. He is a long way from being a Kurt Busch.

    Anyway, I thought the race was great. I don’t have the time or the interest to read tweets or anything by the Legions of the Miserable. I intend to go to Iowa next year even if the race follows Milwaukee directly, although it would be good if it is not on Japan time again. You have silos in the background, folks with farm tans and John Deere caps, pork chops on a stick, and great short-track oval racing…………..pretty much like Indiana for this transplanted Hoosier.

    • Ron Ford Says:

      I must apoligize to George for my comments about the TV telecast showing the fans during three wide into the turn. After reading what Joe said I realized that I misunderstood George’s intent. Absolutely the focus should have been on what was going on on the track. Sorry George. I should have some coffeee before I write in the morning. Enjoy your new digs.

  5. SO disappointed to have had my Iowa plans fall through this year, will make it a stop on the DZ Indycar Tour for 2013. Is it just me or does anyone else really care all that much that we skip all but one 1.5 mile high-banks anymore when we have great short trackin’ like this and Milwaukee?

  6. Consider me an Iowan fan as well, I drove 2.5 hours out of my way just to catch morning practice and would do it again. I also belive that the pressure of being Marco with little results is showing. Finally a big amen to the comments chastising NBC for showing fans at the restarts – I screamed at the tv.

  7. billytheskink Says:

    I also thought NBC Sports missed their fair share of action on Saturday night, but this did not disappoint me as much as it should have because of the guys in the booth.
    Whether it’s Kendall or Dallenbach playing the Sam Posey role, the NBC Sports broadcast booth always seems to be having fun calling the race. It’s amazing how much more fun the racing gets when the people talking about sound like they are enjoying it, makes you almost forget about the occasional mistakes in the coverage.
    Dario spending the better part of two minutes scolding Viso was excessive, but very entertaining.

    Frankly, I thought Marco was more pleasant in the post race interview than I expected him to be. His demeanor isn’t surprising, Michael and Mario were also pills in interviews. Mario benefits from having an accent that makes his surliness come across as a sort of detached European cool.

    Good race, hope to attend someday.

  8. Dixon said a lot to me about his brain in Newton. The tires fell off hard but he still brought it home 4th and gained a ton of points on Power, Hinch, and Dario. He is far enough ahead of Dario that he has to be the unquestioned #1 driver at Ganassi. Go across the pond and Lewis Hamilton’s lack of a brain got him again. Same situation as Dixon with Vettel out of the race and the car fading late, he gets into a wreck with an obviously faster car, refusing to accept 4th place points, got zero points, and severely damaged his championship hopes. Both are fantastic talents, but one is much smarter or even mature on the track than the other.

    • This feels the classic “Prost vs. Senna” dichotomy in F1. It’s the skilled tactician/politician who always has one eye on the standings versus the pure racer who wants to beat you at all costs. And while you could argue that the “Prost” strategy (used by drivers like Dixon, Hinchcliffe, and to a lesser degree Danica who try to avoid risks at all costs) is a better long-term formula for success…the pure racers are always going to be more endearing to fans. Helio (from what I hear) is maybe the most popular driver on the circuit, and when you think back on his recent seasons, he’s either going for broke and winning, or crashing out spectacularly. Wheldon, as skilled as he was, was very much the same way.

  9. Ron Ford Says:

    Very, very disappointing with the news today that IndyCar will only run 15 races. I was hoping for and looking forward to a race at Road America. Major bummer!

    • Travis R Says:

      I do hope they continue to pursue the Road America ALMS/IndyCar double header for 2013 and beyond.

    • billytheskink Says:

      500 miles now at Fontana is a nice treat to go with the bitter taste of the 15 race news, though.

      • Tony at PopoffValve said that he is” willing to wait for Road America so that it’s done right. More willing to wait for that than to wait for aero kits, personally.” I tend to agree with him.

  10. Bob West Says:

    I enjoyed the concept of heat races to determine starting positions . Why not continue the practice ? Winning drivers / cars should be awarded points for their performance in these shoot-outs . The idea brings back fond memories of midget racing in the late 40s and throughout the 50s . It’s amazing to see the current drivers demonstrate their to control such powerful machinery on a 7/8 mile oval ! Sure would like to see “replica roadsters” powered by Chevy , Ford or Chrysler V 8s on this oval . Could the current crop of Indy car drivers handle them ? Maybe some of the NASCAR “good old boys” and their crews would be better at it in “roadsters” .

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