Saturday, August 1, 2009

IndyCar race = exciting?

Saturday night proved to have the best race of the weekend by far, no matter what happens at Pocono on Sunday. Surprisingly, it wasn't from any of NASCAR's three series. The IndyCar Series ran at Kentucky Speedway under the lights and did they put on a show or what?!

For those who missed the race - and I'm sure there were plenty, I mean, it was on Versus - coming into this weekend the series introduced many changes on the cars to help increase the excitment of the racing. Sound familiar? NASCAR could take a look into the same type of thing.

Now, I am nowhere near smart enough or a big enough open-wheel fan to understand these changes but they sure made the racing exciting. Throughout the 200 lap event there were cars racing side-by-side consistently for nearly an entire run, including the leaders. At the end, it came down to Ryan Briscoe vs. Ed Carpenter. Briscoe drives for the powerful Penske organization that dominates Indy nearly every year. I think of them as the Hendrick of IndyCar racing. Carpenter is in his seventh year in the series and coming into the race had led a total of four laps in his career. Yeah, no misprint, his career. He would lead 34 laps in this race.

Most of the time I think of IndyCar racing as just follow the leader but not this one. There was only one caution the entire race, and it wasn't for debris; something actually happened on the track. Anyway, all of the leaders came down pit road with about 25 laps to go and from that point on Briscoe and Carpenter ran side-by-side nearly the entire time.

Finally, at the finish Briscoe was on the high side and was able to inch out Carpenter for the win by .016 seconds - the seventh closest finish in IndyCar history. While I was really disappointed that Carpenter could not bring home the win, I was really excited to see a race with so much action. Other than the Indy 500, I rarely catch an open-wheel race but this one was terrific and made my weekend. I have not gotten up from a race that stoked in a long time. The Talladega race this year probably didn't get me as excited as this one did because the battle lasted for 50 or so laps. Also, the entire race was like that and there were no cautions to break the rhythm of the race.

So, while we all watch the ever exciting Pocono race on Sunday, at least we can rest easy knowing that there is good racing out there, NASCAR just needs to do some work on the product right now. Maybe even take a page out of the IndyCar book and make some changes to the cars.

All in all, I just wanted to put this up on here this evening because I was so excited about the race that I needed to tell somebody about it. Thanks to Kristen for having this site put together, it is pretty cool to have something new to read pretty much every day.


  1. Thanks for the promo as I didn't get to see it untill later today have a nap and then watch Pocono Cup which I think will be exciting as the last one was. Did you watch last weeks IRL race cause it was a yawner besides the fire in the car that was it.

    I love to watch them on a aovals and they do a great job but then road courses cause even they will tell you some tracks will have only one turn to make a pass out of 9,10,11,12, etc and tend to be a follow the leader, train

    Many complain even me about last weeks race at Indy cause who ever got the lead took off. Back in the days many times the leader would be a hole lap up on the field. What you think would happen now if that happen? lol

    Great post,, Cheers2You

  2. Forensic2 - You will be watching the better race this weekend, lol. I did no see the race last week at the airport in Edmonton. I did hear that it was pretty boring though.

    People would probably go crazy if only one car was on the lead lap. NASCAR will never let it happen though, too many debris cautions. Thanks!

  3. Agree with F2, IRL has very exciting races on the ovals, except Richmond and Iowa, too small. Their road courses are kind of tight, but can't beat the scenery at St Pete and Long Beach.

    The KY IRL race was a lot more exciting than watching Hornaday win another truck race.

  4. The Kentucky race track always puts on an exciting IRL race. It seems to favor side by side racing with the Indy cars. Too bad NASCAR can't see the possibility with the Cup cars there yet.

  5. Gene - I haven't followed IndyCar close at all lately, but will try and tune in when they hit ovals later in the year. I never thought that would happen!

    photogr - I would love to have the Cup guys run at Kentucky. Every series that races there puts on a good show.

  6. I didn't see it, but the photo finish looked great! I think the cars in both racing series have gotten so aero sensative that they can't race side by side for long, and if a car is in front of you, you can't seem to pass every easily. I'm not sure how you change that.

  7. Iowa-Girl - I'm not sure how to change that either but yesterday during the rain delay Jarrett had some pretty strong opinions on what to do. Maybe NASCAR should ask him to help out. Thanks!

  8. nice write- I will be the first to say it was the track not the cars!! LOl I am biased though, I live 50 miles from the track and have driven a Nationwide type car there. That be said I didn't get to watch, but will look for a replay.

    As for Ed Carpenter, think of him as IRL's version of Paul Menard. He drives for his father-in-law Tony George.

  9. Nice one mayer! I might take my father-in-law to the IRL race at Sonoma. It would be my first.

    I only tend to watch when Helio is being interviewed! LOL

    I am all for Pocono moving to Kentucky!

  10. storkjrc - The track certainly helped. They said that the track was smoothed to take out most of the bumps. Something like 37% of the track. Anyway, Kentucky is a great track. Thanks!

    klvalus - A move from Pocono to Kentucky would be fun. That would be a good track to have in this part of the schedule. Thanks!