IndyCar Firestone 550 Live Thread

IndyCar Live in Primetime at Texas [Firestone 550 Live Thread]

6/8/13 in IndyCar   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - IndyCar Firestone 550 Live ThreadIn what has been a very unpredictable season for IndyCar, tonight's race starts out seemingly predictable for once, with Will Power on the pole. However, this isn't a road or street course, but Texas Motor Speedway, the highest banked oval on the schedule. Power dominated qualifying by 1.6 mph to lead them to the green in tonight's race, the first IndyCar race shown on primetime on ABC.

Behind Power are other usual suspects. Marco Andretti, currently tied for the points lead, will start 2nd. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dario Franchitti make up the 2nd row, with EJ Viso and other points co-leader Helio Castroneves in the 3rd row. It looks like Penske and Ganassi will have plenty of chances to win, something they actually haven't done yet in 2013. In fact, the two traditional power teams haven't even hit the podium in the last five races.

In the end though, starting position doesn't mean that much at Texas. Being an oval, drivers can move through the pack. However, don't expect this race to look like the Indy 500. In order to keep pack racing from happening, the series takes away a lot of downforce at Texas, more than any other oval. It makes the cars harder to drive, and makes taking care of tires a priority. The cars can and do drop off quickly. This was best shown at the end of last year's race. Graham Rahal look in the clear until he slapped the wall with 2 laps to go. This allowed Justin Wilson to go by and pick up his first ever win on an oval. This race won't have endless passing or 20 cars within a second of each other, but all signs point to an exciting, strategic race nonetheless.

Also to be noted are two more driver changes. Oriol Servia takes over the #4 Panther Racing National Guard car this week. Servia missed the Dual in Detroit due to the shutting down of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. Pippa Mann, meanwhile, takes over the #18 Dale Coyne Racing ride, which of course just saw victory lane last week, albeit at a very different course.

Coverage begins at 8:30 on ABC, with the green flag at around 8:50. Timing and scoring can be found here, and More Front Wing's indispensable Event Summary can be found here. Q it up throughout the Firestone 550.
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6/9/13   |   mcleodglen   |   32 respect

LOL, dancing with the starts dude....

6/9/13   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

I ran into a friend at Boston Pizza and she asked me if I watched that racing thing on TV.  I said, no, I was working, so she said that dude from Dancing With the Stars won!!

*sigh*

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Points Standings:

1. Helio Castroneves 259
2. Marco Andretti -22
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay -27
4. Tony Kanaan -64
5. Takuma Sato -65
5. Simon Pagenaud -65
7. Scott Dixon -66
8. Justin Wilson -75
9. James Hinchcliffe -83
10. Dario Franchitti -91

Power is 12th 107 points back. Saavedra btw is still behind Conway in the points even though the former has competed in every race this year, while Conway has only been in three.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Unofficial Results:

1. Helio Castroneves (he crushed the field today, deserved win and he takes the championship lead)
2. Ryan Hunter-Reay
3. Tony Kanaan
4. Ed Carpenter
5. Marco Andretti
6. Dario Franchitti -1 lap
7. Will Power -1 lap
8. Josef Newgarden -1 lap (another solid run for him)
9. James Hinchcliffe -1 lap
10. EJ Viso -1 lap
11. Takuma Sato -1 lap
12. James Jakes -1 lap
13. Simon Pagenaud -2 laps
14. Sebastian Saavedra -2 laps
15. Justin Wilson -2 laps (I have no clue what happened to him after he was as far up as 2nd)
16. Simona de Silvestro -2 laps (what might have been without the penalty, *sigh*)
17. Charlie Kimball -3 laps
18. Tristan Vautier -3 laps
19. Oriol Servia -3 laps
20. Sebastien Bourdais -4 laps
21. Graham Rahal -5 laps
22. Alex Tagliani -5 laps
23. Scott Dixon DNF (Mechanical) (his gearbox exploded in the pits, 3 crew members were taken to the infield care center with burns on their hands and faces)
24. Pippa Mann DNF (Mechanical)

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

(Edited by Eric_)

Helio Castroneves win the Firestone 550! Full results coming soon.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

TK by Ed for 3rd. Helio's lead appears to have stabilized. 5 laps to go.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

TK is still in 4th despite the pit stop, and is trying to catch up with Carpenter for 3rd.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Hold on a minute. Hunter-Reay is starting to gain. Not sure if it's because Helio's stuck in traffic or if it's the tires. 5.6 seconds with 15 to go.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Marco pits. RHR to second, 9.6 seconds back.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Helio laps Power, who's in 7th. 8.8 second lead over Marco.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

TK pits.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

The fresh tires are helping Helio. He's already gained 2.5-3 seconds on TK just in a few laps.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

The top guys all pit for the final time at basically the same time. Helio still leads. TK 2nd now and flying but might have to stop again.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

The tire game continues as the stint lingers on.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Helio and Power remain top 2, followed by RHR. If you want a smaller team to root for, Carpenter is up to 4th, while Wilson and TK lurk in 6th and 7th.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Simona gets a 30 second penalty for passing the pace car under yellow. Helio gets nothing for jumping a restart for the 100th time. Go figure.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Bunch of cars pit, including RHR who had pitted 20 laps earlier. Helio still leads, followed by Power, Wilson, Viso, and Hunter-Reay. 14 cars on the lead lap.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Caution as Servia spins out. Helio (the leader) and a few others have not pitted yet.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

This is how quickly the tires can fall off. Hunter-Reay went from having a three second lead to being in 3rd place in three laps.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Top 5: RHR, Newgarden, Marco, Helio, Power

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Dixon slows on the backstretch as Marco pits.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

People smarter than me are saying that IndyCar might've taken a little too much downforce out. However, it does make it interesting when the tires fall off.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Pit stops are starting and the speeds are dropping.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Marco leads RHR and Power. Simona is up to 14th. Dario is down to 13th. Graham is real slow and about to get lapped already.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Yellow already as something in Pippa's engine went sour. Ugh.

6/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Marty Reid opened the broadcast by calling this one of the most exciting tracks in IndyCar while sounding like he's talking about insurance.