Wow, what a race Saturday! I had a great time...my son Matt finished eighth and won his age group, I set a new PR of 28:00 and Kevin, running his first race, was right behind me five seconds later.
Oh, wait! Wrong race! That was THE race on Saturday, the Apple Blossom 5K in Bartlett that I ran with my two boys, marking the first time we all ran the same race together. If you want to read that exciting recap, go here.
(Nothing wrong with a little cross promotion, right?)
Anyway, another little race took place at 16th and Georgetown in Speedway, Ind., Saturday, so I'll talk about that one since that's probably why you came here. :--) Hard to believe this is my first recap of the year but I figured I'd better get going because the season is now 1/3 over.
As always, I'll go through the top five and a few other musings.
Winner -- Will Power. After the performance he put on in qualifying Saturday, there really wasn't a lot of doubt, or surprise, about this result, especially given how the race ran green beyond the Lap 1, Turn 1 incident. As I've stated before, if you let him get out front and let him start laying down qualifying-style laps, he's hard to beat. The win was the 25th of his career, tying him with Gordon Johncock for 15th all-time. Will that translate to success in the Indy 500? Hard to say...Power talks a lot about winning the race, but over the last five years he's led just 43 laps and never finished higher than eighth.
Runner-up -- Graham Rahal. Really, who is this guy? Two races in a row he has driven out of his mind and has back-to-back podiums to show for it. He has driven hard, smart and focused, has he perhaps figured some things out? Since he is one of the few drivers in the series I don't really care for (sorry, Robin Miller), I'm not going to gush superlatives about the guy for another few races.
Third place -- Juan Pablo Montoya. A win, three podiums and the lead in points, safe to say that JP is back! If I had to pick a winner of the 500 other than James Hinchcliffe (inside joke, see my posts from last May), I'd have to go with Montoya. I wasn't too warm to it in the beginning, but it's been a good thing to IndyCar, and looking back it's kind of sad to think of how much time he wasted in Cup. Still, he's got plenty left in the tank and seems to be getting more comfortable with the car as opposed to just driving on sheer talent.
Fourth place -- Sebastien Bourdais. Seb and Montoya had one of the more spirited battles of the race, too bad ABC didn't show much of it! (See below) I commented on Twitter that the road course at Indy seems to fit his eye pretty well and that he will win this race someday. With four Top 8 finishes so far, he is off to the best start to a season since coming back to the series in 2011.
Fifth place -- Charlie Kimball. Solid if not spectacular, which is kind of Charlie's MO most of the time, isn't it? He'd gotten off to a horrible start to the season, so this run was one that he needed badly. The great thing for anyone who drove well over the weekend is that jumping right into 500 prep means confidence and momentum comes with you as well. Kimball has two Top 10 finishes in his four 500 starts, so this might be the start of a good fortnight for him.
ABC coverage -- You know me, I don't rail on most of the minute details of the series, but, man, ABC's coverage is bad making a turn into worse. I think Allen Bestwick is a great racing announcer, but Eddie Cheever and Scott Goodyear both sound like they have reached the point they are mailing it in. Maybe we are all spoiled by the NBSCN crew, but this isn't the crew I want calling the biggest race of the season. Any way they could talk Dario Franchitti up there? I actually took the advice from someone on Twitter and started streaming the radio call, and outside of not being completely in synch with the TV feed, it was much, much better. Thankfully, I won't have to worry about hearing the broadcast since I'll be at the race, but I definitely feel sorry for the people that will be watching at home.
Chevy vs. Honda -- Chevy took eight of the top 10 spots over the weekend, and seven of 10 at Barber, but will the dominance continue when the cars run the oval kits? The open test last Sunday says otherwise, and you know Honda is putting a substantial investment in trying to catch up over the next couple of weeks.
Oval kits = Pole speed? One of the fun parts of practice beginning is guessing what the pole speed will be when qualifying commences next week. I think if the weather cooperates, we may see something in the 233-234 range. I hope I'm being a bit conservative, as even faster would be more fun!
Speaking of fun, it's here! While I love the entire IndyCar series, this is the two weeks of the year that matter the most to me. Just think, less than 14 days from right now we will crown another driver into immortality and putting another face on the Borg-Warner Trophy. Here we go!