Music City GP Wrap-Up

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Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then. When Scott Dixon qualified fourteenth on Saturday, I was afraid that I had jinxed another driver once again. In the thirteen-plus years that I have been operating this site, I think I’ve correctly picked the correct winner less than five times.

Well, today was one of those five. Scott Dixon drove a typical Scott Dixon race, in winning the second annual Big Machine Music City Grand Prix. After starting fourteenth, Dixon moved up steadily by the first two of the eight cautions on the day.

But in the third caution of the day, there were multiple cars involved including Graham Rahal and Pato O’Ward, but Scott Dixon’s car suffered damage as well. When I saw a monitor showing Dixon’s car with an extended pit stop, I figured I had jinxed yet another driver.

When Dixon came out, he was running twentieth and stayed there for a while.

But when he pitted on Lap 51, Dixon’s day seemed to be going nowhere. But when Graham Rahal collected Rinus VeeKay on Lap 52, suddenly Dixon was in control. After most cars pitted, Dixon was suddenly in second – behind Josef Newgarden, who was going to need to pit again.

When Newgarden pitted with twelve laps to go, Dixon assumed the lead. There were two cautions in those twelve laps, one of which was turned into a red flag “for the show”. But Dixon held off Christian Lundgaard on the first one, then Scott McLaughlin on the second one. But in Scott Dixon style, Dixon won his fifty-third career IndyCar race – taking sole possession of second place over the great Mario Andretti.

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That is for Dixon to reflect upon after he retires, but more importantly – Scott Dixon is now within six points of the championship leader Will Power, after being something of an afterthought in early June.

I am hoping that those fans that stuck around after the rain and lightning delay felt rewarded for their diligence. It was certainly not a boring race, but it was a little aggravating to keep watching the cautions pile up, like last year. I watched this race from the pits and enjoyed it. I also heard from several that watched it on television and they seemed to enjoy it.

The post-race press conference seemed to have a lot of the media trying to lead the drivers into criticizing the track. The media members seemed annoyed when drivers Colton Herta, Alex Palou and Scott McLaughlin all said they loved the course as it was. McLaughlin added that today was the most fun of his short IndyCar career – and that’s counting two races that he won.

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That will do it for me this weekend. I will have my usual Random Thoughts on Monday. Thanks to everyone who followed along this weekend.

The photos here were not as good as usual, because Mrs. Oilpressure was not here to take them. It was an odd weekend without her, but as she indicated earlier today – she is doing much better and the doctors at Vanderbilt seem to be zeroing in on the source of her infection. I doubt that she will be able to join me at Gateway, but I hope to be able to be there in a couple of weeks. But Susan was definitely missed this weekend, not only by me but all of our racing friends we see at various tracks throughout the year. They were all asking about her. She’ll be ready to hit the tracks next season.

Thanks again for following along and please check back tomorrow.

George Phillips

4 Responses to “Music City GP Wrap-Up”

  1. Gary Manes Says:

    I think the drivers are being too nice to our hometown George. That is a joke of a street course and they need to make changes. Too narrow in about half or more of the course. Especially when they cross the bridge and turn around near first street. Two straight years with almost half the laps under caution is not good.
    Prayers for Susan.

  2. Inside Overlap Says:

    First of all, my best wishes to Mrs. Oilpressure and hoping for a speedy recovery!

    In respects to Mr. Oilpressure for the time you take writing these articles and giving us your thought; thank you. Also in respects to all the fans in Nashville that went through all the trouble to watch the races in person but I have to say something really needs to be done about this go-cart sized race track.
    Can Nashville please produce a better race track? What we’ve watched today strongly mimicked last years bumper car race and I have a very difficult time remotely chalking this race up as a proper Indy quality car race, no fault to the drivers or teams. You can’t say the drivers didn’t give it there all to getting themselves across the finish line but it was more about a “roll of the dice tv ratings spectacle” and nothing to do about real Indy car racing. Even the drivers were laughing about it.
    This race gave me plenty of opportunity to change channels and watch the nascar race. It was kind of funny switching back and forth seeing who was leading, change the channel again and go back, it would be completely different; this happened over and over.
    Again, this is nothing against you and Nashville fans but can the Indy organizers please do a significantly better job to increase the integrity, quality and track specs in Nashville for indy car size chassis? Because right now it does not and it was very disappointing to watch, especially with only three races left to see who will win the Championship. Maybe have this race near the beginning of the calendar and give it less points for the results?

  3. Mark Wick Says:

    With the weather delay and the many cautions and red flag, it did seem to take forever to get this race in but it was entertaining. I am happy I have Peacock to watch so I was able to easily follow the whole race.
    Official race reports show Simona was in the race, but she was never shown on Peacock all weekend and only mentioned twice, once when Malukas stopped on course and the TV crew thought it was her, and when the announcers were naming the cars out of the race. Why she didn’t post a qualifying time hasn’t been explained in any report I can find. That isn’t a good look for the first time the car has been sponsored this season.

  4. Dodgems. This race promises so much but is an embarrassment for the series if the series wishes to be taken seriously. Needs a major rethink and fast. Not after next years contract ending race but before. I believe changes will have to be made due to a new stadium going up in a car park ( heard that one before ). Nine yellows last year, eight this year. A red flag. Much too high a % of laps behind the safety car. It was a joke and reminded me of dodgem cars.

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