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The first race of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, is in the books, and what a great race weekend it was.  There was an assortment of both the usual suspects leading practice as well as some surprises, drama about brakes and cooling issues, and a few off-track excursions that sent crews into furious action to rebuild their racing machines.  The entire Mazda Road to Indy was on hand and the USF2000 series debuted the new 2017 chassis from Tatus which proved to be a great platform and provided excellent racing action.

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IndyCar

  • St. Petersburg
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    MRTI

  • Rossi has to improve his qualifying to run better at Barber or Mid-Ohio as they’re quite difficult to pass cleanly.

    Power might have been on a fuel saving strategy, but not at the restart. Track position is far too important to just left Hinch by. I think he was just taken by surprise because you would at least expect a driver to defend, place the car a bit off the apex knowing he was on the outside, then drive defensively in the passing areas. It was just a great move by Hinch.

    Kanaan and Aleshin was an accident. The former thought he cleared the latter but Aleshin thought he could have saved the position. If anything the latter should’ve backed out.

    Rough time for Pigot with the brakes. He’s got the leg up on JR this season despite the part-time status. I’d like to see how the season ends between the two after JR becomes more comfortable in the car. He was out of a ride for longer than Pigot.

    My buddy and I found the caution “predictor” quite the talking point, mostly because we wanted to know how everything was weighted, or it it was just a complete guess. I figured it was the guessing. And speaking of onscreen graphics, they said to watch the speed of Rossi through the last kink, but then took off the graphic just as he was approaching. After the hairpin, they displayed it again. Then their lack of promoting the series as a whole was a disgrace. They’re wondering why the viewership isn’t as strong, yet only promote May. Is there a harm in mentioning the races in between? Yeah it’s a different network, but getting people hooked would detract from their drawing? I think not…

    Sato has the referee cliche – if you don’t hear about him, he did his job. I think the AJ attitude of winning isn’t there with AA. AJ seems more gung-ho whereas AA probably said they have a chance to finish high in the table. AJ’s team hasn’t had the equipment to do that, instead putting more import on winning? Just a thought, but the age is surely a factor as well.

    I think the announcers said it was fuel strat for going that slowly, with Power. It was terrible commentating to even think that. It can’t get more obvious than that – losing 30 seconds per lap is time effective?

    Bestwick is awesome. He is rusty for only having a few races per year, but the others a pre so poor. The funniest comment was “spat out of a bullet barrel.”

    Busch was Homestead 2011. It seems like longer than that though.