OBSERVATIONS: ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway
It wasn’t the most exciting Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season, but the water cooler talk will continue for the weeks to come.
Alexander Rossi has everything going his way right now, as he dominated en route to his second straight victory. For only four drivers to be on the lead lap of a 500 mile race, you know you’re doing something right. That said, he wasn’t left totally unchallenged as Will Power showed potential at times, but nothing that matched the Andretti Autosport team.
His speed comes at the right time this season as he tries to chase down Scott Dixon for the series championship, cutting into the gap rather quickly via these performances. With three more races to go, the title is wide open between the pair. The new kid on the block could easily overcome the Ice Man with another oval, an unknown road course, and a site of a previous win for Rossi (Sonoma Raceway) to come.
While it’s thrilling to watch someone dominate and find an edge, it also makes for a very boring race day as nap time becomes more tempting as the 200 laps click away. The aero package produced very little passing under the green flag, with pit stop strategy the only variable to produce changes in the running order.
Maybe a quiet 480 miles was a good thing, though, following a scary crash on the seventh lap of the race. Battling for position, Robert Wickens made contact with the back of Ryan Hunter-Reay, before going over top of the No. 28 DHL Honda’s nose, over across the top of the wall, and into the catchfence where he spun like a top before landing. Thankfully, despite a road of recovery ahead of him, the Schmidt Peterson Motrsports driver will be okay.
With the good news emerging about Wickens, the well wishes will certainly shift to debate about safety, and whether more steps need to be taken. Seeing cars lift over the ground, along with the open cockpit design almost showcasing it’s danger with how lucky Hunter-Reay was, certainly individuals will be demanding for changes to come.
Something of that nature can be saved for another time while throwing a shout-out to Sebastian Bourdais on his stand about the repairs to the fence. Once the series made repairs in a delay lasting two hours, the Dale Coyne Racing driver was reluctant to get back into the cars due to not feeling totally confident.
“I’m old but I’m not wiser,” he told NBC Sports Network. “Everybody’s in the seat and you gotta go. I wasn’t happy with it at all. The construction guys said thumbs-up; I’m glad nobody tried it because I’m not sure that would have been satisfactory. It’s just tough moments.
“When we saw the extent of the damage I had a pretty good idea that it wasn’t gonna get fixed properly, and it wasn’t. The cables were loose, and it was just like, it was pretty lousy. So I wasn’t happy with it at all.”
Thankfully, as Bourdais, said the rest of the event ran clean, but in speaking of safety improvements, maybe a better trained way to handle these types of situations could be implemented.
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